Well, we made it, folks. The National Football League got through Week 1, and what a weekend it was for fantasy football. Injuries, surprises and running backs are the theme for this Tuesday’s article.
Below are my top waiver-wire pickups at multiple positions. As always, ask me any fantasy football questions on Twitter @AndyMc81 using #AskAndy.
Nyheim Hines, RB, Colts
Yahoo! League Ownership: 21%
I mentioned last week on “The Fantasy Show” (every Sunday at 8:00 a.m. ET on Sportsnet Radio) to keep an eye on Nyheim Hines as a possible PPR option. Of course, no one could’ve predicted a Marlon Mack torn achilles tendon to spike the fantasy value of both Hines and rookie Jonathan Taylor.
Philip Rivers leaned heavily on Hines, who caught all eight of his targets. He caught a touchdown pass, and rushed for a score as well on seven carries. The 23-year-old delivered an astonishing 28.50 FPTs and is projected for 16.0 versus Minnesota on Sunday.
Hines will undoubtedly be one of the most added players heading into Week 2. He’s worth ponying up your auction dollars or high waiver priority for.
Dallas Goedert, TE, Eagles
Yahoo! League Ownership: 56%
I can’t believe that Dallas Goedert is still available in 44% of leagues. Yes, Zach Ertz is the more established tight end, but his sidekick clearly demonstrated to be a standalone fantasy option as a TE10 this past season. The third-year pro also proved to be the ultimate handcuff when Ertz left the Washington opener for a spell.
His 101 yards on eight receptions and a TD popped the 6’5” mismatch to 20.1 FPTs in standard format. Even if you have a good tight end, grab the big man anyway and keep him away from rival teams in your league!
If Goedert is not available then look to snag either Jack Doyle, Logan Thomas, O.J. Howard, Greg Olsen or Eric Ebron for TE help.
Russell Gage, WR, Falcons
Yahoo! League Ownership: 2%
Well, that was a statement Game 1 for Matt Ryan and the Atlanta air attack. Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage all had exactly nine catches on 12 targets and comfortably eclipsed the 100-yard mark.
Gage is obviously the surprise of that group as Ryan felt comfortable looking his way over the expected third target Hayden Hurst. I’m still bullish on Hurst growing into that Austin Hooper tight end role. However, that type of volume to Gage cannot be ignored.
Tre’Quan Smith, WR, Saints
Yahoo! League Ownership: 2%
Emmanuel Sanders is the popular thought when it comes to who would inhale a portion Michael Thomas’s target share if he misses any time with a high ankle sprain. However, I believe Drew Brees would seek out a larger body instead. Cue the 6’2”, 210-pound Tre’Quan Smith.
The 2018 third-round pick doesn’t have a large sample of NFL work, but a definite nose for the end zone with five touchdowns in each of his first two seasons. If you’re a Thomas owner, Smith is a must-own handcuff, and is an upside flyer in any scenario if the superstar doesn’t dress Monday.
Joshua Kelley, RB, Chargers
Yahoo! League Ownership: 13%
If you whiff on landing Nyheim Hines, Joshua Kelley is a nice consolation prize. The rookie slid into the change-of-pace role, only being out-touched by Austin Ekeler by five on the ground. What’s most interesting for fantasy managers is the workload that Kelley got inside the 10-yard line that resulted in a TD.
Justin Jackson was pushed to the side and got banged up in the 16-13 win over the Bengals. Kelley is now the top handcuff for Ekeler, and has standalone value as well if his usage from Week 1 continues.
Benny Snell, RB, Steelers
Yahoo! League Ownership: 17%
The best ability is availability, and Steelers starting running back James Conner just can’t stay on the field. An ankle issue yanked him from the first Monday night matchup and allowed Benny Snell to rush for 113 yards.
Snell’s an enticing add, but don’t forget about Jaylen Samuels. If Conner can’t suit up, we’ll likely see a committee situation in Pittsburgh.