Fantasy Football Week 2 Waiver Wire: Top Pickups Following Chaotic Week 1
With the first first week of the 2022 NFL season in the books, it's now a critical time for fantasy managers to take stock of their rosters and make necessary adjustments.
Even if your starters put together a fantastic collective performance and opened the campaign with a "W," it's no time to rest on your laurels. Shrewd managers will be scouring the free-agent pile and putting in claims for players who could potentially make an enormous impact this season.
Overturning the bottom of your roster can put you in a position to make a championship run this year. Casting off a low-upside veteran backup who won't sniff your starting lineup outside of bye weeks in exchange for a breakout talent could be the difference between a playoff appearance and being left out in the cold.
While it's important not to put too much stock in a single week—there have been many instances where players break out in the opener and fail to come close to those performances for the rest of the season—there is still plenty of information to be gleaned from the Week 1 results.
With that in mind, here are five players—available in 50 percent or more of Yahoo! leagues—who displayed promise and should be at or near the top of your waiver priority list ahead of Week 2.
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Matt Ryan, QB, Indianapolis Colts (46 Percent Rostered)
Matt Ryan's debut with the Indianapolis Colts was far from perfect, but he did a decent enough job for fantasy purposes and, more importantly, he showed the potential to have some big point-producing days.
The veteran signal-caller heaved a whopping 50 passes against the Houston Texans, completing 32 of them for 352 yards and a touchdown. The outing was good for 16.3 fantasy points, a mark he will likely improve upon in the coming weeks.
While the Colts had to settle for a 20-20 tie against their AFC South rivals, it's looking like they aren't going to shy away from airing it out this year.
Even with reigning rushing champion Jonathan Taylor leading the backfield and eating up 31 carries in the contest, Indianapolis seems confident in its 37-year-old quarterback.
Considering Ryan didn't appear to be completely in sync with his new teammates—his lone interception was a rather ugly one—there is a lot of room for improvement here.
Michael Pittman has developed into a bona fide No. 1 wideout and will undoubtedly remain Ryan's favorite target after catching nine of 13 targets for 121 yards and a score on Sunday. The rest of Indy’s receivers are still working to build rapport with their QB, though.
Ashton Dulin's production was a pleasant surprise—he nabbed three receptions for 46 yards on six targets—but Parris Campbell only generated 37 yards on three catches and second-round rookie Alec Pierce failed to secure a single reception on two targets.
If these wideouts can improve, Ryan could quietly emerge as a decent low-end QB1 this year. For now, he's a good enough injury replacement and bye-week fill-in for those who need depth at the quarterback spot.
Jeff Wilson Jr., RB, San Francisco 49ers (16 Percent Rostered)
DraftKings DFS Value: $5,100
There weren't many expectations for Jeff Wilson Jr. as a major fantasy producer this year. He began Week 1 behind Elijah Mitchell in the San Francisco 49ers backfield and wasn't projected to see a high volume of touches.
That all changed when Mitchell went down with a knee injury in the first half against the Chicago Bears.
It marked the second successive year that San Francisco lost its starting RB to a potentially serious knee issue, which has opened the door for Wilson to take ownership of this backfield—just as Mitchell did last season after Raheem Mostert landed on the IR.
Although QB Trey Lance and WR Deebo Samuel were in the mix as rushers, Wilson was the go-to back following Mitchell's exit. He earned nine carries, and although they went for just 22 yards, there could be opportunity for huge fantasy performances in the future.
Wilson showed as much last year against the Atlanta Falcons, exploding for 110 yards and a score on 21 totes while also catching two passes for nine yards to add some extra PPR value.
While the full extent of Mitchell's injury has yet to be revealed, Wilson should still be on the fantasy radar for most managers. He led the team in rushing touchdowns two seasons ago and had the second-most red area carries despite missing eight games in 2021.
Even if Mitchell does return soon, he's been prone to injury throughout his career. There is a real chance he misses time again at some point this year, making Wilson a must-add on the Week 2 waivers.
Curtis Samuel, WR, Washington Commanders (Four Percent Rostered)
DraftKings DFS Value: $4,600
Curtis Samuel has flashed immense talent since entering the league as a second-round pick back in 2017, but he's had issues staying healthy and producing on a consistent basis.
Although it's still early in the year, it appears Samuel may finally be putting it all together. The wideout starred in the season-opener, going off for eight catches and 55 yards and a touchdown.
Samuel is emerging as a key cog in Washington's offense. He led the Commanders in targets with 11—three more than star teammate Terry McLaurin—and also had four carries, taking them for 17 yards.
With McLaurin drawing plenty of defensive attention because of his elite playmaking ability and Samuel showing strong early rapport with new quarterback Carson Wentz, the 26-year-old could rack up big numbers during the 2022 campaign.
The Ohio State product packed on some pounds in the offseason, and he believes the added weight will help him this season (via Peter Hailey of NBCSports.com):
"Last year, I was playing at, like, 192 [pounds]. I'm, like, 200 right now. I say that to say that I've been taking care of my body, keeping my weight up. I feel like that's a big part of me staying healthy."
Samuel missed 11 games last year because of separate groin and hamstring strains, but if the dynamic wideout can avoid injuries this season, he has a shot to be a game-changer for fantasy managers. It's well worth rolling the waiver dice on Samuel right now, as he will be a shoo-in WR2 with more performances like his showing in the season-opener.
Devin Duvernay, WR, Baltimore Ravens (30 Percent Rostered)
DraftKings DFS Value: $4,300
The Baltimore Ravens raised eyebrows this offseason when they traded away top wideout Marquise Brown and subsequently failed to make significant moves via the draft or free agency to replace his production.
The team instead trusted its young crop of unproven wideouts to step up, and that faith was rewarded in Week 1 when Devin Duvernay showed out against the New York Jets. The third-year wideout hauled in all four of his targets for 54 yards and a pair of scores to help guide his side to a runaway 24-9 victory.
Those touchdowns equaled Duvernay's output across 16 games in 2021, showing just how much of a bump this 24-year-old has received in the pecking order.
He's now Baltimore's No. 2 wideout behind Rashod Bateman and could see plenty more big days in that role.
The Ravens have been one of the most run-heavy teams in the NFL over the past few years, but they may trust Duvernay and the rest of their receiving corps enough to start airing it out more. The squad ran on just 21 of its offensive snaps in the opener, picking up just 63 yards on those totes. Meanwhile, quarterback Lamar Jackson has an efficient afternoon as a passer, connecting on 17 of his 30 targets for 213 yards and three TDs.
While managers may want to temper expectations, this could be a sneaky-good pickup early in the season if the Ravens keep throwing and Duvernay can continue to impress.
Taysom Hill, TE, New Orleans Saints (10 Percent Rostered)
DraftKings DFS Value: $4,400
The New Orleans Saints may have ended the Taysom Hill as a starting quarterback experiment, but the versatile playmaker still made his presence felt under center in Week 1.
Although Saints head coach Dennis Hill stated that Hill would focus on playing tight end in 2022, he only reeled in one catch for two yards on Sunday.
The 32-year-old did most of his damage when lining up as a quarterback for four snaps, taking off on all four plays to amass a team-high 81 yards and a score.
While he may not fit the mold of a traditional TE, Hill still has that designation in fantasy and can produce at a high level because of it.
The position is notoriously bereft of reliable options outside of a few well-known entities, and it can be painful for managers who missed out on the likes of Mark Andrews or Travis Kelce to generate consistent production.
Keep in mind that Hill will likely be a bit of a boom-or-bust option. A good chunk of his points came on his first carry when he exploded for 57 yards, but he's still a better option than nearly all the low-ceiling tight ends currently littering the free-agent pile.
Hill is worth taking a flyer on for those without a top-flight TE or in deeper formats. If his role in New Orleans' ground attack continues to grow and he can improve as a pass-catcher, he'll be a viable weekly starter.
Until then, consider him a TE2 with immense upside and the top waiver option at the position for Week 2.