Week 2 Waiver Wire: Breakout Fantasy Football Pickups After Opening Sunday

Maurice Moton@@MoeMotonFeatured ColumnistSeptember 9, 2019

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 08: Marquise Brown #15 of the Baltimore Ravens leaves the field after the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on September 08, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Mark Brown/Getty Images

Unlike Thursday's game with the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, we saw teams post big numbers in Week 1 of the NFL season. Unfortunately, a few key players went down with injuries.

The Baltimore Ravens offense took the spotlight, scoring 59 points against the Miami Dolphins. The NFL is a quarterback league, but the unit has a true blazer at wide receiver who will garner attention on the waiver wire in the upcoming week.

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles broke his collarbone; he's out indefinitely, per Phillip Heilman of The Athletic. Managers who don't mind investing in an unknown asset should take a look at his backup who went into Week 1 owned in zero percent of leagues.

The following waiver-wire pickup suggestions are owned in fewer than 60 percent of Yahoo pools as of 7:30 p.m. ET Sunday.


Week 2 Waiver-Wire Pickups

QB Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans (7 percent owned)

QB Gardner Minshew II, Jacksonville Jaguars (0 percent owned)

RB Malcolm Brown, Los Angeles Rams (11 percent owned)

RB Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins (12 percent owned)

WR Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens (31 percent owned)

WR John Ross III, Cincinnati Bengals (8 percent owned)

WR DJ Chark Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars (2 percent owned)

TE Jimmy Graham, Green Bay Packers (48 percent owned)

TE T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions (50 percent owned)

DEF Tennessee Titans (7 percent owned)


RB Malcolm Brown, Los Angeles Rams

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 08: Malcolm Brown #34 of the Los Angeles Rams waves to the fans after scoring a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during the third quarter of their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 08, 2019 in Charlo
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

During the offseason, the Los Angeles Rams' backfield usage became a hot topic because of running back Todd Gurley's limited touches in the team's last two playoff appearances—14 carries for 45 yards and a touchdown to go along with a pair of catches and a net of two yards against the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots.

James Koh of Next Generation Stats laid out the snap counts for Gurley, Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson:

Within those numbers, it's important to dig a little further into context. Brown scored both touchdowns off handoffs within five yards of the goal line.

Brown's touches closer to the paydirt suggest he may cut into Gurley's touchdown total. Since 2017, the latter has led the league in rushing scores (30). That's where his production will likely drop off with more carries for the former.

Despite his modest snap count Sunday, Brown belongs on your radar until Henderson sees more touches.


WR Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 08:  Marquise Brown #15 of the Baltimore Ravens runs to the end zone to score a touchdown on a 47-yard pass from Lamar Jackson #8 (not pictured) during the first quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on Septemb
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Quarterback Lamar Jackson and Marquise Brown lit up the Miami pass defense Sunday. The Ravens signal-caller is owned in 93 percent of leagues, but the wideout remains available in about two-thirds of fantasy pools.

Brown scorched the Dolphins defense with four catches for 147 yards and two touchdowns. He's not going to play Miami's unit every week, but the rookie first-rounder certainly deserves your attention because of his ability to vertically stretch the field.

The Oklahoma product saw the second-most targets (five) from Jackson in Week 1, which indicates the two have a solid rapport. If the Ravens offense shows big flashes through the air this season, Brown will be on the receiving end of those aerial sparks.


WR John Ross III, Cincinnati Bengals

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 13:  John Ross #15 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs with the ball during the first half against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium on September 13, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

On the road, the Cincinnati Bengals kept the score close with the Seattle Seahawks, but spectators may have been more surprised to see John Ross III explode for seven receptions, 158 yards and two touchdowns.

The Bengals won't have wideout A.J. Green on the field to start the year. He underwent ankle surgery in the offseason and remains in a walking boot. Meanwhile, we may have seen a short glimpse as to what's to come in the offense while the seven-time Pro Bowler recovers from the procedure.

In the past, Ross has struggled with consistency, specifically holding on to the ball. However, in a Green-less passing attack, he may lead the team in targets for a few weeks. The third-year pro possesses big-play potential—enough that allows fantasy managers to rack up points with just a few receptions per game.


TE T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - SEPTEMBER 08: TJ Hockenson #88 of the Detroit Lions catches a touchdown pass during the fourth quarter while being defended by DJ Swearinger Sr #36 and Byron Murphy #33 of the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on September 08, 20
Norm Hall/Getty Images

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford connected with T.J. Hockenson six times for 131 yards and a touchdown. Perhaps the team can forget former tight end Eric Ebron's underwhelming four-year stint and feature the rookie first-rounder in the offense.

As the top tight end to come off the board and No. 8 overall pick in this year's draft, Hockenson should rank high on the priority list in weekly game-planning. His performance against the Arizona Cardinals isn't a likely fluke; he's going to see plenty of opportunities to poke holes in defenses. Stafford targeted him nine times—tied for second-most on the team.

Leading up to the 2019 draft, many analysts labeled Hockenson the most complete tight end in the class. If that's the case, he'll take the field for a fair amount of snaps despite Jesse James' presence. Don't hesitate to grab him now while available in about half of leagues.

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