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Gardner Minshew, Peyton Barber, Dallas Goedert and Top Early Waiver-Wire Stars

Jenna CiccotelliContributor ISeptember 13, 2020

Washington running back Peyton Barber (25) runs with the ball during practice at the team's NFL football training facility, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, in Ashburn, Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

With the first week of football underway, every armchair quarterback is scrolling the waiver wire to find players that fell through the cracks on draft night. Based on the first games, here are widely available players that are worth taking a spot on rosters.

     

QB Gardner Minshew II, Jacksonville Jaguars (25% rostered in all Yahoo leagues) 

Week 1 stats: 19-20 passing, 173 yards, 3 touchdowns; five rushes, 19 yards

#DUUUVAL @Jaguars

❄🌎 @GardnerMinshew5 finds @Air4Cole for the TD to take the lead. 📺: CBS |#DUUUVAL https://t.co/IkY0oMEouH

With the departure of Leonard Fournette, more responsibility will fall on Minshew when it comes to success in Jacksonville this season—and he's rising to the occasion. After a quietly surprising 2019, the second-year quarterback debuted by carrying the Jaguars to a 27-20 upset win over Philip Rivers and the Indianapolis Colts. 

Expectations were low for Minshew and the Jaguars entering 2020, but the second-year signal-caller was efficient as he hit 10 different targets under new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden while also showcasing modest playmaking ability with his legs.

Given that the Jaguars are likely to endure a long season, they will continue to lean on Minshew to try to throw them back into games, making him a strong backup or streaming option for most squads.

   

RB Peyton Barber, Washington Football Team (2% rostered)

Week 1 stats: 17 carries, 29 yards, 2 touchdowns

NFL @NFL

24 unanswered points. @WashingtonNFL has the lead on this Peyton Barber TD! 📺: #PHIvsWAS on FOX 📱: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app: https://t.co/DTlgEUZamw https://t.co/82eXiAm6f4

The 26-year-old Barber averaged 29.4 rushing yards per game last season. But he played a big role in Washington's 27-17 comeback victory against Philadelphia in Week 1. Head coach Ron Rivera said Washington would use a "committee" at running back, but Barber clearly led that committee on Sunday.

Bryce Love, a fourth-round pick in 2019, wasn't active, and veteran J.D. McKissic had just three carries for negative yardage. Meanwhile, Barber cleanly handled both of Washington's rushing touchdowns, and the veteran seems to be a reliable option for Washington and fantasy owners moving forward.   

   

TE Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (54% rostered)

Week 1 stats: 9 targets, 8 receptions, 101 yards, 1 touchdown 

Goedert had a strong sophomore season with 58 receptions (ninth in the league among tight ends), and he showed up for the Eagles in their Week 1 loss to Washington. 

Goedert is easily forgotten in the shadow of Zach Ertz, and it would be easy to write him off with the depth the Eagles usually have at wide receiver. But with no timetable for the return of wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, who hasn't practiced with the team once this season, and Jalen Reagor also sitting out Week 1, Wentz will be searching for any open player he can get. Goedert has had at least five targets in the Eagles' past 10 games, and if Wentz sees Goedert as a reliable option—especially when he's short-handed elsewhere on the field—fantasy managers should, too.

    

RB Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts (17% rostered)

Week 1 stats: 7 carries, 28 yards, 1 touchdown; 8 receptions, 45 yards, 1 touchdown

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Nyheim Hines scores the first TD on NFL Sunday 🚨 (via @Colts) https://t.co/DXEJf2Zc3v

With 107 receptions since the start of 2018, Hines has the eighth-most receptions among running backs league-wide, but he seemed like the odd man out with Wisconsin's Jonathan Taylor drafted early and Marlon Mack still leading the backfield. But with Mack carted off in the second quarter with an Achilles injury, Hines will need to step up in the backfield.

Tossed into an unexpected role with Mack's injury, Hines did enough to give the Colts a fighting chance against the Jags, and he'll certainly be used by Philip Rivers down the road if Mack really is out for the season. 

    

RB James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (56% rostered)

Week 1 stats: 16 carries, 62 yards; 1 reception, 28 yards

Robinson was an undrafted free agent, and the Jaguars have made him into a starter. Veteran Chris Thompson, who is new to Jacksonville but played all of his seven-year career under Gruden in Washington, had just two touches on Sunday, with Robinson serving as the primary ball-carrier. 

Gruden spoke highly of Robinson heading into Week 1, per John Shipley of SI.com: "We have every indication that we've seen in training camp that he can handle it." Based on Robinson's performance, there's no reason that Thompson should take over, and Robinson is a reliable choice as a running back off the bench in fantasy.

    

WR Allen Lazard, Green Bay Packers: (43% rostered)

Week 1 stats: 4 targets, 4 receptions, 63 yards, 1 TD

Green Bay Packers @packers

.@AaronRodgers12 finds @AllenLazard for his 4️⃣th TD pass today! #GBvsMIN | #GoPackGo 📺 FOX 📱 https://t.co/2UxGSiVlvn https://t.co/qqJ6ztnYH2

Maybe Lazard ended up starting opposite Davante Adams by accident, with Devin Funchess opting out and Geronimo Allison making a move in free agency, but the 24-year-old understands the Packers offense, collecting 477 yards and three touchdowns through 11 games in 2019. He certainly won't see the ball more than his partner, and realistically shouldn't be a fantasy starter, but he can hold his own and is a solid option at WR4.  

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