League Office: Fantasy Football Waiver Pick-Ups – Week 1

Your draft is complete, and you still love your team. But after the immediate infatuation with your draft board wears off, you’re left wondering how to address a glaring need you failed to see when you were assembling your team.

Have no fear or worry, as the Chef has your back with a waiver wire shopping list to help strengthen your weakest areas.

Before we get into the list of players, the most important thing to do is recognize that your roster isn’t perfect. We all believe we’ve assembled championship squads in every league. However, most of our teams aren’t at that level, and we need to take a moment to acknowledge that.

It’s just like with cooking. The meal we’ve prepared is fantastic, and we just know it’s the greatest thing any tongue has ever tasted. But we need to taste it before it goes out to the masses. Often, we find it needs a last dash of salt or maybe something a little stronger like cheese melted on top.

Those of us who have a much more mild affliction of hubris will know they need something before they even cook the meal. Just like when we return from the grocery store only to realize we forgot a key ingredient, some of us were aware of a weakness immediately after or even during the draft.

No matter which category you fall into, the end result is the same — you’re missing something you need to make your dish a great one … I mean make your team a championship one.

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So let’s look at some players to add to your roster that can offer you some upside at a weak position this season.


Tyrod Taylor

(ownership: 29% on ESPN, 12% on Yahoo)

The worry for Taylor is that Baker Mayfield may take his job sooner rather than later. However, Mayfield has worked exclusively as the Browns’ No. 2 quarterback, leaving Taylor as the unquestioned starter.

Taylor’s appeal is that he’s a very capable fantasy quarterback, as evidenced by him topping 18 fantasy points in six games last year with virtually no weapons in Buffalo. Now equipped with the likes of Jarvis Landry, Josh Gordon, David Njoku and Duke Johnson, Taylor could have his best season yet.

Andy Dalton

(ownership: 18% on ESPN, 22% on Yahoo)

For some reason, Dalton never is regarded as a solid fantasy quarterback. But this perception is not accurate.

In 2017, Dalton was 18th among quarterbacks in fantasy points (in the 4/-1 scoring setting). Sure, 18th isn’t an every week starting option, but it’s certainly rosterable and definitely streamable. But Dalton was better in 2016, finishing as QB14. And of course, there was 2015 when Dalton was QB9 despite missing three games and almost all of a fourth one.

Not to mention Dalton is a great Week 1 option as he faces the Colts’ defense, which is, shall we say, not very good.

Honorable Mentions: Blake Bortles (12% ESPN, 34% Yahoo); Sam Bradford (3% ESPN, 4% Yahoo)

Running Backs

Jordan Wilkins

(ownership: 32% on ESPN, 28% on Yahoo)

Wilkins has gained some attention lately when news broke that he’ll be the starting tailback for the Colts should Marlon Mack miss time.

Whether Mack misses Week 1 or not, Wilkins deserves a roster spot. The reasons for that are simple: He’s good, Mack has a hamstring issue, and the Colts do use running backs.

In college, Wilkins averaged better than 6 yards-per-carry in three years of SEC play. As the starter last season, he topped 1,000 yards and hauled in 26 receptions. He’s skilled enough to never let go of a starting job if he can wrangle it away from Mack. And Mack has a hamstring injury, as I said. These tend to linger, which could create just the crease Wilkins needs to seize the job. And the job of Colts starting tailback isn’t a bad gig. In 2016 when Luck last played, Frank Gore finished as RB12 in PPR. This shows there can be enough touches for a running back to produce RB1 fantasy numbers in a Luck-run offense.

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Boston Scott

(ownership: 1% on ESPN, 1% on Yahoo)

Who? Exactly. Solid running back options don’t get more available than Scott.

With Mark Ingram suspended for four games, most thought Jonathan Williams was a good sleeper candidate because they thought he’d secure the Ingram role during that stretch. However, Scott is the one who won the job and will get those touches. Yes, the Saints added former Patriot Mike Gilislee, but Scott has impressed throughout camp and the preseason.

While it seems like a pickup you feel the need to explain to your friends, don’t worry about it. Add Scott to your bench before everyone else in your league realizes who he is.

Honorable Mentions: Austin Ekeler (12% ESPN, 17% Yahoo); Kalen Ballage (3% ESPN, 2% Yahoo); James Conner (13% ESPN, 27% Yahoo); Chase Edmonds (4% ESPN, 2% Yahoo)

Wide Receivers

Paul Richardson

(ownership: 52% on ESPN, 12% on Yahoo)

There is a big discrepancy between Richardson’s availability across the two major sites, which is rather odd. Maybe this is attributable to ESPN’s lead fantasy analyst Matthew Berry’s affinity for the Redskins, thus the airtime Washington players receive.

But with Richardson, the added attention is warranted. He’s a solid receiver who is expected to start and play in the two-wide sets for Washington. The Redskins signed Richardson to be a starter for them, and his snap counts with the starters in the preseason back up that sentiment. However, Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson are the more sought-after fantasy options. This is a mistake, and Richardson should be scooped up as soon as possible if he’s available in your league.

Geronimo Allison

(ownership: 8% on ESPN, 10% on Yahoo)

Allison is in line to be on the field quite a bit for the Packers. The quarterback for the Packers is Aaron Rodgers.

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There’s not much analysis needed for why Allison is worth a roster spot other than those two pieces of information.

Honorable Mentions: Anthony Miller (30% ESPN, 23% Yahoo); Christian Kirk (13% ESPN, 10% Yahoo); Danny Amendola (53% ESPN, 28% Yahoo); Cole Beasley (13% ESPN, 9% Yahoo); Ryan Grant (11% ESPN, 4% Yahoo)

Tight Ends

Geoff Swaim

(ownership: 0% on ESPN, 0% on Yahoo)

Tight end is not a deep position from a fantasy standpoint. So if you’re hurting at that spot, it’s not easy to find help. But what you can do is find starters.

Swaim is expected to see most of the tight end snaps for the Cowboys, which at least gives him a chance to score points for you.

Chris Herndon

(ownership: 0% on ESPN, 0% on Yahoo)

Like Swaim, Herndon is a starting tight end for an NFL team — it’s the Jets, by the way, since you probably don’t know who he is.

However, there’s a better case to be made for Herndon than Swaim in the talent department. Throughout training camp, Herndon has impressed. He’s also working with a rookie quarterback in Sam Darnold. Traditionally, young quarterbacks love throwing to tight ends.

Honorable Mentions: Gerald Everett (1% ESPN, 1% Yahoo); Jake Butt (4% ESPN, 5% Yahoo)

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Joshua Cook

Joshua Cook

Writer Fantasy Football Desk at Sports Talk Line
Fantasy enthusiast armed with whit, sarcasm and some knowledge, too. The Fantasy Sports Chef is a fantasy writer for SportsTalkLine.com.
Joshua Cook