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Week 2 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups

Injuries can be detrimental to the success of your fantasy squad and can leave you scrambling for a plug-in starter. Unfortunately, there were a lot of them in Week 1 of the NFL season. This is why you will need to work the fantasy football waiver wire to grab high-upside players to help fill these empty spots and reduce that Sunday morning pre-kickoff panic.

Don’t overreact to just one week and hold onto those late-round flyers you believe in and think could boom moving forward. If you’re in need of an immediate upgrade, here are some Week 2 fantasy football waiver wire pickups that could help push your team in the right direction. 

Players must be owned in less than 60 percent of ESPN leagues to be included in the Week 2 fantasy football waiver wire pickups column. All ownerships for waiver wire players will be provided and will reflect that of Monday evening.

jameis winston fantasy football waiver wire pickups week 2
Credit: Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports

QB Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups 

Jameis Winston, Saints (36.4%)

Jameis Winston looked terrible in the first three quarters, partly because of his poor offensive line play. But he stepped it up and threw for over 200 yards and two touchdowns in just the fourth quarter. Winston is going to have some inconsistencies, but in an offense with healthy Michael Thomas, I like his chances. It was a sloppy Week 1, but the upside is there and his ownership is relatively low. Add him before other quarterbacks get injured.

Matt Ryan, Colts (24.0%)

Most fantasy football managers didn’t expect Matt Ryan to throw the ball 50 times against the Texans, but here we are. Ryan didn’t look great as he struggled to hold onto the ball, but he threw for over 350 yards and a touchdown. It’s clear Michael Pittman Jr. is his favorite target and, considering they can lean on the run game, Ryan is a safe fantasy option moving forward. He will consistently put up good yardage numbers and he’ll continue to build more chemistry with Pittman. 

Baker Mayfield, Panthers (13.9%)

Baker Mayfield has always been average in fantasy football, but with the number of weapons in Carolina, his ownership should easily increase. Mayfield threw a touchdown, a pick and fumbled a few times, but once again, it’s only one week and the Browns have a good defense. His receivers are very talented and not to mention the fact he has Christian McCaffrey in the backfield. It’s a good situation with plenty of upside and he’s only rostered in 14 percent of leagues. 

RB Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups 

Darrell Henderson Jr,, Rams (45.8%)

It’s very clear Darrell Henderson Jr. is going to have a major role on the Los Angeles Rams. Henderson out-touched Cam Akers 18-3 and, despite not finding the end zone, posted a double-digit fantasy point performance. The Rams offense looked out of sorts on the opening kickoff, but the offense is electric and Henderson will be a big part of that if he gets the ground game going a bit more. 

Jamaal Williams, Detoit Lions (35.3%)

Jamaal Williams’ production looks like virtually nothing compared to D’Andre Swift’s monster game on the ground, but he did poach two goal line carries for touchdowns. Swift totaled 18 carries compared to Williams’ 11, so it’s clear HC Dan Campbell wants to use him regularly still. He lacks much fantasy value on days where the Lions struggle or face an elite defense, because his upside will solely depend on carries inside the five. 

Jeff Wilson Jr., 49ers (3.5%)

With Elijah Mitchell injured and out for multiple weeks, that leaves Jeff Wilson Jr. as the lead back. Wilson himself is injury prone and it wouldn’t be surprising if he gets hurt or SF decides to start others over him. Fantasy managers know the 49ers backfield is always tough to gauge, but with injuries and cuts, there isn’t much of a committee anymore. Their whole offense thrives through the run game. If Wilson stays healthy, he could be a very good option at such low ownership. 

Julio Jones Fantasy Football waiver wire pickups week 2
Credit: Chris O’Meara/AP Photo

WR Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups 

Jahan Dotson, Commanders (56.2%)

Jahan Dotson impressed immediately, hauling in three catches for 40 yards and two touchdowns in his debut. The concern for his volume opposite Terry McLaurin should be dismissed now, as he’s the clear WR2. The Commanders passing attack can be dangerous as long as Carzon Wentz doesn’t consistently do Carson Wentz things. Dotson will likely be the top fantasy football waiver wire pickup this week, and consdiering he’s already owned in over half of all leagues, it’ll be tough to get him. 

Julio Jones, Buccaneers (43.4%)

Julio Jones looks good without Ryan Tannehill at QB… crazy. The Sunday Night Football game was incredibly boring and low-scoring, but Jones still saw five targets and caught three of them for 69 yards. Chris Godwin did get hurt again, which leaves the Julio Jones fantasy football value high, as he’s the clear WR2 in one of the best passing offenses in the league. He’s rostered in just 43 percent of leagues right now and could turn out to be a safe WR3/FLEX option on a weekly basis, making him among the top fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 2.

Robbie Anderson, Panthers (37.5%)

Previously mentioned in the article is Baker Mayfield and his talented weapons. Robbie Anderson is one of them. He has always floated around the middle of the pack when it comes to solid fantasy football receivers, but with better QB play than his entire career, he should benefit immensely. Anderson caught five of his eight targets for 102 yards and a touchdown. With most of the attention on WR1 D.J. Moore, he can easily carve out a consistent role. 

TE Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups 

Tyler Higbee, Rams (49.8%)

Although Tyler Higbee’s stats didn’t look the greatest, his volume and target share is promising. He saw 11 targets but failed to find the end zone or even surpass double-digit fantasy points. The Rams looked off in Week 1, but they will improve and figure out the passing game outside of Cooper Kupp. Stafford seems to trust Higbee and targeted him the second-most behind Kupp. 

Hayden Hurst, Bengals (19.5%)

Tight ends are all about volume and consistency because it’s hard to depend on the position outside of the initial top five guys. Hayden Hurst caught five catches on eight targets for 46 yards against the Steelers. With injuries to some Cincinnati wideouts, Hurst could see an expanded role. Eight targets are promising, and it’s always nice to own tight ends on good offenses. At just under 20 percent ownership, he is very much worth fantasy football waiver wire pickup.

Gerald Everett, Chargers (13.5%)

At 13.5 percent ownership, Gerald Everett is likely available in almost all fantasy football leagues. Much like Hurst, Everett plays on a good offense and caught three balls for 54 yards and a touchdown. Everett has always been a red zone option when he’s on the field, but he could carve out quite the role in the Chargers’ offense, as their receivers tend to get injured here and there. With Justin Herbert throwing the ball, anyone on that offense can thrive. 

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