The first waiver wire run of the regular season can be a very important one. Adding the correct players now will not only help for Week 2, but finding the right sleeper player that’s ready to break out in a new roles also sets up production from a previously unexpected source for the entirety of the season. With that in mind, here are some best Week 2 waiver wire pickups to add to your fantasy football teams in ESPN leagues. For the purposes of this article, we’ll be utilizing the fantasy football ownership from the majority of leagues.
Fantasy Football: Week 2 NFL Waiver Wire Pickups | ESPN
Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers (98% available)
Running backs can be tricky with the 49ers because it seems like anyone can go off in any given week. That was the case against the Lions after Raheem Mostert went down early with a knee injury. Trey Sermon was a surprise inactive, so that left the heavy lifting up to Mitchell. He did not disappoint, rushing 19 times for 104 yards and a touchdown. Week 2 does not bring as favorable of a matchup against the Eagles, but with Mostert’s checkered injury history and the apparent apprehension to give Sermon a significant role out of the gate, Mitchell could be busy moving forward.
Waiver Wire Priority: 1 (5%-8% of FAAB budget)
Nelson Agholor, New England Patriots (70% available)
Mac Jones winning the starting quarterback job was best case scenario for the Patriots pass catchers. Agholor was busy against the Dolphins, catching five passes for 72 yards and a touchdown. He finished with seven targets, which tied for the second most on the team. Week 2 brings a great matchup against the rebuilding Jets defense, so Agholor steps in as an immediate Flex option at worst. Looking farther out, he has a chance to be one of the top receivers in a better-than-expected offense for the remainder of the season.
Waiver Wire Priority: 2 (5%-8% of FAAB budget)
Latavius Murray, Baltimore Ravens (56% available)
Before the season even started the Ravens lost both J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards to ACL injuries. They have tried to fill their depth chart with veterans since those injuries, signing Murray, Le’Veon Bell and Devonta Freeman behind Ty’Son Williams. Bell and Freeman were both signed to the practice squad and might not make much of an impact, even if they are added to the active roster. However, Murray likely has more left in the tank after rushing for at least 630 yards in back-to-back seasons for the Saints. He could end up being the leader in the Ravens backfield in short order.
Waiver Wire Priority: 3 (5%-8% of FAAB budget)
Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals (94% available)
One of the more impressive performances of Week 1 was the Cardinals’ dismantling of the Titans. Kyler Murray was fantastic, throwing for 289 yards and four touchdowns. Two of those scores went to Kirk, who caught all five of his targets for 70 yards. DeAndre Hopkins is the clear top wide receiver on the team, but the No. 2 spot is up for grabs with Kirk, A.J. Green and Rondale Moore all battling for the job. Green certainly did not impress in Week 1, catching just two of his six targets for 25 yards. If Kirk can build on his strong performance, a significant role in a top-tier offense could be on the horizon.
Waiver Wire Priority: 4 (3%-5% of FAAB budget)
Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (75% available)
The Giants fell to the Broncos 27-13, but the game was even worse than the final score indicated given that they scored a touchdown on the final play. Daniel Jones committed yet another costly turnover that took any momentum away that the Giants had been trying to build in the second half. The one bright side of the game was Shepard, who caught seven of nine targets for 113 yards and a score. The addition of Kenny Golladay hurts Shepard’s upside over the course of the season, but that does not mean that Shepard should be an afterthought in fantasy. The Giants have a quick turnaround in Week 2, having to play Washington on Thursday, which could mean a limited workload is coming for the injury-prone Golladay. After that is a matchup against the rebuilding Falcons, which could also work in Shepard’s favor.
Waiver Wire Priority: 5 (3%-5% of FAAB budget)
Mark Ingram, Houston Texans (89% available)
The Texans figured to be a mess at running back heading into this season. They have a lot of veterans at the position, including Ingram, David Johnson, Phillip Lindsay and Rex Burkhead. Ingram proved to be the lead back in Week 1, rushing 26 times for 85 yards and a touchdown. Lindsay, Johnson and Burkhead combined for just 11 carries. The Texans having a big lead early likely helped Ingram, and this is a situation that could change on a week-to-week basis. With that being said, taking a flier on Ingram could be worth it for fantasy managers in need of depth at running back.
Waiver Wire Priority: 6 (1%-3% of FAAB budget)
Emmanuel Sanders, Buffalo Bills (85% available)
With Josh Allen attempting 51 passes against the Steelers, his wide receiver group was busy. Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley led the way, receiving 14 and 13 targets, respectively. Sanders finished with eight targets, converting them into four catches for 52 yards. The Bills were third in passing yards per game last season and figure to be a pass-heavy offense this year as well. If anything were to happen to Diggs or Beasley, Sanders could step into a huge role.
Waiver Wire Priority: 7 (1% of FAAB budget)
Jared Cook, Los Angeles Chargers (77% available)
After Hunter Henry departed for the Patriots, the Chargers brought in Cook to help fill the void at tight end. He finished with eight targets against Washington, ranking third on the Chargers behind Keenan Allen (13) and Mike Williams (12). He turned that into five catches for 56 yards, which is noteworthy given that Donald Parham Jr. received just one target. Those in deep leagues or desperate at tight end should give Cook a look since he seems to have a firm grasp on the Chargers’ top tight end spot.
Waiver Wire Priority: 8 (1% of FAAB budget)
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