Pick ‘Em Up! Week 2 Waiver Claims Fantasy Football

By Ryan Weisse

As quick as it came, it went. Week 1 in fantasy football was awesome. We saw some great performances, a few surprising duds, and a couple of major injuries. If you’re not in the know, we will cover all of these things on our show “No Punt Intended”, live-streaming on Wednesdays, and available on your favorite podcast spot on Thursdays. As with any season, Week 1 comes with its fair share of surprises and that means week 2 WAIVER CLAIMS!!! Every week this season, I will be giving you my top QBs, RBs, WRs, & TEs that are available in at least 50% of fantasy leagues (using Yahoo roster %) and you should then go Pick ‘Em Up!

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Quarterbacks

Gardner Minshew (75% Available)
Minshew-Mania, Minshew-Magic, Free Bud Light. However you choose to describe the phenomenon that is Gardner Minshew, he deserves a roster spot in most fantasy leagues and is one of the top week 2 waiver claims. Minshew went 19/20 for 173 yards and three TDs, also adding 19 rushing yards. You want fantasy football to be fun and it certainly is with Minshew on your team.

Teddy Bridgewater (78% Available)
Teddy Two-Gloves hit on 64% of his passes for 270 yards and a TD, a huge play to Robby Anderson. He’s not quite a must-roster yet but if you are in a deeper league or QB trouble, he looked solid and has an arsenal of weapons at his disposal.

Running Backs

Nyheim Hines (81% Available)
Stop reading this and go put in a claim for Hines RIGHT NOW. Marlon Mack is out for the season and Philip Rivers still loves throwing to his RB. The same QB that made Austin Ekeler a top-10 RB last year is about to do the same for Hines. Against Jacksonville, Hines had 15 touches (8 receptions) for 73 total yards and two TDs. He will be top-24 play at minimum moving forward this season and he won’t last after the week 2 waiver claims.

Malcolm Brown (74% Available)
There were multiple hype trains surrounding Rams RBs this offseason and none of them mentioned Malcolm Brown…the starter. Brown vultured TDs from Todd Gurley last year and we didn’t think he would steal from Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson? Akers and Henderson combined for 17 carries and 45 yards. Brown had 18 carries for 79 yards and two TDs, plus had 3 receptions for another 31 yards, both tops for Rams RBs. Akers may come along later but Brown is the guy to roster in this backfield right now.

Jerick McKinnon (89% Available)
The 49ers backfield is always tough to predict but on any given week, one or two of these guys can go off. In Week 1, four RBs had carries and all four had at least one reception too. McKinnon was 2nd in the group in fantasy points, behind Raheem Mostert, but he looked good in his first game in almost two years. McKinnon turned just six touches into 44 total yards and a TD. While the Niners WRs are ailing — and now they have a George Kittle injury to deal with — McKinnon will be used more and more in this offense and will have some big fantasy weeks to follow.

Late Addition from Monday Night Football: Benny Snell

Wide Receivers

Russell Gage (98% Available)
The Falcons may end up leading the NFL in passing this season and while everybody drafted Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, Gage went basically ignored. Julio and Ridley each had 12 targets for nine receptions in Week 1. Gage had 12 targets for nine receptions in Week 1. All three WRs went over 100 yards. Only Ridley scored but Gage was stopped on the 1-yard line on one catch. Not every week will be this good, but Gage should be a solid WR3 in fantasy moving forward.

Parris Campbell (78% Available)
While everybody drafted TY Hilton, Campbell had too many questions marks to demand much attention. He answered a lot of those questions in Week 1. Campbell tied for the team lead in targets and led the team in yards. He failed to find the end zone but was targeted on many of the most important plays for the Colts.

Laviska Shenault (88% Available)
Shenault didn’t have a huge week but he did two things worth noting:

  1. He played well enough this preseason that Dede Westbrook was a healthy scratch for this game
  2. He scored a TD

It’s just a bonus that he is tied to the greatest QB in the NFL! ‘Viska is a threat to score every time he touches the ball and should see his touches increase as the season progresses. He will have a bust week here and there but will be an admirable bye week fill-in for most weeks this year.

Late Addition from Monday Night Football: Corey Davis

Tight Ends

Dallas Goedert (45% Available)
Yes, adding Goedert to this list already breaks my 50% available rule in Week 1. DON’T CARE! He was a TE1 last year, will likely be one again in 2020, and should not be available in 45% of leagues. Go get him. The tight end position is still a wasteland in fantasy football and Goedert outdid Zach Ertz in every aspect of the game this week.

Logan Thomas (99% Available)
This week’s winner for “Most Available Fantasy Bachelor” is Washington Tight End Logan Thomas. Thomas was virtually undrafted in fantasy football but led the team in targets for Week 1 and scored the only receiving TD. Ron Rivera and Scott Turner’s system loves the TE and Thomas looks like the real deal. He won’t outpace Terry McLaurin, Steven Sims, and Antonio Gibson on the regular but he will make enough noise to finish in the TE top-10 more often than you think he will.