Each week the SI Fantasy team will post an early waiver-wire column, so expect that in the next day or two. But it’s never too early to ponder some options that could help your fantasy squad(s).
On Sunday nights, the goal of our early look at some waiver-wire options is to provide you with a preview of four to five players that could help fantasy owners in the upcoming week or on a rest-of-season basis.
With that said, here are a few options to consider heading into Week 2 (ownership level):
Jamison Crowder, WR, New York Jets (46% owned)
In my AFC East fantasy football preview last month, I named Crowder as one of my two undervalued players in the division. Slot receivers have always flourished in Adam Gase’s offense and Crowder and Sam Darnold have quickly established excellent rapport. In my preview, I referenced The Athletic’s Connor Hughes writing that it’s possible that Crowder “creeps near or past 100 catches” in 2019.
Based on today’s volume—17 targets (41.46% share)—for Crowder, Hughes’s bold prediction or statement certainly seems more likely. Crowder converted his targets into 14 catches for 99 yards and added a four-yard rush as well. If you’re in a full-PPR league, Crowder is a must-add and he deserves a long look in all other scoring formats.
Marquise Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens (30% owned)
Nearly flawless is the best way to describe Lamar Jackson’s (and Robert Griffin III’s) Week 1 (combined) performance as the team scored a franchise-record 59 points, although the matchups won’t always be this easy. The duo combined for 379 passing yards and six touchdowns.
Hollywood Brown, a cousin of new Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown, drew comparisons to DeSean Jackson during the pre-draft process due to his speed and big-play ability. We got a glimpse of that ability on Sunday. In Baltimore’s run-heavy attack, there will be many boom-or-bust performances with Brown (a la D-Jax), but his four catches for 147 yards and two touchdowns on five targets (19.23% share) highlight what a boom week could look like. There is the potential for another “boom” in Week 2 against a Cardinals secondary that will still be without suspended corner Patrick Peterson.
Malcolm Brown, RB, Los Angeles Rams (10% owned)
Stop me if you heard this before, but Sean McVay said that Todd Gurley would “not be on a play count” in Week 1. Granted, Gurley led the team in rushing (14 carries for 97 yards) and the backfield in touches (15) and played 51 snaps (70.8%). Meanwhile, it was Brown—not third-round rookie Darrell Henderson—that saw the most non-Gurley opportunities (11 carries), which he converted into 48 yards and, more importantly, two scores.
C.J. Anderson was highly productive down the stretch for the Rams in 2018, but they let CJA walk in free agency and matched the offer sheet given to Brown by the Lions this offseason. Even though they used a high draft pick on Henderson, Brown could continue to get the largest share of goal-line opportunities to make him a valuable commodity, especially when we get to the bye weeks. And if Gurley were to miss any time, Brown would have RB1 upside in L.A.’s high-powered offense.
Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington Redskins (2% owned)
We know that McLaurin played his collegiate football with Washington’s Dwayne Haskins, which gives the rookie duo instant chemistry when Haskins becomes the starter. Case Keenum looked McLaurin’s way often and the rookie converted his seven targets into a 5/125/1 line, and his day could have been much bigger as Keenum overthrew him on one of his missed targets when the rookie was behind the defense.
On an offense where Jordan Reed already seems to be hurt and no elite pass-catching weapons, it’s possible that McLaurin has a much more productive season than anticipated. While Washington got out to a surprising and commanding lead against Philadelphia this week, they should trail in many of their games, which could lead to many positive game scripts for the passing attack.
Darren Waller, TE, Oakland Raiders (41% owned)
It may be too late to pick up Waller to play in Week 1, if he’s available, but Oakland’s release of Antonio Brown immediately enhances Waller’s breakout candidacy in 2019. Of course, Tyrell Williams also benefits from Brown’s release, but we’ve seen what Jared Cook, who’s now in New Orleans, produced (68/896/6 on 101 targets) on the wide receiver-deficient 2018 Oakland roster.
If you stream the position and are looking ahead to Week 2, Waller gets the Chiefs next week and no team allowed more fantasy points to the position last season. The Raiders should be big underdogs to the Chiefs next week and could find themselves forced into catch-up mode early in the game.
Kevin Hanson joins SI for the 2019 season. His fantasy rankings have placed him in the Top 20 in each of the past two seasons among all the industry experts tracked by FantasyPros.com, and he has been in the Top 25 in six of the past eight years.