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  • Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette left Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury, making T.J. Yeldon a smart early waiver wire pickup.
By Michael Beller
September 09, 2018

Resisting the urge to overreact to what we see in the NFL’s Week 1 is a tradition as old as fantasy time, and a greater challenge than it seems. While we need to guard against knee-jerk reactions to what we saw on Sunday, the fact remains that owners who act with appropriate urgency can steal some value with players who should have been drafted but will go into Week 2 as the most popular players on waiver wires.

As we did last year, we’ll give you two iterations of the waiver wire every week. The first, unveiled on Sunday night, will cover three players who figure to be among the most widely claimed players across the fantasy community. On Monday, we’ll give you a full look at the waiver wire, going deeper than instant reactions on Sunday will allow. Below, we present our first early waiver wire of the 2018 season.

T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jaguars

Leonard Fournette left the Jaguars’ eventual 20–15 win over the Giants in the second quarter with a hamstring injury. He did not return in the second half, ending his day with 41 yards on nine carries. Yeldon took over as the primary back the rest of the way, running 14 times for 51 yards, catching three passes for 18 yards, and connecting with Blake Bortles on a one-yard touchdown. Corey Grant, meanwhile, got just one carry.

The Jaguars’ coaching staff sounded optimistic notes about Fournette after the game, but chances are he’ll be looking at limited practice participation and a questionable designation in advance of the team’s Week 2 game with the Patriots. At the very least, Yeldon should be sharing the backfield with a less-than-100% Fournette next week. If Fournette is unable to go, Yeldon would likely rate as an RB2 in the matchup with the Patriots. As such, he needs to be claimed in all fantasy leagues this week.

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Brandon Marshall, WR, Seahawks

Marshall flew under the radar the entire summer, getting drafted in only the deepest leagues. After Week 1, he’ll likely be one of the most popular players on the waiver wire. Marshall stepped up for an injured Doug Baldwin, catching three of his six targets for 46 yards and a touchdown. He also had another score erased by a technically correct, though somewhat ticky-tack, offensive pass interference call. Marshall’s days as a WR1 are comfortably in the rear-view mirror, and he still isn’t someone you’ll want to start every week. Still, he proved in Week 1 that he still has some good, fantasy-relevant football left in him, especially with Baldiwn compromised by a knee injury. Marshall, at the very least, looks like a valuable depth receiver going forward.

John Brown, WR, Ravens

Brown had a strong summer, developing into an attractive late-round pick at the end of draft season. He came through immediately for fantasy owners who believed in him, catching three passes for 44 yards and a touchdown in the Ravens’ 47-3 thrashing of the Bills. Brown got fewer targets than Michael Crabtree and Willie Snead, but it’ll be important to not read too much into usage in this game. The Ravens had the result put away by halftime, taking a 26-0 lead into the locker room. Brown did all his damage in the first half, catching a 29-yard pass in addition to his 7-yard score. The Ravens had little reason to push the ball down the field in the second half, and that’s where Brown typically makes his money. That he was so heavily involved when the outcome was still in question should give his owners a ton of confidence about the role he can play, from both real-life and fantasy perspectives.

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