Waiver Wire Gems - Week 1 (2018)

By Joe Orlofski, September 11, 2018
Austin Ekeler Los Angeles Chargers

Fantasy football is finally here! And the excitement for that Waiver Wire clearing day is coming up fast. We’ve already seen a few players shine, and unfortunately seen some big time players going down with injuries. No matter the circumstances, it’s well known that fantasy leagues are won through the waiver wire and free agent pickups. Let’s take a look at some players worth putting in a waiver wire claim for this week. Percentage owned data comes from Yahoo Fantasy.

T.J. Yeldon – RB Jacksonville Jaguars (15% owned)

It’s only been a week and already the first big injury scare is upon us. RB Leonard Fournette left the game against the Giants with a hamstring injury and did not return. Hamstring injuries are a sneaky thing, usually forcing a player to rest for weeks before returning. There has been no update so far, but T.J. Yeldon will take over running back duties until Fournette returns. Yeldon rushed 14 times for 51 yards and caught 3 passes for 18 yards and one touchdown on Sunday. It’s not anything amazing, but Yeldon should see a ton of volume if Fournette misses time. Keep an eye on any updates to the injury to Fournette, but Yeldon should be targeted in all leagues.

Austin Ekeler – RB Los Angeles Chargers (17% owned)

Austin Ekeler seems to be more involved in this offense than people thought, much to the annoyance of Melvin Gordon owners. But there is no denying that Ekeler is electric and can have great fantasy relevance. Ekeler rushed 5 times for 39 yards and caught 5 passes for 87 yards and one touchdown in the Chargers’ Week 1 loss. It seems as though head coach Anthony Lynn likes both running backs, and will continue to use both (a la Kamara and Ingram). If both Gordon and Ekeler keep it up, they could see huge fantasy seasons. If Gordon goes down to injury, Ekeler becomes even more valuable. Ekeler can be picked up in most leagues, and should be owned by all Gordon owners.

Phillip Lindsey – RB Denver Broncos (3% owned)

No one really ever knows what Denver head coach Vance Joseph is doing, but it seems like he likes rookie running back Phillip Lindsay just as much as rookie running back Royce Freeman. Lindsay carried the ball 15 times for 71 yards on Sunday against the Seahawks, and added 2 receptions for 31 yards and one touchdown. It seems as though Lindsay has firmly planted himself as #2 RB in front of Devontae Booker, and should continue to get a high volume of carries and targets. Lindsay can be added in-12 team leagues.

Geronimo Allison – WR Green Bay Packers (12% owned)

Every Packer fan and every Packer fantasy owner probably almost gave up on the season on Sunday night, but somehow QB Aaron Rodgers came back after being carted off the field. He targeted WR Geronimo Allison 8 times, catching 5 of them for 69 yards and one touchdown. Even in preseason Allison was considered one of Rodgers’ favorite targets, and that showed on Sunday. There are a lot of weapons in the Green Bay offense so Allison may not always see this type of volume, but he should still be grabbed by receiver needy teams in 12-team leagues.

Phillip Dorsett – WR New England Patriots (4% owned)

Phillip Dorsett never panned out in Indy, but he had a great start to his Patriots’ career this past Sunday. Dorsett caught all 7 of his targets for 66 yards and one touchdown. He was the third most targeted player on the New England offense behind TE Gronkowski and RB James White. It seems as though QB Tom Brady has a bit of faith in Dorsett, and he could easily be a top target for the next three weeks until WR Julian Edelman returns. That being said, besides Gronkowski, the Patriots’ players are always tough to predict. Dorsett can be added in 12 to 14 team leagues.

Eric Ebron – TE Indianapolis Colts (33% owned)

Eric Ebron was another player who never lived up to the hype for the team that drafted them, but Ebron has already shown new life in Indianapolis. He caught 4 of 5 targets for 51 yards and one touchdown. Now it still seems like TE Jack Doyle is QB Andrew Luck’s favorite target (he got 10), but Eric Ebron may have cemented a bigger role in the Colts’ offense thanks to his performance on Sunday. Ebron is probably your best TE target if you lost either TE Greg Olsen or TE Delanie Walker to injury.

Ryan Fitzpatrick – QB Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3% owned)

If you like quarterbacks that love slinging the football, Ryan Fitzpatrick is your man. He absolutely torched a “top 5 defense” on Sunday, and he did it in the Dome at New Orleans. The Saints only allowed 225 yards a game in the air last season and were in the top 3 for interceptions. Well, that all went out the window as Fitzpatrick completed 21 passes out of 28 attempts for 417 yards and 4 touchdowns. He also rushed 12 times for 36 yards and one touchdown. He continuously bombed the ball downfield, throwing touchdowns of 58 yards, 50 yards, and 36 yards. If you got bonus points for long completions, Fitzpatrick was even more ridiculous for your team (he scored 71 points in one league). Let’s see how he does against another “good” defense: Philadelphia.

Los Angeles Chargers Defense (93% owned)

I know the Chargers are mostly owned, but after giving up 38 points to the Chiefs, many people will probably panic and drop them. This is a great opportunity to pick them up. The Chargers may get DE Joey Bosa back (no promises…it looks bad as of now), and play an awful Buffalo Bills next week. The Bills scored 3 points against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, getting sacked 6 times and throwing 2 interceptions. With the Bills seemingly heading for a Browns-esque season, fantasy owners should give the Chargers defense another chance.

 

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