After a Week 1 full of surprises, breakouts, and injuries, the waiver wire appears to be deep to start off 2023. Below is a list of players to add at each position or to consider as streaming options at quarterback, kicker, or D/ST.
Week 2 waiver wire adds and players to stream
Pickup of the week – Kenneth Gainwell (RB, PHI)
If you read my pre-season article on sleeper running backs for 2023 then luckily you should already have Gainwell on your bench, but if you unfortunately missed out on drafting him now is your chance to spend up and grab him on the waiver wire, even though he is going to miss this week’s Thursday night game with a rib injury.
I originally thought it would take an injury to Penny or Swift for Gainwell to see an uptick in touches but he out-touched Swift in Week 1 and Penny was a healthy scratch. Of course, this is just one week of data but from what we can see so far Gainwell has a chance to become a league winner off the waiver wire once he’s back on the field.
Top pick – Brock Purdy (SF)
With maybe the best set of weapons in the league, Brock Purdy showed that he can do enough with those weapons to offer fantasy value. While he doesn’t have the upside of a top 5 QB he does seem as steady as you can get at the position. If you went late-round QB this year Purdy is worth adding as a spot starter against good matchups.
Next – Jordan Love (GB)
It was hard to fully tell if Jordan Love has arrived as a reliable starting QB in Week 1 or if the Bears just once again have a bottom 5 defense. Love did miss some open throws but overall showed a calm pose and good QB IQ. It’s worth adding Love to your bench and seeing how these next weeks go, especially once he gets Christian Watson back.
Stash – Kyler Murray (ARI)
While there is a chance he doesn’t come back to play at all this year Kyler Murray is worth the stash if you have an open IR spot and an iffy QB situation.
Check to see if available – Anthony Richardson (IND)
It’s very doubtful he’s available in your league but he’s only 76% rostered, so if you are in those last 24% of leagues run to the waiver wire now.
Top pick – Tyler Allgeier (ATL)
Bijan Robinson looked every part of the top 10 pick that Atlanta drafted him to be on Sunday but the Atlanta Falcons run so much that they might be able to support two top fantasy running backs. Between Robinson and Tyler Allgeier, running backs made up 70.8 percent of the Falcons’ 48 total offensive touches. Together, they combined for 25 carries and nine targets/receptions, so 34 offensive touches. Allgier also has RB1 upside if Bijan goes does for any period of time.
Next – Kyren Williams (LAR)
The biggest surprise team for offensive production in Week 1 had to be the Rams. While coming into the year it looked like Cam Akers would once again be the Rams lead rusher it now appears that that role may be reserved for Kyren Williams. Williams played 65% of snaps over Akers 35%, if this trend continues then grab Kyren cheap now while you can.
Stash – Roschon Johnson (CHI)
It may have mostly been in garbage time but wow does Roschon run hard. He looks like he brings an edge to his running style which is something the Bears team was lacking in Week 1. As the season progresses it’s not hard to see him start splitting with Herbert more and more. A must on anyone’s bench
Check to see if available/others of note
If Raheem Mostert is somehow on your waivers then he should be your priority, the Dolphins offense looks unstoppable and Mostert has the starting job locked in. Now that Austin Eckler is potentially nursing an injury, Joshua Kelley becomes a spot starter/must-own handcuff.
With J.K. Dobbins sadly injured and out for the season with an Achilles injury it leaves the door open for Gus Edwards or Justice Hill to become the man in the backfield behind Lamar Jackson, both are worth taking a shot on. Also if you are in a pinch and need a spot starter soon it appears Zach Moss will be back, you would assume he can’t be worse than what they put out there in Week 1.
Top pick – Puka Nacua (LAR)
Here is your out of nowhere must pickup of the week after Week 1, the stats speak for themselves (10 catches for 119 yards on 15 targets). Most hadn’t heard of Puka before he went off Sunday but without Cooper Kupp, the BYU rookie appears to be Matthew Stafford’s favorite receiver. While his production might fall off a cliff once Kupp returns he showed enough in Week 1 to at least roster if not outright start until Kupp is healthy.
Next – Zay Jones (JAC)
Not only did Zay’s stat line look really nice after Week 1 (5 receptions, 55 yards, 1 touchdown) but his film also was amazing. Zay Jones played in 2 WR sets over Christian Kirk which led to more opportunities for journeyman wide receiver. He also played the most snaps out of any Jacksonville WR (including Calvin Ridley) showing how much the coaching staff believe in him. In what looks to be a super explosive offense Zay Jones can be a very valuable bench piece for your team.
Stash – Tutu Atwell (LAR)
It’s tough to get excited to start Tutu after a nice Week 1 since he will be playing the dominant 49ers defense but if you need WR help he is a great stash on your bench to see if he was more than a one-week wonder. Stafford and the Rams looked good in Week 1, so I want to get all the pieces of their offense off the waiver wire that I can.
Check to see if available/others of note
Romeo Dobbs looked very good finding the end zone in Week 1, will be interesting to see who is the WR1 for the Packers once Watson is back. Kendrick Bourne looks to be Mac Jones’s favorite target with other wide receivers sidelined, worth stashing to see if that continues.
Top pick – Sam LaPorta (DET)
After watching the film Sam LaPorta already seems like a natural fit replacing TJ Hockinson in the Lions offense. Given how shaky the Lions WR room is behind Amon-Ra St. Brown, it’s easy to see LaPorta becoming a bigger part of the offense every week, throw him on your bench and see if he can break out.
Next – Hunter Henry (NE)
A former top 10 fantasy tight end, Henry looked good as Mac Jones’s security blanket. In the fantasy tight-end wasteland Henry may become a reliable start, especially if the injuries to other pass catchers on New England continue.
Stash – Luke Musgrave (GB)
While his stat line won’t jump out at you (3 receptions for 50 yards) the film adds a lot of excitement as Musgrave could have had a couple of huge plays including a TD if Jordan Love hadn’t missed on some throws. If they can get the timing right Musgrave can break into the top 10 TE conversation.
Check to see if available/others of note
With Mark Andrews nursing an injury Isaiah Likely is a good handcuff or spot start. Hayden Hurst proved that a TE is a young QB’s best friend but by reigning in a TD catch, I expect him to continue to be one of if not Bryce Young’s favorite targets. Jake Ferguson didn’t have a great game but he did play most of the TE snaps and Dak loves to use his TE’s, worth stashing.
Top pick – Giants D/ST
The Giants got crushed last week on national television by their division rival, but enter the Arizona Cardinals. Arizona is starting a QB so new to the team that he doesn’t even know his wide receivers’ names, start the Giants D in a nice bounce-back spot for the G-men.
Next – Colts D/ST
They made some solid plays against a very good Jaguars offense last week, and now they get rookie CJ Stroud this week. Expect some sacks and turnovers.
Stash – Jaguars D/ST
They play Houston next week, if you’re able they are a nice stash to keep for Week 3.
Check to see if available – Eagles D/ST
They showed last week that even though they lost a lot of talent they still have more than enough to be a productive fantasy defense. Add in that they don’t play a scary offense until Week 7 and this Eagles D/ST should be rostered in all leagues.
Top pick – Cameron Dicker (LAC)
The former Texas Longhorn kicker won the Chargers job and hasn’t looked back. A very good kicker on a top-scoring offense, this one is too easy to pass up if you need a weekly reliable starter.
Next – Jake Moody (SF)
The 49ers will score early and often this year leading to many opportunities for their new kicker. If he’s half as good as Robbie Gould, then Moody will be a solid fantasy pickup.
Stash – Don’t ever stash a kicker, ever.
Check to see if available – Jake Elliott (PHI)
Again, one of the best kickers in the league on one of the best offenses, he should be owned in all leagues. I will also use this opportunity to point out that Jake and I played football at the same high school, shoutout Lyons Township!
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