Week 1 waivers have been a profitable way to spend FAB dollars and waiver wire priority for non-FAB leagues.
Last year, many leagues saw D.J. Chark explode for a 146 yard and a touchdown performance versus the Chiefs as well as a Terry McLaurin 125-yard, one score performance versus the Eagles. A third receiver, John Ross, also had a ridiculous 7 catch, 158 yard, 2 TD performance versus the Rams (Ross followed-up with another huge game before falling off and eventually getting injured).
A few weeks later these players went from sparsely-rostered to 100-percent in all formats.
A great way to beat the waiver wire rush is to use last minute adds in home leagues. Instead of using valuable FAB and waiver wire priority, consider adding these players before Sunday’s games.
Using Yahoo! ownership rates, these players all have a chance to pop right out of the gate and have quick starts and by Wednesday see their ownership rates explode. The threshold we will use is below 15 percent rostered. These players should be available in most leagues.
TE Irv Smith, Minnesota (14%)
This one is inexplicable.
Smith has the draft capital (second round), athletic profile (4.63 40) and early rookie year production (36 receptions at 21 years old setting the Vikings rookie record) to be a hot mid to late round draft pick. In high stakes leagues he is 100 percent owned. There have been whispers out of Vikings camp that Smith will be used on the outside as a de facto WR and with the murky WR2 situation (talented rookie Justin Jefferson and Olabisi Johnson), Smith has an outside shot to be the #2 target in Minnesota and a top 12 TE this season. Go grab him even if you are strong at TE.
WR Steven Sims, Washington (6%)
Another roster-percentage that makes no sense, Sims is going to be a weapon this year for Washington. He showed strong chemistry with Dwayne Haskins to end last season. He is not a burner by any means but is shifty and runs great routes. McLaurin is the unquestioned alpha WR1 in Washington, but Sims will be well targeted. He also will be the PR and KR for Washington. Washington clearly wants to get the ball in Sims hands. He was one of my main targets in the late round all summer.
WR James Washington, Pittsburgh (12%) and WR Chase Claypool (5%)
Washington was Pittsburgh’s leading receiver last year with 735 yards receiving. The former 2nd round draft pick became a forgotten man all summer after The Steelers spent another 2nd round pick on the TE sized Claypool this year. JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson are both going in the earlier rounds and are 100 percent owned. Between Claypool and Washington, fantasy teams could end up with a flex worthy deep threat with TD upside. Consider taking a shot on one of these two before we see the usage on MNF vs The Giants. Either one of these players could be a hot waiver add this week. (If Diontae Johnson misses time this week then Washington becomes very appealing and could slide into the WR2 spot immediately)
RB Darrynton Evans Tennessee (4%)
Evans was an uber-productive college producer at Appalachian State. He was The Sun Belt Offensive Player of the year with an absurd 24 TDs and over 2000 combined yards. He became a hot name early in the summer and then cooled off as reports of a poor training camp performance pushed him below the other hyped up handcuffs. The Titans spent a 3rd round draft pick on Evans. Even more telling of his potential usage is when the 53 man roster was announced, Evans was one of only two RBs on the roster. Derrick Henry could see a massive percentage off the teams carries (80 +), but Evans will see the field. If anything happens to Henry injury wise then Evans would slide into a massive role even if the Titans added another back.
TE Logan Thomas Washington (1%)
The lowest percentage owned of any player on this list and a major dart throw. The former college QB at Virginia Tech is reunited with Head Coach Ron Rivera in Washington. Thomas is 6-6 250 with speed. He could be a massive red zone target for Washington. In deeper leagues, he is worth a speculative add.
Consider adding one or more of these players to your roster before the games this weekend. A well thought out speculative add costs little and could produce a lot.