We’re back! The 2017 NFL season marks my third writing of the free-agent finds column for ESPN.com, and it bears repeating: People win fantasy football leagues in a lot of different ways, but being an adept, attentive and consistent waiver-wire monitor is almost universal to success. Be it because of injuries, performance issues or a bye week, you’re going to need to dip your toe into the waiver wire at some point. Probably frequently.
With that in mind, let’s get to the Week 2 waiver-wire picks. A note that will be recalled each week: In order to be eligible for this list, a player must be available in more than 50 percent of leagues on ESPN.com. Also, a reminder: Players who are added to your team through the waiver wire don’t merely need to be players that you plan to utilize right away. The reality is, sometimes your early waiver-wire claims can be players who you add to stash. Some of the players mentioned below fit that bill.
Without further ado, here are the players to add to your fantasy team prior to Week 2.
Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills (Rostered in 29.0 percent of ESPN leagues)
One would think that a top-10 fantasy quarterback over the past two seasons would be more difficult to track down, but for whatever reason, such is not the case with Taylor. He had a customary effort in Week 1 by the standards he has set over two seasons as a starter: 24 attempts (4.1 fewer than his average in games he has started), 224 passing yards (above his 208.9 average) and 38 rushing yards (just below his 39.6 average). He’s a steady player, and although his forthcoming matchups (Carolina and Denver) are harrowing, he’s a smart quarterback add for someone who wants to play the matchups or is already experiencing cold feet with his or her Week 1 starter.
Tarik Cohen, RB, Chicago Bears (4.4 percent)
There’s a lot to be excited about in the Chicago backfield, as Cohen joins Jordan Howard as legitimate playmakers. Here’s the good from Cohen: He had eight catches on 12 targets, a receiving touchdown, 66 yards rushing and flashed legitimate electricity as a runner. The trickier part is this: Those 12 targets are likely to represent his single-game high for the season and he’s still the clear-cut backup to Howard. But he’s a smart add in any size league because the talent is obvious and there are certainly backfields that can sustain two backs in terms of weekly fantasy relevance. This team is short on receivers and it stands to reason that Cohen will be a part of the weekly game plan. Trust the talent here.
Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions (5.3 percent)
The exciting rookie third-round pick played 44 offensive snaps for Detroit in Week 1 (62 percent), hauling in two scores and four total catches. There’s a ton to love about his skill set, as he’s a big-bodied receiver with good functional speed and a massive catch radius. For now, he’s the No. 3 wideout in Detroit, but this is an offense that will be among the leaders in three receiver sets and I wouldn’t be surprised if Golladay surpasses Marvin Jones Jr. on the depth chart. He is a must add in all leagues based on talent and potential role.
Kerwynn Williams, RB, Arizona Cardinals (0.9 percent)
When Cardinals running back David Johnson left Week 1’s game with a wrist injury, it was Williams who assumed his lead back role. Williams is a significant drop-off from Johnson, of course, but is in line for something that matters in fantasy — volume. If you have Johnson, Williams is a must-add to cover your bases until Johnson returns and as further insurance. I’m tepid on his outlook for Week 2, but if you’re a running back needy manager, Williams is a logical target. I’m not totally sold, however, that he has this job entirely to himself in Arizona, which is why he isn’t the top player on this list.
Javorius Allen, RB, Baltimore Ravens (0.6 percent)
It would appear that Danny Woodhead is going to miss games for the Ravens, which played a part in Allen carrying the ball 17 times in Week 1. Terrance West is the starter and more likely bet for goal-line work, but Allen has a chance to seize a Woodhead-like role. He’s the superior pass-catcher to West and actually played more snaps than West in Week 1. He’s a smart add whose value is boosted in PPR scoring.
Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks (4.3 percent)
This Seattle backfield will likely befuddle us for a few more weeks, particularly with Thomas Rawls on the radar to return in Week 2. But after leading all Seahawks backs in snaps and playing effectively when given the chance to handle the football, Carson emerged as a bright spot for an otherwise quiet offense in Week 1. He’s a player who can be added for now as a bench player, but it would not be a surprise if his role blossoms in future weeks. Eddie Lacy played just seven snaps in Week 1.
Marqise Lee, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (19.9 percent)
With the devastating news that Allen Robinson has an ACL injury that will shelve him for the season, there’s a major void in the Jacksonville offense. Lee went catchless in Week 1, which is admittedly disconcerting. So too is that this offense — ideally — is a run-centric attack that complements what was a ferocious defense in Week 1. However, Lee had a quietly steady season in 2016 (at least four catches in 11 games) and is bound for an uptick in targets. He’s not the only Jaguars wide receiver due for more work, but he’s an add in 12-team or larger leagues with eventual flex potential.
Charles Clay, TE, Buffalo Bills (5.4 percent)
The Bills are going to be a low-volume passing game — read the Tyrod Taylor entry above — but Clay has a chance to be its focal point. He snagged a target share of 37.5 percent in Week 1, resulting in four catches and a touchdown. Unless and until we see a receiver emerge in Buffalo, Clay could wind up being the pass-catcher you want. He’s an add for managers who don’t have one of the Tier 1 tight ends (Kelce, Gronkowski, Reed, etc.), as Clay has top-10 potential.
Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams (12.5 percent)
Only Robert Woods played more snaps among Rams receivers than Kupp in the team’s season opener, though I expect Sammy Watkins to soon enough be an every-down player for Los Angeles. It was exhilarating to watch this offense make such noted strides and Kupp continued his scorching summer (he was a preseason standout), catching four passes and a touchdown in his NFL debut. This is an add for anyone looking for wide receiver depth, as Kupp’s talent and role within an offense that looks on the rise gives me faith he could emerge as a flex play in 12-plus team leagues in time.
Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles (41.1 percent)
The second-year pro had another notable season-opening performance, as he went over 300 passing yards and showed that his ability to evade pressure and create plays is going to be nightmarish for defenses. If you were patient at quarterback in your draft, have a bit of discomfort after Week 1 with your signal-caller, or are willing to roster two passers and play the matchups each week, Wentz has plenty of value.
Allen Hurns, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (1.1 percent)
The other Jaguars pass-catcher who is bound for a beefed-up role because of the Allen Robinson injury is Hurns, the former undrafted free agent standout. Hurns led the team in targets and yards in Week 1, but it’s worth noting that if Jacksonville plays offense the way it would like to this year, Blake Bortles will attempt 30 or fewer passes per game (he had just 21 in Week 1). Hurns is an add in 12-team or larger leagues.
Shane Vereen, RB, New York Giants (32.2 percent)
The Giants’ backfield did little to inspire confidence on the ground, but Vereen hauled in nine catches on 10 targets in Week 1 (though he attempted no rushes). He’s going to be the back this team relies upon when it needs to pick up the pace or when it merely finds itself resigned to not forcing the issue on the ground. He’s a wise add for anyone who plays in a PPR league as a potential low-end RB2 or flex consideration. He was aided by the team playing from behind in Week 1 and being without Odell Beckham Jr., but he certainly is roster worthy in 12-team or larger leagues.
Zach Miller, TE, Chicago Bears (1.6 percent)
Miller is the Bears pass-catcher who I think is bound for the most new work after the Kevin White injury. He’s athletic and has exceptional hands and should serve as at least a safety valve for Mike Glennon. Much like Clay, Miller has the chance to lead his team in targets in any given week. He’s a usable tight end for those who don’t have a certain option there already.
Kendall Wright, WR, Chicago Bears (13.7 percent)
With the news that fellow wideout White is heading to injured reserve because of a broken collarbone, someone has to emerge for Chicago in the receiving group. Wright might be the most natural candidate, as he’s healthy, familiar with offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains and a receiver with a history of production (e.g., 94 catches in 2013). I’m not particularly optimistic, but he’s an add in a deeper PPR league.
Jermaine Kearse, WR, New York Jets (1.8 percent)
Kearse has barely unpacked his bags after a recent trade to the Jets from Seattle, but he did lead the team with nine targets and seven catches in Week 1, playing 95 percent of the snaps. Although Jeremy Kerley‘s eventual re-debut for the Jets will eat into Kearse’s target share, he’s a deeper league pickup who could find his way into flex consideration in PPR leagues.
Mike Tolbert, RB, Buffalo Bills (0.5 percent)
The Bills are going to run, run and run the ball some more this season. Tolbert toted the ball 12 times in Week 1 and scored a touchdown. It’s going to be hard to trust him as a play in a given week given that he’s touchdown-vulture dependent, but if something were to happen to LeSean McCoy, he’s a focal point for a ground-and-pound attack. If you have McCoy, you should grab Tolbert.
Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles (5.3 percent)
I’ll say this: Agholor’s Week 1 could prove to be one of the best games of his season, as he set a career high in yards (86) and scored a touchdown. Let’s not overlook that 58 of those yards came on an incredible Carson Wentz play. So here’s the actionable: Torrey Smith is rostered in more than 25 percent of leagues. I’d say Agholor deserves to be the second-most popular Eagles wide receiver. Agholor has value in 14-team or larger leagues for now. He is a former first-round pick who had a strong spring and summer. Perhaps he’ll make the leap in Year 3 in the NFL.
Article source: http://www.espn.com/fantasy/football/story/_/page/freeagentfinds170912/fantasy-football-free-agent-finds-waiver-wire-pickups-week-2-include-tyrod-taylor-tarik-cohen-some-look-replace-david-johnson