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Top Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 2 of the NFL Season

With the first week of the NFL season ending, unlucky fantasy managers are likely panicking to rebuild their team after a lackluster weekend. This stage of the NFL fantasy football season is most widely known as the overreaction weekend, and rightfully so. 

This is not the time to bench Christian McCaffery and assume your season is over based on one lackluster performance. This is not the time to trade away much of your starting lineup for fringe starters that broke out in week one either. 

Instead, owners must find confidence in their rosters now more than ever. Otherwise, they’ll find themselves accepting outrageous trade deals from opponents hoping to take advantage of those week one overreactions. 

With this, the waiver wire still stands as the place to go for quick upgrades to your team that may give you a boost headed into week two. 

At the running back position, managers should look towards Jamaal Williams of the Detroit Lions. While analysts may write him off as a low-ceiling back that will undoubtedly be overshadowed by D’andre Swift for the remainder of the season, he has some flex value. 

The backup man took 11 carries for just 28 yards and had just one reception for two yards. At face value, this is not an attractive week one stat lineup for someone in need of a flex option. 

If you look past the short yardage stat-lines and focus on what those yards went into, value reveals itself. Williams ran for two touchdowns and was the Lions prime back on four of the five goal line carries of the day, taking clear preference for goal line carries over Swift. He finished the day with just over 16 PPR points. 

These goal line carries will give Williams fantasy relevance moving forward, and if Swift goes down, Williams will likely be the number one back in a run-heavy Detroit offense. 

At the wide receiver position stands Devin Duvernay, the Baltimore Raven’s replacement for deep-threat Marquise Brown, who was traded to the Arizona Cardinals this past off-season. 

Duvernay made splashes this weekend, catching four of four targets for 54 yards and two touchdowns and finishing the day with 21.4 PPR points. 

Head coach John Harbaugh spoke about Duvernay’s performance in the post-game press conference, praising his contributions to the team.

“[I’m] not surprised. This guy, he’s done so many things for us that really doesn’t always show up in the stat book, but he’s made big plays for us in the past,” Harbaugh said. “He works so hard – he’s been doing it in camp every single day.”

Duvernay is clearly Lamar Jackson’s favorite target on the deep ball, and he will likely continue to be moving forward. Jackson’s trust in Duvernay will likely develop throughout the season, leading to more deep targets for an already efficient deep threat. 

At the quarterback position stands the Atlanta Falcon’s new quarterback Marcus Mariota. Mariota has had a shaky career, never quite sticking his feet in Tennessee and moving to a Falcon’s team with few realistic options at the position. In short, expectations have been low for Mariota in 2022. 

Despite this, Mariota shined as a fantasy option in week one. He was an afterthought through the air, completing just over 60% of his passes and finishing with just 215 yards and no touchdowns.  On the ground is where Mariota showed value, rushing for 72 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. 

This combination led to 21.95 PPR score for Mariota. This score is likely only scratching the surface as Mariota’s passing ability has been shown in past seasons, and a zero-touchdown day through the air likely won’t be a common occurrence for Mariota moving forward. 

At the Tight End position stands a nostalgic name for fantasy owners, Taysom Hill. The New Orleans Saints gadget man has proved fantasy value once again, rushing for 81 yards, a single touchdown and racking up over 15 PPR points on the day. 

New Orleans Saints Head coach Dennis Allen spoke about Taysom’s success, pointing out the control he had over the offense early on.

“Taysom was the offense early on,” Allen said. “It was good to see him get back out there, we’ve had some success with him running the football against this team.”

This success is unlikely to be sustained week to week, but Hill provides an interesting option at the second tight end slot in deep fantasy leagues. 

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