No matter where you are in the win-loss category thus far in your 2022 fantasy football leagues, the waiver wire is a surefire way to improve your team in the short term.
After the first week of the NFL season, I wrote about the best fantasy pickups based on week one results and outlooks. Those pickups were Jamaal Williams, Devin Duvernay, Marcus Mariota and Taysom Hill.
Since then, Jamaal Williams is averaging 15.5 PPR points per game, Duvernay is averaging 11 PPR points per game, Mariota is averaging 12.5 PPR points per game and Taysom Hill is averaging roughly 11 PPR points per game.
Williams was a successful call, partially aided by the injury sustained by Detroit Lions starting back D’andre Swift. Duvernay has been consistent but is not receiving quite high enough of a target share to be considered a viable option. Mariota has struggled against some tough defenses, and Taysom Hill has simply been too night and day to be a safe start yet.
As for this week, Julio Jones, Geno Smith, Randall Cobb and Cade Otton stand at the top of my waiver chart.
Julio Jones has struggled with injury thus far, sustaining an early injury in the Buccaneer’s week one matchup with Dallas and struggling to be 100%ever since. He’s played in just two games this season and has yet to put up over 12 PPR points in a single matchup.
Despite this, Jones should be in a good position when returning from injury this upcoming week against Pittsburgh, a team that just let up nearly 350 passing yards and four passing touchdowns in a single half to the Buffalo Bills.
The Buccaneers will be looking to go down the field early and often in week six, so expect Brady to look towards Jones and fellow receiver Mike Evans downfield.
Geno Smith has been circulating NFL media quite consistently lately, primarily due to his recent emergence as a top-10 quarterback in the NFL through the first quarter of the season. He leads the NFL in completion percentage and ranks 5th overall in PPR, scoring through five games.
Despite this success, Smith is rostered in just 32% of ESPN Fantasy leagues. This is likely because, until the last few weeks, Smith was not a viable start at quarterback due to his lack of touchdown throws.
With an uptick from .5 touchdown passes per game to over 2 passing touchdowns per game from week two to week five, Smith is becoming a consistent fantasy option. In weeks four and five, Smith garnered 31.7 and 24.02 PPR points respectively.
Smith spoke on his success in a postgame press conference following Seattle’s week 4 win over the Lions in which Seattle scored 48 points.
“Overall, man, our playmaking showed up. Our run game showed up. I think we kept the penalties down for the most part,” Smith said. “So, whatever you can do to keep the chains moving, you’re going to have a lot of yards and a lot of points.”
Head Coach Pete Carroll spoke following their most recent loss to the saints, calling Geno Smith’s play incredible.
“I thought our guys moved the ball, Geno was incredible again, there were a lot of big moments,” Carroll said.
The Green Bay Packers have struggled to find offensive consistency this season, primarily due to the lack of a true number-one wide receiver. This past week in the Packers’ loss to the New York Giants, Randall Cobb filled in that role.
Cobb hauled in 7 of 13 targets for 99 yards. Despite the zero touchdowns thus far in 2022, the burst of targets this past week bodes well for Cobb, who seems to be emerging as quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ favorite target.
Cade Otton, the rookie tight end drafted to help fill the void left by Rob Gronkowski alongside Cameron Brate and offseason signing Kyle Rudolph, found a burst of success in the Buccaneers’ weekend win over the Atlanta Falcons.
Otton hauled in 6 of 7 targets for 43 yards, jumping ahead of Cameron Brate as Brady’s number-one option at the tight end position. While Otton will struggle to consistently find targets against the likes of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Julio Jones, Brady has historically been a big fan of the tight end position, and this alone grants Otton fantasy manager attention.