Top 6 Waiver Wire Pick-Ups for NFL Week 2

Published by Ernie Horn on September 13, 2023

Draft experts and fans alike were high on Philadelphia TE Dallas Goedert and Jacksonville WR Christian Kirk, evidenced as both players were rostered on more than 90% of fantasy teams. While these players have plenty of opportunity to become potential fantasy studs, their performances in Week 1 left much to be desired.

Disappointed with how these players – and many like them on your fantasy team – performed this weekend? You’re not alone, and you’ve come to the right place for help.

Who should you target now as potential replacements for your fantasy duds? Those answers, plus the top player to grab this week, lie below.

No. 6 Green Bay Packers QB Jordan Love

Available in three out of four fantasy leagues is new Green Bay signal caller Jordan Love. Love went 15-of-27 through the air, completing those passes for 245 yards and three TDs. He added 12 yards on the ground, netting a Top 10 fantasy QB performance.

The Packers immediate schedule features three defenses that picked off two or more passes in Week 1, so Love’s upside will be quickly determined. Green Bay HC Matt LaFleur’s ability to tailor his offense to its star player benefits Love in his inaugural season as the Packers’ starter.

No. 5 Carolina Panthers TE Hayden Hurst

With the NFL’s top draft pick – Bryce Young – under center, few people expect much from the Panthers’ offense this year. Although Carolina’s offensive production was limited, TE Hayden Hurst emerged as the clear winner from Young’s presence.

Hurst recorded a team-best five receptions, 41 yards receiving and seven targets. The veteran TE could be in for a record-setting year as Young’s security blanket after RB Miles Sanders was second on the team in targets and receptions, exposing the lack of quality Panther WRs Young has at his disposal.

No. 4 Cleveland Browns Defense

I know what you’re thinking, but listen to this: the Cleveland Browns – yes, the Browns – posted one of the top defensive performances of Week 1, holding the Cincinnati Bengals and star QB Joe Burrow to less than 160 total yards and no TDs in Cleveland’s 24-3 win.

Outside of the Dallas Cowboys, no defense had a better start to the season than Cleveland. Better still, the Browns are available in nearly 50% of all fantasy leagues after Week 1 and have favorable matchups against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans over the next two weeks.

No. 3 Los Angeles Rams RB Kyren Williams

As Cam Aker’s back-up, Williams recorded only nine rushing attempts compared to Akers’ 22 rushes. However, Williams nearly doubled-up Akers in yards (51 yards to 29) on the ground and recorded two TDs to Akers’ one.

While Akers is an incredible RB, his days may soon be numbered in Los Angeles, especially given Williams’ performance. Further, Williams is available in nearly 85% of fantasy leagues as he was rostered by 10-15% of the fantasy squads. Nabbing Williams as a replacement option could immediately pay dividends for fantasy owners.

No. 2 New Orleans Saints WR Rashid Shaheed

Second-year WR Rashid Shaheed garnered the second-most targets from new QB Derek Carr Sunday, catching five of his six targets for 89 yards and one TD against the Tennessee Titans. Shaheed finished second on the team in yards and receptions to clear-cut No. 1 WR Chris Olave.

With Alvin Kamara shelved for two more games due to his suspension, Shaheed has a chance to continue establishing himself in the Saints’ offense. Even if Michael Thomas re-emerges as New Orleans’ No. 2 receiver, Carr showed his willingness to pass to Shaheed in Sunday’s victory over Tennessee.

No. 1 New England Patriots QB Mac Jones

Bill Bellichek turned over his offense this season to Bill O’Brien for a second time in 2023, and the results look similar to O’Brien’s first stint. As offensive coordinator during 2009-2011, O’Brien orchestrated a pass-happy offense for Tom Brady. Look for him to continue this trend for Mac Jones.

In Sunday’s loss to Philadelphia, Jones completed 65% of his passes for 316 yards and three TDs. His performance was second only to Dolphin QB Tua Tagovailoa in Week 1. And with Jones being rostered in less than 5% of most fantasy leagues, Jones is available in nearly every fantasy league.

Ernie Horn

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