Waiver Wire Wishlist - Week 1
Man-oh-man, it sure does feel good to be back. Here we are, finally. We’re just a handful of days away from the kickoff of the 2021 NFL, and subsequently, the fantasy football season. Every Monday night, or Tuesday morning depending on when you go to bed, Nate with We Know Fantasy will bring you his must target waiver wire players of the week. This series is simply called, the “Waiver Wire Wishlist.” In future editions of this series, Nate will highlight his suggestions from last week below and list his season long results at the end of this article. Since this is week one, we don’t have anything to go off of.
I typically like to keep my suggestions around, or below, the 40-percent owned mark in both Yahoo and/or ESPN leagues. The format I’ll follow is one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers and one tight end. As always, the Streamable Defenses of the Week article will drop tomorrow (Tuesday) and Nate’s B-Team series will drop every Saturday. Be sure to follow We Know Fantasy (@WeKnowFantasy) on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to keep up-to-date with all of our fantasy football content.
Week 1 Suggestions
Jameis Winston (New Orleans Saints) - Owned in 43% of Yahoo and 26.1% of ESPN Leagues
Week 1 Matchup: vs. Green Bay Packers
We’ve been over this debate time-and-time again in past years. We here at We Know Fantasy (specifically Nate) have always been high on Winston in a fantasy aspect and that isn’t changing this year. It took some time but he was finally listed as the New Orleans Saints’ starting quarterback. Of course he will turn the ball over, that’s just what Jameis does, but he always will put up a ton of yards and touchdowns. It’ll take a bit for star receiver Michael Thomas to return, but in the meantime, Jameis still has the likes of Alvin Kamara, pre-season breakout candidate Marquez Callaway and Tre’Quan Smith to throw too. We can expect this Week 1 matchup with the Packers to be high scoring. That’s music to us fantasy football managers’ ears.
Kenneth Gainwell (Philadelphia Eagles) - Owned in 9% of Yahoo and 3.6% of ESPN leagues
Week 1 Matchup: at Atlanta Falcons
If you’ve been following us at We Know Fantasy, you know by now that our own Nick (a.k.a. The Fantasy Mechanic) projected that Mac Jones would be the starter in New England come Week 1. He also claimed that by Week 3, Gainwell could be the lead back in the Eagles’ backfield. We know the talent Miles Sanders has but also the injury and fumbling history he also brings. Boston Scott too will be involved in that backfield. Scott will become an afterthought quickly as Gainwell, who operated in the same college backfield as Antonio Gibson, gains more-and-more attention and work with each coming week. I’m on the Gainwell train and you should be too. Snag him now and you could have a league winner on your hands.
James White (New England Patriots) - Owned in 30% of Yahoo and 44.7% of ESPN leagues
Week 1 Matchup: vs. Miami Dolphins
We all know by now that Mac Jones will lead the Patriots this season. Any rookie quarterback, historically speaking, will look to target their pass-catching runningbacks early and often. That’s exactly what James White is. The rushing upside is very limited, even with Sony Michel out of town, but the receiving work can be through the roof. Prior to the Michel move and the Jones’ news, I had White tagged at 60 receptions. I think that number can be close to 75, or even 80, now. He’s over the 40-percent owned mark in ESPN leagues, but under enough in Yahoo for me to include him. If you play in a full point PPR league and find your runningback room light after your draft, look to move for White. Also consider Rhamondre Stevenson (owned in 25% of Yahoo and 17.8% of ESPN leagues.)
Amon-Ra St. Brown (Detroit Lions) - Owned in 8% of Yahoo and 11.5% of ESPN leagues
Week 1 Matchup: vs. San Francisco 49ers
There’s no arguing that the Detroit Lions have one of the worst receiving corps in the leagues, leaving opportunity for anyone on the team to get targets. Amon-Ra St. Brown operated out of the slot in the preseason for the Lions. We’ve seen the likes of Cooper Kupp (no, I’m not comparing St. Brown to Kupp) produce a ton out of the slot with Jared Goff throwing the ball. Let’s also not forget that the Lions’ roster as a whole is one of the worst in the league. They’ll be playing from behind in a lot of football games. We love opportunities in fantasy football and St. Brown should have plenty of those.
Bryan Edwards (Las Vegas Raiders) - Owned in 13% of Yahoo and 13.7% of ESPN leagues
Week 1 Matchup: vs. Baltimore Ravens
If you’ve been following us for at least, since last season’s Week 1, you know I was (and still am) in love with Bryan Edwards. Heck, the Raiders cut John Brown to open a clear path for Edwards to become a big part of their offense. They parted ways as well with last year’s WR1 in Nelson Agholor during the off-season. With Henry Ruggs on one side, Darren Waller in the middle, Edwards is in line for a great season. He’s a bit of a swiss-army knife and I love everything about his game.
Zach Ertz (Philadelphia Eagles) - Owned in 31% of Yahoo and 25.4% of ESPN leagues
Week 1 Matchup: at Atlanta Falcons
We’re just two years removed from Ertz being a top six fantasy tight end for four straight seasons. Yes he’s now 30 years old and shares the field with Dallas Goedert, but I still think he’s a quality player. The Eagles spent a top ten draft pick on DeVonta Smith, but beyond that, their receiving corps is still young, raw and simply, unimpressive. Ertz has been targeted more than Goedert during the preseason and even so during practice. We’re going out on a limb here, but if Ertz is to return to any sort of form from two years ago, you have yourself a quality tight end for no draft capital at all.