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Working the Wire: Week 2



By Josh Tinelli | Updated: 9/12/23 |

Each week I’ll provide you with a rundown by position of key waiver wire adds. We’ll evaluate not just breakouts based on past performance, but also who could deliver this week based on a soft matchup. Stats will be provided based on a 12-team PPR league, with players less than 75% (preferably less than 50%) ownership being considered.


Week 2 Byes: N/A

Quarterbacks

Mac Jones, NE vs MIA

Against an expected strong Eagles defense, Mac delivered 316-3-1 passing on 35-of-54 attempts in Week 1. He even chipped in 2-15 rushing. It helped that Patriots fell behind early and while we canít expect a Belichick team to throw like this every week, itís possible the Bill OíBrien-led offense will be more explosive than last year. A strong showing from the Dolphins offense in Week 1 could force another shootout by the Patriots in Week 2.

Jordan Love, GB @ ATL

Love put up 245-3-0 (adding 3-12-0 rushing), all while missing top target Christian Watson and having Romeo Doubs (hamstring) questionable entering the game. Some caution is advised, however, as he delivered these numbers on only 15 completions and 27 attempts.

While the Bears defense was abysmal last year and may have continued that trend in Week 1, Atlantaís defense was strong against Carolina QB Bryce Young and was middle of the pack against QBs in 2022. Week 3ís opponent (NO) was top 5 against QBs in 2022, but weeks 4 and 5 (LV and DET) were both bottom 10 defenses against QBs last year.

Brock Purdy, SF @ LAR

Purdy delivered an efficient 220-2-0 passing line on 19-of-29 attempts against a Steelers pass defense that was about league average against QBs last year. Purdy seems to have started off where he finished, staying hot and delivering a win.

While the Rams stymied Geno Smith in Week 1, Purdy put up 2 or 3 TDs in each of his first seven games in 2022, while throwing more than 30 times only twice. Heís not likely to post huge numbers but he has been fairly consistent and efficient and looks to do so again in Week 2.

Other QBs to consider: Derek Carr NO (@ CAR), Jared Goff DET (vs SEA)

Running Backs

Justice Hill

Gus Edwards and Justice Hill, BAL @ CIN

With J.K. Dobbins injuring his Achilles and out for the year, the rushing attack for Baltimore figures to be a priority add this week. Both backs had 8 carries against HOU, with Hill cashing two TDs on 9 yards rushing and Edwards putting up 32 yards and chipping in a two-point conversion.

Edwards is expected to have the first shot at early down work, but Baltimore has sung the praises of Hill in the past and appears to trust him in the red zone. Expectations need to be tempered as the workload will likely be split, but the Ravens have shown the ability to have two fantasy-worthy RBs in the past.

Cincinnati isnít the easiest opponent (ranked top10 defense in 2022 against the run), but Nick Chubb put up 18-108-0 against them in Week 1 and youíre buying Hill and Edwards for their long-term prospects, not just Week 2.

Tyler Allgeier, ATL vs GB

In Week 1, Allgeier delivered 15-75-2 rushing to go along with 3-3-19-0 receiving (targets-receptions-yards-TD) against a Carolina defense that was middle of the pack in 2022.

While Bijan Robinson is the real deal and will continue to dominate touches, Atlantaís run-heavy attack appears to have enough work for two running backs. Allgeier only saw 17 targets in all of 2022, so seeing 3 in Week 1 while piling up 15 carries is a positive sign.

Green Bay was a bottom 10 defense against RBs last year so it looks like Allgeier could be in for another solid day on the ground.

Kenneth Gainwell, PHI vs MIN

Gainwell dominated PHI RB touches with 14-54-0 on the ground to go with 4-4-20-0 receiving in Week 1. DíAndre Swift and Boston Scott totaled 2 carries and 3 targets, while Rashaad Penny was a healthy scratch.

Minnesota largely held Rachaad White in check in Week 1, but in 2022 they were more forgiving against RBs, ranking 11th worst. If Gainwell can keep up his 62% snap share and top-10 43% touches/snap rate, heíll be a solid pickup in the Eagles run-heavy attack.

Kyren Williams, LAR @ SF

Williams led the Rams in rushing with a 15-52-2 line against SEA, and although he was targeted twice, he failed to reel in either one. The Rams have a tough matchup against the 49ers in Week 2, but we need to keep an eye on Williams since he may have carved out a role with Cam Akers struggling against Seahawks.

Sean McVay tends to prefer a bellcow approach at RB so there's no guarantee Williams will continue to get looks, but if Akers disappoints again, they could seek to move quickly to replace him.

UPDATE: Joshua Kelley, LAC @ TEN

Kelley went 16-91-1 and missed his only target against the Dolphins, with most of the work coming in the second half. Austin Ekeler appears to be dealing with an ankle injury, and his Week 2 status is in doubt. If Ekeler is unable to go, Kelley would be the primary recipient against a tough Tennessee rushing defense, although the schedule lightens up with the Raiders and Vikings in weeks 3 and 4.

Other RBs to consider: Roschon Johnson CHI (@ TB), Jerome Ford CLE (@ PIT), Zack Moss IND (@ HOU)

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Puka Nacua, LAR vs SF

Nacua seemed to step into Cooper Kuppís role, going 15-10-119-0 against the Seahawks with a dominant 40% target share. The 49ers are a tough Week 2 opponent, but Nacua is a priority add if he can fill Kuppís shoes for as long as he is out. Itís clear that Stafford trusts him, and Stafford has shown the desire to force feed a WR he has a connection with.

Kendrick Bourne, NE vs MIA

Bourne benefitted with both Tyquan Thornton and DeVante Parker being ruled out, but he still delivered a 91.2% snap share and 20.4% target share while producing 11-6-64-2.

Itís not clear that Bourne can keep up this up when everyone is healthy, but with new OC Bill OíBrien in town itís possible Bourne is one of the biggest benefactors. Miamiís offense can light up the scoreboard, so they should provide plenty of opportunities for the NE passing attack.

Jakobi Meyers, LV @ BUF

Myers put up 10-9-81-2 before going down with a concussion in the 4th quarter against the Broncos. Although he will most likely not be available Week 2 against a tough Bills pass defense, Myersí ability to soak up targets seems to have carried over from his New England days.

Davante Adams is still the alpha dog in this passing game, but Myers appears to have a role going forward when healthy.

Hunter Henry, NE vs MIA

The Bill OíBrien tight end effect is real. We know from years past that BOB loves to use TEs, and he didnít disappoint in Week 1. Henry had a 6-5-56-1 against a tough Eagles defense.

Henry should find plenty of space to operate in Week 2 against a Miami defense that was one of the leagueís worst against TEs in 2022, while also figuring the potent Miami offense will force New England to keep itís foot on the gas.

Hayden Hurst, CAR vs NO

Hurst was rookie QB Bryce Youngís security blanket, posting 7-5-41-1 amidst a healthy 22.4% target share (4th among TEs in Week 1).

New Orleans was the toughest team against TEs in 2022 so itís not an easy matchup in Week 2, but Carolina faces three bottom-10 defenses against TEs in 2022 (SEA, DET, MIA) before their Week 7 bye.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: Rashid Shaheed NO (@ CAR), Romeo Doubs GB (@ ATL), Zach Ertz ARI (@ NYG), Logan Thomas WAS (@ DEN)

Defense/ Special Teams

Buccaneers vs CHI: Tampa Bay did a nice job against Minnesota in Week 1 (2 sacks, 3 turnovers, 17 pts allowed) and it looks like Chicago still hasn’t found their winning formula on offense.

Lions vs SEA: Detroit did well to contain Patrick Mahomes on the road in Week 1 (20 points allowed) while Seattle struggled against the Rams.

Texans @ IND, Colts @ HOU: Two divisional opponents square off, and both defenses put up solid efforts in both meetings last year. I’d give the edge to the home team (Texans) if forced to choose.

Giants @ ARI, Cardinals @ NYG: Another two-fer. Arizona dominated the Washington offense in Week 1 (6 sacks, 2 FR, 1 INT, 1 TD) and the Giants offense looked dreadful against the Cowboys on Sunday night. The Giants defense was solid in 2022 and the Cardinals offensive attack lacks punch totaling just 210 yards in Week 1.