Week 1 Waiver Wire Adds and Fades

We look at players to pick up and players to fade from your lineups after the week 1 games have passed!

Below is a list of players to add to your lineup and a few to drop. Week 1 waiver pickups can be the most valuable additions you make to your roster throughout the season. These choices should benefit you throughout the season, not necessarily for one or two weeks. Pick up one of these players before picking up a weekly defense!

WAIVER WIRE ADDS:

  1. Malcolm Brown (LA Rams): ADD– Brown got 18 carries for 79 yards and 2 rushing TDs along with 3 receptions for 31 yards. He is the clear red zone back for the Rams giving him a high ceiling in the weeks to come. He dominated the snap percentages, playing 44 snaps compared to Cam Akers’ 24. With the Rams offensive line back to full health, Brown is a must add this week.
  2. Sammy Watkins (KC Chiefs): ADD– It was Sammy Watkins that unexpectedly led the Chiefs stacked receiving core in the season opener. Watkins had 9 targets from Patrick Mahomes from which he caught 7 for 82 yards and 1 touchdown. Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill both had 6 targets. Even though its unlikely we see a similar stat line from Watkins, given the offensive talent on that team, he is someone to add to your rosters this week as a high-risk high-reward flex.
  3. Nyheim Hines (IND Colts): ADD– We were high on Marlon Mack all offseason and were sad to see him go down with an Achilles tear. Next in line is Hines, not rookie Jonathan Taylor. During the Colts week 1 matchup, Hines got 7 carries for 28 yards and 1 rushing TD as well as 8 receptions for 45 yards and 1 receiving TD. Phillip Rivers loves throwing to his backs more than any QB in the league (17 receptions to the RB week 1), and Hines is both the receiving back and the goal line back for the Colts. With Rivers under center and Mack out for the season, Hines is a weekly flex play.
  4. James Robinson (JAC Jaguars): ADD– After Leonard Fournette’s departure there was no clear back in the Jaguars backfield all offseason. However, after the week 1 matchup against the Colts it seems like James Robinson has emerged as the true lead back. He had 16 carries for 62 yards, but was the only RB to take 100% of his team’s carries week 1. Even though his performance was unimpressive, the amount of carries alone and lack of competition in the backfield make him a weekly flex play.
  5. Robby Anderson (CAR Panthers): ADD Teddy Bridgewater showed up week 1 against the Raiders and threw for 270 yards and 1 TD. The surprising part however, was that Robby Anderson (115) led in yards, not DJ Moore (54). The targets were similar as Moore got 9 and Anderson had 8. Next week the Panthers are up against the Buccaneers who just shut down Michael Thomas. With Moore being the focal point for most defenses, I wouldn’t be surprised if Anderson has another big game.
  6. Other additions: Joshua Kelley (LA Chargers), Myles Gaskin (MI Dolphins), Laviska Shenault (JAC WR), Dallas Goedert (PHI Eagles), Logan Thomas (WAS Football team), Parris Campbell (IND Colts), Dalton Shultz (DAL Cowboys).

PLAYER FADES:

  1. Kerryon Johnson (DET Lions): Fade– There is a full on committee in the Lions backfield and Johnson is barely a part of it. It seems as if De’Andre Swift was the most trusted back in the bunch, as he played for the 4th quarter drive. Swift also took 3 goalline carries from which he got the Lions sole rushing TD. Adrian Peterson looked really good as well taking 14 carries for 93 yards and serving as an early down back with over 100 scrimmage yards. There is no room for Kerryon Johnson in the Lions backfield or on your roster.
  2. Cooper Kupp (LA Rams): FadeCooper Kupp is not a player you should drop… yet. Instead he is someone to stash and wait how the season progresses or someone to trade away. The Rams appear intent on running 12 personnel this season, which reduces Kupp’s opportunities and touches. At best he is a flex play based on his weekly matchup until he proves otherwise.
  3. Rob Gronkowski (TB Buccaneers): Fade– We said it earlier and now we are saying it again, “Gronk is not the same TE 1 he once was!” If you drafted him as your starting TE don’t worry there are many others you can target like Logan Thomas, who appeared to be the secondary pass-catching option from QB Dwayne Haskins. Gronkowski got a mere 3 targets from Tom Brady’s 36 attempts, catching 2 for 11 yards. OJ Howard on the other hand had the second most targets on the team, with 6. Howard hauled in 4 receptions for 36 yards. Cameron Brate also got 1 target but no catches. It seems like the Bucs are running a TE committee, and while it may change from week to week, Gronk doesn’t look like he will be a reliable fantasy option.
  4. Other fades: Chris Thompson (JAC Jaguars), Baker Mayfield (CLE Browns), Hunter Renfrow (LV Raiders), Cam Akers (LA Rams)

Defense/ST Fantasy OUTLOOK for 2020:

Every year there is that one defense that surprises everyone and ends up being a league winner. In 2019, that was the Patriots D/ST who averaged 11.8 Fantasy ppg. It’s unlikely that another team in 2020 will do that well because the Patriots had an absurdly easy schedule last year that helped their already-strong defense succeed. In this article our analysts will list teams that are the most likely and the teams that are least likely along with some sleeper defenses to target late in the draft. 

This is list is based on:

  • Strength of schedule 
  • Division 
  • Last year rankings
  • FA and post draft additions 

As always if there are any questions about our decisions leave a comment!

Defenses primed for regression:

Hamza + Eric + Javier (same consensus by all analysts)
1. Niners D/ST: Loss of Buckner.Dee Ford, Nick Bosa, K’Wuan Williams dealing with soft tissue injuries.Had a superbowl run so the team has had less rest time. There is a trend that the best defense from the previous always experiences a slight regression. (Ex: Bears 2018-2019). Also is in one of the toughest divisions in football (NFC west). 
2. Patriots D/ST: Many key defensive players opted out due to COVID. Dolphins and Bills got stronger offensively (divisional teams). Also one of the toughest schedules for 2020. 

Defenses to avoid:

HamzaEricJavier
1. Bears D/ST: A struggling offense combined with a tough division puts the Bears defense in a bad position. Lost HaHa Clinton-Dix in the offseason.NE D/ST: Being drafted at number 6 amongst all defenses is way too high for the reasons stated above. Rams D/ST: The Rams have two of the best defensive players in football with Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. These two helped them finish top 5 last year with 146 points an average of 9.1 points. However, their week 1 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys will prove to be tough after the great additions the Cowboys have made this offseason. You are better off looking elsewhere.
2. Broncos D/ST: 12th hardest schedule for 2020 according to NFL.com. Offense hasn’t found their groove yet. Same division as Chiefs and chargers. Loss of Chris Harris Jr. and Derek Wolfe. Texans D/ST: Loss of DJ Reader, Jonathan Joseph, Mingo and Tashaun Gibson. In 2019 they ranked 19th overall as a defense after ranking 11th in 2018.Play the Chiefs week 1.Same division as Colts and Titans.Tampa Bay D/ST: The Buccaneers were able to finish in the top 10 last season by having the 5th highest turnovers in the league. Tom Brady’s arrival will also put the defense in better game scripts. However, they get a nightmare week 1 matchup against the New Orleans Saints. They are not worth drafting and will be better off as a waiver wire pickup if available. 

Defenses to target:

HamzaEricJavier
1. Vikings D/ST: Free agency additions- Michael Pierce, Trae Waynes, Anthony Zettel. Also drafted CB Jeff Gladney at pick 31 in the first round. Cowboys D/ST: The Cowboys have relatively easy matchups against the NFC East opponents. Finishing last year at 17, the Cowboys have added Dontari Poe, Everson Griffen, and Aldon Smith. Their front seven is greatly improved and should be able to force turnovers with ease.Bills D/ST: Talented defense and mediocre division. Offense will put them in favorable game scripts leading to opposing teams having to air it out. AFC east QBs they will face six times a year: Newton/Stidham, Darnold, Fitzpatrick/ Tua.
2. Colts D/ST: Added Deforest Buckner, Sheldon Day, Xavier Rhodes in free agency with Juston Houston, Darius Leonord, Malik Hooker and Kenny MooreChargers D/ST: Finishing last season at 7, the Chargers added top CB Chris Harris Jr. and DT Linval Joseph. While they do face the Chiefs twice a year, they should be considered otherwise weekly starters.Colts D/ST: Easy schedule and great front seven for those sack points.
3. Saints D/ST: 9th easiest schedule. Ended 9th in 2019 in fantasy football at 8.4fppg and managed to keep most of the defense. Ravens D/ST: Safe pick as the Ravens have been the second best in the league since 2018. They have added rookie Patrick Queen, Malik Harrison and Justin Madubuike. Chargers D/ST: Formidable defense that added Chris Harris and Linval Joseph in free agency, then drafted Kenneth Murray.