NFL Waiver Wire: Almost Week 1 Edition
NFL Waiver Wire: Almost Week 1 Edition

This article is part of our NFL Waiver Wire series.

As we inch closer to Week 1, here are some waiver-wire players to consider for leagues that have drafted and under-the-radar picks for leagues still to draft. Most of these guys are long shots and should be considered lottery tickets.

This column is geared toward "standard" 12-team leagues and based upon a $100 free-agent budget. Please, please adjust for your league based on both the number of teams (I'm in a 24-team league, for example) and budget.

QUARTERBACK

Hail Mary

Daniel Jones, NYG - Coach Pat Shurmur and owner John Mara are on the same page as to the team's  starting quarterback: Eli Manning. However, Jones could get a chance this season. New York likely won't be in the playoff hunt and at some point will turn to the future to see what it has in Jones. Outside of a couple turnovers this preseason Jones has looked worthy of the No. 6 overall draft pick. In dynasty/keeper leagues bump him up as he could be the Giants quarterback for the next decade or so. FAAB: $1-$2

Jacoby Brissett, IND - It's a bit alarming that the Colts can't figure out exactly what's going on with Andrew Luck's lower leg even after doing multiple x-rays and MRIs. His Week 1 status is in jeopardy, and if his over/under for regular-season games was 13.5, which side would one bet? The fact that the Colts have a capable backup in Brissett might help the Colts err on the side of caution and use Brissett in a division that should be wide open. Brissett is mobile (260 rushing yards, four scores in 2017) and has a good offensive line in front of him. FAAB: FCFS or $1; bump him up in 2-QB/Super-Flex leagues

RUNNING BACK

Hail Mary

Christian Wade, BUF - Wade is a project player from England who was a professional rugby player. He's made the most of his limited work for the Bills, rushing for a 65-yard touchdown on his first carry as a professional and then recording a 48-yard catch-and-run in his second game. The Bills are stockpiled with running backs, which makes his path to in-season touches unlikely, but a trade or influx of injuries could make him fantasy relevant. FAAB: FCFS or $1

WIDE RECEIVER

Prime Targets

Josh Gordon, NE - This is probably only good for 10-team leagues that have already drafted given Gordon's name recognition and the depth of typical 12- or 14-team leagues. Gordon's future in New England is murky after coach Bill Belichick's comments: "When Josh returns to our program, we will evaluate the entire situation and do what we feel is best for Josh and the team.'' This could very well mean either Gordon gets dealt for a high pick or opens the season lined up opposite of Julian Edelman. With the injuries to Edelman and N'Keal Harry as well as the retirement of Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots find themselves thin at the receiving positions. FAAB: $20-$30

Hail Mary

Preston Williams, MIA - Williams had a spectacular first preseason game with a 4-97 effort but was quiet in his second game with one catch for seven yards on six targets. Williams has the size (6-foot-5) and speed (4.5 40) to make an impact in the NFL, and there isn't a stout set of wide receivers ahead of him on the depth chart.  While quarterback play could hold him back, the Dolphins should at least play from behind quite a bit and be forced to throw the ball a lot in the second half of games. FAAB: FCFS or $1

TIGHT END

Secondary Targets

Darren Waller, OAK - Waller sits atop the depth chart for the Raiders with Jared Cook departing for New Orleans. Cook leaves behind 187 targets from the last two seasons in Oakland and finished as the fifth tight end in fantasy (68-896-6). Waller has the upside to have a high percentage of that production as he projects as more of a receiving tight end than a blocker. There also isn't much competition for targets at the position for the Raiders considering the backups are Foster Moreau, Derek Carrier and Luke Willson. FAAB: $1-$2

Hail Mary

Matt LaCosse, NE - The four-game suspension to Ben Watson will thrust LaCosse into a bigger role for the Patriots. He's dealing with an ankle injury, but it's not expected to keep him out of  regular-season games. Gronkowski leaves behind 177 targets from the last two seasons and that was only over 27 games, suggesting there could be a lot of opportunity heading LaCosse's way. FAAB: FCFS or $1

DEFENSE

Hail Mary

Dallas Cowboys D/ST - The Cowboys are 44 percent owned in Yahoo leagues and open the season at home against the Giants. They are a great streaming pick for Week 1 as it's tough to imagine Eli Manning making it through this game without a turnover, probably more than one. Wide receiver for the G-Men is decimated by injuries and a key suspension. Dallas had one of the best rush defenses last season (3.8 yards per carry, fifth best) and at home last season the Cowboys held Saquon Barkley to a season-low 28 rushing yards. FAAB: FCFS or $1

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kevin Payne
Kevin has worked for RotoWire over a decade and has covered basketball, baseball and football. A glutton for punishment, he roots for his hometown Bills, Sabres and the New York Yankees. You can follow him on Twitter @KCPayne26.
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