Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Priority pickups to be made after drafts and before NFL Week 1

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Priority pickups to be made after drafts and before NFL Week 1

Great job writing this year’s fantasy teams, everyone. Absolutely stellar team-building. Each of your lineups is fundamentally a work of art, crafted with care and love – an expression of the boldest and most daring ideas at the forefront of modern fantasy theory.

Congratulations to all.

Let’s try not to focus on your automated draft notes right now, but rather appreciate the limitless potential of each of your fine fantasy teams. Truly remarkable list building. Each team is a gem, perfect in its own way.

But now I’m afraid it’s time to blow them up. It’s never too early to make various tweaks and improvements, folks. Opening week is upon us, so you can’t sit idle. Fantasy is a game that must be played actively and aggressively.

Every week throughout the NFL regular season, we’ll highlight the most intriguing fantasy options that aren’t listed in the majority of Yahoo leagues. Here’s your first batch of potential mics, along with a diffusable defense…

Jarvis Landry, WR, New Orleans Saints (40% registered)

Landry has been little more than an afterthought during the draft season, which seems unusual for a 29-year-old who has been so consistently productive. He had six seasons with 80+ receptions and five with 900+ yards. When healthy, he has always been a helpful contributor to PPR. However, we treated Landry as if he were a distant third option in the Saints’ receiving hierarchy, well behind Michael Thomas and Chris Olave. It may just be a case of familiarity leading to collective indifference. Landry is a technician, a longtime safety cover receiver for a variety of sketchy quarterbacks.

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Jarvis Landry is overlooked in the fantasy draft, so he's a great addition heading into the season.  (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Jarvis Landry is overlooked in the fantasy draft, so he’s a great addition heading into the season. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)

If you are a believer in the James Winston comeback story, then you should take a long look at Landry. He is a terrific complementary piece for New Orleans. Don’t be surprised if he fought for a top-30 spot.

KJ Hamler, WR, Denver Broncos (5%)

Hamler entered the league with 4.27 wheels and, as a rookie in 2020, his speed didn’t go unnoticed in the game:

He suffered a torn ACL last September, but is now almost a year out from the injury and has managed to return to the field for Denver in the preseason. For the first time in Hamler’s pro career, he’s working with a quarterback who can actually handle multiple fantasy-relevant receivers. Tim Patrick is out for the Broncos this season (ACL), which should mean more will be asked of Hamler. His opening week game is great (in Seattle), so he has a clear chance to make an early impact. Think of it as a high variance receiver with flexibility potential.

Romeo Doubs, WR, Green Bay Packers (32%)

If it seemed like he was delivering a daily highlight during camp and pre-season, well… that’s because he was, in fact, a living, breathing highlight:

The Doubs has drawn constant praise from coaches, journalists covering the team and, above all, from Aaron Rodgers himself. He was a 1,000-yard receiver in consecutive seasons at Nevada, so it’s not like he doesn’t have a respectable college record. The Green Bay Receiving Corps is a volatile group, vying for a few hundred liberated targets. Allen Lazardthe team’s No. 1 presumptive receiver, is suddenly a question mark for the opener against Minnesota. The Doubs deserves its place some roster as a flyer in any league with 12 or more teams.

(Related: Christian Watson is just sitting there on the wire in 90% of Yahoo leagues, which is a bit wild considering his draft status and outstanding athletic traits. He is 6ft 5in tall with a jumping ability and speed of 4.3. Rodgers is quite clearly a fan. He had to deal with knee dysfunction during camp, so he might not be on the same timeline as the other rookies, but he’s a serious talent.)

Mike Davis and Kenyan Drake, RBs, Baltimore Ravens (26% and 9%)

At some point in the near future, I may disavow these recommendations and delete this paragraph. No one is trying to tell you that Davis and Drake are breakout candidates or rare ability players. But they are, however, a pair of ambulatory professional running backs who could see major touches in Opening Week against the Jets. let’s remember that Gus Edwards is on the PUP list and JK Dobbins is not a lock for a full workload at the start of the season (nor is it guaranteed to play week 1). The Ravens are as committed as any team in the league, so both Davis and Drake are candidates to see double-digit runs in a friendly. As Coach Harbaugh says, “We’re known for running the ball a bit.”

Zamir White, RB, Las Vegas Raiders (15%)

Here’s a long-term take for you, a first-year fullback who just might be the Raiders’ future star runner. He demonstrated a previously undocumented receiving ability during preseason play, which answered an important open question.

Josh Jacobs is still at the top of the backfield depth chart for Vegas, but is unlikely to be a 300 touchdown player every time. White goes to see the field. The buzz around him in the camp was constant. Almost everyone who covers the team has told us that White will eventually carve out a big role for himself. His low percentage in the list should honestly be a fantastic national outrage. White is a recommended hiding place.

Cameron Brate, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9%)

Tom Brady saw only limited preseason action and Brate was on the field for most of it. He hauled his two targets to the preseason finale in Tampa, then checked with the GOAT. We shouldn’t need to tell you that Brady has a fair enough history of relying on his tight ends near the goal line. Brate certainly has a path to a 7-9 (or better) touchdown season, which essentially guarantees a top-10 spot at TE.

Tennessee Titans, DEF (38%)

Here’s a perfectly respectable defense playing at home in the opening week against Daniel Jones. What else are you looking for? Jones played 38 career games with the Giants, throwing 29 picks and fumbling 36 times. If you’re an irrationally optimistic Giants fan, streaming Titans D seems like a great hedge. Tennessee is a 6-point favorite and a good bet to produce multiple takeouts.

And here’s a bonus defense for you…

Cleveland Browns, DEF (20%)

This is simply an outrageous list percentage. Cleveland’s defense showcases devastating individual talent, and the team’s early schedule is a gift: at Car, NYJ, Pit, at Atl. There’s a good chance this group will make it into the top five D-fantasies when the schedule switches in October. The Browns should have been drafted in any 10-team format. If this unit is available, consider adding it.

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