Fantasy football waiver wire: Jared Cook, TJ Yeldon are top targets


With a number of significant injuries (and a few surprises) in Week 1, fantasy football owners should expect to see a flurry of activity on the waiver wire. 

Generally, it’s a good idea to strike early in the season before players’ roles become obvious to everyone. However, several teams showed strong tendencies in favor of this week’s most popular pickup candidates. 

Recommended bids based on a free agent acquisition budget (FAAB) of $100 for the season.

BEST BETS

TE Jared Cook, Oakland Raiders ($28). The veteran was the Raiders’ only standout on offense in their loss Monday night, catching nine passes for 180 yards. For fantasy owners who just lost Delanie Walker for the season or Greg Olsen indefinitely, Cook makes an excellent replacement.

WR Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets ($23). The absence of Jermaine Kearse opened the door for Enunwa to emerge as rookie QB Sam Darnold’s favorite target. He caught six of 10 targets for 63 yards and a score. Presumed No. 1 wideout Robby Anderson had only one target (though it went for a 41-yard touchdown). 

WR Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($20). Teammate DeSean Jackson got the headlines with his 146 receiving yards and two touchdowns, but he left the game early with concussion symptoms. Godwin (3-41, TD) can easily step into the role of No. 2 wideout behind Mike Evans in what’s looking to be a pass-happy Bucs offense.

REPLACEMENTS

RB T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars ($18). Yeldon became a major part of the offense when starter Leonard Fournette left with a hamstring injury. He ran for 51 yards on 14 carries and caught three passes for 18 yards and a TD. Fournette says he should be fine for Week 2, but Yeldon proved he’s a more-than-capable insurance policy.

RB Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers ($15). It was supposed to be a one-back show, but Ekeler saw a lot more playing time than expected in the opener. He made the most of his touches, too, accumulating 126 total yards, with five catches and a touchdown. 

TE Eric Ebron, Indianapolis Colts ($11). The former first-round pick of the Lions had an excellent debut with the Colts, catching four passes for 51 yards and a touchdown. With QB Andrew Luck sticking to mostly short passes, there might be room in the offense for both Ebron and fellow TE Jack Doyle (7-60).

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($10). The veteran was this week’s brightest fantasy star with his 417 passing yards, four TD passes and one rushing score. But the question is whether he can he keep it up, especially with starter Jameis Winston due back from his suspension in Week 4. 

Fantasy owners who are worried about the status of Marcus Mariota or Aaron Rodgers might find Fitzpatrick comforting to have on the bench — although the Philadelphia Eagles come to town on Sunday.

WR Phillip Dorsett, New England Patriots ($9). The Pats spread around their receiving targets in much the same way they do with backfield touches, but Dorsett’s seven catches for 66 yards and a touchdown make him worth considering. 

WR Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions ($8). The second-year wideout snagged seven of 12 targets for 114 yards vs. the Jets. He’s clearly the third receiver in Detroit, but if the defense is as bad as it looked in the opener, there will be plenty of opportunities for everyone.

SPECULATIVE PICKUPS

RB Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos. The 5-8 rookie spark plug got as many touches as starter Royce Freeman — and was more effective. Lindsay had 15 carries for 71 yards and also caught two passes for 31 yards and a touchdown. 

WR Brandon Marshall, Seattle Seahawks. The 34-year-old veteran resurfaced with three receptions for 46 yards and a TD, and his value increases with top receiver Doug Baldwin sidelined indefinitely with a knee injury. 

Follow Gardner on Twitter @SteveAGardner

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