Each week, I'm tasked with picking the top waiver wire targets for fantasy footballers. That article is a more cursory glance at the waiver wire, helping the countless fantasy players in more casual leagues on NFL.com figure out who is worth adding to their roster.
However, for you degenerates ... err I mean "die-hards" in more intense leagues, this is the column for you. As the season progresses, this is where I'll highlight the players you want to be a week early on, as opposed to trying to get in on the waiver-wire bidding war post-breakout. Many of these players will hopefully graduate to the main waiver wire column and -- if you're smart -- they'll already be on your roster. Of course, I can't promise anything. Fantasy is far from a guaranteed game, as we know all too well.
It's worth noting that a few players on the list this week carry a bit more name value than usual. I'll take the "L" on that one, because they fell through the cracks while I was publishing the initial column after Sunday Night Football. Moving forward, you won't see guys like Victor Cruz on this list, but nevertheless, here we are. Let's see what else Week 2 has to offer on the waiver wire.
Deep waiver targets for Week 2:
Trevor Siemian, QB, Denver Broncos - 1.4 percent owned
Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles - 7 percent owned
Alfred Morris, RB, Dallas Cowboys - 13.3 percent owned
Travaris Cadet, RB, New Orleans Saints - 0.0 percent owned
Jalen Richard, RB, Oakland Raiders - 0.0 percent owned
DeAndre Washington, RB, Oakland Raiders - 2.5 percent owned
Kenjon Barner, RB, Philadelphia Eagles - 0.3 percent owned
Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants - 17.3 percent owned
Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers - 2.3 percent owned
Kenny Stills, WR, Miami Dolphins - 1.8 percent owned
Chris Conley, WR, Kansas City Chiefs - 0.2 percent owned
Robert Woods, WR, Buffalo Bills - 0.8 percent owned
Quincy Enunwa, WR, New York Jets - 0.1 percent owned
Vance McDonald, TE, San Francisco 49ers - 6.4 percent owned
Jesse James, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers - 6.3 percent owned
Dennis Pitta, TE, Baltimore Ravens - 0.4 percent owned
Virgil Green, TE, Denver Broncos - 2.6 percent owned
Hunter Henry, TE, San Diego Chargers - 0.7 percent owned
Trevor Siemian got the win in Week 1, but posted the second-lowest fantasy total of any quarterback. He's on our radar in Week 2 as he's facing a Colts defense that let Matthew Stafford dink and dunk his way to a 26.10-point outing in Week 1. Stafford posted the lowest average depth of aimed throw in Week 1 at 5.5 ypa, per Pro Football Focus. Siemian posted a 5.6 YPA in the same metric against Carolina, and has two elite wide receivers to use against the Colts' porous defense (though Demaryius Thomas' health will need to be monitored). Those streaming quarterbacks or playing in deeper leagues shouldn't be afraid to look Siemian's way on waivers this week. Meanwhile, Carson Wentz merits a look after a strong NFL debut both in real life and fantasy, as he's currenlty the QB10 heading into Monday night. Wentz dropped some dimes to Jordan Matthews and Nelson Agholor for scores, but will face a tougher test in Week 2 against the Bears. He's worth adding now though in case his play holds up. The Eagles front office and players wholeheartedly believe in Wentz, so perhaps fantasy owners should give him the benefit of the doubt as a bench stash for now.
Alfred Morris deserves a look as the primary handcuff to Ezekiel Elliott, but doesn't have standalone value just yet. He ran hard in limited opportunities, seeing just seven carries and one target on 14 snaps. With C.J. Spiller a surprising healthy scratch, Travaris Cadet lands on the fantasy radar. Sean Payton explained after the game that Cadet having a bigger role played a part in Spiller's inactive status (and likely his release this week as well). This bore out on the field, as Cadet's seven targets were second-most on the team behind Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead (nine apiece), while Mark Ingram saw just two targets. Cadet also played on just four fewer snaps than Ingram (29 to 24), possibly because the game with Oakland turned into a pass-heavy script. The Saints could find themselves in a similar contest in Week 2 against the Giants, and if Cadet repeats this type of performance he'll be much more sought after on the wire.
Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington only merit consideration in deeper or dynasty leagues. Both have explosive ability and will factor into the Oakland offense, but their usage right now (10 and eight snaps, respectively) hints that the Raiders are still testing the waters with these rookies. Grab them if you have the bench space and wait to see what unfolds in the coming weeks. Kenjon Barner is a luxury bench add as the potential handcuff to Ryan Mathews. While Darren Sproles would figure in heavily if Mathews went down, Barner saw four carries on just six snaps in Week 1, possibly hinting at what his role would look like with a bigger workload.
Welcome back, Victor Cruz! Cruz was the biggest oversight on my part in terms of not being included in the main waiver wire column, so apologies. But the Giants trotted out Cruz on 89 percent of their offensive plays in his first real game since 2014, which is a great sign. He looked good too, catching all four of his targets for 34 yards and a touchdown. The Giants three-headed wide receiver attack could be a good one to mine for fantasy points all season long, so if Cruz is still free, grab him. Cole Beasley also deserves attention, especially in PPR formats, after seeing a whopping 12 targets on his 49 snaps against the Giants. Dak Prescott heavily favored Beasley and Jason Witten, which is worth noting when trying to project this offense moving forward. We'll see if Dak and the Cowboys course correct a bit in the coming weeks, but that kind of volume shouldn't stay free for long.
Davante Adams showed up again for the Packers on Sunday, hauling in three of his seven targets for 50 yards and a touchdown. The inconsistencies that plagued him last year remain (drops, etc.), but his usage (97 percent of offensive snaps) indicates he has the No. 3 wide receiver job on lockdown for now. While Jordy Nelson works back up to full health, Adams could be worth trotting out in deeper leagues. Kenny Stills beat out DeVante Parker for the No. 2 wideout job in Miami, and I don't think he'll be giving it up anytime soon. Stills is a natural deep threat, and even if he dropped a sure touchdown on Sunday and posted one catch on five targets, his ability to stretch the field will keep him in the lineup for Miami. He's worth an add. Chris Conley saw seven targets in Week 1, the same number as Jeremy Maclin, but wasn't quite as productive (four catches, 43 yards). While this game might be an outlier (Alex Smith had a career-high 48 pass attempts), it could also be reflective of the type of games the Chiefs will find themselves in with no Justin Houston and a banged up Tamba Hali. Conley played the second-most snaps among Chiefs wide receivers (60 snaps, 86 percent) and should be stashed. If he continues to see this type of volume he has the game-breaking athleticism to make some noise in fantasy.
While it sounds like Sammy Watkins is going to try to play through his foot pain, Robert Woods could be worth a stash. Historically he hasn't performed any better with Watkins than without him in the lineup, but that could change this year if Watkins misses time given the lack of receiving options in Buffalo. Quincy Enunwa was a surprise this week, though the Jets seem to want him in a larger role in 2016. The team basically lacks a tight end, so it makes sense why they ran three or four wide receivers out on roughly 88 percent of their Week 1 plays. Enunwa tied for the team-lead in targets with eight and caught a touchdown as well. Offensive coordinator Chan Gailey wants to spread the field out, so Enunwa could be on the path to a breakout year for the Jets. He might not be reliable every week in fantasy, but he should be added.
I wrote about both Vance McDonald and Jesse James last week, and since they've yet to play in Week 1 just click here for why they're still worth an add. I'll add more analysis here on Tuesday once they've played. Benjamin Watson's season-ending Achilles tear created a fantasy black hole at the Ravens tight end position ... or so we thought. Dennis Pitta, Joe Flacco's old favorite receiving option, saw four targets on Sunday and played 26 more snaps than the next closest tight end (Crockett Gillmore). Pitta could be a big part of the offense in Week 2 against a Browns defense that gave up 69 yards to the Eagles tight ends. He'll be a streaming option for sure.
Virgil Green won the Broncos tight end battle, and showed up in Week 1, catching four of five targets and just missing a wide open touchdown. It's clear Trevor Siemian trusts Green, and tight ends in Gary Kubiak offenses have been fantasy assets in the past. Green has added appeal as an add this week as he's playing a Colts defense that gave up double-digit fantasy points to Eric Ebron in Week 1. Hunter Henry makes the list simply because we don't know how the target distribution will shake out in San Diego sans Keenan Allen. In Week 1, Henry hauled in just one of two targets for 20 yards off of 42 percent of the team snaps, but his role could increase moving forward. He's worth a speculative add in deeper leagues just in case.