Christian McCaffrey. Saquon Barkley. Courtland Sutton. The list feels like it goes on forever.
Week 2 of the 2020 NFL season was marred by injuries to a number of the league’s top skill players. And as that relates to fantasy football, it means people who thought they were lucky landing the first or second pick in their draft now might be scrambling.
So, who should you count on to mitigate the damage caused by Week 2?
Here are the players you’ll want to eye on the waiver wire this week (based on players available in fewer than 65 percent of Yahoo! leagues).
Quarterback: Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars (33 percent owned in Yahoo fantasy leagues)
We all expected the Jags to be a disaster this season, and so far they haven’t been. Certainly they’ll come (further) back down to Earth at some point, but for now, go ahead and ride the hot hand of Jacksonville’s signal-caller.
The Jaguars have been letting the second-year quarterback air it out to the tune of 512 passing yards through two games, and he already has posted six touchdowns (though he does have two interceptions).
If you’re looking for a quarterback right now, it likely means you’re in some sort of disaster situation. Minshew has been playing well enough to tide you over.
Other quarterbacks to target: Jared Goff (LAR), Ryan Tannehill (TEN), Kirk Cousins (MIN)
Running back: Jerick McKinnon, San Francisco 49ers (25 percent owned)
McKinnon already had basically replaced Tevin Coleman as the 49ers’ No. 2 running back. But now Coleman and Raheem Mostert are dealing with injuries, meaning McKinnon could be the de facto bellcow in Week 3 for a team that likes leaning on the rushing game (and also might be without Jimmy Garoppolo).
McKinnon has rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown through two games this season, and he figures to see a much heavier workload now. He’s also available in a good chunk of leagues, so chances are he’s there for the taking in yours.
Other running backs to target: Joshua Kelley (LAC), Myles Gaskin (MIA), Dion Lewis (NYG)
Wide receiver: Robby Anderson, Carolina Panthers (62 percent owned)
Now that he’s acutely aware of who Sir Purr is, Anderson is settling in nicely with the Carolina offense.
The longtime New York Jet had a breakout Week 2 game for the Panthers, and with Christian McCaffrey out for a bit, he could see an uptick in targets.
The problem in leaning on Anderson in fantasy long has been that he’s a big boom-or-bust player, but if he’s available in your league you’d be wise to make a claim. He already has 15 receptions for 223 yards and a touchdown this season, so he could be particularly valuable in PPR leagues.
Other wide receivers to target: Corey Davis (TEN), Russell Gage (ATL), Keelan Cole (JAX)
Tight end: Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns (62 percent owned)
OK, so this might actually be a bit of a gamble.
Considering Hooper arguably was the top tight end available in free agency after a breakout season with the Atlanta Falcons, many figured Hooper would play a big role with the Browns right out of the chute.
That hasn’t been the case so far, but maybe that will change this week., With David Njoku still out, Hooper could be more involved in the passing game and put up some of the production that made him a fantasy darling in 2019.
Other tight ends to target: Logan Thomas (WAS), Jordan Reed (SF), Jordan Akins (HOU)
Thumbnail photo via Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports Images