In some leagues with early drafts, there is a waiver wire run before the season. In leagues without a preseason waiver wire run, these potential pickups might be overshadowed by Week 1 waiver wire wonders, so this list can also be a reminder of who to target after the obvious Week 2 pickups are snapped up for big dollars.
1. Adrian Peterson, RB, WAS - Heeeee’s back. Peterson was as strong and stubborn as we remember in his preseason start for Washington, and his burst is still well above the NFL line. Washington’s running game was semi-productive with Rob Kelley and Matt Jones in 2016, and offensive line injuries derailed them in 2017. Peterson could be a solid RB2 and might be worth 50% or more of your waiver wire budget.
2. Keelan Cole, WR, JAX - Marqise Lee’s preseason leg injury increases Cole’s speculative value as the closest thing the Jaguars have to a #1. He was actually a fantasy WR1 for a stretch last year, has been running as a starter in two-wide sets, and by most accounts is as dedicated as ever to improving his game in year two of his career as an against the odds UDFA hit.
3. Anthony Miller, WR, CHI - Miller was part of a long list of second-day picks at wide receiver with anxious anticipation of their first camp, but also uncertain redraft value heading into camp. He put on a show and might hold down primary slot duties, which propelled Cooper Kupp to fantasy relevance in his rookie year.
4. Taywan Taylor, WR, TEN - Taylor’s outlook has dimmed a little with Rishard Matthews’ activation from the PUP list, but Taylor has still been getting valuable first-team reps as an outside receiver, and it’s questionable just how ready Matthews will be to contribute early in the season. Taylor could draw the weak spot of the Miami #2 corner in Week 1.
5. John Brown, WR, BAL - Brown has looked just as good as he did at his peak with Arizona and is riffing with Joe Flacco. He might have a recurrence of slow healing due to his sickle cell condition, which has sidetracked his career, but Brown will be productive and perhaps even startable in typical fantasy leagues for as long as he stays healthy. Brown could draw Vontae Davis Week 1 after Davis looked washed up against John Ross in the third preseason game.
6. John Ross, WR, CIN - Speaking of Ross, this summer he lived up to the speed and big play billing that made him the #9 overall pick last year. Week 1 brings the woeful Colts secondary. Andy Dalton looked really sharp in the third preseason game and should give Ross multiple opportunities to make an instant impact.
7. Courtland Sutton, WR, DEN - Sutton might be ready to start even if the Broncos have two strong veteran options to keep him relegated to the #3 for now. It’s possible that Sutton still closes the gap if the Broncos run a prevalence of three-wide sets, and a breakout would be in store if Emmanuel Sanders or Demaryius Thomas miss time.
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