In-season moves are just as important to winning in fantasy football as the initial draft. There’s always more you can do to improve your roster, so of course the waiver wire is always a busy place at the start of each week. Early in the season, there’s a lot of potential help that went undrafted and can help change a fantasy season.
The players below are available in fewer than half of Yahoo/ESPN leagues, though I’ll try to keep those percentages a little lower for most players. I’ll also try to not repeat players, but if anyone from last week’s list — especially Will Dissly, Phillip Lindsey, or Geronimo Allison — are still available, grab them too.
John Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens
Rostered - Yahoo: 26 percent | ESPN: 24.1 percent
A healthy John Brown is really good and it looks like John Brown is healthy. Brown is only tied for second on the Ravens in targets (14) with Willie Snead, behind Michael Crabtree (16), but he’s the clear big play threat on the offense. He’s been the target on 35.8 percent on the team’s intended air yards, per Next Gen Stats, which is 15th among wide receivers.
While Brown is the big play threat in an offense that’s now more willing to go down the field, Brown is also the top red zone target so far. Through two games Brown has been the intended target on four of Joe Flacco’s 13 red zone passes (30.8 percent) while no other Raven has more than two targets.
There’s no reason for Brown to be rostered in just over a quarter of leagues.
Ricky Seals-Jones, TE, Arizona Cardinals
Rostered - Yahoo: 27 percent | ESPN: 13.5 percent
There’s not a lot to like about the Arizona Cardinals offense right now. The coaching staff doesn’t even really seem to know what’s going on. In the same press conference on Monday, head coach Steve Wilks said the offense needed to be scaled down to be less complicated and they needed to be be more creative in getting David Johnson the ball.
But Seals-Jones has been the “deep threat” in this offense. He leads the team with 23.9 percent of the team’s intended air yards, which is fifth-most among tight ends. He’s also second on the team in targets through two weeks, just behind Larry Fitzgerald.
The Cardinals are likely to be in game situations when they have to pass often and while it’s a relative conservative offense right now, when they go deep, it’s to Seals-Jones. Arizona also has to run more than 47 plays per game throughout the season. He could also see an uptick in volume once Josh Rosen takes over at quarterback.
Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Rostered - Yahoo: 35 percent | ESPN: 34.1 percent
The Buccaneers offense is on fire right now, but even while that’s not going to last on this pace, there’s some good indicators for fantasy stability. One of the benefits of Todd Munkin taking over as the offensive play caller has been the ability to spread the ball around. DeSean Jackson has been getting all the deep targets and Mike Evans is still Mike Evans, but Chris Godwin has been able to play a significant role in the passing game as the No. 3.
Tampa Bay hasn’t been in the red zone often — that happens when you’re scoring from 75 yards out — but Godwin is the only player on the roster with multiple red zone targets (two of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s seven passes) and they’ve both gone for touchdowns. Godwin is also getting his shots down the field, he has an aDOT of 14.1, which is second on the team behind Jackson. There’s a lot of weapons in Tampa Bay right now, but just about all of them have fantasy value.
Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
Rostered - Yahoo: 45 percent | ESPN: 43 percent
Ekeler got 11 carries and 77 rushing yards in Week 2. Some of that was due to Melvin Gordon being sidelined for some of the game due to injury. But Gordon hasn’t alway been consistently healthy in his career — 2017 was the first team in Gordon’s first three seasons in which he played in all 16 games. Even if Gordon is on the field, it’s been clear the Chargers want to have a role for Ekeler.
In the red zone, Ekeler has two targets, two receptions, a receiving touchdown, and two rushing attempts. That puts him only behind Gordon in red zone opportunities. Ekeler is third on the team in targets, a role that should continue as the season progresses.
Chris Ivory, RB, Buffalo Bills
Rostered - Yahoo: 5 percent | ESPN: 3.2 percent
The Buffalo Bills offense is bad, like really really bad. But fantasy football is about opportunity and Chris Ivory might have some of that real soon. LeSean McCoy has cracked rib cartilage and will be questionable for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings. There’s really no reason for McCoy to push to play if he’s not near 100 percent. While a meeting with the Vikings isn’t a great matchup for an opposing running back, especially for a team that’s going to be trailing often, but if the starting job is there and you’re desperate at running back already, Ivory could be worth a look.