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    Early Week 1 Waiver Wire Pickups: Jaylen Warren and Jayden Reed Could Be Hot Commodities Next Week

    As we head into the first week of the NFL season, who are the top Week 1 waiver wire pickups and targets for 2023 fantasy football managers?

    The 2023 fantasy football season kicks off this week! While most teams are probably content with their drafted players, there are free agents out there that can help your teams. Let’s take a look at the top Week 1 waiver wire targets and pickups that fantasy managers should consider adding to their rosters.

    *As always, all players are rostered in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues.

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    Top Waiver Wire Pickups in Week 1 | Quarterbacks

    It’s difficult to say any undrafted QBs warrant being added ahead of Week 1. Fantasy managers should mostly just roll with who they drafted. But if you have the room to throw an upside option at the end of your bench (and not at the expense of a running back or wide receiver), Sam Howell isn’t a bad option.

    Sam Howell, Washington Commanders (22% Rostered)

    It is definitely bold of the Commanders to go with Sam Howell as their QB1.

    The 2022 fifth-rounder made just one career start, and it was against the Cowboys in a game where they were playing for nothing. I still believe Jacoby Brissett makes a start this season.

    With that said, Howell’s fantasy profile isn’t half bad. Terry McLaurin will be out Week 1, but between Jahan Dotson, Curtis Samuel, and Antonio Gibson, Howell’s receiving options are quite formidable.

    Most importantly, Howell can get it done on the ground. He ran for 828 yards in his final season at North Carolina. If Howell can be a competent game manager and give fantasy managers 30-40 rushing yards per game, there is back-end QB1 potential here.

    Top Waiver Wire Pickups in Week 1 | Running Backs

    There are a couple of backup running backs with upside available on the waiver wire. Jaylen Warren, Tank Bigsby, and De’Von Achane highlight the group.

    Jaylen Warren, Pittsburgh Steelers (45% Rostered)

    The fact that Warren isn’t rostered in nearly all fantasy leagues blows my mind. He’s the rare handcuff who we know is talented and would assume nearly 100% of the starter’s work, should he go down. At worst, Warren is one of the most valuable backup RBs in the league.

    MORE: PFN Consensus Rankings

    Warren could still have standalone fantasy value in a 60/40 timeshare with Najee Harris. We saw the Steelers use Warren this way over the second half of last season, and it continued in the preseason this year. Warren is the ideal bench RB because you can use him in a pinch as an RB3, and he has high RB2 upside should something happen to Harris.

    Tank Bigsby, Jacksonville Jaguars (48% Rostered)

    It was surprising to see Bigsby not hit the 50% roster threshold. Perhaps it’s because there are still a bunch of drafts going on? I’m not sure. Either way, he should be rostered.

    The Jaguars drafted Bigsby in the third round. Jacksonville immediately showed a willingness to use him with the first team, particularly in goal-line and short-yardage situations. Head coach Doug Pederson even went so far as to say that Bigsby’s role would increase as the season went on.

    Travis Etienne will open the season as the clear lead back, but Bigsby’s immediate role is a bit of an unknown. At worst, he is one of the best handcuffs in the league — well worth stashing on the back end of your roster.

    De’Von Achane, Miami Dolphins (48% Rostered)

    I wasn’t nearly as high on De’Von Achane entering the season as many others, but not because of his talent. Achane has blazing 4.32 speed and third-round draft capital. The issue is there really was no spot for him to carve out a fantasy-relevant role.

    With Jeff Wilson on IR and possibly done for the season, the door is open for Achane to be the RB2 behind Raheem Mostert. With a 12.3% college target share last year, Achane could open the season as the receiving back. That could have immediate value. But even if he doesn’t, Mostert is over age 30 and not exactly known for his health.

    Fantasy managers should want pieces of an explosive Dolphins offense. Achane is currently the cheapest one. Stash him if you can.

    Top Waiver Wire Pickups in Week 1 | Wide Receivers

    These two rookies are great stashes ahead of a potential rise in value.

    Marvin Mims, Denver Broncos (32% Rostered)

    The stars have all aligned for Marvin Mims to make an immediate impact as a rookie. Tim Patrick tore his Achilles. KJ Hamler had to step away from football for health reasons. Jerry Jeudy’s strained hamstring is going to cost him at least the first few weeks of the season. This leaves Mims as the Broncos’ WR2 behind Courtland Sutton.

    Fantasy managers were drafting both Jeudy and Sutton. Clearly, there is confidence in this offense rebounding and Russell Wilson’s ability to support two fantasy-relevant WRs. Of course, the players’ talent matters. We know Jeudy is good at football. But Mims has looked good this preseason and has a strong prospect profile. He could very well be productive early on and can remain so for the entirety of the season.

    Jayden Reed, Green Bay Packers (7% Rostered)

    The Packers’ rookie WR is easily my favorite late-round dart at the position in fantasy drafts. As you can see, not many people share that belief, given that he’s out there in over 90% of leagues.

    Jayden Reed was selected in the second round. His prospect profile isn’t the greatest, but he has legitimate ball skills and is quite fast. By all accounts, he’s already locked up the team’s WR3/primary slot job.

    The reason I love Reed so much is because I think Romeo Doubs is terrible. For me, it’s only a matter of time before Reed is the WR2 behind Christian Watson.

    I am also not on the Jordan Love hate train. At minimum, he looks like a competent NFL starter, capable of supporting two fantasy-relevant WRs. If you have the spot, grab Reed before he becomes a household name.

    Top Waiver Wire Pickups in Week 1 | Tight Ends

    Most fantasy teams shouldn’t need to pick up a tight end ahead of Week 1. In the event you do, someone like Juwan Johnson is a great option.

    Juwan Johnson, New Orleans Saints (36% Rostered)

    The tight end position only requires most teams to roster one. It makes sense why Juwan Johnson is out there in so many leagues. Fantasy managers will probably wise up after Week 1.

    Johnson looked great in the preseason and is the Saints’ clear TE1. I am not worried about Taysom Hill or the ghost of Jimmy Graham eating into his playing time.

    Johnson is a red-zone target and has a QB in Derek Carr who knows how to use his tight end. It would not surprise me at all if Johnson finished this season as a top-eight TE.

    Jake Ferguson, Dallas Cowboys (29% Rostered)

    It’s really difficult for most teams to roster Jake Ferguson. He’s ranked so low and his value is purely speculative. I don’t have him in any leagues myself, but the FOMO is real.

    Ferguson is going to be 2020 Dalton Schultz. The Cowboys have three TEs that could potentially be TE1, but I really think Ferguson is the guy.

    Dak Prescott has always used his TE, even an unathletic catch-and-fall-down guy like Schultz. Ferguson is similar. He’s not super athletic, but he’s really big and could be a red-zone target. This one is more feel-based than anything, but sometimes that works out. If you can find out for free, he’s worth an add off the Week 1 waiver wire.

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