With the 2020 NFL regular season just hours away, solidify your fantasy football depth with our Week 1 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire column. With final cuts complete and depth charts changing by the day, the first installment of my weekly waiver wire will look at which players are worth stashing on your fantasy rosters heading into Week 1.
Beginning with Week 1, I’ll be using the FleaFlicker roster percentages for my weekly waiver wire column. These percentages are calculated from every FleaFlicker league that’s active, which gives us a better understanding of each player’s overall value.
Priority fantasy football waiver wire adds for Week 1
These players shouldn’t be available on your fantasy football waiver wires, but they’re inexplicably available in over 30% of FleaFlicker fantasy leagues heading into Week 1.
Miami Dolphins WR Preston Williams (66% rostered)
Philadelphia Eagles WRs DeSean Jackson & Jalen Reagor (both 65% rostered)
Dallas Cowboys RB Tony Pollard (62% rostered)
Arizona Cardinals RB Chase Edmonds (60% rostered)
If any of these players are available on your waiver wire, I suggest adding them to your fantasy benches immediately. Each of these five players have potential league-winning upside.
DeSean Jackson and Preston Williams, both available in nearly 35% of FleaFlicker fantasy leagues, are my top Week 1 waiver wire adds. After injury-shortened 2019 seasons, both players are due for bounce-back 2020 campaigns. Williams looked healthy and dominant in Miami’s training camp, while Jackson is in-line to be Philadelphia’s top wide receiver in Week 1.
Rookie WR Jalen Reagor is another Eagles wide receiver worth stashing on your bench. Currently injured, Reagor is expected back as soon as Week 2, and the rookie should receive massive volume once healthy.
Even though neither one will start Week 1, both Tony Pollard and Chase Edmonds are worthy waiver wire additions to your fantasy bench. Both are high-upside elite handcuffs that could hold standalone FLEX value in the right situation.
Solid Bench Depth
These players are available on the waiver wire in over 50% of FleaFlicker fantasy leagues heading into Week 1.
San Francisco 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk (47% rostered)
Jacksonville Jaguars RB Chris Thompson (44% rostered)
Green Bay Packers WR Allen Lazard (47% rostered)
Los Angeles Chargers RB Joshua Kelley (40% rostered)
Indianapolis Colts WR Parris Campbell (39% rostered)
The impending return of 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel has led some to abandon ship, but I’m still buying up all of the Brandon Aiyuk stock I can find. At worst, he is San Francisco’s number three passing-game option behind Samuel and elite tight end, George Kittle.
Aiyuk will likely be inconsistent as the third option on a run-first offense, but the potential is limitless for the explosive rookie from Arizona State. And that’s not even mentioning the unfortunate possibility of Samuel re-injuring his foot after his quick return from a Jones fracture.
The Jaguars backfield is a bit of a mess until we see Week 1 playing time, but Chris Thompson seems like the running back most-locked into his role as a pass-catcher. Rookie Joshua Kelley seems to have won the number two RB role behind Austin Ekeler in Los Angeles, but Justin Jackson is very likely to stay involved.
Allen Lazard will continue to battle Marquez Valdes-Scantling for WR2 duties, while Parris Campbell seems locked into the starting slot position in Indianapolis. Both are worth stashing as WR4/5’s until impact is determined.
Week 1 fantasy football waiver wire next best available
These players are available in over 65% of FleaFlicker fantasy leagues, but they’re still worth a roster spot over those on the drop list.
Kansas City Chiefs RB Darrel Williams (25% rostered)
Washington Football Team RB Bryce Love (34% rostered)
Carolina Panthers TE Ian Thomas (33% rostered)
Jaguars RBs Devine Ozigbo (21% rostered) & James Robinson (20% rostered)
The next best available Week 1 waiver wire fantasy football targets are a group of low-upside running backs and Panthers tight end Ian Thomas. With an elite 9.29 RAS, Thomas offers tremendous upside at the tight end position, but there remains the question of how much volume he receives on an offense also featuring Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore.
Available in 75% of FleaFlicker fantasy leagues, Chiefs RB Darrel Williams is the best waiver wire addition in this group. Williams won the camp battle which led to DeAndre Washington’s release, and it looks like he’ll take some work from first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire. If he can remain healthy, Washington Football Team running back Bryce Love is likely to share time with rookie Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic in Washington’s revamped backfield.
As I mentioned above, the Jaguars backfield is probably one to avoid, but both Devine Ozigbo and James Robinson are worth a speculative add in deep leagues. Each of these three Jaguars running backs have RB3 potential, but good luck figuring out which one comes out on top. If you can find someone willing to take the bait, PFN’s Ben Rolfe suggests selling-high on Robinson while his value is still high.
Fantasy players worth dropping ahead of Week 1
These are the players worth dropping to make room for your Week 1 waiver wire additions:
FA RB DeAndre Washington
Jaguars RB Ryquell Armstead
FA RB Lamar Miller
Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn
Any backup Kicker/Defense
Any low upside backup QB or TE if similar players appear on waivers
This list is pretty simple. Washington and Lamar Miller are completely fantasy-irrelevant after getting cut from their respective teams, while Ryquell Armstead is expected to be out “a while”.
Ke’Shawn Vaughn acquired a lot of buzz in the fantasy world following the 2020 NFL Draft, but he too missed some time this offseason. To make matters worse, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed both LeSean McCoy and most recently, Leonard Fournette, this offseason, to push Vaughn further down the depth chart. While he’s likely to still have a great future, Vaughn is not expected to make any significant impact in 2020.
In addition, and although this shouldn’t have to be said, if you happen to roster a backup defense or kicker, you should replace them with a high-upside position player immediately.