Waiver Worthy: Week 1: RB Dominate The Potential Targets (Cohen, Allen & More)

by Will Overton

Working the waiver wire after week one is a tricky road to navigate. You have to balance that tension of not wanting to overreact to a one performance, either good or bad, with not wanting to miss out on a guy who might turn out to be a pretty solid player all year long.

I will try and help you navigate the murky waters a bit here by discussing some of the guys sure to be prime targets and giving my thoughts on what you should be doing with them. This week’s edition will be running back heavy:

Tarik Cohen – RB, Chicago Bears
Certain to be one of the hottest names on the wire, Tarik Cohen put the fantasy world on notice with a really impressive rookie debut. He ran the ball five times for 66 yards, including a 46 yard run at one point. Cohen also caught eight passes for 47 yards and a TD. Between his success and Howard dropping a critical pass in the 4th quarter, I think it’s pretty well established that Cohen will be the receiving down back.

Cohen isn’t going to take Howard’s job any time soon I don’t think, and the five carries might be the norm, but he is a big play threat and a potential PPR monster. I think the Bears will look for ways to get the ball in to his hands, hopefully even moving him out wide and using him some as a receiver. It’s only one game, but I do think he is the real deal, especially in PPR.
Verdict: Must Own In PPR, Worth a Claim in Standard Too

Kerwynn Williams – RB, Arizona Cardinals
The news on David Johnson is certainly not what any fantasy owner wants to hear right now. Johnson is currently expected to miss between 8 – 12 weeks of action, pending a second opinion. That leaves Arizona with a big hole to fill at running back, and as of now the leading candidate to fill the majority of that is Kerwynn Williams. Andre Ellington is there and will likely be a third down option, but I expect Williams to be in line for 70% of the carries. My expectations aren’t overly high, but the workload will be there so I think you have to put the claim in.
Verdict: Add Based on Projected Workload

Javorius “Buck” Allen – RB, Baltimore Ravens
The injury to Danny Woodhead was a big blow to the Baltimore Ravens, but it may have opened the door for fantasy relevance to Javorius Allen. I think the lead back is still going to be Terrence West, but Allen’s 21 carries on Sunday can’t go unnoticed. The Ravens want to run the ball a lot, though running it as much as they did Sunday won’t happen often. What I like about Allen is that he will likely be the featured pass catching back with Woodhead gone, which helps make up for the fact that he’ll likely play second fiddle to West on the ground.
Verdict: Add If You Can’t Get the First Two

 Marlon Mack – RB, Indianapolis Colts
It’s tough to tell what would happen if the Colts weren’t getting blown away, but Marlon Mack got a lot of work on Sunday. He ran the ball 10 times for 24 yards and a TD, also catching one pass for 21 yards. The good news is that Mack seems to be the lead backup to Frank Gore. The bad news is the Colts offensive line is really bad and it’s going to be hard for a running back to do much. I don’t think Mack sees double digit carries if the Colts aren’t getting blown out, but I also think he will catch more passes when the QB isn’t Scott Tolzien. Mack is a bit of a mixed bag which puts him behind the other backs we’ve discussed, but still a viable option to add and see what unfolds.
Verdict: Option Four on the List, With a Bump in Dynasty Legaues for Long Term Upside

Carson Wentz – QB, Philadelphia Eagles
It was a strong start to the sophomore campaign of Carson Wentz, who lit up the Redskins for 26 – 39, 307 YDS, 1 TD and 1 INT. It was promising to see that Doug Pederson seems content to open up the offense and let him throw a lot and not just manage the game.  At the same time I think the Redskins secondary isn’t anything to write home about, so I can’t overreact to this one game. To me Wentz is still more of a streaming option than he is a potential QB1, but time could change that.
Verdict: Streaming Option Now, But Watch for Continued Success

Kenny Golladay – WR, Detroit Lions
The hype train of Kenny Golladay got started in the preseason when he caught two TD passes in his first game. Now that he has caught two TD passes in the first real game in the NFL the train is bound to fill up in a hurry (especially if you saw how impressive that second TD grab was this last week). It was encouraging to see how much Golladay was on the field on Sunday, but I think expectations are going to get out of hand. The Lions have a multitude of threats to get the ball to, and Golladay isn’t the only red zone threat on the team. I think with his ability for a big game it’s hard to not add him, but it could easily be Marvin Jones or Eric Ebron with two TD’s next week.
Verdict: You Have to Add Him, But Temper Your Expectations

Nelson Agholor – WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Could Nelson Agholor actually be breaking out this year after all the false alarms we’ve had the last couple seasons? He caught six passes for 86 yards on Sunday and a TD, while being targeted a total of eight times. Agholor had the advantage of being the WR not being blanketed by Josh Norman like Alshon Jeffrey, but this is still promising nonetheless. I think Agholor may be the move the sticks guy for Wentz this season and that’s not a bad role to be in. I don’t see him blossoming into a Top 20 WR or anything, but he can certainly have fantasy value.
Verdict: The Safer WR Option, Without the Same Upside

Jesse James – TE, Pittsburgh Steelers
Of course it was Jesse James who came out and led the Steelers in scoring for week one. He caught six passes for 41 yards and two TD grabs. In a week where a lot of the TE1’s underperformed there will certainly be a temptation to grab James. I wouldn’t jump on that too quickly though. The Steelers are loaded with offensive weapons and so it’s hard to see James catching multiple TD’s ever again. There’s also the fact that the Steelers traded for Vance McDonald at the end of preseason, not a great sign of faith in James. McDonald should see the field more going forward as he learns the offense and James should fade into the background with all the Steelers weapons.
Verdict: Resist the Temptation and Pass

Waiver Worthy: Week 2: Carson Emerges In Seattle, WR To Target & More
Deep League Waiver Wire Targets: Injuries Lead To Wide Receiver Diamonds In The Rough

35 comments

  1. Whipple says:

    Good morning Prof!
    Someone dropped D Henry after his week 1 performance. I put in a waiver claim dropping T Rawls, but thinking to use J Charles instead. 12 team standard with double Flex (one Flex WR/RB the other WR/TE) and 2 starting RBs and 2 WR.

    Thoughts?

  2. Joel Macke says:

    I have west, cj Anderson, Perkins, Rawls, j rodgers, and mack. Would you drop any of these to try to pick one up off the waiver? I have waiver priority 9 of 12 so some of these are probably not feasible. Thoughts

  3. Steve says:

    I am an unfortunate A-Rob owner in a very deep WR league (12 teams, start 3 WR, 2 Flex, 0.5 PPR). A-Rob was my WR3 and I play two RB at the Flex. My bench options are Sterling Sheppard, Paul Richardson, and Brandon Coleman (leaning on cutting). Best options available for bid are: Allen Hurns (M Lee is owned), Robert Woods, Jermaine Kearse, Torrey Smith, Travis Benjamin, Markus Wheaton, and other lesser players.

    Who would you suggest starting in place and who would you suggest to pick up?

  4. Carmen says:

    prof, similar to macke above, do you think j rodgers would be worth dropping for Tarik cohen? we’re talking merely for bench use at the moment

  5. John says:

    I think I know your answer but is Cohen worth using my #2 waiver priority? The guy with #1 is the Howard owner so I think he might pass so as not to put all his chips in one basket. I watched the game and he looks like he’ll have season long value. I just hate using a high claim this early cuz they don’t reset and I’ll probly be stuck in the back for a long time

    • It all depends on your need/situation. Cohen is never going to be the top option in Chicago, he’s more going to be a part of the offense. If you have depth, I could see letting him pass by

      • John says:

        I’m a bit thin at rb. Zeke,cook,Powell, Henry. Hoping Powell gets it going. Anyway, I think Cohen has every week flex value and I’m gonna pull the trigger. Thanks man

  6. Krysta says:

    14 team, 1 pt PPR. I am #1 waiver priority. I have Melvin Gordon and Tevin Coleman and Duke Johnson on my bench.

    1. Would you still pick Javarious Allen or Kerwynn Williams?
    2. Would you ditch Duke Johnson or Robby Anderson (I have TY Hilton, Jamison Crowder and Tyrell Williams (flex) with Eric Decker on the bench) to make room for the answer to question #1?

  7. john mason says:

    I want to add Tarik Cohen and Golladay to my roster. I am going to drop donte moncrief and jamaal charles. Does this sound like a good move?

  8. Haggy says:

    Would you drop Jamaeel Charles for any of the waiver wire options this week.

  9. dada says:

    Hey Prof!

    I’m entirely new to fantasy football and I’m a 12-team PPR league (2RBs,2WRs,1Flex).
    I have #1 waiver priority and I think I’m weak in RBs. Is using my #1 waiver on Cohen the right move?

    I have Ajayi, Lynch, Lacy and Vereen as my RBs. I’m thinking about dropping Lacy. Should I proceed?

  10. Meaux says:

    Nelson Agholor available in my league…PPR

    WR Bench

    K. Benjamin
    Chris Hogan
    Corey Davis

    Would you drop any of the above for Agholor?

  11. Sheldon Williamson says:

    Need RB help desperately. DJ’s gone for 8-12 weeks. I’m in a 14-team league. So, options are very, very thin. I am thinking of trading Cam Newton away and get a decent starting RB in return. Whom should I package Cam with is the question, in order to lure an owner into a trade in my league?

    Here’s my roster: QBs – Russell Wilson and Cam Newton; RBs – James White, Thomas Rawls, Buck Allen, David Johnson (IR), and Alvin Kamara; WRs – DeSean Jackson, Rishard Matthews, and Doug Baldwin; TE – Delanie Walker; DEF – Minnesota and Jacksonville; K – Will Lutz.

    Thanks, Prof.

  12. Tiffany says:

    Hi Professor, would you drop Moncrief for Hurns?

  13. Rob says:

    AS a Johnson owner, I could use some RB depth. Of a $100 FAAB Budget, how much would you go on Tarik Kohen and Kerwynn Williams? The AZ situation has me worried – do you think Williams can succeed in the lead back role or are the odds good that this backfield will end up a committee to avoid? Thanks RP!

  14. MikeP says:

    Yo prof, I’m a bit concerned about my rb depth and would like some waiver wire advice:

    Standard scoring 14 team league with 1 flex spot.

    current rb’s are Jordan Howard, Fournette, and Javorius allen (just grabbed off wire this week).

    Some notable names stilll available: Mack, Tolbert, Chris Thompson, Ellington.

    Would you drop Allen Hurns for any of those guys?

  15. K says:

    Hey Prof,

    Could use some WR 2/3/flex help in PPR. Current bottom receivers are Marvin Jones, Ginn, Wallace, Corey Coleman. Would you drop any to pick up Corey Davis or Marqise Lee? I could also jettison Dalton to grab either one.

    In standard, I drafted Zay Jones to stash him, but Corey Davis is available there too (so is Coleman, for that matter). Would you wait out Zay, or pick up either of the Coreys?

    As always, thanks!!

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