Fantasy Football Week 2 Waiver Wire: Injury wave makes Jordan Love, Kenneth Gainwell, Puka Nacua prime targets

If Week 1 is any indication, you might want to buckle up. We’re headed for a bumpy ride this year when it comes to injuries.

We’ve already lost two key players for the season to Achilles injuries in J.K. Dobbins and Aaron Rodgers. Those were the most impactful injuries — especially Dobbins for me — but the players who are hurt make up a Pro Bowl roster.

Kyler Murray (knee), Jonathan Taylor (ankle), Jeff Wilson (abdomen) and Cooper Kupp (hamstring) are either on the PUP list or injured reserve, meaning they are out until Week 5. And the players who missed Week 1 were Travis Kelce (knee), Mark Andrews (quadriceps), Christian Watson (hamstring), Jerry Jeudy (hamstring) and Kendre Miller (hamstring).

Then, during Week 1, the following players suffered injuries we now have to monitor heading into Week 2: Anthony Richardson (knee), Austin Ekeler (ankle), Aaron Jones (hamstring), Diontae Johnson (hamstring), Jakobi Meyers (concussion), Pat Freiermuth (chest) and Greg Dulcich (leg). And Johnson and Dulcich are already going to miss a few weeks, according to reports.

If you head into Week 2 without a red injury tag on your roster then consider yourself lucky. Most of us are planning for some serious roster moves on the waiver wire, and hopefully the guys we’re about to discuss can help.

Heath Cummings has projected Week 2 stats for all these players and more. You can find his full set of Week 2 Fantasy football projections for every position now available on SportsLine. Find out which of my favorite plays are projected to score higher than consensus rankings and which don’t live up to their draft hype, at least in Week 2.

Editor’s note: For this waiver wire column, we are only looking at players rostered in less than 65 percent of CBS Sports leagues.

Week 2 Waivers

  • Injuries: Aaron Rodgers (Achilles), Anthony Richardson (knee) and Kyler Murray (knee)
  • Check to see if available: Russell Wilson (79 percent rostered) and Derek Carr (68 percent). I’d prefer Carr over Wilson if both are available, but both looked good in Week 1. In his Saints debut against the Titans, Carr completed 23-of-33 passes for 305 yards, one touchdown and one interception, and he has a loaded receiving corps now that Michael Thomas is healthy. … Wilson also played well in his first game for Sean Payton against the Raiders, completing 27-of-34 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns. He will hopefully get Jerry Jeudy (hamstring) back soon, which should make Wilson a more attractive Fantasy option.
  • Drop candidates: Rodgers (99 percent rostered) and Kenny Pickett (67 percent). Rodgers is out for the season, and he might have played his last NFL game. If so, it’s a sad ending for the future Hall of Famer, and we were all excited to see what he could do with this Jets offense. … Pickett can be dropped in one-quarterback leagues if you need to make a roster move. I don’t want to give up on him yet, especially since he struggled in Week 1 against a great 49ers defense (31-of-46 completions, one touchdown and two interceptions), but with Diontae Johnson (hamstring) to miss extended time — and potentially Pat Freiermuth (chest)– then Pickett doesn’t have much appeal as a backup quarterback on your Fantasy roster.

Week 2 Waiver Priority List


Running Backs

  • Injuries: J.K. Dobbins (Achilles), Jonathan Taylor (ankle), Austin Ekeler (ankle), Aaron Jones (hamstring), Kenneth Gainwell (ribs), Jeff Wilson (abdomen), Kendre Miller (hamstring), Zack Moss (forearm), Evan Hull (knee) and Cordarrelle Patterson (thigh)
  • Check to see if available in shallow leagues: Tank Bigsby (79 percent rostered), Roschon Johnson (73 percent) and Tyler Allgeier (71 percent). Johnson could be on the verge of taking the Bears starting job, and he’s someone I was excited about all offseason. He looked good in garbage time against the Packers in Week 1 with five carries for 20 yards and a touchdown and six catches for 35 yards on seven targets, and he should be stashed in all formats. … Even with Bijan Robinson now on the roster, Allgeier was still a significant factor against the Panthers in Week 1 with 15 carries for 75 yards and two touchdowns and three catches for 19 yards on three targets. That might be his best game of the season, and we’ll see what happens moving forward. But should something happen to Robinson, Allgeier has league-winning upside. … Bigsby is going to get touches in tandem with Travis Etienne, and the Jaguars like him in short-yardage situations, especially at the goal line. He could have flex appeal moving forward, and he’s a league-winner if Etienne ever missed any time.
  • Drop candidates: Dobbins (100 percent rostered), De’Von Achane (79 percent), Damien Harris (71 percent), Deuce Vaughn (49 percent), D’Onta Foreman (43 percent) and Devin Singletary (42 percent). The Dobbins injury sucks, and I drafted him in a lot of leagues. I hope he can return at 100 percent in 2024, but we may never see the best of Dobbins in the NFL after so many brutal injuries. … Achane will likely have some positive moments this season, but being a healthy scratch in Week 1 is disappointing. And if Wilson returns in Week 5 then there might not be enough touches for Achane to be Fantasy relevant on a consistent basis. … It’s only one game against the Jets, but Harris was third in snaps for the Bills behind James Cook and Latavius Murray. That’s disappointing, and I don’t want to roster Harris in most leagues, especially PPR. … While Vaughn might have some production on gadget plays and occasional touches for the Cowboys, he’s not the handcuff for Tony Pollard. That’s Rico Dowdle, and I’d rather roster him than Vaughn heading into Week 2. … Foreman is clearly the No. 3 running back in Chicago behind Khalil Herbert and Johnson, and I don’t expect much production from him if everyone is healthy. … Singletary was third in snaps for the Texans in Week 1 against Baltimore behind Dameon Pierce and Mike Boone. That’s a bad sign for his playing time when everyone is healthy.
  • Handcuffs to stash: Tyjae Spears (51 percent rostered), Ty Chandler (34 percent), Jerome Ford (21 percent), Sean Tucker (11 percent), Keaontay Ingram (8 percent) and Rico Dowdle (5 percent). All of these guys should be stashed if you have an open roster spot, especially Spears, Chandler, Tucker and Dowdle. I like Spears the best since Derrick Henry is 29, and if he were to miss any time then Spears could be a lottery ticket.

Week 2 Waiver Priority List


Wide Receivers

  • Injuries: Cooper Kupp (hamstring), Christian Watson (hamstring), Diontae Johnson (hamstring), Jerry Jeudy (hamstring), Jakobi Meyers (concussion), D.J. Chark (hamstring), Wan’Dale Robinson (knee), DeVante Parker (knee) and John Metchie III (hamstring).
  • Check to see if available: Kadarius Toney (79 percent rostered), Quentin Johnston (79 percent), Elijah Moore (74 percent), Nico Collins (72 percent), Romeo Doubs (67 percent) and Jakobi Meyers (65 percent). Doubs should be rostered in 100 percent of leagues, especially while Christian Watson (hamstring) is banged up. Despite also dealing with a hamstring concern in Week 1 at Chicago, Doubs had four catches for 26 yards and two touchdowns on five targets. He should continue to improve when healthy, and he’s worth using as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in all leagues in Week 2 at Atlanta. … Collins should also be rostered in 100 percent of leagues, and he was the No. 1 receiver for the Texans, as expected, in Week 1 at Baltimore with six catches for 80 yards on 11 targets. He has the chance to be a third-year breakout, and I would start him in all three-receiver leagues in Week 2 against the Colts. … Moore didn’t have a big game in Week 1 against Cincinnati, but you saw how the Browns plan to use him this season with three catches for 43 yards on seven targets, along with two carries for 19 yards. He’s going to have the chance for plenty of big games moving forward, and Moore should be rostered in 100 percent of leagues heading into Week 2 at Pittsburgh. … I hope Meyers can clear the concussion protocol and be ready for Week 2 against the Bills because he was awesome in Week 1 at Denver with nine catches for 81 yards and two touchdowns on 10 targets in his debut with the Raiders. It appears like Las Vegas is going to lean on Meyers, and he might be a weekly starter in three-receiver leagues moving forward when healthy. … I was too harsh on Toney after his struggles in Week 1 against Detroit when he had one catch for 1 yard on five targets, and one of his drops led to a 50-yard pick-six by Detroit’s Brian Branch. He played in that game following a month-long absence from a knee injury, but he still tied for the team lead in targets. And Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid are still backing Toney, which is a positive sign. If he’s available, stash Toney on your bench heading into Week 2 against Jacksonville. … Johnston didn’t do much in Week 1 against Miami with just two catches for 9 yards on three targets, and he played just 22 snaps. But we got a reminder that he’s an injury away from potentially being relevant when Mike Williams left in the first half with a head injury. Should Williams or Keenan Allen get hurt then Johnston could emerge as a starting Fantasy option in all leagues.
  • Drop candidates: Adam Thielen (70 percent rostered), Allen Lazard (68 percent), Jameson Williams (49 percent) and Van Jefferson (48 percent). It might be unfair to drop Thielen now after he played through an ankle injury in Week 1 at Atlanta. But he might not be someone you’re ever going to trust with a rookie quarterback in Bryce Young, and Thielen could have mediocre stat lines all season. … Lazard had some appeal in deeper leagues with Aaron Rodgers, but without Rodgers as the starter for the Jets then I don’t have much interest in Lazard catching passes from Zach Wilson. … Williams is someone you can drop for a roster spot while he’s suspended. He’s not eligible to return until Week 7, and you can pick him back up off waivers in Week 5 to beat the potential rush. … The initial thought was Jefferson would be the best receiver for the Rams with Cooper Kupp (hamstring) out, and that could still happen. But Puka Nacua and even Tutu Atwell offer more upside, so Jefferson is someone you can drop, especially with the Rams facing the 49ers in Week 2.

Week 16 Waiver Priority List

  • Injuries: Travis Kelce (knee), Mark Andrews (quadriceps), Pat Freiermuth (chest) and Greg Dulcich (hamstring).
  • Check to see if available in shallow leagues: Sam LaPorta (72 percent rostered), Cole Kmet (68 percent) and Juwan Johnson (65 percent). LaPorta looked good in his first outing against the Chiefs with five catches for 39 yards on five targets, and he has a great matchup in Week 2 against Seattle. I like him as a low-end starter in all leagues. … Kmet was a go-to option for Justin Fields in Week 1 against the Packers with five catches for 44 yards on seven targets, which tied for the team lead. We hope to see more for D.J. Moore moving forward, but Kmet should be in the discussion as a weekly Fantasy starter heading into Week 2 at Tampa Bay. … Johnson was a slight letdown in Week 1 against Tennessee with just three catches for 36 yards on five targets, and the Saints have a loaded receiving corps with Chris Olave, Michael Thomas and Rashid Shaheed. Still, I have high hopes for Johnson as a low-end starter in all leagues, including for Week 2 at Carolina.
  • Drop candidates: Dalton Schultz (81 percent rostered), Greg Dulcich (66 percent) and Gerald Everett (53 percent). Schultz was someone I started to fade in training camp, and his Week 1 performance was part of the reason why. He played a lot as the primary tight end for Houston, but he had just two catches for 4 yards on four targets. I’m not sure there’s much upside for him with C.J. Stroud. … Dulcich is now out for multiple weeks, per ESPN, which means there’s no reason to roster him. Even when healthy, Dulcich had minimal upside. … Everett had his chance to impress Fantasy managers in Week 1 against Miami and failed with just two catches for 21 yards on three targets. There are just too many mouths to feed in Los Angeles for Everett to consistently standout, including fellow tight end Donald Parham.

Week 2 Waiver Priority List

  • Browns (44 percent rostered) at PIT
  • Giants (14 percent rostered) at ARI
  • Lions (18 percent rostered) vs. SEA
  • Packers (40 percent rostered) at ATL

  • Jake Moody (30 percent rostered) at LAR
  • Nick Folk (6 percent rostered) vs. LAC
  • Brandon Aubrey (45 percent rostered) vs. NYJ
  • Riley Patterson (55 percent rostered) vs. SEA
  • Brandon McManus (39 percent rostered) vs. KC

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