Waiver Favors™: 2021 Week 1 Fantasy Football Pickups

By Ha Kung Wong  Week 1 Fantasy Football Pickups

Twitter: @FBGarbageTime

As I do every year over the last 9 years, I’m here to help with waiver wire adds via my weekly Waiver Favors™ article!  And I’m assuming if you’re reader right now, you’re in your fantasy football playoffs, so congratulations!

I’ll make a couple suggestions for after Week 1 of the 2021 fantasy football season that hopefully will keep your team running.  You’re welcome.  Again.

As usual, all pickups are available in at least 50% of Yahoo standard fantasy football leagues (with some minor exceptions) as of Sunday evening.

Jameis Winston

QB – New Orleans Saints – 43% Owned

Wow.  I did not expect the Saints to completely flatten the Packers in Week 1.  And I also didn’t expect Jameis Winston to pass for 148 yards and 5 TDs with zero interceptions.  Maybe that Lasik surgery that Winston had last year to correct his vision really did help.  Either way, the Packers made it easy on the Saints by continuously turning the ball over and stalling deep in their own territory, which explains the low yardage total along with a ridiculous number of TDs.  But he did have a terrific 55-yard TD pass to Deonte Harris which was uncharacteristically accurate.  I’m not totally a believer yet, but he deserves to be rostered in all 12-team leagues or deeper as he does look like a good fit for the post-Drew Brees Saints.

Tyrod Taylor

QB – Houston Texans – 3% Owned

Well, that was unexpected.  With all the hype surrounding the number one overall pick, the QB that was the subject of all the hype in the Jaguars @ Texans game was clearly Trevor Lawrence.  But although his stats weren’t horrible at the end of the day, it was actually the guy on the winning side of the game, Tyrod Taylor, that impressed us.  Taylor came out of nowhere to start ahead of the much maligned Deshaun Watson (at least on social media), and completed 21 of 33 passes for 291 yards with two TDs and the win over the Jaguars.  For fantasy purposes, perhaps more interestingly, he also had 40 rushing yards on 4 carries. Taylor has a tougher matchup against the Browns in Week 2, but he looked solid helming a team that we all thought would be a complete dumpster fire.  Even if the Texans start playing games from behind, which we fully expect they will, Taylor will have plenty of opportunity to sling it, plus his rushing yards provide a solid floor.  He makes for a nice add for all two QB leagues and a speculative stash for regular 14-team leagues or larger.

Eli Mitchell

RB – San Francisco 49ers – 6% Owned

This might be the biggest priority add for owners of Raheem Mostert.  After Mostert suffered a knee injury and was ruled out, Mitchell stepped in and rushed 19 times for 104 yards and a TD, setting a new Week 1 rookie rushing record.  Interestingly, fellow rookie Trey Sermon was not active, and was drafted in the 3rd round, three rounds before Mitchell.  Mostert’s status us still up in the air, but I’m not expecting him back next week no matter what.  If Sermon is active for Week 2, anything could happen.  But Mitchell proved that he could be the bell cow given the chance, so I’d expect he’d get first crack at least in Week 2.  Go pick him up in all leagues.

Cole Beasley

WR – Buffalo Bills – 45% Owned

We all knew that Stefon Diggs was one of the most targeted WRs in the NFL, and Josh Allen’s favorite target.  But who’s number two?  Cole Beasley is, as he piled up 8 receptions on 13 targets for 60 yards, just one less target than Diggs.  He got over 25% of Josh Allen’s targets in Week 1, which might have been partially due to the Steelers stifling defense, but definitely demonstrates trust.  Beasley is a no-brainer pickup in all PPR leagues, and worth your consideration in deeper standard leagues as well.

Zach Pascal

WR – Indianapolis Colts – 1% Owned

Michael Pittman Jr. was the guy we were most excited about with TY Hilton out, but it was Zach Pascal that impressed grabbing 4 of 5 for 43 yards and 2 TDs.  Pascal surprisingly led all Colts WRs with receptions and really was a favorite of Wentz in the redzone.  He’s worth consideration in 14-team leagues and deeper.

Jalen Reagor

WR – Philadelphia Eagles – 22% Owned 

With the drafting of DeVonta Smith, people tended to forget about Jalen Reagor.  Reagor looked to correct that misperception by catching all 6 of his targets for 49 yards and a TD.  Will that happen every week?  It’s still unclear.  But Jalen Hurts looked solid against a bad Falcons defense, and I have no reason to doubt he’ll keep targeting Reagor.  Go ahead and give him a speculative stash in all 14-team leagues and deeper.

Rondale Moore

WR – Arizona Cardinals – 27% Owned

I’ve loved Rondale Moore for a while now, and if you followed me or listened to our podcast, you probably also drafted him in some of your leagues.  Moore validated that in Week 1 catching 4 of 5 targets for 68 yards.  Sure, A.J. Green got more snaps, but Moore was the one who produced.  If you didn’t already draft him, go pick him up in all leagues, particularly keeper or dynasty leagues.

K.J. Osborn

WR – Minnesota Vikings – 0% Owned

So don’t overreact to this, as we know that Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen will typically get 80% of the target share in Minnesota.  But Osborn quietly piled up 7 catches on 9 targets for 76 yards in Week 1.  Defenses will double Jefferson and Kirk Cousins appears to trust Osborn, so he’s worth your consideration in 16-team leagues or deeper.

James O’Shaughnessy

TE – Jacksonville Jaguars – 0% Owned

Maybe your TE really disappointed you this weekend (I’m looking at you Robert Tonyan), so perhaps you’re in the market for a TE.  Don’t go overboard as Trevor Lawrence had to pass the ball 51 times trailing all day in Week 1, but James O’Shaughnessy was his favorite TE target catching 6 of 8 targets for 48 yards.  Not huge numbers, but if you need a TE in a PPR league that’s 14-teams or deeper, at least add him to your watch list.

UPDATE for Monday Night Football

Check back for the update after Monday Night Football!

Check back every week for more Waiver Favors!

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