Waiver Favors™: 2022 Week 1 Fantasy Football Pickups

By Ha Kung Wong  Week 1 Fantasy Football Pickups

Twitter: @FBGarbageTime

As I do every year over the last 10 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 2022 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 – 46% Owned

This is what I said in Week 1 one year ago about Jameis Winston: “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.”

So this Week 1 wasn’t as shocking, but seeing as how Winston trailed off last year and suffered from injuries, I’m still a little surprised to see him go 23 of 34 for 269 pass yards and 2 TDs adding 9 rush yards.  That’s a solid QB stat line, and with the return and re-emergence of Michael Thomas and potential from rookie Chris Olave, the upside is definitely back.  I’m not totally a believer yet, but he again deserves to be rostered in all 10-team leagues or deeper, particularly if you just lost Dak Prescott.

Marcus Mariota

QB – Atlanta Falcons – 9% Owned

I loved Marcus Mariota when he was drafted.  But the shine wore off fairly quickly, until his stint as a backup for the Raiders.  The question was how that spark would transfer to a full time job, and it turns out, the answer is “not too badly”.  Mariota completed 20 of 33 passes for 215 yards and also rushed 12 times for 72 yards and a TD.  He was efficient and almost managed to win this game, and perhaps most encouraging was the connection with rookie first-round pick Drake London, who was Mariota’s go-to target despite an ankle injury and finished with team highs in targets (7) receptions (5) and receiving yards (74).  If you need a backup QB in any 12-team league or deeper, or if you need a starter in a two QB league, you could do much worse, particularly if you lost Dak Prescott.

Cooper Rush

QB – Dallas Cowboy – 0% Owned

OK, I don’t care how desperate you are about losing Dak Prescott, I’m not touching Cooper Rush unless there’s absolutely no one else available.  As mentioned above, Prescott injured his hand is apparently out for several weeks.  Cooper Rush completed 7 of 13 passes for 64 yards including overthrowing a deep pass at a wide open CeeDee Lamb.  Get one of the guys above first if available, but if you have no choice, take a look at Rush.

Jeff Wilson Jr.

RB – San Francisco 49ers – 16% Owned

Elijah Mitchell left in the second quarter with a knee injury and is likely to at least miss Week 2, so Jeff Wilson is priority pickup based on opportunity alone. Wilson rushed nine times for 22 yards, adding two receptions for 8 reception yards, which isn’t great, but I’ll focus on the 11 touches.  Trey Lance and Deebo Samuel are also likely to poach some rush yards, but he’s well worth a pickup for all Mitchell owners and anyone needing a low-end RB2 or Flex play in 10-team leagues or deeper.

Jeff Wilson Rushing & Receiving Stats
Game Rush Rush Rush Rush Rece Rece Rece Rece
Year G Rush Yds TD Y/G Tgt Rec Yds TD
2018 6 66 266 0 44.3 15 12 98 0
2019 10 27 105 4 10.5 5 3 34 1
2020 12 126 600 7 50.0 28 13 133 3
2021 9 79 294 2 32.7 8 7 31 0
Care 37 298 1265 13 34.2 56 35 296 4

Devin Duvernay

WR – Baltimore Ravens – 30% Owned

We all knew Devin Duvernay had speed when he made the Pro Bowl last year as a return specialist. But he displayed that speed on the field in Week 1 catching all four of his targets for 54 yards and 2 touchdowns.  It’s pretty clear Duvernay has the ability to take the top off defenses and Lamar Jackson has the arm to get him the ball downfield.  There’s sure to inconsistency week to week, but I like the upside for those looking for a WR4/Flex in 12-team leagues or deeper.

Jahan Dotson

WR – Washington Commanders – 23% Owned 

I loved targeting Jahan Dotson at the end of drafts this year and turns out I was right as Carson Wentz looked his way for big plays and he did not disappoint catching 3 of 5 targets for 40 yards and 2 touchdowns.  You’re not going to rely on him
Dotson showed good hands in this one and came up clutch when the game was on the line. He ranked fourth on the Commanders in targets in a game that featured 41 passes from Carson Wentz. Dotson shouldn’t be treated as anything more than a WR4 next week

Joshua Palmer & DeAndre Carter

WR – Los Angeles Chargers – 21% & 1% Owned

Keenan Allen left in the second quarter with a hamstring injury, which we know can be notorious or lingering throughout the season.  It’s unclear when Allen will be back, but in the meantime, Josh Palmer and DeAndre Carter are probably the next up after Mike Williams, although it was hard to tell since Williams only caught 2 for 10 yards while Palmer caught 3 of 4 targets for 5 yards Carter blowing everyone away catching 3 of 4 for 64 yards and a TD. Assuming Allen is out, I don’t mind speculating on Palmer and Carter, in that order, if you need a WR4/Flex for next week in 14-team leagues or deeper.

Gerald Everett

TE – Los Angeles Chargers – 27% Owned

I actually think the main beneficiary of Allen’s absence may be Gerald Everett, who managed to catch 3 of 4 targets for 54 yards and a TD in Week 1.  If you need a TE because your drafted TE disappointed you in Week 1 (I’m looking at you Kyle Pitts, Dawson Knox, Cole Kmet and George Kittle), then you might want to consider Everett in 12-team leagues or deeper.

Hayden Hurst

TE – Cincinnati Bengals – 10% Owned

With Tee Higgins out with a concussion, it was Hayden Hurst who perhaps surprisingly picked up the slack catching 5 of 8 targets for 46 yards, only being out-targeted by Ja’Marr Chase and Joe Mixon. If you need to speculate on a TE in 12-team leagues or deeper, he’s worth a stash.

Taysom Hill

TE – New Orleans Saints – 9% Owned

Inexplicably, Taysom Hill is listed as a TE on most sites (along with being listed as a QB on Yahoo).  Well, if you randomly played Hill as your TE this week, you were pleasantly surprised as he rushed 4 times for 81 yards and a TD, adding a 2 yard reception.  Jameis Winston is the clear starter under center, but it’s clear that the Saints love using Hill as a gadget player under center sporadically when they think they need a spark.  These aren’t awesome QB numbers, but its awesome for a TE, so if you feel lucky, go ahead and consider Hill in 14-team leagues or deeper.

O.J. Howard

TE – Houston Texans – 1% Owned

I always thought O.J. Howard was going to be good in Tampa Bay, until he was cut.  Then I thought he would be good in Buffalo, until he was cut just before the start of the season.  So he ended up on the the Texans and manages to catch both targets for 38 yards and 2 TDs.  I’m sure this won’t be consistent, but there’s some upside here for those who need a TE in 14-team leagues or deeper.

UPDATE for Monday Night Football

Check back for the update after Monday Night Football!

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