Week 1 is in the books and fantasy football owners are already looking to the waiver wire to fill in gaps in their lineups where their starters failed them. Whether it was because of injury or because of poor performance, it's only natural to look around and see if any better options exist on the waiver wire. Here are guys you need to see if they are still available in your league (those owned in less than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues).
Sam Bradford, Minnesota Vikings (23 percent owned)
Sure, it may be the New Orleans defense, however, it certainly looked like Bradford improved on last year's performance. The offensive line in Minnesota has improved, and it showed against the Saints. Even though it’s just one game, Bradford’s performance is certainly encouraging moving forward. He threw for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns, a feat of which he only did once in 2016. He only had two 300-yard games in 2016 as well, but he seemed to be on the same page as his pass catchers, which bodes well for his outlook.
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (23 percent owned)
With 386 yards and four touchdowns, Smith torched New England on Thursday night and in Gillette Stadium no less. Last season, Smith didn't have a game with more than two touchdowns. He only had one game with more than 300 yards. With a go-to receiver in Tyreek Hill and a go-to running back in Kareem Hunt, Smith may be able to put together a solid season. He's going to remain a QB2 for fantasy, but he will have some promising starts.
DeShone Kizer, Cleveland Browns (10 percent owned)
While starting a Browns quarterback has typically been a joke, Kizer showed in Week 1 that he has potential to be a viable fantasy option. He had a rushing touchdown and a TD pass. He spread the ball around to a number of different pass catchers and should only improve as he gets more games under his belt. He may not be an every-week fantasy starter, but he could become a decent bye week fill-in.
Tarik Cohen, Chicago Bears (14 percent owned)
Likely the No. 1 waiver add, Cohen seemingly came out of nowhere for the Bears. Earning most of his points in the passing game, Cohen added 66 yards on the ground and 47 yards (on eight receptions) through the air. He caught a TD pass too, playing the Darren Sproles-type role alongside Jordan Howard. With Kevin White out, the Bears are going to need pass catchers of any kind. Cohen should be the top waiver priority in PPR formats, and a solid RB2 option in standard leagues.
Kerwynn Williams, Arizona Cardinals (8 percent owned)
Perhaps the closest thing to a David Johnson handcuff, Williams should see plenty of touches as long as Johnson is sidelined because of a dislocated wrist. He's not going to produce like Johnson, but Williams appears to be ahead of Andre Ellington right now in the pecking order. Williams will get work, especially between the tackles, but Johnson owners can’t count on him to save their fantasy seasons either.
Javorius Allen, Baltimore Ravens (3 percent owned)
Allen filled in once Danny Woodhead left with a hamstring injury. Even though it seemed Terrance West would be the bell cow without Woodhead, Allen out-snapped and out-touched West in Week 1. He did not catch any passes, although that is certainly in his wheelhouse – in 2015, he had 45 receptions for 353 yards and two touchdowns. He's a RB2 add in all formats.
Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams (27 percent owned)
Touted by many fantasy experts as a late-round value pick, especially in PPR leagues, Kupp lived up to his billing in Week 1. He had six targets, which he converted into four receptions for 67 yards and a touchdown and he looked like a solid part of the Rams’ offense. While it's been hard to own any Rams pass catchers in the past, this may be the year to add Kupp as a WR2/3, especially in PPR leagues.
Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions (19 percent owned)
Heading into Week 1 with a questionable tag because of an ankle injury, it didn't seem that the rookie was going to make a fantasy impact. However, in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game, Golladay scored not one, but two touchdowns, boosting his Week 1 stat line to 4/69/2. He clearly played behind Golden Tate, but his Week 1 performance showed that he is worth owning and will have value in fantasy this year.
Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles (15 percent owned)
The Eagles felt comfortable enough to get rid of Jordan Matthews – likely because they trusted what they saw in Agholor. He was in the slot and saw plenty of work in Week 1 (eight targets that he converted into six receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown). However, this may be a result of Alshon Jeffery being shadowed by All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman all afternoon. Agholor is worth an add, but wait another week to determine if he's an every-week starter.
Jesse James, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers (7 percent owned)
Perhaps it was game flow, but James was targeted eight times (second on the team only to Antonio Brown) and he caught six of those for 41 yards and two touchdowns. Without the touchdowns, James wouldn't be on this list, although the targets speak to his usage. He also was targeted in the red zone, which is key for a tight end. While Le'Veon Bell had an off day, James stepped up. He's a TE2 for Week 2.
Defense Special/Teams (DST)
Oakland Raiders (34 percent owned)
The Raiders are playing the New York Jets in Week 2, and the best theory to go with so far is to stream defenses playing the Jets and the Colts. The Raiders didn't have a spectacular showing in Week 1, but any team facing the Jets (especially one at home) is a solid bet for fantasy production. The Raiders DST is a solid streaming option for Week 2.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.
(Top photo courtesy of www.chicagobears.com)