With Marlon Mack out for the season, Hines should be a top waiver add
Week 1 is in the books, and fantasy football owners enjoyed a week of football, bad start/sit decisions, and injuries. It's time to look to the waiver wire as some players were injured and others may not be as promising as they were on draft day.
It may be too early to cut bait on some players, but fantasy owners will need to make decisions based on their rosters. There is no clear must-add after Week 1, although there are plenty of players to fill gaps on fantasy rosters. Take a look at your team and your waiver wire and make choices that work for you (but don't blow your whole FAAB budget this week).
Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts (27 percent owned)
For his new team, Rivers threw for 363 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. Rivers looked to his running backs often, but he also was able to connect with Parris Campbell and T.Y. Hilton. Rivers is 38 years old, but he is still a solid matchup-based quarterback. The Colts face the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2. Clearly, the Vikings defense is one to exploit (there was little defense played in the Minnesota/Green Bay game in Week 1) so Rivers is worth looking at for that game.
Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears (3 percent owned)
For reference, Nick Foles also is three percent owned. However, in Week 1, Trubisky did enough to keep the starting job for another week. He got the win, although it wasn't pretty through the first three quarters. Viewers of the game could see open receivers that Trubisky just couldn't seem to find, but this is nothing new. Trubisky ended with 242 yards and three touchdowns (all three TDs occurred in the fourth quarter), but it was enough to get the win and to keep him in the starting role.
Malcolm Brown, Los Angeles Rams (27 percent owned)
In Week 1, Brown was the Rams running back to start (helpful advice after the fact). He had 79 rushing yards, two touchdowns and three receptions for 31 yards. His two touchdowns were right outside the goal line, although it's not clear if he will continue to fill that role. The team likely wants Cam Akers to be their running back, but Darrell Henderson Jr. is still in the mix as well. Owners should grab Brown if he's available, but he's not the top waiver priority.
Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts (21 percent owned)
Marlon Mack was injured in Week 1 and will be out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon. This will boost Jonathan Taylor into a bigger role, but the biggest beneficiary will likely be Hines. In Week 1, Hines rushed for 28 yards and one touchdown. He made more of an impact (especially in PPR leagues) in the passing game, where he caught all eight of his targets for 45 yards and another score. Philip Rivers will continue to use Hines as a check-down target and he should be owned in PPR formats. Out of all players, Hines is the top waiver wire add this week.
Benny Snell, Pittsburgh Steelers (14 percent owned)
Surprising no one, James Conner is injured already. He left Monday night's game in the first half with an ankle injury and did not return. While his injury doesn't look serious, it should be a warning sign: he isn't going to stay healthy this year. Fantasy owners need to have a backup plan and based on Week 1, it seems that is Snell. He rushed for 113 yards on 19 carries (Jaylen Samuels had one carry). Regardless of Conner's status, look at Snell on the waiver wire.
Joshua Kelley, Los Angeles Chargers (13 percent owned)
The rookie showed fantasy owners that he has earned a spot on fantasy teams, at least on the bench for now. He should be grabbed by Austin Ekeler owners, as he is the handcuff. While Ekeler will have better games, Kelley may also have a role. He had 60 rushing yards and a touchdown in his first NFL game. While it is possible Justin Jackson still gets in the mix, Kelley's performance in Week 1 should help to cement his role in this offense.
Robby Anderson, Carolina Panthers (31 percent owned)
Just as everyone expected, Anderson was the top Panthers receiver in Week 1 with six receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown. He had eight targets, tied for second on the team (DJ Moore had nine, Curtis Samuel also had eight). This performance seems more like a one-off than an every-week occurrence. Those 115 yards were boosted by a 25-yard pass he ran for 50 more yards to the end zone. While you can't "take away" a play, if that play didn't happen, Anderson likely wouldn't make this list. He's someone worth looking at in leagues that start three or more WRs or have deep benches.
Parris Campbell, Indianapolis Colts (22 percent owned)
Campbell was the receiving leader in Week 1 for the Colts (with six receptions for 71 yards). He was targeted nine times, and it seems he has established himself as a solid receiving option for Philip Rivers. Campbell was injured for much of last season and may have fallen a bit on draft day. He is certainly in the mix as an every-week WR4 with some weeks as a WR3.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers (8 percent owned)
While Davante Adams was the clear No. 1 receiver for the Packers, Valdes-Scantling filled the No. 2 slot in Week 1. It wasn't pretty, and for those that watched the game (and not just the box score) saw the ugly drops. However, Aaron Rodgers will be throwing the ball and MVS will have opportunities, if only he can capitalize on them. He tied for the second-most targets (six) on the team and will likely be part of the offense. MVS is worth grabbing in deeper leagues.
Tre'Quan Smith, New Orleans Saints (2 percent owned)
This is just a name to keep in mind in very deep leagues. Michael Thomas left the game on Sunday with an ankle injury. Early reports indicate it may be a high ankle sprain, which does not bode well for the receiver. Typically this injury costs a player a week or two, and if that's the case, the Saints are going to need someone to step up. Emmanuel Sanders is there, but if Thomas were to miss time, look for Smith to have a significant role.
O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (17 percent)
Many fantasy owners thought that Rob Gronkowski would be the tight end to own in Tampa Bay. He'd reunite with Tom Brady and it would be like 2011 again. Or at least 2017. Week 1 reality: Gronk had three targets. He caught two for 11 yards. Howard, on the other hand, had six targets. He caught four of them for 36 yards and a touchdown. There are going to be games where Gronk is the better Buccaneer tight end, but at this point, both can be owned.
Defense/Special Teams (DST)
Seattle (30 percent owned)
The Seahawks are home in Week 2. Even though they don't have the "12th Man" because there are no fans, they still have a good matchup against the New England Patriots. They have a week of film now to check out Cam Newton, who is currently the biggest threat on the Patriots. If they can shut down his rushing ability, the Seahawks will force him to throw the ball, which leads to interceptions. For those streaming DSTs, Seattle is an option for Week 2.
— Rankings by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.