Fantasy football Week 2 waiver wire pickups: Pats WR makes list originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Want to find the next fantasy football star? Look for two things: opportunity and talent.
That first part is easy to identify; the second, not so much. Hence why San Francisco 49ers running back Trey Sermon -- rostered in over 90% of Yahoo fantasy football leagues -- was a healthy scratch in Week 1 while fellow rookie Elijah Mitchell -- rostered in less than 10% of leagues -- racked up more than 100 yards on the ground after Raheem Mostert exited with an early injury.
At the risk of overreacting to small sample sizes, several players who flew under the radar on draft day made compelling cases in Week 1 to be legitimate fantasy contributors going forward.
Here are five players rostered in fewer than 50% of Yahoo leagues who are worth picking up on the fantasy football waiver wire entering Week 2.
Jameis Winston, QB, New Orleans Saints (44% rostered)
Want to eat a W in fantasy this week? Take a serious look at Winston, who shredded the Green Bay Packers for five touchdown passes in his debut as the Saints' starter.
Is that an aberration? Probably. But Sean Payton is clearly letting Winston sling it, and the pass-happy QB was the fourth-best player in fantasy during his last season as a starting QB in 2019. He'll be a low-end QB1 against the Carolina Panthers in Week 1.
Elijah Mitchell, RB, San Francisco 49ers (8% rostered)
Mitchell seized a golden opportunity Sunday, rushing for 104 yards and a touchdown on just 19 carries following Mostert's injury.
Mitchell appears to have played his way ahead of Sermon and JaMycal Hasty to become Mostert's lead backup, and with Mostert expected to miss the next eight weeks, Mitchell has serious upside in Kyle Shanahan's up-tempo offense. He's a must-add in all formats.
Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Philadelphia Eagles (8% rostered)
Gainwell, not Boston Scott, looks like the top backup to Miles Sanders in Philly. The rookie scored a rushing touchdown and had a receiving TD called back by a penalty while seeing 25 offensive snaps.
A tough Week 2 matchup with the 49ers awaits, but Gainwell has intriguing FLEX value down the road, especially if Philly wants to manage Sanders' workload.
Nelson Agholor, WR, New England Patriots (33% rostered)
There's a reason why Agholor is available in two thirds of Yahoo leagues. We barely saw him in the preseason, and it was hard to imagine rookie quarterback Mac Jones throwing enough to make any Patriots pass-catcher fantasy-relevant.
But there was Jones attempting 39 passes against a solid Miami Dolphins secondary in Week 1, and Agholor leading the way with 72 yards on five catches with a score. We shouldn't overreact to one game, but Agholor is a solid WR3 with WR2 potential in Week 2 against a mediocre New York Jets defense.
Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants (39% rostered)
The acquisition of Kenny Golladay didn't bother Shepard, who looked like New York's No. 1 receiver Sunday with seven catches for 113 yards and a TD. The Giants should continue to rely on their passing game as Saquon Barkley gets up to speed, making Shepard a possible FLEX play on Thursday night against Washington.