Fantasy: Pre-Week 1 Waiver Wire Pick-Ups

by Andy Moore – @AJMoore21

It’s almost here folks! NFL Football returns to your screens on Thursday night / Friday morning.

If you’re like us, you’ve got way too many fantasy teams to manage and are eyeing one more as you read this. Well, we’ve got you. Throughout the season we’ll be here for all your fantasy football needs.

That starts now, as we’ve got a few last-minute waiver moves to give your line up the boost it needs.

Austin Ekeler – Running Back, Los Angeles Chargersowned by 92.6%

Unless you’ve taken a hiatus from America’s game over the summer, you’ll know that Chargers star running back, Melvin Gordon is holding out for a new deal. The $10m deal the Chargers were offering is now off the table and Gordon looks set for a lengthy hold out or a trade.

The man benefiting from that in the first place is Austin Ekeler. The third-year back out of Western Colorado hasn’t been used as an every down back a whole deal in his short NFL career, but did average 5.2 yards a carry last season.

Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

He now steps in to take on the lion’s share of the Chargers 25 carries a game against the Luck-less Colts. With his potential in the passing game, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Ekeler is pivotal to the early success of an LA team that is trying to get Philip Rivers a well-deserved Super Bowl ring in the twilight of his career. He’s currently available in almost 10% of leagues, so grab him before that goes up even further.

Devin Singletary – Running Back, Buffalo Bills owned by 71.9%

Shady McCoy’s time in Buffalo ended abruptly over the weekend as he made his way to the Chiefs via Sean McDermott’s chopping board.

The move was clearly a complicated one, with finances and McCoy’s age clearly factoring into the decision. One possibility is that Buffalo feels that in Singletary, they have the future.

A rookie out of FAU, Singletary is an every down back, tough, hard hitting and quick to improvise – he has all the markings of a future RB1. How quickly that happens will largely be in the hands of the veteran Frank Gore who enjoyed a productive year in Miami despite being aided by woeful offensive line and quarterback play at times.

What is exciting for Singletary is Buffalo’s tendency to run the ball, 29 times a game last year (4th highest in the NFL), as the Bills looked to give Josh Allen all the help he could get. This, in addition to the clear role of Gore as a transition back, gives Singletary a plethora of opportunity to succeed this year.

Matthew Stafford – Quarterback, Detroit Lionsowned by 16.3%

Expectation is low for the Lions this season, and it seems like the ‘Matthew Stafford is criminally underrated’ narrative has died down after a season in which the former Georgia star posted a rating of just 50.9.

Come Sunday, Stafford and Co will go up against the new look Arizona Cardinals who have put a whole lot of focus on their offense. What that means is that, by and large, they still have the same defense which ranked bottom seven in the regular season points allowed stats.

With a young receiver primed to make a big leap this year in Kenny Golladay, the ever-reliable Marvin Jones and second year back Kerryon Johnson, Stafford has a good mix of targets available to him. Add into that mix 8th overall pick, TJ Hockenson, at tight end and Stafford’s options look as good as they have done in some time.

Rostered in just 16% of leagues, there’s a good chance Stafford is available. If you’re normal QB1 has a tough matchup to start the season, why not bring in the Detroit veteran in to get your season off to a bang.

Noah Fant – Tight End, Denver Broncosowned by 10.4%

It’s not a secret that Joe Flacco likes to target his tight ends, nearly a quarter of all his pass attempts over the last three years have been to those playing the position.

With a whole lot of hype coming into the draft this year, Fant looks like he’s ready to go from week one. His mix of athleticism and safe hands might give him the most potential of any tight end Flacco has thrown towards, and with a newly built Raiders team in front of him in week one, he’s certainly worth a shot.

Albert Wilson – Wide Receiver, Miami Dolphins owned by 26.8

I know, I know the Dolphins are in full tank mode and represent a fantasy wasteland in general this season. Hear me out on this though.

Photo Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

With the trade of Laremy Tunsil earlier this week, and other moves up and down the offensive line over the last week, it’s clear that Ryan Fitzpatrick is going to be stood behind an absolutely awful unit against the Ravens.

In reality that is going to force him to curb his normal downfield tendencies, instead looking to get the ball out of his hands early to his first open read.

Step forward Albert Wilson. Operating from the slot, Wilson showed sparks of immense quality in 2018, averaging 15 yards per reception before injury cut his season short.

If he picks up where he left off last year, the former Chiefs man could be a rare uptick for the tanking Fins.

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