Week 1 of the NFL season was almost everything we hoped for. There were big performances, standouts from some new faces and some obligatory heartbreak as well. However, the “almost” also comes with some unfortunate injuries, including some season-ending. No matter where your team falls, you’ll want to look at the fantasy football waiver wire as we barrel into Week 2 of the NFL season.
As always, the players below are rostered in less than 50% of ESPN leagues.
Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 2 Pickups (2023)
(Rostership percentages courtesy of ESPN)
Puka Nacua (WR, Los Angeles Rams) | 2.3% Rostered
Welcome to the NFL, Puka Nacua. The 6-foot-2-inch rookie out of BYU had a significant impact for the Rams on Sunday. He saw 15 (not a typo) targets, including an endzone target. On that, he tallied 10 total catches for 119 yards. Cooper Kupp, who? Kidding, of course. But Kupp will miss at least the next three weeks, meaning Nacua could remain Matthew Stafford’s top option.
Stafford’s velocity is seemingly back to where it was before his injury-riddled 2022 season, as he looked solid in his 38 attempts on Sunday. This combination is a recipe for Nacua to be at least FLEX-worthy in your lineup for the next three weeks, and he could sustain value even after Kupp returns. Nacua is my top waiver wire Week 2 priority, regardless of position.
Kyren Williams (RB, Los Angeles Rams Rams) | 10.3% Rostered
The Rams have yet another player who will surely be a waiver wire darling in Week 2, Kyren Williams. He amassed 15 carries and two targets on Sunday, finding the endzone twice. Williams had just five fewer opportunities than RB Cam Akers, who most assumed would lead this backfield. More telling than total touches, however, is the fact that Williams was on the field for twice as many snaps as Akers. This backfield will be split as long as the two are healthy, but Williams has a chance to take over this backfield. Williams is the priority pickup at RB this week.
Kenneth Gainwell (RB, Philadelphia Eagles) | 21.7% Rostered
The Eagles backfield looked messy coming into the 2023 season. They added Rashaad Penny in free agency (a healthy scratch this week), traded for D’Andre Swift and said adios to Miles Sanders. All the while, Kenneth Gainwell remained and started picking up buzz late in training camp that he could lead the way for the Eagles. That’s what he did on Sunday, seeing more than twice as many snaps as Swift. He saw the most opportunities in the Eagles backfield, as well. Gainwell is the Eagles RB to roster until further notice.
Hayden Hurst (TE, Carolina Panthers) | 4.8% Rostered
The Carolina Panthers QB Bryce Young threw the football 38 times on Sunday, and TE Hayden Hurst led the team in targets with seven. Hurst’s stat line finished as 5/41/1, which will work any week at the TE position. The Panthers will continue to find themselves in a place to come from behind, meaning Bryce Young will need to continue throwing early and often. Hurst could remain a safety blanket and a viable target in this offense.
Other Waiver Wire Week 2 Considerations:
Tyler Allgeier (RB, Atlanta Falcons) | 44% Rostered
Yes, Bijan Robinson is THAT dude, and he flashed on Sunday. Tyler Allgeier, however, is coming off a 2022 campaign where he broke the Falcons’ rookie rushing yards record, and he may be more involved than Bijan managers hope, especially early. Allgeier saw 15 carries for 75 yards and found the end zone twice.
Hunter Henry (TE, New England Patriots) | 4.1% Rostered
Thanks for reading my favorite fantasy football waiver wire Week 2 pickups. Looking for more fantasy football advice? Follow me on Twitter @ThatMattKelley.