That was a pretty lousy Week 1 of the NFL season, and of course we couldn't escape without further injury added to the insult, as Aaron Rodgers suffered a season-ending injury four snaps into his Jets career Monday night.
Rodgers had an MRI taken Tuesday to confirm what was feared Monday night: He suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon and is done for the season. As Jets coach Robert Saleh said after Monday's game, "It's not good."
I wrote about the Zach Wilson is their QB the rest of the season. Breece Hall still looked like a superstar Monday despite not being 100% and working in a limited role, and Garrett Wilson salvaged his game with an absolutely absurd circus catch, which kind of proves the thesis; if not for a superhuman effort, Wilson would've been another in a long line of disappointments from around the NFL in Week 1.last night, but it goes without saying that expectations for this Jets offense should be significantly diminished now that
It's not good.
We already lost JK Dobbins to a season-ending injury Sunday, Diontae Johnson is likely out for at least Week 2, if not longer, and now Austin Ekeler's status for Week 2 is in question with an ankle injury after we already had Cooper Kupp, Mark Andrews, and Travis Kelce out of action this week, so yeah, this was pretty much a worst-case scenario of a first week for Fantasy -- do not ask me about my record after one week, please.
It's not good.
But we have to march on. I gave you my Week 2 rankings Monday afternoon, but you can check those out for, , , and here. Those can help you with your waiver-wire moves today, but today's newsletter is about making sure you've got everything else you need to update your rosters. That means and a look at some early-season trade targets with . Let's get to it, because you might need the help; I certainly do:
It's never too early to make a trade, and with how weird Week 1 was, there might be more room for differing opinions about players than usual at this point in the season. We had a lot of unexpected outcomes this week, from the running back situations on the Rams and Eagles to, obviously, the Jets losing Rodgers, that could dramatically change how people are feeling about their teams.
If you're looking to make a trade, make sure youto make sure you're making the right move. And I have four players to try to buy and four to try to sell for you heading into Week 2:
Three to buy-low
This one kind of goes for the entire Bengals offense, though I'm guessing there's more panic about Higgins and Joe Mixon than Ja'Marr Chase and Joe Burrow. I don't think there should be much panic about any of them. We know this is a good offense, and whether it was just because of the weather, Burrow's lack of prep coming off a calf injury in camp, or some other factor, this was just a (very) bad game. Higgins is a high-end WR2 with WR1 upside if anything happens to Chase, and his catchless game probably had more to do with the fact that he was used primarily on downfield targets in poor weather than anything else. He'll be just fine, as will Mixon, who had 11 of 15 Bengals RB carries and all five of their RB targets in the first three quarters before the backups started playing more.
Like the Bengals, the Giants game Sunday night was such a disaster that I think it kind of renders any kind of analysis useless. Maybe the Giants offense will just be a disaster all season – it wouldn't be the first time for a Daniel Jones-led offense – but I suspect better days are ahead. Waller was targeted on five of Daniel Jones' first 13 pass attempts in the first half, so even while the offensive was dysfunctional, Waller was the clear top option just as we expected. That'll be the case moving forward, and Waller should be a must-start tight end, so take advantage of any concern about the Giants slow start.
D'Andre Swift, RB, Eagles
The nice thing about trading for Swift is that it's likely going to cost very, very little after he played just 28% of the snaps and had two touches in the Eagles opener. Kenneth Gainwell was the lead running back to a degree that was, frankly, pretty stunning. What wasn't was how middling he looked. Gainwell knows the offense and he's going to be in the right spots, but I think we have enough evidence to conclude that he's not much of a playmaker, even in a very good offense. Maybe the Eagles will prefer the dependability he brings to the table, but I have to think at some point, Swift (and Rashaad Penny; I still believe!) will get an opportunity to prove he's just a more dynamic player. It might not even happen in Week 2, but that opportunity will come, and I'll take Swift at a discount after such a disappointing debut.
One to buy-high
Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Dolphins
Are there any doubters left? Tagovailoa went into L.A. and faced the Chargers, the only team that was really able to slow him down last season, and he torched them for 466 yards and three touchdowns. Yes, there are injury concerns here, and they are probably more pronounced for Tagovailoa than they would be for most quarterbacks, given his (at least) two concussions last season. But in a week when most quarterbacks struggled – and in an era when explosive plays are down around the league as teams opt to sit in two-high shell coverage and force offensives to dink-and-dunk down the field to beat them – it doesn't look like anyone has an answer for Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and this Dolphins offense. There are a lot of reasons for that, but whether you want to give Tagovailoa credit for it or not doesn't really matter – he's the guy delivering those passes. I'm buying this Dolphins offense, and Tagovailoa is going to be the cheapest way in.
Three to sell-high
Zay Flowers, WR, Ravens
I am, admittedly, struggling with this one. The Ravens made Flowers the focal point of their offense in Week 1, as he earned 10 targets on just 22 pass attempts. That's an outrageous, unsustainable pace, and it was inflated by six of those attempts being either screens, RPOs, or pop passes, and he was effectively used as an extension of the running game. What does that look like when they're facing an opponent that can make them a little more uncomfortable? It might still mean Flowers is a big part of the offense, but it probably doesn't look like 10 targets per game. Especially when Mark Andrews is healthy. I'm ranking Flowers around WR40 for Week 2, and I'd still view him as more of a WR3 moving forward. Given his youth, pedigree, and his big Week 1, you might be able to get more for him.
Allgeier is going to have a role on this Falcons team, and we know Arthur Smith desperately wants (needs?) to establish the run. But he's not going to get 50% more carries than Bijan Robinson forever, and he's definitely not going to dominate touches near the goal line the way he did Sunday – Allgeier was the only player to touch the ball for the Falcons inside of the 10-yard-line. That kind of usage isn't going to sustain moving forward … right? While I don't necessarily have a ton of faith in Smith making the most of his incredibly talented pass-catchers, I'm pretty confident that Bijan Robinson will be the No. 1 RB moving forward, even if Allgeier's presence could remain a nuisance. If you can get someone like James Cook or James Conner for Allgeier, who has a clearer path to a three-down role, I'd do that in a second. Allgeier might be a viable RB3 moving forward, but I'd be trying to turn him into something more.
Justice Hill, RB, Ravens
This is another one where I just don't think the Week 1 usage reflects what's likely to happen moving forward. Hill scored two touchdowns Sunday, but there's some important context to note there. The first score came on the play after J.K. Dobbins got hurt, with Hill replacing him on the 2-yard line and scoring; his second score came under similar circumstances, where someone else did the heavy lifting and Hill just happened to be the guy who closed the drive out. Maybe he'll be the goal-line back moving forward, but those were Hill's first touchdowns since 2019, and he has just one career game with more than 10 carries. Hill will have a role, but I'd bet Gus Edwards is going to be the lead runner here, and that's going to leave Hill as a role player in an offense that isn't likely to throw to their running backs much. If you add him on waivers this week, I'd be trying to trade him for just about anything I can get – see if you can swap him for Swift.
One to sell-low
Drake London, WR, Falcons
I don't actually have London on any of my teams, and I'm perfectly fine with that at this point. I didn't agree with the breakout case for him in this offense, and I especially didn't understand the idea that he was worth drafting ahead of Kyle Pitts, who has a much lower bar for Fantasy relevance than London. But the problem here is that Arthur Smith offense seems designed to slow the game down, keep it close, and hopefully win by one score late. They dropped back to pass just 22 times and had Desmond Ridder throw to the running backs nine times, which is just a disastrous result for a wide receiver. London is tremendously talented, and could be a Fantasy WR1 in the right offense, I believe. In this offense? I'm not sure he's even a WR3 unless things change dramatically. I don't see much reason to think they will, unfortunately.
We seemingly whiffed on projecting the top running backs for the Rams and Eagles, and JK Dobbins is out for the season with an Achilles injury, which leaves us with a situation heading into Week 2 where there are multiple potential lead backs available on waivers, and you're going to have to decide which ones you want to focus on. I asked Jamey Eisenberg for his top five waiver-wire targets for Week 2 -- you can read his full column here for more -- and there was one name I wanted to highlight who wasn't included there: Joshua Kelley. The Chargers ran the ball incredibly effectively in Week 1 against a solid Dolphins front, and Kelley was a big part of that, gashing them for 91 yards on 16 carries with a touchdown. With Austin Ekeler dealing with an ankle injury, Kelley might just be a top-15 RB for Week 2, so if you need an immediate fill-in, keep a close eye on reports about Ekeler's health before you get your waiver claims in.
Now, here are Jamey's top targets on waivers for Week 2,:
Jamey Eisenberg's top targets
- Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Eagles (54% rostered) – Gainwell got 14 of 16 Eagles RB carries plus four of seven RB targets, while leading the team in snaps and routes run, too. I didn't think he was terribly impressive, and he might be just a guy, but he's a guy with a significant role in an important offense. That's enough to thrust him into the RB2 discussion.
- Gus Edwards, RB, Ravens (36%) – Edwards is probably in a similar spot to Gainwell – he'll be used less in the passing game, for certain, but he's likely to be more efficient in the running game and probably has a better path to goal-line work. I don't think it's a situation with as much upside as you might think, but Edwards should be a viable starter with JK Dobbins out for the season.
- Kyren Williams, RB, Rams (11%) – Williams sure looked like the Rams No. 1 running back for much of the game, as he entered the fourth quarter with more carries than Cam Akers and even played more snaps inside of the 10-yard line. The Rams clearly don't trust Akers in the passing game, but Williams' role in the rushing game was robust enough to think he'll matter for Fantasy. I'd rather start Williams in Week 2, and though I would hope I have a worse player than Akers to drop, I think I'd rather have Williams rest of the season.
- Justice Hill, RB, Ravens (1%) – Hill got the two short-yardage touchdowns after Dobbins' injury, but I don't necessarily think that means he's the "goal-line back" for the Ravens here. Even if he was, we're talking about a guy who has never been much more than a role player – he's had one game with 10 carries in a career that began in 2019. But if I'm wrong, he could be looking at a significant role in what we expect to be a very good offense, so he's worth adding.
- Puka Nacua, WR, Rams (7%) – If you don't need a running back immediately, I would prioritize Nacua, because I'm not sure any of the RBs here have a clearer path to difference-making production than Nacua. Obviously, he's benefiting from Cooper Kupp's absence, but given how good he looked in Week 1, he might just have a big role all season. I'm incredibly excited about what he looked like in the Rams offense.
One (more) target for each position
- QB: Brock Purdy, 49ers (63%) – The 49ers only passed the ball 29 times Sunday, but they came out more aggressive than that, throwing it 21 times in the first half. Given that it was Purdy's first game back from elbow surgery, it does make me hopeful this team could be more like an average pass rate team in more competitive games, and with the weapons he has, Purdy could be a legitimate starting QB in Fantasy.
- RB: Sean Tucker, Buccaneers (11%) – If you're looking for an immediate contributor, look at the four RBs ranked above. But if you're looking for upside, Tucker might be the best bet. Rachaad White looked incredibly pedestrian in Week 1, and Tucker was a very productive player in college who showed three-down skills. I'm not saying White is going to lose his job immediately, but I like Tucker as a nice stash if you have the roster space.
- WR: Jakobi Meyers, Raiders (65%) – Meyers consistently earned targets in New England, but he was probably miscast as a No. 1 option. He definitely isn't that in Las Vegas alongside Davante Adams, and he really seemed to benefit from that in Week 1, scoring two touchdowns and earning 10 targets in an incredibly condensed passing attack. He could have the best season of his career, though there are short-term concerns since he's dealing with a concussion suffered late in Week 1.
- TE: Luke Musgrave, Packers (43%) – Musgrave played on 75% of the snaps and ran a route on 24 of 30 pass plays for the Packers in his NFL debut, the highest mark on the team. That was with Romeo Doubs limited and Christian Watson out, which is worth noting, but he's also locked into a significant role and showed upside as a downfield threat, hauling in one long pass and nearly scoring on another one that he couldn't track down. Musgrave could be the next big thing at TE.