For some of us, fantasy draft season is almost year-round, and prominent drafts like the Scott Fish Bowl draft early. Most leagues that draft early offer a preseason waiver wire run or two. The question isn’t just who should be on the list, but more importantly, how should we prioritize them? Of course, your mileage may vary on who is available. I believe there’s something here for even the deepest leagues, and feel free to reach out to me on Twitter if you want my thoughts on anyone missing from the lists. The percentages are guidelines, you know you how your league bids more than I do.
LeSean McCoy, RB, KC - 50+%
Even at his age, even sharing with Damien Williams, he can be an every week flex/RB2 in this offense.
Devin Singletary, RB, BUF - 50+%
Singletary is in line to lead the Bills backfield in touches now. How much he's eventually worth is up to the Bills offense and Singletary, but the combination of unknown upside and opportunity is coveted.
Kenny Stills, WR, HOU - 25-50%
He's with a good quarterback and injury prone WR2 and WR3. Buy
Justin Jackson, RB, LAC - 25-50%
He could turn into a third running back at any time and the line is worrisome, but he has proven he belongs on an NFL field and the two backs ahead of him aren’t the most durable, so that’s not worthless. Despite preseason usage behind Austin Ekeler, there have been multiple indications that the split might be closer to 50-50 and Ekeler didn’t last long as a lead back last year.
Jamison Crowder, WR, NYJ - 12-25%
There are early indications of a good connection between Sam Darnold and Crowder, including a note about plays being designed to get Crowder open in the end zone. The vibe around Darnold and this offense is positive and Crowder was approaching every-week relevance at one time before injuries to him and teammates slowed him down.
Marquise Goodwin, WR, SF - 12-25%
Goodwin appears to be a starter and one of the only constants about the 49ers passing game. Jimmy Garoppolo is righting the ship and Goodwin was his main man during his successful stretch in 2017. Tampa to open should allow him to get off to a hot start.
Miles Boykin, WR, BAL - 12-25%
Marquise Brown isn’t ready to be a full-time contributor yet, and while he could steal the scene on limited Week 1 snaps, it is Boykin is who is more likely to be the #1 receiver in the more robust pass offense. Don’t fret if Xavien Howard shuts him down Week 1, Arizona and Kansas City are up next.
T.J. Hockenson, TE, DET - 12-25%
Prioritize Hockenson higher if you were relying on Jordan Reed (who they say will be ready Week 1) or another tight end that you just don’t feel good about. He may start as the #2, but can easily play his way up the depth chart in short order. Arizona, Chargers, Eagles, Chiefs to open could be a coming-out party for the #8 overall pick.
Malcolm Brown, RB, LAR - 10-20%
Darrell Henderson didn’t distinguish himself as a runner and most insist that Brown is still the running back the Rams will rely on if Todd Gurley can’t be trusted. There’s an early reveal value here that could get you ahead of the curve if Gurley obviously looks less than his pre-injury self in Week 1.
Dare Ogunbowale, RB, TB - 10-20%
Think 2018 Jalen Richard. He could present sustained PPR value as a receiving back in an offense that isn’t going to be in ground-and-pound mode often if at all.
Darren Waller, TE, OAK - 10-20%
Waller is a former size/speed wide receiver prospect and the Raiders appear set on using him as a weapon at tight end. Jared Cook did well in this offense last year, albeit with much lesser wide receivers, which in turn gives Waller better matchups with safeties. Denver is usually very poor at covering tight ends and they’re up in Week 1.
Mecole Hardman, WR, KC - 7-15%
The Jaguars can match up with Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins on the outside. Hardman will draw one the team’s weakest corners in Week 1 and could shake free for a big play or two, setting the mold that he can be a weekly threat and fantasy-relevant despite low volume.
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, WR, PHI - 7-15%
Arcega-Whiteside has been a preseason star and he might even start in three-wide sets Week 1 if DeSean Jackson can’t go because of a broken finger. Arcega-Whiteside has red-zone specialist skills which makes a path to fantasy relevance easier to picture.
Raheem Mostert, RB, SF - 7-15%
Darwin Thompson, RB, KC - 7-15%
LeSean McCoy complicated this picture, but we haven't heard the last of Thompson
Alexander Mattison, RB, MIN - 5-10%
Mike Boone did nothing to dispel the notion that he belongs in the NFL, but the Vikings seem to love Mattison and he might even have a role closer to Latavius Murray’s last year than a mere backup, including some goal to go work.
Tony Pollard, RB, DAL - 5-10%
This ranking reflects a belief that Ezekiel Elliott will sign early enough to play Week 1.
Trey Quinn, WR, WAS - 5-10%
In deeper PPR leagues, Quinn could be a higher priority but is a 1% add in non- or 0.5-PPR. He’ll be a mainstay in an offense that won’t threaten much downfield.
Hunter Renfrow, WR, OAK - 5-10%
Renfrow seized the slot job early in an offense that will feature a lot of high percentage passing. He has more value in deeper PPR leagues but is a 1% add in non- or 0.5-PPR.
Rashard Higgins, WR, CLE - 3-5%
Breshad Perriman, WR, TB - 3-5%
He’s healthy and should be on the field enough in this vertical offense to make an impact, especially against San Francisco Week 1 since Jason Verrett didn’t make it through camp healthy. It just takes one hit (from notoriously unreliable deep ball passer Jameis Winston) to make Perriman a Week 2 waiver wire wonder.
Kalen Ballage, RB, MIA - 3-5%
I’m not impressed and this offensive line will be among the league’s worst, but opportunity at running back is still a resource. Let someone else break the bank for him.
Ted Ginn Jr, WR, NO - 3-5%
He’s the energize bunny in terms of first-team snaps with this offense. Houston’s weak corner group could allow him to a hot start Week 1.
Carlos Hyde, HOU - 3-5%
On the hopes that he's better than Alfred Blue
Jake Kumerow, WR, GB - 1%
He’s a Rodgers favorite, but snaps might be hard to come by early. Better for long bench leagues.
Preston Williams, DeVante Parker, Albert Wilson, WR, MIA - 1%
Who will be the garbage time star of the Dolphins pass offense? Step right up and spin the wheel.
Jacoby Brissett, QB, IND - 1% (25-50% in Superflex)
I’m not spending on Brissett in typical leagues, but he could be fantasy relevant with a better coaching staff and supporting cast than 2017 not to mention more experience. He can contribute as a runner which always makes the bar to fantasy relevance lower.
Hayden Hurst, TE, BAL - 1%
Miami’s linebackers are a weakness and Hurst will get play Week 1. He’s not a bad dart throw in DFS, either,
Ty Montgomery, RB, NYJ - 1%
I’m not sure that he’ll have much of a standalone role, but right now he looks like the biggest winner if Le'Veon Bell goes down. Worth rostering in deep leagues with waiver running back scarcity.
Either of these receivers could get hot Week 1 against a weaker Lions corner and ring up numbers on just a few drives.
Chris Conley, DJ Chark, WR, JAX - 1%
The Kansas City secondary is vulnerable, and Nick Foles could be forced into more downfield passing with success Week 1. Both have had good summers.
Damion Willis, WR, CIN - 1%
The UDFA has a rare opportunity and could make noise with his team facing a toothless Seattle pass rush
Ty Johnson, RB, DET - 1%
This speedster might demand an Antone Smith role if he breaks a big play or two vs. Arizona - which isn’t difficult to picture.
Dontrell Hilliard, RB, CLE - 1%
Deep leagues with running back scarcity should note the availability of a receiving back and backup (for eight games) in one.
Daniel Jones, QB, NYG - 1%
A Superflex special, it’s a matter of it not when
Case Keenum, QB, WAS - 1%
For the truly desperate Superflex player
Deep Dynasty Stashes
Auden Tate, WR, CIN
The tall drink of water who can’t separate but wins anyway with catch radius and ball skills had another good summer and could get playing time if his knee injury isn’t serious.
- Golden Tate, WR, NYG (for 12-25% or more players)
- Marquise Brown, WR, BAL (for 5-10% of more players)
- Zay Jones, Robert Foster, WR, BUF
- John Ross, WR, CIN
- Antonio Callaway, WR, CLE
- DaeSean Hamilton, WR, DEN
- Lamar Miller, RB, HOU
- Andrew Luck, QB, IND
- Devin Funchess, WR, IND
- Parris Campbell WR, IND
- Eric Ebron, Jack Doyle, TE, IND
- Ito Smith, RB, ATL
- Nyheim Hines, RB, IND
- Carlos Hyde, RB, KC
- Jerick McKinnon, RB, SF
- David Moore, WR, SEA
- Ronald Jones, RB, TB
- Adrian Peterson, RB, WAS
- Jordan Reed, TE, WAS