<
>

Fantasy football last-minute pickups for NFL Week 2: Tannehill leads the way

play
Why Tannehill can be a weekly starter for fantasy managers (1:25)

Field Yates and Matthew Berry explain why Ryan Tannehill's Week 1 performance is a sign that he can be a weekly starter in fantasy leagues. (1:25)

Editor's note: This column publishes on Tuesdays each week, but roster percentages are updated on Fridays. We will leave all players in the column (except those who played on Thursday), even when they exceed our original threshold of less than 50% rostered, just in case they are still available in your league.

Each week of the NFL season, we will identify fantasy football waiver-wire pickups specifically for those of you looking for streaming options in deeper formats (including IDP leagues). These are players available in a majority of ESPN Fantasy leagues, who have enticing matchups in the week ahead that may make them worthy of consideration for your lineup.

While you may notice some overlap with Field Yates' pickup column that publishes on Mondays, an important distinction to make between that column and this one is that the options mentioned in this column are focused solely on this week's matchup and not the players' value for the remainder of the season.

Do you need replacement options for injured players? Or are you merely dealing with depth issues? A roundtable of fantasy analysts and NFL Nation reporters will join me to identify some choice names to consider each week.

Below are some of our favorites for Week 2.

Quarterback

Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans (34.1% rostered; vs. Jaguars)

Hello value, my old friend. Tannehill was a common inclusion in this column last season given consistently high-end QB1 production after taking the helm of the Tennessee offense. Facing a capable Denver defense this past Monday evening, he continued his strong statistical play with just over 19 fantasy points. With the Jaguars having posted the AFC's lowest pressure rate at just 10.4% (of dropbacks) against the Colts this past week, an inviting matchup awaits Tannehill and the Titans' passing offense in Week 2. -Jim McCormick

Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears (8.8% rostered; vs. Giants)

A strong opener for Trubisky saw him air the ball out to his two dynamic wideouts, with Allen Robinson II (15.8 air yards per target) and Anthony Miller (16.8) both thriving as vertical options against Detroit. Trubisky totaled nearly 280 yards in the air against the Giants last season and scored via both the run and the pass. Given the Giants' leaky back seven and unproven pass rush, Trubisky makes for a viable streaming option under center. -J.M.

Running Back

Malcolm Brown, Los Angeles Rams (81.8% rostered; at Eagles)

Editor's note: Brown is the most-added player in ESPN leagues this week, as he was 7.9% rostered on Tuesday).

Brown was the lead back for the Rams in Week 1 in an offense that is built around the need for volume carries. He was active between the tackles, including at the goal line, and also effective catching passes out of the backfield. This week, he faces an Eagles defense that was efficient against the run in Week 1, but still allowed two rushing touchdowns to an underwhelming Washington running game. -André Snellings, Senior Writer

Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts (78.2% rostered; vs. Vikings)

Editor's note: Like Brown above, Hines also saw his roster percentage increase dramatically this week.

There are a ton of lottery tickets available at wide receiver you could grab for this week, but Hines is the pass-catcher who feels like the surest thing on the waiver wire. He just happens to be a running back. I think we were all guilty of downplaying Hines as a "third option" behind the tandem of Marlon Mack and Jonathan Taylor, instead of grouping him in with the James White and Tarik Cohen types. But Philip Rivers has a track record of throwing to his backs, and now that Mack is unfortunately done for the season, it seems pretty evident that Hines is a veteran Rivers feels comfortable with. Of course Taylor has much higher upside, but Hines played 39 snaps Sunday, compared to 26 for Taylor. -Mike Triplett, NFL Nation Saints reporter

Adrian Peterson, Detroit Lions (45.4% rostered; at Packers)

Vaulting from free agency to featured back for the Lions on Sunday afternoon against the Bears, Peterson consumed 10 more touches than any other player on the Lions while rumbling for 114 scrimmage yards in a vintage performance. Assuming he's still the lead option for Detroit against the Packers this week, Peterson makes for a worthy streaming selection. -J.M.

Myles Gaskin, Miami Dolphins (8.9% rostered; vs. Bills)

Surprisingly tabbed to lead the Miami backfield in touches, routes and targets in Week 1, Gaskin is a solid streaming candidate in another matchup that could see him play a sizable role in the passing phase. The Bills have been solid in containing receiving backs dating back to last season, but are also missing two key linebackers, with Matt Milano and Tremaine Edmunds ruled out with respective injuries. Given how game script could lead to more exposure for Gaskin, there is some utility present, especially in PPR formats.--J.M.

Wide Receiver

N'Keal Harry, New England Patriots (41.4% rostered, at Seahawks)

Cam Newton has had success with big targets in the past, and I want to be ahead of my league mates on the impending Harry breakout. Harry and Julian Edelman were the only New England WRs to see a Week 1 target, so the role should be safe and maybe the big-bodied Harry can serve as a de facto tight end in this offense, a position the Seahawks struggled to cover last season in allowing the second-most fantasy points. -Kyle Soppe, ESPN Fantasy researcher

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers (14.1% rostered; vs. Lions)

The Packers face a Lions team that plays heavy man-coverage defense, while Detroit has multiple injuries at cornerback. If Detroit continues to play single-high man coverage -- which head coach Matt Patricia wants to do -- then MVS will have good matchups both in the slot and outside. That's especially the case on vertical throws for Aaron Rodgers when he identifies man coverage pre-snap, which we saw with Valdes-Scantling against the Vikings in Week 1. There is likely more upside in non-PPR formats for this WR3 candidate. -Matt Bowen, NFL writer and analyst

Tight End

Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (69.4% rostered; vs. Rams)

Editor's note: Goedert's roster percentage was below 30% on Tuesday, but he was predictably a popular addition this week.

Second on the team only to positional peer Zach Ertz with 31 routes run in Week 1, Goedert enjoyed a career outing in the opener, thanks to netting a target on a team-high 29% of his routes. Goedert averaged only 6.4 air yards per target in the loss, thus his big yardage day might not prove repeatable, but he should still see a bevy of good looks this week in 12 personnel (one RB, two TEs) against the Rams. -J.M.

Chris Herndon, New York Jets (37.7% rostered; vs. 49ers)

While the matchup doesn't appear ideal against a capable San Francisco back seven, Herndon's uniquely valuable opportunity rates in Week 1 support interest in him as a streaming option. The versatile tight end lined up out wide on nine snaps and netted a 20% target share in Week 1 for the Jets, signaling rare high-floor usage for his position. -J.M.

Defense/Special Teams (D/ST)

Arizona Cardinals (40.4% rostered; vs. Washington)

Facing a green quarterback and a subpar running offense, the Cardinals will likely be particularly aggressive with added pressure, as the team ranked third in the NFL in blitz rate last season. -J.M.

Los Angeles Rams (19.2% rostered; at Eagles)

You've likely seen the highlights of Aaron Donald throwing around Cowboys linemen and backs like couch pillows. You've also likely seen the highlights of Carson Wentz getting sacked on a league-high 16% of his dropbacks last week. Donald and the Rams' improved front seven meet with a patchwork Philly offensive line on Sunday, setting up compelling fantasy upside for this group. -J.M.

Individual Defensive Players (IDP)

Defensive Line

Aldon Smith, Dallas Cowboys (21.6% rostered; vs. Falcons)

An incredibly productive return to the field after a multiyear absence saw Smith play a robust snap count and prove productive off the edge and against the run for the Cowboys in Week 1. Now facing an immobile pocket passer this week, Smith is in a good spot to produce again. -J.M.

Linebacker

Myles Jack, Jacksonville Jaguars (18.4% rostered; at Titans)

Jack plays the "Mike" 'backer role for the Jaguars and finally looked healthy and spry in last week's 11-tackle opus. Chasing around Derrick Henry isn't the easiest job in football, but it should come with a healthy tackle rate in the end. -J.M.

Defensive Back

Marcus Maye, New York Jets (15.6% rostered; vs. 49ers)

As the key playmaker from the back seven for Gregg Williams' defense, Maye set career highs in tackles and sacks in Week 1. The 49ers are likely to commit to the ground game on offense, helping Maye's tackle potential as he eyes another big line. -J.M.