Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 1

Deon Jackson

The long wait is over! Another fantastic fantasy football season has arrived. While that means all is good, many early drafters already need to explore FullTimes Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 1.

Whether you drafted Jonathan Taylor, had some unfortunate injuries, or are just looking for depth, being proactive even before the season begins is a great way to increase your odds of winning. Also, it can give you a leg up on your opponent.

However, be cautious with your FAAB spending this early. The championship is 17 weeks away. Be proactive, but also budget wisely.

Here are the top fantasy football waiver wire: Week 1 players to target.

FAAB denotes Free Agent Acquisition Budget

Deon Jackson (RB) Indianapolis Colts (10 % FAAB) – It’s a new regime in Indy so there’s no guarantee that Jackson will be used in the same way he was last year when Jonathan Taylor was absent. However, sans Taylor and Zack Moss, there is a good chance Jackson will see double-digit touches against Jacksonville. In the four games Jackson surpassed 10 touches in a game last season, he averaged 17.7 fantasy points per game. 

Raheem Mostert (RB) Miami Dolphins (10% FAAB) – With Jeff Wilson on IR, Mostert and De’Von Achane (10% FAAB) will lead Miami’s backfield for at least the first four weeks of the season. Mostert quietly posted RB26 numbers last season and should get the most touches against the Chargers. Achane is the upside play and offers the most long-term potential.

Marvin Mims (WR) Denver Broncos (10% FAAB) – The analytics crowd has been on Mims all offseason. However, his ADP remained well outside the top 150. That all changed when Jerry Jeudy went down. Mims has now screamed up draft boards. He’ll open the season in the starting lineup against a vulnerable Raiders’ secondary. Mims will remain in three-wide sets. He’s got a clear path to top 50 numbers.

Kenneth Gainwell (RB) Philadelphia Eagles (8% FAAB) – I like all of Philadelphia’s backs at cost. However, Gainwell has the lowest ADP of the trio. Plus, he was receiving plenty of first-team reps all preseason. I’m not sure I buy into the RB1 rumors. After all, the Eagles will rotate all three backs and have Jalen Hurts dominating goal-line looks. However, Gainwell largely went un-drafted early on and has proven to be a reliable pass-catching weapon. My numbers still project D’Andre Swift to lead this backfield. But Gainwell is a priority add in free agency.

Nico Collins (WR) Houston Texans (6% FAAB) – Collins quietly was targeted at an impressive rate last season. And that has only multiplied with Houston’s new regime. C.J. Stroud proved to be very accurate all summer and Collins was unquestionably Stroud’s primary read. Collins should contend for top-40 fantasy numbers and is still widely available in many leagues.

Brock Purdy (QB) San Francisco 49ers (5% FAAB) – After trading Trey Lance to Dallas, there is zero doubt of who San Francisco’s starter is. Also, Purdy is fully healthy and will open the season in Pittsburgh against a Steelers’ secondary that ceded the 13th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks a year ago. Including the postseason, Purdy posted top-10 fantasy numbers in his last five starts of 2023. A top-15 season is in play.

Deuce Vaughn (RB) Dallas Cowboys (5% FAAB) – Most people draft in August, so Vaughn’s breakout summer likely means he was selected. However, Vaughn might have gone undrafted in early leagues. The Cowboys manufactured touches for the diminutive Vaughn and he delivered throughout the preseason. Dallas has shown a penchant for using multiple backs. If the continues, Vaughn has a chance to play his way into the flex conversation in larger leagues. At the very least, he is a desirable hand-cuff pick for Tony Pollard managers.

Sam Howell (QB) Washington Commanders (4% FAAB) – Howell looked good this preseason and has some intriguing weapons in place. Even better, he’ll open the season at home against a horrid Arizona club that looks like they won’t be able to sustain drives or stop anybody. Howell has solid streaming value in the opener.

Hunter Henry (TE) New England Patriots (4% FAAB) – With Bill O’Brien back as the play-callers, it is thought that the wide receiver-thin Patriots will employ a two-tight end offense. This could be similar to the strategy that O’Brien championed in his first run as the club’s offensive coordinator. Henry will fill the Rob Gronkowski role in that scenario. Also, Henry has flashed good chemistry with QB Mac Jones all summer. With his solid red-zone skills, Henry could compete for TE1 numbers.

Noah Fant (TE) Seattle Seahawks (3% FAAB) – Fant was TE17 last season but is almost completely being ignored on draft day. Granted, the arrival of Jaxon Smith-Njigba is playing a large role in that. However, Fant’s role should remain largely unchanged. He might not see a steep decline in the 63 targets he earned in 2022. 

Isaiah Hodgins (WR) New York Giants (3% FAAB)  – Handicapping the Giants’ receiving corps is tricky. Also, the Giants ranked just 26th in passing last season. Hodgins is currently the club’s No. 1 wideout. Along with teammate Darius Slayton (1% FAAB), Hodgins is worth a speculative bid to see how things shake out in New York.

Romeo Doubs (WR) Green Bay Packers (3% FAAB) – Although he’s dealing with a hamstring injury, Doubs boasted a 12% target share from Jordan Love in the preseason. Of course, we’ll have to monitor the injury report for the season opener. However, even if Doubs is limited against the Bears, he should be rostered in most formats. My projections are favorable for Green Bay in 2023. That’s why I’m also interested in Jayden Reed (1% FAAB) and Luke Musgrave (2% FAAB).

Josh Palmer (WR) Los Angeles Chargers (3% FAAB) – While most fantasy drafters targeted Quentin Johnston, it’s Palmer who will open the season as the Charger’s WR3. Johnston struggled throughout August. Meanwhile, Palmer ran with and rested with the starters. Palmer also has an established rapport with QB Justin Herbert. Fresh off a WR37 campaign in 2022, Palmer is one of the most overlooked wideouts to target on the waiver wire.

Curtis Samuel (WR) Washington Commanders (2% FAAB) – Speaking of overlooked receivers, Curtis Samuel is largely un-rostered. That’s odd after Samuel posted WR30 with a garbage QB situation in Washington a year ago. Healthy and with a nice Week 1 game on deck, Samuel warrants flex consideration to open the season.

Puka Nacua (WR) Los Angeles Rams (1% FAAB) – With Cooper Kupp ailing, fifth-round rookie WR Puka Nacua has a chance at making an impact in three-wide sets. Sean Payton already said he expects Nacua to make an “immediate impact” for the Rams. Also, LA will see plenty of favorable game scripts. Nacua is under the radar. And, he won’t cost much.


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About Jody Smith 487 Articles
With over a decade of winning experience, Jody is a well-known fixture in the fantasy football community. He was named Fantasy Pros’ **Most Accurate Ranker** previously and was the site’s Top NFL over/under totals picker with a record 65% accuracy in 2020, while also ranking 5th in the country with a 55% against-the-spread hit rate. Jody has written for many sites over the years including Pro Football Focus, FantasyPros, CBS Sportsline, FantasyData, and is a regular contributor to the Fantasy Index magazine expert’s poll, draft, and auction. Jody’s experience ranking and projecting player performance will help prepare the Fulltime Fam for their big draft days as well as answers they can trust on Sunday for those ever crucial Who Do I Start questions.