By Matt Citak
(CBS Boston)- Week 1 of the NFL season is in the books.
We learned a lot from football’s opening weekend, and while we don’t want to overreact after only one game, we did learn some things that could have a big impact on the fantasy season moving forward.
Enough talk. Let’s dive right into it.
Here are the top waiver wire pickups at each position heading into Week 2 of the NFL season.
QB Case Keenum, Washington Redskins
Nobody saw this coming, but Keenum looked like his 2017 Vikings self on Sunday going up against a tough Eagles defense. The veteran quarterback went 30-for-45 for 380 yards and three touchdowns in Philadelphia, which should be good enough to hold off all Dwayne Haskins chatter for at least another week. Washington faces off against a Cowboys defense that just allowed Eli Manning to throw for over 300 yards, so if you’re in need of a quarterback for Week 2, Keenum is a must-add.
QB Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars suffered a devastating injury in Week 1, as their big offseason acquisition Nick Foles broke his clavicle and is out indefinitely. Minshew put up quite a performance in relief of Foles, completing 22-of-25 passes for 275 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. It’s important to keep in mind that the rookie sixth-round pick entered into a blowout and was facing a poor Chiefs defense. But regardless, if you’re in a two quarterback league, Minshew is certainly worth some consideration.
RB Malcolm Brown, Los Angeles Rams
While all of the buzz surrounded rookie Darrell Henderson during fantasy draft season, it was Brown who emerged as the backup RB to own in Los Angeles after Week 1. Brown carried the ball 11 times against the Panthers, picking up 53 yards, but more importantly scored two touchdowns on carries inside the 5-yard line. Meanwhile, Henderson touched the ball only once (one carry for zero yards). Gurley is still clearly the lead guy in the Rams backfield, but it looks like Brown will carry some standalone value as well. If anything were to happen to Gurley, Brown would immediately become a must-start on a weekly basis.
RB Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins
Thompson didn’t do much as a runner on Sunday, earning only 10 yards on three carries. However, the shifty back did his damage in the passing game. Thompson led the team with 10 targets, catching seven of them for 68 yards. He finished with only three fewer touches than Washington’s lead back Derrius Guice, and even if Adrian Peterson is active moving forward, it shouldn’t take away from Thompson’s touches. Considering the shortage of talent at wide receiver in Washington, Thompson has solidified his spot in the offense and should offer solid PPR value moving forward.
RB Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals
Bernard was just OK in the season opener, taking nine total touches for 63 yards. However, the injury to Joe Mixon could open the door for Bernard to become a focal point of the Bengals offense. At the time of this writing, the extent of Mixon’s injury is still unknown. If he were to miss any time, Bernard instantly becomes a must-add. Keep your eye on Cincinnati’s injury report before placing your waiver claims.
RB Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers
Similar to the situation in Cincinnati, lead back Tevin Coleman left the team’s Week 1 matchup against Tampa Bay with an ankle injury. While we don’t know how serious the injury is yet, head coach Kyle Shanahan indicated after the game that it could keep Coleman out for a while. Matt Breida would take over as the 49ers’ lead back, but he has proven to be injury prone throughout his career. Breida spent all of 2018 on the injury report with various injuries, and it likely won’t be long before the same happens in 2019. Mostert gained 40 yards on nine carries against the Buccaneers, and is one Breida injury away from becoming San Francisco’s featured back. Breida is most likely owned in your league, but if he’s somehow available, I would snag him first. But for the rest of you, I would take a long, hard look at Mostert before he becomes a super popular waiver wire add.
WR Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens
Marquise “Hollywood” Brown was the first wide receiver taken in the 2019 NFL Draft, and in Week 1, we saw exactly why. Brown finished with only four receptions on Sunday, but was able to gain a whopping 147 yards and two touchdowns on those four touches. Brown came into the season with a reputation as a home run threat, and lived up to the hype in his NFL debut with touchdown catches of 47 and 83 yards. Brown appears to be a favorite target of Lamar Jackson, who could be on the verge of a breakout campaign himself. Brown is going to be the most popular pickup this week, and for good reason. Grab Hollywood Brown if you can.
WR A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans
While he didn’t have as buzzworthy of a game as the other rookie receiver named Brown, A.J. had himself a very productive NFL debut as well. The Titans’ rookie finished tied for second in targets with four, trailing only tight end Delanie Walker’s six, while garnering the most targets of any of the team’s receivers. He picked up 100 yards on his three receptions, including a nice 51-yard catch. Marcus Mariota looked a lot better in Week 1 than he did all of last season. With a competent QB under center, the other Brown is worthy of some consideration this week as well.
WR Jamison Crowder, New York Jets
Entering the season, we knew Crowder could be a solid PPR receiver. Historically speaking, head coach Adam Gase targets his slot receiver more than any other offensive play-caller in the NFL. This is exactly what we saw in Week 1. Crowder was easily the most-targeted player on the Jets Sunday with 17 passes thrown in his direction, 10 more than any other receiver and eight more than Le’Veon Bell, who had the second-most targets on the team. Crowder pulled down 14 of those passes for 99 yards, and while we shouldn’t expect 17 targets every week, it is clear that he is a staple of New York’s offense. Crowder clearly has a high floor in PPR leagues and is a must-add.
WR John Ross, Cincinnati Bengals
There is no denying the fact that Ross’ first two years in the NFL were a massive disappointment. However in his 2019 debut, Ross seems to have turned a corner. The third-year receiver reeled in seven passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns against the Seahawks. More importantly, Ross led the Bengals in targets, as he finished with one more (12) than Tyler Boyd. With Mixon banged up and A.J. Green out a few more weeks, Ross should continue to be a big factor in Cincinnati’s offense. If Sunday is any indication, Sunday could have been the start of a breakout campaign for Ross.
WR Danny Amendola, Detroit Lions
Amendola enjoyed a strong Lions debut Sunday. The veteran receiver led the team with 13 targets, four more than any other player, and was able to catch seven of those passes for 104 yards and a score. Stafford looked toward the slot receiver throughout the game, and despite numerous other mouths to feed in the Lions passing game, Amendola looks to have a high floor. His ownership is sure to spike, so grab Amendola while you can.
TE T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions
Speaking of the Lions passing game, how about the debut of Hockenson? The rookie tight end was great in his first NFL action, grabbing six of nine targets for a team-high 131 yards and a touchdown. The eighth overall pick in April’s draft broke the record for most yards by a rookie tight end in Week 1, and looks like he will play a big role in Detroit’s offense this season. Rookie tight ends often take some time to develop, but Hockenson already looks like he belongs in the NFL. If you punted the tight end position in your draft, try to grab Hockenson off waivers before he really blows up.
Matt Citak is a contributing writer for CBS Local. Follow him on Twitter here for all things fantasy football, New York Giants and more.