Thomason: Top Waiver Wire Pickups For Week 1

Justice Hill and John Brown are two players to pursue this week.

Jack Thomason
September 03, 2019 - 9:05 am

(670 The Score) Here are my top 10 waiver adds for 10- and 12-member fantasy leagues in Week 1 as the start of the football season is upon us.

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1. Justice Hill (RB, Baltimore Ravens) – I shouldn’t be writing about Hill coming out of draft season, but somehow he’s less than 30-percent owned even with his fantastic preseason. Not to mention, he plays for the most run-heavy team in the NFL and should see passing-down work immediately. While Gus Edwards is still there if anything happens to Mark Ingram, the versatility, speed and explosiveness that Hill brings provide a different skill set than the aforementioned runners. 

2. John Brown (WR, Buffalo Bills) – Brown has been dealing with health problems since his 2015 breakout season, when he had 1,003 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. That being said, he now heads to Buffalo, where his deep speed perfectly complements quarterback Josh Allen’s strength, which is pushing the ball downfield. The Bills paid Brown $9 million annually, which equates to low-end No. 1 receiver range in the NFL. They’re going to use him.

3. Jamison Crowder (WR, New York Jets) – There have been numerous reports out of camp that Crowder has been quarterback Sam Darnold’s favorite target, and some have even projected upward of 100 catches for him. While I believe that’s a little rich, Crowder is an above-average slot receiver who's now fully healthy with a quarterback who threw provided the fifth-most targets to that position in 2018. Crowder has major value, and you can get him on the waiver wire in many leagues.

4. Justin Jackson (RB, Los Angeles Chargers) – I’m not sure if many just expected Melvin Gordon to be back or if they thought Austin Ekeler would be the clear No. 1 running back if Gordon didn't return for Week 1, but Jackson needs to be owned while Gordon is holding out. Even when Gordon is healthy and active, the Chargers use Ekeler plenty, so we should expect the same with Ekeler and Jackson while Gordon is holding out. Add Jackson to your squad now before people catch on and the Gordon holdout lingers.

5. Albert Wilson (WR, Miami Dolphins) – No quarterback with at least 600 passing attempts in the last decade has had more targets go to the slot receiver than Ryan Fitzpatrick, according to Pro Football Focus. That will be Wilson's role with the Dolphins. On top of that, of the 94 qualifying receivers, Wilson ranks sixth in yards per route run from the slot and fifth in fantasy points per target and yards per target, per PFF. Wilson has been a popular breakout candidate for a while, but he has been forgotten due to injuries. Wilson is ready to start the season healthy, and this sounds like a match made in heaven.

6. Dare Ogunbowale (RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – Neither Peyton Barber nor Ronald Jones has done much to impress this offseason, and Ogunbowale has fought his way from no-name to become the third running back on the depth chart. He’s the best receiving back on the team and has little in front of him to surpass. He’s worth adding now before he shows up the other two and potentially becomes the back to own in Tampa.

7. Ty Montgomery (RB, New York Jets) – We’ve heard all offseason about Montgomery having a bigger role than most would expect, and we saw it throughout preseason games. Montgomery looked spry and explosive catching balls out of the backfield and scoring touchdowns. He’s the clear backup to Le’Veon Bell, who's set up for one of the heaviest workloads in the NFL. Oh, and Bell hasn’t played actual football in 20 months. Montgomery may have some flex appeal as we get into bye weeks.

8. Tyrell Williams (WR, Oakland Raiders) – Raiders coach Jon Gruden wants to push the ball down the field, and he brought in new receivers in Williams and Antonio Brown to help quarterback Derek Carr do exactly that. Carr attempted 553 passes (12th-most in the NFL) and threw for 4,049 yards in 2018. Brown and Williams will be the beneficiaries of this offense and if anything happens to Brown, Williams is the beneficiary again.

9. Mecole Hardman (WR, Kansas City Chiefs) –  We’ve seen Hardman make explosive plays throughout the preseason, and he’s playing in the best offense in football. You’d think that would be enough for fantasy footballers to consider drafting him, but that isn’t the case. 

10. Dion Lewis (RB, Tennessee Titans) – It’s almost as if everyone forgot Derrick Henry was great for only the fantasy playoffs last season. The Titans used both Henry and Lewis up until the end of the season, and Lewis is also the clear 1B in this offense. Henry has already battled a calf strain throughout the offseason, and while he’s ready to go for Week 1, it’s a reminder that Lewis would be in line for a solid workload if Henry is injured during the season.

Just missed: Alexander Mattison, Damien Harris, Carlos Hyde, Marquise Goodwin, Deebo Samuel, D.K. Metcalf, Anthony Miller, Tre’Quan Smith, Kenny Stills and Darren Waller.

Jack Thomason is 670 The Score’s fantasy football expert. Follow him on Twitter @jthomason77 and feel free to ask fantasy questions.​​