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NFL Week 1 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Targets: All league sizes & scoring types

Owings Mills, MD, United States; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Sammy Watkins (14) makes a catch at Under Armour Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Your fantasy football draft should be complete, as the rosters are set for Week 1. Or are they? Chances are that your league will have at least one waiver wire run before NFL games kickoff, and savvy fantasy gamers would be wise to bolster their squads.

There’s still a plethora of talent with sneaky upside available as free agents across many leagues on both Yahoo and Fantrax. The following is a list of players across the four major positions — with D/ST thrown in as a special bonus —  who are rostered in less than 50% of leagues but are worth snagging before the regular season gets started.

Some players can be plug-and-play options for Week 1 while others are long-term bets who need to be stashed on the backend of rosters. If all things are equal when it comes to roster construction, prioritize adding running backs over wide receivers/tight ends because their fantasy values spike more dramatically if an injury were to occur on their depth chart.

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Ty Johnson, New York Jets

Johnson is the late late-round running back to stash. He’s gotten extensive work with the Jets' first-team offense this preseason, and he flashed big-time fantasy upside last season when he finally got real action in Week 13 last year, rushing for 100 yards on 22 carries.

Johnson finished the season third in yards before contact (2.4), behind only uber-efficient running backs Raheem Mostert and J.K. Dobbins.

The ex-Detroit Lions back is also a proven pass-catcher, racking up 40 receptions through his first two NFL seasons despite playing in a limited fashion.

With Johnson already working ahead of fourth-round rookie Michael Carter on the depth chart, the only player standing in his way is veteran Tevin Coleman, whose injury history precedes itself, so don’t necessarily expect him to maintain a stranglehold of the starting gig for too long.

Ty'Son Williams, Baltimore Ravens

Williams needs to be on every single roster across fantasy football. He’s going to inherit Gus Edwards’ role from last season with Edwards slated to take over J.K. Dobbins’ role from 2020.

That means Williams could flirt with just north of 10 touches per game, which provides fantasy managers weekly FLEX and low-end fantasy RB2 appeal.

As a former undrafted free agent, it’s understandable that there’s not much buzz around Williams, but the kid is talented. He was PFF’s fifth-highest graded rusher in the preseason and zero percent of his 25 rushing attempts went for negative or zero rushing yards.

Williams also benefits from an extremely favorable schedule early on with the second-easiest slate of matchups in Weeks 1-3.


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