Hot Pepper Pickups; Waiver Wire Week 1

September 15, 2020
Brendan Samson

With Week 1 of the NFL season behind us, many NFL teams depth charts are already looking different. Teams like Washington and Jacksonville have shown some clarity in their backfield, while the Colts and Steelers have shaken things up. 

Waiver wire additions in Week 1 can propel a fantasy team to wins down the line. Last year, anybody who added Darren Waller got a TE3 finish, Raheem Mostert got the RB24 or Devante Parker the WR7. Fantasy owners who made these moves, in most cases, found a set it and forget it starter for over half the year that produced well into fantasy playoffs. 

Here are my Week 1 waiver wire pick-ups.

Nyheim Hines

With the unfortunate achilles injury to Marlon Mack that will sideline him for the season, Hines is looking like a promising play going forward. Despite the existence of Jonathan Taylor, Hines received plenty of work. In Week 1 against the Jaguars, Hines took seven carries for 28 yards and eight receptions for 45 yards and a touchdown.

Scoville units: Habanero Pepper, 275,000

Benny Snell

Snell is not the same player he was last season. He is down 10 pounds and up what seems like 5 mph. Despite a rogue fumble that was recovered by Juju Smith-Schuster, Snell had himself quite the day, he carried the ball 19 times to the tune of 113 yards and a Steelers win. It is important to note that James Conner, sidelined by an ankle injury, is most likely back next week. With that being said, I’m taking my chances for a running back that has a fidget spinner for a mouthguard. 

Scoville units: Serrano Pepper, 23,000

Malcolm Brown

Malcolm Brown RB1? Something I never thought I would say. The Rams entered the week explicitly noting that they would be using all three backs, Brown came out on top. Brown’s 18 carries went for 79 yards and two touchdowns, add three receptions for 31 yards and you have a lead back. The other two Rams backs did not even compete with the numbers produced by Brown. Akers, 14 carries for 39 yards and Henderson three carries for six yards were less efficient and less favored. If this trend continues Brown should find a line up every week. 

Scoville Units: Carolina Reaper Pepper, 2,200,000

Joshua Kelley

Kelley stepped into the vacant Melvin Gordon role without missing a beat. He cleaned up on the goal line and in short yardage situations, in a possibly more efficient rate than Melly. Twelve carries for 60 yards and a touchdown in your first NFL game is not too shabby. Kelley reminds me of a Zack Moss, as long as the goal line opportunities can occasionally turn into a touchdown.

Scoville Units: Jalapeno Pepper, 8,000

Scotty Miller

Tom Brady and slot receivers tend to go together like peanut butter and jelly. You can add Miller to the list of  Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Austin Collie and any other Patriots slot receiver that Brady favored. For Brady, these players have always served as a safety blanket and Miller may be the same. To get five catches for 73 yards on an offense with Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, Rob Gronkowski and O.J. Howard, shows trust. In a PPR format Miller piques my interest, but I’ll see what next week brings.

Scoville units: Red Pepper Flakes, 5,000

Sammy Watkins

If Sammy Watkins is not already owned in your league, everybody and their mother is claiming him. With that being said, I for one am not going out of my way to grab the former star. Week 1 Watkins is nothing new to veteran fantasy owners; in 2018 he put nine catches for 198 yards and three touchdowns, this year he caught seven catches for 82 yards and a touchdown. Talent may still remain for Watkins, but with the Chiefs spreading the ball I’m still plenty skeptical.

Scoville units: Banana Pepper, 350

Parris Campbell

As I outlined in my overlooked receivers article and in the wise words of Pixar, Parris Campbell is speed. Campbell caught six receptions for 71 yards, and the title of top performer on the Indianapolis Colts. If Rivers continues to favor him, his value is extremely intriguing.

Scoville units: Ghost Pepper, 1,041,000

Corey Davis

Davis will never live up to his first round selection, but he may be able to live up to his second-string receiver role. Throughout his first three years in the league, Davis has suffered from inconsistent quarterback play. With Tennessee finally finding their guy in Ryan Tannehill and Davis catching seven passes for 101 yards, he may be a rare fourth year breakout candidate.

Scoville units: Franks Red Hot Sauce, 450

Dallas Goedert

While it may make Zach Ertz owners unhappy, Dallas Goedert has officially arrived. After showing plenty of flashes through his first three years, year four is off to a bang. Philadelphia is a big proponent of two tight end sets, the only difference that was clear in Week 1 is that one tight end is not favored over the other. Goedert caught eight passes for 101 yards and a touchdown and Ertz caught three passes for 18 yards and touchdown. This season it could easily be a toss-up for top performer.

Scoville units: Scotch Bonnet Pepper, 270,000

Jonnu Smith

Smith is the main red zone target of the Titans not named Derrick Henry. In a day and age where touchdown dependent tight ends are viable options, Jonnu’s athleticism adds another layer. He is not your normal Jimmy Graham or Greg Olsen, but rather a Darren Waller type tight end. Smith can score fantasy points in more ways than one, after catching four passes for 36 yards and a touchdown I’m in on Smith.

Scoville units: Ghost Pepper, 1,041,000

For Fantasy Sake does not own the rights to these photos. Credit to Associated Press and USA Today.