2019 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: Week 1's top Waiver Wire targets focuses on under-drafted players

Welcome to the Fantasy crossover column. No, that isn't some new name for a story we're going to write each week. It's just something that applies to Week 1.

Since many of you are still holding your Fantasy drafts in advance of the season opener Thursday night with the Packers at Bears, we don't want to sell you short on any advice you still need. So the players you will read about here are worth late-round picks in all formats.

But also, many of you have drafted already. With that in mind, this is your first look at playing the waiver wire. Normally, this is the spot you'll be reading about your waiver claims each week, and we dive deep to cover as many leagues as possible. 

To provide some clarity, we only talk about players owned in fewer than 65% of CBS Sports leagues. This should help owners in shallow leagues with 10 teams or less, but we also talk about options for leagues with 12 teams or more.

The more guys we cover, the more options you have to consider. And you should know that playing the waiver wire is the key to winning Fantasy leagues.

While the draft is important, your team will likely look dramatically different by the end of the season. But if you can dominate the waiver wire and stay one step ahead of your league, you'll be in good shape as the season goes on.

Week 1 Waivers
WAIVER WIRE
Quarterbacks

Priority list: Sam Darnold (43% ownership), Josh Allen (56 percent), Matthew Stafford (46 percent), Derek Carr (59 percent)

NYJ N.Y. Jets • #14
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
43%
I don't love Darnold for Week 1 against the Bills, and the Jets have a bye in Week 4, which isn't ideal. But I like Darnold as a sleeper for the season, and I can see him becoming a weekly starter by the middle of the year. He's a good second quarterback to stash on your roster.
BUF Buffalo • #17
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
56%
Allen is worth using as a streamer for Week 1 in deeper leagues against the Jets, and he also gets the Giants in Week 2 and the Bengals in Week 3. Those are all favorable matchups. I also like that Allen got better weapons this year with John Brown and Cole Beasley. There's upside here if you want to stash him on your bench.
DET Detroit • #9
Age: 31 • Experience: 11 year
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
46%
Stafford is someone to consider as a starting option in Week 1 against the Cardinals. After that, you might not want to trust Stafford as a starting Fantasy option, but he's a sleeper to consider in Week 1. This Arizona defense could be awful, especially with standout cornerback Patrick Peterson (suspended) out.
OAK Oakland • #4
Age: 28 • Experience: 6 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
59%
Carr is someone to consider with a more long-term approach instead of the early part of the season, especially with matchups against Denver, Minnesota and Chicago in three of his first five games before Oakland's bye in Week 6. We'll see how Carr does with Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams and Josh Jacobs now on his side, and he could emerge as a weekly starter in deeper leagues during the middle of the year.
WAIVER WIRE
Running backs

Priority list: Justin Jackson (61% ownership), Carlos Hyde (48 percent), Justice Hill (52 percent), C.J. Anderson (38 percent), Ronald Jones (49 percent), Chris Thompson (48 percent), T.J. Yeldon (10 percent), Frank Gore (22 percent), Damien Harris (41 percent), Nyheim Hines (35 percent), Jalen Richard (38 percent), Ty Montgomery (24 percent), Ito Smith (44 percent), Jamaal Williams (29 percent), Dare Ogunbowale (0 percent), Malcolm Brown (15 percent), Mike Davis (12 percent)

LAC L.A. Chargers • #22
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
61%
Jackson has the chance to be a significant Fantasy option this year depending on how long Melvin Gordon stays out because of his contract. He will share touches with Austin Ekeler, who has more value and is a potential starter in all leagues, but Jackson could be a flex option, including Week 1 against the Colts.
HOU Houston • #23
Age: 29 • Experience: 6 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
48%
Hyde is worth stashing to see what happens now that he's with the Texans. He should play behind Duke Johnson, but that doesn't mean Hyde won't get work, potentially at the goal line. I wouldn't plan on using Hyde in Week 1 at New Orleans, but he could emerge as the best running back in Houston. I prefer Johnson over Hyde, but we don't know yet how Bill O'Brien will use both guys during the year.
BAL Baltimore • #43
Age: 21 • Experience: Rookie
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
52%
NE New England • #37
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
41%
Hill and Harris are worth combining here since they are two talented rookies who could be in good spots. I like Hill better than Harris since he seems to have a better path to playing time behind Mark Ingram, but Harris could be fantastic if Sony Michel were to miss any time. I wouldn't trust either in Week 1, although Hill could be a sleeper in deeper formats in a great matchup at Miami.
DET Detroit • #26
Age: 28 • Experience: 7 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
38%
Anderson will be the No. 2 running back behind Kerryon Johnson, and he will likely get a handful of touches in that role each week. Johnson also has to prove he can stay healthy after being limited to 10 games as a rookie last season with a knee injury. I don't mind Anderson as a sleeper in deeper leagues in Week 1 against the Cardinals, who could have a miserable run defense.
TB Tampa Bay • #27
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
49%
TB Tampa Bay • #44
Age: 25 • Experience: 1 year
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
5%
Tampa Bay is going to take a hot-hand approach with its backfield, which means Jones or Ogunbowale could emerge as a potential Fantasy starter in deeper leagues. Peyton Barber is still the lead rusher of this trio, but he's not locked into that role. I'm taking a late-round flier on Ogunbowale in all of my drafts that have at least 16 rounds since he could be the surprise option for the Buccaneers this year.
WAS Washington • #25
Age: 29 • Experience: 6 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
48%
OAK Oakland • #30
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
38%
IND Indianapolis • #21
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
35%
I'm combining the pass-catching running backs here as all three of Thompson, Richard and Hines are better in PPR leagues than non-PPR formats. Thompson is part of a crowded backfield with Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson, but he should still have a prominent role. Richard should be the No. 2 running back behind Josh Jacobs, and we'll see if Jacobs can hold up in a featured role. And Hines should still be good in a secondary role behind Marlon Mack, even with Andrew Luck retired.
BUF Buffalo • #22
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
10%
BUF Buffalo • #20
Age: 36 • Experience: 15 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
22%
The Bills remade their backfield when they released LeSean McCoy on Sunday, and Devin Singletary was the biggest winner. But Yeldon and Gore should also have a significant role, and Gore could now be the starter, with Yeldon playing on passing downs. Both are options mostly for deeper leagues, and I like Yeldon slightly better given his potential role in the passing game. Neither one, however, is worth using in Week 1 against the Jets.
NYJ N.Y. Jets • #88
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
24%
ATL Atlanta • #25
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
44%
GB Green Bay • #30
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
29%
LAR L.A. Rams • #34
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
15%
CHI Chicago • #25
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
12%
The final five of Montgomery, Smith, Williams, Brown and Davis are mostly handcuff options, but all of them are in good spots. Montgomery could get a handful of touches behind Le'Veon Bell, and Adam Gase seems to like him. Smith and Williams are playing behind injury-prone running backs in Devonta Freeman and Aaron Jones, which gives them some lottery-ticket appeal. Brown could emerge as the handcuff to Todd Gurley for the Rams, ahead of Darrell Henderson, and we know Gurley might have an issue with his knee. And Davis, although he's third on Chicago's depth chart behind David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen, could eventually earn a bigger role, especially if Montgomery were to miss any time.
WAIVER WIRE
Wide Receivers

Priority list: John Brown (58% ownership), Jamison Crowder (45 percent), Marquise Goodwin (44 percent), Albert Wilson (15 percent), Michael Gallup (60 percent), DaeSean Hamilton (23 percent), Miles Boykin (16 percent), Kenny Stills (34 percent), Mohamed Sanu (61 percent), Cole Beasley (12 percent), Ted Ginn (8 percent), Marquise Brown (28 percent), Deebo Samuel (30 percent), Adam Humphries (14 percent), Tre'Quan Smith (20 percent), Hunter Renfrow (7 percent), DeVante Parker (15 percent), Willie Snead (7 percent), Rashard Higgins (5 percent), Damion Willis (1 percent), Preston Williams (0 percent), Chris Moore (0 percent)

BUF Buffalo • #15
Age: 29 • Experience: 6 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
58%
Brown's Average Draft Position on CBS Sports is a joke at 140.7 overall. I'm looking for Brown as early as Round 8, and I love the upside for him in Buffalo. If you go back to 2018 when Brown played with Joe Flacco in Baltimore, he was having a breakout campaign. He scored at least 13 PPR points in five of his first seven games with Flacco before the Ravens switched quarterbacks and went with Lamar Jackson. I also like Beasley with the Bills as their slot receiver, and he could be a surprise starter in PPR during the year. I like both of these guys in Week 1 vs. the Jets.
NYJ N.Y. Jets • #82
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
45%
Crowder should be great as the slot receiver for Adam Gase, who did well with that position in Miami. According to ESPN, the Dolphins ranked first in receiving yards (3,472) from slot receivers and second in catches (276) during Gase's three seasons there, and a big reason why was Jarvis Landry for most of that production. I'm not expecting Crowder to be Landry, but it's easy to invest in Crowder with a late-round pick or add him off waivers. And in Week 1, you can consider Crowder as a No. 3 receiver in PPR against the Bills.
SF San Francisco • #11
Age: 28 • Experience: 7 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
44%
I've been starting to think for the past couple of weeks that Goodwin could be the No. 1 Fantasy receiver for the 49ers, especially with the way Dante Pettis has struggled in the preseason. I've been drafting him with a late-round pick in all leagues, and I love his matchup in Week 1 against Tampa Bay. I also think it's worth stashing Samuel just to see what happens with his role as a rookie in this offense.
MIA Miami • #15
Age: 27 • Experience: 6 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
15%
The Dolphins receiving corps will look different this season with Stills gone, and I like Wilson the best of the remaining group. Prior to suffering a hip injury last year, Wilson was having a breakout campaign, and he should be the slot receiver in 2019. Parker and Williams could emerge as quality Fantasy receivers, but I would only look at them in deeper leagues.
DAL Dallas • #13
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
60%
I'm excited for Gallup in his sophomore campaign, and he's played well this preseason. He scored a touchdown in the third preseason game against Houston, and had a second score called back because of a penalty. Even though Dallas added Jason Witten and Randall Cobb this offseason, and Amari Cooper (foot) will hopefully be healthy for Week 1, it seems like Gallup is developing a good rapport with Dak Prescott.
DEN Denver • #17
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
23%
Hamilton's value is down with Emmanuel Sanders making an amazing recovery from last year's Achilles injury. But I still like Hamilton as a reserve receiver in PPR. He's likely going to play in the slot when Denver goes to three-receiver sets with Sanders and Courtland Sutton on the outside, and he did well in that role last year after Sanders got hurt. He will likely be better in games where the Broncos are chasing points, which might not happen in Week 1, but I like stashing Hamilton on my bench in PPR.
BAL Baltimore • #80
Age: 23 • Experience: Rookie
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
16%
BAL Baltimore • #15
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
28%
While the Ravens pass attack is far from sexy, one or two of their guys from Boykin, Brown, Snead and Moore will emerge as a decent Fantasy option and potential starter. It could even happen in Week 1 against the Dolphins. I would prioritize Boykin and Brown in all leagues, with Snead and Moore in deeper formats. I'm the most hopeful for the two rookies in 2019.
HOU Houston • #12
Age: 27 • Experience: 7 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
34%
ATL Atlanta • #12
Age: 30 • Experience: 8 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
61%
CLE Cleveland • #81
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
5%
There are three No. 3 receivers on their respective teams that I'd consider with Stills, Sanu and Higgins, and all three are worth taking a flier on. Stills is behind DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller, but I like him more than Keke Coutee. He should do well being paired with Deshaun Watson. Sanu is behind Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, but he's a quality reserve in PPR. And Higgins is behind Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry, but he has a good rapport with Baker Mayfield. He's not a bad streamer for Week 1 against Tennessee in deeper leagues.
NO New Orleans • #10
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
20%
I want to see how the Saints use Ginn and Smith as the second and third receivers behind Michael Thomas this year, and I still like Ginn better. For Week 1 at home against Houston, I would use Ginn as a streamer. Anytime the Saints are at home, Ginn has a chance to help your Fantasy roster. He played in only three home games last year in an injury-riddled campaign but still had at least 12 PPR points in two of them, with 21 targets over that span.
TEN Tennessee • #10
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
14%
OAK Oakland • #13
Age: 23 • Experience: Rookie
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
7%
Two PPR receivers I'm interested in for deeper leagues are Humphries and Renfrow. Humphries should be a good outlet receiver for Marcus Mariota, and he could catch 75-plus passes for the season. And Renfrow should be the No. 3 receiver in Oakland behind Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams, and could also be a reception magnet. You probably won't have any interest in starting these guys, especially in Week 1, but keep an eye on them during the year.
CIN Cincinnati • #15
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
1%
The Bengals plan to start Willis with A.J. Green (ankle) out, and he could be a sneaky sleeper, especially with Cincinnati chasing points in Week 1 against Seattle. I doubt he'll have much value once Green is back, but that might not happen until Week 4. In deep formats, put Willis on the end of your bench.
WAIVER WIRE
TIGHT ENDS

Priority list: Chris Herndon (20% ownership), Darren Waller (42 percent), Jimmy Graham (56 percent), Greg Olsen (55 percent), Kyle Rudolph (63 percent), Will Dissly (6 percent), Tyler Eifert (15 percent), Noah Fant (43 percent)

NYJ N.Y. Jets • #89
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
20%
If you're looking to stash a second tight end and have room on your bench then Herndon should be added in all leagues now. The only hard part is on top of his four-game suspension, the Jets also have a bye in Week 4, meaning you can't use Herndon until Week 6. Still, once active, I expect Herndon to be a starting tight end in all leagues. So if you want to be proactive, don't wait until Week 6 to add him to your roster.
OAK Oakland • #83
Age: 27 • Experience: 3 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
42%
Waller has a chance to become a weekly Fantasy starter if several things go his way. He would likely have to get most of the production vacated by Jared Cook (68 catches for 896 yards and six touchdowns on 101 targets) while one of Antonio Brown or Tyrell Williams post minimal production. Either that or Carr gets everyone involved in a big way, and then he's a quality Fantasy quarterback. I think Waller has a chance to help you some weeks, and he's a good stash candidate. Just don't overvalue him.
GB Green Bay • #80
Age: 32 • Experience: 10 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
56%
Keep an eye on Graham's finger injury, which limited him in practice Monday. Hopefully he's ready for Week 1 against the Bears. You're not going to start him against Chicago in most leagues, but I hope he comes out of the gate playing well. It's hard to imagine Graham being an elite Fantasy tight end again, but his second year with each of his previous two teams (New Orleans in 2011 and Seattle in 2016) have been good. Hopefully the same thing happens in his second season with the Packers in 2019.
CAR Carolina • #88
Age: 34 • Experience: 13 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
55%
I'm hopeful that we get one final year of quality production from Olsen, who has been limited to 16 games over the past two seasons because of injuries. It's hard to trust him as a Fantasy option until we see him stay on the field, but I wouldn't mind stashing him if you have the roster space. He's obviously slowed down because of the injuries, and he's 34 now. But in 2016, which was the last time he played 16 games, he had 80 catches for 1,073 yards and three touchdowns on 128 targets. It would be great if he managed to get back to that level of production one last time.
MIN Minnesota • #82
Age: 29 • Experience: 9 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
63%
Rudolph might be in a better situation than all the tight ends on this list given the offense in Minnesota and how the Vikings will likely use him. The problem is trying to find his ceiling. Is it his 2016 production when he had 83 catches for 840 yards and seven touchdowns on 132 targets? Or is it what he averaged the past two years with 61 catches for 583 yards yards and six touchdowns on 81 targets? He also has to contend with rookie Irv Smith now stealing some production, as well as losing targets to Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Rudolph could be a surprise Fantasy option this year, and he's worth speculating on in deeper leagues.
SEA Seattle • #88
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
6%
Dissly is probably my favorite guy on this list as a streamer for Week 1, and he's worth a late-round flier in deeper leagues. This Seattle receiving corps is a mess heading into the season opener against the Bengals. D.K. Metcalf (knee) could play this week, although it's not guaranteed, and David Moore (shoulder) is out. The Seahawks brought back Jaron Brown after cutting him over the weekend, but the best options for Russell Wilson could be Tyler Lockett and Dissly. He only played in four games last year because of a knee injury, but he had six catches for 147 yards and two touchdowns on 10 targets in his first two outings. Hopefully he gets off to a hot start again this year.
CIN Cincinnati • #85
Age: 29 • Experience: 7 yrs.
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
15%
It would be nice for Eifert to stay healthy, especially early in the season with Green out. But as we know, Eifert has been injury prone, playing just 14 games over the past three seasons. I don't love him in Week 1 against Seattle, but I'm curious to see how he does. And, more importantly, just keeping him on the field. In deeper leagues, he's worth a flier.
DEN Denver • #87
Age: 21 • Experience: Rookie
OWNERSHIP
OWNED
43%
Fant is a great stash candidate and a sneaky sleeper for Week 1 against the Raiders. The Broncos have a crowded receiving corps with Emmanuel Sanders, Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton, but Fant can easily find his way into a prominent role as a rookie. Joe Flacco has no problem leaning on his tight end, and I would love to put Fant on my Fantasy roster in deeper leagues. I also wouldn't be shocked if he has a great debut in Week 1 against Oakland.
WAIVER WIRE
KICKERS

Priority list: Brett Maher (57% ownership), Matt Bryant (18 percent), Dan Bailey (14 percent), Jason Myers (45 percent)

WAIVER WIRE
DST

Priority list: Eagles (59% ownership), Seahawks (37 percent), Lions (9 percent)

Senior Fantasy Writer

Jamey Eisenberg has been a Senior Fantasy Writer for CBS Sports since 2006 with a focus on Fantasy Football. A University of Florida grad (class of '98), Jamey got his start in the newspaper business and... Full Bio

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