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USA TODAY

When it comes to the information we're looking for as Fantasy football players, there's no week more important than Week 1, because we get more actionable information this week than any other week. We go from knowing very little about how players are going to be used -- or, at the very least, a lot less than we usually like to think we know -- in the preseason to finally having some actual, concrete information. 

And, knowing how players will be used is especially important when it comes to how we value running backs, because opportunity is (nearly) everything. And on Sunday of Week 1, we learned an awful lot about a handful of backfields that should put some running backs at or near the top of the list when it comes to who we're targeting on waivers ahead of Week 2. 

So, before I get to the top early waiver-wire targets at the rest of the positions, let's take a look at the top running backs we're going to be chasing after in the coming days: 

Week 2 RB Priority List
SF San Francisco • #25
Age: 23 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ PHI
ROSTERED
6%
Week 1 Stats
RUYDS
104
REC
0
REYDS
0
TD
1
FPTS/G
16.4
Let's just say this at the top: Jamey Eisenberg's call of Raheem Mostert as the Start of the Week was the correct one, and Mostert getting hurt early in the game makes that an all-time bad luck spot. But the 49ers' plug-and-play running game kept rolling without Mostert, and it was Mitchell who rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown against the Lions in the win. Notably, not Trey Sermon, who was a healthy scratch in this one. It's not clear how serious Mostert's injury is, but if he's out, Mitchell (and maybe Jamychal Hasty, who scored a short touchdown) will be a solid starter for Fantasy. That's just how this offense works. Mitchell will be the top priority on waivers if Mostert has to miss time. As for Sermon, who is 97% rostered right now in CBS Fantasy leagues, I would hang on to him for now, but given that Mitchell is also a rookie and is clearly ahead of him in the pecking order, it'll be hard to have too much patience with him. Which is unfortunate.
HOU Houston • #2
Age: 31 • Experience: 11 year
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ CLE
ROSTERED
32%
Week 1 Stats
RUYDS
85
REC
0
REYDS
0
TD
1
FPTS/G
14.5
We had reason to believe Ingram would be the lead back for the Texans, but it was shocking to see just how much he dominated work, garnering 26 of 37 carries by running backs. Of course, the Texans won't be in a position to run the ball that much when they play better teams than the Jaguars, but it's hard to take anything from this game except that Ingram is the lead back, which means he needs to be on someone's bench in every league, at least.
IND Indianapolis • #21
Age: 24 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs LAR
ROSTERED
65%
Week 1 Stats
RUYDS
34
REC
6
REYDS
48
TD
0
FPTS/G
14.2
We heard reports last week that the Colts want to get Hines more involved, and then they put their literal money where their reported mouths were by signing him to a three-year extension this weekend. And then they showed it in the game plan, as he carried the ball nine times and added eight targets. Hines should have been rostered in all PPR leagues before this, but with Carson Wentz throwing 15 of his 38 passes to running backs, you have to like what that means for Hines. He'll likely be in the flex conversation all season in PPR.
PHI Philadelphia • #14
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs SF
ROSTERED
38%
Week 1 Stats
RUYDS
37
REC
2
REYDS
6
TD
1
FPTS/G
12.3
Gainwell emerged as one of my favorite late-round targets at running back as it became clear he had worked his way into a legitimate role in the offense. Sunday didn't actually work out how I expected it to -- Miles Sanders had more targets (five) than Gainwell (three) -- but it was promising nonetheless, as Gainwell stayed in the game near the goal line and actually scored a short touchdown among his nine carries. He also had a receiving touchdown called back by penalty. I don't expect him to be the Eagles goal-line back, but I think he'll have a consistent role in the passing game, so if he's going to be part of the running game as well, he's going to be worth rostering.
NO New Orleans • #21
Age: 23 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ CAR
ROSTERED
58%
Week 1 Stats
RUYDS
50
REC
1
REYDS
3
TD
0
FPTS/G
5
The Saints came out with a clear strategy to run the ball and keep Aaron Rodgers off the field, and Jones was a significant part of that early on, rushing seven times for 39 yards and adding a target in the first half. He finished with 50 yards on 11 carries as the complement to Kamara, and he should continue to see a solid role in this offense -- with room to be a big part of a potentially better-than-expected offense if something happens to Kamara.

Now, here are some of the top targets for the other positions:

Week 2 Early Waiver Targets
NO New Orleans • #2
Age: 27 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ CAR
ROSTERED
67%
Week 1 Stats
PAYDS
148
RUYDS
37
TD
5
INT
0
FPTS/G
39.6
That's not exactly the kind of line we expect to see from Winston, and if the Saints remain as conservative as they were in this one moving forward, Winston isn't going to be much of a Fantasy option, because you can't count on him to score this often. But you absolutely have to love how Winston played in his first start for the Saints, moving the ball efficiently and executing incredibly well in the red zone -- and then putting a bow on it with a signature long touchdown to Deonte Harris. When they need him to be more effective, I think we'll see some pretty big numbers from Winston, who is certainly worth rostering as a No. 2 QB with upside.
NYJ N.Y. Jets • #8
Age: 21 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs NE
ROSTERED
61%
Week 1 Stats
REC
1
TAR
4
REYDS
-3
TD
0
FPTS/G
0.7
If you're watching the box score, there's nothing Moore did to garner attention. But we know better than to just judge the box score, don't we? Moore played nearly every snap for the Jets in this one, earning 92 air yards on his four targets -- that means Zach Wilson was looking for him down the field. People who watched him in training camp could not stop gushing about Moore and how well he played, and his Week 1 role was very promising. Make sure he's not available in your league if you are looking for upside on your bench.
NYG N.Y. Giants • #3
Age: 28 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ WAS
ROSTERED
29%
Week 1 Stats
REC
7
TAR
9
REYDS
113
TD
1
FPTS/G
24.3
Nobody has been excited to have Shepard on their team in years, but with Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney, the two big pass-catching additions for the Giants this offseason, coming off injury-marred preseasons, Shepard was always going to have a healthy role to start the season. The question is, how long can he remain one of Jones' go-to options. I would guess he's going to be no lower than second in the hierarchy for a long time, and he should be rostered in a lot more leagues than he is.
ARI Arizona • #13
Age: 24 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs MIN
ROSTERED
19%
Week 1 Stats
REC
5
TAR
5
REYDS
70
TD
2
FPTS/G
24.0
It was hard to know exactly what to expect from the Cardinals receiving corps based on what we saw in the preseason, because A.J. Green and DeAndre Hopkins weren't active. Hopkins led the team in targets (as expected) in Week 1 with eight, and Green was second (with six), also as expected, but Kirk still played a significant role. It wasn't an every-down role, mind you, and it's possible he'll lose snaps moving forward as Rondale Moore gets more comfortable, but Kirk's role in Week 1 should put him back on our radars.
BUF Buffalo • #11
Age: 32 • Experience: 10 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ MIA
ROSTERED
60%
Week 1 Stats
REC
8
TAR
13
REYDS
60
TD
0
FPTS/G
14.0
I thought Beasley might have to cede his role as the No. 2 option for the Bills with the addition of Emmanuel Sanders and the emergence of Gabriel Davis, but there was Beasley, earning a 25.4% target share, catching eight of 13 for 60 yards. I still think Sanders is going to be the more valuable option behind Stefon Diggs in this offense -- he had 149 air yards on his eight targets, an excellent number -- but Beasley is still a factor here, clearly.
DEN Denver • #5
Age: 28 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ JAC
ROSTERED
23%
Week 1 Stats
PAYDS
264
RUYDS
19
TD
2
INT
0
FPTS/G
24.5
We were excited about the potential for this Broncos offense to take a big step forward, and while it's too early to say definitively, you have to be very impressed with how Bridgewater played, completing 28 of 36 passes for 264 yards and a pair of touchdowns. And that was with KJ Hamler dropping a sure-fire touchdown on a deep pass that was right on the money as well as a drive that ended with a fumble inside of the Giants 10-yard line. In a game where they scored 27, the Broncos left points on the board, in other words. Bridgewater's group of weapons may not be as dominant if Jerry Jeudy's high-ankle sprain costs him significant time, but he also did this with Courtland Sutton ending with one catch for 14 yards in his first game back from a torn ACL. It's a stretch to say Bridgewater looks like a high-end Fantasy QB right now, but ... they've got the Jaguars and Jets on the schedule in the next two weeks, so he could be one until Week 4 against the Ravens.
DEN Denver • #1
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ JAC
ROSTERED
6%
Week 1 Stats
REC
3
TAR
4
REYDS
41
TD
0
FPTS/G
7.1
Speaking of Hamler, the box score doesn't look great, but he was wide open on that deep ball and should have had a touchdown, and that's a skill he should be able to put on display regularly. Jeudy's injury will likely cost him multiple weeks, and Hamler is the highest-upside receiver among the options to step up in his absence. Tim Patrick may also feature more heavily in three-wide sets and is worth adding in deeper leagues as well, but make Hamler the priority.
NE New England • #15
Age: 28 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ NYJ
ROSTERED
31%
Week 1 Stats
REC
5
TAR
7
REYDS
72
TD
1
FPTS/G
19.2
We didn't quite know what to expect from the Patriots receiving core in Mac Jones' first start, given how many new faces are here. However, Agholor, one of their big offseason additions, picked up where he left off with the Raiders last season, catching five passes for 72 yards and a touchdown on his seven targets -- matching the team-high. Jones looked quite good in this one, and if he continues to play well, he should be able to support multiple pass catchers. Agholor should be on that list.
NO New Orleans • #83
Age: 25 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ CAR
ROSTERED
3%
Week 1 Stats
REC
3
TAR
3
REYDS
21
TD
2
FPTS/G
17.1
The Saints passing game won't have another game like Sunday's -- they attempted just 21 passes but scored five touchdowns -- so take what we saw Sunday with a grain of salt. However, the reports we heard out of camp, that Johnson had emerged as a legitimate playmaker at tight end, did show up in Week 1. Adam Trautman (six targets) had a bigger role than we expected, so maybe that'll be a hindrance for Johnson moving forward, but any tight end with potential is Fantasy relevant. And Johnson has potential.