Every Monday during the season, theScore’s Justin Boone will run down the recommended waiver wire pickups.

Ownership percentages are based on Yahoo leagues. FAAB bids are set off a $100 budget.


Andy Dalton, Bengals

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
at IND 22% $0

This isn’t a normal waiver wire week since most teams are fully healthy and byes aren’t an issue yet. However, you may be looking for a one-week Carson Wentz replacement or simply don’t like the matchup your starter is facing, like Jimmy Garoppolo on the road against a tenacious Vikings defense or Patrick Mahomes in a similar spot versus the Chargers. In those cases, you can easily find a streamer for Week 1. Dalton will be a borderline QB1 in my rankings thanks to his surprisingly deep supporting cast and a date with what projects to be one of the league’s worst defenses.

Tyrod Taylor, Browns

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
vs. PIT 12% $0

We’ve seen Taylor put up top-10 fantasy numbers with lesser talent around him. If the Browns fall behind in this one, Taylor will need to rely on Josh Gordon, Jarvis Landry, David Njoku, and Co. to help play catch-up. If you’re worried about Gordon coming off the bench, don’t be, he’ll see the field plenty in this game. Tyrod’s time as the starter in Cleveland may not last long, but he’ll be in the weekly streamer conversation for as long as it does.

Deeper options: Joe Flacco vs. BUF (7 percent owned), Sam Bradford vs. WAS (4 precent owned)

Running Back

Alfred Morris/Matt Breida, 49ers

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
at MIN 65%/47% $29/$29

Normally we’ll aim to discuss players who are below 50 percent owned, but in this case, with the news of Jerick McKinnon’s season-ending ACL tear still fresh, it’s worth noting that Morris and Breida are available in many leagues. We still don’t have a guarantee on how touches will be distributed, but both players need to be rostered in all leagues. I have Morris ranked slightly higher in standard formats, while Breida tops him in PPR. If I had to pick between the two, I’d take Breida’s upside over the course of the season.

Jordan Wilkins, Colts

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
vs. CIN 29% $9

Marlon Mack continued to sit out practice on Monday with a hamstring injury and appears unlikely to be available for Week 1. That thrusts Wilkins into a starting role and will give him a chance to make his case for lead back duties moving forward. The fifth-rounder is a risky play against the Bengals due to head coach Frank Reich’s history with committee backfields, but opportunity is one of the biggest hurdles for young running backs, and Wilkins will get his on Sunday.

James Conner, Steelers

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
at CLE 30% $7

Le’Veon Bell didn’t report to the Steelers on Monday, and while we expect him to rejoin the team at some point this week, it’s possible he decides to hold out into the season. If Bell does miss time or if the team feels he showed up too late to contribute on opening day, then Conner would vault up the rankings into low-end RB1 territory for a winnable game in Cleveland. Conner was as impressive as any back in the preseason and truly could be the Steelers’ future starter if Bell leaves after 2018.

Latavius Murray, Vikings

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
vs. SF 54% $4

Dalvin Cook is the Vikings’ running back to own, but coming off a torn ACL it’s possible the team elects to limit his workload early in his sophomore campaign. Murray was outstanding between the tackles a year ago and picked up where he left off during the preseason. There are also reports that Murray will siphon goal-line carries. For a team with Super Bowl aspirations, it would be foolish of Minnesota to overuse Cook in September, making Murray deserving of a roster spot on fantasy squads.

LeGarrette Blount, Lions

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
vs. NYJ 40% $2

Blount is another veteran capable of outperforming his ADP early in the season. Rookie Kerryon Johnson hasn’t taken over the Lions’ backfield yet, meaning a committee is in the cards at the start of the year. Head coach Matt Patricia watched Blount score relentlessly when the pair were part of the Patriots organization. The 31-year-old back still has significant TD upside if Detroit deploys him in that role. With an easy schedule over the first five weeks, Blount could be a sneaky fantasy starter.

Mike Gillislee/Boston Scott, Saints

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
vs. HOU 2%/1% $1/$1

It’s hard to get overly excited about Gillislee’s fantasy outlook, considering he just signed with the Saints this week and has a one-month window to carve out a role before Mark Ingram returns from suspension. He could serve as a short-yardage and goal-line back for New Orleans, with Scott profiling as a more direct backup to Alvin Kamara. Both Gillislee and Scott are dart throws in deeper leagues.

Deeper options: Austin Ekeler vs. KC (17 percent owned), John Kelly at OAK (6 percent owned), Darren Sproles vs. ATL (4 percent owned), Jeremy Hill vs. HOU (4 percent owned)

Wide Receivers

Kenny Stills, Dolphins

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
vs. TEN 68% $24

Stills is not your typical waiver wire target since he’s owned in 68 percent of leagues. But what are the other 32 percent of leagues doing? I have Stills as a WR3 in my season-long and weekly rankings. He’s been a top-30 receiver each of the last two years while having to deal with target hog Jarvis Landry. With Landry gone, Stills’ volume could actually increase. To nab him off the waiver wire heading into Week 1 would be an outstanding steal.

Keelan Cole/Donte Moncrief, Jaguars

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
at NYG 50%/17% $17/$7

Cole didn’t see much work as a rookie until Week 7, but from that point on he was a top-24 fantasy receiver. Marqise Lee’s injury makes a repeat of that production not only possible but likely. Moncrief will see the biggest uptick in snaps, as he slots into the starting lineup. He’s an intriguing late-round flier due to his red-zone skills, he just doesn’t have the fantasy WR2 ceiling that Cole possesses.

Chris Godwin, Buccaneers

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
at NO 31% $15

When we look back at the 2018 fantasy season, Godwin will haunt fantasy owners who overlooked him in drafts. He is set up for a major leap in his second season, after a strong showing in December and the preseason. With Marcus Lattimore keying on Mike Evans, Godwin’s breakout will begin immediately.

Anthony Miller, Bears

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
at Green Bay 23% $9

The bids on these receivers are all high because of the impact they can make on your team, not just in Week 1, but for the entire fantasy season. Miller has shown flashes of elite skills since being drafted in April and has a chance to assume a big role as the starting slot receiver in Chicago. He’ll quickly become a favorite of Mitch Trubisky’s, if he hasn’t already.

Deeper options: John Ross at IND (21 percent owned), John Brown vs. BUF (18 percent owned), Tyrell Williams vs. KC (12 percent owned), Mike Wallace vs. ATL (8 percent owned)

Tight Ends

Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jaguars

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
at NYG 33% $2

The Giants allowed tight ends to score at least one touchdown in 10 straight games last year. Even with a few new pieces on their defense, that’s a trend worth betting on again. If you believe in redemption stories, you should be rooting for Seferian-Jenkins to become a red-zone weapon in a Jacksonville offense that should find itself in scoring position often.

Ricky Seals-Jones, Cardinals

Next Up Ownership FAAB bid
vs. WAS 26% $2

With veteran Jermaine Gresham avoiding the PUP list, some of the shine has come off Seals-Jones’ season-long projections. RSJ will need to stand out early in the year to secure the starting job. Outside of Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson, the Cardinals need another reliable pass-catcher and their athletic young tight end is a matchup problem for opposing defenses.

Deeper options: Eric Ebron vs. CIN (36 percent owned), Ben Watson vs. TB (36 percent owned), Mike Gesicki vs. TEN (12 percent owned), Nick Vannett at DEN (0 percent owned)

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)