Fantasy Football Waiver Thread: Steps to take before the start of Week 1

This time next week, fantasy managers around the world will be scrambling to perform waiver wire moves. So, before Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season kicks off, let’s take a look at some waiver moves you might consider before they become obvious.

Last week I wrote about six late flyers to watch out for in early 2022. With week 1 of the NFL season here, I’ll add a few more players who may gain momentum over the course of week 1.


James WinstonNew Orleans Saints
The Saints open their season in Atlanta in Week 1, setting the stage for a productive start. Winston hasn’t played in an NFL game since Oct. 31 of last season. In the National Fantasy Football Championship in late August, he was the 20th ranked quarterback. If Michael Thomas flashes in week 1, Winston fantasy market bets will increase. The Saints’ offense may seem sluggish on opening weekend until their receivers get in tune with their recovering quarterback. New Orleans’ receiving body spans five depths, providing Winston with plenty of favorable matchups in 2022.

attacking half

Kenyan drakeBaltimore Ravens
In the past two weeks, there could be a window in which Drake went undrafted after the Raiders released him. Additionally, he could be released in some leagues that run their first waiver thread before Week 1. The running back situation for the Ravens looks murky, with JK Dobbins expected to miss a few games to start the season. Mike Davis is expected to start Week 1, but his overall game lacks explosiveness with a low ceiling. Drake is a much better player with a lot of experience in the passing game. Even with minimal snaps in Week 1, I would expect Drake to deliver playable games within the next month. The knee problem for Dobbins could end up persisting all season, leading him to deliver a disappointing year.

Ronald JonesKansas City Chiefs
Although he expects to be cut by the Chiefs after the preseason, Jones remains on the opening day roster. The current Week 1 rotation for Kansas City should be interesting to watch. The player to watch is rookie Isiah Pacheco, according to his pre-season press. If he’s inactive in week 1 or if Jones gets the RB2 snaps for Kansas City, the bargain price to acquire Jones goes up. If you’re playing in a short roster format, it might be a good idea to get a flyer on him before eyes are on him in the free agent market.

Wide Receivers

ZayJonesJacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars handed Jones a nice three-year contract for $24 million in the offseason after playing well at the end of 2021 (47/546/1). He played at a high level in his last two seasons at East Carolina (98/1,099/5 and 158/1,746/8), leading to a second-round draft in 2017. Buffalo gave him a reasonable chance in 2018 (56/652/7 on 102 targets), but Jones has worked his way to bench status over the past three seasons. Summer reports with Trevor Lawrence were positive, and Jacksonville sent Laviska Shenault to the Panthers in late August to increase Jones’ value and opportunities. Many writers turned to Christian Kirk after the deal, but Jones is the player who should see the biggest increase in odds. I view Jones as a 5/50 type wide that will provide week-long coverage in 2022. If Marvin Jones has a regression, Jones’ value will push even higher.

Jamison Crowderbuffalo bills
Game 1 of the NFL on Thursday night is a free peek game in the high-stakes market. If a Bills or Rams player scores 15 or more fantasy points in the PPR leagues, they would become a live starter. Isaiah McKenzie was the slot guy for Buffalo this summer, but Crowder has the best resume in the NFL. He offers no value in short formats, but his WR7 status in the NFFC earns him a $1 Week 1 offer just in case he sees the field more than expected.

tight end

Noah FanSeattle Seahawks
It was sad to see Fant’s ADP wither at the end of August as shrewd fantasy pundits insisted on his lack of preseason run. Not too long ago (2018), the Broncos drafted him with the 20th overall pick. He has the basic feel of a developing impact tight end who played in a below-par passing offense. His opportunity doesn’t look much better in Seattle, but Fant has a set floor in 2020 (62/673/3) and 2021 (68/670/4) while playing Drew Lock. At the very least, he’s a viable backup tight end who may not be drafted into some home leagues.

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