Welcome to the 1st edition of Waiver Wired for the 2017 season. Things are constantly changing in the world of fantasy football, and that means the buzz saw of a team you drafted in early August may now look like a team destined for the No. 1 overall pick. Thankfully, however, the wire provides, and even before the first ball is kicked, there are options available at every position for streamers and stashers alike.

As a reminder, the drop list consists of players who are no longer must-owns, recommended adds are available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the watch list consists of players who are worthy of a roster spot if possible, and deep cuts are players owned in five percent or fewer of Yahoo leagues.

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The Drop List
The drop list will return in full force after Week 1, but the reality is all of the players owned enough to be called a drop were drafted for a reason. There are two basic rules, though. One, cut all players on injured reserve, which seems obvious. Two, unless your league is deep, a multi-quarterback format, or it is difficult to find quarterbacks on the wire, drop your second quarterback. The same goes for tight ends, defenses, and kickers in standard leagues. Those rosters spots would be much better used by an upside running back or receiver, especially early in the season.

*Carson Palmer owned in 63% of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 add if available

1. Sam Bradford
2. Alex Smith

Running Backs
1. Jamaal Williams
2. Rex Burkhead
3. Darren Sproles
4. Jeremy Hill
5. Wendell Smallwood

Wide Receivers
*Ted Ginn owned in 64 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 add if available
1. Zay Jones
2. Kendall Wright
3. Paul Richardson
4. Kevin White
5. Cooper Kupp
6. Kenny Golladay
7. Robby Anderson

Tight Ends
1. Coby Fleener
2. C.J. Fiedorowicz
3. Austin Hooper

Defense/Special Teams
1. Rams
2. Jaguars
3. Bills
Looking Ahead: Ravens

1. Dustin Hopkins
2. Chris Boswell
3. Ryan Succop
Looking Ahead: Wil Lutz

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1. Sam Bradford, Vikings – Owned in 18 percent of Yahoo leagues
There are not many exciting quarterbacks on the wire Week 1 – if Carson Palmer is available, he is by far the best option – but Bradford is worth a look in all leagues. The running game should be improved and take away some volume this year, but Bradford is still going to throw a lot in an offense tailor-made for him. With the Saints coming to town Week 1, he could have a big opener.

2. Alex Smith, Chiefs – Owned in 18 percent of Yahoo leagues
Bradford is the better pure streamer, but Smith is who I would rather invest in long-term, even with a difficult early schedule. With Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, Kansas City has the weapons to be explosive, and he played well this preseason despite his receivers deciding to drop everything against Seattle. Smith rushing for nearly 500 yards or five touchdowns again would be a big bonus, but even without it, he can be a streaming option and deep-league starter.

Watch List:
Joe Flacco could be a solid option, especially as we get to the bye weeks, but it is tough to trust him after missing all of the preseason with a back injury…Jay Cutler is back playing for a coach who got the most out of him and looks like he is going to give his playmakers chances, but he still may not see enough volume to be a real fantasy factor…After getting burnt early, the Panthers bounced back as a pretty solid pass defense last season. Brian Hoyer is interesting, especially if he gets the deep ball working with Marquise Goodwin, but I want to give it a week (or two with Seattle up in Week 2)…DeShone Kizer is a fun breakout candidate, but he cannot be trusted in his first NFL start.

1. Jamaal Williams, Packers – Owned in 26 percent of Yahoo leagues
Every week an ownership percentage surprises me, and Williams was certainly the one which jumped off the page this week. Ty Montgomery is clearly the starter, but Williams will at worst have a role as the No. 2 on one of the best offenses in the league. More importantly, he is the backup for a player who has an illness which could pop up at any time and who missed practices this preseason with an injury. Williams is the type of player who should be stashed on fantasy benches.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

2. Rex Burkhead, Patriots – Owned in 31 percent of Yahoo leagues
Ranking Burkhead and Williams was difficult, but in the end, Williams has a more defined role and a better chance to have the backfield to himself. That said, Burkhead still has a lot of upside in an offense which produced 19 rushing touchdowns last season. If he gets the goal-line looks instead of Mike Gillislee, the sky is the limit.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

3. Darren Sproles, Eagles – Owned in 50 percent of Yahoo leagues
Sproles is tough to gauge in standard leagues because he sat out the entire preseason, making it difficult to assess his role in a confounding backfield, and does not offer the touchdown upside of someone like Williams or Burkhead. That said, it seems like he is the only Eagles back with a defined role and should lead the backfield in touches, for whatever that is worth. I want to see how the situation plays out in Week 1 before making any declarations, but I am heading into the season assuming Sproles will be the Philly back to own even in standard because of the uncertainty throughout the rest of the backfield.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

4. Jeremy Hill, Bengals – Owned in 48 percent of Yahoo leagues
Frank Gore will forever be The Inconvenient Truth, trademark Rich Eisen, but Hill will be that guy for fantasy owners at least early in the year. As long as he is healthy, which seems to be the case considering the Bengals kept just three backs, it is time to accept Hill will both be the starter and goal-line back to start the season. Joe Mixon should change that at some point, but until then Hill has to be considered in most leagues. That said, the matchup this week against the Ravens is a tough one.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

5. Wendell Smallwood, Eagles – Owned in 9 percent of Yahoo leagues
With LeGarrette Blount coming off a bad preseason, coach Doug Pederson made it clear Monday he will roll out a running back by committee. What that really means is Sproles likely will lead the team in touches, but it could mean Smallwood, who struggled with injuries but outplayed Blount when healthy in the preseason, emerges as the lead back. That potential makes him worth a stash in deeper leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

Watch List: The appeal of Chris Carson is evident after a big preseason, but the reality is he is fourth on the depth chart right now. That said, the three backs ahead of him are far from a lock to stay healthy or be productive, making him worth a shot if possible in deep leagues…Dion Lewis appears to be the odd-man out in New England’s backfield, but he has the talent to be a big-time contributor if he gets the touches…C.J. Prosise, Shane Vereen, Chris Thompson, and Charles Sims are all worth a roster spot in PPR formats and perhaps deeper standard leagues as well…Jalen Richard will likely steal some work, but DeAndre Washington looks like the change-of-pace option and back up for Marshawn LynchJamaal Charles is on the roster and probably the backup for C.J. Anderson, but I am still not buying both because his touches will likely be limited and he is a massive injury risk…Samaje Perine appears to still be well behind Rob Kelley, but he is the more talented runner. He should take over at some point, but at some point may be too long to stash him on the bench…It is possible Latavius Murray has a fantasy-worthy role, but it is Dalvin Cook show until further notice.

Deep Cuts: Matt Jones’ role after being claimed off waivers by the Colts is still completely up in the air, but he is worth a speculative look in very deep leagues…Matt Breida is the clear No. 2 behind an injury-prone starter…Tarik Cohen is explosive and should get a handful of touches as Jordan Howard’s change-of-pace option…Buck Allen got first-team work and looked good in the preseason. He could carve out a role…Paul Perkins was not inspiring in the preseason, and the coaching staff seems to like Orleans Darkwa.

1. Zay Jones, Bills – Owned in 43 percent of Yahoo leagues
With Jordan Matthews still not fully cleared as of Monday after getting hurt in his first practice with the Bills, it seems safe to assume Jones will open the season as the No. 1 receiver. That role resulted in eight targets in just 44 snaps in the third preseason game, and while he was not particularly efficient, that workload will result in good things more often than not. Matthews may take the No. 1 job eventually, but Jones is a good early-season bet.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

2. Kendall Wright, Bears – Owned in 10 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Bears certainly want Kevin White to be the No. 1, but he has not shown anything to suggest he is up to the task. Enter Wright, who is a talented receiver who seemed to have something of a connection with Mike Glennon in the preseason. Chicago’s passing game simply may not create any fantasy value, but Wright is the bet to make in the wake of Cameron Meredith’s injury.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

3. Paul Richardson, Seahawks – Owned in 3 percent of Yahoo leagues
With Jermaine Kearse gone and Tyler Lockett likely to be limited after missing the entire preseason, Richardson looks like the No. 2 receiver to open the season. We saw at the end of last season how explosive he can be when given the opportunity, and it looks like he will get them at least early in the year.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

4. Kevin White, Bears – Owned in 49 percent of Yahoo leagues
White has to be on this list because opportunity is king, but there are many reasons to doubt he will be able to capitalize on what should be a bump in targets. That said, he is a former No. 7 overall pick who was incredibly productive for a season in college. There is some upside here.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

5. Cooper Kupp, Rams – Owned in 25 percent of Yahoo leagues
I am not as high as others on Kupp because in the end he is at best the No. 2 option in a passing game helmed by Jared Goff. That said, it is impossible not to see the upside after a strong preseason, and coach Sean McVay can create fantasy value for slot receivers (see: Crowder, Jamison). He is more interesting in PPR leagues, but Kupp needs to be owned in deeper standard formats as well.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

6. Kenny Golladay, Lions – Owned in 16 percent of Yahoo Leagues
There is little doubt Golladay is the No. 3 receiver and should be involved from the jump, but he has a lot of competition for targets and did not show a ton when working with the ones in the preseason. That said, he clearly has upside in this offense and could end up forcing his way into targets, especially in the red zone, in the near future. He is a more of a stash than Robby Anderson, who would be the add for immediate help.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

7. Robby Anderson, Jets – Owned in 32 percent of Yahoo leagues
Anderson’s value took a big hit when the Jets acquired Jermaine Kearse – we will see if any more moves are forthcoming, especially after Jeremy Kerley was cut – but he still looks like the No. 1 option. That does not mean much on the Jets, but targets are hard to come by in deeper leagues, and Anderson should at least get his fair share.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

Watch List: Sterling Shepard will be a must add if it looks like Odell Beckham is going to sit out, but I think he will play. Shepard still should have some standalone value…Corey Davis is undoubtedly talented, but he will have a limited role after missing the entire preseason. His target share should expand eventually, but it will likely be a slow start for the rookie…I understand the Danny Amendola love, but beat writers seem convinced the Patriots will still limit him in an effort to avoid injury…Tyler Lockett is worth a dart throw if a roster spot is available, but it is fair to question how many targets he will see early after missing the entire preseason…Cole Beasley is a must-own in PPR leagues, and he is close in standard. He started last season strong…Devin Funchess should be as must own, but he did not show many signs he is ready to take advantage of his opportunity this preseason…Robert Woods was one of my favorite late-round guys early in the process, but Sammy Watkins’ arrival and Cooper Kupp’s emergence puts a damper on his value…Nelson Agholor has an opportunity. Whether he can take advantage is another story…Health is a big concern, but Malcolm Mitchell is good enough to step up in Julian Edelman’s absence…I do not know what to think about Taylor Gabriel’s role, but we know the upside is there.

Deep Cuts: Ricardo Louis is the No. 3 right now, but watch out for waiver-addition Kasen Williams in Cleveland. Sammie Coates also should be in the mix…The Brian HoyerMarquise Goodwin connection has looked surprisingly dangerous, and he looks like the No. 2 receiver at this point. Rookie Trent Taylor is another name to watch…Curtis Samuel is a better player than Funchess. If he can finally get and stay healthy, he should push for targets…Jermaine Kearse is not particularly good, is learning a scheme on the fly, and is joining a bad offense. Targets are targets, but it is difficult to get excited…Laquon Treadwell looks like the No. 3, and Stefon Diggs is not the model of health…The Bears need receivers, and Markus Wheaton at least fits the description. It will be interesting to see what his role is once he returns from injury. Waiver-claim Tre McBride is also interesting…The Colts’ offense is not exciting without Andrew Luck, but Chester Rogers should have a role…Mack Hollins is the No. 4 receiver, but he is behind Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, and Nelson Agholor. It will not be surprising if injury or performance allows him to climb the depth chart.

1.  Coby Fleener, Saints – Owned in 50 percent of Yahoo leagues
Buying in on Fleener again is difficult after he flopped his first season in New Orleans, but the Willie Snead suspension opens up early targets. Ted Ginn is the favorite for most of them, but the Saints need someone to work the slot and middle of the field. Fleener theoretically can be that guy. His first two matchups leave something to be desired, but he carries a lot of upside in one of the best passing games in the league if he gets the opportunities.

2. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Texans – Owned in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues
Fresh off a brand new contract, Fiedorowicz will look to build on a breakout 2016 in a reasonably difficult first matchup with the Jaguars. The Texans are hurting at receiver, however, and Fiedorowicz saw almost six targets a game last year. With hopefully better quarterback play and a similar number of targets, he could take a step forward.

3. Austin Hooper, Falcons – Owned in 47 percent of Yahoo leagues
Hooper will need to seize a larger target share to be a real fantasy factor, but he clearly has the talent to capitalize if he gets the looks. While his matchup this week is not great against an underrated Bears defense, he will always have streaming appeal because of the offense.  

Watch List: It remains to be seen if Antonio Gates will get enough work to be usable in fantasy, but he has the touchdown upside to be a streaming option…Despite O.J. Howard’s ADP, Evan Engram is the rookie tight end which is the most intriguing in redraft leagues. His early-season role will be important to monitor…With Julian Edelman out, will the Patriots use more two-TE sets? Dwayne Allen would be the biggest beneficiary…It should take Vance McDonald a couple weeks to settle in, but he is a more interesting fantasy option than Jesse James, who he should jump on the depth chart soon…Ben Watson and Dion Sims are owned in zero percent of leagues. Both could be surprisingly good streamers this year…There should be some value in the Rams’ tight end corps. It will be interesting to see if either Gerald Everett or Tyler Higbee can run away with the job…Austin Seferian-Jenkins is suspended the first two games, but he will be a factor once he returns.


1. Los Angeles Rams – Owned in 54 percent of Yahoo leagues
He may not have the horses, especially with Aaron Donald at best questionable to play, but Wade Phillips is one of the best coordinators in the league who will get to face Scott Tolzien at home in his first game with the Rams. That is a recipe for fantasy success.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Owned in 36 percent of Yahoo leagues
Unlike the other two in this list, the Jaguars have the talent to be a factor all season, and aside from the Titans next week, they have a great opening schedule including a date with the Texans this Sunday, who do not have a left tackle and are starting Tom Savage. For players looking for a set-it-and-forget-it option rather than a streamer, Jacksonville is the pick.

3. Buffalo Bills – Owned in 36 percent of Yahoo leagues
Like with the Rams, the Bills may not have the talent to be a weekly producer, but the matchup could not be any better in Week 1 with the Jets’ league-worst offense coming to town.

Looking Ahead:
I have high hopes for DeShone Kizer, but a trip to Baltimore is a tough ask in your second career start. Already an underrated fantasy defense, the Ravens should be a great play next week.

1. Dustin Hopkins, Redskins – Owned in 20 percent of Yahoo leagues
While he missed a fair amount, Hopkins attempted the most kicks in the league last season while his Week 1 opponent, the Eagles, faced the 10th most. Washington should be better in the red-zone this year, but Hopkins is still undervalued.

2. Chris Boswell, Steelers – Owned in 47 percent of Yahoo leagues
Boswell was not as good last season, but he attempted 32 field goals in just 12 games in 2015, and the Steelers have a good shot to return to the elite offenses with everyone back healthy and off suspension.

3. Ryan Succop, Titans – Owned in 20 percent of Yahoo leagues
Titans-Raiders projects to be one of the highest-scoring games of the week, and Succop was one of the most efficient kickers in the league last season.

Looking Ahead: Succop should be a good option again next week against the Jags, but Wil Lutz is a more intriguing option at home in the dome against the Patriots, which should be a high-scoring affair. 

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