Two weeks of the 2023 NFL season are in the books. The first few weeks of the season give NFL teams time to test out what will and won’t work this year. Several teams are still finding their identity or struggling offensively, which can both help and hurt several fantasy football players. The first few weeks are very important to fantasy managers as you look to make an early-season acquisition that could help you long-term. After Week 2, there are six skill players, all from the AFC, who could be valuable waiver wire pickups. Be sure to try and add these players, and many more, who could have lasting fantasy impact on your squad.
Top Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Targets After Week 2
*This list of targets will organized positionally and not by importance or overall fantasy value. Rostered percentages come from ESPN Fantasy Games and availability is subject to different league sizes and formats.
Quarterback C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans
The top quarterback waiver wire option for Week 2 is the Texans’ C.J. Stroud. Stroud, a rookie from Ohio State, has impressed in each of his first two games. Being down for most of the game certainly helped Stroud, but that will be natural for the Texans in 2023. Stroud threw for 384 yards and two touchdowns Sunday against the Colts, for a total of 30.3 fantasy points. His 15-point performance in Week 1 is modest but the Texans hung with the Ravens a bit, who have a stingy defense. After two weeks, Stroud shocks the fantasy world as he sits as the QB10. Perhaps an increase in fantasy production could happen if Stroud runs the ball more, something he did pretty well at Ohio State.
Running Back Zack Moss, Indianapolis Colts
Zack Moss was shot out of a cannon in Week 2 and is now the Colts’ starting running back for the foreseeable future. He didn’t even play in Week 1, but in-game inefficiency by Deon Jackson gave Moss the edge prior to Week 2. Moss did not waver and took full advantage of that opportunity, scoring 20.7 PPR fantasy points. The Colts gave him a serviceable volume with 22 touches (18 carries, four catches), and he turned it into over 100 total yards. Moss also scored one touchdown to boost his already good week. With Jonathan Taylor unlikely to play much/at all and Deon Jackson’s stock sinking, this is the perfect opportunity to grab a starting back in Moss.
Running Back Jerome Ford, Cleveland Browns
Another running back who came out of nowhere in Week 2 was Jerome Ford, but not under good terms. Nick Chubb had an impressive game against the Steelers before he and Minkah Fitzpatrick collided during a tackle. Chubb tore multiple ligaments in his leg and is done for at least the season and maybe longer. The Browns rely heavily on their run game as Deshaun Watson is still trying to come back to his former self. Ford will be the starting back for a little while until the Browns make a move for one through a trade or free agency. In just about a half of play, Ford had 19 touches (16 carries, three receptions) for 131 yards and a touchdown. His 27.1-point performance certainly raised some eyebrows and he will be a key component in this Cleveland offense for at least a few weeks.
Wide Receiver Nico Collins, Houston Texans
As C.J. Stroud benefitted from a pass-heavy scheme, so did receiver Nico Collins. Collins is a guy who finds himself on these lists early in the year every year but always goes under the radar in drafts. He is the top receiver in Houston and that is evident with his 20 target mark in two games. Sunday’s game against the Colts saw Collins catch nine passes for 146 yards and a touchdown (30.6 PPR points). He also caught six passes for 80 yards on 11 targets in Week 1. His point-per-game average right now sits above 22 and he is the WR6 in all of fantasy football. Perhaps a powerful fantasy storm is brewing in Houston?
Wide Receiver DeVante Parker, New England Patriots
The final receiver on this week’s list is DeVante Parker. Parker made his season debut in Week 2 after missing Week 1, just like Zack Moss. It was initially believed that this Patriots offense would be more balanced, but it seems like it’s Parker and Kendrick Bourne’s time to shine. In his first game, he was second on the team in targets and tied for first in receptions with the man right below him on this list, Hunter Henry. Parker caught six passes for 57 yards on eight targets against his former team. Despite putting up respectable but not overwhelming numbers, Parker is available in 96% of fantasy leagues.
Tight End Hunter Henry, New England Patriots
And finally, to wrap up this week’s waiver claims list, is tight end Hunter Henry. As mentioned above, Henry was tied for the team lead in receptions with six. He made those count, going for 52 yards and a touchdown while catching 6/7 targets. Mac Jones has a wealth of respectable (but not star) options to go to, but he found Henry early and often in Week 2. Through two weeks, Henry is TE2 and nowhere where anyone expected him to be. In Week 1, he caught one less pass but had four more yards compared to his Week 2 stat line. This pair of Patriots receivers are some of Mac Jones’ best receiving options and he’ll look for consistency over big plays.
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