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Fantasy with Fairfield: Players you need to pick up after week 1

Nearly 50 million Americans participated in fantasy football in 2019. A sports phenomenon like no other, fantasy football is taking over people’s lives. If you fall into this demographic and you’re reading this article, I can take an educated guess that you didn’t do so hot in week one, and your wife probably hates fantasy football. If so, you’ve come to the right place.

Unfortunately, there’s no blueprint to being successful in fantasy football every year. Even if you listen to every analyst’s mock drafts, do your own stat research, watch the player update videos, and stay up until two in the morning watching “Sleepers of the year” videos on YouTube, there is no guarantee that those predictions will come true. Fantasy football requires some serious knowledge and a bit of luck. But why does it seem like the same guys win your league every damn year? There’s one simple answer to that question: the waiver wire.

All the best fantasy players in every league make move after move on the waiver wire every week. They do their research, watch Redzone, and pay attention to what starters get injured and what sleepers have a breakout performance. If you want to win that cash prize and bragging rights in your league, it is imperative that you become savvy on the waiver wire.

Players you absolutely need to pick up if they’re available in your league:

RB Malcolm Brown, LA Rams –

In week one, Brown showed the world why he is arguably the hottest pick up on the market right now. While he entered opening week undrafted in 92.2% of leagues considering the Rams addition of rookie running back Cam Akers, Brown showed fantasy players that he has undeniable upside. He rushed for 79 yards on 18 attempts and two rushing touchdowns, adding three receptions for 31 yards. This performance posted a surprising 26 points in PPR (point per reception) leagues and 24.5 points in non-PPR leagues. Projected 11.0 points in ESPN Fantasy Football, expect Brown to get more touches in week two.

RB Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts –

Only rostered in 36.7% of leagues, Nyheim Hines put on a show in the week one loss against the Jaguars. With the season-ending Achilles injury to Marlon Mack and the mediocre performance by rookie Jonathan Taylor, Hines will be heavily targeted on the waivers this week. He only had seven rush attempts for 28 yards, but picked up a rushing touchdown. While you may think that’s nothing to write home about, his true upside showed in the passing game, as he recorded a whopping eight receptions for 45 yards and a receiving touchdown. In a PPR league, this guy’s value is unreal; he put up 27.3 points with a mediocre performance on the ground! If Hines can continue his dominance catching the ball for big gains, he will be one of the sleepers of the year.

WR Darius Slayton, NY Giants –

Slayton is rostered in 67.7% of leagues, per ESPN.  If you are lucky enough to be in a league where he is available, pick him up now. Slayton looked like a superstar in the week one loss to the Steelers, putting up six receptions for 102 yards and two touchdowns. Second year quarterback Daniel Jones looked promising and clearly has a connection with Slayton. Slayton’s performance was worth 28.2 points in PPR leagues, putting him in 5th for overall points in week one. Expect Slayton’s targets to increase and more production out of the second-year talent.

WR Parris Campbell, Indianapolis Colts –

Parris Campbell’s upsides for week 2 cannot be overstated. The second year wide out was targeted nine times, tied for team high, hauling in six receptions for 71 yards putting up 14.1 fantasy points. He also showed a flash of versatility as he rushed for a nine yard first down. T.Y. Hilton may be the first option in Indie, but it’s clear the new quarterback Phillip Rivers is going to spread the wealth. While this may seem underwhelming, keep in mind that Campbell and the Colts are going up against the worst pass defense in the league with the Minnesota Vikings this week. Also, Campbell is the WR2, meaning he won’t be matched up against Xavier Rhodes. Expect for him to have a great week against the Vikings.

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