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Best Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Adds Ahead of NFL Week 1 (2021)

| September 10, 2021 11:50 am PDT

With the 2021 NFL season about to begin, let’s look at the best players to add to your fantasy teams before things gets underway.

This will be a list composed of players who should be added as quickly as possible, before their Week 1 performance boosts their value, and another fantasy manager snags them.

The list will be players who are not owned in a high percentage of leagues, but should outperform their current waiver wire standings.

Without further haste, here are my favorite week one fantasy football waiver wire picks going into 2021.

Sammy Watkins, WR, Ravens (Available in 91% of Leagues)

This is basically just a factor of the plethora of Ravens injuries. Their wide receivers have struggled mightily with health and Watkins hasn’t been a model of health either, but he is healthy right now.

He should be able to get a bunch of playing time with other Ravens’ receivers struggling with injuries.

Watkins also gets a great matchup in Week 1 against the Raiders, who gave up the 12th most fantasy points against wide receivers last season.

Watkins isn’t going to blow anyone out of the water, but he should be able to get some decent targets early in the season. He should be a great pickup before the season starts, especially in deeper PPR leagues.

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, 49ers (92%)

The future is Trey Lance, but the present is Jimmy Garoppolo. He gets an amazing Week 1 matchup against the lowly Lions and he could put up a big game and keep the job for a couple more weeks.

The Lions gave up the most fantasy points to quarterbacks out of any team in 2020 and they probably will be around the top in that category as well.

Jimmy G has big touchdown in Week 1, so grab him now and maybe throw him in your lineup if you don’t have a top end QB or are in a 2 QB league.

It would be smart to hold onto him for Week 1, then maybe try trading him for a QB-needy team after a big performance in Week 1.

Ty’Son Williams, RB, Ravens (64%)

Sadly, the Ravens injuries don’t stop at the wide receiver position. The Ravens lost J.K Dobbins for the season, and most recently Justice Hill, as well.

The lead back will now be Gus Edwards next to Lamar Jackson, but the Ravens like to use a bunch of different running backs.

That’s where Ty’Son Williams comes in. Like I said earlier, the Ravens do have a favorable matchup against the Raiders in Week 1 and the wide receiver injuries will have the Ravens running the ball a bunch in Week 1.

I wouldn’t worry about the Ravens adding Le’Veon Bell to their practice squad for now, as Williams is the 2nd running back on the depth chart, as well.

Parris Campbell, WR, Colts (89%)

For some reason, Colts wide receivers are coming at a very cheap price.

Their number one receiver Michael Pittman Jr. is another solid option but let’s take it a step further. Parris Campbell should be the WR2 for the Colts with T.Y Hilton likely out.

Hilton struggles with staying healthy, so this may be happening throughout the season routinely.

Campbell has a chance to be a decent fantasy option, especially in deeper leagues.

He is available in tons of leagues to start the season, but he should be owned in way more. If he has a great game in Week 1, it may be too late to grab him after that.

Anthony Firsker, TE, Titans (86%)

Last season the Titans tight end who was popular on fantasy rosters was Jonnu Smith. Since Smith signed with the Patriots in the offseason, that leaves Firkser to fill the void.

With Julio Jones and A.J Brown in the Titans air attack, there could be some big opportunities for Firkser if the defense forgets about him.

He can have a big year this season in a high scoring offense, which means a lot of touchdowns could be coming his way if the Titans want to trick the defenses into thinking Derrick Henry or those two wide receivers are going to get the ball.

He should be a solid third option in the Titans passing game, as well as fantasy tight end this season.

Tony Jones Jr., RB, Saints (85%)

The Saints made a surprising decision to part ways with Latavious Murray.

Murray was the main “rusher” who would often carry the ball in between the tackles while Alvin Kamara did all the other stuff.

Murray was able to run for 656 yards and four touchdowns in 2020, adding another touchdown in the receiving category. It’s not going to be a league winner here because Kamara runs the backfield in New Orleans, but Tony Jones may have some value in deeper leagues with the opportunity.

The Saints cutting Murray may either be a sign of Jones impressing them, or just how bad Murray has been. Either way, the Saints RB2 spot is wide open for Tony Jones Jr.

Other Week 1 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups

  • Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles (Available in 66% of Leagues)
  • Nelson Agholor, WR, Patriots (Available in 65% of Leagues)
  • Russell Gage, WR, Falcons (Available in 70% of Leagues)
  • Jalen Raegor, WR, Eagles (Available in 78% of Leagues)

The Eagles WR-TE pair is probably not the pair you thought you should be interested, but you would be wrong. After Ertz was in trade rumors, the Eagles and Ertz had a talk and now he is happy in Philly.

Raegor is entering his second season and should be hungry for improvement after being chosen over Vikings WR Justin Jefferson. Both Eagles players will be able to carve out some value in fantasy this season and come very cheap.

Agholor and Gage are two solid receivers who should have a larger role than expected coming into the season. Mac Jones is probably a more fantasy friendly QB in New England, so Agholor should have some decent value this season being one of their top guys. Gage will also slide into a starter role with Julio Jones traded to the Titans in the offseason.

Week 1 is coming right up and it would be smart to grab these guys while you still can.

A lot of fantasy players like to see proof before they make any moves, but then they risk losing a chance at these players. Grab them now to get a head start and potentially flip them if they have a big Week 1 performance as well.

With the 2021 fantasy football season not yet fully started, consider some draft advice posts below.

Anthony Haage

Anthony is a sports writer for GamblingSites.com covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and more. He also covers other various topics such as entertainment, general sports betting tips, and more.

His favorite teams are the Chicago Bears, Bulls, Cubs, and Blackhawks. He also will be a temporary fan of any team if it means winning him bets.

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