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CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 10: Tarik Cohen #29 of the Chicago Bears carries the football past C.J. Goodwin #29 of the Atlanta Falcons in the first quarter at Soldier Field on September 10, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Kena Krutsinger/Getty Images)

Kena Krutsinger/Getty Images

Fantasy football owners knew it could be a wild opening week after the Kansas City Chiefs took down the New England Patriots via Alex Smith outplaying Tom Brady.  

Indeed, the rest of the weekend slate provided shockers here and there, such as the Jacksonville Jaguars defense finishing as one of the top scorers or new faces putting up big point totals. 

As usual, the post-Week 1 carnage is one of the best times for owners to improve a team for the long term, depending on whether he or she can grab a true value and not a one-hit wonder. 

Below, let’s help in the endeavor by outlining some of the best waiver-wire targets based on 12-team standard leagues. 


Week 2 Waiver-Wire Targets

Alex Smith, QB, KC

Tyrod Taylor, QB, BUF

Tarik Cohen, RB, CHI

Javorius Allen, RB, BAL

Marlon Mack, RB, IND 

Kenny Golladay, WR, DET 

Cooper Kupp, WR, LAR

Nelson Agholor, WR, PHI 

Austin Hooper,  TE, ATL 

Charles Clay, TE, BAL 


Alex Smith, QB, KC

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 07: Alex Smith #11 of the Kansas City Chiefs gestures at the line of scrimmage during the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on September 7, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Get

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

So now the question is simple—is Smith a target or one of the proverbial flashes in the pan who cools off and ends up getting dropped again?

Smith looked like a different quarterback against the Patriots, slinging his way to 368 yards and four touchdowns while the Chiefs tallied close to 600 total yards. 

The answer with Smith might come via his weapons. He hooked up with running back Kareem Hunt on a 78-yard touchdown. He also hit Tyreek Hill for a 75-yard score. If Smith stays healthy and is truly unafraid to push the ball down the field, he’ll be a viable week-to-week starter. 

For now, owners have to bank on the idea Smith’s 31.02-point outburst wasn’t a fluke. Remember, too, that he has rookie Patrick Mahomes breathing down his neck. Outdueling Brady is one way to win everyone over.


Tarik Cohen, RB, CHI

Most owners probably didn’t care much for Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen.  

It’s time to start caring.  

Cohen managed to fly under the radar entering the season because he was a fourth-round rookie out of North Carolina A&T playing behind one of last year’s breakout stars, Jordan Howard. 

Now Cohen might be a breakout star of his own after marching to 17.30 points via five rushes for 66 yards and eight catches for 47 yards and a score, leading the team in both categories. 

Yes, the Falcons were one of the worst teams against backs on average a year ago. But it is clear the Bears have big plans for Cohen as a complementary piece, and he’s explosive enough to tally big numbers.

Chicago’s offense has a lack of weapons after Cameron Meredith went down for the year, so the fact the coaching staff has already found how to creatively weave in Cohen in various ways is a big signal he is a must-have commodity. 


Cooper Kupp, WR, LAR

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Wide receiver Cooper Kupp #18 of the Los Angeles Rams catches a pass for a touchdown in front of free safety T.J. Green #32 of the Indianapolis Colts in the second quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 10,

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Like a year ago, 2017 already offers plenty in the way of must-have rookies.

Los Angeles Rams third-round rookie Cooper Kupp certainly qualifies. 

Kupp exploded on to the scene in his debut, catching four of his six targets for 76 yards and a score, slotting him at 13.60 points. It was no fluke just because he did it against the lowly Indianapolis Colts, either, seeing as he tied for the team lead in targets. 

Perhaps most important of all is how solid quarterback Jared Goff looked during the performance, a detail seen well enough on their touchdown connection: 

If Goff has truly turned a corner this year—and he looks like a completely different player—it means big things for Kupp owners, even on the same offense as Sammy Watkins and Todd Gurley. 

Already a priority target in Week 1, Kupp is on his way to a big season. 


Austin Hooper, TE, ATL

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 10: Austin Hooper #81 of the Atlanta Falcons runs the football in for a touchdown against the Chicago Bears in the fourth quarter at Soldier Field on September 10, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

David Banks/Getty Images

Tight end didn’t offer anything overly notable, as expected.  

Owners should throw a look at Falcons tight end Austin Hooper, though. The 2016 third-round pick grabbed both of his targets for 128 yards and a score, 88 of them coming on one play. He finished with 18.80 points. 

Granted, detractors will point out that Matt Ryan and the coaches only hit Hooper with two targets. But the fact both looks produced gains of at least 40 yards should grab the attention and keep it—and Ryan and the coaching staff certainly know it. 

Picking up Hooper leans on the idea the Falcons will find a way to draw up more plays for him moving forward. It isn’t a bad gamble to take considering the sophomore has huge playmaking ability and guys like Julio Jones will keep droves of coverage away from him. 


All scoring info, points-against info and ownership stats courtesy of Yahoo standard leagues. 

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