The first week of the 2016 regular season is just about coming to a close, with only two Monday Night Football games remaining. Most fantasy football leagues will run their waiver wire late Tuesday or early Wednesday, but we are here to help you get a jump on the best options to consider.
We will be ranking the top five players likely to be available in your league at each of the four major positions. Some weeks there might not be five good options available, but we’ll scour for the best we can find. Additionally, throughout the week, we will update each of these articles as ownership percentages change (via Yahoo!), and news arrives.
There were a few unexpected performances through Sunday in Week 1. These included Alex Smith, who is often referred to as a "game manager," as well as a few rookie quarterbacks of note in Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott who may be easily obtainable and make significant contributions to your team.
Editor's update: Alex Smith and Dak Prescott saw their ownership percentages go down, while the rest remained the same.
Waiver wire quarterback rankings, Week 2
1. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (7 percent owned)
Editor's update: Still owned by only 7 percent of Yahoo! players
Most people were uncertain regarding the decision to start Wentz after he sat out most of his rookie preseason, however he showed flashes of excellence in his regular season debut. He was able to spread the ball out to several receivers, and was able to remain calm in the pocket despite regular pressure. While the Browns are far from an elite defense the Eagles play the Bears next week, which should provide Wentz with plenty of opportunities to build upon his Week 1 momentum.
2. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (18 percent owned)
Editor's update: Still owned by only 18 percent of Yahoo! players
Flacco was only able to find one big play to Mike Wallace in Week 1, however this was a defensively focused, low-scoring affair, which typically leads to a drought of fantasy points. If you're looking for a QB to start in the near term, Flacco is available in the vast majority of leagues, and faces a very exploitable Cleveland defense in Week 2.
3. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (29 percent owned)
Editor's update: Now owned by 21 percent of Yahoo! players
The Chiefs have mostly been lauded for their defense in recent years, however the defense is missing a few key pieces due to injury to start 2016. In response, Alex Smith has flashed signs of that athletic, dual-threat quarterback that we've seen from time to time in the past. If the ground game continues to struggle, which is only exacerbated by the absence of Jamaal Charles, Smith will have to rely more on his arm and his own legs, ultimately leading to more points than expected from the Chiefs QB.
4. Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets (42 percent owned)
Editor's update: Still owned by 42 percent of Yahoo! players
Fitzpatrick didn't look particularly impressive in his 2016 debut, especially after struggling to connect with his receivers and throwing a game-sealing interception. However, the first third of the season is particularly tough for the jets in terms of opposing defenses. Once the first six weeks of the season are weathered, Fitzpatrick will begin to face weaker defenses. In addition, it always helps to have one of the best receiving pairs in the league. He may not be someone you want to immediately start, but his value will most likely increase as the season progresses.
5. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (55 percent owned)
Editor's update: Now owned by 48 percent of Yahoo! players
Prescott attempted 45 passes in his regular season debut. While many were short passes to Cole Beasley and Jason Witten, he was constantly under pressure, showing poise and confidence. If he can develop his connection with Dez Bryant, who almost had a touchdown today, as well as begin to use his legs like he did in the preseason, his ceiling is much higher than what he showed in Week 1.