Well! What a week last week was for fantasy football, and generally in a bad way. Many teams (mine included) were devastated by the spate of injuries from after Week 1 and during Week 2. A.J. Brown, Michael Thomas, Courtland Sutton, George Kittle, and of course, Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley were among the biggest names but were far from the only ones. So if you're here... I am sorry. But perhaps this will help.
Here are the best fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 2. (All stats via ESPN PPR formats)
Mike Davis, RB, Carolina Panthers (Available in 97 Percent of ESPN Leagues)
We'll start with an obvious one. Christian McCaffrey will miss four-to-six weeks after spraining his ankle. His replacement in Mike Davis should be priority No. 1 on the waiver wire this week. Davis has actually gotten a decent amount of touches even when McCaffrey is healthy, scoring 15 points this past week despite McCaffrey putting up his standard 24 before getting hurt. The downside is that Davis' production came almost entirely through the air. He notched eight catches for 74 yards and exactly one carry for one yard for one touchdown against the Bucs on Sunday. The Panthers seem likely to go running-back-by-committee to replace McCaffrey's rush attempts, but Davis has the edge over any of his cohorts when it comes to the passing game. Carolina's offense has been pretty good through two weeks, and while nobody is McCaffrey, Davis is as good a replacement you could hope for on the waiver wire.
Dion Lewis, RB, New York Giants (Available in 97 Percent of ESPN Leagues)
The other obvious one! Saquon Barkley is done for the year with a torn ACL. Dion Lewis will be one of the beneficiaries. He won't get many between-the-tackles touches, but the longtime scat-back will be more heavily featured now when the Giants want to move to a spread offense and let Daniel Jones attack through the air. It feels like that will happen with some frequency this year because the Giants were not particularly good before Barkley went down, much less now. If the rest of their game against the Bears was any indication, Lewis will be the closest thing they have to a lead back after he put up 15 points on 10 rushes for 20 yards with a TD and four catches for 36 yards. New York will be playing from behind a lot of this year and Lewis should see plenty of playing time, even if relying on the Giants' offense for fantasy output is risky business.
Jerick McKinnon, RB, San Francisco 49ers (Available in 73 Percent of ESPN Leagues)
Running back No. 3, come on up! Rasheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman both got hurt on Sunday against the New York Jets. That leaves Jerick McKinnon as the No. 1 back in Kyle Shanahan's prolific running offense. Just how prolific will be determined by whether or not Jimmy Garoppolo will be able to go after hurting his ankle, but Shanahan knows how to engineer yards out of nothing. McKinnon will be their biggest weapon even with Garoppolo on the field and will be in line for a good day against a not-very-good Giants team next week. McKinnon probably won't get 30 touches, but he'll see enough action to be worth an RB2 slot.
Scotty Miller, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Available in 62 Percent of ESPN Leagues)
This one is the sleeper pick for this week. Scotty Miller is this year's version of the undersized slot receiver that Tom Brady enjoys linking up with for six-yard receptions. Chris Godwin may not be active and even if he is, the coaching staff will want to ease him into things, so Miller should be the de facto No. 2 for Tampa Bay against Denver this week. Miller's fantasy production has been limited thus far, but if you have room to take a flier, he could be a long-term flex option in PPR leagues as he and Brady's connection grows stronger.
Mike Gesicki, TE, Miami Dolphins (Available in 46 Percent of ESPN Leagues)
Mike Gesicki is an interesting fantasy option. He's a tight end but Miami lines him up in the slot nearly as often as on the line. He's a favorite target of Ryan Fitzpatrick, putting up 27 points this week on eight catches for 130 yards and a touchdown against a very tough Buffalo Bills secondary. He's not exactly a diamond in the rough at this point as he's rostered in half of ESPN leagues, but if you're in the other half and are in the TE market after Kittle went down, Gesicki is a great option. His value could potentially rise, too, if Tua Tagovailoa takes over at some point this year and proves to be better than Fitzpatrck, which wouldn't be that hard.