Jared Cook started off his 10th year in the league with a bang. Long seen as a guy full of potential, the now 31-year-old tight end may have found his niche in Jon Gruden’s offense. Cook was the clear star of the show and favored target for Derek Carr. He racked up 12 targets, 9 catches, and 180 receiving yards, while Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson combined for 4 catches and 32 yards.
Cook is owned in roughly half (52%) of all CBS fantasy leagues. He led all tight ends in percentage of Week 1 team targets at 30%, just ahead of George Kittle and the three consensus best tight ends in the league in Ertz Gronkowski and Kelce. Week 1 saw some rough games from expected big names at the position with Delanie Walker fracturing an ankle, Greg Olsen injuring his foot again, and others like Jimmy Graham not being big factors. I anticipate Cook will be the hottest pickup of week 1 because of all those factors, and projects as a top 6 tight end going forward.
Here are the remaining waiver wire options (numbers in parentheses here are ownership rates):
T.J. Yeldon (24%) has the highest immediate upside for just this week as we await news on whether Leonard Fournette will play. Even if Fournette plays, he’s a flex option this week, and he moves into mid-RB2 range if Fournette is out. Of course, Fournette won’t be out long if he does sit this week so bid accordingly, based on your immediate need for a starter.
Philip Lindsay (3%) was the surprise of Week 1 with the Broncos, evenly splitting time with fellow rookie Royce Freeman and relegating Devontae Booker. This could be a murky situation but Lindsay is worth rostering if you have some dead weight lying around.
Javorius Allen (16%) is another guy I would look at. Alex Collins was not impressive in Week 1 and both Allen and Kenneth Dixon got substantial reps and both scored. But Dixon is probably out again with a knee injury, and Allen may be more valuable than Collins in PPR formats going forward and is a possible flex play.
Jalen Richard (3%) should be added in PPR leagues. He was heavily involved in the passing game for Oakland and came in for Lynch in most passing situations. You know Gruden will utilize the back in his offense and Richard was the clear choice there.
Austin Ekeler (63%) should be rostered after Week 1. Yes, Melvin Gordon was still the primary back, but Ekeler showed enough as both a runner and receiver where he is a viable PPR flex option and would be a top tier start if Gordon missed a game.