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2023 NFL Week 2 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Picks

By Jeff Stinger

Fantasy football is back in full swing, and we got our first taste of the fantasy football campaign ahead with the conclusion of Week 1’s slate. As is customary in our favorite pastime, it’s back to scouring the waiver wire pool for some early key pickups to bolster our fantasy teams while the getting is good on several top prospects, particularly from the wild NFC this given week.

Nitrobetting is here to take your bets into the end zone this 2023 NFL season. Let’s take a closer look at the hottest waiver wire targets in fantasy football heading into Week 2.

Top Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Targets in 2023 NFL Week 2


Brock Purdy – 49ers

  • Pct. Owned: 24.5%

For those who spent high draft capital on one of the three rookie quarterbacks that each underwhelmed in Week 1, perhaps stashing a rock-solid QB option in San Francisco’s Brock Purdy will turn out to be a sound investment. Against a formidable Steelers defense on the road, Purdy didn’t turn the ball over and finished with 220 passing yards and a pair of passing touchdowns.

While those numbers don’t pop out like the other elite fantasy QBs, Purdy provides a solid floor of point production thanks to a well-rounded Niners offense with plenty of weapons at his disposal. “Mr. Irrelevant” is available in over three-fourths of fantasy leagues and is a worthwhile pickup for QB-needy fantasy managers looking to get the best value at the position on the free market right now.

Running Back

Tyler Allgeier – Falcons

  • Pct. Owned: 43.6%

Fantasy managers and experts alike were extremely high on rookie running back Bijan Robinson to make a massive splash as a pro, and they were not wrong as the former Texas standout averaged 5.6 yards per carry on 10 carries in his NFL debut. However, it was fellow back Tyler Allgeier, who ran for over 1,000 yards last season, who did the most damage out of the backfield in Week 1.

Like Robinson, Allgeier averaged five yards per carry and it was the latter who found the end zone on two separate occasions. The Falcons will likely continue a running-back-by-committee approach to their running game moving forward, which makes the second-year player out of BYU an even hotter commodity. Allgeier is owned in slightly less than half of fantasy leagues, but that will no longer be the case after this week’s round of waiver wire pickups for certain.

Kenneth Gainwell – Eagles

  • Pct. Owned: 21.5%

As is typical with Philly’s backfield situation even going back to the Doug Pederson era, countless fantasy managers have to juggle between the team’s running back corps for their weekly add/drop decisions. That being said, former third-stringer Kenneth Gainwell enters the fantasy radar once more, as the 24-year-old out of Memphis assumed the role of the Eagles’ lead back in Week 1, not the popular consensus in new arrival De’Andre Swift.

Gainwell accounted for 14 of Philadelphia’s 25 rushing attempts in Week 1 against the Patriots, with Swift and Boston Scott each only getting one tote apiece and mobile quarterback Jalen Hurts with the nine other carries. He also led all Eagles RBs with four catches for 20 receiving yards. Although Gainwell didn’t score a TD in the season opener, he was far and away the Eagles’ lead running back based on his snap count and overall production. In turn, Gainwell is another must-add to fantasy rosters this week regardless of scoring formats.

Wide Receiver

Puka Nacua – Rams

  • Pct. Owned: 2.5%

Perhaps the biggest breakout star on opening week is Los Angeles rookie wideout Puka Nacua, who’s another hidden gem coming out of BYU. The 22-year-old Polynesian receiver led all Rams receivers with a whopping 15 targets, 10 receptions, and 119 receiving yards in a professional debut to remember as the Rams got the most out of their young talent filling in for the injured Cooper Kupp.

A case could also be made for LA’s other prolific wide receiver in Week 1 as Tutu Atwell also rivaled Nacua’s 119 receiving yards on just six catches. Regardless, this inspired Rams offense with a healthy Matthew Stafford under center also invigorated their team’s overall appeal in fantasy. Nacua will be a hot pickup in fantasy leagues this week as a serviceable flex-start or a nice stash on the bench.

Rashid Shaheed – Saints

  • Pct. Owned: 2.0%

With the arrival of Derek Carr in the Big Easy, the Saints offense wasn’t afraid to throw the ball all afternoon in Week 1. Carr gave out a 100-yard receiving effort to top receiver Chris Olave, saw Michael Thomas make a relatively triumphant return into action, and vaulted undrafted wideout Rashid Shaheed to new heights as well.

Shaheed was tied with Thomas for the second-most receptions against the Titans (five), while also beating out the former Offensive Player of the Year with 89 receiving yards to just 61 for Thomas. As it stands, Shaheed is second in New Orleans’ WR pecking order over Thomas, which means the 25-year-old out of Weber State is another worthy stash at worst and should not be overlooked by the majority of fantasy leagues like in previous seasons.

Tight End

Hayden Hurst – Panthers

  • Pct. Owned: 4.8%

Tight end remains the hardest slot to fill in fantasy, and Carolina’s Hayden Hurst could be a make-or-break pickup for a fantasy manager who failed to secure a top-tier TE in their re-draft leagues. There will be many suitors for the six-year journeyman this week, especially after putting up unexpectedly gaudy numbers in Week 1.

Hurst is currently the second-best tight end in fantasy after hauling in five of his seven targets for 41 receiving yards and rookie quarterback Bryce Young’s first passing touchdown as a pro. Hurst is more than just a nice security blanket in the short-to-mid passing game for Young and the Panthers, as he’s now a borderline top-10 fantasy tight end if he keeps up this production the rest of the season.

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READ MORE: 2023 NFL Week 1 Biggest Takeaways