FANTASY PLAYS: Thompson, Perine and other Week 2 waiver gems

Arizona Cardinals' J.J. Nelson (14) is chased by Indianapolis Colts' Kenny Moore during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

There’s little reason to panic if you couldn’t get the player you wanted when waivers ran last week. The fantasy waiver wire is a lot like washing dirty dishes. When the sink is full, some dishes look better than others but certainly none look pristine. Even after the dishwasher runs and the plates get filed away, the sink quickly fills up again and the cycle repeats.

Each Monday, there are players who are available in at least half of leagues who deserve your consideration. How you approach them depends on your league – you need to know how aggressive the other owners are, what other players are available and how much of your free agent acquisition budget you have left.

Most importantly, look at each player’s outlook for the rest of the season. One week wonder? Or likely to put up solid numbers week in and week out?

Here are the top players who may be available in your league this week. The numbers next to their name are the ownership percentages in leagues run by CBS Sports.

CHRIS THOMPSON, RB, Washington Redskins (44 percent): The Redskins pulled out a victory Sunday but the offense still isn’t clicking on all cylinders. This was to be expected when their top two receivers from last season (Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson) left via free agency. Quarterback Kirk Cousins still hasn’t developed a strong bond with Terrelle Pryor, leading to quite a few underneath passes for Thompson. You wouldn’t want to start Thompson under standard scoring, but he’s appealing in point-per-reception leagues.

SAMAJE PERINE, RB, Washington Redskins (49 percent): Rob Kelley has a rib injury that could make him miss time. Perine will likely be the starting running back during that span. Every starting RB has value and Perine won’t be any different. Some experts believed that it was just a matter of time until Perine took over the starting job from Kelley anyway. This injury to Kelley may have just accelerated that timetable because if Perine performs well in the starting job, it’s hard to see Kelley replacing him upon his return.

CHRIS JOHNSON, RB, Arizona Cardinals (20 percent): Remember last week when everyone spent all that FAAB money on Kerwynn Williams? Well that may not have been money well spent. Johnson was re-signed by Arizona during the week and he out touched Williams 11-9 and out rushed him 44-22. Granted, we’re not talking about a career day here but there is a chance that coach Bruce Arians will go with Johnson as the starter over Williams. Andre Ellington (37 percent) may see enough touches to just muddy the waters but he only has value in 16-plus team leagues.

JERMAINE KEARSE, WR, New York Jets (8 percent): Yes, the Jets are likely only playing for a top draft pick next April but they will be trailing in most if not all games and they will have to put the ball in the air early and often. Kearse may be the main beneficiary of those passes as he already has recorded 11 receptions for 123 yards and two scores in the early part of this season. Josh McCown and Kearse seem to have solid chemistry despite Kearse only being acquired by the Jets late in the preseason.

RASHARD HIGGINS, WR, Cleveland Browns (0 percent): Yes, that’s not a typo. Coming into Week 2, Higgins was owned in less than 1 percent of leagues. The fifth-round draft pick from 2016 was promoted from the practice squad last week and promptly led the Browns with seven receptions, 95 yards and 11 targets. Like the Jets, Cleveland will be trailing in most games and forced to put the ball in the air more than they may like. Throw in the fact that Corey Coleman may have suffered another broken hand and Higgins could now be the Browns de facto number one wide receiver.

J.J. NELSON, WR, Arizona Cardinals (47 percent): Arizona is a mess now that David Johnson has been placed on injured reserve with a dislocated wrist. They will have to look for big plays in the passing game in order to compete and with John Brown missing the game Sunday due to a quad injury, Nelson stepped up to the tune of five receptions for 120 yards and a score. Even if Brown returns next week, there is no guarantee that he automatically gets the starting job back as he has been a disappointment more often than not. The Cardinals can’t be choosy right now in terms of how they score their points.

This column was provided to The Associated Press by the Fantasy Sports Network,