We offer a quick look back on the 2012 season by presenting a team of players that were not selected on draft day but enjoyed a high level of fantasy success. The list includes players that emerged at various points during the season and performed at a high enough level to be fantasy starters. Some of the most proficient players on this list emerged after the midway point of the season, proof that checking the waiver wire is crucial during the entire fantasy campaign.
This will be the final installment of this year’s “Waiver Wire” series, it has been my pleasure to put pen to paper, or more appropriately, finger to keyboard. Thank you for reading all season!
Russell Wilson, Seattle
While fellow rookies Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck got most of the headlines, Wilson has performed at a level just under those two players all season. His elevation to being the starter for the Seahawks was not solidified until just before the opening game of the regular season, which kept most fantasy owners away on draft day. His battle with Matt Flynn went down to the wire. Though he did outplay Flynn, it was Flynn’s injury late in the preseason that created a chance for Wilson to get onto the field. After a slow start, Wilson’s success got on solid ground during a Week 8 matchup against the Detroit Lions where he threw for 236 yards and a pair of touchdowns. That game kicked off a stretch where he averaged more than 200 yards and two touchdowns per game. Those that were lucky enough to start him in Week 15 also enjoyed three touchdown scores on the ground. Through 16 weeks, Wilson is one of the Top 15 fantasy quarterbacks and will surely be heard from again as a solid fantasy player in 2014.
Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco
After getting some scattered spot duty in relief of an injured Alex Smith, coach Jim Harbaugh made a bold move midseason, elevating Kaepernick to starter over a healthy Smith. This was quite a statement, given that Kaepernick struggled in the preseason to nail down the position of QB2 on the 49ers depth chart. Kaepernick got the start against the Chicago Bears on Monday night in Week 11 and he did not disappoint, throwing for 243 yards and two touchdowns. His running ability was an added bonus; on weeks when he was not passing for 200-plus yards he was running for 50-plus yards and scoring on the ground. His best game was at New England during Week 15 where he threw for four touchdowns. San Francisco is already talking about moving Smith, so it looks like Kaepernick has earned himself a starting job in the NFL, where his running ability is a dangerous weapon enjoyed by all fantasy owners.