We searched high and low this week, digging for potential free agents, and we ended up with a column that was close to 100% dominated by wide receivers. Sure, Jamaal Charles went down and is done for the season and Adrian Foster is still on the shelf, so we’ve got their backups listed; this is a column dominated by the wideout. We’ve got plenty of them listed, and many of them have the potential to be productive fantasy starters for the entire season.
On to this week’s waiver wire wonders…
RB Ben Tate, Houston
We had Tate listed as a ‘Solid Pickup’ last week, this week he gets the promotion to the ‘Hot’ list. Arian Foster did not make it through last week’s game, forced to the sideline at halftime. The Texans are content to let Foster heal, and in the interim, Tate will carry the load 100%. An enticing matchup against the Saints is on tap for week three, Tate is worth owning and starting in all formats.
TE Fred Davis, Washington
We had Davis listed as a “Solid Pickup” last week, and his week two performance (6 catches for 86 yards and a touchdown) has earned him a promotion. This may be the last chance you have to pick him up. He is worth owning and starting in all formats.
WR Deion Branch, New England
From “On the Radar” last week to the “Hot” list this week, Branch has proven that even in a offense that spreads the ball around, there is plenty of room for the #1 wide out to get some fantasy love. With Aaron Hernandez out for at least a month, New England will have to rely on Branch even more than they already have been. Expect the veteran to respond on a weekly basis with above average fantasy numbers.
WR David Nelson, Buffalo
Steve Johnson‘s groin injury doesn’t sound like it is going away any time soon, and Roscoe Parrish is also banged up. This increased playing time bodes well for the fantasy success of David Nelson as he looks to build upon his 10 catch, 83 yard and a touchdown performance this past week. Worth owning and starting in all formats as we see him as a consistent fantasy performer in both the short and the long term.
WR Eric Decker, Denver
With Eddie Royal out for at least the next two weeks (more likely four), Decker will be the starter for the Broncos. Kyle Orton seems to have already developed a rapport with the youngster, and there is a strong possibility that Decker will be productive enough that he’ll continue to be the starter even when Royal returns. Worth starting in all formats the next couple weeks with the real potential for a long term gain here.
I could not justify putting either of these players on the “Hot” section this week. McCluster is the player that I’d prefer out of the two since he will get more consistent action on a weekly basis. Jones will end up carrying the load on the ground, but I have my doubts that he will come anywhere close to the production that was expected of Jamaal Charles. Plus he’s injury prone and Kansas City wants to make sure that McCluster gets the ball, too. This is a situation where two players are going to fill the role of the fallen starter, not a great combination for the fantasy owner.
WR Denarius Moore, Oakland
The Raiders are hurting at wideout, and Moore has been filling in for the lack of depth on the Oakland roster. A 146-yard day will certainly get the coach’s attention, as well as that of the fantasy community. The job may be his to lose and if nothing else, he’s worked his way into some sort of role even when the Raiders start to get their injured back onto the field.
WR Nate Burleson, Detroit
A healthy Matthew Stafford has been the key here, as the Lions have found a consistent threat at WR2. Burleson was the leading target this past week, notching 93 yards on 7 catches. Couple that with a decent week one performance (5 catches and 60 yards) and that is a good WR3 for a fantasy team. Consistency has been lacking in the past with Burleson, it looks like he’s captured some with Stafford behind center.