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Waiver Wire Wonders: Week 1

The 2012 NFL Season is just about to kick off, what better way to celebrate than with our first installment of the Waiver Wire Wonders!! This week, a special “pre-season” edition where we talk about players that did not get any love on draft day. Many leagues do offer a free agency period prior to the first regular season game, check your league rules and even if not, keep an eye on some of these players once the season begins. 

As in year’s past, this column will do its best to mention players that are available in most leagues. The players are ranked in four categories, with the Smokin’ Hot category the most desirable, ‘Solid Pickups’ next, and so on down the list. Individual league rules and specific team needs are also a factor in determining which player(s) are best suited for addition to your team. Just as important as the player being added is the player to be released to make room. Be careful not to give up too early on a player, but in general, any time you can improve your roster, even the last player on your team, you do it. 

Thanks to all those that have been faithful readers of the column, and a warm welcome to those seeing it for the first time. On to this week’s Waiver Wire Wonders….

Smokin’ Hot

RB Jonathan Dwyer, Pittsburgh

With Rashard Mendenhall at least a month or two away and Isaac Redman nursing an ankle injury, the starting job by default to open the season falls to Dwyer. In the past, the Steelers have shown that they will have confidence in their starting back, look for Dwyer to get a significant amount of action to open up the season.

Evan Royster

, Washington

Even prior to the release of the Redskins depth charts, which coming from a Mike Shanahan team we consider to be next to useless, Royster was going to end up making this list. In an uncertain backfield where Roy Helu hasn’t set the world on fire, Tim Hightower was released, and Alfred Morris didn’t play in the final pre-season game, we see Royster as getting the first opportunity to run with the starter’s job in Washington.

Jerome Simpson

, Minnesota

He’ll be sitting out the first three games of the season, but come week four he will have an immediate impact as a starter for the Vikings. The speedster will be a welcome addition to the Minnesota passing attack, grab and stash him now.

Solid Pickups

Dexter McCluster

, Kansas City

Most leagues are listing him as a wide out, and he has certainly performed like one this pre-season. The Chiefs will need to find a way to get this explosive player the ball so look for him to get close to 10 touches per game. 

Robert Turbin

, Seattle

We have our doubts that starter Marshawn Lynch can last the entire season. Leon Washington will be the third down back, with Turbin spelling Lynch when necessary. 

Rod Streater

, Oakland

The undrafted rookie has been a standout for the Raiders all pre-season. This is all about opportunity, and he has taken advantage of it. With Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore‘s playing status for week one in doubt, Streater is in line to be the week one starter. Even beyond week one, he is able to adapt to play any position, so it is not a stretch to see some regular playing time for him even when those two are healthy and on the field. 

Kellen Davis

, Chicago

In 2011 under Mike Martz, tight ends were an after thought in Chicago. Martz is no longer in Chicago, with another Mike (Tice) now in charge of the offense. Davis had opportunities to sign elsewhere in the off season but he chose to stay with the Bears. Expect a significant increase in his 2012 numbers. 

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