And away we go with the 2016 NFL season! There were some great and close games over the weekend, with a handful of upsets mixed in. There is no need for fantasy owners to be upset, we are here to talk about players on the waiver wire that can help you out. Be careful not to give up too early on top draft day selections, but those “fliers” taken at the end the draft are expendable in favor of the hot flavors of this week.
As a brief reminder, we split up the column into four categories. The Smokin’ Hot listing is the grouping of the top players available this week. These are players that can have both an immediate and long-term fantasy impact. The Solid Pickups are players that are on the cusp of moving into the top category. They might be only a week away from making headlines, so those of you buried at the bottom of the waiver wire can look here to get a jump on next week’s prime time players.
After that, the On the Radar types are those that are starting to make some noise. A shuffling of an NFL team’s depth chart might get them a mention in this listing. These are speculative adds to consider before they blowup and become consistent fantasy contributors. Finally, the Deep and/or Dynasty Only players are just that, only for those in leagues with deep rosters or dynasty leagues. The players listed here are weeks, if not an entire season away from making a fantasy impact.
As always, thanks for reading, on to this week’s wonders!
WR Tajae Sharpe, Tennessee
The rookie was quick to impress the Titans, pushing his way right into the starting lineup with some solid performances in the preseason. Undrafted in just about half the online leagues, Sharpe performed like a true #1 receiver for Tennessee, hauling in seven passes good for 76 yards in the opening week against the Vikings. Expect much of the same for Sharpe, as Marcus Mariota will guide the passing offense in Sharpe’s direction early and often. Sharpe is worth picking up and can be used as a fantasy starter for the short and long term.
WR Eli Rogers, Pittsburgh
The second-year wideout took advantage of his opportunity this preseason, becoming a reliable target for Ben Roethlisberger. With Antonio Brown getting most of the defensive attention, Rogers is had a big Monday night performance (6/59/1) that included a touchdown grab. Look for Rogers to continue to be an asset in the Steelers offense in the short and long term. He is a player worth picking up and using as a fantasy starter right away.
WR Mike Wallace, Baltimore
After bouncing into and out of both Miami and Minnesota, Wallace has found a match in the Baltimore Ravens. He has settled into one side, with Steve Smith on the other and the two are a pair that are getting the majority of targets from quarterback Joe Flacco. His opening week line of three catches for 91 yards and a touchdown is not unworldly, but it is a line that will be repeated time and again this season. He is worth an immediate grab and can be used as a fantasy starter.
WR Davante Adams, Green Bay
Adams has not quite lived up to the hype yet in Green Bay, and despite an up and down performance in week one, we see the potential for him to become a consistent fantasy contributor. As the clear number three for the Packers, he hauled in three passes for 50 yards and a score against the Jaguars. At the moment, he is not yet ready as a fantasy starter, but given that the Packers’ passing game does regularly involve many players, we like the potential for Adams to become better as the season progresses. Grab him now and enjoy his production later.
TE Jacob Tamme, Atlanta
After a couple of disappointing fantasy seasons in Denver, Tamme moved over to Atlanta where he was in a battle to even see playing time this preseason. The Falcons were impressed, now it is fantasy owners that are impressed after a week one performance that saw him catch six passes for 51 yards against Tampa Bay. He has had big receiving seasons in the past, and he looks to have solidified his role in the Falcons offense as the pass-catching tight end. Look for Tamme to be a steady fantasy contributor. He’s worth picking up and using right away.
RB Jalen Richard, Oakland
The Raiders have several RBs that are competing for carries behind starter Latavius Murray, with Richard looking the best among them on opening weekend. His final stats were three rushes for 84 yards and a score, with him also chipping in a couple of receptions for 11 yards. We see him as now being the clear backup to Murray, making him worth owning in all formats.