The second most important key to a successful fantasy season is the week one waiver wire. In fact, you can make up for a disappointing draft by hitting the jackpot. Regardless of whether your draft plan worked to perfection and you blew out your week one opponent, you started the ‘wrong’ guys in week one and lost, or you got your backside handed to you…it’s not over! If you are like 99.99% of leagues, you’re running on-line, which means that there is the means to get a list of all players that are free agents. Do it!
Generally speaking, after week one there are a pleothera of wide outs and backup tight ends to choose from. You’ve also probably got a couple of decent running backs that made a move in week one to take most of the carries and have the team abandon the RBBC (hey, we can dream, right?). Occassionally you can find a QB3 to round our your roster, and you always want to be on the lookout for the RB that will step in if the starter gets hurt. You don’t want to give up too quickly on the guys you drafted, but if you drafted someone that isn’t going to have any impact this season, then move him along.
So no matter how low you think you might be on your waiver wire, take a hard look at the last one or two roster spots on your team and look to upgrade. If nothing else, look to take players so that your opponent won’t have them. Take a chance, go deep into the depth charts, and please, please, please, do something!
Just a reminder, we’re doing our best to hilight players that we think are available in most leagues. In some leagues, the players listed here won’t be available, especially in the ‘Smokin Hot’ area. If that’s the case, then you’ll need to jump down to the next list or two and try and get ahead of the curve. Also, every week we’ll try to dig extremely deep and put some guys on the ‘Deep and/or Dynasty Only’ list. As its moniker suggests, only deep and/or dynasty leagues should be looking here.
On to this week’s waiver wire wonders…
QB Mark Sanchez
There are 32 teams in the NFL, and rarely are 32 quarterbacks selected in a fantasy draft. There are bound to be a few out there available, in most leagues, Sanchez is available. And as we’ve seen already (see also McNabb,Donovan), these guys get hurt. A very solid New York debut, 272 yards with a touchdown and one interception. The Jets are going to bring him along slowly and their running game is going well, but don’t be afraid to grab Sanchez as your QB2 as 250/TD are attainable weekly numbers.
RB Mike Bell
, New Orleans
I see many leagues where Bell is available, I know, many he isn’t, but if he is, then pounce. Sure, Pierre Thomas will be healthy at some point, but a spectacular debut by Bell has forced the Saints to keep him a vital part of the offense. As a fantasy owner, you want to be part of the New Orleans offense if at all possible.
, Tampa Bay
This is one of those cases where you don’t need me to sell you on him, the numbers speak for themselves: 97 yards and a TD. Yes, there is a crowd in the Bucs backfield, but rare is the opportunity for the fantasy owner to find a potential starting fantasy RB on the waiver wire.
Perhaps overlooked at your draft, Henderson was not overlooked by Drew Brees. Over a hundred yards and a touchdown…as I said above, if you can get an offensive Saint, do it.
WR Louis Murphy
While Darrius Heyward-Bey was getting most of the attention, it was Murphy who was the only Raider wide out to excel on Monday night. 87 yards and a touchdown, plus another touchdown taken away…I can’t believe I’m recommending the Raiders passing game, but he certainly looked good in week one, don’t ignore if you have the room.
WR Earl Bennett
Getting the start opposite Devin Hester worked out very well for Bennett as he proved that he belongs on the field. A disappointing effort from the quarterback position deflated his week one numbers. Bennett was a target more than any other Bear in week one, look for the Bears passing game to straighten itself, which bode’s well for Bennett’s fantasy outlook.
He’s quickly moving up the depth chart, already having passed Hakeem Nicks as WR3 for the Giants. 58 yards and a touchdown shows that he knows what to do when he’s on the field. The Giants aren’t a passing offense, but if Super Mario can work his way into the starting lineup, he will be a viable fantasy WR3.
I’m not sure anyone expected the Cowboys to be as prolific in the air as they were in week one, but they sure were. 135 yards and a TD in week one, that’s a nice game. I’m not sure you can expect 100+ on a weekly basis from him, but 70+ and a TD is possible. Grab him and wait and see.
WR Chansi Stuckey, Jets
Yes, I know that Stuckey is #3 in the passing order for the Jets, and New York won’t be putting up huge passing numbers…but if you’ve got room at the bottom of your WR depth chart, it’s not a bad idea to take a chance. Should something happen to Cotchery and/or Keller (ie. double coverage), Stuckey will get the chance to put up above average fantasy numbers.
TE Todd Heap
Perhaps the most difficult position to dissect after week one is tight end. One week wonder or year long consistent point scorer, that is the question. 70+ yards and a TD gets Heap mentioned here, that’s enough for you to grab him as your backup. LJ Smith will be back healthy soon, but Heap may have taken the first step into once again becoming a weekly fantasy option.
TE John Carlson
Another case of wonder vs consistent scorer. I don’t expect two touchdowns every week, but if he’s going to continue to be a red zone target, that’s worthy of him being at least your backup TE.
On The Radar
WR Mark Clayton
I came close to dropping Clayon on the ‘Solid Pickups’ list, but as a Raven wide out, he ends up here. A solid week one with 77 yards and a touchdown as the final tally, but more importantly, Joe Flacco was looking in his direction almost the entire game. If you miss out on the WRs above, take a chance here.
The Rams were horrid in their opener, and I look for that to continue. At some point, they’ll have to score, and if they continue to be behind in games, they will have to pass the ball. Robinson was the only player that looked good for St.Louis. This is another guy I’d grab and hold onto at the bottom of my roster to see if he and the Rams can develop some consistent offense.
I wouldn’t go too crazy here, but if you’re locked out of the other hot wide outs, Burleson is worth a flyer. Seattle won’t have the opportunity to pound on the hapless Rams secondary every week, but 70+ yards and a TD in week one gets him a mention in this week’s column.
Deep and/or Dynasty Only
WR Kenny Britt
The rookie had a solid debut, but with Nate Washington coming back, look for Britt to return to the sideline. A very good prospect, so dynasty leaguers should take note.
QB Kevin Kolb
Yea, yea, I know, Michael Vick, Jeff Garcia…but the Eagles drafted Kolb and he’s in his third year, he should be able to do something. He looked terrible in the pre-season, perhaps with a chance at starting week two that will light a fire under him? Motivation, and opportunity, can be a wonderful thing. Deep and dynasty leagues need only apply here.
RB Jamaal Charles, Kansas City
Based on week one’s numbers, it looks like Charles has nailed down the role of third down back for the Chiefs. This in itself, really has no fantasy value, but it is an indication that if the depth chart in front of him be shaken up, Kansas City has the confidence to move him up.
QB Matt Leinart
Let me be the umpteenth person to say that Warner can’t last the whole season. I mean, he can’t, can he? I say no, and the Cardinals passing attack will excel (at least to an extent) no matter who is throwing the ball.
RB Vonta Leach
It doesn’t get any deeper than this, but with a name like Vonta Leach, had to get a mention this week. If you are in the deepest of dynasty leagues, use your 40th roster spot on the fullback.
Yes, going even deeper, for your 41st roster spot….