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Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business,
but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious
selections to help your team from week to week while you strive
to collect fantasy wins, reach your league playoffs and win the
elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp. While
I’m a big proponent of making trades to bolster your roster,
the waiver wire can be an almost limitless resource when it comes
to discovering fantasy value in strange places. Each week, I’ll
highlight some of the popular (and not-so-popular) players who can
help your squad and may still be available in your league.
Smith, KC – It isn’t necessarily unprecedented for
Smith to have a big game, but it’s significant that it came against
a heralded Pats unit in the opener. Smith’s 368-4-0 was the best
QB performance of the week so far.
Wentz, PHI – Wentz was about 35-40 percent owned in
redraft fantasy leagues heading into Week 1, and he rewarded his
minority owners with 307-2-1 and a lost fumble. He’s a solid pickup.
Goff, LAR – The Rams have revamped the offense and
have better weapons and it showed in Week 1. I had Goff in the
“QBs to consider” section and Goff responded with 306-1-0 and
looked sharp – albeit against a disjointed Colts defense. He’s
owned in just 4.5 percent of ESPN leagues now, but you can expect
that number to rise in the coming days.
Palmer, ARI – My recommendation of Palmer was a tepid
one, and his performance Sunday (269-1-3) confirmed some of my
worst fears about the veteran QB.
Flacco, BAL – Flacco wasn’t asked to do very much (17
attempts) in his first game back versus a hapless Bengals team,
and his defense did most of the work. He did hook up with new
toy, Jeremy Maclin, on a TD and finished with 121-1-1 on the day.
UPDATE: Give Flacco a boost in
the rankings this week against a less-than-stellar Browns secondary.
He might even be a sneaky DFS play.
Kizer, CLE – Kizer finished among the Top ten fantasy
quarterbacks on Sunday in his NFL debut versus a decent Steelers
defense via 222-1-1 passing and five carries for 17 rushing yards
and a TD.
UPDATE: Kizer faces a tough test in Baltimore this week but Hue
Jackson said Monday the promising debut from the rookie “gives
the team hope for the future.”
Watson, HOU – I predicted Watson could be a hot commodity
by Week 8, but it didn’t take that long for him to surpass Tom
Savage as the starter. By halftime of Week 1 he was in charge,
and finished with 102-1-1 on 12-for-23 passing, adding 16 rushing
yards and a lost fumble on two carries. The rookie is expected
to be under center Thursday night against Cincinnati.
UPDATE: Watson (ankle) was seen limping after the loss to Jacksonville
and despite early reports may not start Thursday night. The Texans
offense is an absolute mess, making it wise to stay away from
this QB situation.
Cohen's Wk 1 efficiency isn't sustainable
but it's clear he's got a significant role in the Bears’
Cohen, CHI – Cohen was also among my players to consider
in last week’s column,
but I didn’t expect Cohen to break out with a PPR diamond like
he did in Week 1 (66 rushing yards, 8-47-1 receiving). He’s already
being added to fantasy rosters and has seen his ownership jump
to almost 8 percent in the past 24 hours.
Williams, ARI – David Johnson’s is expected to miss
some time with his wrist injury. How much time? At this point
we don’t know. Stay tuned, but Cards may take a long-term approach
and not rush him back on the field. Williams had 10 yards and
a TD, to go along with a catch on his lone target Sunday.
UPDATE: It was confirmed Tuesday that Johnson will have surgery
and is expected to be placed on IR, meaning the earliest the stud
RB will return is Week 10 against the Seahawks. Williams and Andre
Ellington will split duties, with the latter handling passing
downs and outside free agent help (Chris Johnson) still a real
Carson, SEA - While Eddie Lacy (5 carries, 3 yards)
got the start, it was Carson that dominated snaps in the Seahawks
backfiled Week 1 and will likely have a bigger role moving forward.
Seahawks final HB snap count: Chris Carson 27, CJ Prosise 15, Eddie Lacy 7. Out of 49
Vereen, NYG – Vereen did not receive a carry Sunday
night but exploded for 9-51-0 for a solid PPR line due to some
garbage time dump-offs from Eli Manning. He’s a must ad in all
formats, especially since the running game looks so pitiful for
Perine & Chris
Thompson, WAS – Thompson found paydirt on 4-51-1 through
the air but had just three carries for 4 yards. Perine didn’t
get any carries.
Mack, IND – I’ve been a believer in Mack since jump
street and the rookie was one of the lone bright spots for the
Colts in Week 1, finishing with 24 yards and a TD on 10 carries
and adding s 21-yrd reception on his lone target. It’s not every
week that a line that pedestrian will get
you among the top 15 RBs, but such is the case in very low-scoring
Lewis, NE – Lewis was used sparingly in Week 1 and
other teams are inquiring about his availability. Stay tuned.
Breida, SF – Just four carries for 11 yards, but it
was good to see him get some touches.
UPDATE: C.J. Anderson dominated Week 1 touches and Henderson
is nothing more than a stash at this point. Still, he looked excellent
in pre-season and could eventually get his shot.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Golladay, DET – I drafted Golladay in my oldest and
most competitive league, but failed to start him alongside Matt
Stafford (nice!) in Week 1. Still, he snagged 4-69-2 and promises
to be a big part of the Lions’ plans in 2017, so I’m happy. He’s
under 8 percent owned at ESPN leagues and makes worthwhile pickup
in all formats.
Davis, TEN – The Titans passing game could be very
strong this season with such a solid blend of largely unheralded
veterans (Rishard Matthews, Eric Decker Delanie Walker) and talented
young players like Davis (6-69-0 on 10 targets in Week 1). Snatch
this rookie up before it’s too late.
Agholor, PHI – Agholor’s 8 targets were a career high,
and his 6-86-1 was a personal best. I wouldn’t say he’s mind-melding
with Wentz just yet, but the two appear to be developing a significant
connection and better rapport as they work together.
Lee, JAC – With Allen Robinson (torn ACL) out for the
year, Lee promises to gain plenty of targets. He was blanked in
Week 1 despite four targets, but don’t let that discourage you
– he’s going to be a factor this season.
Hurns, JAC – The Jaguars moved Hurns inside to the
slot position during the pre-season but he could be asked to step
back outside due to the loss of Robinson. Rookie Keelan Cole will
likely have an increased role.
UPDATE: HC Doug Marrone expects
both Lee and Hurns to step up in Robinson’s absence, making
both decent additions as WR3/4s, depending on league size.
Nelson, ARI – Like Golladay and Lee, I included Nelson
in my “others to consider” and was happy to see him get six targets,
which he converted to 5-43-1 in the loss to Detroit.
Wright, CHI – Wright is the Bears slot receiver and even
though he was quiet in Week 1 (3-34-0), he should have more opportunities
moving forward as the Bears are now extremely thin at the position
with Cameron Meredith and Kevin White (shoulder) on IR. Wright
is probably a better add in PPR leagues. Deonte Thompson and Markus
Wheaton are currently the favorites to start outside.
James, PIT – I had too many fliers on Vance McDonald
and unfortunately forgot all about James heading into Week 1.
The embattled TE caught 6-41-2 in defiance. Adding the veteran
seemed to light a fire under him.
Hogan, NE – Hogan’s numbers, along with the rest of
the Pats not named Mike Gillislee or Brandin Cooks on Thursday
night, were pretty feeble, and he actually gained more rushing
yards (17) on his three carries than he had on his one catch (8).
Beasley, DAL – Beasley’s 3-32-0 on five targets was
okay, and included a spectacular reacharound catch that saw him
pin the ball to the back of his own helmet. Don’t forget about
Kupp, LAR – Kupp had 4-76-1 on six targets in Week
1, and that was good for top 10 among fantasy WRs in a low-scoring
week. He’s a WR3 with WR2 upside this season.
Gabriel, ATL – 3-36-4 isn’t awesome, but it’s a start.
Gabriel will have some decent fantasy lines this season.
Hooper, ATL – Yeah! Hooper was the top-scoring TE of
Week 1 (thus far) and appears to be more than just a safety valve
for Matt Ryan. He’s clearly got TE1 upside this season and should
be owned in all formats.
Doyle, IND – The Colts were never in this game and
Doyle finished with 2-41-0 on 3 targets. He’s in the discussion
for low-end TE1 despite a lackluster Week 1.