Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Week 2: Waiver Wire Wednesday

This weekend didn't see a whole lot of break-out performances from any position except for quarterback, but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of players worthy of being on your team this week. Players will be broken down into 3 different categories; Waiver Acquisition, Non-Waiver Acquisition, and Do Not Add. A waiver acquisition player is someone who has imminent potential for next week and the future, worthy of losing your waiver position for, a non-waiver acquisition is someone worth adding based on potential but not someone you would start this week, and do not add means that there is very little chance that said player will perform this week or in the future.


Quarterbacks:

Sam Bradford (N.W.A.) - Sam Bradford has played well this year, but it is highly unlikely that you will be starting him often this season if you have an alternative available. His six combined games against the 49ers, Cardinals, and Seahawks provide an inherently tough schedule, and both Bradford and the Rams receivers have a habit of getting injured. He could be a nice weekly fill-in for teams with weak or committee quarterback situations.

Carson Palmer (N.W.A.) - While Palmer isn't exactly blowing up the stat sheet, he isn't playing terribly and is racking up plenty of yards. He plays in a relatively easy division, and could be a good situational matchup depending on opponent.

Alex Smith (N.W.A.) - Alex Smith is as advertised this season. Not winning you games, but he isn't losing them either. He is very efficient and consistent. The running game has been better than anticipated, which has opened up some different passing options for him, and he is gaining confidence in the pocket. Again, this isn't someone you want starting for you, but he is probably worth grabbing if you have an injury and a solid supporting cast.

Matt Cassel (D.N.A.) - Cassel's numbers have been unnaturally expanded over the last two weeks by the garbage time touchdowns in two lopsided contests, and it certainly helped me with the high praise for Bowe this week. It could be sustainable...but you have to ask yourself why he has been so inept until the 4th quarter. Only the Manning brothers can get away with that while maintaining fantasy relevance.

Ryan Fitzpatrick (D.N.A.) - We've read this novel before with Fitzpatrick. Struggling quarterback has respectable first half of season only to implode down the stretch. He isn't worth a place on your team now, despite the fact that the defense looked much better this week. Spiller is the guy in Buffalo at the moment.


Running Backs:

Mikel LeShoure (W.A./N.W.A.) - Depending on your waiver priority, I would go ahead and grab this guy now. Anything past 6th is probably worth jumping in for, and going earlier isn't a terrible idea either. If he slides through waivers, make sure you grab him Wednesday afternoon before the Lions go to visit the Titans; the team with the worst rush defense to this point. LeShoure can be a bust and he can be worthless, but if the alternative is a 10-14 point per game running back it is worth jumping in on. I wouldn't be surprised if he became the starter this weekend, but there is no promise attached to that. Drop your Arizona running backs for this guy.

Pierre Thomas (D.N.A.) - You will have more heartburn starting this guy than eating cheap Chinese. Outside of Darren Sproles, who is a perfectly serviceable flex back, running with Ingram or Thomas is nothing more than a gamble. Thomas might have 1-2 more games like this Sunday, but you'll have to sift through the other 10+ games with under 6 points to find them. He could be a situational starter, even potentially this week against the Chiefs, but I'm not going to be starting him unless Ingram gets injured...and even that would be dicey.

Shaun Draughn (D.N.A.) - So there is no one in fantasy, except maybe Shaun's mother, who would have expected that Shaun Draugn would have more fantasy points than Peyton Hillis and Jamaal Charles by week two, but that's the world we're living in. Everyone who tried to explain away the RBBC worries for Charles and Hillis failed to account for a third running back taking a third of the important carries...and so they've all been pretty worthless through week 2. Don't add Draughn unless Hillis and Charles get injured. Odds are that this meager performance is a fluke.

Andre Brown (W.A.) - The Giants don't like David Wilson as much as everyone wanted you to believe before the start of the fantasy season, and then Ahmad Bradshaw got injured, just like everyone told you he would. We're left with a very interesting situation where we have no idea what comes next. The most obvious answer is that Brown is going to be the starter against a relatively weak Carolina defense, but has to play on Thursday night. I would probably hold onto waiver spots 1,2, and 3, but otherwise I'm making a play for this guy. He could have significant success and be worth a flex start, even though I'm going to stop promoting Thursday night players.

Mike Goodson (D.N.A.) - It was one lucky catch. Handcuff McFadden if you want, but don't play this guy.

Daryl Richardson (N.W.A./D.N.A.) - He played really well, but this Steven Jackson injury is a phantom injury. He sure looked healthy when he spiked the ball and got that 15 yard penalty. Is he a serviceable handcuff for Jackson? Yes. Is he worth starting while Jackson is healthy? No.


Wide Receivers:

Danny Amendola (W.A.) - He might not be worth top waiver considerations, but he is available in many leagues and should reach 95+% by the coming weekend. He is getting lots of looks, but has some of the same issues that Bradford does. The defenses in the NFC West are solid, but a slot guy like Amendola can thrive regardless because he is the quick option and doesn't usually draw the top corner by the nature of his position.

Brandon LaFell (W.A./N.W.A.) - He is worth it if you are already in the 7-10 slot, but probably not above that. You can start him on bye weeks and against weak pass defenses, but he really isn't a top option. Things could change depending on how Steve Smith does with his various foot ailments. Definitely carry him if he is available after waivers and you have an open slot.

Brandon Gibson (N.W.A.) - Gibson has been playing well, but I can't trust him yet. I think that Steve Smith will end up playing a bigger role as the year progresses, and these two good games might be a peak for Gibson. He is probably worth an add in deep league or on teams with serious WR issues, but you just can't start him yet.

Donnie Avery (D.N.A.) - Avery had a good game and it came at the beginning of the season. By the nature of cumulative fantasy points he looks like a much better option than he is. With Collie imminently returning and Reggie Wayne still carrying this offense, Avery probably isn't worth rostering.

Andrew Hawkins (N.W.A.) - Don't waste waiver positioning, but Hawkins might just be worth an add. He has been producing big numbers on few touches because of his elusive nature, and that will either lead him to be a huge disappointment over time or have a great season if the Bengals try to get the ball into his hands. He could have a very Percy Harvin-esque role going forward, but I'm still not starting him next week if I can help it.

Andre Roberts (N.W.A.) - I would use up a late waiver or second waiver on him, but you can probably get him by just waiting until Wednesday afternoon. He is producing points better than any other player in the Cardinals offense at this point, and Kolb is either going to get better or get worse from here going forward. I think you can probably stand to roster him in deep leagues and even play him in leagues where wide receivers are slim-pickin's. He gets plenty of looks.

Brian Hartline (D.N.A.) - I wouldn't read too much into Tannehill's big game against the Raiders. Their defense just isn't working right now (imagine that...letting your two best corners leave hurts your team), so this game was probably a fluke. I may be wrong, but I doubt it.

Leonard Hankerson (D.N.A.) - Pierre Garcon's foot cant be too bad if he wanted to play last week, so hopefully he will be back this week. Either way, Hankerson wasn't especially productive in a way that makes me think he will have numerous repeat performances. Odds are he won't start for you ever.

Austin Collie (N.W.A.) - Collie has been dropped in many leagues, but should be added whenever he comes back to play. The Colts are still a passing team, and Collie should be a solid number two for Andrew Luck.


Tight Ends:

Martellus Bennett (W.A.) - Using a waiver position on Bennett is probably a good idea. The tight end position is very even this season, but Bennett is seeing lots of looks from Manning. He is being targeted in the red zone with increasing frequency and should be a great option going forward.

Dante Rosario (D.N.A.) - Unless you are really desperate and imagine a world where Antonio Gates is going to be out for multiple weeks, don't bother picking up Dante Rosario. The guy had one amazing game and will have difficulty matching those numbers over the rest of the season.It is rare for a player to suddenly become amazing.

Scott Chandler (N.W.A.) - Chandler succeeded as part of my Waiver Wire Team for week 2, and now has consecutive weeks with touchdown receptions. For those of us with Aaron Hernandez now out for 4-6 weeks, Chandler's matchup with the Browns seems promising.

Dennis Pitta (N.W.A.) - Add Pitta only as a last resort. He has been relatively consistent over the last two weeks, but there is no real evidence to suggest that the looks he's been getting have been due to changes in offensive philosophy or player use instead of typical fluctuation in player performance. If you see it differently, feel free to add him, but I don't think you'd end up starting him often.

Kyle Rudolph (N.W.A.) - Kyle Rudolph has been a pretty consistent piece of the Minnesota offense thusfar this season. He is seeing looks and has over 100 yards this season. He should continue to see this low-end fantasy level production throughout the year. I would start him over Pitta.


Defense:

The three defenses I would start next week (that are not widely owned)...

1. Buffalo Bills

2. Arizona Cardinals

3. Cleveland Browns


Kickers:

Three kickers I would start next week... (Has anyone else noticed how amazing kickers are this season?)

1. Josh Scobee

2. Justin Tucker

3. Justin Medlock

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