Sometime during the 14th century a poet by the name of William Langland wrote a poem call “Peirs Plowman.” I know what you are thinking, what does a 14th century poet have to do with 21st century fantasy football. Well maybe I don’t know what you are thinking but I am going to tell you any way. Langland’s poem is credited with bringing us the old saying “Patience is a virtue.” Tuesday morning represent fantasy football purgatory. That 24 hour period between the end of a fantasy week and the start of Free-Agent pickups. We have no choice but to sit and wait. We dwell on what could and should have been, we reflect on our good choices and our bad, and we dream of the future could hold. This is where patience as a virtue comes in. The fantasy football definition of patience is the ability to wait a long time without becoming annoyed, upset, and not messing up your team after the 1st week.
Now if you started Peyton Manning and only scored 8 fantasy points or you spent your 1st or 2nd round pick on Dez Bryant instead of Julio Jones or Rob Gronkowski you can see where being patient is easier said than done. Maybe you were expecting more from Gore, Peterson, CJ Anderson or Beckham Jr. What happen to your Lions WR’s? The list goes on forever, McCoy, Forsett, Stafford, Newton, Tannehill, Thomas, Sanders, and Green. If any of those names were in your lineup this week I suspect I am rubbing salt in some wounds. If any of those players were in your line-up this week you can see where the idea of patience being a virtue or a strength is applicable. Here are a few reason as to why you shouldn’t blow up your team the first week.
Last advice on patience before we get to an exceptionally long player list. Most waiver wires work on some sort of a ranking system. For instance if you have waiver pick #1 and you use it, then you drop back to #10 or 12 (last) and #2 moves up to #1. Don’t waste your waiver picks on average players. Let the rest of your league race to grab subpar talent and use your waiver on a guy that will have an impact. Most of the time you are better off waiting and you get a similar player without spending the waiver. Couple of years ago I sat on waiver wire pick and nabbed Vick at the peak of his comeback and I did the same a few year later when Foles grabbed the reigns in Philly. I won both of those seasons. Nothing like getting a top ten QB for nothing.
Be patient! Now for the whole reason you are reading this. If you are in a position to fill a hole due to one of the many injuries or you are freaked out by a player’s subpar performance this is your opportunity to strengthen your team. Is that missing piece out there? I guess there is only one way to find out. I will say that this is one of the better week #1 waiver pools I have seen in several years. Maybe because it is an offense driven league there is just more opportunity or players are just better now, I don’t know but you should be able to find a little help out there.
Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals, 48% owned
The question of health is always going to be there, Palmer cannot seem to stay on the field. The difference between Palmer and the average injury prone player is how good Palmer is when he is playing. If his health wasn’t a concern there is no question he would be 100% owned. He picked up right where he left off last season torching the New Orleans Saints for 307 yards and 3 touchdowns. If you are not starting a top 10 QB I would nab Palmer and ride him til the wheels fall off. Make no mistake they are going to fall off, but until then he is bargain that can be the difference between a win and loss.
Chris Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals, 12% owned
There are a lot of us out there who have made it fantasy football law to stay away from Chris Johnson. I know that he has burned me more than once in the last several years. Look, Johnson is a speedster that has shown he still has big play ability. Bruce Arians has already told the media that C. Johnson is the starter for this week. Ellington could be out for a few weeks and Johnson will have a chance to get back on the fantasy radar. He is part of the best offense he has ever played with and they won’t be relying on him to carry the team. Opposing defenses are going to have to protect against the pass giving Johnson a little more room to run with less defenders in the box. This is a short term solution as Ellington will be back. If you are looking for some run help Johnson will be able to give that to you this as a soft RB 2.
Ronnie Hillman, RB, Denver Broncos, 47% owned
Is this the year that Hillman finally moves for fantasy potential to fantasy starter? It seems like Hillman has been the man in Denver every season and then he ends up playing behind someone you never saw coming. Yet here we are again. No more Moreno, no more Ball, and C.J. Anderson is banged up. Manning had a horrible first week and if his arm troubles are legit we could see a lot of running. The new offense is already heavy on the run so Hillman is going to see the ball. The split carries with Anderson could be a sign that the torch is passing. Just a hunch here but I think Hillman is going to make an impact this season.
Terrance Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys, 45% owned
Dez Bryant is out for 4-6 weeks. With foot and leg injuries I would be surprised if he makes it back in 4 weeks, I am leaning towards 6. They no longer have the best back in football, and taking nothing away from Randle, Romo is going to have to throw. With Dez in the game Williams still caught 6 passes for 60 yards. He is going to get more targets as will Jason Witten. As long as Dez is out Williams will be a top 15 receiver, which makes him a strong WR 2.
Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City Chiefs, 20% owned
I don’t know why I added Smith to the list. Not because he isn’t worthy but because no one ever seems to pick this guy up. He isn’t a sexy QB that is going to be throwing the ball down field and he doesn’t need to be. I am not looking at Smith to take over as your starter if you have Manning on your roster. On the other hand if you lose you’re starting QB or you are on a bye week and you need a guaranteed 12-15 pts you need to grab Smith. He finished week #1 in 6th overall and I don’t think it was a fluke. Last season Smith had an 18/6 TD vs INT ratio with only Aaron Rodgers throwing fewer INT’s among starting QB’s. He doesn’t make mistakes because he isn’t asked to take risks. He is boring and constant. Which is a good fantasy combination, look at Alfred Morris. He doesn’t get hurt, he protects the ball, and he is incredibly efficient. He isn’t the highest score out there but he isn’t going to disappoint.
Nick Foles, QB, St. Louis Rams, 20% owned
There are so many good QB’s out there you don’t really need to be looking for one at this point so this is merely a “watch this guy.” We know things is Philly didn’t go as planned but we also saw flashes of brilliance the year took over for Vick. Forget the botched kick off and the defender who slipped on the final TD, Foles didn’t have any control over that. When it came down to the things he did have control over he delivered and did his job. Working with a St. Louis team that is underrated in my opinion he got a week #1 win against the NFC Champs, a team that has been favored to win the Superbowl for a few years now. Here is you wow stat for the week. Not only did he beat a very good defense, he averaged 11 yards per attempt. That’s pretty darn good.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Tampa Bay Buccs, 25% owned
Not a whole lot of good coming out of Tampa Bay last week. For a rookie Winston’s struggles were magnified by the excellent play of the opposing QB. Had Mariota had an average game would we be talking about Winston in such a negative light? I don’t think we would care about the pick six and I think more of the attention would be on Seferian-Jenkins who put up Gronk numbers in week #1. I had him on my radar during the draft but I didn’t pull the trigger and now I wish I had. Winston is going to get better but in the meantime expect him to be looking for the biggest target on the field. I hate to get all excited about unknown break out following week #1. But with a TE pool that is always pretty shallow, I think you have to take a shot when an opportunity presents itself. 5 catches on 7 targets for 110 yards and 2 TD’s. Don’t lose your team to get him as he only scored twice all of last season and only had 221 yards, but if you have an open space I would save it for Jenkins.
James Jones. WR, Green Bay Packers, 35% owned
I hesitate to even put this guy on here but I think this is your no brainer of the week. He was a fantasy stud just a few years ago in Green Bay before going to the fantasy graveyard that is Oakland only to be resurrected in Green Bay once more. He knows the system, he knows the QB, and he still knows the game. As a WR 2 Jones is a must start finishing week #1 as the 4th best receiver. He is catching passes from the best player in the football, with no questions you need to get James Jones on your team.
DeAngelo Williams, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers, 67% owned
If you have not made it out to the Williams retirement tour this is your last chance for tickets. No I don’t think that Williams in going to retire but there is a chance that week #2 is the last time you will get excited about starting for your fantasy team. Last week Williams showed us that given the opportunity he still has a lot left. Playing for a good team that can pass for 300 yards with ease, I expect another big game as Williams will once again dominate the carries. He is going up against a defense that was decimated in the offseason coming off of an unimpressive win over the Vikings. William should be starting for you team. Last call!
Percey Harvin, WR, Buffalo Bills, 45% owned
I keep going back over my notes to see who I have missed and realize now that this list is not in any particular order. Harvin showed on Sunday why he was almost an MVP in Minnesota before the injuries. He catches, he runs, he returns kicks. The guy gets the ball in his hands a lot and law of averages tells us that gives him lots of opportunity to score fantasy pts. If you are shallow at WR, Harvin is a pretty sure bet. We are not sure what the QB will do for Buffalo long term but so far so good. They will still look to run the ball when they can in Rex Ryan style but when the ball is in the air look for a healthy Harvin to come down with it. Forget the years in Seattle and New York, 5 catches for 80 yards and TD is a great way to start the season.
I am never big on hype, but this kid might be legit. I passed on him in the draft because he was going to high and now I think I made a mistake. Like Alex Smith, Dalton isn’t going to wow you with arm strength and Eifert is a perfect close target. 9 catches for 104 yards and a score is a great way to build confidence in your QB. With Green as the deep threat and Jeremy Hill running over DE’s, Eifert is in a perfect position to score big pts all season long.
Ladarius Green, TE, San Diego Chargers 6.9% Owned
With Gates suspended for 4 games to open the season Green has a chance to show what he can do. Last year many of us stashed Green expecting him to take over the starting position but Gates never slowed down. Chargers are still working out the kinks with rookie RB Gordon and Rivers is always going to throw the ball. Green made the most of his six targets catching 5 of them his way to scoring 13 fantasy points. He is a starter in all leagues until Gates returns.
So there you have my top waiver prospects this but maybe you are looking for a few more options.
Donte Moncrief 31.1% Owned
Pierre Garcon 63.1% Owned
Brandon Coleman 17.1% Owned
Jermain Kearse 03.0% Owned
Marcus Mariota 36.5% Owned
Andy Dalton 19.2% Owned
Tyrod Taylor 12.0% Owned
Danny Woodhead 68.6% Owned
Darren Sproles 57.5% Owned
David Johnson 37.1% Owned
Darren Fells 00.2% Owned
Eric Ebron 13.0 % Owned
Jared Cook 05.8% Owned
Jordan Reed 32.2% Owned