Welcome to the week #1 fantasy waiver wire. The dust has finally settled on the first weekend of NFL football. It was a typical first week. There were a few surprises, a few disappointments, and a few injuries that already have managers second guessing. For the next couple of days everyone is going to be searching for the new hotness to replace the old and busted. My advice to you is slow your roll and take a deep breath.
I don’t know how your wavier system is set up, but you don’t want to blow a powerful waiver on a player who won’t show up for the next 16 weeks. That’s right folks, there is a lot of football let to play and week is not the time to start blowing up and rebuilding. This is not a warning to encourage you to not use a waiver. Just use extreme caution when trying to gauge your team after the first week. Adrian Peterson is not going to be limited to 3 pts each week. Just like Cole Beasley will most likely not be the Cowboy’s best fantasy receiver. With all that being said there are several name to keep your eye on this week. As I do each year I will try to keep the waiver pick to players who are owned in 60% or less in ESPN leagues. This is to ensure your chances of actually picking someone up.
This position continues to be the deepest position on the roster. It is the one position where the biggest names don’t always yield the biggest returns. If you didn’t get Drew Brees or Andrew Luck you are going to be ok. Seven out of the top sixteen quarterbacks scored 15 points or more.
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs- 26%
It took a few quarter for Smith and the Chiefs to get it going. Smith completed 9 passes in the first half for less than 100 yards. However, the second half told a much different story. Smith completed 21 passes is the final two quarters, 2 touchdowns and over 200 yards. His completion percentage was over 70% which is incredible. He is not a popular or sexy pick. However, he doesn’t get hurt, the system is built to his strengths and he is consistently a top 15 quarterback year after year. He is ranked #3 in score after week #1.
Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers- 60%
This is your only chance to get Winston this season. He ranked 5th after week #1 but he is only 2 points behind Smith. Winston has a unique skill set similar to that of Cam Newton. He plays in an offense that is seasoned and ready to go. He has multiple targets giving him plenty of options to make good choices. He has steadily improved each week since he walked onto the field. He led his team to a big win against a division rival on the road. He can pass and he can run. He is starter in all leagues and should be the man anchoring your Dynasty League. Winston has a huge challenge in Arizona this week. A defense that is going to be aggressive looking to rebound from a loss. I predict Winston to step up to the challenge against a very good Cardinals team.
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles- 11%
Wentz answered a lot of questions in his first week behind center. The Browns are not a good team, but there defense can make life difficult at time. The rookie will have a chance to keep it going this week against the Bears. Followed by his first real test against the Steelers. If you don’t trust your QB this week, keep an eye on Wentz.
This is always the thinnest position. The main reason being the fact that there are not many single backs to choose from. The league adopted a split carry formula that is crippling the RB fantasy position. Injuries make this position a huge question mark as teams end up at their third string by the end of the season. It makes it hard to predict week to week. However, that doesn’t stop players from shining through. I hope you don’t need a back this week, but if you do here are a couple that are up for grabs.
Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons-55%
Coleman lost his starting to Davonta Freeman early last season due to injury. His fantasy predictions were high, but he never got back on the field. He is still behind Freeman on the depth chart but made a huge splash in the passing game this week. If you are in a PPR league, he is a much grab. He only got 22 yards on the ground. But his 5 catches for 95 yards in a dangerous offense could eventually account for more time on the field and touchdowns.
Shane Vereen, New York Giants-32%
Always a brides-made and never a bride. Vereen always seems to be on the cuff of starting for whichever team he plays for. Is primarily a pass catcher but is very capable on the ground. If you have Jennings, you should have Vereen as a handcuff. He only ran for 38 yards but he did it on 6 carries. He also caught 3 passes for 20+ which means he got the ball 9 times. He is some perspective. Jennings got 19 touches and only scored 2pt higher than Vereen. He is good for 5-10pts each week.
Theo Reddick, Detroit Lions- 42%
It looks like the Detroit high scoring offense is back. Stafford is a gun slinger and they are not going to run the ball real great. Reddick did work on the ground and in the air. He will not have many multiple touchdown games but he is a dual threat. He catches better than Abdullah and needs to be added if he still available.
Keep an eye on Terrence West (40%), Alfred Morris (31%), and Travaris Cadet (1%). All of these player have the potential to break through or benefit from an injury. Might want to consider stashing them if you have room to protect them in coming weeks.
Each week I will be putting the TE position and the WR position in the same column. Partially because the TE position is going to be thin. And many leagues have got to a three WR with a flex option instead of the traditional TE position.
Tajae Sharpe, Tennessee Titans- 40%
How long has it been since there are been a Sharpe worth starting in fantasy football. The names has a history of catching passes and scoring points. This Sharpe is not much different. He was targeted 11 times catching 7 passes for almost 80 yards. He did not find the end-zone but this is a young team. They are going to struggle, but good players are still going to make plays. Mariota has found his “guy” and you don’t want to miss out when he breaks out.
Will Fuller, Houston Texans- 60%
Fuller is the first Texan rookie to catch for 100 yards in his first game. He is playing opposite a top five receiver. The Texans running game is as solid as ever. Defense are not going to be able to double him. He is going to see a lot of man and a lot of single coverage until he proves he deserves more.
Mike Wallace, Baltimore Ravens- 50%
Wallace have not been fantasy relevant since leaving the Steelers. Flacco might bring about a resurrection. Wallace is known for his speed and ability to make big plays down field. He is back with a QB that can get him the ball. There is not a ton of talent on the receiving core. Wallace could find a home as Flacco’s #2. Games against the Browns and Jacksonville will no doubt increase his stock.
Mohamed Sanu, Atlanta Falcons- 50%
Looks like there is an official WR2 in the dirty south. Sanu stepped up in the first week of the season with a stat line of 5-80-1. This is a good news for a guy who has been looking to break out for a while now. Playing opposite Julio Jones is a good place be. The running game is still a question. However, Ryan threw for over 300 this week. Sanu is going to get plenty of targets.
Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts- 45%
Here is the first TE waiver of the season. Last season he was only good when he scored. Unfortunately Luck had some difficulties and he didn’t score much. This year Allen is the man. Fleener is gone leave Allen alone at the TE positon. He showed up in week #1 with a line of 4-53-1 on his way to 13 fantasy points. Allen will be a top 15 TE this season, maybe even top 10.
Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions
This guys has been consider a fantasy flop for 2 seasons now. Yet he continue to come in with high expectations. He had 5 catches for 46 yards and touchdown against a bad Colts defense. Like Luck, Stafford seems poised to bounce back after a down season. Ebron has averaged just over 2 catches a game for his career. This season he is off to a good start. This is the year he meets expectations.
Well there you have it. There are probably many more names that could be added to this list, but it is only week #1 and it is hard to predict how it will go. I am looking forward to seeing how my pick this week play out. So until next week, stay classy fantasy owners and Go Falcons!