It is that special time of the year again. A time when average Joes from all sections of society converge on water coolers to discuss what happen to their team the previous weekend. I have never been too into the intros. So, without further ado, let’s get to the waiver list this week.
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (41% owned)
Smith finds himself in the same position he is in every year. Smith has a reputation as a very good game manager. I suspect that is because his reputation of being bust first round pick by the 49ers still haunts him. Forget the fact that he led the 49ers back to the playoffs before Kaepernick took over. The 49ers sent Smith to the Chiefs who finished last season as the number two seed in the AFC. Since 2013, Smith’s first full season as a starter, the Chiefs have gone 44-21. That is a 70% win percentage. Smith has thrown for over 3,000 yards every year he has been in Kansas City. You cannot on be a good team in today’s NFL without a good QB. Thursday night against the Patriots, Smith played like a five time Super Bowl champion. It should be noted that he doesn’t not actually have a ring, yet. The point is that Smith is more than a game manager. He will always provide double digit scoring. The only reason he isn’t owned in most leagues is because QB is a deep position. There are a lot of good QB picks, many of which are much sexier than Smith. However, only a few of them will be as consistent. He is the perfect player to slot in for guys waiting for the return of Andrew Luck. I almost forgot to mention he was the number two fantasy scorer in week #1.
Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills- (17 % owned)
Taylor is probably going to miss time this season due to injury. That is just the way the world works if you are Tyrod Taylor. Mobile QB’s put themselves at what some would consider an unnecessary amount of risk. Buffalo is not expected to make any noise this season. The nail in the coffin is the absences of Sammy Watkins, Buffalo’s once promising starting WR. This begs the question as to why he is second on this list. Taylor is a proven commodity when healthy. Truth be told, Taylor is capable of being a top-10 QB if healthy. That is saying about a guy whose team isn’t even in the playoff conversations. I will admit that I am higher on Taylor than most. I think the guy has a ton of potential if he can stay out of the trainer’s office. Taylor is able to gain yards on the ground which makes him a threat to score. It also gives him the potential for big gains if a play breaks down. Whether or not Taylor is worth the risk is still up in the air. If he stays healthy, he will finish in the top-15. That is a conservative estimate.
Sam Bradford, Minnesota Vikings- (11% owned)
The jury is still out on this one. Bradford has been a fantasy enigma since coming into the league. This former #1 pick has shown and ability to great. However his health and the talent he has been surrounded with have not allowed Bradford to reach his potential. Now in Minnesota with a coach he is familiar with from his days as a Ram, Bradford has a chance to show what he can do. He has targets to throw too. He has a good young running back that is more than capable of carrying the load. More importantly he has a strong offensive line. If there was ever going to be a time when Bradford would be thrust into fantasy relevance, it is now.
Javorius Allen, Baltimore Ravens- (1% Owned)
Replacement running back are always a crap shoot. There is usually a good reason they have been regulated to being a backup. In most cases it is prudent to look at work load to see if there are enough touches to put points on the board. With Woodhead out, Allen is the next man up. He played more snaps and had more carries than current starter Terrence West. Allen will not be able to completely fill Woodhead shoes. However, he is primed to have a significant work load if Woodhead is out.
Tarik Cohen, Chicago Bears- (24% Owned)
Rookies always have a huge question mark on their backs. The gap between college and the NFL is large. Some of the best players in history have been drafted into the late rounds. The Bears are hoping they struck gold in the 2017 draft when they Cohen with the 119th pick. Is week #1 was preview, fans should be excited about what Cohen can do. Owners of Jordan Howard should be worried. Cohen has the potential to be great. 113 yards from scrimmage should mean that Cohen will continue to be a major part of the offense. Worth a stash, especially in PPR leagues.
Kerwynn Williams, Arizona Cardinals- (1% Owned)/Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks- (4% Owned)
Speaking of question marks, Williams and Carson are stash only this week. There are very few starters who could fill David Johnsons shoes, let alone any backups in the NFL. Cardinal just signed Chris Johnson who could possibly start week #2. Seattle backfield is up in the air as well. Lacy played just seven snaps and Carson had fairly productive week. Williams should get a chance to prove himself. If he succeeds Carrol will not hesitate to get him the ball. Seattle has done a good job of finding unknown players and making them shine. Williams is risk, but a heavy workload might get some points scored.
Jermaine Kearse, New York Jets- (13% Owned)
Kearse was the lone bright spot in the Jets offense for week #1. He was targeted 9 times and came down with 7 of them. Kearse lead the Jets in total yards from scrimmage even though both Jets running backs had significantly more touches. Kearse was dangerous in Seattle and it will be interesting to see what he can do as the featured pass catcher. There are a lot of concern about who is going to be under center for NYJ this season. McCown struggled and Kearse was still able to make it work for him. I am excited to see what he does this season.
Allen Hurns- (7%- Owned)/Marquise Lee (23% Owned), Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville is not able to go out and try to find a receiver to replace the injured Robinson. They are going to have work with the talent they have. If anything, Robinson’s injury just increased the work load for the rookie RB. Hurns is a proven commodity having a strong fantasy season two years ago. He was undrafted but still ended up helping Robinson make Blake Bortles a strong fantasy options. Lee is a little more established that Hurns. Lee should see plenty of opportunities come his way. Don’t sleep on either of these guys.
Kenny Galloway, Detroit Lions- (21% Owned)
Galloway was another steal in my draft. In fact, I think I took him with my last pick. Look, Detroit is going to pass the ball. When they are tired of passing they will call a time out and then pass some more. The run game is non-existent. Galloway has value just on the sheer number of opportunities he is going to get. His highlight looks a lot like OBJ. I love what Galloway brings to the table. This is especially true in PPR. Quick side note, Galloway was the number 4 WR this week,
Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills- (12% Owned)
Clay seems to be a forgotten man. His years in Miami did not serve him well with fantasy owners. Clay is in Buffalo now and appears to be a favorite target of mobile QB Tyrod Taylor. Clay provides a big target when Taylor is scrambling out of the pocket. Clay has always been labeled with fantasy potential but has yet to live up to it. I believe so much in Clay that I drafted him and started him in week #1. He caught less than 50% of the passed going his way. However, he hauled in 4 catches and touchdown giving him high value in PPR leagues.
Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons- (50% Owned)
While I am perfectly happy with Clay, Hooper was the one who got away. Atlanta has an explosive offense. Last season, just about everyone scored at one time or another. TE’s are huge targets, especially for teams who like to throw the ball. Hooper did not disappoint as he broke 20pts in week #1. I don’t think that Hooper will be back on this list any time soon. Of all the available players this week, I think Hooper has the best chance to be a starter on your fantasy teams.
Jesse James, Pittsburgh Steelers- (14% Owned)
14% prove that James was not really on anyone’s radar. There is a lot to be said about scoring the most in your position. All the hype is on Bell and Brown. This creates offensive scenarios that give James a lot of opportunity. James sort of came out of nowhere, so I am not sold on him yet. However, if you think you need to fill a TE spot I wouldn’t let this one get away just yet. No too shabby for this week’s best TE.