The drug vote saga drags on, leaving the suspensions for Josh Gordon and Wes Welker up in the air. Is it worth stashing Gordon at this point if he’s still out there? Probably.
I’m still concerned about how much of Gordon’s suspension will actually be reduced, but his abilities as a top-5 fantasy football receiver when he takes the field makes him worth a bench spot at this point.
Don’t break the bank with your free agent acquisition budgets just yet, but make sure Gordon is on a roster by week’s end.
Speaking of top receivers, I’d love to list Allen Hurns here. He was the early surprise in Week 1 when he broke out with two touchdowns in the first half of the early games. But Cecil Shorts’ injury opened the door. Shorts’ return in Week 2 could close it.
I’m not sure I burn a lot of free agent dollars or a waiver claim order to get Hurns, but if you have a deep bench, be my guest. I might feel differently if it was Blake Bortles starting under center and not Chad Henne.
Now let’s kick off the waiver picks for this week.
It’s never fun when you lose your stud quarterback — or any stud for that matter — this close to the playoffs. It hurts.
But those unfortunate enough to lose Aaron Rodgers to injury can take solace in the wealth of quarterback options that have emerged to take his place. If you aren’t in one of those horrible deep bench leagues, you probably have a shot at making a run without your main mustachioed man.
I normally try to add notes about FAAB, or free agent acquisition budget, spending limits for each player, but this week, it’s really up to you.
There aren’t too many more weeks for you to play it conservative. It’s time to go big…or stay home while someone else goes to the fantasy football playoffs. I’ll suggest the minimum amount you probably need to acquire a player, but you can spend your whole bank if you have the conviction. Don’t let your favorite players end up on another roster. It’ll be doubly bad to see them started against you in these final, critical weeks.
Let me preface this pickups post by noting that no one has jumped out a must add in Week 1. We had someveryimpressiveperformances, some disappointing ones, and a crazy Monday night, but most of the explosive pickups like tight ends Jordan Cameron and Jared Cook were drafted. And those leagues that left Julius Thomas on the waiver wire probably have their teams stocked with tight ends across the board.
If you’re using a FAAB, otherwise known as a free agent acquisition system, I wouldn’t put any money down on these guys and just take what your league gives you.
I think there will be some game-breaking pickups later this season, as there always are, more worthy of spending the big bucks. So I wouldn’t advise blowing your budget on the likes of Julian Edelman, who could dwindle in value as quickly as he has risen.
It was an unusual Week 1, but at least with surprises comes a list of potential pickups to improve our fantasy teams.
Below I’ve listed some players you might consider claiming this week if they are not owned in your leagues. I’ve listed them in the order of preference, but I’ve also guesstimated what percentage of your free agent acquisition budget (FAAB) you should spend on them.
If you look closely at the percentages, you’ll notice I’ve alloted lower bids for some players who appear high on my list — most notably, Jeffery and Hill this week. Those players are the ones I consider waiver wire bargains.
You may have to bid more for them if you are really determined to have a specific player, but with no consistency established after just one week, you could try to get a steal by bidding the same low amount on many of these pickups and settling for what you get.
I’ll assume for the purposes of this waiver wire that C.J. Spiller was drafted in all leagues, but if he, for some reason, is on the market, you know what to do — go get him. He may cost you a good chunk of your FAAB to obtain, but he will probably be worth 50% or more of your budget if your willing to pay that price.
In order of preference…
Alfred Morris, RB, Redskins (25%) We’ve got some Shanahanigans in here! We would be remiss not including Washington’s leading rusher. While he’s nothing special, the Redskins’ running back will always produce. He’s a must add, but don’t risk more than 25% of your FAAB in obtaining him. You may want to sell high after he feasts on the Rams next week before he does something Shanny doesn’t approve of and rides the bench the rest of the year.
Randall Cobb, WR, Packers (15-25%) The Packers have finally found a way to get Cobb more involved in the offense — putting him in the backfield. While he didn’t record any carries, the hybrid role they have for Cobb is worth noting. He could emerge as one of the 2012 fantasy football surprises by season’s end.
Alshon Jeffery, WR, Bears (5%) Jeffery has immediately become a piece of the Bears passing game, which looked productive in Week 1. He won’t be a regular contributor for your fantasy team, but he should flirt with WR3 value that could mature into more throughout his rookie season.
Stephen Hill, WR, Jets (5%) While raw, Hill saw several targets from Sanchez in his rookie regular season debut. He may not score twice every week, but he should be owned to see if his hot start turns into a trend.
Kevin Ogletree, WR, Cowboys (10-15%) As I’ve already explained, I have my doubts about Ogletree. Don’t blow your whole FAAB budget on him, but feel free to invest 10-15% to see what he can do the rest of the way. I suspect a healthier Jason Witten and less favorable matchup will minimize Ogletree’s role in the Dallas offense.
James Jones, WR, Packers (10%) With Greg Jennings expected to miss Week 2, Jones should see an increased role. He’s sporadically dependable, but he should be involved and involved early if Jennings sits.
Austin Collie, WR, Colts (<5%) He didn’t play this week, but he should be on the field in Week 2 and ready to contribute. While Reggie Wayne got all the targets in Week 1, Collie could easily takeover the No. 1 spot if he can stay on the field this year. At the price of a waiver wire pick, he’s a must stash and shouldn’t cost you much of your FAAB if you get on him before the rest of your league.
Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Steelers (5%) He proved his value this week, but the running back situation is so muddy in Pittsburgh that I wouldn’t fight to get a piece of him.
Mikel Leshoure, RB, Lions (<5%) Now is also the time to stash the Lions’ potential power back while he’s still on suspension. Move now and save the FAAB dollars for another bid.
Dexter McCluster, WR/RB, Chiefs (<5%) The Chiefs offense is not as explosive as other options, but McCluster should receive plenty of targets this year from Matt Cassel. He should be owned in all PPR leagues.