Week 2 Waiver Wire September 10, 2012  |  gregsauce


Week 1 is in the books and it’s important not to overreact to the results, despite the fact that every fiber of your being is demanding that you do. You’ve been without the sweet heroin that is fake football for so long that it’s easy to forget that we play this maddening game for 16 or 17 weeks. This initial surge of fantasy stimuli is enough to drive some managers to madness – managers who would hastily kick the disappointing likes of Chris Johnson, Hakeem Nicks, and Cam Newton to the curb for the waiver wire flavors of the week – but not you! Not you, faithful follower of The Fake Football! You know that a fantasy championship isn’t won in the first week of the season and that the best managers tiptoe a shrewd line between patience with their drafted players and opportunistic waiver claims. The following players will aid you in your quest for fantasy glory, but only if you know when it’s correct to pass on them and hold fast with the players you drafted.

QUARTERBACKS

Mark Sanchez, NYJ – Chances are you still have a QB worth starting over the Sanchize, but as far as backups go, you could do a lot worse than the Jets’ quarterback not named “Tebow”. If you rolled the dice with Fitzpatrick or you’re the Roethlisberger-owning sap who just watched the Pittsburgh O-line sublimate to a fine mist in front of your fantasy QB, picking up and starting Sanchez doesn’t seem like such a bad idea right about now.

Alex Smith, SF – Yes, that was really Alex Smith (the one with the small hands) scoring as many fantasy points as Tom Brady and more than each of Stafford, Newton, Vick, Manning the Younger, Roethlisberger, and Schaub in Week 1. No, you shouldn’t go forward starting him over those guys (well, maybe Roethlisberger and his aforementioned Swiss-cheese line), but you can feel better about keeping Smith as your backup in a standard league or as a mid-level starter in a 2-QB league.

Blaine Gabbert, JAC – After an abysmal rookie season, Gabbert seems to have figured out how to not be a complete fantasy football liability. You’re not starting him outside of your starter’s bye weeks or 2-QB leagues, but with Weeden, Tannehill, and KevJohn Skelkolb occupying the basement, Gabbert has found his way into a room on the ground floor of the quarterback hotel.

Kevin Kolb, ARI; Matt Hasselbeck, TEN – Nothing to see here, just more scraps for the 2-QB managers to fight over as Skelton and Locker were injured in Week 1. Early reports are that Locker injured his non-throwing shoulder and will be ready for Week 2. Skelton, on the other hand, has a high-ankle sprain and figures to miss 4-6 weeks. Despite the optimistic outlook on Locker, both Kolb and Hasselbeck are worth adding in 2-QB leagues.

Matt Flynn, SEA – Russell Wilson didn’t quite deliver on the hype he amassed in the preseason, so if you’re really digging deep for potential QB adds, consider Matt Flynn. He’s an expensive second-stringer, so he may get a crack at the starting job if Wilson continues to struggle.

RUNNING BACKS

C.J. Spiller, BUF – If for some reason Spiller wasn’t drafted in your league, it’s time to burn the bulk of your FAAB dollars to add him. Fred Jackson went down with a nasty-looking knee injury on Sunday and Spiller dazzled in replacement duty with 194 total yards and a touchdown. Spiller is a must-add in all formats.

Alfred Morris, WAS – Morris scored the second-most fantasy points among running backs on Sunday with 21, behind only Spiller (22). With 28 carries on the day, it’s clear that Morris’ “#1 RB” label isn’t a hollow title. A.L.F. is also a must-add, especially in leagues awarding points for dead cats.

Michael Bush, CHI – Matt Forte eventually got a sympathy touchdown late in their game against the Colts, but when it mattered, Bush was Chicago’s goal-line back. More than a mere handcuff, Bush is a reasonable flex play going forward.

Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL – It’s only a matter of time before Michael Turner’s tired act gets cancelled and the ‘Quizz Show gets picked up for primetime. Stash Rodgers now if you can.

Jonathan Dwyer, PIT – Dwyer was the only Steelers running back I would consider drafting in the preseason and my considerations were validated on Sunday as Rashard Mendenhall didn’t play and Isaac Redman averaged less than 2 yards per carry. Meanwhile, Dwyer ran for 43 yards on 9 carries and did so with quickness and authority. He nearly cashed in a TD as well, but review showed that his knee was down with the ball at the 1-yard line. Eventually, the Steelers will see what the rest of us see and give Dwyer the bulk of the carries. Grab him if he’s available.

Kendall Hunter, SF – Like Dwyer, Hunter barely missed a TD in Week 1. Unlike Dwyer, Hunter doesn’t have a clear path to the starting role. Frank Gore ran well on Sunday, but he’s never been the picture of health, so Hunter is a nice speculative add if you have an available roster spot.

Dexter McCluster, KC – While Jamaal Charles finished with zero receptions, McCluster led the Chiefs with 6 on his way to 82 receiving yards working out of the slot. Somewhat surprisingly, there are suddenly a lot of mouths to feed in the Kansas City offense, so don’t expect this kind of production from McCluster every week. Still, he’s worth a look if you need help at RB, especially in PPR leagues.

Knowshon Moreno, DEN – Moreno was largely overlooked for fantasy this year in favor of rookie Ronnie Hillman, but Hillman was inactive on Sunday and Moreno carried the ball 5 times for 13 yards and a TD backing up Willis McGahee. Hillman will get more involved in time and McGahee is still the starter, but Moreno can deliver value even as a backup in deep leagues.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Kevin Ogletree, DAL – Tony Romo loves his WR3s and you should too. Keep in mind that most secondaries the Cowboys face going forward won’t be as thin or as disrespectful of Ogletree as the Giants’ was, but he’s going to continue to get targets while Jason Witten is hobbled and opposing defenses key on Dez Bryant & Miles Austin.

Alshon Jeffery, CHI – The Bears rookie wideout caught 3 passes for 80 yards and a touchdown in his debut. Jay Cutler was targeting Brandon Marshall for most of the game, but as defenses aim to take Marshall out of the game, Cutler should learn to rely more on Jeffery as the season continues.

Stephen Hill, NYJ – Like Mark Sanchez, Hill is making his case for the Jets offense to return to fantasy relevance. With only 6 targets, Hill’s 2 TDs are a bit of an anomaly, but someone besides Santonio Holmes has to catch passes in that offense. Don’t break the FAAB bank to add him, but Hill could be a sneaky waiver acquisition this week while other owners grapple for Ogletree.

Randall Cobb & James Jones, GB – Jones garnered more fantasy points thanks to his TD, but Cobb is the Packers wideout to grab here. The return specialist caught all nine of his targets on Sunday for 77 yards, working primarily as the 3rd-down back for Green Bay. Jones also had a nice game (6 targets, 4 catches, 81 yards, 1 TD), but most defenses the Packers face this season won’t be as stout as the 49ers’ and Jones will be less involved as Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson find more openings against worse defenders.

Donald Jones, BUF – Jones has secured the #2 WR job in Buffalo opposite Stevie Johnson and he made the most of his opportunity in Week 1 with 5 catches for 41 yards and a touchdown. He’s not flashy, but Jones will produce for the Bills as long as Johnson is healthy and holding the attention of opposing secondaries.

Brandon Gibson, STL – I was all-in on the Rams #2 WR, but it turned out to be Gibson and not Steve Smith. Gibson’s upside is somewhat limited because of the offense he plays in, but considering the St. Louis defense (or lack thereof) the Rams should be throwing a lot this season and Gibson is well positioned to turn those targets into fantasy points.

Cecil Shorts, JAC – As long as Blaine Gabbert isn’t a complete disaster, his wide receivers will have some value. Shorts has grabbed hold of the starting job opposite Justin Blackmon, so give him a look if you’re desperate for a wide receiver.

TIGHT ENDS

Martellus Bennett, NYG – The Black Unicorn has finally emerged from the shadow cast by Jason Witten (The White Unicorn?) and he had 4 receptions for 40 yards and a TD against his former team in the season’s opening game. You won’t play him over the fantasy tight end varsity team, but Bennett deserves starting consideration over guys like Brent Celek, Jared Cook, Kyle Rudolph, and Owen Daniels, depending on the matchups.

Coby Fleener, IND – The Colts defense is still bad, so Andrew Luck is going to throw a ton this season and as long as Austin Collie is out, Fleener will be a nice TE value play. His 10 targets on Sunday tied for the second-most among tight ends with Jimmy Graham and Brandon Pettigrew (behind Jermichael Finley with 11). Fleener didn’t find the end zone, but it’s only a matter of time before he does.

Jacob Tamme, DEN – So much for the demise of Jacob Tamme and the rise of Joel Dreesen, right? Peyton Manning targeted Tamme five times and Tamme caught each one for a total of 43 yards and a touchdown. The Week 1 tight end fantasy scores were relatively homogeneous, with 10 players finishing between 9 and 11 points (even before the Monday night games). In that context, Tamme’s “nice” game was more of an “average” game, but so were the games of the nine other TEs in that point range.

Scott Chandler, BUF – The Bills stated in the offseason that they wanted to get Chandler more involved in the offense and he delivered on Sunday with 38 yards and a TD. He started off last season strong as well, but couldn’t keep up the production over the entire season. Again, it’s hard to separate the TE wheat from the chaff in Week 1 because so many guys had 30-60 yards with a touchdown, but Chandler has a chance to maintain that type of production because the Bills don’t have as many offensive options as other teams.

Marcedes Lewis, JAC; Heath Miller, PIT – These veterans finished toward the top of the tight end heap in Week 1 with 11 fantasy points in standard leagues, but neither is more than a bye week fill-in for your TE starter outside of deep leagues.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL UPDATE

Dennis Pitta, TE, BAL – Pitta led the Ravens in receptions and receiving yards on Monday night, beating out Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith, and most importantly Ed Dickson. Looking back to the end of last season, it’s clear now that Pitta is Joe Flacco’s preferred tight end target. Slot him in between Coby Fleener and Jacob Tamme in the TE waiver wire ranks above.

Rod Streater, WR, OAK – Streater found the end zone in garbage time against the Chargers. As long as Denarius Moore is out, Hot Rod warrants consideration in deep leagues. He ranks right behind Brandon Gibson in the WR waiver ranks.

Andrew Hawkins, WR, CIN – Hawkins came out of nowhere in Week 1 to lead the Bengals in receiving yards with 86. I’m not totally buying this outburst, but any time a receiver catches 8 passes in a game, we have to take notice. If opponents go all out to take A.J. Green out of games, Andy Dalton will need to find other receivers, so why not Hawkins? Still, he comes in at the bottom of this week’s waiver ranks for wide receivers.

65 Responses

  1. y4rivera says:

    It was a verbal agreement. After I read your response I was no longer thrilled about the move, lol. I told the guy Lynch’s back andthe QB situation in AZ was a major concern for me. He was ok with not going through with it. Thanks for your fast response.

  2. y4rivera says:

    I traded Murray and Percy for Lynch and Larry Fitz. I felt the downgrade from Murray to Lynch was smaller than the upgradefrom Percy to Larry. I also feel that Larry has more trade appeal to other owners. I now have Forte, Lynch, Charles, and Chris Johnson as my 2 starting backs and my 2 flx spots. My receivers are now Fitz, Cruz, and Nicks. What do you think?

    • gregsauce says:

      Seems fine. I’m high on Murray and relatively low on Lynch, so I don’t know if it’s a deal I would have done, but it sounds like you like your team more now and that’s what matters.

  3. Dan Greer says:

    hey greg. I was offered Chris Johnson and Mike Wallace for MJD. I have 2 out 3 WRs starting Santonio Holmes, Hackeem nicks, and Robert Meachum and I have f Jax, ALF, Shonn Greene and MJD at running back and I keep a RB in the flex position. Do you think the production i get from wallace will be enough to cover the gap from Chris Johnson to MJD?

    • gregsauce says:

      That’s a pretty tempting buy-low on Chris Johnson AND Mike Wallace. I’d do the deal. Wallace is a huge improvement over Holmes/Meachem as your WR2.

  4. Mundo says:

    Would you Trade Julio for Ryan? My starters are Locker and Freeman in a 16 man standard, but we also start 4 WRs and my other WRs are Green, Amendola, LaFell, Ogletree

  5. B.o.B says:

    Would you drop Helu for LaFell?

    • B.o.B says:

      Actually let’s expand the list to LaFell, Hawkins, Ogletree, James Jones, McCluster

    • gregsauce says:

      I’d only drop him for LaFell, Ogletree, and Jones, in that order. Only do it if you are solid at RB and need WR help, though. Helu didn’t do much in Week 1, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot on a Shanahan team.

  6. y4rivera says:

    I was offered Stafford and Blackmon for my Romo and Wayne. I’m thinking jump on this because Wayne doesn’t even start for me.

  7. emceeperiod says:

    I noticed McCluster wasn’t on your top 11 pickups list above. Would he be in a PPR league?

    • gregsauce says:

      It all depends on what you need position-wise, of course, but no, he wouldn’t slide up the rankings especially far in PPR because the players he’d be moving past are also receivers. I’m just not much of a McCluster fan in the first place. He’s was very inconsistent last season.

  8. Dominic says:

    How much of a 100 budget would you put in for mccluster? 12 team ppr where he qualifies at rb

  9. Randy says:

    Im kind of nervous about my Redskins S Moss and F Davis.
    Would you drop Moss for D Jones or B Gibson? if I can get them… and/or would you add Pitta or Chandler as back-ups for Davis or hold?
    Thanks

    • gregsauce says:

      Hold onto both of your Washington players for now. Moss only caught one fewer pass than Pierre Garcon on Sunday, so wait to see if he can get more involved in Week 2. Regarding Fred Davis, TE is so deep right now that you can risk missing out on Pitta/Chandler for now to see if Fred Davis improves his performance. Chances are that there will still be productive tight ends available on the waiver wire after Week 2.

  10. jay says:

    What do you think of LeShoure when he gets back, how soon before K Smith loses his job or gets

    • gregsauce says:

      I liked LeShoure a lot coming into the season, but Kevin Smith won’t lose his job for any reason other than injury considering the way he’s running. With that in mind, Smith has always been injury prone, so LeShoure is a nice lottery ticket to hold onto if you have space on your bench (which, unfortunately, it seems like you don’t).

    • jay says:

      No, i dont but looking for better backup RBs. I have M Bush and R. Williams. im very thin there

  11. jay says:

    Also do you think Ryan Williams is worth holding or try and get Dwyer

    • gregsauce says:

      Both are certainly worth owning and both currently have hurdles on the path to becoming featured backs. I like Dwyer slightly more right now because he seems to have separated himself from his competition more than Williams has. With that said, we’re a Beanie Wells injury away from a potential Ryan Williams breakout. I would try to fit both onto my roster, if possible.

    • jay says:

      i only have a 3 man bench and have Garcon, Williams and Bush so im not ready to give up anybody to get Dwyer but would love to get Cobb w/ the return yrds also

    • jay says:

      but i already have A. Brown, Lloyd and Garcon

    • gregsauce says:

      Yeah, you’re not going to start Cobb over those other three WR, so save your FAAB. I’d stick with what you have unless you want Dwyer over Williams, but that’s a bit of a coin-flip. Like I said above, I like Dwyer more right now, but that could change as early as next week. With three-man benches, it’s likely that Dwyer could still be available after Week 2.

  12. jay says:

    how much of a $100 budget do you think will land Cobb?

    • gregsauce says:

      It depends on the depth of your league and what other wide receivers are available. If all the managers in your league are fighting over Ogletree and Stephen Hill, you could score Cobb on the cheap ($5-10). If Cobb is the best guy available, you might have to spend $20+.

    • jay says:

      well, ogletree and hill are more like 1 weekers to me, Cobb seems to be a little more consistent especially cause we count ret yrds

    • gregsauce says:

      In a return yardage league, Cobb probably should have been drafted, so spending $20-40 seems appropriate if you need WR help.

  13. trick dad says:

    jeffery or hill as a bench wr? how much should i bid out of $100?
    we start 2 wr, i have cruz, lloyd, blackmon

    • gregsauce says:

      I like Jeffery more than Hill. You probably won’t start either over Cruz & Lloyd outside of bye weeks, though, so don’t spend too much of your FAAB to get them. Somewhere in the $5-15 range for Jeffery seems reasonable, but if you wanted to go as high as $20, I wouldn’t hold it against you.

  14. y4rivera says:

    I was offered Stafford and Finley for my Romo and Graham. I like Stafford but based off of your rankings this doesn’t seem enough. Do you think it’s good value? If not what should I counter with?

    My team His team
    qb- Romo qb- Stafford
    rb- McFadden rb- Foster
    rb- Murray rb- Helu
    wr- Jordy wr- L.Fitz
    wr- Maclin wr- S.Smith
    te- Graham te- Finley
    flx- D.Martin flx- V.Jax

    bn- Trent bn- McGahee
    bn- K.Smith bn- Cutler
    bn- R.Wayne bn- Blackmon

    • y4rivera says:

      Sorry, the spacing came out messed up.

      My Team
      qb- Romo
      rb- McFadden
      rb- Murray
      wr- Jordy
      wr- Maclin
      te- Graham
      flx- D.Martin
      bn- Trent
      bn- K.Smith
      bn- R.Wayne

      His Team
      qb- Stafford
      rb- Foster
      rb- Helu
      wr- L.Fitz
      wr- S.Smith
      te- Finley
      flx- V.Jax
      bn- McGahee
      bn- Cutler
      bn- Blackmon

    • gregsauce says:

      You’re giving up too much at tight end in that deal. The upgrade from Romo to Stafford isn’t enough to make up for the downgrade from Graham to Finley. Stand pat.

  15. Thomas says:

    Would you take Alfred Morris over Dwyer? Shanahan scares me but Morris looked pretty damn good.

    Also out of WR and RBs who would you take the highest on waivers?

    • gregsauce says:

      In the piece, I listed the players in the order I would target them at their respective positions. So yes, Morris over Dwyer and if I was ranking Flex RB/WR pick-ups it would be: 1) Spiller, 2) A.L.F., 3) Bush, 4) Dwyer, 5) Ogletree, 6) Jeffery, 7) ‘Quizz, 8) Cobb, 9) Hill, 10) James Jones (because Greg Jennings is hurt), and 11) Donald Jones.

  16. emceeperiod says:

    Alright, so I have a team with McFadden, JC, Mathews and Spiller. I can only start 3 of those guys per week. Do I try and flip Spiller since he had a huge game, and since FJax might cut into his carries in a couple months? Or are we thinking that once FJax gets back Spiller will have taken the role over and FJax will just be a change of pace/3rd down back?

    • gregsauce says:

      At the very least, you need to wait and see what happens with Mathews. When he comes back, then think about selling one of your RBs, probably Spiller or Charles because both will have teammates cutting into their workloads.

  17. Go Ducks says:

    Who would you rather have off the wire…ALF or Cobb?

  18. Matt says:

    Hi, 10-team league. .5ppr. This is my lineup:

    QB – Cam Newton
    TE – Aaron Hernandez
    WR – Megatron,Maclin,Amendola,S.Rice,T.Young
    RB – Trent Richardson, D.Martin, Kevin Smith, David Wilson, Ryan Williams, Peyton Hillis

    Little concerned with my teams start and Was offered M.Colston for T.Richardson.

    I have mixed thoughts. T-Rich has huge upside but is a rookie on a terrible team and has injury concerns. Colston is very solid, lots of targets, he doesnt have the same upside, but again, he’s real solid.

    Would you hold/decline/accept AND WHY?

    Thanks

  19. Billis says:

    How much of a $1000 FAAB budget would you spend on Moreno if you are thin at RB in a PPR (I’d be dropping Bernard Scott)? Thanks

    • gregsauce says:

      You probably know your leaguemates better than I do and it depends a little bit on what you expect others to bid, but I could see going as high as $100 or even $150 if you’re really desperate. I’d probably end up bidding $40-80 in most leagues, though.

  20. y4rivera says:

    In a league where pass td’s are worth 6 would you rank Stafford above Cam since running Qb’s lose that advantage?

  21. LakerSteve says:

    G-Sauce – great week 1 waiver compilation. Question – I’m in a 10 tm, 1pt PPR and my RBs are McCoy, Murray, TRich, Turbin, and RWill. ALF is currently available on waivers and I’ve got the #2 Waiver priority (which could be extremely valuable). You think it’s wise to risky my waiver position to p/u ALF for Turbin or RWill? And, if so, which one should I drop?

  22. Go Ducks says:

    What the hell should I do with Chris Johnson? Take a chance and deal him for Ryan Matthews? Or wait and see if his numbers stay down?

    • gregsauce says:

      I wouldn’t overreact to one week. The Titans were playing from behind against the Patriots, so Johnson never got anything going on the ground. There are definitely concerns about the Tennessee offensive line (read: they are not very good), so don’t be afraid to bench him in bad match-ups. I’d wait at least one more week to see if CJ can jumpstart his season before dealing for someone as volatile as Ryan Mathews. On the other hand, if I could land DeMarco Murray, Doug Martin, MJD, or maybe even C.J. Spiller, I’d be more inclined to pull the trigger now.

    • Go Ducks says:

      I own Martin and Murray, so not hurting at rb. Just can’t believe I spent a first round pick on him. Just looking at Mathews upside. Maybe try and package CJ and sell high on Garcon for a good rb? Other wrs are decker, white and britt

    • gregsauce says:

      In that case, I’d just be patient with Johnson for another week and see how he does. If you can flip him straight-up for an RB or a WR that you like, you can afford to do so because you’ve got Murray and Martin.

  23. iMP says:

    What was is your view of T. Young’s future after being left on the sideline in 2TE sets during the second half? Would you jump ship to D. Moore or Cobb?

    • gregsauce says:

      For what it’s worth, I wasn’t a Titus Young fan in the preseason. I have Denarius Moore ranked well above him, so if that’s a move you can make, I say do it. As far as Young vs. Cobb, that’s a little trickier. The Packers kept Cobb involved in Week 1, but there are so many receivers on that team that he could suffer consistency problems just like Young in future weeks. I’d still rather have Cobb than Young going forward, but not over Moore.

    • iMP says:

      Thanks for the input.
      Young was at the bottom of my tier and I had dreams of Jordy Nelson Jr. in my head. My dreams probably should have put him down one more tier like you all did.

  24. Wilsonian says:

    You still think with Mendenhall coming back that Dwyer will take the starting gig? I’m wondering who to stash of the two.

  25. y4rivera says:

    What’s your take on Fred Davis after week 1?

    • gregsauce says:

      He certainly wasn’t very involved in that high-octane Redskins offense we saw, was he? I wouldn’t panic-drop Davis after one bad week, but keep an eye on him in the coming weeks to see if he starts getting more targets. If his production doesn’t improve over the next two or three games, it will be time to move on and find a new TE for your fake team.

  26. Mike Edwards says:

    Do you think any of the QBs mentioned are worth a QB2 spot over Fitz?

    • gregsauce says:

      The Jets tend to own Ryan Fitzpatrick, so don’t read too much into his Week 1 stinker. Still, there will be weeks when the match-ups would have me preferring Mark Sanchez or Alex Smith. Week 2 is not one of those weeks, though, as Fitz goes against the Chiefs and their tattered defense.

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