Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 2
September 14, 2015 | Evan Sandel
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Week one had its share of surprises, disappointments and damnable injuries. Between Bryant, Jackson, Ellington, Hilton and Carr, it’s enough to send even the savviest drafter scrambling to the waiver wire. Fortunately there was a lot of production from the fantasy free agent pool:
James Jones (Ownership: 31% Yahoo, 30% ESPN)
This veteran receiver caught 14 touchdown passes from Aaron Rodgers just three years ago and it was immediately apparent that that chemistry hasn’t gone anywhere. Jones caught for 51 yards and 2 touchdowns Sunday, as targets were split evenly between the three starting receivers, with Jones getting the lion’s share of endzone targets.
When the Packers signed the Giants castoff there was speculation that he would overtake the WR3 position from Ty Montgomery and/or Jeff Janis, but it appears he may’ve overtaken Davante Adams to be the Packers second receiver in the wake of the Jordy Nelson Injury. Jones will be somewhat touchdown dependent, but still needs to me added immediately in all formats.
Donte Moncrief (Ownership: 11% Yahoo, 31% ESPN)
Fears that rookie receiver Phillip Dorsett would overtake Moncrief for Indy’s WR3 duties proved unfounded on Sunday as Moncrief caught 6 balls for 46 yards and a score. With T.Y. Hilton day-to-day with a knee bruise, Moncrief will see a significant bump in targets in the immediate future. His production however, is not limited to his time spent in Hilton’s absence.
Colt’s veteran free agent pickup, Andre Johnson caught a mere 4 of the 10 balls thrown his way and produced a dismissible 24 yards. He struggled to create space and had a bad drop in the endzone on a 2-point attempt. At 34 years of age it’s unlikely Johnson will improve, and if he continues to struggle Moncrief could find himself benefiting from WR2 status, while Hilton draws the majority of attention from opposing defenses. Moncrief is worth an immediate add due to Hilton’s injury, and should continue to be stashed after T.Y.’s return, for his considerable upside.
Karlos Williams (2% Yahoo, 7% ESPN)
Williams led the Bill’s in rushing on Sunday despite feature back LeSean McCoy getting 11 more touches. It’s unlikely that the rookie will wind up in a true timeshare with the Bill’s $40 Million investment, but Williams is still worth an add as a premium handcuff with fair stand-alone value.
McCoy is coming off a year in Philadelphia in which he only reached the endzone 5 times, and has a tendency to go lateral when he should be going vertical. Karlos is a much larger back than Shady, and could see the majority of goal-line carries. If you have space for an RB handcuff, this is the one you want.
Dion Lewis (16% Yahoo, 17% ESPN)
Lewis saw feature back duties on Thursday in the absence of LeGarrette Blount. This won’t remain the case when Blount returns, but it appears Lewis is ticketed for the passing down duties going forward. A role in which he proved very effective, netting 51 yards on 4 catches, showing good pass protection skills and interestingly, lining up at receiver a number of times. Lewis is worth a look in all formats, and needs to be added in PPR leagues.
Alex Smith (20% Yahoo, 20% ESPN)
Yep. Alex Smith. Fake footballers are well aware of how anemic the chiefs passing offense has been historically, but this year will be different. In the third year of Andy Reid’s tenure as Chiefs coach the offense is finally starting to come around.
Travis Kelce has emerged as a monstrous monster, who needs to be fed copiously, and with the addition of Jeremy Maclin, defenses will no longer be able to focus solely on the standout Cincinnati product. Additionally the Chiefs love to throw to their stud running back Jamaal Charles, who had 5 catches for 46 yards and a score against the Texans, that dynamic adds tremendously to Smith’s value. If the Chiefs and Alex Smith can drop 27 on a solid Houston defense, it’s a sign that things are coming around for KC. Add in all formats.
Marcus Mariota (46% Yahoo, 36% ESPN)
Mariota, the former Duck and number 2 overall pick threw for an eye-popping 209 yards and 4 touchdowns in his NFL debut. While Mariota’s upside was on full display on Sunday it’s important not to get too excited, the Bucs are a horrible defense that also made Bishop Sankey look like a superstar on that afternoon. While Mariota is worth considering if you don’t trust your current backup QB, he’s still an unproven commodity on a bad team.
Eric Ebron (8% Yahoo, 14% ESPN)
Eric Ebron led the Lions in receiving against the Chargers, reeling in 4 balls for 53 yards and a score. Most significantly, Ebron was second only to Golden Tate in targets for the lions, which is volume he rarely saw last season. It’s important to remember that Ebron was the 10th overall pick in the 2014 draft, and tight ends generally need more time to develop than other positions. It’s possible this is a breakout year for Ebron, he’s worth a stash, especially if you didn’t pony up for a top-tier tight end.
Ladarius Green (20% Yahoo, 7% ESPN)
Ladarius Green truthers have been waiting for this guy to break out for the past 3 years, and his time may finally have arrived. A seemingly ageless Antonio Gates, and the Chargers affection for throwing him the football, has consistently stymied Green’s fantasy point production. With Gates suspended for 4 games for PED use, Green will get an opportunity to show what he can do, and he looks every bit the part of a feature tight end thus far. Given Gates age and the nature of his suspension, it begs the question…What’s this guy gonna look like off the juice?
The Chargers have a good quarterback and a mediocre receiving core, the upside here is as high as it gets. Unfortunately the basement is quite low too. Green is a must-add for the duration of Gates suspension, and is worth continuing to stash afterward.
Tyrod Taylor – Gotta love a running QB, but is it enough to overcome the fact they only let him pitch 19 times? Eh.
Jordan Reed – Targeted 11 times with DeSean Jackson out and should continue to be a TE1 if he can stay healthy, unfortunately that’s a big if.
Tyler Lockett and Tavon Austin – Both these guys are electrifying but will suffer from a lack of volume and are only dart throws for now. Keep your eyes peeled to see if either starts getting some serious run, it appears Austin has a slight edge in that department thus far.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Won’t be as used when Mike Evans returns and the Bucs look shaky so far, I’m not sold yet.
Peyton Manning – Invest heavily in a backup plan, if you haven’t already.