Lots of injuries this week (condolences to Jamaal Charles owners) so plenty of action for the waiver wire. Since we’re looking at pick-ups for deeper leagues, we’re only listing players who are owned in less than 40% of Yahoo leagues. Yahoo ownership percentages are listed in parentheses.
Rex Grossman (22%) – can’t believe Sexy Rexy is owned in so few leagues. While his tendency to throw interceptions in bunches is legendary, Grossman has thrown for 300 yards in 3 of the 5 games he’s started for Shanahan and while he missed the mark last week, 291 yards is close enough for me. He’s the only QB left who could finish in the Top 12 at the end of the year, so if you have QB issues, he’s your top priority.
Colt McCoy (35%) – he won’t single-handedly win a game for you, but McCoy doesn’t face a defense of note until WEEK 13 (Ravens). Consistency matters in Fantasy Football and Colt will deliver dependable results.
Matt Hasselbeck (19%) – Kenny Britt looks like he can be a Top 5 WR, and if that’s the case, the guy delivering the ball is definitely startable. Locker will get a look once they drop out of contention, but Hasselbeck is a decent option until then.
Thomas Jones (36%) / Dexter McCluster (27%) – if you NEED a starter, Jones is the obvious pick here. Like the unsexy Benson – there simply are no other options. If you’re looking for a bye week fill-in or potential home run, go with McCluster. While he’s considered a RB and will get touches, for fantasy purposes he much more useful as a sneaky WR play as he’s eligible there.
Roy Helu (22%) – Never trust Shanahan. While Hightower is the starter, Helu looks like much more like the prototypical zone blocking back that Shanahan loves. Stash him now and he could be the starter coming off their bye in Week 6.
Delone Carter (17%) – as soon as the Colts realize that they actually need to run the ball without Peyton at the helm, Carter should become a solid option. While officially just the “goal-line back”, he’s actually receiving nearly an equal amount of carries as Addai and has much younger legs.
Tashard Choice (10%) / DeMarco Murray (11%) – with Tony Romo and potentially Miles Austin out for a week or more and Felix Jones dinged up, I’d take a shot at 3rd round pick Murray to grab a larger share of the rushing pie. Choice also has the skills, but for some reason, Garrett just isn’t a fan. If Felix misses Week 3, Choice may force himself into the conversation again (as he’s done every time he’s been given an opportunity). Both are decent lottery tickets to end up as solid bye week options going forward.
Eric Decker (19%) – while many will discount his Week 2 performance due to the absence of Brandon Lloyd , Decker looks like a solid possession receiver – skills that will complement rather than compete with the deep skills of Lloyd. Add in his solid size and I foresee a decent amount of red zone targets.
David Nelson (7%) – he looked impressive in the pre-season and if Chan Gailey keeps letting Ryan Fitzpatrick air it out, Nelson will be a viable fantasy option as the #2 guy behind Stevie Johnson.
Jerome Simpson (21%) – as long as A.J. Green is scaring defenses on the opposite side of the field, Simpson should get a decent amount of looks to be a solid most weeks.
Arrelious Benn (5%) – a run-based offense, but Josh Freeman has the skills to air it out if they’re behind and Benn was drafted AHEAD of fellow sophomore Mike Williams. A solid gamble.
Antonio Brown (20%) / Emmanuel Sanders (14%) – Brown is getting most of the hype based on his pre-season play and early targets, but it’s Sanders that Big Ben looks to when the game is actually in question. Brown had 4 receptions last week – but note that all of them were in garbage time. Brown is talented enough to warrant a look, but Sanders is the better bet to break out and take Ward’s targets if he stays healthy.
Brandon LaFell (3%) – Newton trusts him and Steve Smith will draw most of the coverage attention, so he’ll be open. He’ll be less consistent than those above receiving more targets, but at 6’2 and as the #2 WR he’ll receive and convert more than his fair share of red zone targets.
Scott Chandler (30%) – Buffalo’s red zone target. If you can stand the feast or famine nature of a TD-only TE, he’s your guy. Suspect he will end up with double-digit TD’s on the year.
Brent Celek (18%) – as long as Michael Vick is out, I expect a lot of check down passes to the TE whether it’s Kafka or Young starting.
Donovan McNabb (33%) – quite simply, he’s done. Probably has one or two big games left in him, but he’s no longer predictably good (even against bad teams).
Blaine Gabbert (2%) – he’s no Cam Newton and has no receiving weapons, so even if he’s a starter, he’s not worth owning.
Denarius Moore (16%) – a couple of big catches on some bad coverage. This is McFadden’s team, so passing yards will be sparse. Don’t be tempted by his big week.
Donald Driver (32%) – a great career, but he’s now the worst receiver on the Packers and won’t see enough targets to be productive.
Jacoby Ford (37%) – again, this is now McFadden’s team and while he will be the team’s top receiver when he gets healthy, Ford will be a marginal fantasy asset most weeks.
Jacoby Jones (37%) – an Andre Johnson body double, the talent is there. Unfortunately, he’s the 4th option even with Walter out. The Texans are now a running team and Johnson & Daniels are the 1st & 2nd option for targets.
Chris Cooley (32%) – Fred Davis has taken over his job in the Redskins offense, leaving Cooley on the sidelines. You should do the same.
Jared Cook (36%) – Hasselbeck only has eyes for Britt, so outside of CJ2K out if the backfield, don’t expect targets for any other options.