Fantasy Football Week 2: Waiver Wire

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It usually takes more than just a strong draft to win your fantasy league. Every year there are a handful of players who aren’t ranked before the season who end up finishing in the top 50 and a bunch more in the top 100. Identifying those players on the waiver wire before your league-mates is the key to a strong finish in your league. Last year there were 5 players widely available on waiver wires who finished in the top 50 (Stacy, Gordon, Jeffery, Allen, Dalton) and another 3 who finished in the top 100. In 2012 there were 4 players ranked outside of the top 250 before the season who ended the season ranked in the top 50. A few players come from out of nowhere every season to be impact fantasy players. It’s going to happen again this year and I will try and give you a heads up who it’s going to be.

Every week on Tuesday, I will be posting my top waiver pick ups for the week. Only players owned in under 50% of Yahoo leagues will qualify. There are all sorts of leagues out there with different levels of competition and varying player pool depths, so I will have a few picks with under 50% ownership, a few under 30%, 15%,  and at least one super sleeper under 5%. There will be more picks than usual this week since the wire is full of potential impact players, but it will drain as the season goes on. I’ll also be listing a few players that may be popular waiver adds that I think you should pass on (the Kevin Ogletrees) and I’ll give you my reasons why of course. If there are any players you have a specific question about feel free to hit me up in the comments or on Twitter.

Week 2 Waiver Wire Picks:

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

RB Justin Forsett, Ravens (11% owned) – With the Ravens release of Ray Rice, Forsett has a shot to be the primary back in Baltimore. He is similar to Rice in size and skill-set and at this point in their respective careers, Forsett might be more explosive and the better fantasy option. Forsett had 16 touches for 84 yards and a TD in week 1 and that could be a weekly occurrence. I would rather have Forsett than Pierce moving forward.

WR Steve Smith Sr, Ravens (40%) – After a down year in 2013, many thought Smith was washed up, but he is in a better situation with the Ravens, motivated to prove Carolina wrong for releasing him, and has looked like he has his old burst so far. I wouldn’t expect a repeat of his week 1 line (7, 118, 1) every week, but I think he will be Flex worthy in PPR leagues.

RB Terrance West, Browns (39%) – Everyone knew Ben Tate was an injury risk, but I figured he would at least last a few weeks. Tate is already banged up (knee) and West may be in line to start in week 2. West was impressive in week 1 with 16 carries for 100 yards and has the size to be a workhorse RB.

RB Amhad Bradshaw, Colts (26%) – Trent Richardson just isn’t good and it’s only a matter of time till the Colts realize that and move Bradshaw into a more prominent role. Bradshaw is a health risk, but a good all-around RB when healthy and has a lot of potential as both a runner and receiver in the Colts high-powered offense.

WR Greg Jennings, Vikings (39%) – Was banged up most of last season, but is supposedly 100% and he looked quicker in week 1 than he did last year. Cleveland led the league in pass attempts last year (41.6) with new Vikings O-coordinator Norv Turner calling the plays and I think the Vikings will throw the ball enough to make Jennings a viable Flex / bye week starter.

WR Andrew Hawkins, Browns (25%) – The Browns have the worst group of receivers in the league, but the targets are going to go to somebody and after week 1 it looks like Hawkins is Hoyer’s favorite target. Hawkins had 10 targets in week 1 and should be Flex worthy in PPR league moving forward.

Richard Dole-USA TODAY Sports

WR Marqise Lee, Jaguar (14%) – Allen Hurns will be the popular waivers choice and I will discuss him later in this post, but I think Lee is the guy to own going forward. The Jags used a 2nd round pick on Lee and I think his spot in the starting lineup is secure when Cecil Shorts and Allen Robinson come back in the next week or two. Lee had a nice week 1 with 6 catches for 62 yards on a team leading 10 targets. Lee has the most upside of all the WRs on the team and I think he could be WR2 material by the 2nd half of the season (when Bortles takes over).

TE Travis Kelce, Chiefs (36%) – Had a modest 3 catches for 49 yards in week 1 and isn’t even technically the starting TE, but Kelce is the Chiefs most dynamic receiving option outside of Dwayne Bowe and I think his targets will increase steadily as the season goes on. He is a borderline TE1 right now with top 7 upside.

QB Jake Locker, Titans (13%) – The 8th overall pick of the 2011 draft has been sporadic and injury prone so far in his career, but showed flashes of talent last year (4 TDs/0 INTs in 4 wins) and has a fantasy-friendly skill set (rushing yards). New HC Ken Whisenhunt has had success with QBs in his last three stops and the Titans have enough weapons (Wright, Hunter) for Locker to put up usable stat lines. I’m not recommending you start Locker, but I have him as my backup QB in a couple of leagues.