• Football Pros Fantasy: Waiver Wire Tuesday- The Commish Picks



    Your drafts have been completed, and the smack talking has begun. You’re feeling pretty good about your team, but for week 1, there are a few question marks. Perhaps you’ve drafted Adrian Peterson, but reports are that he’s likely to play on a limited basis at most. Maybe you have MJD, but missed out on Rashad Jennings, and it’s now likely that MJD will be relegated to 3rd down duty for week 1. Or maybe you’re waiting on Ryan Mathews, but don’t want to trust Ronnie Brown until he returns. No one wants to start 0-1, so if you’re finding yourself in a bit of a bind here are a few possible waiver options that may be available to help salvage your lineup the first week.

    QB-
    It appears that each of the top QBs are good to go, so you shouldn’t have too many issues at QB as of yet. But looking into the future, if you’re someone who likes to grab a backup QB off the wire instead of drafting one, here are my favorite waiver wire acquisitions that could have some real value later on this year.

    Jake Locker- The buzz has been building on Locker, but if he’s available, go ahead and grab him. He’s not the most accurate QB, but was effective in limited snaps last year, and should even add a few points on the ground with his rushing ability. Tennessee has put plenty of weapons around him, so while it won’t always be pretty, Locker should do enough to be a legit fill-in in the case your starter is out. I see 3800 yard, 30 TD upside here.

    Josh Freeman- He may have already been drafted in your league, but if not, I expect Freeman to take advantage of his improved weapons, and return good value this year. Freeman should safely average 230 yards and 1.5 TDs in the air, plus add an addition 3-4 TDs on the ground.

    Alex Smith- Smith will likely not develop into a weekly starter, but he did show some really good things in the playoffs, especially against NO. Smith is no more than a matchup play, but if you have Aaron Rodgers, Smith’s week 10 matchup against St. Louis should look awfully nice.

    If you have a place on your roster for upside, go ahead and gamble on Russell Wilson, Brandon Weeden, Ryan Tannehill, or even Christian Ponder. Worst case, they fail and you cut them in a week or so when another need arises. But it’s relatively likely that at least one of those guys will perform pretty well this year, and if you grab one now, that could provide good long-term value for your team.

    Andrew Luck, Matt Schaub, Carson Palmer, Joe Flacco, and Andy Dalton are all likely owned. If any of those are available on the wire, they would also certainly be viable backup options.


    RB-
    Jonathan Dwyer- The year was 2005, and the Steelers were decimated at RB. Both Duce Staley and Jerome Bettis were injured and unavailable to start the season. In stepped an unknown 3rd stringer named Willie Parker. Parker put up 320 combined yards and 2 TDs in his first two games and never looked back, starting 15 games that year, accumulating over 1200 yards rushing, and even chipped in the longest run in Super Bowl history in helping the Steelers win their 5th championship. The year is now 2012, and Pittsburgh is again dealing with issues at RB. Dwyer has been the healthiest and most impressive back in camp, and in my opinion, is the most likely Steelers RB to end September with at least 15 touches per game. If you have Adrian Peterson, Ryan Mathews, or even MJD, and are not enamored with your current backups, grab Dwyer off the wire and don’t hesitate to start him this week if your lineup warrants.

    Evan Royster- It’s Royster, not Roy Helu Jr or Alfred Morris, who is currently slotted in as the Redskins starting RB for week 1. We’ve all learned that with Mike Shanahanigans, anything is possible regarding the RB situation, but if you are desperate, Royster is certainly worth a roster spot, and is not a terrible week 1 flex play against the Saints.

    Ronnie Brown- I am not high on Ronnie Brown as a fill in. However, if he is available, sometimes the most important aspect for an RB is opportunity, and he certainly should have some of that in week 1. It looks like he’ll be starting over Mathews, and while this is merely a temporary option, if you are desperate for a back, you could do worse.

    Daniel Thomas- Thomas showed some good things in Miami as a rookie, prior to an injury derailing his season. Reggie Bush is unlikely to take on a full workload, so expect Thomas to grab 8-10 carries per week. If Bush ends up injured at some point, Thomas would likely be the benefactor over Lamar Smith, and could easily yield top 20 production.

    Upside Gambles- Ronnie Hillman, Kendall Hunter, Alex Green

    WR-
    Kendall Wright and Brandon LaFell
    - I’m pairing them because every time I mention receivers, I talk about each of these guys. I’m hoping that both have been drafted in your league, but if not (and both are still more available than they should be), make sure you swipe either or both. The upside is 1000-1100 yards and 8 TDs.

    Sidney Rice and Doug Baldwin- Someone in Seattle is going to have a nice season at WR, and these are the two best bets. Baldwin had a terrific rookie season out of the slot last season with 9.1 yards per target. Rice, of course, is a health risk, but is still young, and has a 1300 yard season under his belt. Rice is currently healthy, so if he’s available, he’s got the upside to warrant a spot on your bench, or to even fill in week 1 if Miles Austin or Hakeem Nicks are unable to go.

    Steve Smith (St. Louis)- As far as fliers go, this isn’t a bad one. Steve Smith is starting in St. Louis, and Sam Bradford should take at least a small step forward in his 3rd season. While Amendola has been there, it’s Smith who will likely be the best fit and most productive receiver in Brian Schottenheimer’s offense. With a 107 catch, 1200 yard 2009 on his resume, Smith is now healthy, and a worthy gamble for your team.

    TE-
    Martellus Bennett
    - Bennett has the talent, but has been stuck behind Witten in Dallas. He is now the starter with the Giants, and is going into the season realizing this may be his last chance at NFL success. Eli has made guys like Kevin Boss and Scott Ballard relevant, and Bennett has more receiving ability than both. At this point in the season, it’s always good to play upside, and no one going undrafted in typical leagues has bigger upside than Bennett.


    If you have any other roster questions, whether regarding waiver wire pickups, or whom to start/sit in week 1, please place a comment in this thread. And if you have any other fantasy football questions, never hesitate to PM me. I'm happy to answer any and all questions that come my way. Good luck to all in week 1!

    Comments 16 Comments
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      Dude..... I took a huge flyer on Jordan Shipley, and he was cut from 2 teams.

      So how does this waiver-wires tuff work...do I have to cut somebody first?
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      I'm a big fan of picking up Kyle Rudolph at TE, or Jerome Simpson if you're deep at WR. Rudolph could become the best red zone threat on the team, if you're shopping for a bargain tight end, and Simpson is an interesting wild card. He should play the X, but he's serving a four game suspension early--the great news, though, is that he has a Week 11 bye (Rudolph as well, obviously) so he might be a nice plug-in option when your regular starting WRs have to hang out on the bench during their byes. Unless you plan on starting Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, and Percy Harvin for the rest of the season.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by iwatt View Post
      Dude..... I took a huge flyer on Jordan Shipley, and he was cut from 2 teams.

      So how does this waiver-wires tuff work...do I have to cut somebody first?
      Usually. I'm in one league where the rosters expand by 3 once the season starts, allowing you to not have to make tough decisions those first few weeks.

      In the league you're in with me, yes you would have to cut someone. Shipley has no value in those leagues anyway, so if you still have him on your roster, drop him for one of those guys. 6's recommendation of Jerome Simpson is a good one. I only didn't mention him because of his suspension, but if you have the space for 4 weeks, considering byes don't kick in until week 4 anyway, he'd be an interesting pickup.

      In comparison with the guys I have above, I'd put Simpson behind Wright, LaFell, and Rice, ahead of Steve Smith, and very similar to Doug Baldwin.

      Also an FYI, Randy Moss has been named a starting WR for the 49ers. My hunch is to stay away, but he's another good flier. I'd keep an eye on him, and if he looks to be involved, I'd try to jump in on him after week 1 has ended.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by mkocs6 View Post
      I'm a big fan of picking up Kyle Rudolph at TE, or Jerome Simpson if you're deep at WR. Rudolph could become the best red zone threat on the team, if you're shopping for a bargain tight end, and Simpson is an interesting wild card. He should play the X, but he's serving a four game suspension early--the great news, though, is that he has a Week 11 bye (Rudolph as well, obviously) so he might be a nice plug-in option when your regular starting WRs have to hang out on the bench during their byes. Unless you plan on starting Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, and Percy Harvin for the rest of the season.
      Good call on Simpson. My previous comment dealt with him.

      Rudolph is a good call as well. I only wanted to go with one TE for the article, and picked Bennett because he seems to me to be more under-the-radar than Rudolph, and to be honest, I like Bennett just a little bit better. But if Rudolph is available, he could return tremendous value. Of the two, I think Rudolph is the safer option, but I do think Bennett's upside is a little greater because of the offense he's in. I could see Bennett put up an 800 yard, 6 TD season if all goes right, while I think Rudolph's upside is around 600 yards with 7 TDs.

      In my home league, a 10 team draft with 18 rounds, I took Bennett in round 17 to back up Jimmy Graham. Rudolph was taken in round 15.
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      In my home league, I had to deal with an 'incident'--that is, yahoo locking one of my owners out of the draft room, so I was fielding a call and trying to convince him to take the season seriously--and ended up drafting Jason Witten. In like the 9th or 10th round of an 18-round draft, so not a total disaster--plus, after about three or four weeks, he's going to be a top-5 TE again, probably--but I got Moeaki and Rudolph snaked away from me in Round 17. I understand your point about Bennett in the Giants' offense--maybe I'm just thinking of him as a pure blocking tight end because of how the Cowboys used him. The Giants kept 4 TEs, if you include Beckum (who is on PUP). Hard to predict what's going to happen there. I ended up taking Dallas Clark down in Tampa with, I think, my last pick--hoping to not have to use him very much.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      Funny, I post this, then decide to drop Bennett. I have Graham, and with Dwyer available on our wire, figured the RB value could potentially help me more than the TE value.

      Moeaki is another good name I considered including here, and Dallas Clark is an interesting name to keep an eye on for the first couple of weeks. Tampa could be in a lot of shootouts this year, so Clark could potentially have a big role. I don't think he should be rostered yet, but he's certainly worth keeping an eye on.

      My home league draft is live. Most of us get together, and those that can't either skype in, or we set up a teleconferencing line. This year, I used a virtual draft board (on top of the live draft board we had set up in person) so the out-of-towners could follow along even better. It gets a little annoying at times, but if at all possible, a live draft is so much better than just doing it online. Took us 4+ hours to complete, but for drafts, isn't more better anyway?
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      Well, Clark is far from ideal, but if he can put a couple points on the board in this first week and on Witten's bye, as far as I'm concerned he's done his job. Anything more he does to make me contemplate starting him at my R/W/T flex is gravy. Like I said, I only invested a 10th rounder in my starting TE, so it's not like I'm expecting Graham or Gronkowski level production out of the position, so at least there's that.
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      And yes, I agree, the live, in-person draft is best. I put together one a couple years ago, and it was a great day. Unfortunately, most of the league is based out of Ohio and I am not, at the moment at least. Since I'm the commissioner, it makes it a little difficult to swing an offline draft. Obviously, my friend was upset that he was autopicking, but I managed to sell him on the you-get-to-skewer-us-for-eternity (only, um...more profane) if you win the league with an autodrafted team angle.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      I don't mind the Clark gamble, especially with grabbing Witten that late. He'll be back soon enough, and will clearly outperform that draft slot. Clark is an interesting flier that is being overlooked way too much by everyone, probably including me. Like I said, I'm not sure he's draftable, per se, but at the same time, who in that slot would have had more upside? Perhaps Bennett, if he were still available, but Clark is a very worthy risk, especially now that he's healthy. Who knows how long that will last, so take advantage.

      Thanks for adding his name to the mix.
    1. BobbyJ's Avatar
      Can you evaluate Dwyer vs Pead? Not sure which one would be better to have if could only have one.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      I'd follow the carries and go with Dwyer. Pead is the future in St. Louis, and a better bet for 2014 than Dwyer. But for today, Dwyer looks like he'll be seeing a pretty nice amount of carries until Mendy gets back. And if Dwyer takes advantage, like he's had in every limited opportunity he's had, he could forge for himself a nice role even after Mendy returns.
    1. BobbyJ's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Trumpetbdw View Post
      I'd follow the carries and go with Dwyer. Pead is the future in St. Louis, and a better bet for 2014 than Dwyer. But for today, Dwyer looks like he'll be seeing a pretty nice amount of carries until Mendy gets back. And if Dwyer takes advantage, like he's had in every limited opportunity he's had, he could forge for himself a nice role even after Mendy returns.
      Thank you sir, good advice.
    1. BuckeyeRidley's Avatar
      I like the Josh Freeman possibility; He should hit his stride this year with renewed focus and people have spoken highly of Greg Schiano. From the week one standpoint, I can see picking up Freeman as a good option.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      And Kevin Ogletree is the first breakout star of the 2012 season. It's not often that a 4th year pro with no pedigree comes out of nowhere. Clearly he will have some value on the wire next week, but my initial hunch says that we should play it safe with him. As Witten and Austin become healthier, I don't see many opportunities in Ogletree's future. Maybe he can end up as a decent bye-week replacement, but keep in mind you're paying for his future stats, not what he's already done.

      Perhaps my mind will change by next week as I let his performance sink in, but certainly Ogletree has made himself the front-runner for most interesting name on next week's wire.
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Trumpetbdw View Post
      Perhaps my mind will change by next week as I let his performance sink in, but certainly Ogletree has made himself the front-runner for most interesting name on next week's wire.
      He was going against the 4th CB for most of the game, and by the end he was going against the 5th guy on the roster. I wouldn't read too much into it.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by iwatt View Post
      He was going against the 4th CB for most of the game, and by the end he was going against the 5th guy on the roster. I wouldn't read too much into it.
      I agree with you. If the price was right, I'd say to go ahead and jump in on Ogletree. I'm in a league where rosters expand by 3 after week 1, and we have a $30 waiver cap. I'd probably be fine with spending $3-$5 in the off chance he's for real. But I have a feeling in most leagues he'll be going for 25-35% of the waiver cap.

      In simple add/drop leagues where rosters don't expand, I'd likely stay away. Especially in the case of relatively limited bench spots, I'd still rather own Sidney Rice, Mike Williams, Brandon LaFell, Kendall Wright, Michael Crabtree, or Greg Little. I now put him around the Doug Baldwin class, which is better than being off the radar entirely. In fact, if given the choice, I'd probably go with Baldwin, who I think has bigger upside.

      If (when) Austin or Bryant get hurt, Ogletree will have some value, likely become a decent 3rd WR on a fantasy team, and could average 50 yards per game while mixing in a TD every 2-3 weeks. But right now, I'm in wait-and-see mode thinking that last night was more likely an anomaly than anything.

      In 1999, Kevin Dyson started the year with 9 for 162 and 2 TDs. In his final 15 games, he had 45 for 496 and 2 TDs. Those numbers seem realistic to me, as far as what we can expect from Ogletree going forward.
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