Fantasy Football

Week 2 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Grabs: More Salsa Anyone?

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So it comes to be every year after Week One, we realize only too late that we spent the entire preseason overthinking everything. I guess we can’t help ourselves, because we want the nitty gritty about all the fantasy prospects both large and small. If we didn’t analyze Fantasy Football to some extent, then what’s the point?

The takeaway from it all is to relax and just go with the flow rather than trying to make the flow. You cannot say that your “plan was worked to perfection – it’s only the players that screwed it up.” That kind of hubris will keep sending you back to the drawing board over and over again.

The good thing is, we generally get it right. However the stuff that slipped through the cracks we cannot help but think, “how did I miss that?” What’s worse, it tends to be really obvious. Getting ahead of the curve is such a tricky game, because you can’t ever be sure where on the curve you are. That’s fantasy football.


Week 2 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Grabs

So we come to a very unusual waiver wire to begin 2016. Old names are sneaking back into fantasy relevance. In light of the injury to Keenan Allen, the pressing issue for his owners becomes who to replace him with. A few names caught my eye this weekend, but none more startling than Victor Cruz. I had been toying with idea of picking him up last week in a deep league for a spot start, but I dismissed it as a rather frivolous idea. Now I wish I had stuck to the plan. Ah well, I “overthinked” it.

These waiver players here are restricted to those around 30% ownership on Yahoo. So these might be the lesser known players to pickup for deep leagues.

*Percentages based on Yahoo ownership

Quarterbacks

It’s a bit too early perhaps to be talking about spot fills. However, the loss of RGIII to IR and Russell Wilson’s uncertainty make these guys worth consideration.

Carson Wentz, Philadephia Eagles 7%

The Eagles probably wouldn’t have let go of Sam Bradford so quickly to the Vikings if they didn’t have confidence in Wentz. Wentz had a solid start for a rookie – even if it came against the hapless Browns. The numbers don’t blare out the speakers, but 22 of 37 for 278 yards and two touchdowns is decent sized output for a debut. The best statistic is the one that isn’t there – interceptions.

The statistics don’t give the whole story. Wentz looked the part of an NFL quarterback with command and control of matters. The Browns penetrated for a couple of sacks, but the pocket was home for Wentz.

If you are looking toward the bye weeks with concerns about that quarterback spot fill, then Wentz might do. I say might, because let’s face it, this game was against the Browns and the Eagles have much tougher company ahead. Just the same, if you want to save some FAAB in a league that charges, you could get him cheap. After all, you just want a QB that gets you through. If this early blueprint of a Wentz offense gains definition, then he’ll do more than that for your team.

Brock Osweiler, Houston Texans 19%

Brock Osweiler certainly showed off some ability in his opening day with the Texans. His stats were similar to Wentz, but for the blemish of an interception. Osweiler seems to have a different approach to the Houston offense than the quarterbacks of the Texans last season. He is better at finding the open man instead of always looking for the safety blanket.

He’s a good enough stash to cover your main passer. The best part for fantasy owners is that Osweiler’s matchups within the division should be sound enough to ensure a solid bottom line. If you stream QBs, Osweiler might just suit your style and then some.

Running Backs

Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions 34%

week 2 fantasy football waiver wire

Credit: Keith Allison

Somehow the Lions just wouldn’t feel like the Lions without Theo Riddick. The pass-happy offense of Detroit and the receiving ability of Riddick makes him a must own. He’s not going to get you two touchdowns every game, but five receptions with a bundle of carries is plenty enough to stash when a good matchup for the team comes along.

Riddick played with authority and his compliment of work with Abdullah looked efficient. This is a backfield team. I’d hasten to add it doesn’t fit the true RBBC mold, because both Abdullah and Riddick are not your typical running back tandem. Neither appears to be the archetypical “bell cow” and the Detroit offense has the essence of a modernized 1980s Run and Shoot style attacking system. The entire group of backs carried only 21 times.

As a result, Abdullah and Riddick are a pure PPR running backs. Riddick however, is the more prominent and may perhaps be the better own of the two in per reception leagues.

Alfred Morris, Dallas Cowboys 23%

I’m actually surprised that Morris is so underowned in Yahoo fantasy leagues. He is getting some work in the Dallas offense next to big Zeke, but his real value is as a handcuff. The Dallas offensive line has teeth for any running back worth his salt and Morris is more than that. For the record, he carried seven times for 35 yards against the Giants in relief downs on Sunday.

If you are an Ezekiel Elliott owner, just do the sensible thing and protect your investment. Morris is among the better handcuffs you can get. If another fantasy team stashes him, you could end up with nothing should anything prevent Zeke from starting.

Wide Receivers

Tyrell Williams, San Diego Chargers 2%

The cart. Why does it seem to happen with careful players like Keenan Allen? After missing a good portion of 2015 with a lacerated kidney, Allen did the appropriate thing and let it heal. Expectations were high after that and yet the Hades boatman of football, that dreaded cart, came for him. This time it’s rehab. A torn ACL will mean he’s on IR and out for the season.



Targets will go up for the rest of the pass-catchers, but the unsung former 4th wide Tyrell Williams looks like a good spec pick up. Travis Benjamin will probably be the only receiver where his role remains the same. The battle for targets between Dontrelle Inman and Tyrell Williams is up in the air.

We obviously won’t see what a gameplan looks like without Keenan Allen until the next game, but it’s worth stashing the potential target receptors that Philip Rivers is left with.

Mike Wallace, Baltimore Ravens 35%

Finding a role in the Ravens offense comfortably is Mike Wallace. I was never a big fan of Wallace, but when you see the production of 3 catches for 91 yards and a touchdown, it takes the blinders off. Targets are the main thing to consider and in a rather dull 13-7 affair against Buffalo, those six targets gets him on the list.

Kamar Aiken and Breshad Perriman had very minor roles in comparison to Wallace. who finally has found a team where he fits. Wallace should be grabbed in all leagues and stay put. With deep threat potential and a large role comparable to Steve Smith Sr., Wallace could be the sneaky extra rivet to help your team gain strength.

Eli Rogers, Pittsburgh Steelers 8%

Despite a route error that led to a tip ball Redskins interception, Eli Rogers looked to be the most reliable receiver on the Steelers next to Antonio Brown. Rogers received some fantasy consideration before week one as the better option to Wheaton. It looks like that could be, even when Wheaton returns to the lineup.

Six catches with a nice bundle of 59 yards and a touchdown should wake up any snoozing fantasy owner. The best thing to do is drop the dead weight and take Rogers on.

Jeremy Kerley, San Francisco 49ers 1%

The LA Rams and San Francisco 49ers game to wrap up Week 1 was more of a scouting mission for fantasy owners. They are among the skinniest teams in fantasy for productive players. Both teams have a lot of unknowns in the passing game, but you  have to figure there must be something there.

There was one guy who stood out for me and that was Jeremy Kerley. At least there is a PPR hope in San Fran that you can pin some confidence in. He gathered seven of the 11 targets that Gabbert sent his way for 61 yards. That’s good enough production for a deepish flex and spot starts during the bye weeks.

Victor Cruz, New York Giants 19%

His grandmother taught him the dance… ***screechhhh (record scratch)*** Okay, okay. I’m putting Cruz in the waiver list because I got it right discussing him as a sleeper spot start this week. I’m also happy in the real football sense that Cruz is back with the team, albeit in a diminished role.

So Manning has his old favorite back in the offense and Cruz looks to get a fair share of the targets. The distribution was 8-4-4 between OBJ-Shepard-Cruz on Sunday. Okay, he’s a minor pickup this week. Still, jumping from nothing into a WR4 or better level was not wholly unexpected, but Cruz was determined to resume where he left off without any high expectation. I’ll take him at his word and tout him for further spot starts in deeper leagues.

Beckham Jr. is still the star and nothing will change that, but with Cruz getting the lighter coverage, Manning now has an extra playmaker. Sterling Shepard is perhaps worse off from the appearance of Cruz than OBJ, but this offense now has an extra flavor of salsa to it.

Tight Ends

Jesse James, Pittsburgh Steelers 16%

When you are put into a role you didn’t expect, there’s only one thing to do. Step up to the challenge. James is doing that and putting his all into making plays for the team. Roethlisberger was targetting him often (seven times) and expecting the playmaking Heath Miller used to do.

The numbers didn’t add to much on this occasion, it was only five receptions on 31 yards, but it was clear the potential was there as Big Ben sent a pass his way in the end zone.

For the Watch List…

Terrelle Pryor, WR, Cleveland Browns 16%
The clock is ticking until Josh Gordon comes back, but Pryor may have a steady role nonetheless. With McCown back behind center full time, Gary Barnidge might put a damper on that.

Robert Kelley, RB, Washington Redskins 7%
Matt Jones isn’t getting it done in Washington and the team really needs a running game injection. If Jones doesn’t improve on Monday’s paltry 24 yards in the next game against Dallas, Kelley could get a real shot.

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Jalen Richard, RB, Oakland Raiders 1%
A nice big run for a touchdown always looks good, but in context of the porous Saints defense it pays to keep your fantasy cool. A handcuff for Latavius Murray in Oakland is not automatic for either Jalen Richard or DeAndre Washington.

Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets 1%
Deep leaguers shouldn’t ignore the fact that Enunwa not only scored a touchdown, but was targetted eight times and hauled in seven catches. He’s so big that he looks like a tight end and works in the areas where tight ends usually are. The true reality could return to three or so targets next week; that’s why most leagues can hold off for now.

About Richard Savill

Richard is an NFL Fantasy Football Writer and Editor of Fantasy Six Pack. Host of The Fantasy Edge Podcast. FantasyPros Contributor. Member of the FSWA. Richard is known for his "outside the box" insight into NFL fantasy football. Winner of the 16-Team 2015 FSWA challenge.

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