Waiver Wire: Receivers suddenly wide open
Plenty of surpruise performers and injuries in Week 1. Who should you target in free agency this week? Our Jamey Eisenberg shares his take on some potential free agents in your leagues in Playing the Waiver Wire.
Even though it's just Week 2, several Fantasy owners in every league are headed to the waiver wire in a panic. That's because there were plenty of prominent injuries in Week 1 at wide receiver.
Marques Colston (collarbone) and Danny Amendola (elbow) suffered the most serious injuries to open the season. Colston could be out for at least four weeks, and Amendola could be out at least eight weeks. Hakeem Nicks (knee), Dez Bryant (quad) and Brandon Lloyd (groin) were also injured in Week 1, and their status has yet to be determined. And Sidney Rice (shoulder) and Lance Moore (groin) sat out the first game of the year and might be out again.
The first place to look to replace Colston is on his team in New Orleans, especially with Moore still limited. Drew Brees still has to get the ball to his receivers, and Robert Meachem (62 percent ownership on CBSSports.com) and Devery Henderson (5 percent) will benefit the most. Meachem had five catches for 70 yards and a touchdown in Week 1 at Green Bay on eight targets, and Henderson had six catches for 100 yards and a touchdown on nine targets.
Replacing Amendola won't be as easy based on his skill set, but look for Brandon Gibson (16 percent) to see an increase in targets. He is worth adding in leagues where receptions count, and he had three catches for 50 yards in Week 1 against the Eagles on five targets.
Another receiver to target is Jordy Nelson (57 percent) for the Packers. He was a popular sleeper pick after last year's Super Bowl performance when he had nine catches for 140 yards and a touchdown against the Steelers, but when Green Bay brought back James Jones as a free agent, Nelson's value dropped slightly. But in Week 1 against the Saints, Nelson was dominant with six catches for 77 yards and a touchdown on eight targets.
Deion Branch (68 percent) is worth adding based on his play Monday night at Miami. He was easily more involved than Chad Ochocinco. Branch had seven catches for 93 yards on nine targets, and Ochocinco was held to one catch for 14 yards on three targets. From that same game, you can also look to add Miami's Davone Bess (67 percent) since he had five catches for 92 yards on seven targets.
If you miss on these guys or are looking for help in deeper leagues, there are other receivers out there who played well in Week 1, but they are more of a gamble. You can consider Jabar Gaffney (9 percent), Nate Washington (20 percent) and Mohammed Massaquoi (11 percent), who each had at least six Fantasy points in a standard league and all had seven targets.
Some receivers to avoid for this week would be Early Doucet (3 percent), Randall Cobb (4 percent), Michael Jenkins (2 percent) and Emmanuel Sanders (14 percent). They all scored touchdowns, but they each had only three targets or less. And you should also stay away from Doug Baldwin (not owned) and Golden Tate (3 percent) because it's hard to trust Tarvaris Jackson at quarterback for the Seahawks.
Some receivers to scout this week would be Anthony Armstrong (6 percent), Brandon LaFell (2 percent), Donald Jones (1 percent), David Nelson (not owned), Eric Decker (8 percent) and Dexter McCluster (10 percent). The passing games in Washington and Buffalo will surprise you this year, which is why Armstrong for the Redskins and Jones and Nelson for the Bills might have positive moments as the year goes on. LaFell also could emerge as the No. 2 wide receiver in Carolina, and Decker could see an increase in targets if Lloyd misses any time.
In Kansas City, McCluster is being used more as a running back than a wide receiver, but he is listed at receiver in Fantasy leagues based on how the Chiefs designated him this offseason. He had four carries for 42 yards and five catches for 25 yards and a fumble on five targets against Buffalo, and will be heavily involved on offense this year.
In case you haven't noticed ... Ben Tate will continue to do a good job as a replacement for Arian Foster (hamstring). In Week 1 against Indianapolis, Tate had 24 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown with a lost fumble. Derrick Ward, who started the game, also suffered an ankle injury, although he should be fine for Week 2 at Miami. Still, Tate showed he clearly has more upside and should be added in all leagues where still available, especially if Foster is out again in Week 2. Tate is owned in 72 percent of leagues. In deeper leagues, Ward (29 percent) should also be added because he can also be useful as long as he's 100 percent healthy.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills
Owned: 53 percent of leagues
Week 1: Completed 17 of 25 passes for 208 yards and four touchdowns at Kansas City.
Analysis: Fitzpatrick might have taken advantage of an overrated Kansas City defense, but he showed he can still post quality stats when given a chance to throw. He has a favorable matchup again in Week 2 and can be a useful Fantasy quarterback for owners who are without Peyton Manning (neck) and possibly Sam Bradford (finger).
Rex Grossman, Redskins
Owned: 11 percent of leagues
Week 1: Completed 21 of 34 passes for 305 yards and two touchdowns and had a lost fumble vs. the Giants.
Analysis: Grossman played well to close the season in 2010 when he replaced Donovan McNabb, and he picked up where he left off with a solid performance against the Giants. He has a great matchup in Week 2 against the Cardinals and should be added as a one-week replacement.
Colt McCoy, Browns
Owned: 69 percent of leagues
Week 1: Completed 19 of 40 passes for 213 yards, two touchdowns and one interception and had three carries for 11 yards vs. Cincinnati.
Analysis: McCoy doesn't have the best receiving corps in the NFL, but he completed two touchdowns to his tight ends and showed his playmaking ability against the Bengals. McCoy should do plenty of handing off to Peyton Hillis in Week 2 at the Colts, but look for him to be a factor for Fantasy owners as the year goes on.
Chad Henne, Dolphins
Owned: 30 percent of leagues
Week 1: Completed 30 of 49 passes for 416 yards, two touchdowns and one interception and had seven carries for 59 yards and a touchdown vs. New England.
Analysis: Henne was throwing a lot even before this game got out of hand, and he looks to be in full control of the new offense in Miami. He is not someone to consider starting most weeks, but he will make a great bye-week replacement during the season and will continue to surprise you as the year goes on, especially if he continues to run like this.
Matt Hasselbeck, Titans
Owned: 33 percent of leagues
Week 1: Completed 21 of 34 passes for 263 yards, two touchdowns and one interception at Jacksonville.
Analysis: Hasselbeck might be useful at some point this season, but don't plan on using him for Week 2 against Baltimore. He did what he was supposed to do in Week 1 against a bad Jaguars defense, which was getting the ball to Kenny Britt. Now if only he can work on his handoffs and help Chris Johnson become more of a factor.
Kerry Collins, Colts
Owned: 34 percent of leagues
Week 1: Completed 16 of 31 passes for 197 yards and one touchdown and had two lost fumbles at Houston.
Analysis: Like Hasselbeck, there could be times this year where Collins will be a factor, but he looked terrible in place of Manning against the Texans. The Colts need Manning back in a hurry because Collins is not going to help them accomplish much this year besides a lot of losses. The same goes for Fantasy owners if they decide to rely on him.
Cam Newton, Panthers
Owned: 50 percent of leagues
Week 1: Completed 24 of 37 passes for 422 yards, two touchdowns and one interception and had eight carries for 18 yards and a touchdown at Arizona.
Analysis: Newton was the biggest surprise of Week 1 with his record-breaking performance against the Cardinals. But there's one thing to keep in mind here: Arizona's defense is terrible. If you want to take a flier on Newton now with the hope he keeps up this kind of production then do so. But I want to see him post half those stats in Week 2 against Green Bay, which will be much more of a reality check.
Cadillac Williams, Rams
Owned: 36 percent of leagues
Week 1: Had 19 carries for 91 yards and five catches for 49 against Philadelphia.
Analysis: Steven Jackson (quad) might not play in Week 2 at the Giants, which would open the door for Williams to start. He ran well against the Eagles and he could find success against the Giants based on all their injuries on defense. He is a must-add running back for all Jackson owners and could be a useful flex option in deeper formats.
Darren Sproles, Saints
Owned: 61 percent of leagues
Week 1: Had two carries for 7 yards and seven catches for 75 at Green Bay.
Analysis: Sproles could benefit the most with Colston and Moore injured as he showed in the first game at Green Bay. If he's not owned in point per reception leagues then add him immediately. He might be looking at five-plus receptions each week, especially while Colston and Moore are out. And he could end up being the most productive Fantasy running back for the Saints in Week 2 against the Bears.
C.J. Spiller, Bills
Owned: 79 percent of leagues
Week 1: Had five carries for 16 yards and a touchdown and one catch for 5 yards at Kansas City.
Analysis: Don't buy into Spiller as a quality Fantasy option since Fred Jackson is still the starter, and the Bills will also give carries to rookie Johnny White. Spiller will have his moments, but he's not someone Fantasy owners should own in the majority of standard leagues as long as Jackson is healthy.
Deji Karim, Jaguars
Owned: 33 percent of leagues
Week 1: Had 14 carries for 33 yards and three catches for 39 yards vs. Tennessee.
Analysis: Every Maurice Jones-Drew owner should have Karim already, but he could be worth adding in all leagues as a reserve. The Jaguars need playmakers, and he is going to be used as a receiver out of the backfield. Jones-Drew went without a catch against the Titans, and look for Jacksonville to rely on Karim in Week 2 at the Jets since it will be hard to get the ball to their receivers.
Dustin Keller, Jets
Owned: 62 percent of leagues
Week 1: Had five catches for 61 yards and a touchdown vs. Dallas.
Analysis: Keller had eight targets against the Cowboys, and Sanchez will continue to rely on him again this year. But this time, don't expect Keller to disappear like he did after Week 4 in 2010. With Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery gone, Keller will be even more of a security blanket for Sanchez. He should be considered a breakout candidate and is worth adding in all leagues.
Jermaine Gresham, Bengals
Owned: 25 percent of leagues
Week 1: Had six catches for 58 yards and a touchdown at Cleveland.
Analysis: Gresham has the chance to be the best receiving threat for the Bengals when you look at their receiving corps. He had eight targets against the Browns, and if he can continue to find the end zone, he could become a tremendous Fantasy option. His value is slightly higher in PPR leagues, but Fantasy owners looking for help at tight end should consider him in all formats.
Jeff King, Cardinals
Owned: Not owned
Week 1: Had two catches for 61 yards and a touchdown vs. Carolina.
Analysis: Even though King scored against the Panthers he still has minimal Fantasy value. He only had three targets in the game, and the Cardinals will definitely use Todd Heap more than King. Don't expect him to score a lot this season since he is not a main target for Kevin Kolb.
Tony Scheffler, Lions
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 1: Had one catch for 11 yards and a touchdown at Tampa Bay.
Analysis: The touchdown catch was Scheffler's lone target in this matchup, and Brandon Pettigrew remains the better Fantasy option at tight end for the Lions. There are a lot of mouths to feed in Detroit, and Scheffler will get lost in the shuffle. Scheffler would only be worth using if Pettigrew gets hurt.
Scott Chandler, Bills
Owned: Not owned
Week 1: Had five catches for 63 yards and two touchdowns at Kansas City.
Analysis: Chandler has plenty of potential since the Bills need playmakers, but temper your expectations on him. Let's see him be as involved again in Week 2 against Oakland before making him a priority on the waiver wire. He had five targets against the Chiefs, and if Fitzpatrick uses him again in that regard he could be worth picking up.
Ed Dickson, Ravens
Owned: 6 percent of leagues
Week 1: Had five catches for 59 yards and a touchdown vs. Pittsburgh.
Analysis: The Ravens are using Dickson as their De facto No. 3 receiver behind Anquan Boldin and Lee Evans, and he had five targets against the Steelers. He has tremendous upside as the replacement for Heap, and Joe Flacco likes using the tight end. You can add him now in deeper leagues, but wait to see how productive he is in Week 2 at Tennessee before adding him in all standard formats.
Fred Davis, Redskins
Owned: 3 percent of leagues
Week 1: Had five catches for 105 yards vs. the New York Giants.
Analysis: The Redskins have said they are going to use two tight ends with Davis and Chris Cooley, and Davis was clearly better against the Giants. He had six targets, while Cooley finished with two catches for 21 yards on three targets. Cooley is still dealing with a knee injury and might not be at 100 percent, but Davis can easily pick up the slack. But as we said with Chandler and Dickson, let's see him do it again in Week 2 against Arizona before adding him in all leagues.
Evan Moore, Browns
Owned: 7 percent of leagues
Week 1: Had three catches for 35 yards and a touchdown vs. Cincinnati.
Analysis: The Browns have two capable tight ends in Moore and Benjamin Watson, but Moore has the higher ceiling. He played well in the preseason and that carried over to his performance against the Bengals. Moore had six targets in the game, and he is worth adding in deeper leagues. If he continues to play well and be a focal point on offense then add him in all formats.
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