Week One Waiver Wire Pick Ups

There isn’t a draft strategy guaranteed to win you a fantasy football championship. There isn’t a golden rule that you can follow to insure you don’t end up drafting some duds on your team. There isn’t a cheat sheet, algorithm, or fantasy guru out there that can clinch a playoff spot for you. (though some come close) So if after the draft day glow wears off and you find yourself looking at a turd of a line up, it’ll be okay. You see, you have options. You have the wavier wire. That’s what it’s there for. It’s like the extreme makeover for otherwise crappy teams. It’s your Biggest Loser, your Rehab Addict, your Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. It exists, to trim the fat, to give a fresh coat of paint, to throw a hot as hell blazer on your broken little team, and reveal it’s inner beauty. So without further ado, here are some guys you can target, if you’re feeling less than stellar about your draft.

Quarterback Jay Cutler, Bears– owned in 33% of leagues

People, the hate has swung too far. I know that Cutler looks like he’d rather have a profession as a Mad Man as opposed to a quarterback, but the guy isn’t as awful as he’s being painted. This season he should benefit from new offensive coordinator Adam Gase. (former OC for the Denver Broncos, and Peyton Manning) The Bears offensive line looks a lot tighter this year as well. The only thing holding Cutler back is that his receivers are a little banged up right now, but The Bears have a lot of hungry mouths to feed, and they all have good hands. Last season he finished as a top 15 QB. This season there’s no reason to think he can’t break into the top 12 fairly easily. This week they play Green Bay, so you can expect a lot of offense from both teams. If you hate your current quarterback, you could do a lot worse than Cutler.

Week One Prediction: 19 points

Wide Receiver Danny Amendola, Patriots– owned in 13% of leagues

The Patriots have been decimated at wide receiver. Brandon LaFell was just put on the PUP list, Brandon Gibson is on season ending I/R with an ACL tear, and Reggie Wayne just flew the coop for his own personal reasons. This leaves Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola,and Aaron Dobson to carry the load, and Edelman is dealing with his own injuries. A lot of times, waiver pick ups are made based on weekly matchups, or just filling a temporary void, but Amendola can offer you value all season. He’s currently the best back up option in New England. With all of Tom Brady’s preseason woes, you better bet he’s going to come out swinging. If you have a spot on your roster, Amendola is a great player to target.

Week One Prediction: 10 Points

Wide Receiver Ted Ginn Jr, Panthers-owned in 1.4% of leagues

Injuries. Injuries, everywhere. Leading receiver Kelvin Benjamin is out for the season with an ACL tear, and Devin Funchess is a rookie so that leaves us with Ted Ginn. Ginn didn’t exactly impress last season, but his fantasy production came with a lot of militating factors. One, he has a less than desirable quarterback situation. Two, he was buried in the depth chart. It’s worth noting that in his previous season with The Panthers he averaged 15.4 YPC, and had five touchdowns. With Benjamin out Cam Newton is going to need a long ball threat and I think Ginn is just the guy for the job. Funchess could eat into some of Ginn’s production, but the job is Ginn’s until he proves himself. Ginn is another player that offers season long value for your team.

Week One Prediction 9 Points 

Tight end Ladarius Green, Chargers– owned in 9.4% of leagues

Green has been vaulted back into fantasy relevancy with the suspension of Antonio Gates. Gates is out for four games, and Green looks to take over his roster spot. Phillip Rivers is a competent quarterback, who likes to target his tight ends in the endzone. There’s every reason to expect that Green will come down with a few TD’s while starting. Though Green is only a viable starter for the first four games of the season, I think he’s worth an add if you want an upgrade at TE. Keep and eye on him throughout the regular season as well. Gates isn’t getting an younger.

Week One Prediction: 8 Points

Running Back Dri Archer, Steelers- owned in .7% of leagues. 

This one is more of a reach, but hear me out. After LeVeon Bell serves out his two game suspension, it’s more likely to be Dri Archer on the field backing him up as opposed to DeAngelo Williams. Archer has better hands and more speed. The only thing that Williams has over Archer, is his strength and ability to run through players so this does take away short yardage options, like on 3rd and 1. But if it’s a short yardage situation on the goal line it will be Bell not Williams that gets the carry. Martavius Byrant is also suspended for four games, so having one more guy with soft hands on the field gives a boost to the Pittsburgh offense.This is a highly speculative grab but if you’re in a PPR league, a league that allows return yardage, or a 12-14 man league, Archer may be worth a stash.

Week One Prediction: 7 Points

Running Back Cameron Artis-Payne, Panthers– owned in 15.4% of leagues

Cameron is currently back up to the injury prone Jonathan Stewart. Stewart averaged 9 carries a game last season when he participated in a Running back committee approach with DeAngelo Williams, so I don’t expect him to get a heavy workload, and due to the loss of starter Kelvin Benjamin The Panthers are going to need to get their run game going to open up the field. Artis-Payne looked good all preseason, and I expect him to eat into Stewart’s touches and yardage. Plus last season, Cam Newton scored 5 rushing touchdowns. I don’t expect the same rushing TD production out of Newton this year. Payne will get a few of those TD looks. As far as handcuffs go, there are only a couple I would rather have on my team than Artis-Payne. He’s on a running back hungry team, behind an injury prone starter. For reference, Christine Michael has been a trendy name lately with his trade to the Dallas Cowboys, and is currently owned in 25.4% of leagues. Between these two I’d rather have Payne.

Week One Prediction: 6 Points

*Since it’s week one I tried to list guys that could help your team more than week one. If you’re already looking to tidy up your roster you’re obviously going to need the help. Good luck out there!

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2015 Wide Receiver Rankings

This year, there are a lot of options at wide receiver. It’s probably the deepest position for 2015 besides perhaps quarterback. But this doesn’t mean you should wait too long to draft your first receiver, it just means there will still be value to be had after the sixth round. For your typical roster you’ll end up with about 4-8 receivers depending on your league’s scoring. Player’s marked with a $$ are players that should outperform their draft day values.

Two guys I’m targeting as deep sleepers are Eddie Royal, and Andrew Hawkins. Eddie Royal was already on my radar long before the Kelvin White injury. But when you couple that with the fact that Alshon Jeffery is dealing with an injury, it paints a rosy picture for Royal’s outlook. Royal is a seasoned veteran coming off his two most productive fantasy football seasons, and with White out he should lack for targets. I really like Cutler this season as well, so everything is trending up for his production.

I’m not going to lie, I was pretty down on Johnny Manziel, but he’s looked pretty sharp in the preseason. As a result, Cleveland receivers have seen a boost in my rankings. I’m not sure who’s going to be the top receiver in Cleveland at the end of the season, but if I don’t end up with Bowe, I’m not going to be upset landing Andrew Hawkins in the later rounds. Hawkins has the talent, and showed flashes of this last season, ending 2014 with more first downs than any other receiver or back on for The Browns. Hawkins is a gut call for me, but my gut says he’ll have a big season.

1. Demaryius Thomas DEN 21. Brandon Marshall NYJ 41. Percy Harvin BUF
2. Antonio Brown PIT 22. DeSean Jackson WAS 42. Devin Funchess CHI
3. Dez Bryant DAL 23. Amari Cooper OAK 43. Kendall Wright TEN
4. Alshon Jeffery CHI 24. Andre Johnson IND 44. DeVante Parker MIA
5. Randall Cobb GB 25. Mike Wallace MIN 45. Brandon Lafell NE
6. Julio Jones ATL 26. Jeremy Maclin KC 46. Charles Johnson MIN
7. Odell Beckham Jr. NYG 27. Nelson Agholor PHI $$ 47. Brian Quick STL $$
8. T.Y Hilton IND 28. Allen Robinson JAC 48. Dwayne Bowe CLE $$
9. Calvin Johnson DET 29. Eric Decker NYJ 49. Kenny Stills MIA
10.  Mike Evans TB 30. Marques Colston NO $$ 50. Donte Moncrief IND
11. A.J. Green CIN 31. Jarvis Landry MIA 51. . Doug Baldwin SEA
12. DeAndre Hopkins HOU 32. Victor Cruz NYG $$ 52.  Malcom Floyd SD
13. Emmanuel Sanders DEN 33. Roddy White ATL 53. Terrance Williams DAL
14. Julian Edelman NE 34. Martavis Bryant PIT 54. Dorial Green-Beckham TEN
15. Sammy Watkins BUF 35. Davante Adams GB $$ 55. Cody Latimer DEN
16. Brandin Cooks NO 36. Torrey Smith SF $$ 56. Marqise Lee JAC
17. Golden Tate DET 37. Steve Smith BAL 57. Cole Beasley DAL
18. Keenan Allen SD 38. Breshad Perriman BAL 58. Tyler Lockett SEA
19. Vincent Jackson TB $$ 39. Anquan Boldin SF 59.Marvin Jones CIN $$
20. Jordan Matthews PHI 40.  Larry Fitzgerald ARI 60. John Brown ARI

*Rankings are based on standard scoring.

Based on your league size, and how enthusiastic your fellow drafters are this may not be enough receiver depth. Below are a few more later round guys, that can still produce for your team.

Cecil Shorts HOU

Andrew Hawkins CLE

Danny Amendola NE

Eddie Royal CHI

Riley Cooper PHI

Pierre Garcon WAS

Rueben Randle NYG

Michael Crabtree OAK

Greg Jennings MIA

Allen Hurns JAC

Markus Wheaton PIT

Jarius Wright MIN

Mohamed Sanu CIN

2015 Quarterback Rankings

When drafting quarterbacks in fantasy football, you want to go early or go last. This years quarterback depth is ridiculous. Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck are easily the two standouts. Rodgers simply gets the job done every year, and Luck is a young strong armed QB surrounded by talent. But even if you choose to wait on drafting a quarterback, there is still a lot of talent left on the line. Players marked by $$$ are some players that I predict will outperform their average draft position.

Two players I am targeting in later rounds are Tony Romo and Jay Cutler. Dez Bryant has been outspoken all season. To me he seems hungry. There has never been a wide receiver score 16+ touchdowns in back to back seasons. I think that Dez has a shot at breaking that record this season. Not to mention, the loss of their bell cow running back leads me to believe they’ll be airing the ball out more this season. Jay Cutler should benefit from new offensive coordinator Adam Gase. Gase is coming from Denver where he worked with Peyton Manning during some of his most productive seasons. The loss of Kevin White shouldn’t impact Cutler too greatly. He still has Matt Forte, Alshon Jeffery, and Martellus Bennett as targets. These are two of my top guys that should give you quite the bang for your buck.

1. Aaron Rodgers GB 14. Matthew Stafford
2. Andrew Luck IND 15. Sam Bradford PHI
3. Ben Roethlisberger PIT $$$ 16. Teddy Bridgewater MIN $$$
4. Peyton Manning DEN 17. Jay Cutler CHI $$$
5. Russell Wilson SEA 18. Carson Palmer ARI
6. Drew Brees NO 19. Joe Flacco BAL $$$
7. Ryan Tannehill MIA 20. Jameis Winston TB
8. Matt Ryan ATL 21. Alex Smith KC
9. Cam Newton CAR 22. Marcus Mariota TEN
10. Tony Romo DAL $$$ 23. Nick Foles STL $$$
11. Philip Rivers SD 24. Andy Dalton CIN
12. Tom Brady NE 25. Robert Griffin III WAS
13. Colin Kaepernick SF

*Rankings are based on standard scoring.

2015 Tight End Rankings

There isn’t nearly as much point disparity between tight ends as say running backs and wide receivers. This directly influences their value. If you have a shot at a stud running back for example, you’ll want to pull the trigger on that player as opposed to the best tight end available. The only exception this season is Rob Gronkowski. Gronk annihilated his competition last season, averaging 11.5 points a game. Even though he’ll likely be missing his starting quarterback (Tom Brady) for the start of the season, he’s still head and shoulders above the rest. For your draft you’ll want to end up with one to three tight ends. You’ll only draft three if you can use a tight end in your flex position on your roster. Players marked with $$$ are players that are likely to outperform their draft value.

1. Rob Gronkowski NE 14. Kyle Rudolph MIN $$$
2. Greg Olsen CAR 15. Larry Donnell NYG
3. Jimmy Graham SEA 16. Josh HIll NO
4. Martellus Bennett $$$ 17. Charles Clay BUF
5. Travis Kelce KC 18. Heath Miller PIT $$$
6. Dwayne Allen IND 19. Jordan Reed WAS
7. Julius Thomas JAC 20. Austin Seferian-Jenkins TB
8. Jason Witten DAL 21. Maxx Williams BAL $$$
9. Jordan Cameron MIA $$$ 22. Jace Amaro NYJ
10. Owen Daniels DEN $$$ 23. Eric Ebron DET
11. Zach Ertz PHI $$$ 24. Vernon Davis SF
12. Delanie Walker TEN 25. Tyler Eifert CIN
13. Antonio Gates SD

*These rankings are based on standard scoring.

More rankings to come! After all are published I will link all of my rankings to a downloadable document for easy printing and draft day use. Good luck!