The Waiver Wire Matinée
By John Kerwin
I welcome to the 2013 season premiere of the Waiver Wire Matinée. I am going to be bringing you week to week waiver advice with a cinematic twist. I have incorporated movie genres and terminology into categories as I break down the weekly waiver targets.
Next to each name you will find a rating from 0-5 stars, and the rating exemplifies the priority you should place on this pickups during the respective week.
- 5 Stars: Must own player.
- 4 Stars: Strong acquisition, and room should be made if possible.
- 3 Stars: On the radar, and worth consideration.
- 2 Stars: Borderline droppable players, rostered in deep leagues.
- 1 Star: Barely worth calling a roster filler.
- 0 Stars: Drop immediately.
Drama/Suspense: Stay On The Edge Of Your Seats
Terrelle Pryor (4 Stars) - The fact that Pryor has admittedly stated that he played "awful" against the Colts, says a lot about his potential. A near laughable pickup a few weeks ago has turned into a hot commodity overnight. Pryor finished with a respectable 19-for-29 with 217 passing yards, but threw two costly interceptions. The difference maker across fantasy scoreboards was his 112 rushing yards on 13 carries. Pryor isn't going to accumulate Drew Brees equivalent passing numbers, but his dual-threat capability leaves a very solid floor for his fantasy capabilities. I believe he is definitely worth a roster spot, but Pryor is going to have owners on the edge of their seats the entire season. He is an inconsistent passer, and still a very raw talent, but Pryor has the talent to put up points through the air and on the ground. I'm rostering Pryor if I have the availibility on my bench, but beware of the drama and suspense surrounding his stat line each week. I see Pryor as a low-end QB2 with upside and can see him being a big play possibility during bye-weeks and injury stints.
Thriller: Big Play Potential
Joique Bell (4 Stars) - Reggie Bush is undoubtedly the main running back to own in Detroit, but Bell is going to carry much more value than many of us assumed. The non-activation of Mikel Leshoure quickly notified us all that the Lions were going with the tandem of Bush and Bell, and it looks like Bell is going to be the primary goal line back. His two touchdowns alone helped secure a solid fantasy outing. The addition of his five receptions for 67 yards was icing on the cake. The Lions are known to maintain a pass-heavy offense, and this was exemplified in Week 1. Bell has the explosiveness and size to break some big plays this season, and it looks like the opportunity is going to be there for him to produce. If Bush were to succumb to injury for an extended period of time, Bell would become an every-week starter while Bush is sidelined. Bell isn't going to inch ahead as far as fantasy points are concerned, and he is going to thrill with skill when the ball is in his hands. If he is currently on your waiver wire, hurry up and put in your claim. Bell is to be considered a low-end flex option with RB2 potential if Bush flashes any bit of his fragile past.
Mystery: Will The Success Continue?
Marlon Brown (3 Stars) - Torrey Smith can't do it all himself this season, and the injury to Jacoby Jones opens the door to the youthfully talented Brown. The receiving corp of the Ravens has gotten thinner by the week, and the lack of depth has given a great deal of opportunity to Brown. He displayed his deep-threat talent in his first professional game, and his 13-yard touchdown showed us he can be a target in the red zone as well. Racking up 65 yards on four receptions was very respectable in his spur of the moment action. Brown is going to fill the WR2 void left by Jones for the next few weeks and could cement himself solid minutes if he produces. There is still a lot of question regarding his season-long capability when Jones returns, but he is worth the gamble. Brown is currently in low-end WR4 territory with WR3 upside. He could be a valuable flex fill-in if rapport continues to build with Joe Flacco. If he can somehow stay on the field when Jones returns from injury, he could pay dividends for deep leagues the remainder of the season.
Action: The Workload Will Be There
Julian Edelman (3 Stars) - Danny Amendola is going to be the PPR monster and favorite of Tom Brady while Rob Gronkowski is out, but Edelman could reap major benefits with such young receivers on the Patriots roster. It wasn't difficult to spot the lack of trust and rapport Brady had with majority of his receivers during Week 1. Outside of Amendola, Edelman was easily the most productive receiver Brady had. He was the obvious red zone hero with two touchdowns, and I expect that type of target consistency to continue. The Patriots offense looked like a shell of itself against the Bills, and Brady is going to continue to feed his trustable targets in the following weeks. If Kenbrell Thompkins can't produce with the high-volume of targets he receieved on Sunday, then Edelman will continue to see his role increase. Edleman is well-worth the roster spot, and is a high-end WR4 with WR3 potential. If Amendola were to miss any serious time, Edelman would be a great spot-start while he was out.
Horror: Be Afraid
Bilal Powell (1 Star) - Let's be honest, being named a "starter" doesn't always mean a whole lot these days. Christopher Ivory was brought into New York to be the starting running back, but his progress during the offseason didn't help him prevail. Powell was named the Week 1 starter and people began eyeing down the waiver wire, but not too fast. The leading rusher after the opening game was Geno Smith. Powell was only able to accumulate 12 carries as opposed to Ivory's 10. Powell was very unproductive with those carries as well, only totaling 35 rushing yards. This isn't a potent offense that is going to get him many looks inside the 10-yard line, and he just isn't talented enough to do much damage between the 20s. I would cut Powell loose and not think twice about it. He isn't worth a roster spot unless you badly need backup running backs in deep leagues.
Isaac Redman (1 Star) - I wasn't very high on Le'Veon Bell when he was healthy, but his opportunity kept his tock very high. When he went down with the foot sprain, and Jonathan Dwyer was cut, Redman was named the default starter. The Steelers offense looked nothing short of pitiful in Week 1, and Redman totaled an embarassing nine yards on eight carries. He isn't much of a receiving threat, and isn't worth a roster spot moving forward. Redman won't be worth a look any week when Bell returns from his injury. Don't scour the wire for any Steelers backs at this point in the season (even with the return of Dwyer), and definitely don't waste a claim on Redman. I don't see any reason to contemplate picking him up or keeping him around in any event.
Independent Stream: Not The Big Name, But Worth The Look This Week
Oakland Raiders Defense (3 Stars): The Raiders were the laughing stock of the NFL heading into Week 1, and then they opened some eyes. Not only did the Radiers give the Colts quite a scare, but they held a fairly potent offense to 274 total yards. If the Raiders defense was capable of keeping Andrew Luck under 200 yards passing, just imagine what they're going to do to the Jaguars this week. The Jaguars were only able to score two points against the Steelers in Week 1, and it doesn't look to be getting any better in the near future. Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne combined for only 157 passing yards, and two interceptions against the Chiefs. Looks for the Raiders to put up some points with the dreadful Jaguars coming to Oakland in Week 2. For all of you that love to stream, this is your prime matchup.
Box Office Bomb: Hopes Were High, But The Points Were Low
Zach Sudfeld (0 Stars) - There are many of owners who swooped up Sudfeld off of waivers during the offseason with plenty of promise as Rob Gronkowski is going to miss at least one week. The lack of receiving depth on the Patriots offense, and the horrid secondary lineup the Bills were feidling made Sudfeld a lock for decent points. Four quarters later, and everyone who wasted the click to obtain him is livid. Sudfeld managed only one target, and zero receptions in a game where Tom Brady threw the ball 52 times. Adding inury to insult, Sudfeld apparently sustained a hamstring injury during the miserable performance. Even he can't even catch a pass without Gronkowski in the lineup, don't count on him at all this season. Sudfeld isn't worth a roster spot with the depth at tight end this season.
Blockbuster Of The Week: Must-See And Own
Julius Thomas (5 Stars) - Was there any doubt who the waiver wire star was this week? Thomas was a training camp standout, and a preseason stud. He carried all that momentum right into the regular season with a breakout Week 1. Thomas hauled in five receptions for an outstanding 110 receiving yards and adding two touchdowns to the mix. Thomas was nothing short of excellent, and looks to have great chemistry with Peyton Manning right out the gates. It will be interesting to see if he can maintain steady production with all the mouths to feed, but Manning has always utilized his tight ends well. Thomas has exceptional agility and athleticism to turn short routes into major yards. He is a big target for Manning in the red zone as well, and the lack of a running game is going to keep the targets coming for the Broncos receivers. Thomas needs to be owned in 100 percent of leagues, and is considered a high-end TE2 with definite TE1 upside moving through the season.