Week one waivers can be a tricky situation to manage. It can be hard to release a player you once deemed to have enough value that you selected him during your draft, even if it was in latter portion. Week one also turns into an overzealous buyer’s market looking for diamonds that end being a fugazi. No one wants to purchase this season’s version of Kevin Ogletree, but you also want to stay aggressive and not forego an opportunity to buy in on a useful commodity at any point.
Whatever the case may be, whether you are streaming, your league has an IR that allows you a free pickup, or you just plain out need the bodies; here are waiver options to satiate your early season trader market taste buds.
*Although ownership percentage is an imperfect science, I prefer to use it from a pay site.
Terrelle Pryor QB- OAK (ownership 17%- per CBS)
If you’ve followed throughout the offseason, you know that I am a firm believer that standard scoring gives running quarterbacks a sizeable advantage even if they aren’t necessarily good throwers.
Pryor proved, at least for one week, he may not be a thrower of Tebow-like ineptitude. Against a soft Indy defense, Pryor completed 19 of 29 attempts (65 percent) and 217 yards. His 7.5 yards per attempt were greater than Tom Brady, Joe Flacco and Tony Romo—amongst others. He also was leading rusher in the NFL after Sunday concluded, tallying 112 yards on 13 variations of read options and scrambles.
Pryor is a perfect option for a standard league committee approach to your quarterback stable. You can play him in favorable matchups (vs Jacksonville this weekend) and he has the ability to overcome poor games throwing if he’s owned in leagues with accommodating scoring.
EJ Manuel QB BUF (34 percent)
Manuel’s stock took a dive right before draft time due to his knee surgery after two preseason games, creating a quality opportunity to buy low if you were someone who believed in his talent. He showed no ill effects of the surgery, tossing for 150 yards and completing 18 of 27 passes to go with two touchdowns.
While he isn’t as dependent on the run as many assume he is, he still should be a guy who reaches the 60 carry mark. On Sunday he took off three times for 23 yards.
Joique Bell RB DET (57 percent)
Bell should be owned in nearly all leagues immediately. At worse, he is a spot flex play if not a weekly option for reception leagues. With Mikel Leshoure a healthy scratch this past Sunday, the backup running back spot is Bell’s alone.
Bell played 28 snaps this past week, spot on with his usage in the same role last season where he averaged 26 snaps per game over the final 15 weeks. He’s a player who makes the most of his snaps as he rushing six times for 25 yards and two touchdowns while grabbing five of six targets for additional 67 yards.
You can’t count on those weekly touchdown numbers, but you can count on this healthy involvement in the passing game. Bell was a Fantasy Points Rer Route Run (FPPRR) dynamo in 2012, posting 100.5 receiving points on only 245 snaps in route (.41 FPPRR). He gobbled up 54 receptions a year to go with 899 total yards on his way to PPR running back number twenty-four.
Andre Roberts WR ARI (19 percent)
Roberts finished only one spot behind teammate Larry Fitzgerald in PPR scoring last season while playing with the same awful quarterbacks that the Cardinals trotted out weekly. Now with the emergence of Michael Floyd, Roberts is pushed back to the number three receiver in Arizona.
There’s nothing wrong with that because with Bruce Arian is running the show, along with a capable Carson Palmer and one of the league’s worst rushing games, the Cards will be throwing it a ton this season.
Arizona dropped back 44 times in week one, right on pace with the 43.9 drop backs per game that Arian’s called last season with the Colts. Roberts played on 32 of those drop backs, being targeted nine times on his way to eight receptions and 97 yards. The volume that he should see weekly makes him a solid WR4 type that can put up low WR2, high WR3 numbers on any given week.
Terrance Williams WR DAL (1 percent)
Williams is a guy to monitor if Dez Bryant’s mid foot sprain escalates into him missing any time. The Dallas pass game is more than viable to support Williams after Witten, Austin and Murray if Bryant misses any real time.
The rookie from Baylor has incredible speed and was involved a bit in the week one tilt on Sunday night versus the Giants. Although he had one terrible drop, Williams played 36 snaps, turning his four targets into two catches and 32 yards.
Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls
Jerome Simpson- Week 1: eight targets, seven receptions for 140 yards
Simpson is a classic example of being too aggressive on the wire in week one. Despite posting the large performance, including a 47-yard reception, he’s a guy to avoid picking up right now. Minnesota was largely ineffective running against the Lions strong front. Even though Adrian Peterson broke a long 78 run, Detroit held him to 15 yards on his other 17 carries. Combined with the weak Lions’ secondary, Simpson was able to find space. He’s still attached to a run first offense with a poor quarterback known for his inadequate arm strength. Also, the Vikings will eventually start getting rookie wideout Cordarelle Patterson more involved as the season goes on.
Da’Rel Scott – Week 1: five carries for 23 yards, eight targets, five receptions for 51 yards
Scott played 37 snaps in the Giants opener because David Wilson was doing his best Darnell Jefferson impersonation Sunday night. The majority of his receptions came in junk time as New York was consistently trailing the entire game due to turnovers. For worried Wilson owners looking to handcuff him with Scott, don’t’. The Giants have been linked to bringing in a veteran back off of waivers. Whether that is Willis McGahee or another player, Scott has no long term value as of now.
Kellen Winslow – Week 1: eight targets, seven receptions for 79 yards, one touchdown
Winslow is worth a monitor as a streamer if he keeps this up, but for now don’t buy. He dwarfed fellow tight end Jeff Cumberland 49 to 28 in snaps played because New York was largely unsuccessful running the football (Jets backs combined for 2w carries for 34 yards), opening the door for Winslow, a receiving tight end to play a lot. The Jets may trail in a lot of games, giving Winslow an opportunity for future points, but with so many fruitful streaming options available, wait until his production is more consistent for a favorable play.