Unheralded Waiver-Wire Players Who Need to Be on Your Radar
In fantasy football, playing the waiver wire is an art. Hunting for players who have the potential to rack up serious points is a quintessential element for any successful fantasy squad.
With most of the waiver wires opening up Wednesday, what better time is there than now to take a look at some unheralded players who need to be on your radar?
Combining scouting reports, advanced stats and players who are flat-out just in a good position to succeed, this list of names was developed.
What are you waiting for? Start the slideshow below and check out a few unheralded waiver-wire players that need to be on your fantasy football radar.
*All fantasy football information and stats courtesy of ESPN.com unless noted otherwise.
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Throwing for 396 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions, Smith seems to have a tremendous understanding of the offense.
From a fantasy football perspective, Smith is the 11th-ranked QB, according to ESPN.com.
For a player who is owned in just 17.5 percent of ESPN leagues, Smith's level of comfort and production in this offense makes him a fantastic QB2—with QB1 upside—based on his upcoming schedule. Smith plays the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, Tennessee Titans and Oakland Raiders over the next four weeks.
If you are light at the QB position or simply are just one of those smart general managers who is constantly looking to add productive fantasy commodities to your roster, placing a claim on Smith is a move that could payoff long-term.
If you watched the Arizona Cardinals last week, then you would have noticed a dynamic rookie running back named Andre Ellington make the most out of his reps.
Ellington, a sixth-round pick out of Clemson, is an absolute burner despite being raw. When talking about his ability, NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said:
I think pound-for-pound this kid competes as a pass protector, and I didn't see that when I turned on the tape. He's quicker than fast. His foot speed is balanced. His competitive nature all added up to a third-round pick.
Rushing for 20 yards on four carries and catching two passes for 42 yards, including a 36-yard touchdown, against the Detroit Lions, Ellington showed off his burst and the value he provides for head coach Bruce Arians.
What is intriguing about Ellington in fantasy football is that outside of his dynamic skill set and ability to put up points in the passing game, according to Darren Urban of ArizonaCardinals.com, Arians said he sees this young man as an RB who can carry the load.
He isn't the starter—that job belongs to Rashard Mendenhall—but with a role now carved out for him in this offense, Ellington, owned in just 0.3 percent of leagues, is an injury away from doing some real damage this season—especially in point-per-reception leagues.
Do you play in a PPR league? Do you need a little depth at the wide receiver position? Then you need to meet my friend, Nate Burleson.
The 32-year-old Burleson may not ever break the 100-yard receiving mark in a single game—heck he might not even score. But, if you are looking for an established veteran wide receiver who will consume a ton of targets and rack up a nice number of receptions, well, then Burleson is your guy.
Catching 13 passes for 123 yards over his first two games, Burleson has taken advantage of Matthew Stafford's ability to sling the pigskin.
With WR Ryan Broyles missing time while he recovers from an ACL injury, Burleson has seen an increase in targets.
Sure his outlook isn't impressive when Broyles returns to action, but if you are in a bind and need for a player to help your team out, well then, this veteran WR is worth a look.
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An injury away from potential fantasy football stardom, Randle benefits from playing in a pass-friendly offense led by a productive franchise QB.
In Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys, Randle finished the day with five catches for 101 yards receiving, proving to fantasy owners that he has developed a nice chemistry with Eli Manning.
While he came back to earth last week against the Denver Broncos—Randle finished with three catches for 14 yards—he was still targeted nine times in the loss.
Randle's value is based on a combination of Manning throwing the football 91 times in two games and the fact that Nicks usually gets banged up. Nicks missed three games last season and left Sunday's game with an injury to his finger, although he did return.
If you have the room on your bench, it's time to take a long, hard look at Randle as a player who possesses tremendous upside—last season when Nicks missed a game against the Carolina Panthers, backup WR Ramses Barden filled in and finished with nine receptions for 138 yards.
Stevie Johnson may be the No. 1 WR in Buffalo, but rookie Robert Woods is starting to turn some heads.
This young Buffalo Bills offense, led by EJ Manuel might still be a year or two away from being dynamic, but outside of C.J. Spiller, Fred Jackson and Johnson, Woods is an intriguing player who's worth adding to your fantasy radar.
Unless you have a ridiculous amount of bench spots available to use in your league, Woods is not worth adding just yet. But producing five receptions for 83 yards and one touchdown in two weeks shows that this young man could turn the corner once he develops a sound chemistry with Manuel.
When it comes down to it, because of his skill set and role in a potentially dynamic offense, Woods is one wide receiver who should be on your radar as the season progresses.
Don't look now, but Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill is playing some good football to start the season.
In fantasy terms, that means we have to look at all of the benefactors from his stellar play. And one man who caught our attention is fullback/tight end Charles Clay.
The ninth-highest scoring TE in fantasy football right now, Clay has racked up 10 receptions for 163 yards and rushed for one touchdown in two games. Owned in just 0.8 percent of leagues, this Dolphins standout belongs on your roster for another reason outside of his production.
According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), out of the 136 snaps the Dolphins offense has taken, Clay has been out there for 117 of those.
That's a snap ratio that should make fantasy owners break down with joy and do the Chappelle's Show version of the robot dance.
Adding Clay is a no-brainer. The guy is out there a lot and he makes plays. Standard league or PPR, this young man is going to make an impact on your fantasy team.
Kansas City Chiefs D/ST
That's right. Owned in just 25.9 percent of leagues, the Chiefs D/ST have been racking up points and making a statement so far.
A forgotten defense that could end up finishing in the top 10 for the position by the time this season is over, lately it seems like Chiefs are doing just about everything right.
According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), the Chiefs are not only stout against the run—currently they have graded out as the fifth-best rush defense—but they also have the best pass defense in the NFL.
Come on man! What are you waiting for? Act like a Spike Lee joint and Do the Right Thing! Put in a claim for the Chiefs D/ST.