Week One Under the Radar Waiver Wire Pick-Ups

Michael WhooleySenior Writer ISeptember 8, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 29: Nate Burleson #81 of the Seattle Seahawks #81 of the Seattle Seahawks makes a reception against the Kansas City Chiefs during their preseason game at Arrowhead Stadium on August 29, 2009 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Each week, we will break down three players who impressed him on Sunday and are worthy of a roster spot for your fantasy team.  The guys chosen will be owned in less than 50% of fantasy leagues.  With no games this week, let’s take a look at three players who sitting on your waiver wire with good match-ups as we enter week one of the NFL regular season .

1. Nate Burleson, WR, Seattle Seahawks – Burleson is returning from a torn ACL suffered in Week One of last year to an offense which has improved its passing game.  Matt Hasselbeck is 100 percent healthy and T.J. Houshmandzadeh is a solid possession receiver over the middle. 

All of that means Burleson, who is a terrific deep threat and had a touchdown before being injured last year, will not have to deal with any double teams and be open for a lot of deep balls.  Many of you may see this as a stretch, but he could reach double digit touchdowns in 2009.

2. Earl Bennett, WR, Chicago Bears – Everyone sees this guy as a fantasy sleeper, one who will be the biggest benefactor to the Bears adding Jay Cutler.  Both Bennett and Cutler played college ball together in Vanderbilt and connected quite a bit.  While Bennett is not a top flight receiver, who else do the Bears really have to throw to? 

Devin Hester may be the No. 1 but is more of a home run threat.  Bennett could see a lot of targets, which could mean a lot of catches and a solid amount of yards.  Why not take a flier on this guy who has a load of potential compared to someone with a low ceiling?  If you have the roster space, grab Earl Bennett. 

3. San Diego Chargers Defense – In just about every league each fantasy owner needs to start a defense and the fact that San Diego D/ST remains on the board in over 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues is amazing.

In most leagues owners usually only draft one D/ST and to see the Chargers not being one of the top 12 D/ST drafted on a regular basis is absurd San Diego was rated the best defense coming into the 2008 season before injuries and some bad luck led to a letdown but that all should change in 2009.

Considering the Chargers play in the AFC West and have six games against the Chiefs, Raiders, and Broncos (who will all struggle offensively), they should get back to dominant form. Plus they have match-ups against the Browns and Bengals who ranked in the bottom third on offense in ‘08. 

That’s eight games against below averages offenses and trust us when we say the San Diego defense will finish in the top five by season’s end—even if Shawn Merriman misses time for choking celebrity Tweeter Tila Tequila.