Fantasy Football Week 1: Waiver Wire Advice

Ken KellyContributor IIISeptember 6, 2010

CANTON, OH - AUGUST 8: Jordan Shipley #11 of the Cincinnati Bengals tries to break a tackle after catching a pass against the Dallas Cowboys during the 2010 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Field at Fawcett Stadium on August 8, 2010 in Canton, Ohio. The Cowboys defeated the Bengals 16-7. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

With just a few days before the regular season begins, just about every draft is complete. So, we just sit back and wait to see what happens, right?

Absolutely not.

When looking through the average draft position data and the player’s available percentages, it’s obvious there’s a lot of talent hanging on the waiver wire in many redraft and even some dynasty leagues right now.

Don’t believe me?

Here’s a list twenty players owned in less than 50% of ESPN fantasy football leagues who all should merit roster space.

Check the waiver wire in your league and you may just be surprised at what you find.

1. Jacoby Jones, WR, HOU (owned in 47.9% of leagues)

Jones has the size, speed, and opportunity to flourish in Houston’s dynamic offense. With defenses focusing on his counterpart, Andre Johnson, Jones will see a whole lot of single coverage this season.

2. Leon Washington, RB, SEA (44.3%)

With the jettisoning of Julius Jones, Washington is going to share the load with Justin Forsett. An injury to Forsett would make Washington a viable starter in fantasy leagues.

3. Kareem Huggins, RB, TB (31.0%) Cadillac Williams will be the starter in Tampa Bay this season. If and when he gets hurt, Huggins has shown an explosive ability when he touches the ball. He could be the Arian Foster of LAST year.

4. Bernard Scott, RB, CIN (27.3%)

The Bengals are dedicated to getting Scott more involved this season as a true compliment to Cedric Benson. If anything was to put Benson on the shelf, Scott would be an every week starter.

5. Louis Murphy, WR, OAK (20.5%)

Murphy is actually the first of two No. 1 receivers you can find on this list.

6. Jabar Gaffney, WR, DEN (19.7%)

Here’s the second.

7. Legedu Naanee, WR, SD (16.7%)

Vincent Jackson won’t be playing for the Chargers again. Malcom Floyd and Naanee are going to be the biggest beneficiaries of his absence. You could wait on Naanee to see how the targets fall out, but that’s likely going to be a mistake.

8. Jermaine Gresham, TE, CIN – 14.9%

Don’t be surprised if Gresham ends this season as a top-10 scorer for the tight end position. He caught 12 passes for 131 yards, and one touchdown in limited preseason action.

Carson Palmer loves him.

9. Fred Taylor, RB, NE (14.1%)

Yeah, I get it. The Patriots running game is as hard to figure out as how Bronson Pinchot made so much money in the 80′s.

Here’s the thing, though.

Taylor seems poised to start the season as the No. 1 running back. He was limited to just six games last season, but still had four touchdowns, and one 100-yard performance in them.

That’s a guy who should be on a roster.

10. Mike Williams, WR, SEA (9.1%)

We’ve been talking about Williams since July. If you wait until after week one, it’s going to be too late.

With the release of TJ Houshmandzadeh, Williams could quite easily be considered the best wide receiving option on the team.

He’s a starter for this team and could be for yours this year, too.

11. Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE (8.4%)

Gronkowski is going to be a beast in the red zone. He had four touchdowns in his last three preseason games, playing mostly with the first unit.

He’s likely going to be hit and miss, but I’d rather have him over about half the No. 2 tight ends you’ll find rostered in most redraft leagues. 12. Tashard Choice, RB, DAL (7.7%)

This is more about the trading deadline than anything else. Rumors have been swirling about Choice being moved and his value would skyrocket if he found himself on a different team.

If you have a spot and want to roll the dice, be proactive.

13. Josh Freeman, QB, TB (3.6%)

He’s going to surprise a lot of people the second half of the season.

You could do a lot worse with your No. 2 quarterback, and from the looks of percentage of teams who own him, you likely have.

14. Jordan Shipley, WR, CIN (3.3%)

Shipley has caught the eye of the Bengals coaching staff already.

If you’re in a PPR league, he’s going to be really good weapon. In fact, I don’t think 70 catches is out of the question.

15. Peyton Hillis (2.6%), and James Davis (0.7%), RBs, CLE

With Montario Hardesty out for the year, the Cleveland running back situation is once again a cluttered mess.

While Jerome Harrison is easily the No. 1, there’s simply no way he can the type of load he did at the end of last year for an entire season.

Look for one of these two to have some nice value this year. My money is on Hillis at the moment.

16. Danny Amendola, WR, STL – 1.6%

The Rams have lost Donnie Avery for the year and opted against trading for Vincent Jackson, so their wide receiving corps may just be the worst in the league.

Amendola has shown the most promise of late, and Sam Bradford looks about as good as you can as a rookie.

They could both surprise some people this year.

17. Mike Thomas, WR, JAX (1.6%)

Thomas is really flying under the radar right now.

Many say he’s too small to handle anything but the slot, but nobody has stepped up to take the No. 2 wideout spot away from him.

He’s a very sure handed player who could flourish in his second season.

18. Brandon Jackson, RB, GB (1.3%)

It happens every year.

A stud running back is out for the season and his backup goes crazy and wins people championships.

I’m not putting a curse on Ryan Grant, but the Packers suddenly have very little behind him if he was to lose any time during the year.

Jackson is a necessary handcuff to Grant owners or a lottery ticket to those willing to gamble.

19. Dennis Dixon, QB, PIT (1.0%)

Charlie Batch may start week one, but Dixon is going to be used.

If Batch starts and struggles, Dixon has the talent to put together some nice games to start the year.

20. Deion Branch, WR, SEA (0.7%)

Yes, that Deion Branch.

He’s being completely forgotten about in fantasy leagues, but he’s earned a starting job in Seattle.

If he can stay healthy, he’ll be more productive than about a third of the receivers already on rosters.


For this week's Start and Sit featuring "sneaky plays of the week," click here.

Don't know what a dynasty league is? Click here.

For the complete set of strategic 2010 dynasty rankings, click below:

Strategic Quarterback Rankings Strategic Running Back Rankings Strategic Wide Receiver Rankings Strategic Tight End Rankings Strategic IDP Rankings

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