It's often said that the NFL has turned into a passing or quarterback-driven league. If our evidence is Week 1 production, it is an open-and-shut case.
Not only did Patriots quarterback Tom Brady set a franchise record with 517 passing yards against the Dolphins on Monday Night Football, but Chad Henne threw for 416 yards.
The two quarterbacks combined for an NFL-record 933 yards.
In total, 14 quarterbacks threw for 300-plus yards in Week 1. And four of those quarterbacks threw for at least 400 yards.
Aside from Brady, Saints quarterback Drew Brees (419 yards) was not a big surprise. If you were told before Week 1 that four quarterbacks would throw for 400-plus yards in Week 1, how many of you would have guessed Chad Henne and rookie Cam Newton?
That's a rhetorical question—we all know the answer is none of you.
Here are some waiver wire options that may be available in your leagues (percentage owned in Yahoo! leagues in parentheses).
QB: Cam Newton, Panthers (owned in 34 percent of leagues)
Aside from actually winning the game, there is little more that Newton could have done in Week 1.
Newton threw for 422 yards and two touchdowns while running for another.
There will be up-and-down weeks, typical of any rookie signal-caller, and we have probably already seen his most productive fantasy week this year, but he will be a solid QB2 and bye-week replacement going forward.
RB: Ben Tate, Texans (45 percent)
While his NFL debut was not nearly as impressive as Newton's, it was impressive nonetheless.
With Arian Foster sidelined due to a hamstring injury, Tate rushed for 116 yards against the Colts in Week 1. While it appears as though Arian Foster will return to practice on Wednesday and play this weekend, Tate showed us what the potential could be if Foster re-injures his hamstring.
RB: Cadillac Williams, Rams (17 percent)
With Steven Jackson getting injured early in Week 1, Williams finished with 140 yards from scrimmage—91 rushing yards and 49 receiving yards. According to the Rams, Jackson is "likely out" for their Week 2 matchup on Monday Night Football.
RB: Keiland Williams, Lions (one percent)
Since he was signed recently, Williams was inactive for the Bucs game on Sunday. That said, expectations are that Williams will assume a role similar to that planned for second-round rookie Mikel LeShoure, who suffered a season-ending injury.
As a change of pace to Jahvid Best, Williams should get a fair share of early-down carries in addition to the goal-line and short-yardage work at some point soon.
WR: Jacoby Jones, Texans (20 percent)
Initially, it was feared that Kevin Walter suffered a broken shoulder, but it turned out to be a bruise only—Walter might even play this week versus the Dolphins.
Jones, who had a 79-yard punt return touchdown, finished with three receptions for 43 yards. If Walter is out of the lineup, Jones would move into the No. 2 spot behind Andre Johnson, and Jones should expect to receive increased targets.
If Walter is back, Jones still has loads of potential to break out at some point in 2011.
WR: Brandon Gibson, Rams (four percent)
With Danny Amendola suffering a dislocated elbow in Week 1, Gibson had three receptions on five targets for a team-high 50 yards against the elite Eagles secondary.
With Amendola out along with Mark Clayton, who is on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, Gibson and Mike Sims-Walker should receive plenty of targets going forward.
WR: Early Doucet, Cardinals (five percent)
Doucet finished with three receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown in Week 1.
While you shouldn't expect that kind of production on a weekly basis, Doucet and Andre Roberts should always find themselves getting single coverage with All-World receiver Larry Fitzgerald on the field.
WR: Devery Henderson, Saints (28 percent)
Marques Colston will be out for a month with a broken collarbone and Lance Moore missed last week's game with a groin injury. If Moore misses Week 2, the Saints top two receivers would be Robert Meachem and Henderson, who finished with six catches for 100 yards in Week 1.
WR: David Nelson, Bills (less than one percent)
Nelson finished with four receptions and 66 yards in Week 1 against the Chiefs. He and Stevie Johnson each received a team-high six targets.
Nelson, who is 6'5", finished 2010 with a score in his final three games.
TE: Lance Kendricks, Rams (34 percent)
Both Ed Dickson and Fred Davis had nice weeks and Kendricks struggled, including dropped passes that he should have caught.
That said, Sam Bradford targeted Kendricks quite a bit in the preseason. Without Amendola in the lineup, Kendricks should expect to see more targets (and convert on them).
If Kendricks is owned, Dickson and Davis both have plenty of upside if you need help at tight end.
These are merely a few of the players who might be available on your league's waiver wire and worthy of consideration as an addition to your fantasy roster.
If you have a question (trade proposal, waiver wire or lineup decision, etc.), feel free to post it in our free fantasy football forum.
In addition, you will also find our free Week 2 fantasy football contest in our forums.
Tomorrow, we will release our initial Week 2 fantasy football rankings, which you can find at TheTipDrill.com (our fantasy section).
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