I'm a fan of planning ahead when it comes to fantasy.
So here's a look at five guys—who could very easily be popular waiver adds next week—to pick up before everyone else wants them.
Note: These pickups probably aren't for the faint of heart.
QB: Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders
Sure, he was beyond terrible in his season opener last week and yes, they are still a heavy running team.
Nonetheless, Carson Palmer is still a viable quarterback in this league and easily has the arm needed to make big plays.
Darrius Heyward-Bey, Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore give Palmer three big-play receivers and his upcoming schedule is more than favorable.
Denver, Miami, San Diego, Minnesota and Green Bay are all still left on the schedule. Every one of those teams has been far from perfect against the pass. And that's a generous statement.
Even the "tougher" matchups left for Palmer and the Raiders aren't overly scary. Chicago, Detroit and Kansas City don't necessarily make for must-bench plays.
Palmer was dropped a bunch after last week, but he will only get more comfortable with this offense, especially with a bye this week. Grab him before it's too late.
RB: Roy Helu, Washington Redskins
It's not long before either A) Mike Shanahan gets bored with Ryan Torain or B) Torain, who has been injury-prone in his career, falls to injury. Whenever either of those happens, Helu will be the last back standing in Washington.
Even "Lucifer" Shanahan won't be able to deny the rookie carries then.
It's only a matter of time before Helu gets a full load of work. Once that happens, he's going to be a very popular pickup.
If you have room on your bench, might as well stash him and beat the rush. He's one of the top backup running backs to own right now.
RB: Javon Ringer, Tennessee Titans
If Chris Johnson doesn't take advantage of this matchup, there's something wrong. The Colts are horrendous against the run and anything less than 120 yards will have CJ2K in hot water.
Either the Titans simply bench Johnson, they say he has an injury to avoid embarrassment of benching him or it turns out he has a real injury. Whatever happens, they can't keep going forward with Johnson as their starter.
That leaves Javon Ringer, who has actually looked far more explosive (three carries for 31 yards last week) and would welcome a chance to prove himself.
This week is Johnson's last chance. Might as well stash Ringer before he hits waivers. If Johnson goes off, bench Ringer. If he doesn't, you've got yourself a nice pickup.
WR: Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos
Having Tim Tebow as your starting quarterback isn't the best recipe for success, but we at least know Tebow is tossing the ball in Thomas' general direction.
The second-year receiver out of Georgia Tech got 10 targets in his first game back from injury last week, which was easily the most for any Bronco.
Sure, he only pulled in three of those for catches, but he turned one of them into a touchdown.
He has a few tough matchups coming up (DET, KC, NYJ), but I see games with San Diego, Minnesota, New England and Buffalo in four of the last five weeks of the fantasy season.
Mark my words, Thomas will be a stud during fantasy playoffs.
WR: Anthony Armstrong, Washington Redskins
Armstrong struggled to make a connection during John Beck's first start, but with Santana Moss and Chris Cooley out, Armstrong is suddenly a main option for this pass offense.
Don't forget that Armstrong caught 44 passes last year at an average of almost 20 yards per catch. And that was with Donovan McNabb throwing him the ball for the most part.
John Beck isn't necessarily the best option, but Armstrong has experience catching passes from bad quarterbacks.
He's a legitimate starter now, so there will at least be lots of chances.
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