There could be a waiver wire gem here that helps you win your fantasy football league
Here are our Pickups & Drops after Week 1 of the 2012 NFL season.
Pickups & Drops after Week 1
Locker was a guy we’ve been high on since the middle of last season and as we suspected, he won the starting job over Matt Hasselbeck during the Titans pre-season. His first professional start showed how special he can be as a fantasy player as he was on his way to a 300-yard game before leaving early in the fourth quarter with a suspected dislocated left (non-throwing) shoulder. The word is that Locker is just fine and will start next weekend against a San Diego pass D that gives up a lot of fantasy points to opposing QBs. Grab this kid while you still have the chance because who knows how good he’ll be once Kenny Britt gets back into the starting lineup.
Ponder looked real good against a Jacksonville pass D that’s actually pretty darn good. He completed 20 of 27 passes for 270 yards (which is a really nice 10 yards per attempt) and has a couple of really nice weapons at his disposal in Percy Harvin and TE Kyle Rudolph and once Jerome Simpson gets back, he’ll have another big-time playmaker to toss it to as well. With defenses likely to key in on Adrian Peterson again after his super-human performance last Sunday, Ponder should benefit greatly and become a guy you wish you had picked up when the writing was on the wall.
Even though his pre-season was worth paying attention to, we were still a bit skeptical and needed to see it in a real game first before we could believe how much he’s improved. Yes, it was against one of the worst pass defenses in the league, but Gabbert certainly passed the eye-test this past Sunday and might be worth a gamble in larger leagues.
After four years of making him sit on the coin-operated horsey ride outside the candy store window, the Ravens finally opened the doors to let their QB get a taste of what he's been missing. Their high-tempo, no-huddle offense wasn't a ruse as OC Cam Cameron seems determined to let Flacco run the show...and it looks like he's right on the money with it. The training wheels are finally off, fantasy owners, so it's time to recognize this kid's talent and pick him up before someone else does. No more apple juice and Cheerios for little Joey, fellas. It's Apple Jacks and Sugar Smacks from here on out.
Spiller is highly doubtful to be out there, but if he is, with Fred Jackson’s injury a two-week mystery at the very least, you have to go grab Spiller. His outburst was no fluke, as he showed when taking over last season.
Shanahan has already given the nod to Alfred Morris as the Redskins starting running back for the foreseeable future. Of course, that “future” could end up being for just the first series of the Redskins game against the Rams in Week 2, but Morris does indeed look like a starting RB in this league. With both Evan Royster and Roy Helu a bit injury-prone and opposing teams obviously having to pay attention to Mr. Griffin III, Batman’s butler is definitely worth grabbing as a third or fourth RB for your team at this point, depending on the size of your league.
We’ll make this one real simple: Isaac Redman is awful; Rashard Mendenhall is coming off of ACL surgery and really wasn’t all that great to begin with; and Dwyer is still hungry to show that he should have been a first/second-round pick in 2010 instead of slipping to the SIXTH round. This kid is A LOT better than people realize…and now you can be the one to say “I knew it all along”.
Sleepers to Keep an Eye on
Lamar Miller – Miami Dolphins
Back-up RB Daniel Thomas got rocked pretty hard on Sunday and in our estimation, won’t be coming back anytime soon from that concussion he suffered on Sunday (although the team hasn’t even admitted to it being a concussion yet…go figure). With Reggie Bush STILL a huge injury-risk and Dolphins not playing for much of anything this season, the Dolphins STEAL in the fourth-round this last draft might see the field a lot sooner than expected.
Check to See if he was Dropped…then Pick Him Up!
David Wilson – New York Giants
Was Wilson’s fumble in the first quarter of his NFL career a bummer? Yes. Will the Giants and Tom Coughlin get over it? Yes. Will Ahmad Bradshaw get injured? Yes. Go get David Wilson…like immediately.
Randall Cobb – Green Bay Packers
Cobb was the stud we thought he was going into LAST year against the 49ers this past Sunday. Not only did he catch all NINE of his targets for 77 yards on the day, but he also lined up in the backfield as the Packers third-down back for most of the day as well. The kid is so insanely electric that the coaching staff is finding ways to keep him on the field no matter the situation and might even let Greg Jennings walk in the off-season because of their confidence in him. If he’s available in your league, grab him now before it’s too late.
He’s probably not available in your league, especially in a PPR league, but if he is, go grab him. He’s obviously Bradford’s favorite target and will undoubtedly continue to be so throughout the season. 100 catches is a possibility.
If the rookie receiver from South Carolina had come out a year earlier, Alshon Jeffery would have been a no-brainer first-round selection. As it happened, Jeffery slipped into the second-round where the Bears picked him up without hesitation. Jay Cutler is slowly but surely finding out why Chicago nabbed him in the draft and made sure the Colts knew why as well in Week 1. Brandon Marshall is obviously going to lead this team, but Jeffery will be a great complementary player as shown by his three receptions (on five targets, third-most on the team) for 80 yards and a 42-yard touchdown in Week 1.
Hill’s outburst of five catches for 89 yards and two TDs was pretty fluke-ish as the Jets will NOT be a passing team this season, but he’s certainly a big-time talent as shown by the Jets selecting him in the second-round of last year’s draft. At 6’4” with a 4.36 40-yard dash, he’ll always be a match-up problem and just might make New York re-think their offensive philosophy. At the very least, he’s a red-zone threat and has Santonio Holmes drawing coverage away from him on the opposite side.
Moss is simply one of the Top-5 receivers in the history of the league and is now suiting up for the team that produced THE BEST WR in the history of football; Jerry Rice. You can already tell that just wearing the 49ers uniform has Randy all hyped up for the season and even though he’s more of a situational player at this point, his four catches on four targets for 47 yards and a touchdown already bodes well for his future playing time. Not many old-timers are worth a pick-up this late in life, but Moss has always broken the mold.
When Austin Collie comes back, which might be in Week 2, Avery’s targets will undoubtedly go down from the EIGHT he received against the Bears on Sunday. However, Collie could become a collared green at any moment so Avery could keep his worth throughout the season. His speed is still evident so as long as the Colts keep playing from behind—which they will be all season with that defense—Avery could be worth a stash in deeper leagues.
Kevin Ogletree – Dallas Cowboys
I’m almost laughing at myself for putting him in here, but supposedly Ogletree is finally through a rough patch in his personal life and back into making football his #1 priority. If his light being turned on was truly that simple, I’ll be surprised, but it’s tough to deny eight catches on 11 targets (one less than Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and Jason Witten COMBINED) for 114 yards and two TDs. Take the chance if you have the ability to do so on your roster.
Dexter McCluster – Kansas City Chiefs
Another bit of a laugher for me because from what I hear, McCluster wouldn’t have even played football if he had made the final cut to be a part of the Munchkins when The Wizard of Oz went on Broadway. I don’t know how many more times Dexter will see 10 targets fly his way, but he’s a playmaker and could do a little damage in PPR leagues if the Chiefs keep having to play from behind like they did this past weekend.
Laurent Robinson – Jacksonville Jaguars
Robinson was barely used throughout the pre-season though Jags OC Bob Bratkowski recently took blame for his lack of usage saying it was probably more his fault than anyone else for leaving Laurent out of the offensive game-plans. Obviously, as most coaches are, he wasn’t full of shit as Robinson had team-highs in targets (9) and receptions (5) this past Sunday going for 66 yards. He’s a gifted player that could end up being a nice surprise if Gabbert continues to impress.
Braylon Edwards – Seattle Seahawks
He didn’t go nuts by any means, but playing in place of the injured Golden Tate, Braylon had team-highs in targets (9, tied with Sidney Rice), catches (5) and yards (43) this past Sunday. He’s a prima donna, but talented as hell as well.
Sleepers to Keep an Eye on
Donald Jones – Buffalo Bills
David Nelson is out for the year, so Jones could be worth keeping an eye on in pass-happy Buffalo.
Brandon Gibson – St. Louis Rams
Injury-prone and likely to lose out to rookie Brian Quick in the end, but Bradford has always seemed to like him when he plays.
Cecil Shorts – Jacksonville Jaguars
Long on talent but still the third receiver on a team trying to find its identity with Gabbert at the helm.
Aldrick Robinson – Washington Redskins
If Pierre Garcon is out for any length of time, Aldrick Robinson is one of the fastest receivers in the league and obviously has the confidence of RGIII.
Andrew Hawkins – Cincinnati Bengals
In a game with A.J. Green, Torrey Smith, Anquan Boldin and Ray Rice, the second-year midget (5’7”) out of Toledo ended up with the more yards (86) and catches (8) than all of them. Guess the Bengals let Jordan Shipley loose for a reason.
Coby Fleener – Indianapolis Colts
The Colts are going to be playing from behind all season and Fleener is going to be a target-monster. Six catches on 10 targets for 82 yards is just the beginning, folks.
Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings
Rudolph has been a favorite of ours here at Pyro for quite awhile now and his five receptions on seven targets for 67 yards (all second on the team to Harvin) is just the tip of what this kid is capable of. The TDs will come; the catches will be there and with defenses likely to stack the box against AP again now and the Vikings likely to be playing from behind plenty, Kyle looks to have a bright future ahead of him.
Brent Celek – Philadelphia Eagles
Celek began where he left off last season catching four balls for 65 yards on eight targets against the Browns on Sunday. He’s Vick’s security blanket right now, especially with safeties not allowing DeSean Jackson deep and Maclin slightly banged up yet again. Grab him now if he’s still out there.
Martellus Bennett – New York Giants
The Giants and especially Eli Manning LOVE to make their tight ends fantasy-valuable. Kevin Boss and Jake Ballard were close to starting fantasy lineups while they played in New York and neither of them could hold a candle to Bennett’s potential. If things continue the way they went in the 2012 opening game last Wednesday, Bennett could end up as someone’s TE1 real quick.
Jared Cook – Tennessee Titans
Cook probably has more skill than all but four or five tight ends in the league, and you know all the guys I’m talking about. His main problem, however, is the amount of mouths that need to be fed in the Titans offense. He’ll have a few outstanding games that you’ll wish you had him on your fantasy team for, but other than that, he’s a bit of a mid-tier dweller.
Sleepers to Keep an Eye on
Dennis Pitta – Baltimore Ravens
After watching Pitta on Monday night, I’m thinking maybe more players should take the pre-season off like Pitta did…though without the injury, of course. He looked dominant overall and superior to Ed Dickson while he was out there, so with the Ravens offense all of the sudden becoming such a high-tempo passing unit, Pitta could be worth the risk.
Heath Miller – Pittsburgh Steelers
Miller doesn’t have a whole lot of upside, but could be worth a shot in deeper leagues.
- After one week of action, it’s hard to advocate a flat-out drop of a player, but I’d say if you have any Cleveland Browns receivers (such as Greg Little, Josh Gordon or even Mohamed Massaquoi), you might want to cut them loose right now instead of holding on to them for their “potential”. Weeden looked bad. I mean REALLY REALLY bad.
- Obviously, anyone who got injured and won’t be back this season, such as WR David Nelson on the Buffalo Bills.
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