The waiver wire is back. No huge plays at the running back position, so this week is about the tight end and wide receiver. I base my selections on players who are owned in less than 60% of leagues on CBS Sports, and those owned in less than 33% of leagues get an asterisk.
The two biggest recommendations this week are Julian Edelman and Julius Thomas. Hail Caesar!
E.J. Manuel and Terrelle Pryor* are guys to add as second quarterbacks who can provide rushing yards to go with some passing numbers. Manuel doesn’t have a great matchup, but Pryor is immediately startable against Jacksonville.
Philip Rivers may be available and has a matchup play against Philadelphia, because we know there will be lots of plays run in that one.
There is not a lot of immediate help available at the running back position. The one situation to monitor is New England, where Shane Vereen replaced Stevan Ridley and put up big numbers, but was injured. Brandon Bolden* is probably your best add as a speculative fantasy start against the Jets, as we don’t know how the coaching staff will divide carries. LeGarrette Blount got 7 carries in the last game, but didn’t do much (15 yards), while Bolden got none. Don’t expect either to be involved as a receiver as much as Vereen, though. Vereen has been designated for return as an IR player, so he will be out for awhile.
As for others, I will continue to bang the Roy Helu drum. I know Washington looked bad for one half, but that offense will get going, on the ground. They fell behind big, and while Helu was in for some third downs, only got one carry and one catch. He’s not a start this week by any means, but a monitor.
If anybody were to cut Bryce Brown (you never know with reactionary leagues), he is an add and start in a flex option. He didn’t do much with the 9 carries he got, but the Eagles will run a lot, and McCoy cannot take 31 carries a game. Brown will average over 10 carries a game this year, making him a flex matchup play. The Chargers are a good matchup.
I was perpetually recommending Kendall Hunter last year before his injury, and he looks to be back in week one, getting six carries. Gore falters or gets hurt, and Hunter becomes a must start.
Julian Edelman* should be target 1A this week for anyone needing a receiver or flex start. He caught two touchdowns, Amendola is likely out, and Vereen is out. Those two combined for 17 catches on Sunday and those targets go somewhere. Also, monitor the Aaron Dobson injury news, as he went from hot to dropped in many leagues, and is questionable for Thursday.
Rueben Randle had over 100 yards in the Giants offense. He would become very valuable if either Cruz or Nicks missed a game. Marlon Brown will be getting starting time in Baltimore with Flacco looking for help. Expect him to increase his role with Jones out and the tight ends struggling.
Matchup play this week, Rod Streater* against Jacksonville. Streater did not get a touchdown, so will likely be overlooked, but was a frequent target (8 times) for Pryor, and had 70 yards.
Obviously, you want Peyton Manning’s tight end if we know who that is going to be from week to week. Julius Thomas had his breakout game in what seems like an eternity ago. He’s worth the gamble given the upside.
I still think Dwayne Allen is the value play here. He caught a touchdown pass from Luck in the first half, but fell on his hip and left the game. The MRI was negative, so I expect he will play Sunday. He will be a bigger part of this offense and is the tight end to have.
In deep leagues, you play matchups. Here are some recommended starts based on those matchups, for some teams that might be available.
The Carolina Panthers, because they should be owned in most leagues, and are on my rosters, and get E.J. Manuel and the Buffalo offense.
The Browns get to go against a Ravens team that can put up yards, but where Flacco is trying to figure out targets that could lead to miscommunications and errors.
The Oakland Raiders go against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Enough said.
My top recommendations, among players owned in less than 60% of leagues:
- Julian Edelman, wide receiver, New England
- Julius Thomas, tight end, Denver
- Brandon Bolden, running back, New England
- Rod Streater, wide receiver, Oakland
- Marlon Brown, wide receiver, Baltimore
- Dwayne Allen, tight end, Indianapolis
- Kendall Hunter, running back, San Francisco
- LeGarrette Blount, running back, New England
- Roy Helu, running back, Washington
- Rueben Randle, wide receiver, New York Giants
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