Adam Levitan

Waiver Wired

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Waiver Wired: Week 2

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


WIDE RECEIVERS
1. Julian Edelman, Patriots – Owned in 21 percent of Yahoo leagues
Let’s rewind to last season. In Week 1, Julian Edelman rotated into the slot with Patriots legend Wes Welker. In Week 2, Edelman actually started over Welker and continued to see heavy snaps during Week 3 until he sustained a hand injury. But by the time Edelman got back on the field, Welker had regained a stranglehold on the job. Now let’s move on to Sunday’s game against the Bills, when Edelman was getting heavy snaps early in both two- and three-wide formations – even before Danny Amendola tweaked his groin. Edelman ended up playing on 83-of-94 offensive snaps, recording seven catches for 79 yards and two touchdowns. It’s evidence that the Patriots coaches are infatuated with him. Edelman plays all the positions except Kenbrell Thompkins’ “X” spot. With Shane Vereen (wrist) out a few weeks, Zach Sudfeld proving untrustworthy and Amendola likely out for Week 2, we can be sure Edelman will have a major role in Week 2 and beyond. Assuming Amendola does sit Thursday, Edelman will be a WR2 and have even more upside in PPR formats. He's the better short-term play than Marlon Brown.  
Recommendation: Should be owned in all 10-team leagues

2. Marlon Brown, Ravens – Owned in 4 percent of Yahoo leagues
I mentioned in last week’s Waiver Wired that we expected Marlon Brown to overtake Jacoby Jones for the second receiver job sooner rather than later. That process was expedited when Jones got kamikazied by undrafted rookie teammate Brynded Trawick, spraining his MCL and hitting the shelf for 4-6 weeks in the process. After Jones went down on Thursday, Brown played every snap and caught four passes for 65 yards with a touchdown. So we know he has the opportunity and an examination of Brown’s history tells us he has the talent. Before an ACL tear at Georgia, he was an emerging prospect. And in the preseason, Brown recorded a 10/169/2 line on 161 snaps. Look for Joe Haden to shadow Torrey Smith in Week 2, leaving Brown to light up oft-burned Buster Skrine and Chris Owens. By the time Jones gets healthy, Brown will have run away with the job.
Recommendation: Should be owned in all 10-team leagues

3. Andre Roberts – Owned in 21 percent of Yahoo leagues

Every pass-heavy attack needs a reliable No. 3 receiver, and every Bruce Arians’ offense seems to have one. Roberts hauled in eight passes during Week 1, with four of them going for first downs. A poor man’s Antonio Brown, Roberts has a good shot to at least equal the production T.Y. Hilton produced as Arians’ third wideout last year – perhaps with more catches and fewer touchdowns. There’s enough room for both Roberts and Michael Floyd to be fantasy assets in Arizona.
Recommendation: Should be owned in all 10-team leagues

4. Brian Hartline – Owned in 45 percent of Yahoo leagues
While Mike Wallace ran clear-out routes and got eaten up by Joe Haden in Week 1, Brian Hartline roamed free. He finished with a whopping 15 targets and a 9/114/1 line. It was a great performance, but don’t go chasing those numbers too bad. As the No. 1 receiver last year, Hartline had just 62 catches for 830 yards and no touchdowns if you take away the fluky 12/253/1 he put on the Cardinals in Week 4. And now that Wallace has whined about his decoy role, expect the squeaky wheel to get greased.
Recommendation: Should be owned in most 12-team leagues

5. Nate Burleson – Owned in 5 percent of Yahoo leagues
With Ryan Broyles (knee) not quite ready, Burleson has the slot all to himself for now. And in the Lions’ absurdly pass-heavy scheme, that’s enough to be relevant. Burleson will see single coverage on every play as teams double Calvin Johnson, meaning his catch rate will be high (six receptions on six targets Week 1). Burleson was on pace for 72 catches last year before breaking his leg. Just don’t expect any big plays after the grab from the 32-year-old.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

6. Percy Harvin – Owned in 31 percent of Yahoo leagues
Percy Harvin made some news last week when he Tweeted he’s “making serious progress” and we should “keep an eye on Week 7.” That may be overly optimistic considering Harvin was slapped with a 3-4 week timetable after undergoing hip surgery in late July. However, CBS’ Jason La Canfora reported Sunday that Harvin is indeed ahead of schedule and has “wowed his surgeon.” If Harvin had never gotten hurt, we would have had him as a second-round fantasy pick.
Recommendation: Should be stashed in leagues with an IR spot and/or deep benches

7. Jerome Simpson – Owned in 3 percent of Yahoo leagues
Simpson was perhaps the most ineffective wideout in the league last season, catching 26 passes for 274 yards with no touchdowns in 12 games. He blamed a back injury, got a new bed in the offseason and said he was good to go. Well, in Week 1 he went off for seven catches and 140 yards and direct backup Cordarrelle Patterson played five offensive snaps. But before we believe in this revival, owners in most leagues should wait to see more. Simpson’s game-tape from last year and his time in Cincy was that bad.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 14-team leagues

8. Kenny Stills – Owned in 11 percent of Yahoo leagues
As expected, Meachem didn’t step right back into his old role as the third wideout in New Orleans. He was inactive Sunday, leaving intriguing fifth-round rookie Kenny Stills to play 35-of-69 snaps. Stills played the role the way he’s supposed to, catching a 67-yard bomb on a double move. He could have had another touchdown if he wasn’t underthrown by Drew Brees. Stills will be inconsistent as a strict deep threat, but there will be some explosive days.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 14-team leagues

9. Rod Streater – Owned in 7 percent of Yahoo leagues
As discussed in Favorite Fliers, Streater made his move to the top of the Raiders’ wideout depth chart during the offseason. It came to fruition in Week 1, when Streater played on 46-of-67 snaps and led the team with eight targets. The danger is that Terrelle Pryor’s arm will be extremely erratic and Denarius Moore is a talented guy. Streater is a lock for week-to-week inconsistency.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 14-team leagues
 
10. Harry Douglas – Owned in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues
Roddy White finally came clean Sunday, admitting he has a high ankle sprain and was only active in Week 1 to serve as a decoy. White’s status is in doubt for Week 2, thrusting Douglas into a possible every-down role. Yawn. With Julio Jones sidelined for three games in 2011, Douglas produced just 10 catches for 170 yards with no touchdowns. Julio will be the one to benefit the biggest if Roddy sits.  
Recommendation: Should be owned in 16-team leagues

Watch list: Patrick Edwards, Markus Wheaton, Terrence Williams, Eddie Royal, Leonard Hankerson – Edwards played 53 snaps in Week 1. Production shouldn’t be far behind. … The Steelers are desperate for playmakers on offense right now. Giving Wheaton a chance would be side. … Dez Bryant’s foot sprain is mild and he’s expected to play Week 2. Williams is a weak handcuff. … Eddie Royal is healthy and getting an opportunity for major snaps. But Philip Rivers had the best game he’ll have all season Monday night and Royal still only had three catches. …Would Hankerson have had such a big game if the Redskins didn’t get down 33-7? Definitely not.
 
Cut bait: Quinton Patton, Greg Little, Travis Benjamin, Kendall Wright, Riley Cooper – Patton played behind starter Kyle Williams and third man Marlon Moore. He ended up with four snaps. … Little can’t catch. … Travis Benjamin will barely play when Josh Gordon gets back. … Wright only plays in three-wide sets and the Titans are committing to the run. … As expected, Cooper is a blocker.

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Adam Levitan is in his sixth season covering football and basketball for Rotoworld. He won the Fantasy Sports Writers Association award for Best Series in 2011 and 2009, and ESPN's overall fantasy football title in 2000. Find him on Twitter.
Email :Adam Levitan



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