Adam Levitan

Waiver Wired

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Waiver Wired: Week 2

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

1. Julius Thomas – Owned in 55 percent of Yahoo leagues
Although Julius Thomas is 55 percent owned, I included him here because he was just 24 percent owned heading into Thursday night’s national television coming out party. At this point, just about everyone is aware of “Orange Julius.” I talked about him in last week’s Waiver Wired here and in Friday’s Daily Dose here. The difference between him and other Week 1 breakout guys like Kevin Ogletree is that Julius is actually a special talent. He’s a former basketball player (a la Tony Gonzalez and Jimmy Graham) and is the clear-cut starting tight end in an offense quarterbacked by Peyton Manning. Thomas has weekly top-12 fantasy tight end appeal.
Recommendation: Should be owned in all 10-team leagues

2. Tyler Eifert – Owned in 21 percent of Yahoo leagues
Making his NFL debut, Tyler Eifert played on a surprising yet very healthy 41-of-59 offensive snaps while Jermaine Gresham played on all 55. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by that usage considering Andrew Hawkins (ankle) is on short-term IR and Mohamed Sanu/ Marvin Jones have done nothing to distinguish themselves. Eifert can play the flex spot effectively – he caught 140 passes for 1,840 yards with 11 touchdowns over three seasons at Notre Dame, flashing seam-stretching ability to go with excellent hands and a willingness to go high for balls. Now that we know the Bengals are willing to use “12” personnel, Eifert’s stock is trending up in a big way.  
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

3.Kellen Winslow – Owned in 4 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Jets have a plan to maximize the health of Kellen Winslow’s balky knees. He’s going to sit out every Wednesday, get a little work in on Thursday/Friday and then go full blast on Sunday. It could work, at least in the short-term. Winslow had a 7/79/1 line in Week 1 as a featured player (eight targets on 49 snaps) in Marty Mornhinweg’s pass-happy scheme. He’s Geno Smith’s most reliable target right now.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

4. Brent Celek – Owned in 19 percent of Yahoo leagues
If you watched Monday night’s win over the Redskins, you know you want Eagles on your team. More snaps equals more stats, and Chip Kelly has the offense running at a pace we’ve never seen before. It’s not like a Peyton Manning no-huddle where he gets to the line and screws around for 20 seconds. The officials put the ball down and the Eagles snap it. Although Celek only had a 2/56/1 line on three targets, he’s set up for more if/when Philly is playing from behind. Celek had a team-leading seven targets in the third preseason game.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

5. Dallas Clark – Owned in 5 percent of Yahoo leagues
Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat. Dallas Clark is washed up. During Thursday’s game at Denver, he had three bad drops (including one that would have gone for a touchdown), couldn’t separate and struggled to even get up after a few hits. The only reason he’s even on our radar is because the Ravens are desperate. Clark piled up a 7/87/0 line on 12 targets as Joe Flacco attempted an absurd 62 passes. If we work proportionally and Flacco averages the 33.1 attempts a day he averaged in 2012, Clark’s chances will be cut in half.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

Watch list: Charles Clay, Heath Miller, Coby Fleener, Mychal Rivera, Vance McDonald – Clay started and played virtually every down. … Ben Roethlisberger is desperate for his old buddy Miller to get back as soon as possible. Week 6 seems realistic. … Fleener only saw one target Sunday, but he did play on 42-of-57 snaps. … Deeper Dynasty owners should note that the Raiders’ most talented tight end is Rivera. … Vance McDonald can certainly run a seam route.

Cut Bait: Ed Dickson, Delanie Walker, Anthony Fasano – Dickson is an in-line blocker that simply can’t run routes or catch the ball. … The Titans offense isn’t going to support a lumbering tight end like Walker. They couldn’t even get a freak like Jared Cook going. … Fasano will eventually get passed up by Travis Kelce.  


1. Raiders – Owned in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Raiders don’t have much talent, but they showed they at least have some pride. In Sunday’s narrow loss to the Colts, their defense limited a potent offense to 21 points while producing four sacks. Now they get to go home to the black hole for a home opener, where they’ll face a Jaguars offense that scored zero points against the Chiefs. Chad Henne is more dangerous than Blaine Gabbert, but did throw 10 interceptions in his seven full games last year.

2. Chiefs – Owned in 6 percent of Yahoo leagues
Sparked by the marvelous play of rapidly improving second-year NT Dontari Poe, the Chiefs went to Jacksonville and possibly ended Blaine Gabbert’s career. Now they’ll step in class against Dallas, but they are at home. It’s not like K.C. doesn’t have the talent to match up. Eric Berry, Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson and Justin Houston all went to the Pro Bowl last year. Brandon Flowers has legit shutdown ability – especially if Dez Bryant’s foot injury lingers. Tony Romo will be battling some sore ribs as well.

3. Eagles – Owned in 2 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Chargers have to go across the country for an early start in what will be a raucous atmosphere. It’s the first home game of the Chip Kelly era and the Eagles are coming off an impressive Week 1 win. Trent Cole looked like a natural 3-4 outside linebacker and ILB Mychal Kendricks is a star in the making. Expect turnovers.

1. Greg Zuerlein, Rams – Owned in 29 percent of Yahoo leagues
Greg Zuerlein wasn’t owned in very many leagues because he missed eight of his final 16 attempts in 2012. But in Week 1, “Greg the Leg” went 4-of-4 and built confidence with a game-winning 48-yarder. As mentioned above under Sam Bradford, the Rams offense is significantly improved as they play a more scoring-friendly and aggressive scheme. St. Louis will in a shootout and in a dome at Atlanta in Week 2.

2. Garrett Hartley, Saints – Owned in 20 percent of Yahoo leagues
Garrett Hartley is the kind of kicker I’d plug into my lineup weekly and just ride. He’s accurate (career 85.1 percent), plays in one of the game’s best offenses and kicks in a dome. Hartley has to go outdoors in Tampa this week, but it’s a fine environment and will be a high-scoring game.

3. Rian Lindell, Bucs – Owned in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues
As mentioned above, the Saints/Bucs game is going to be a shootout. Lindell should get more attempts than the one he converted at the Jets in Week 1.

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.
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