This list will be updated throughout the day Monday and Tuesday morning. Check back often.
Well unlike the past few fantasy Week 1 starts, the 2011 fantasy football season has not only opened up with a few surprises (Cam Newton throwing for over 400 yards, Ryan Fitzpatrick torching the Chiefs for 4 TDs etc), but it also featured a ton of lopsided-high scoring games that gave notice to a host of some interesting waiver wire candidates.
Today, I and my faithful counterpart Greg Brosh would like to give you our collection of waiver wire considerations, and a little insight as to why you should be scooping them up.
Fred Davis – TE – WSH: Davis has been a guy that I have consistently be mentioning off and on this summer, and he has in fact emerged as a primary target in the Redskins passing game. A lot of this is due to Chris Cooley still dealing with swelling in his knee, but Davis was earning this back in camp and it shouldn’t come too much as a surprise. Davis caught 5 passes for 105 yards, and he should be scooped up for the waiver wire now. He’ll get another tasty matchup against Arizona’s weak TE coverage D, this upcoming week.
Ownership: 1.0% Yahoo! – 1.3% ESPN
Randall Cobb – WR/KR – GB: The Packers showed that they intend to use more than just a three-wide set, and they also showed that Cobb will in fact be in the mix for WR targets here and there. But his real value comes for those who are rewarded return yards points, and against a very good Saints team, Cobb torched them for 135 return yards with a score, as well as 2 receptions for 35 yards. he is the real deal, and deserves a stash on your roster.
Ownership: 20.0% Yahoo! – 8.5% ESPN
Jacoby Jones – WR – HOU: Kevin Walter was initially expected to miss the next 10 to 12 weeks with a broken left shoulder, but Gary Kubiak just announced that he is only dealing with a "bad bruise." Jones could get the start in Week Two, however, making him an intriguing option if you need help for at least one week. Against the Colts, Jones caught 3 passes for 43 yards, and scored on a 79 yard punt return. Outside of return-yardage leagues, Jones' value won't be as high now that Walter's diagnosis took a 180.
Ownership: 19.0% Yahoo! – 5.6% ESPN
Now that you have three of my favorite candidates, let’s take a look at who Greg has in store for us.
Rex Grossman - QB - WAS: As I expected, Grossman got off to a hot start against a decimated Giants Defense. His 305 passing yards currently ranks him at No. 10. And while his two scores weren't really surprising, his zero interceptions were. Now don't go thinking he will do this every week because he will likely have more hair-tearing games than good ones. But in the right matchups and for bye-week purposes, Grossman is easily a QB2 going forward.
Ownership: 6% Yahoo! – 3.5% ESPN
Cam Newton - QB - CAR: To say that Cam's debut as a Panther was great would be an understatement. Even though the Panthers wound up losing to the Cardinals, Cam's 24-of-37 passing for 422 yards with two touchdowns and one interception was beyond spectacular. Newton not only became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 400+ yards in his rookie debut, but he also kept the Panthers in the game until the end, meaning he didn't throw most of his yards in garbage time. Keep in mind he is still a rookie. But if you decided to take crap like Kerry Collins as your QB2, Newton could be a solid pickup.
Ownership: 43% Yahoo! – 36.9% ESPN
Chad Henne - QB - MIA: For the first time in a long time, Henne looked comfortable in the pocket and really took command of the offense. His 416 yards passing was one of the league's best and chipping in 59 yards and a touchdown on the ground doesn't hurt either. We won't get carried away and say Henne is going to have his best season yet, but he has certainly earned backup-fantasy recognition after his performance against the Patriots.
Ownership: 17% Yahoo! – 7.1% ESPN
Cadillac Williams - RB - STL: Steve Jackson ran hard against the newly-formed Eagles defense, but it was Williams who surprised. After Jackson injured his quad at the end of a 47-yard touchdown run, Caddy came in and not only ran for 91 yards, but also caught six passes for another 49. We won't know Jackson's status until sometime late Monday morning or early afternoon, but Caddy could be a solid pickup in deeper leagues and is also now a must-have handcuff for all Jackson owners. As we have seen in the past, Jackson has a slow recovery rate from lower-body injuries.
Ownership: 7.0% Yahoo! – 7.5% ESPN
Ben Tate - RB - HOU: While many thought Derrick Ward (11/39/1TD) would be the guy to own as Arian Foster's handcuff, it was Tate who showed why he was expected to be the starter before the 2010 season. Against a hapless Colts Defense, Tate blew up for 116 yards and a score. If Foster can't go next week against the Dolphins, Tate should be in all fantasy lineups again. At the very least, it's become clear that Tate is the Foster handcuff all owners should snatch up this week, even though Ward missed most of Sunday's game with an ankle injury. Tate definitely deserves the shot.
Ownership: 43% Yahoo! – 39.8% ESPN
Willis McGahee - RB - DEN: McGahee was barely a blip on the offensive radar last night against the Raiders, registering three yards off of four carries and catching five passes for 32 yards. The good news is that Knowshon Moreno is believed to have injured his hamstring on a run in the fourth quarter. He is set for an MRI on Tuesday, but owners should still pick McGahee up in all leagues as insurance if Moreno ends up missing this week and maybe more.
Ownership: 55% Yahoo! – 96% ESPN
Danny Woodhead - RB - NE: Woodhead got most of his fantasy stats from garbage time with the Patriots being up by so much so late, but that's good enough for those owners who used him as a low-end fantasy option. Don't expect output like this every week, however, since there are a lot of players for Tom Brady to look at in the passing game. BenJarvus Green-Ellis will still get his share of the carries to.
Ownership: 50% Yahoo! – 89.2% ESPN
Ted Ginn - WR/KR - SF: While Ginn went without a catch in Sunday's win against the Seahawks, his return-yardage value was through the roof. He racked up 176 kickoff-return yards and a score, while also chipping in 92 punt-return yards and another score. He will never be worthy of a receiver option on your squad, but he is a tremendous asset in return-yardage leagues after Sunday.
Ownership: 3% Yahoo! – 1.7% ESPN
Davone Bess - WR - MIA: Bess started the 2011 season on a high note after catching five passes for 92 yards and, what could have been, a score, but wound up being overturned. His value in PPR leagues could be hindered a bit due to Reggie Bush, but he is still worth a flier if you are in desperate need of a flex option. You could do worse.
Ownership: 54% Yahoo! – 43.3% ESPN
Eric Decker - WR - DEN: Decker only received five targets against the Raiders, but he came in second on the team with 53 receiving yards. Decker also racked up 128 punt return yards, 90 of those yards resulting in a score. The Broncos may have to throw a lot to keep up this year, making Decker a worthwhile flier, especially in return-yardage leagues.
Ownership: 3% Yahoo! – 1.1% ESPN
Deion Branch - WR - NE: I really don't feel comfortable listing Branch only because I strongly believe last night's output of nine catches for 93 yards was a mirage. I will throw him out because I will have some owners asking why he isn't listed, but I wouldn't waste a waiver-wire pick on him. It always seems like he has one big game in him a year, only to disappoint the rest of the way.
Ownership: 52% Yahoo! – 68.2% ESPN
Jermaine Gresham - TE - CIN: Gresham, and the Bengals offense in general, exceeded my expectation after a win over NFC North foe the Browns. Gresham led all receivers in receptions with six and tallied 58 yards and a score. With rookie Andy Dalton's dink-and-dunk style of throwing, Gresham could be in for a fine year. Last year's first-round pick is definitely looking like a TE2 with upside.
Ownership: 16% Yahoo! – 8.5% ESPN
Scott Chandler - TE - BUF: Chandler was named the starting tight end on September 6th and it appears the Bills made the right choice. Against the Chiefs, Chandler caught five receptions for 63 yards and two scores. While it's doubtful he will top those scoring opportunities again in a single game this season, he is easily worth a look if your tight end squad is thinned out going into Week Two.
Ownership: 0% Yahoo! – .3% ESPN
Aaron Hernandez - TE - NE: Hernandez's huge fantasy night was the product of Tom Brady's 517 passing yards and four scores. Rob Gronkowski also had a solid fantasy night (6/86/1). But because the tight ends are a such a big emphasis on the passing game, especially around the goal line, Hernandez has the potential to put up quality fantasy stats every week. He is definitely worthy of a pickup in all leagues.
Ownership: 70% Yahoo! – 35.1% ESPN