Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fantasy Football 2011 Waiver Wire: Week 1

Whether it was the injury to New Orleans Saints WR Marques Colston or the lackluster performance by New England Patriots WR Chad Ochocinco that brought you here, it's never too early in the NFL season to look at improving your fantasy football roster. Here are 15 players (and one defense) worth exploring this week on the waiver wire in your fantasy league.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Buffalo Bills
While everyone seems to be on the Cam Newton bandwagon right now, I prefer Fitzpatrick as the top QB free agent. While Fitzpatrick isn't the sexiest pick-up, he's put together a pretty solid resume over the past 14 games. Fitzpatrick would be a conservative addition to your roster, while Newton would be a huge risk/reward pick-up. I recommend targeting Fitzpatrick if you need a QB right now.

Colt McCoy, QB, Cleveland Browns
Despite looking shaky in the season opener, McCoy did toss two touchdown passes in the loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. I think McCoy could be a very good QB2 and is someone you could plug into your starting line-up a handful of times this season. If you don't need a QB now, wait another week and watch him play one more time before you decide.

Other QBs to consider: Newton, Chad Henne and Rex Grossman
Droppable QBs after week one: Donovan McNabb and Alex Smith.

Cadillac Williams, RB, St. Louis Rams (pictured)
A leg injury (strained quad) to Rams RB Steven Jackson early in Sunday's loss to Philadelphia gave Williams an opportunity to show he can still a factor on Sunday. The former Buccaneer tallied 140 total yards on 25 touches, which included six catches. The Rams travel to New York to face the Giants on Monday night, which could be a tough test for Williams considering the Giants shutdown Redskins RB Tim Hightower in week one. Regardless, if you're already hurting at running back, Williams is best of the bunch on the waiver wire right now. Just be prepared to watch his touches decline once Jackson is healthy again.

Ben Tate, RB, Houston Texans
A hamstring injury kept RB Arian Foster from the field in week one and Tate took advantage of his opportunity. While Tate looked very good while rushing for 116 yards and a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts, don't expect him to be a backfield regular in Houston. Once Foster returns from his injury, Tate will be back on the bench. However, with Tate running as well as he did, the Texans should be in no hurry to bring Foster back until he's fully healed. Tate has a shot at being a solid RB2 in most fantasy leagues for the next 3-4 weeks.

Other RBs to consider: Deji Karim and Dexter McCluster
Droppable RBs after week one: Thomas Jones, Ryan Torain, Jamie Harper and Maurice Morris

Devrey Henderson, WR, New Orleans Saints
Injuries to Colston and Lance Moore are the reasons why Henderson is on this list. Henderson isn't a great player, but he finds himself in a great situation. With Colston out 4-6 weeks with a collarbone injury and Moore nursing a groin injury, Henderson could see the field more for the pass-happy Saints. Against the Green Bay Packers, Henderson finished with six catches (on nine targets) for 100 yards and a touchdown.If you're desperate for a WR3, Henderson is likely available in your league.

Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers
While not fully ready to endorse Cobb as a week two pick-up, I am intrigued by his potential. He's a playmaker who could force the Packers to use him more often. Cobb needs to clean-up his in-game mistakes before he sees the field more, but again, I think he has potential. If you're saddled with a dud of a receiver on your bench and it's a position where you're deep, then give Cobb a try. Bottom line, if he's a low risk pick-up for you, go grab him.

Fred Davis, TE, Washington Redskins
Despite their win over the New York Giants on Sunday, I still may be the only person who thinks the Redskins are headed for a 9-7 season. Davis was a big part of that opening day win, catching five passes for 105 yards. Davis will be a big part of the Redskins offense, especially with TE Chris Cooley playing with an injured knee. If you're league requires you start a tight end, Davis is a legitimate weekly starter. Even if your league doesn't require a tight end, Davis is a solid waiver wire option this week.

Other WR/TEs to consider: Jabar Gaffney, Jacoby Jones and Ed Dickson
Droppable WR/TEs after week one: James Jones, Steve Breaston, Kevin Walter and Visathe Shiancoe

Houston Texans DST
The Texans had one of the worst defenses in the league last year, but what a difference a year makes (and a new defensive coordinator makes). Former Dallas Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips, who's now the Texans d-coordinator, had his players playing fast on Sunday and it showed up in the stat sheet. The Texans finished with three sacks, two fumble recoveries and allowed just seven points against the Indianapolis Colts. On top of that, Jacoby Jones returned a punt 79-yards for a score. The Texans defense looks revamped and should be a top your list if you need a defense.

Other DST to consider: Washington Redskins
Droppable DST after week one: Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings

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