With Week 1 out of the way, everyone is looking for that key pickup that will prime their team for victory in the remaining weeks. Here are some players that you should be looking to use that waiver claim on. They’re listed in order of value in my eyes and for the remainder of the season. Cho Knows, So Pick’em Up!
Chad Henne (MIA)
- Look, he’s always had pretty good skills at QB. The big difference is that Miami’s offense looks very different from years previous. A once run-first smashmouth offense, the Dolphins have turned to a more pass-happy attack with Reggie Bush as their lead tailback. Don’t expect 400+ yards every week, but expect a spike in yardage compared to years previous. If Henne can be more accurate and cut down on his interceptions, he’ll be in for a good year.
Rex Grossman (WAS) - I’ve been following this guy since his days as a Bear. Great games one week and horrendous turnover-filled games the next, but dude can throw. Here’s a guy that may not be an every week starter, but a guy that can exploit bad defenses, which includes Washington’s tasty matchup against the Cardinals defense. The addition of pass-catching RB Hightower also helps his case.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (BUF) - Look, this guy has shown glimpses of what he can do all throughout last season, and he did it again this past week. Fitzpatrick is another guy I would play as a matchups guy. What I liked about Week 1 is that he kept on throwing, even when they were up. Most weeks, he’ll continue to throw because his Bills will most likely be down.
Don’t Buy the Hype JUST Yet: Cam Newton (CAR) - Okay, he had a great debut, but it was against the Cardinals. If you want to add him based on potential, that’s fine, but don’t expect defenses to be as bad as the Cardinals or as surprised in the future. Defenses will plan for him.
- Marques Colston, oftentimes designated Brees’ favorite target is now out with a collarbone fracture. That is big news in a pass-happy offense for both Meachem and Henderson. Of the two, I’d rather have Meachem, who I believe has better hands, but both will share good numbers in Colston’s absence. A case could also be made fo Lance Moore, but he’s currently out with an injury of his own. Look for these two to make some noise, with Meachem potentially having a breakout season.
Jordy Nelson (GB) - Another pass-happy offense validates Nelson as an immediate pickup. Jennings and Driver seem like sexier names, but in the same way that Peyton Manning gets his WRs inv0lved, so, too, does Mr. Aaron Rodgers. He looked early and often for Nelson, who can be a matchup nightmare for opposing corners. The thing I loved was that he was catching passes in the middle and being looked for on deep routes as well.
Reggie Bush (MIA)
- Look, I know he may never be a superstar feature back, but he’s the #1RB on a Miami team that is clearly looking to get him as involved as possible in the offense. There is NO WAY that this guy should be available in ANY league. David Thomas is not ready for the pros, and this guy will do his best to make the most of his opportunity to prove himself.
Ben Tate (HOU) - Before Tate’s injury and Arian Foster blowing up last year, this was the guy the Texans placed their backfield hopes in. He’s showing exactly why, carrying over from preseason form into a great day (though yes, it was against the Colts). Pick him up as a handcuff for the fragile Foster or to make the Foster owner in your league pay for not doing so himself. This kid can run.
James Starks (GB) - It definitely looks like a time share out in the Cheesehead country, but Starks looked strong in Week 1. If the Packers are going to be up a lot this year, they’re going to be pounding the ball with Starks and Grant. Starks looks like the smarter goal line option, and he’s the one I’d actually rather have.
Aaron Hernandez (NE)
- I’d much rather have Hernandez than his counterpart Gronkowski. Why? He’s much quicker, much more athletic and is a bonafide playmaker at the TE position. With no “true” deep threat (I know Welker had a 99 yard TD), Hernandez will be called upon to use his size and speed to make some big plays. Pick him up and watch him finish top 10 in TE’s though he wasn’t drafted as that.
Fred Davis (WAS) - I’ve always liked Davis. He’s never been a huge playmaker, but Grossman was looking for him all day long to the tune of his best game of his career. Chris Cooley seems out of the picture and that opens up plenty of passes for Davis to haul in. Again, nothing exciting, but I see consistent numbers in the range of averaging 60 to 70 yards each week, and you can do a lot worse than that.
Greg Olsen (CAR) - Making a move from the Bears where he was clearly underused for his talent, Olsen is now in Carolina. Cam Newton would be wise to check down to this TE and Carolina will look to incorporate their new weapon in the passing game.