Picking the best Waiver Wire options is tough, as all leagues have different stat categories (PPR? Touchdown Passes at 4 pts or 6?). A 12 team league is certainly harder to find great free agents, compared to an 8 team. And roster limits also impact that. Depending on the league you’re in, some of the players listed below are likely to already be taken, but if they’re not, you might consider picking them up.
Waiver Wire Quarterbacks
Joe Flacco (Baltimore Ravens) – 300 yards passing and 2 touchdowns, with no interceptions, was a good week in the opener against the Bengals. The Eagles didn’t allow much against the Browns last week, but the Ravens have immeasurably better weapons than Cleveland does. Surprisingly, Flacco is owned in fewer than 70% of Yahoo leagues, so he should be on the waiver wire.
Mark Sanchez (New York Jets) – threw for 339 yards with 3 touchdowns against the Bills in week 1. He’s only owned in 17% of Yahoo leagues, and if the Jets are going to have any luck against the Steelers this week, they’ll need to throw the ball. With Revis likely on the shelf, Pittsburgh’s Mike Wallace is likely going to score a couple times, meaning the Jets aren’t likely to be rushing the ball much… which is good, because the Steelers didn’t allow 100 rushing yards last week. Don’t even consider looking to Tim Tebow on the waiver wire.
Matt Cassel (Kansas City Chiefs) – His stats weren’t excellent in week 1, but as his runningbacks significantly improve this week like I fully expect them to (against a lackluster Bills team), that’s going to open the door for him to be far more productive in the passing game. He’s owned in fewer than 20% of Yahoo leagues, so your waiver wire probably has him.
Matt Schaub (Houston Texans) – He’s likely taken in your league (only available in 17% of Yahoo leagues), but if he’s available and you’re not thrilled with what you’ve got at QB this week, look for him on your waiver wire – even though most leagues are smart enough to not have him still available.
Waiver Wire Runningbacks
C.J. Spiller (Buffalo Bills) – Fred Jackson is down and out, so that puts Spiller at the top of the depth chart with some certainty about the percentage of snaps he’s going to see. He’s already owned in 69% of Yahoo leagues, so snatch him up quick if he’s still on your waiver wire.
Alfred Morris (Washington Redskins) – If we knew for certain that Mike Shanahan was going to stick with the 6th round rookie, he’d be atop this list, but with Evan Royster and Roy Helu Jr itching to get into the game, there’s certainly no guarantee that Morris will do much beyond this week. And I couldn’t even say with certainty that he’ll get 80% of the snaps against the Rams. If he does, he could put up great numbers.
Michael Bush (Chicago Bears) – Yes, the Bears have already played this week, so it won’t help to pick up Bush now, but he should be the top spot on your radar for Tuesday morning’s waiver wire grab bag, as Matt Forte (the Bears’ starter) just went down with a high ankle sprain.
Stevan Ridley (New England Patriots) – Though the Patriots like to switch around at runningback, Ridley should get enough opportunities on offense against the lackluster Cardinals to pick up some decent points, and he’s available in 20% of Yahoo leagues, which is a waiver wire rarity for a starting runningback.
Waiver Wire Wide Receivers
Kevin Ogletree (Dallas Cowboys) – If you don’t know this guy’s name, you’re probably a casual fantasy football participant. And yet, he’s only owned in 41% of Yahoo leagues, despite having tons of targets on opening night against the Giants. It’s not like he just took a couple of catches for touchdowns to inflate his stats – he caught 8 passes. With Miles Austin and Dez Bryant and Jason Witten needing to be accounted for by opposing defenses, it’s likely that Ogletree will still get plenty of open looks from Tony Romo. He should be scarce on waiver wires a week from now.
Andrew Hawkins (Cincinnati Bengals) – The Browns are going to look to stop A.J. Green, as well they should, and this could be Hawkins’ arrival notice. He had 8 catches with a 10+ yards per catch average in week 1 against a good Ravens defense. Look for him to find the end zone at least once and get more than 100 yards. He’s currently owned in fewer than 5% of Yahoo leagues.
Brandon LaFell (Carolina Panthers) – If the Panthers need to throw the ball a ton to keep up with the Saints, he’s going to have a big week, especially with star Steve Smith listed as questionable (we expect him to play). LaFell could easily eclipse 100 yards this week and get a touchdown for the second week in a row. That’s looking at 20+ points if you’re in a PPR league (and why wouldn’t you be?). He’s available in over 75% of Yahoo leagues.
Nate Burleson (Detroit Lions) – Though he’s a bit over the hill, Burleson still manages to find ways to grab receptions each week with significant yardage. You can bet that the 49ers defense is going to be keying in on Calvin Johnson pretty hard, leaving Burleson as a decent option to likely even grab a touchdown. He’s available in 71% of Yahoo leagues, and if you aren’t playing for keeps into next season, he should help you out this year.
Aldrick Robinson (Washington Redskins) – If Pierre Garcon isn’t able to play, then Robinson looks to play significantly in the offense against the Rams. Keep an eye on the Redskins / Rams game before deciding on this one. If Pierre does play, Robinson isn’t worthy of a nod unless your league is DEEP.
Stephen Hill (New York Jets) – He caught 5 of 6 passes thrown to him against the Bills and found the end zone twice in week 1. Yet, he’s owned in 1 out of 7 Yahoo leagues. Will he get two touchdowns again this week? Probably not, but the Jets are going to need to throw the ball, and I’m thinking he’s looking to get at least one touchdown and a handful of catches.
Waiver Wire Tight Ends
Jacob Tamme (Denver Broncos) – He got plenty of love back in Indianapolis when Peyton Manning was still healthy, and after following him to Denver this year, it looks like he’s continuing to benefit from the future Hall Of Famer. Twenty percent of Yahoo leagues don’t seem to have clued into him yet, so snatch him up if he’s available, unless you’ve got one of the studs in New England or Jimmy Graham.
Mercedes Lewis (Jacksonville Jaguars) – You can bet that the Texans defense is going to be keyed in on stopping Jones-Drew and Blackmon, so Lewis should have another decent week as the dump-off target for Gabbert. He’s listed as “available” in over 95% of Yahoo leagues. Even after putting up decent week 1 numbers.
Dennis Pitta (Baltimore Ravens) – Available in virtually all of the Yahoo leagues (doesn’t get much higher than 99%), he’s part of a two-headed tight end attack in Baltimore which largely goes unheralded. With a decent set of cornerbacks in Philly, Pitta and Dickson could get some decent looks this week, and Pitta got better numbers last week so he gets the mention here.
Martellus Bennett (New York Giants) – The Buccaneers let Greg Olsen amass 56 yards on 6 catches in week 1, and if the Panthers run offense had ANY sort of steam to it, Olsen likely would’ve been in the end zone for at least one of those catches. The Giants are going to have renewed purpose after a tough loss to the Cowboys, and you can expect Bennett to improve in yardage and receptions while still finding the end zone as he did back on September 5th. Best of all, 75% of the Yahoo leagues have him available.