September 09, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Jacquizz Rodgers (32) runs for yardage in the second half of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. The Falcons won 40-24. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE
The waiver wire is always on fire after the first week. Check out which players could help your fantasy football team.
Week 1 had plenty of interesting storylines. Lots of players were colossal busts and players that were off the radar dropped stealth bombs on the fantasy world. One important reminder is that owners should not be making hasty decisions based solely on the first week of the season. In other words, don't drop Chris Johnson for Kevin Ogletree. That's an extreme, but owners have to remember what they invested in their teams.
If you're not sure about a pickup, you can always check out the Fantasy War Room or ask me on Twitter (@MikeSGallagher) and I'll get back to you. I'll be rattling off other spot-start guys on Twitter, too.
Here is a list of players who gained value over the weekend and might be worth a scoop:
Quarterbacks (deep leagues only this week)
Mark Sanchez, New York Jets -- Sanchez made every football fan and analyst eat crow with his stunning 266-yard, three-touchdown performance against the Buffalo Bills. Sanchez could be a Matt Schaub-like fantasy quarterback with low upside and some level of consistency.
Bottom line: Sanchez is a bench QB for two-QB leagues for now.
Kevin Kolb, Arizona Cardinals -- After an injury forced him into duty against the Seattle Seahawks, Kolb marched down the field on his opening drive, completing five of seven passes and capping it off with a touchdown to Andre Roberts. Kolb does have upside since his schedule features a couple of friendly matchups, and might be someone whom deep-league owners might consider starting. He has a long way to go, though, and if he looks anything like he did this preseason, he'll have no chance of holding off a healthy John Skelton.
Bottom line: Kolb is someone to think about in two-QB leagues.
C.J. Spiller, Bills -- Fred Jackson went down with a sprained lateral collateral ligament in his right knee during Week 1, which opened the door for Spiller to bust out to the tune of 194 yards from scrimmage and a score. Spiller was elusive once he hit the second level and showed the breakaway speed that made him the ninth pick in the 2010 NFL draft. Spiller is a no-brainer, must-own, must-start, slam-dunk, home-run, overly hyphenated running back right now.
Bottom Line: No doy.
Jacquizz Rodgers, Atlanta Falcons -- All preseason long, the Falcons hinted that Michael Turner would be phased out of the offense, and on Sunday they offered actual evidence to back up all that circumstantial offseason chatter. While 'Quizz was quiet with only seven carries for 22 yards in Atlanta's Week 1 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, he should still see a bigger piece of the pie as he gets more familiar with Matt Ryan and the ones.
Bottom line: 'Quizz is one of the best roster stashes in fantasy. He should be owned in all competitive leagues.
Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins -- 晨报讯（记者刘晨）新赛季 季前赛月将来到中国。11日晚7点. That's pretty much what Morris' Week 1 stats mean with head coach Mike Shanahan still serving as the puppet master in the nation's capital. The Fantasy Devil named Morris as the starting back on Monday, so that's basically indecipherable nonsense, too. That said, Morris did lead the league in Week 1 carries with 28. He wasn't too effective, averaging just 3.4 yards per carry, but did find the end zone twice. This is going to be messy, but when a guy has a game like Morris did on Sunday, you almost have to pick him up. He'll get the St. Louis Rams for Week 2.
Bottom Line: Morris should be owned in all leagues and his owners might want to buy their ibuprofen at Costco.
Dexter McCluster, Chiefs -- McCluster was busy in the opener, posting team highs in receptions (six), yards (82) and targets (10) in the loss to Atlanta. He also matched his career high in receptions and finished just seven yards short of tying his career high in receiving yardage. While this might be the only game on the season where McCluster sees double-digit targets, the fact that second-year wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin failed to receive a target in Week 1 looks like a positive for the Ole Miss product. He gets a fantastic matchup in Week 2 against the Bills, and would be a nice flex in a PPR league.
Bottom Line: McCluster Effs should be owned in all 12-team PPR leagues.
Jonathan Dwyer, Pittsburgh Steelers -- Dwyer looked like the Steelers' best back on Sunday night, even though he only tallied 43 yards on nine carries. Isaac Redman struggled mightily against the Denver Broncos, averaging just 1.8 yards per carry in the losing effort. If injured starter Rashard Mendenhall isn't ready for Sunday's game against the Jets, Dwyer should be considered as the favorite to get the lion's share of Pittsburgh's carries -- 15 to 19 rushes seems about right.
Bottom line: He has some short-term value in all 12-team leagues.
Knowshon Moreno, Broncos -- Moreno didn't really turn too many heads on "Sunday Night Football" with just 13 yards on five carries. However, he was able to score and looks to be the handcuff to Willis McGahee.
Bottom line: He's on the radar and McGahee owners in 14-team leagues might want to handcuff him.
Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers -- Cobb caught all nine of his targets for 77 yards and scored a punt-return touchdown. He lined up in the backfield an incredible 19 times against the San Francisco 49ers. Basically, he was the Percy Harvin of the Green Bay offense. The Packers can be a little tricky when it comes to predicting production because of their incredible depth. Their big five weapons -- James Jones, Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Jermichael Finley and Cobb -- all saw at least six targets in Week 1, indicating that Aaron Rodgers was spreading it around somewhat evenly. Cobb's upside is too high to ignore, but the fact that the Packers did lose their opener might mean they make their offense more like it was in 2011, when Cobb was only an option on obvious passing downs.
Bottom Line: Cobb should be owned in all 10-team leagues.
Brandon LaFell, Carolina Panthers -- While LaFell produced 12 fantasy points in standard leagues on his 65 yards and a score, it wasn't really an encouraging outing for the LSU product. LaFell's touchdown came on a badly blown coverage by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and he only received five targets. Cam Newton had a disappointing start to 2012 against an underwhelming Tampa Bay defense and LaFell's value is linked directly to Cam living up to the hype. Louis Murphy saw the same five targets as LaFell, and a couple of them were in the red zone. Things should get better for LaFell as he'll take on the suspect secondaries of the New Orleans Saints and New York Giants over the next two weeks.
Bottom Line: LaFell should be owned in all leagues.
James Jones, Packers -- Jones blew up against the 49ers with four catches, 81 yards and a score in the loss. Jones' value isn't really on the rise from this big game as much as it from teammate Greg Jennings possibly missing Thursday's contest against the Chicago Bears. Jennings is dealing with a groin injury and owners should keep an eye on whether or not he practices on Wednesday. Fantasy owners who want Jones will have to make the proactive add, though.
Bottom Line: If Jennings doesn't practice Wednesday, Jones should be owned in all 10-team leagues and would be a strong start. If G-Jen is back to practice, he's more of a stash in 14-team leagues.
Stephen Hill, Jets -- Hill was the Ogletree of Sunday with his two scores and 89 receiving yards. He was second on the team in targets with eight and really showed his talent to get open. The Georgia Tech product would have likely been taken in the early first round of the 2012 NFL draft, but playing in the Yellow Jackets' run-heavy triple-option offense may have hurt him. His measurements are off the charts -- Hill stands 6'4, weighs 215 pounds and runs a 4.30 40. The Jets surprised us all by using Hill on various route types on Sunday. He was used over the middle and ran a lot of drag routes, which is something most big receivers won't do. This does sound great and all, but his performance did come against the Bills. That might have been Hill's biggest game of the year, but the upside is there for the rookie.
Bottom line: He should be owned in 12-team leagues.
Alshon Jeffery, Bears -- Jeffery's day was salvaged in garbage time as he brought in a 42-yard bomb for a score from Jay Cutler. Jeffery was open quite a bit, as the Indianapolis Colts' secondary didn't have the size to compete with him and No. 1 receiver Brandon Marshall. His arrow should point up as he becomes more acclimated to life in the NFL.
Bottom line: He should be owned in all 12-team leagues.
Kevin Ogletree, Dallas Cowboys -- Ogletree became the first big name on the waiver wire with his eight-catch, 114-yard, two-score performance against the Giants last Wednesday night. The Tree's 11 targets were more than Dez Bryant (five) and Miles Austin (four) combined. While he's certainly a strong pickup, Ogletree did have a bit of a perfect storm on Wednesday -- the Giants' secondary was decimated by injury, and really, only the Bills could hold a candle to New York's pass defense for putrid coverage. Corey Webster had one of the worst performances of any player in the league in Week 1; if we kept a CB rating stat, Webster would have been below 5.1. Secondly, the Cowboys weren't healthy on the outside. Austin's hamstring doesn't look to be 100 percent and Jason Witten had splenomegaly problems (not really). He'll draw comparisions to Laurent Robinson, but there are a few other players I'd scoop up over Ogletree.
Bottom line: He should be owned in all 12-team leagues.
Danny Amendola, Rams -- The former "Hard Knocks" darling performed about as expected, receiving seven targets and making five catches for 70 yards in St. Louis' Week 1 loss. All three were team highs. Amendola doesn't stretch the field and he acts as Sam Bradford's safety valve. As it turns out, Bradford is going to need a safety valve on almost every play because of the losses of center Scott Wells, who is out for rest of the season, and left tackle Roger Saffold, who is expected to miss multiple games with a neck injury. Bradford will be checking down like Carson Palmer.
Bottom line: He should be owned in all 12-team PPR leagues.
Brian Hartline, Miami Dolphins -- As I said over the weekend, Hartline actually gained value without even playing at all in the preseason. On Sunday he saw the field on just 59 percent of snaps and was able to turn that into three catches for 50 yards on eight targets. He's definitely the best receiver on the Dolphins, and his snap count should rise now that he has one game under his belt with rookie Ryan Tannehill. He'll get the Oakland Raiders in Week 2 and he might produce WR3 value.
Bottom line: Hartline should be owned in 14-team leagues and might be a decent spot-start this week.
Braylon Edwards, Seahawks -- B-EZ saw a team-high nine targets against the Cardinals to account for 43 yards on five receptions. Edwards has always been known as a deep threat, but Russell Wilson wasn't really airing it out like he was in the preseason. Danger Russ only launched the ball more than 30 yards just four times, but that number should rise in no time. To be clear, Sidney Rice is a better Seattle receiver to own.
Bottom line: Edwards should be owned in 14-team leagues.
Josh Gordon, Browns -- Despite being Greg Little's backup, Gordon played just seven fewer snaps than the starter. The rookie, whom the Browns selected in the supplemental draft, saw four targets and caught two of them for 32 yards. Little, on the other hand, was horrible on Sunday, failing to come up with any of his four targets and making a pathetic drop near the goal line. Little was plagued by drops last year and if this trend continues, he'll find himself on the bench. Gordon has the talent to take the job away from Little, and this is a situation to watch closely. The Browns aren't this bad and some credit should be given to the Eagles.
Bottom line: Gordon is worth a look in deeper leagues.
Donald Jones, Bills -- David Nelson (ACL) is going to miss the rest of the year for the Bills and Jones will likely take most of his snaps. Nelson is used in the slot and Jones really lined up at the X or Z most of the time last year, but that changed a little bit on Sunday. The Bills are suddenly thin at wide receiver, and while they focused primarily this offseason on improving their defense, they couldn't stop a nose bleed on Sunday. Buffalo's attack was intended to be predicated on the run, but they might not have that luxury if Ryan Fitzpatrick continues his ineptitude at protecting the football and they keep finding themselves down big in the second half. Jones has some upside and might have a good day against the Chiefs on Sunday.
Bottom line: Jones is worth a look as a spot-start.
Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens -- Pitta was busy on "Monday Night Football," seeing a team-high nine targets on his way to five catches, 73 yards and a score. The Ravens appeared to have totally changed their identity with a vertical assault led by Joe Flacco carving up the Bengals and the speed of Torrey Smith on the outside creating plenty of room to operate for Pitta.
Bottom line: Pitta is a top-15 tight end with big upside at this point.
Coby Fleener, Colts -- Even though Dwayne Allen had a great preseason, Fleener got most of the work in the passing game when the games counted, turning his 10 targets into six catches for 82 yards. He's going to be one of Luck's most targeted players, especially while Austin Collie is on the mend.
Bottom line: Fleener is still a backup fantasy tight end. This postion is really deep.
You can always find me on Twitter @MikeSGallagher. Thanks for reading.
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