Week 1 of the 2012 NFL regular season closed Monday night with the Baltimore Ravens flashing their new-look offense and the San Diego Chargers taking advantage of Oakland Raiders miscues. The close of the week also means it is time to start considering your fantasy football waiver wire possibilities.
After Week 1, half the teams in your league are likely happy with their squad and half are wondering what happened to them. While the waiver wire does provide a chance to rejuvenate your squad, it also could prove to be fool's gold if you make the wrong decision. For every Arian Foster or DeMarco Murray, there is a Mohamed Massaquoi, Mewelde Moore or Devery Henderson waiting to be released a month later.
The two big names on the waiver wire this week will be Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Kevin Ogletree and Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris. While they were both drafted in some leagues, they went undrafted in many others and will be the top two players claimed this week. Ogletree hauled in 114 receiving yards and two touchdowns while Morris rushed for 96 yards and two touchdowns.
Both have their positives and negatives for sacrificing someone on your bench. Ogletree plays a similar role to Laurent Robinson, who busted out of nowhere for a big year with the Cowboys last season. In Week 2, Robinson caught seven passes for 116 yards. He was quiet for two weeks, before going on a five-game touchdown scoring streak that solidified his role as one of last year's biggest waiver wire pickups. Touchdowns are hard to predict, but if Ogletree fills Robinson's role, he could prove to be a solid target for Tony Romo. The downside, of course, is that he is surrounded by so many other weapons that he could easily end up being overlooked some weeks as defenses adjust to his performance in Week 1.
Morris put together a strong preseason Week 3 performance but then was benched for Week 4. Some took that as a sign he was going to be the starter, while others took it as a sign he was just another cog in Mike Shanahan's fantasy-hating running back platoon. It turned out to be the former. Shanahan is a guy who will stick with the hot hand, so Morris would seem to be that guy for now. Just be aware that he could very well be sitting on the bench in three weeks if Shanahan behaves as he has in the past.
If you do not have one of the top two waiver wire positions, you are likely to miss out on these two. That is not to say you shouldn't place a claim anyway. After all, you might luck out and have some owners snoozing at the wheel. The worst that happens is you don't get the claim. So, if you are questioning your running back or wide receiver depth, place a claim on either or both of these two guys. If you're not sure how your depth stands, drop a question in our Fantasy War Room live chat between 4 and 8:30 p.m. ET.
If you are not in the top two waiver positions in your league, there is still some other intriguing talent likely available. Jets wide receiver Stephen Hill caught two touchdowns on 89 yards receiving in the big win over Buffalo. The Jets' offense looked a lot more cohesive than most expected and he could have some value. Of course, he could be this year's Randall Cobb. In last year's season opener, Cobb ran back a kick for a touchdown and hauled in a receiving touchdown, prompting a rush on the waiver wire. That was pretty much the highlight of his year as he disappeared off fantasy radars shortly thereafter. The advice I have is for you to simply temper expectations following Week 1.
If you do not trust the Jets' offensive attack, Green Bay Packers wide receiver James Jones showed some solid potential on Sunday as he hauled in 81 receiving yards and a touchdown. One drawback to the Packers is that with so many weapons, it is possible we could see Aaron Rodgers' targets changing from week to week.
Speaking of Rodgers' targets, old waiver wire favorite Randall Cobb got off to a strong start as the Packers seem intent on mixing him into the game-plan as much as possible. He had 77 yards receiving and ran a punt back for a touchdown. I would contend the 77 yards receiving on nine receptions are a better indicator that he might be a regular staple of the offense. Cobb is owned in 48 percent of Yahoo! leagues, and he strikes me as a sleeper big play guy. There is concern about consistency, but he could do some big things this year.
On the running back side of things, Buffalo Bills' C.J. Spiller is a guy who will be getting starter snaps for a few weeks while Fred Jackson recovers from his injury. Spiller is owned in 71 percent of Yahoo! leagues, so there is a chance he is available in your league. It is not entirely likely, but there is a chance, and he is a strong waiver wire candidate, even after Jackson gets healthy.
One final suggestion would be Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jonathan Dwyer, who is currently owned in 18 percent of Yahoo! leagues. While the Steelers will switch back to Rashard Mendenhall at some point, Dwyer currently has more value than the named starter, Isaac Redman. The Steelers had Dwyer in for 42 snaps on Sunday, while Redman only saw 24 snaps. Keep in mind snap count when considering your fantasy options.
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