Week 1 never fails to provide opportunities for potential breakouts. This year’s Exhibit A, Cam Newton. Newton’s debut was nothing short of spectacular, clearing 400 yards, two TDs in the air and one score on the ground for good measure. I was certainly a Cam Newton skeptic going into this season, but I now believe he is a risk you should take if you need help at the quarterback position. I certainly do not think Newton will be able to equal his performance on a week-to-week basis. However, he showed that he is a competent passer and that he is not afraid to trust his arm, even though he is more than capable of tucking and running. Michael Vick took years to learn that lesson. Tim Tebow and Vince Young still have not. And those legs will still be there on weeks when the passing game collapses, a luxury many QBs don’t possess. The reappearance of Steve Smith is also very promising for Newton’s prospects in Carolina this season. He used to make Jake Delhomme look like a genius; imagine what he can do with talent at QB.
Before I start developing a man crush on Cam Newton, let’s move on to the rest of this week’s waiver wire players.
SHORT-TERM SPOT STARTS
Devery Henderson, WR, New Orleans — Henderson stands to benefit in Marques Colston’s absence, following his broken collarbone. Drew Brees is very good at spreading the ball around and he now has one less mouth to feed. Henderson will not suddenly morph into a fantasy stud, but he should be solid until Colston is healthy.
Carnell Williams, RB, St. Louis — Though he may no longer merit his Cadillac nickname, he stands to get some playing time with what appears to be a minor injury to Steven Jackson. He played well on Sunday and could be useful in a pinch.
Denver, DEF — Denver’s defense lucked out with two extra pre-season games against Oakland and Cincinnati to start the season. Denver’s D will surely cause some headaches for Cincinnati, which may not even have Andy Dalton at QB this week.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Buffalo — If the Newton ship has sailed in your league, Ryan Fitzpatrick appears to be turning into a serviceable backup option. He quietly hit 3,000 yards last year in only 13 starts. While I would not plan on him matching yesterday’s four-TD performance anytime soon, that Harvard education should mean he is smart enough to learn from last year and continue to progress.
Ed Dickson, TE, Baltimore — Everyone is going gaga for Scott Chandler’s big breakout game. However, until he shows that production can be repeated, I’m skeptical. Instead, I would look to Baltimore’s athletic, second year TE. With Todd Heap gone, TE production is up for grabs in Baltimore, and last year’s third-round pick seems like a logical target.
Kerry Collins, QB, Colts — Collins looked like a rookie with a bad case of the yips in the first half Sunday. However, he very quietly managed to not “suck” in the second half of the game. I would give him a few more weeks, but he might morph into a credible backup as he continues to find his way in the offense.
Early Doucet, WR, Cardinals — Doucet is a hot property after a 105-yard, one-TD game. However, most of that came on one play, a 70-yard TD. One play does not make a trend, but it does make Doucet worth watching.
Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay — Cobb had a solid debut on Thursday and merits additional review. However, much of his production came in the return game, which is generally not a consistent source of fantasy scoring (depending on your league settings). Moreover, he only caught two passes, which is not enough to distinguish him in a crowded batch of Green Bay WRs.
Marshall has over ten years fantasy football experience and maintains a fantasy football blog over at Sunday Morning Legend (In My Own Mind).
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