During every fantasy football season, there are gems found on the waiver wire than can be the difference between a losing season and a championship. Last year, Cam Newton, Laurent Robinson and Victor Cruz were some of the big waiver additions that helped fantasy owners across the globe overcome injuries or weaknesses in their rosters. Every week, I will bring you a six-pack of players who may be available on your waiver wire that could be worth targeting for your fantasy roster.
By now, the week-long preparation and anxiety of who to start and sit for Week 1 has kicked into full gear. Let’s dive into a six-pack of players that could be worthy of a speculative add now before they potentially become hot waiver wire commodities once Week 1 is in the books.
1. David Wilson, RB, NYG
The cat seems to be out of the bag with Wilson and he’s quickly becoming more and more popular with fantasy “experts” around the web, so he may be gone in your league. I personally have a man-crush on the kid and took him with a late-round pick as my RB4. I think he could become an electric, top-20 back if (or more likely, when) Ahmad Bradshaw goes down with an injury. He’s quick with solid hands and a knack for making defenders miss. In an offense where Eli Manning airs it out to Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, Wilson could become a big-time play-maker even with limited touches. If he is available in your league, I highly suggest you run and grab him now.
2. Kendall Wright, WR, TEN
Wright is another kid I like a lot, and if he hasn’t been drafted in your league I’d suggest picking him up now if you need WR help. He’s a smooth receiver who runs good routes, has good speed and could become a favorite target of the mobile Jake Locker this season. He’s already being named a starter for Week 1; even with Kenny Britt returning to action in Week 2, Wright still has a lot of upside considering his skill set and question marks around the troubled Britt.
3. Russell Wilson, QB, SEA
Wilson is a hot name coming out off the preseason after knocking Matt Flynn out of a starting QB job. Wilson has all the tools that entice fantasy owners as a potential QB option during times of need. He can run exceptionally well for a QB and has the accuracy and power to make necessary throws. Last year, I wasn’t thrilled with my QB situation and, after Week 1, passed on a rookie named Cam Newton because I thought his performance was a “fluke,” claiming Ryan Fitzpatrick instead. Boy, was I angry when I lost in the semifinals. Keep a close eye on Wilson — he could be worth an add if you’re searching for a big boom at the QB spot.
4. Robert Turbin, RB, SEA
I feel like this article might be better off labeled “Rookies with Upside.” Prior to kickoff, there’s a lot of upside and promise with the youngsters. If Turbin’s available in your league and you’re in need of some RB depth, looks to acquire this rookie. Marshawn Lynch is still waiting to hear about a possible suspension, and on top of that he is having a back issue that has forced him to not only miss practice but to put his status for Sunday’s game in question. If (or when) “Beast Mode” misses time, Turbin could be the beneficiary as he is built to sustain a similar style of running, unlike the scat back Leon Washington.
5. Dwayne Harris, WR, DAL
Last season I had Miles Austin, who was a big time producer for me in the opening weeks at WR. When he went down, I looked to the wire for much needed help and picked up Laurent Robinson, who later emerged as a big-time play-maker down the stretch. His boost helped carry me to the semifinals of my league. This is exactly the type of scenario we look for on the wire, and another Cowboy WR could help you out in a similar fashion this season. Harris is a second-year player for Dallas and is a big-play threat. Tony Romo has proven he can get the ball to his receivers for big plays, and with injury concerns to all three of Romo’s top targets, someone is going to be in position to make plays through the air. Harris caught eight balls for 173 yards and three TDs in the preseason with a 21.3 yards-per-catch average. If you’re searching for a possible WR steal, keep an eye on Harris.
6. Mikel Leshoure, RB, DET
Leshoure missed last season with an ACL tear, and this year he’s facing a two-game suspension to start the season, meaning he likely won’t garner too much attention after Week 1 is in the books. Look up the word “durable” in the dictionary and you won’t see any Detroit Lions RB next to it. Kevin Smith seems like he is one step away from an injury, and when that happens Leshoure will reap the benefits. He is a bigger back capable of a full workload as well as goal-line carries, which could be a big deal considering how explosive the Lions offense is. Place a bid on Leshoure if he’s sitting on the wire — he could be one of the bigger surprises of the 2012 season when he returns to action in Week 3.
Honorable mentions: Jake Locker, QB, TEN; Austin Collie, WR, IND; Steve Smith, WR, STL; Jonathan Baldwin, WR, KC; Lance Kendricks, TE, STL; Jonathan Dwyer, RB, PIT
Ryan Clement is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Ryan in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of rclement3915.
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