Week 1 never disappoints! After an exciting weekend packed with football, waiver time has come. I’m filling in for Brad Coustan this week, and I have listed eight players whom I think are solid additions to your fantasy rosters. Each player is owned in fewer than 50% of ESPN.com leagues, and ownership percentages for both ESPN.com and CBS are listed in parentheses. I took a pass on Allen Hurns (4 catches, 110 yards, 2 TD’s) because I cannot say for sure that he has locked down the WR1 job over Marqise Lee, who outperformed Hurns in the second half, or Allen Robinson. Even with Hurns’ stellar fantasy day, the issue of Cecil Shorts’ presence still remains. These guys should be much safer bets and worth the claims.
Josh Gordon (6% ESPN, 60% CBS)
If you haven’t been following the news, some believe Gordon could be reinstated should lighter punishments be enacted by the NFL. This is your once-in-a-season chance to get a top-five wideout in free agency, if Gordon is indeed reinstated. I’m not a lawyer, so I don’t know how likely this is, but you don’t want to miss out on this chance.
Kelvin Benjamin (37% ESPN, 94% CBS)
Wow, ESPN. I, and many others, considered Benjamin a must-draft as the Panthers’ top target, and he is owned in fewer ESPN leagues than Tavon Austin, Roy Helu, and Eli Manning, any of whom I would drop for Benjamin. If he put up 6-92 with a TD with Derek Anderson throwing his passes, he should be fine once Cam Newton returns to action.
Markus Wheaton (29% ESPN, 51% CBS)
Fantasy owners shouldn’t expect 6 catches for 97 yards each week, but it’s plausible that Wheaton can fill Emmanuel Sanders’ shoes and be a low-end WR3. Out of the players listed, he has the lowest upside, but you know what you’re getting and he gets a boost in PPR leagues.
Ahmad Bradshaw (22% ESPN, 35% CBS)
Trent Richardson isn’t very good at playing football, relatively speaking. Ahmad Bradshaw is the good, not great second running back on the Colts, and is going to get work every week. Since most of his impact in Week 1 was in the passing game (only 3 carries), Bradshaw is just a stash for now, but that could change if Richardson continues to falter.
Benny Cunningham (1% ESPN, 26% CBS)
This is more of a speculative add, as I don’t see Cunningham doing much this week. The draw here is due to the controversy over what role Zac Stacy will have, since Cunningham is the next in line for more carries.
Brian Quick (0.5% ESPN, 2% CBS)
I first caught onto Quick after reading this piece by numberFire’s Joe Redemann, which essentially says that Quick was one of the more efficient wide receivers in 2013. I had originally placed the Rams receiving corps in the category that I thought one receiver would break out, and I didn’t know who would. With 7 catches for 99 yards from Shaun Hill and Austin Davis, Quick looks to be in the best position among Rams receivers this season.
Jake Locker (7% ESPN, 28% CBS)
Sitting as the #6 quarterback following a solid 20 point game against the Chiefs, Locker gets the Cowboys this week. He’s a great quarterback streamer this week, and you might be able to keep him or sell high if all goes well.