Ok, so win or lose in week one you should always be ready to try to improve your team. The weekly waiver wire/or FA pool in your league will always be monitored by your league mates for gems so you need to do that as well.
It’s tough to make generalizations over who to actually add every week – everything depends on your individual team and the makeup of your league. So what we’ll do here is make recommendations on 3 levels. Level 1 guys are so obvious that they were either drafted in your league on draft day already, or you will have to fight with other owners over them on the wire. Level 2 guys are decent risks that may not always pan out, but more of them may be available in your league to serve your purposes. And finally level 3 guys are more of the longshot homerun guys – but if your need is great, or if you play in a deep league – these might be the only guys you have a chance at….
WR DeAndre Hopkins – Even before Hopkins 7 catch 117 yard, game winning TD performance this weekend – he was a trendy late round fantasy draft pick. Now, if he’s somehow available in more shallow leagues – he will be a top priority add for most. I would make the pickup if you can, but temper expectations – at best Hopkins is still the 4th target on the team in the redzone. Better to think of him as a potential Wr3 than anything more if you’re adding him, but if Andre Johnson’s concussion lingers he could be a WR2 for a few weeks.
RB Knowshon Moreno – Again in your league the window to acquire this guy may have passed, but if not grab him up. All preseason I have thought Moreno was clearly the best RB option Denver had- and the only question was opportunity. He’ll be an inconsistent performer thanks to the style of offense, but Moreno is finally looking like a NFL starter. Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball have been just awful , and the Broncos schedule over the next 6-8 games has some of the softest run defenses in the league on it.
WR Josh Gordon – Josh should be owned in all leagues, but I know he’s not. Some people don’t like drafting players who are guaranteed to miss time and so in shallow leagues Gordon could be sitting out there. Gordon is coming off of his 2 game suspension and looks to slide right back into his #1 WR spot in Cleveland. It’s not all good news, he has to come back to either Brandon Weeden or Jason Campbell at QB – but Gordon had good chemistry with Weeden last season – and you’re just not going to find many #1 targets sitting there on the waiver wire in week 3.
WR Eddie Royal – If I had told you that Eddie Royal would’ve had 5 touchdowns this year – you would have smiled a little in disbelief and then said something like “well, that’s good for him”. If I had told you he’d have 5 TD’s after 2 weeks you’d probably just walk away from me without saying a word – and probably in a very hurried manner muttering fearfully under your breath. And yet, here we are – to some degree it makes sense. Royal is the most veteran WR on the Chargers – heck after the injury to D. Alexander and Malcom Floyd’s horrific looking neck injury – he’s the only NFL veteran WR really on the club. Is he going to go stretches where you can’t count on him? Probably. But right now he has a very good thing going with Philip Rivers – and I’m a firm believer that he will stay in the mix there b/c they simply need his experience.
TE Charles Clay – Everyone’s looking for consistency at the TE position, and while I’m not ready to lock Clay up as the next big thing at the position – he certainly should be in your consideration for an add. He seems to be a favorite of Tannehill in the short passing game, and they even game him a goal line carry as a sort of fullback hybrid. If Clay joins your team as a TE2 or a matchup dependent TE there’s a decent chance by year’s end he’s your starter over some of the guys that turn out to be disappointments. After Clay’s huge game this weekend this will likely be the last week you can even try to get him off the wire – but for those of you struggling at tightend he has to be worth rostering.
RB James Starks – I’m not a huge believer in Starks. In fact, neither were the Packers to the point where they nearly cut him this preseason. But this is opportunity that you can’t pass up. The concussion injury to rookie RB Eddie Lacy isn’t likely to be a long term issue, but Starks is the primary backup even with Lacy healthy – and can work his way into 3rd down looks at worst. The time to grab Starks may have already passed in your league – but if not, try to pick him up. In the worst case scenario he’s a flex play for a few weeks.
WR Santonio Holmes – Holmes looked good in the downpour vs New England. He looked healthy most of all and that alone makes him worth considering in most leagues. Unfortunately he has a rookie QB on a bad team to work with, along with his own personal mental lapses at points. He’s worth a gamble as a Wr4 with the hopes that the chemistry between him and Geno can grow over the season.
RB Donald Brown – To me, I look at Donald Brown and see talent – NFL starting talent. The problem is, the Colts don’t seem to share my opinion. Brown started the year behind the brittle Ahmad Bradshaw, and the underwhelming Vic Ballard. Now with a season ending injury to Ballard, it would seem like Brown should be in line for carries and passing game touches while being right behind an injury prone starter in a good offense. Should be fantasy gold potential right? Well, it’s the Colts and they don’t like him – word out of Indy is they will look at adding a veteran RB to come in and try out. For the time being Brown is a tentative add with the hopes that his team doesn’t block him from time.
RB Andre Ellington – The rookie seems to have won the 3rd down running back gig in Arizona. Ellington is fast, and to me little else….however, he plays behind Rashard Mendenhall who is coming off major knee surgery and his 60 total yards 1 TD performance this weekend may out him on the radar in deep leagues. Yes, the primary backup in Arizona officially right now is Alfsono Smith – but Smith’s 2.1 YPC has been terrible and there’s no upside to owning him at all. Ellington by contrast is at least involved in the passing game and again in deep league’s may be worth monitoring while he’s actually on your roster.
WR Robert Woods – A deep league add as a WR5 with a small chance to move up to WR3 this season, Woods is coming off a nice 4 catch 68 yard day. As EJ Manuel improves throughout the year Woods is due for an increase in targets, and I like what I’ve watched from Woods so far this year. Fantasy owners slotted him in behind rookie WR’s like WR Marcus Wheaton or Keenan Allen, but it’s clear early that Woods was more NFL ready than those guys and others. In dynasty formats Woods was likely drafted and currently owned, but if you’re playing a deep redraft league (especially PPR) and are having WR issues – Woods is looking more and more like a WR add and hold.
Players to Drop
RB Ronnie Hillman – How far down has Hillman’s stock fumbled? Consider that this past weekend against the Giants, Montee Ball fumbled near the goalline and was benched. Knshown Moreno came in to take the bulk of the work, and Montee Ball was even seen in the game again near the goalline late in the game. All while Hillman got one carry for 3 yards. It’s time to face the facts if you own Hillman your Denver RB “lotto” pick is bust.
WR Kenny Britt – If you’re in a deep league, or a dynasty league I guess you hold him and bench him for possibly all of 2013 – barring your own personal emergency. But in redraft leagues of standard size – it’s time to let Britt go. I know it hurts – he really does have amazing potential. The problem is…Jake Locker does not. Britt is only going to get more frustrated and then disinterested as the year goes on.
RB Mark Ingram – You can only really cut Ingram in shallow leagues because of his high profile potential and workload but man, if you can…that has to feel good. No more watching him plod for about 2 yards a carry, no more watching him go down like he took a shot from a cannon every time a defender grazes him, no more sub 5 point days from your fantasy starting RB (or flex RB). If you can somehow drop him for Moreno, do so and you may never stop smiling.