Week 2: Waiver-Wire Pickups, Keeper Sleepers and Spot Starts

Now that the first week is over, you may find that your team isn’t in quite the same shape that you thought it was to begin the season. You might have lost a player to injury or realized that your veteran might not be playing at the same level he has in the past. You might realize that your player just won’t be a good fit for the new team he’s playing on or you might just want to start planning for next year (with a keeper league Post-Draft Draft). In any case, my new weekly post should help you out in these areas. I’ll provide a list of good waiver-wire pickups that should be able to help you out throughout the season. I’ll also provide a list of the recent players that you might want to start looking at for the future of your keeper league team. Finally, I’ll provide a list of a couple players that will make good bye week or injury plug-and-plays to get you from week to week. So here we go with the Week 1 selections…

Waiver-Wire Pickups

Ronald Curry (WR-OAK): In what was assumed to be an inept Oakland offense, they seemed to pull it together a bit in Week 1, although against Detroit. Ronald Curry lead the way for the receivers, with over a 130 yards receiving. He should see plenty of looks in weeks to come, so feel safe starting him as your 3rd receiver or flex position in the upcoming weeks…just not next week where they play Denver.

Chris Brown (RB-TEN): It’s possible that Chris Brown wasn’t drafted in your league, as maybe managers figured LenDale White would be starting in Tennessee. While this might be the case, Brown stole the show Sunday, rushing for 175 yards. If he’s available, pick him up ASAP and feel confident starting him as a second RB or flex position.

Eric Johnson (TE-NO): Johnson was Brees’s favorite target last Thursday, catching a majority of the few passes that Brees actually completed. If you’re week in the TE position, scoop up Johnson, as he should be a decent tight end for the remainder of the season.

Ben Roethlisberger (QB-PIT): If you’re in a 1 QB league, and there are no Steelers fans in your league, then there’s a good chance that Roethlisberger started the season on the waiver wire. After Sunday’s performance, there’s no way he’ll still be there, so put in that request as soon as you can. Although he won’t throw four touchdowns every week (on only 160 yards passing), it looks like he’ll do better this year and finally have a fantasy impact.

Antwaan Randle El (WR-WAS): With only 350 yards receiving last year, Randle El didn’t look to make much of a fantasy impact this season. However, he proved all the doubters wrong last week with 162 yards receiving and should be a consistent fantasy force this year.

LaMont Jordan (RB-OAK): Most likely he isn’t available in your league, but if you’re one of the lucky ones in a 10 person public league or something (where 2 managers don’t pay attention at all), there’s a chance he could be there. It looks like the new coach might put Jordan’s strengths to use more than Norv Turner did (89 yards receiving), so grab him if possible and plug him in as your second running back or flex position.

Brandon Marshall (WR-DEN): If you haven’t read our site at all, you might not have drafted Brandon Marshall (and maybe no one else in your league did). If he’s available, snatch him up! He’ll only get better as the season goes on. If you’re in a keeper league and he’s available, you’ve hit the jackpot!

Tatum Bell (RB-DET): With Kevin Jones injured and not looking to be returning anytime in the near future, Bell looks to be a decent pickup at this point if you’re in need of a flex position player.

Keeper Sleepers

Tavaris Jackson (QB-MIN): I just picked him up in my league as my backup QB (I dropped Steve McNair) with hopes that he’ll continue to mature this season. While he probably won’t light it up this year, there’s always the chance that Minnesota will make some WR improvements next offseason and he’ll become a decent fantasy player to take the place of my 12th round pick.

JaMarcus Russell (QB-OAK): Now that he’s finally signed, Russell makes a perfect candidate for the post-draft draft. If you have a spare roster sport and don’t already have a QB that you think will be a keeper for you next season, you might want to pick him up and store him with the expectation that he will most likely have zero fantasy impact THIS season.

Brady Quinn (QB-CLE): Cleveland took the first step to establishing Quinn as the starter yesterday, dealing Charlie Frye to Seattle. Now Quinn is competing only with Derek Anderson, so it’s only a matter of time (i.e. maybe in a week or so?) before we see him under center for the Browns. This is more of a long term thing though, as I don’t expect him to produce in a fantasy manner this year (similar to Russell).

Spot Starts

Micheal Pittman (RB-TB): With an injury to “Cadillac” Carnell Williams ribs, Pittman could be the starter next week for Tampa Bay. If you had Williams, or another RB that got hurt, look for Pittman to fill in relatively well against a defense (New Orleans) that was sliced and diced by Joseph Addai last week.

Derrick Ward (RB-NYG): Brandon Jacobs sprained his knee and looks like he might miss a couple weeks, so logically his backup would be a good recommendation as a “spot start”. It helps that he also played well too.

Patrick Crayton (WR-DAL): With Terry Glenn out at least two weeks (and possibly the entire season?), Crayton will start in his place opposite TO. If you’re looking for a spot start to fill in for Glenn or one of your other receivers that isn’t panning out, Crayton should make a decent play…especially if Romo is slinging TD’s all over the place like last week.

Arnaz Battle (WR-SF): Even with Alex Smith having a sub-par game, Battle was still able to rack up a decent fantasy game yesterday. While I wouldn’t expect him to get a TD on a weekly basis (I see Frank Gore taking most of those chances), he should be able to get some decent yardage and fill a 3rd WR hole here and there until your better option is back on track.

Brandon Stokley (WR-DEN): Although he’ll be stuck as the third receiver for the Broncos this year, he still makes for a decent spot start on a week to week basis. His injury trouble seems to have subsided for now and Cutler should be able to throw the ball well this year, so Stokley should see his fair share of tosses.

David Garrard (QB-JAX): Garrard won’t be the flashiest option (which is why he’ll most likely be on the free agent list), but he should up up good enough numbers to be worth starting him on your QB’s bye week. If his receivers started helping out as well, he might even prove to be a starter quality quarterback, but that doesn’t appear to be likely this season.

Wes Welker (WR-NE): For the first half of the game, it appeared that Tom Brady had found a new favorite receiver, and it wasn’t Randy Moss. Welker was catching everything Brady threw at him and finished the game with 6 catches for 61 yards and a TD. Although I don’t see him producing on a super-consistent basis with all the other weapons around him, Welker would make a good start if you’re in need of a receiver for the week.