Post-draft waiver wire notes

Did you have the draft for your fantasy league yet? If so, how long ago? If it was over a week ago and you haven’t taken another look at your team, you might want to log-in and check the status of the following players, whose value has increased/decreased dramatically since you picked your squad…

  • Kurt Warner (QB-ARI): When ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that the Cardinals were going to name Warner the starter over Matt Leinart, head coach Ken Whisenhunt was quick to squash the rumor, questioning why Mortensen was making decisions for the team when it wasn’t his job. Then Whisenhunt waited a few days…and named Kurt Warner the starter on opening day. Although Whisenhunt wasn’t fooling anyone but himself, he might have raised enough questions to keep both Warner’s and Leinart’s names off your league’s draft results list. Now that we know Warner will be starting the season at quarterback though, it’s time to assess the position for your team. With the weapons Warner has at receiver, he always has a chance to put up solid fantasy numbers. You’ll want to look at his schedule if you plan to start him early in the year though, as the team has some pretty tough match-ups to start the season, going to San Francisco and at home versus the Dolphins (I know they sound easy, but they were actually tied for the third best pass defenses in terms of yards per game allowed last season!) Weeks three and four get much easier though, against Redskins and Jets, who were 30th and 26th respectively in passing yards per game allowed.
  • Chris Perry (RB-CIN): Although he’s relatively untested, the release of Rudi Johnson means that the new starting running back in Cincinnati will be Chris Perry. Over the course of 22 games in his career, Perry has rushed for 337 yards on 73 carries (4.6 ypc), has 63 receptions for 403 yards, and has two receiving touchdowns. While you can expect a large dose of Kenny Watson in relief, the opportunity to pick up a starting running back off the waiver wire does not come along very often, so take advantage of it.
  • Rudi Johnson (RB-DET): When he was cut by the Bengals, it appeared as though Rudi’s fantasy value had gone down the tubes and fantasy managers around the world were scrambling to replace the hole that appeared on their roster. However, a couple days later he was back on an NFL roster (take that Shaun Alexander!)…albeit the Detroit Lions. For managers who were slow to react on the news, it’s possible that you didn’t lose all of the value you drafted Johnson on, as he’ll probably get a lot of carries splitting time with rookie Kevin Smith in Detroit. If you’re not the owner who drafted Rudi and you’re in a pinch at running back, you might see if the manager that drafted him got jumpy and dropped him immediatly after his release. If this is the case, make the move to pick him up immediatly (if Chris Perry isn’t available that is) and hope that he can beat out Smith for a useful amount of carries.
  • Tatum Bell (RB-???): He was cut to make room for Rudi Johnson, so drop him and pick up Chris Perry or even Johnson himself if you can.
  • Matt Leinart (QB-ARI): If you bought into the garbage coach Whisenhunt was selling, you may have held on to Leinart, thinking he was a “sleeper” this season, while most other managers were dropping him rapidly in favor of old man Warner. In the end, the joke is not on Kurt Warner, Chris Mortensen, or Whisenhunt…the joke is on you. However, you shouldn’t have had Leinart on your team to begin with, so unless you’re in a 12 team, 2 starting quarterback league, I’m sure there’s an upgrade at the position to be found on your waiver wire (Aaron Rodgers? Jeff Garcia? Vince Young? Chad Pennington?)