2014 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire - Week 1
The vast majority of fantasy football drafts are now complete. While I'm sure you nailed your draft(s), that is only half of the battle.
Managing your team throughout the season — start/sit decisions, trade proposals, waiver-wire additions, etc. — is equally as important.
As always, our waiver-wire includes players that are owned in only 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues or less. The goal is to give you relevant names that you can actually add to your squad(s).
Of course, if there are players owned in more than 50 percent of leagues available in yours, they could potentially be better additions than those you will find on my list.
In addition, the list of players below isn't an all-inclusive list of players that are worthy of adding to your roster. Instead, these are some intriguing options that merit your consideration.
Consult with my fantasy football rankings to compare players on this list with other players you're considering adding.
Here are some players to consider adding to your fantasy roster(s) (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):
No quarterback was protected worse than Tannehill, who was sacked a league-high 58 times last season, but the Dolphins have improved their offensive line through free agency and the draft. In addition, the Dolphins have brought in Bill Lazor from Philadelphia to run the offense, one that will be much more up-tempo.
Despite being sacked so much last season, Tannehill still managed to improve upon his overall numbers in Year 2 — 3,913 passing yards and 24:17 TD-to-INT ratio (compared to 3,294 and 12:13 as a rookie). Over the past two seasons, Tannehill ranks ninth among QBs in rushing yards (449) and has averaged 5.04 yards per carry. The Dolphins are expected to use more read-option plays this season, which will lead to more rushing production from the former leading receiver at Texas A&M.
Tannehill is the highest-ranked fantasy quarterback (my QB16) among those owned in less than 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
There are two major concerns with the former eighth-overall pick — accuracy and durability. Undoubtedly, those are serious concerns. That said, Locker has a cannon for an arm and is one of the league's most mobile quarterbacks. Among the other quarterbacks that rank in the top 10 in rushing yards over the past two seasons, none have averaged more yards per carry than Locker (6.86). The other intriguing part about Locker's 2014 outlook is new head coach Ken Whisenhunt, who was integral in Philip Rivers' bounce-back season last year as offensive coordinator in San Diego.
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RB - Terrance West, Cleveland Browns (45 percent)
In his competitition with free-agent addition Ben Tate, West clearly lost as Tate is expected to enter the season as a three-down back. Especially considering the team's lack of weapons in the passing offense with Josh Gordon's full-year suspension, West should still develop a significant role within the offense over the course of the season.
That said, Tate has struggled with durability. In his four NFL seasons backing up Houston's Arian Foster, Tate has missed a total of 24 games. The possibility that West becomes the lead back in at least a few games is rather high.
Speaking of durability concerns, Bradshaw has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career even though he is one of the toughest players in the league. Bradshaw has played 16 games in only one of his seven NFL seasons, but he has averaged 4.59 YPC over his career.
While the Colts want Trent Richardson to become their featured back, there is little reason for optimism after a preseason that was similar to his first two seasons. T-Rich averaged 2.92 YPC in his 14 games with the Colts last season with much of the blame placed on his lack of familiarity with the offense. While he has had an entire offseason to develop more comfort with the playbook, Richardson averaged a paltry 2.55 YPC this preseason (20 carries for 55 yards).
Would you be surprised if Bradshaw eventually took over for a demoted T-Rich a la Donald Brown last season? Yeah, me neither.
The injury-prone DeMarco Murray played a career-high 14 games last season and had a career-best year as fantasy's RB7. As much as I like Murray this season, Dunbar should be a top-50 running back whether Murray misses games or not. We've seen multiple running backs have productive seasons in Scott Linehan's offense as recently as last season with both Reggie Bush and Joique Bell finishing as top-20 backs in 2013. The team plans to use Dunbar some in the slot as well and if Murray misses time, he immediately becomes an RB2 while Murray is out.
Reports from beat writers have indicated that Cunningham has outplayed Zac Stacy throughout the offseason. And although the team downplayed the fact that Cunningham got the start in the third preseason game (i.e., regular-season dress rehearsal) over Stacy, it's another indication that he's going to carve out a larger role than most had expected just one month ago.
Knee injuries and off-the-field issues have kept Britt from realizing his vast potential, but there is no doubt that Britt possesses all the tools to be an elite fantasy wide receiver. Believe it or not, the former first-rounder is only 25 years old, but most importantly he is getting a second (okay, more like 12th) chance with former coach Jeff Fisher and reports are that he finally has his head on straight.
Owned more than Tavon Austin (43 percent), Britt is my pick to lead the Rams receivers in fantasy points this season. Britt has as much upside as virtually any receiver on the waiver wire.
Regardless of who's under center for the Browns, they have to throw the ball to someone. After tight end Jordan Cameron, Hawkins is the receiver I like the most among the team's pass-catchers. The small-but-quick receiver is a better option in PPR formats, but he could be productive for all fantasy owners.
WR - Cody Latimer, Denver Broncos (15 percent)
Latimer may still be fourth in line among the wide receivers even with Wes Welker being suspended for the team's first four games, but he's certainly not the fourth-most talented among that group. Both Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders should remain ahead of Latimer all season, but I expect Latimer to surpass Andre Caldwell on the depth chart at some point (sooner rather than later).
Once Welker returns, there remains durability concerns as he has suffered three concussions in the past 10 months. Latimer may not be startable during Welker's suspension as the team's No. 4 WR, but he certainly should be rostered and stashed in virtually all leagues for his upside.
WR - John Brown, Arizona Cardinals (seven percent)
Speaking of upside, Brown has turned heads all offseason and preseason. Here's one example from General Manager Steve Keim last month:
“I haven’t seen a rookie come in and do what he’s done — and it’s early still — since Anquan Boldin. This guy came through the first day, and being from Pittsburg State, has uncanny instincts, unbelievable understanding of route concepts, leverage, being in the right spot at the right time. On top of great ball skills, he has unusual speed and explosiveness. You add all that in combination, and it’s amazing this guy who came from Pittsburg State can do this. Through this part of camp, I haven’t seen any of our players cover him, and I think you’d probably be able to put on the Texans tape and realize they didn’t have anybody to cover him.”
With opposing defenses having to focus on Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd as well, Brown will have an opportunity to do plenty of damage as the team's No. 3 wide receiver. And we've seen coach Bruce Arians recently have success with a speedy rookie out of a small school — T.Y. Hilton (50/861/7 as a rookie in 2012).
A hot name in the dynasty community, Kelce missed all of last season after being selected with the first pick of the third round in 2013. Generated plenty of buzz this preseason, a breakout season from Kelce will be less of a surprise for fantasy owners, but we have seen his ability to create mismatches with his size and speed on his pair of long touchdown receptions.
Not only is there a lot to like about Kelce's talent, the opportunity could (should) be plentiful in KC. The team is weak at wide receiver as this week illustrates — Donnie Avery and Frankie Hammond will start with Dwayne Bowe serving a one-game suspension.
The Logan Mankins-for-Wright trade instantly boosted Wright's fantasy outlook. Not only does he get to play with one of the game's all-time greats at quarterback, but we have seen how productive the move tight end could be in this offense.
My Playbook by FantasyPros: An easy way to gain an edge on your opponents is to use the My Playbook tool from FantasyPros to give you tailored advice for waiver-wire and start/sit decisions based on your specific teams as it syncs up with your existing ESPN, Yahoo!, CBS, NFL.com, etc. leagues.
If you're looking for our fantasy football rankings:
- Week 1 Fantasy Football Rankings
- 2014 Fantasy Football Preseason Rankings
- Our Consensus Week 1 Fantasy Football Rankings
- Our Consensus Preseason Fantasy Football Rankings
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