After an exciting week one that featured gritty come from behind victory’s, shanked potential game winning field goals, and kicks made for the win, the lone exception was that terrible Rams versus 49ers game last night and someone in the scheduling department should be fired for having that as their top choice for the second game of the NFL’s opening week primetime double header matchup. Although it did provide one of the best radio calls I have ever heard, the lone highlight being an opportunistic call by radio announcer Kevin Harlan on a guy who rushed the field and ran from security which you can hear here, “Hear radio announcer Kevin Harlan’s epic call of a fan on the field during the Rams-49ers game”, courtesy Chuck Schilken of the Los Angeles Times.
Overall, the NFL didn’t disappoint in its 2016 debut providing many intense game situations that would stimulate even the most casual of football fans and with that high adrenaline and intense play comes injuries in- which we saw highly fantasy ranked wide receiver Keenan Allen go down seemingly as fast we saw him back in from last years injury. Injuries in such a violent sport are innevtiable and oddly enough it is the non-contact injuries that are typically the most concerning, with Allen seemingly going down with very little contact from his opposition. Either way, injuries are injuries and you will need to find the best replacement possible this early in the season and only use trades as a last resort effort to fill voids. With out further ado, here’s my choices for post week one waiver wire adds and fill-ins you should target in your quest to fill replace those fantasy voids left by injuries or a bad draft pick who lost his spot the opening week.
QB (All Formats)
Carson Wentz- PHI
-Yes it was against the red headed step child of the NFL, Cleveland Browns, but Wentz showed great poise and accuracy for a guy who missed a decent amount of time in training camp. Hitting Jordan Matthews on a beautiful throw to the left side of the end zone, throwing the ball only to where his receiver could make a play. Sure he will have his growing pains this season as a rookie and you can bet that there will be fantasy weeks where he will put up bad numbers because he doesn’t get to play the Browns every week but you should definitely target Wentz while he’s still available in Dynasty and keeper leagues to stash him on the bench while he works through his growing pains.
Brock Osweiler- HOU
-As a Texans fan, I was hesitant in taking him in my fantasy drafts but after seeing Osweiler in his first real action with his new team and system, I feel much more confident in his ability to not only be a “game manager” but to also elevate this offense to heights typically only seen by fans in Indianapolis, New Orleans, New York (Giants), and San Diego in recent years. The main ingredient? Speed, my god there is a ton of speed in that offense with the seemingly overnight additions of free agent running back Lamar Miller and rookie draft picks Tyler Ervin, Will Fuller, and Braxton Miller to team up with DeAndre Hopkins at receiver. They are going to be match up nightmares against ANY defense not just the average ones and below, with coach O’Brien on Sunday showing against the Bears that he has guys at every level with speed who can burn any player on the opposing teams defense. My only concern here would be the patchwork offensive line in front of him and will they be able to protect him versus stout defenses? Lucky for us we don’t have to wait long to see it because Kansas City brings their 2015 top 5 defense to town in week 2.
Standard Scoring League Settings
Kenjon Barner- PHI
-Barner averaged an eye popping 10.5 yards per carry and showed glimpses of what could possibly be in Philly if injury prone starter Ryan Matthews were to go down with an injury, which is highly possible as Matthews has proved over his talented but injury prone career. Which should make him a priority stash option at RB if you have concerns about your running back situation going forward.
Mike Wallace- BAL
-Welcome back Mike Wallace! I have always thought of Wallace as being a system receiver and he is at his best when he has a QB capable of throwing an accurate deep ball. Joe Flacco was happy to re-introduce him to the NFL by hitting Wallace on a 66 yard touchdown pass versus the Bills and he should continue to be a target in a Baltimore offense that likes to stretch the field with a few long passes every game so Wallace will have every opportunity to re-establish himself as a viable fantasy wide receiver in most formats.
Mohamed Sanu- ATL
-If you didn’t listen to me in my previous article, “Last Pick Gems” then you’re in luck because Sanu is still available in some fantasy leagues and has given Atlanta that elusive second receiving target it has desperately needed. Even though it was against a Tampa defense that was one of the worst at giving up TD’s to wide receivers in 2015, you can see his value in this offense and should try to pick him up if he is still available in your league.
Chris Hogan- NWE
-Garoppolo clearly has an eye on wide out Kevin Hogan as he found him wide open on a couple plays early on in Sunday’s tilt versus a really good Cardinals secondary. Which bodes well for Hogan’s production moving forward in a Bill Belichick offense that rewards production with more opportunities. His availability in the first quarter of the game in which he was able to snag a wide open touchdown grab for the first score of the game that set the tone for the Patriot offense and allowed Jimmy to start off in a nice rhythm that built confidence within the young QB. Hogan makes for a decent fill in at wide receiver if Gronkowski misses more time and at the very least is a nice player to stash on your bench to see how he is used when Gronk and Brady return.
Eric Ebron- DET
-Ebron is a guy who has constantly, year in and year out, who teases us with his talent and athletic ability with flashes of brilliance on occasion to being a potential top 5 tight end since coming into the league. However, so far in his career has yet to put it all together, on Sunday he flashed again catching all 5 targets for 46 yards and a touchdown. Gunslinger Matthew Stafford clearly loves throwing over the middle inside the 50 and Ebron figures to be a legit fixture in one of the highest scoring offenses in the NFL this season.
PPR League Settings
James White- NWE
-Catching 5 of 7 targets for 40 yards against a heat seeking back end of Arizona, White showed he is going to fill in just fine for the injured Dion Lewis who started the season on the Patriots PUP list and will get much better production moving forward. Especially against a very weak AFC East division that features two games each against the Bills, Dolphins, and Jets, all who finished 2015 in the bottom half versus the pass.
Cole Beasley- DAL
-Dak Prescott showed in week one that he is more than willing to go through his check downs in order to find the open the man. Beasley appears to be the benefactor of having an efficient rookie QB trying to limit mistakes and move the offense. His 9 targets and 7 receptions for 65 yards against the Giants were the most of any Cowboys receiver not named Jason Witten and he could find himself having a big role underneath in the Cowboys offense as Prescott finds his way as an NFL QB. Add Beasley to your bench for bye week/injury depth to your roster.
Jeremy Kerley- SF
-You would think that Kerley has been in this offense all of training camp with him netting a cool 7 catches on 11 targets for 61 yards receiving. Only on the San Francisco offense for roughly two weeks, Kerley’s role will only get bigger as the 49ers QB is clearly incapable (reluctant) of making accurate throws to the outside, Kerley can add sufficient depth in your lineup as he is the slot man on a team that is gonna desperately use the slot receiver a lot!
Jacob Tamme- ATL
-In an offense (Kyle Shanahan) that likes to hit the tight end frequently in order to diversify its offense and with a notable injury to mainstream starter Zack Ertz who is questionable to play in Philly for week two. Tamme’s 8 targets in Atlanta’s opening week shows that the Falcons want to expand his role in the passing game this year and has an interesting match up versus a stout Oakland defensive that is solid against the run and can rush put pressure on Matt Ryan to get the ball out quickly in week 2.
-Yeah the Vikings faced an offensively challenged Tennessee Titans who are still working diligently to find their way with lots of young talent and still boast one of the leagues worst offensive lines. The Vikings defense still flashed signs of being one of the next premier defenses in the NFL and will need to show every week now that it features potential turnover prone QB’s Shaun Hill and Sam Bradford at the helm of their offense.
-With Carson Wentz flashing signs of why the Eagles traded up to get him in Aprils draft, week one could be a sign of things to come in Philly with the Eagles defense vastly improved from last years mess and new head coach Doug Peterson, a chip off Andy Reids’s block, there’s a good possibility the Eagles will be in a position to pin their ears back rushing the passer protecting leads late in games.