Top 4 Fantasy Football Waiver Pickups for Week 2
Week 1 is already in the books, but that doesn't mean you get a break as a fantasy owner. Oh no, the end of Monday Night Football just means that it's Tuesday waiver wire day. The important thing to remember with waiver wire pickups is that you actually have to believe the player will be good enough to contribute on a week-to-week basis. Honestly, with Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, and a now-healthy Jason Witten as targets for Tony Romo in Dallas, will Kevin Ogletree continue to see the same 11 targets (38% of Romo throws) he saw in week 1? My guess is no. He's not a consistent week-to-week player unless somebody gets injured.
If you're spending your Tired Tuesday scouting the waiver wire, I would focus on a few other guys this week. Some of these may go against conventional wisdom (Shanahan RB alert!), but if you take a closer look at the numbers, they're worth the risk. The fantasy points given in this article are based off of a standard ESPN league, and the percentage of people owned is also based off of ESPN's fantasy leagues. For the purposes of this article, I tried to stay with guys who would actually be unowned in a majority of leagues, because reading a fantasy waivers article then realizing "Crap, all of those guys are taken" is never fun.
Top 4 Waiver Pickups for Week 2
Let's get this out of the way early before I get yelled at in the comments: I know that he's a Mike Shanahan running back. I know that Mike Shanahan's running back system instantly projects an ancient voodoo curse on any fantasy owner greedy enough to attempt to figure out its mysteries. I know that the broken-down body of Clinton Portis will arrive at your house in a funny costume begging you to set him free. I know all of these things. However... did you see any evidence of a timeshare on Sunday? Unless it's RGIII stealing carries from him, I sure didn't. With Evan Royster and Roy Helu receiving as many carries as fullback Darrel Young at two a piece, it's safe to call Morris the featured back at 87.5% of all handoffs. And remember, after Helu took over the full starter's role from Ryan Torain last season, he had a four game stretch late in the year with at least 23 carries per game. There is a precedent here. And in those opportunities, Morris looked solid with his 3.4 yards per carry average, especially considering he didn't bust one deep (his longest run was 18 yards).
If there's one rookie receiver right now I would trust to give me consistent fantasy points, it's not Justin Blackmon or even 14-fantasy point man Alshon Jeffery; it's Stephen Hill. Hill started the year as the #2 receiver in the Jets system, which would normally be a disaster as a fantasy owner (who wants Plaxico's 612 yards from last year?) And Hill isn't likely to start receiving the most targets right away - he had two less than Santonio Holmes on Sunday and Dustin Keller still lurks. However, what impresses me about Hill is both his connection with Mark Sanchez as well as his catching ability. Sanchez hasn't really had much of a connection with anybody other than supermodels since coming to New York, but he and Hill looked on the same page on Sunday. Hill's catch rate on Sunday was 83%, an impressive five for six on balls Sanchez threw his way. Especially in a game where Holmes had a 50% catch rate, Hill could see even more work just because his QB trusts him more. That's a connection I want to ride as a fantasy owner.
I don't see Randall Cobb as the main receiver in this offense; I highly doubt he's going to replace Jordy Nelson or Greg Jennings as one of the top options any time soon. Temper your expectations from the start. With that said, this Packers offense is probably the one team I would trust starting the #3 WR in a flex spot from week to week. While James Jones may have gotten the big play and the touchdown, I was much more impressed with Cobb's game. As noted on our questions board, Rodgers seems to have a good connection with Cobb. It certainly showed on Sunday with a second-on-the-team nine targets. But while those targets are nice, the main reason I would pick up Cobb is what he does with them: a perfect nine for nine catching balls thrown his way on Sunday. That's not out of the ordinary for Cobb; last year he was 24 for 30, an 80% (!?!?!) catch rate where the league average for receivers hangs around 60%. If he's going to be getting more targets to try and convert successfully, I'm picking him up on my team every time.
There are a ton of solid options to pick up at TE this week, from Heath Miller to Coby Fleener to Martellus Bennett. But for my hypothetical money, I'm taking the true breakout star of Monday Night Football this week: Dennis Pitta. Anybody else notice just how much the Ravens look to be throwing the ball this season? Ray Rice only had ten carries on the game, and the Ravens weren't exactly playing from behind: they took the lead in the first 2:07 of the game. Joe Flacco, meanwhile, was throwing with incredible efficiency at 10.3 yards per attempt, and the majority of those throws went to his big tight end target up the middle. Pitta had nine targets last night, while nobody else on the Ravens team had more than five (Anquan Boldin). Pitta only converted those nine targets into five receptions for a 56% catch rate, but I wouldn't be too worried about that right now - Pitta had a solid 71% catch rate on 40 receptions last season. Even better, the next two weeks, the Ravens face the Eagles (where only DeMeco Ryans has above three years experience at starting LB or safety) and the Patriots (31st in passing defense in 2011).