It’s like going to the doctor. You’re sitting there, waiting for your name to be called. Waiting. Waiting patiently. If they don’t call you back soon, you may throw the remote to the waiting room television against the door in a fit of rage.
You finally get called back, and even though seeing the doctor is no fun experience, you’re relieved that the wait is over. Because that wait – that wait is painful. There’s nothing to do, there are sniffling patients all around you and it smells like someone tried to clean up a murder scene.
In the fantasy football world, we’re in the waiting room. We’ve been experiencing the agony for a few days now, and we’ve got two more to go. For now, let’s make the best of it.
Here are six guys to pick up as you hang around for the wait to be over.
Bilal Powell (Owned in 26.7% of ESPN.com leagues)
Reason: Chris Ivory’s body is more fragile than Betty White’s
Chris Ivory’s health has always been questionable, and the injury bug has already hit him in New York. Ivory’s hammy has allowed Bilal Powell to step in and take some of the lead role from Ivory, and because he’s the better pass-catcher, Powell could, at the very least, end up being the Jets third-down back this season. Ivory’s never handled a team’s full workload, making him even more of a risk. Powell is a worthwhile stash as we see how the Jets running game - an underrated on, too - plays out.
Jordan Cameron (Owned in 50.4% of ESPN.com leagues)
Reason: Norv Turner is in Cleveland
I took a look at Norv Turner’s tight end usage in the offenses and teams he’s coached, and it’s very, very favorable. Here’s a snippet from the article, “What Norv turner Can Do For Jordan Cameron” as proof:
“Given the numbers above, it seems that Cameron does have a shot to break through this season. Since 2001, we’ve seen consistent top-15 tight end volume and efficiency from Turner’s tight ends, and with the exception of Doug Jolley, Turner has produced plenty of fantasy-worthy tight end seasons. Just don't think that Cameron will automatically post Antonio Gates-like numbers. Instead, I'd liken his situation to Randy McMichael's in Miami, which was solid for that particular NFL era. McMichael was the 9th and 8th best fantasy tight end during his two years with Turner.”
If he’s somehow available in your league, pick him up. He’s a great sleeper (if you still call him that) this year.
Markus Wheaton (Owned in 2.3% of ESPN.com leagues)
Reason: It could be a pass-happy offense in the Steel City
If you have a deep bench, it may be advantageous to get rookie Markus Wheaton off your waiver wire. The Steelers have already shown growing pains running the football during the preseason, and Le’Veon Bell is sidelined with injury. To make things even more Wheaton-appealing, the team has no red zone threat entering 2013 with Plaxico Burress out for the season and Heath Miller sidelined. Though he’s a rookie, Markus Wheaton could have sneaky value this year.
Mike Tolbert (Owned in 15.8% of ESPN.com leagues)
Reason: DeAngelo Williams just turned 48
Jonathan Stewart was placed on the PUP a few days ago, and it’s paved a path for the overrated DeAngelo Williams to start. Overrated? Yes. Look at what our CEO, Nik Bonaddio, had to say about D-Wil:
“He's been average/below-average longer than Nickelback (not a single season in the RNEP top 20 since 2008) and he's the definition of winner by default: he is and has been the defacto starter in Carolina only because the other options are terrible and/or injured. Cam Newton clearly doesn't trust him, nor do the coaches - there's a reason why Cam himself (or worse, Mike Tolbert) gets all of the rushing calls in the red zone.”
If the aging Williams keeps it up, Mike Tolbert will see the field in no time. Put the big versatile fullback on your bench, and hope he becomes the touchdown-making machine he’s been in the past.
Pierre Thomas (Owned in 19.7% of ESPN.com leagues)
Reason: Do you really trust Mark Ingram? Really?
As I’ve noted before, Pierre Thomas has been a much more efficient runner than Mark Ingram over the first two years of Ingram’s career. He’s a more effective receiver too, making him the better PPR asset. Yet, less than one-fifth of ESPN leagues own him.
We do like Ingram a little more here at numberFire, but from a cost perspective, Thomas’ value wins. Not only does he have a shot to be the top Saints back in fantasy this year, but it shouldn’t surprise anyone if he cracks the top 30 at the position. Snag him if he’s available.
Ed Dickson (Owned in 2.3% of ESPN.com leagues)
Reason: Who else is Joe Flacco throwing to?
Wait, seriously? 2.3 percent? Is this some sort of sick joke? Sure, Dickson’s had some hamstring issues over the last few weeks, but he’s assuming the role of the injured Dennis Pitta in the Ravens offense, and has little competition for targets. I mean, almost no competition.
Even if he’s eased into the Ravens offense and doesn’t play a significant role in the NFL’s opener on Thursday, Dickson should provide solid tight end numbers in fantasy this year. He’s currently listed as our 11th-best tight end for 2013.