By Greg Larnerd
For fantasy football players the draft makes up the core of what your team will look like for the majority of the season, yet the waiver wire is where a season can be severally altered one way or the other. One single addition from the waiver wire of a player replacing an injured/under performing skill position player can bring home an always coveted fantasy football championship. On the other hand, a fatal drop of a player who proves to be a late bloomer and becomes an integral part of an NFL offense can be an absolute killer and ruin your plans to reach fantasy football glory.
This will be a weekly piece where I’ll give you a couple players at each position that you should look to put in a waiver claim on if you have an injury, need depth, or just want to improve on a less-productive player. This week there has been a key injury to the Wide Receiving corps in San Diego with the Chargers’ Keenan Allen going down for the year with a torn ACL, so make sure you pay special attention to the wide receiver section!
First up, let’s take a look at a quarterback we can target.
Carson Wentz (Eagles): This rookie QB for the Philadelphia Eagles played well in his first career NFL start. Granted, it was against a lackluster Cleveland Browns team, but hey, as they say, you can only play who they put on the schedule. It just so happened that first up for the kid was an exceptional matchup that he took advantage of to the tune of 278 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs.
I’d just like to point out that’s not a feat former Eagles QB Sam Bradford has ever accomplished in his six NFL seasons. To solidify the addition of Wentz, he’ll be going up against a Chicago Bears defense that allowed a couple of TDs to Brock Osweiler and the Houston Texans offense. I expect similar numbers for Carson Wentz in this matchup. If you’re looking for a QB off the waiver wire, look here.
Theo Riddick (Lions): Calvin Johnson had 88 receptions on 150 targets last season. He’s since retired from the NFL and Matthew Stafford is tasked with figuring out where all those targets are going to go this season. So, why not Theo Riddick?
Riddick was having a solid year receiving the ball out of the backfield last year before his season was cut short due to injury but he’s healthy this year and looks to be a threat to be utilized in the Detroit Lions offense. If you find yourself in any kind of points per reception (PPR) league, you’ll find Riddick’s services more than useful as he could definitely be a solid backfield option moving forward this year.
Tevin Coleman (Falcons): Coleman was one of the sleeper picks coming out of fantasy football drafts this year as Devonta Freeman wasn’t all that dominant in the second half of the season last year and was certainly disappointing in Week 1 this year. Coleman, however, was not disappointing overall as he had five catches for 95 yards and added 22 more yards on eight carries, which made for a nice day fantasy wise. This is a guy I would definitely look to take a chance on if you’re looking for running back help or at least depth at the position.
Will Fuller (Texans): The Houston Texans may just have found their legit No. 2 wide receiver to pair with DeAndre Hopkins in Notre Dame product Will Fuller. This rookie made some big plays in the passing game Week 1 for QB Brock Osweiler and I expect him to be a legit contributor this entire year.
Before you tell me, “Greg, he was playing against Da Bears!” I understand, trust me, I do. But check this, he’s got himself another sweet matchup in a Kansas City Chiefs secondary that lost guys in free agency and before Keenan Allen torn his ACL, the Chargers were moving the ball well. If you have an injury, especially the Allen one, go pick up Fuller! Do it now, thank me later.
Eli Rogers (Steelers): QB Ben Roethlisberger is searching for someone to step up next to Antonio Brown and be that No. 2 wide receiver. The early favorite seems to be second-year target Eli Rogers. Rogers gathered in six catches on seven targets for 59 yards Monday night, PLUS caught himself his first NFL touchdown. The Pittsburgh Steelers deploy a prolific offense so if this man is available please do yourself a favor and put in a waiver claim for him. It’ll pay off.
Tajae Sharpe (Titans): The Tennessee Titans bolstered their running game this off-season but didn’t do much in the way of improving their passing attack. But with a lack of notable additions comes opportunity for the younger players and this one seems to be making the most out of his opportunity.
Tajae Sharpe is a starter for the Titans. Is he the No. 1? It’s possible and he was the most productive WR for Marcus Mariota this past weekend, hauling in seven catches for 76 yards on 11 targets against a good Minnesota secondary. If he continues to impress the coaching staff out there in Tennessee he could be an underrated fantasy weapon this season, so scoop him up.