by Will Overton
We didn’t have quite as many big injuries this week impacting the landscape of the waiver wire (though there were some). What we did have, though, were noteworthy performances among players available in many leagues.
A couple of things to keep in mind:
- Right now we are focusing right now primarily on guys who had a big game who will get a lot of buzz in the waiver wire discussion. Later in the season, especially when bye weeks come into play heavily, we will look more closely at specific matchups week to week.
- I am looking only at guys who are available in 75% of leagues or more. Players like Michael Crabtree or Ronnie Hillman are available in a decent amount of leagues and should be added, but I won’t go into detail on them here because we’re digging a little deeper.
With that in mind, here are eight players who stood out in the Week 2 box scores who are available in a majority of leagues:
Brandon Weeden – QB, Dallas Cowboys: The Dallas Cowboys are 2–0, but the fans can’t feel too good about their fortunes. In Week 1 they lost their franchise wide receiver for 10–12 weeks and now their quarterback, Tony Romo, has a broken clavicle and will likely miss 8–10 weeks. In steps Brandon Weeden, who filled in nicely yesterday going 7–7 for 73 yards and a TD. While Weeden won’t have Bryant to throw to, the Cowboys are likely not going to stop throwing the ball so he has a chance to have value based on quantity alone. I wouldn’t grab him in a 10 or 12 team standard league, but in two-QB formats or deeper leagues he definitely could hold value as QB’s don’t come along often.
Dexter McCluster – RB, Tennessee Titans: I’m not sure anyone expected this kind of a game from McCluster. The Titans gave the change of pace back 10 carries and he turned that into 98 yards while also catching four balls for 26 yards. The catches don’t surprise me, but seeing 10 carries (considering how many other backs the Titans have) does. At the same time McCluster makes for a nice compliment to Bishop Sankey, so I can see him maintaining a decent amount of snaps moving forward. In a PPR league McCluster holds value, but he also has it in deeper standard scoring leagues as well. Ken Whisenhunt will find a way to use McCluster if he proves to be the playmaker the team needs.
Matt Jones – RB, Washington Redskins: The preseason performance of Matt Jones got him attention in fantasy circles, but the game he put up yesterday will make him a must own as he ran the ball 19 times for 123 yards and 2 TD. That gave him one more carry than starter Alfred Morris. In week one it was Morris with 123 yards, so we can’t assume Jones is just going to take the job over. It does appear though that Washington is serious about getting him touches and willing to ride the hot hand from game to game. Jones will have some poor games and some good ones, so you’ll have to ride that out, but he’s a must grab.
Aaron Dobson – WR, New England Patriots: The New England Patriots are looking for someone to take on Brandon LaFell’s role opposite Julian Edelman until LaFell can make his return. After not doing much in Week 1Dobson was the guy who stepped into that role. He was targeted eight times, just behind Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski. Dobson caught seven and had 87 yards. He has been wildly inconsistent since joining the team, but this is a big opportunity as the Patriots look like a team ready to throw and throw often.
Ted Ginn Jr – WR, Carolina Panthers: After being targeted seven times in Week 1 he got the targets again yesterday, seeing nine balls head his way and catching four passes for 41 yards and a TD. Outside of Greg Olson he has been the most targeted receiver on the team to open the season. The Panthers don’t throw it a lot and Ginn really isn’t as good of a receiver as he is a playmaker. He doesn’t run great routes and struggles to get separation despite his speed. He will hit some big plays, but he’s going to be very dependent on them for value so he wouldn’t be at the top of my list of receivers to target on the waiver.
Travis Benjamin – WR, Cleveland Browns: Speaking of guys with big play ability, meet Travis Benjamin. I didn’t mention him after Week 1 since I thought his 89 yards and a TD was a fluke thanks to one big play. Then he followed it up with 3 receptions for 115 yards and 2 TD, both long plays. Benjamin isn’t getting a ton of targets, but it’s clear he can use his speed to make things happen, and I think he has a chance to be much better at that role than Ginn. Benjamin could start seeing even more snaps and they may look for more ways to get the ball in his hands, so while what he’s done isn’t sustainable, the upside is still there.
Rishard Matthews – WR, Miami Dolphins: In the offseason the Miami Dolphins added Greg Jennings, Kenny Stills and Davante Parker to their receiving corps, but it’s largely ignored and undrafted Rishard Matthews running as the team’s WR2. Matthews caught four balls on six targets in Week 1, including a TD catch, and then followed up with six grabs on seven targets for 115 yards yesterday. I still think long term Parker overtakes him, when he’s healthy and more comfortable in the offense, but for right now Matthews actually looks like a decent grab in 12 team leagues and deeper.
Crockett Gilmore – TE, Baltimore Ravens: At the start of the season it wasn’t real clear who was going to be the Ravens lead tight end with rookie Maxx Williams in the mix, but Gilmore has won the job. He didn’t do a lot last season, but he’s looking to break out this year after catching five passes for 88 yards and 2 TD yesterday. We know Joe Flacco likes to use his tight ends and we know that the offensive coordinatior Marc Trestman likes them as well. Standing 6’6″ Gilmore has a shot to be a regular fixture in the red zone, where the Ravens don’t really have anyone else. I’m not sure he can crack the Top 10 at the position, but Top 15 is certainly a reachable target.