Waiver Worthy: Week 2 Aftermath: Dexter McCluster, Matt Hasselbeck & More

by Will Overton

Another week full of offensive firepower and lots and lots of passing in the NFL. And just like every Monday this season I am going to be looking at some of the best performances of the day for players who might be available on the waiver wire. I will be breaking down the performance of the player and I will also give my thoughts on whether or not that player is worth buying or if you should be denying him.

Even though we are another week deep into the season, you still have to be cautious in making snap decisions. But at the same time you don’t want to sit on a guy for too long and miss out on potential free agents who can make a big splash this season.

Here are five potential waiver wire players who made a case for themselves in week two.

Matt Hasselback: There were questions about his age and there were questions about him joining a new team and what his role on that team would be, but so far after two weeks Hasselback is looking good. After throwing for 263 yards and 2 TD’s against the shetchy Jags defense, Hasselback followed it up yesterday by throwing 358 yards and a TD against a very legitimate Ravens defense. So with an average of over 300 yards per game Hasselback has to be opening some fantasy owner’s eyes. Hasselback did have a few things working in his favor yesterday though. The Titans ran a total of 71 plays and owned time of possession for 35:52 compared to 24:08. It’s going to be hard for Hasselback to have that going for him very often and you have to think at some point Chris Johnson is going to get things going on the ground and Hasselback won’t be relied on to throw the ball 40+ times in a game. I like Hasselback in deep leagues and as a backup in 2 QB leagues, but in standard leagues I would still rather have Kyle Orton, Ryan Fitzpatrick or Cam Newton. I see Hasselback on the same level as a Rex Grossman, just a bit more reliable.
Verdict: Deny ‘Em

Dexter McCluster: It certainly looks like things are pretty serious with the Jamaal Charles knee injury and the Chiefs are going to be looking a couple different places for help in filling the void. Thomas Jones is going to be the primary back and if he isn’t owned in your league he should be just based on probable workload. McCluster however should get a chance to take on a few more carries and be the compliment back to Jones bruising style.  McCluster has big play potential, but he’s also a risk to be shutdownfor no points in a given week. Based on his pass catching ability McCluster is a must own in PPR leagues, the question is whether he can do enough on the ground to be worth owning in standard leagues. So far McCluster has impressed with 93 yards on 12 carries. If the Chiefs stop playing from behind so much I think Dexter will get double-digit carries and with the homerun hitting potential I think he’s at least worth stashing on the bench.
Verdict: Buy ‘Em

Roy Helu: In week one it was the Tim Hightower show in Washington and it looked like Mike Shannahan might be turning over a new leaf when it comes to his running back philosophy. Than in week two Roy Helu ended up with 10 carries and got to show off his potential with 74 yards, and another 38 receiving on 3 catches. Hightower hasn’t faltered in his role as the primary back, but that probably won’t stop Shannahan from using Helu too. I also think Shannahan would like to see Grossman as a game manager and use his ground game to keep Grossman from having to do too much. Running back looks like a shallow spot this year and Helu has a lot of potential. I think you have to take a chance on the potential and on Shannahan’s running back track record.
Verdict: Buy ‘Em

Denarius Moore: The Oakland Raiders found themselves in a shootout and when they needed a receiver to step up Denarius Moore did just that with 5 catches for 146 yards and a TD. It was an impressive performance for the rookie from Tennessee and it has to make people wonder if the Raiders finally found a legitimate receiver threat. However keep in mind that Moore literally came out of nowhere and there are questions of whether this was a fluke. The Raiders were without their top two receivers yesterday leaving Moore as one of the few options for Jason Campbell in a shootout. And I have my doubts about whether or not we’ll see Campbell throw for 300+ yards more than once or twice more this season. The playmaking ability makes him intriguing, but I need to see him do it again with other receivers healthy before I can buy in. I think there are more reliable options at WR on the wire in standard leagues, obviously deeper leagues is another matter all together.
Verdict: Deny ‘Em

David Nelson: So far in two games this season the Buffalo Bills have averaged 39.5 points. Also, Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown for 472 yards and 7 TD’s. It’s a bit premature to call the team an offensive juggernaut, but they’re certainly vastly improved from last season and the team is developing multiple fantasy relevant players, one of them being David Nelson. Nelson emerged as a number two receiver in week one with 4 catches and 66 yards. In week two he emerged as a fantasy option with 10 catches, 83 yards and a TD. The Bills seem to be committed to throwing the ball and Stevie Johnson can’t catch every pass. Nelson started to make some noise late last season (3 TD’s in the final 4 games) and the momentum has carried over. At 6’5 he could turn into a go-to-guy in the Redzone and at worst he looks to at least get a consistent amount of targets. I like what I’m seeing out of the Bills and I am buying into Nelson in standard leagues.
Verdict: Buy ‘Em

What’s your take on these guys, are you buying or denying? And who else are you buying or denying? Feel free to give your opinions and suggestions as well as ask any advice questions you might have.

Waiver Worthy: Week 3 Fallout: Steve Smith, Kendall Hunter, Mike Kafka & More
Onside Observations: Deep Format Waiver Wire Suggestions


  1. Carlos says:

    Great post Will. I agree with what you say about the wideouts you posted but, What do you think of Eric Decker in Denver? Is he a better add out in Denver? I think he is to be considered as Orton does usually get some yardage for his wideouts and Eddie Royal hasnt really blossomed as the #2 weapon in Denver.

    At running back Helu is looking great. Mccluster is explosive but he is tied to a horrible team and the carries there will be split with Thomas Jones and LeRon Mcclain.

    I’m liking more Delone Carter. He had a nice game and is on a team that defintly is gonna try and get the ground game going to relieve Kerry Collins. Also, Joseph Addai does have a history of injuries and if he goes down Carter is a valuable RB option.

  2. Alex says:

    I was about to add Eric Decker here before I saw someone beat me to it ;) I’m gunning for him in all leagues.

    Nate Washington is intriguing too, considering defenses now HAVE to key in on CJ2k and Britt. They really don’t have a choice but to leave Nate in man coverage. His numbers may never blow off the page, but he could make for a consistent wr3

  3. Will Overton says:

    Carlos – I do like Decker. He may not get the same kind of looks as this week all the time, because Lloyd will be back, but I do like him more than Royal. I like Nelson slightly more, but it’ very close. As for Carter I agree, another guy I like. It looks like he’s going to be splitting more time than I thought with Addai and has a lot of potential. I’d give McCluster the nod in PPR leagues, but they’re about even in standard ones.

    Alex – Washington could make a sneaky play, but I have him below Nelson and Decker. I’m not convinced Hassleback throws this much on a regular basis and I think the Titans will be trying to get Jared Cook more involved as well.

  4. Nick Tenaglia says:

    I too was going to post on Decker before I saw these comments – haha…

    With injuries to Colston, Austin and Amendola, I have a couple openings on my roster…
    0.5 PPR Format, no Return Yards
    Decker, Denarious Moore, David Nelson or Jerome Simpson

    Who should I drop for one of these guys, Ed Dickson or Chris Cooley?

  5. Gamer says:

    I’m looking for wide receiver depth and see some St Louis players available (Gibson and Alexander). Other option include Randall cobb, LaFell and Emanual Sanders. Non-PPR league. Any clear cut recommendation to add to the bench? Appreciate the inpout.

  6. Will Overton says:

    Nick – Most people would say Decker is the guy, but I’m a believer in Nelson. I think he has the better opportunity and will catch more overall passes. I’m. Leaning towards keeping Cooley though it is growing harder to justify. I think he ends up with the better numbers though.

    Gamer – I. Think Alexander has the higher upside of those choices because he has a real chance to become Bradford’s go to guy with Amendola out.

  7. Muddy Cleats 18 says:

    wondering if it is better to drop some of the guys I got stashed already for some of the “new” hot names…
    Do I drop Kendricks and Sanders and Karim for guys like Decker,Chandler,Nelson.
    Granted none of these are starting for me – just future injury replacements.

    • I wouldn’t drop the RB, that’s for sure (unless you have multiple reserve RB already. Chances are someone would snatch him up.

      Who is your starting TE? If you need help at WR I could see dropping Kendricks to add either Decker or Nelson. It certainly wouldn’t hurt you any.

  8. Triz says:

    Hey there! I am thinking about maybe dropping a WR or RB from my bench and picking up someone new.

    My roster currently is:

    QB: Rivers / Fitzpatrick (who some day I will play, and then the poor Bills will lose)
    TE: Gates
    K: Janikowski / Lindell
    D/ST: Steelers

    RB: Foster, Mathews, Tolbert, Helu, Torain
    WR: Calvin Johnson, Stevie Johnson, Santonio Holmes, Jacoby Ford, Garcon

    (2RB, 2WR, 1 RB/WR)

    Available include McGahee and from the above: Carter, Decker, Moore, Nelson.

    Thoughts? My opponent this week is still starting Peyton Manning so provided he doesn’t wake up I am looking forward a bit!

    • Look who came back!! =) We’ve missed you and hope you’re doing well thus far.

      Gotta love the people who don’t pay attention, don’t you?

      At this point Garcon and Torain could end up being useless. Hightower is showing no signs of slowing down, and Helu looks primed to be the backup.

      With Moreno struggling, grabbing McGahee would be a great move.

      As for the WR, I’d think Decker and/or Nelson (I prefer Nelson, but it can go either way) offer more upside at this point. Of course, you may want to avoid having so much faith in the Bills offense!

  9. ROB says:

    I need another WR to start.buerlson, D. Moore,L.Moore,or D.Nelson

    • Will says:

      I think the safest play there is Burelson with the way the Lions offense is going.

      I’m high on Nelson though right now too and I think he could have the more upside because he is a better red zone target.

  10. Frank says:

    Hi please pick 3


    Pick 2



  11. Cody says:

    Should I drop Reggie bush for Roy helu in ppr league?

  12. Tracy says:

    Who would you start at your flex this week… Shonn Greene, Reggie Wayne or David Nelson?

    • Generally I lean towards the RB, but in this case I think I’d go Wayne (even with the tough matchup). It’s not like he hasn’t produced at all this season and should continue to be the Colts’ focus.

  13. Rock says:

    hey need 4 WRs to play this week i have
    Julio Jones
    Eric Decker
    David Nelson

    3 RBS
    A. Foster
    S. Jackson
    C.J. Spiller
    J. Stewart
    D. Karim
    T. Jones

    Thanks for your help in advance.

    • I would go:

      WR – Fitzgerald, Welker, Decker for sure. I’d probably roll with Jones for the fourth spot, though the two are close. Both offenses will probably air the ball out, and either could find the end zone.

      RB – Assuming Foster & Jackson are playing, I’d go Foster, Jackson & Jones. If neither are playing, you are honestly in trouble so keep your fingers crossed! Stewart would probably be my first choice to slide in if someone is forced out.

  14. Jake says:

    Ive got 4 wide recievers i need to start this week and with Miles Austin injured Im not sure who to start

    Kenny Britt
    Mike Thomas
    Johnny Knox
    David Nelson
    Michael Crabtree
    Malcom Floyd
    Brandon Gibson

    Also would you start Colt Mccoy or Rex Grossman this week as a number 2 starting quarterback?

  15. Lawson says:

    Tough week for me, who would you go with….

    A Rodger or Big Ben

    Chargers or Steelers D

    and in a standard league should i go 3RB/2WR or 3WR/2RB and which ones

    RB: McFadden, Wells, Tolbert

    WR: Ca Johnson, E Decker, M Thomas(Jags), A Brown, or D Nelson

    any help would be appriciated!

    • QB – Def. Rodgers
      D – I just cant’s sit the Steelers

      In the other league, I think you have good back-end receivers, but it’s not enough to make me think you should go with 3 of them. I’d go with all the backs and roll with Johnson & Thomas

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