by Will Overton
All but one game of week two is in the books now and there were a lot of guys on the waiver wire on the field making a statement yesterday. We’re starting to get a little bit better idea of who guys are and who they aren’t and also what defenses are and which ones make for good matchups.
Even with two weeks down you still want to be very careful on the waiver wire. It’s still too early to throw in the towel on your underachieving early round picks. It’s not too early to drop some of those lottery ticket style picks you took late for someone off to a hot start.
Here are five of the guys I might be locking in on this week if they are available in your league:
Phillip Rivers – QB, San Diego Chargers: When he threw for the four TD’s in week one against Houston you raised an eyebrow, but you still had to say it was only 194 yards. Now he comes out in week two and throws for 419 yards and three more TD’s and he has my full attention. Rivers now has 7 TD’s and just 1 INT in this early part of the season.
Let’s remember the fact that we’re only two years removed from a time when Rivers was a top 10 QB, so it’s not completely unheard of that he would be having a career resurgenc. The Eagles secondary is sketchy and the Chargers ran a lot of plays, so you have to factor that into these game numbers. Still, Rivers looks a lot like his old self right now and he’s got to be a borderline top 15 QB at least.
James Starks – RB, Green Bay Packers: In week one the featured back in Green Bay was Eddie Lacy as we expected. His opening week performance was a little underwhelming. Then in week two Lacy suffered a concussion on the first play. In comes James Starks and he goes on and churns out 132 yards on 20 carries with a TD along with 4 catches for 36 yards.
Starks was limited by injuries last season, but in 2011 he managed 133 carries for a respectable 578 yards, a 4.3 YPC average. I don’t think Starks is as talented as Lacy is, but so far production is on his side and we don’t know how long Lacy will be sidelined, concussions can be very tricky things to predict. I will caution you to not get overly excited on the short term value of Starks though because Green Bay plays Cincinnati this week, one of the better run defenses out there, and then has a bye week after.
Stephen Hill – WR, New York Jets: There were ups and down with Stephen Hill this last week, as there always is. Hill caught four balls for a very nice 86 yards, but he also lost a fumble. Hill has been targeted 17 times in two games and has 10 catches.
We haven’t seen Hill come down with a TD yet this season, but at 6’4 and 215 he’s an ideal red zone target and Geno Smith is getting more and more comfortable with him as his go to receiver. The next three games are all favorable matchups for Hill and the Jets with the Bills, Titans and Falcons on the upcoming schedule. I like Hill’s upside and I think he’ll get better as the season goes.
Austin Pettis – WR, St. Louis Rams: The Rams passing attack was certainly on point against the Rams in week two. Pettis ended up in the top 20 in the league in targets with 11 yesterday. Pettis ended the day with 8 catches for 78 yards and a TD. This was after Pettis caught just three balls for 16 yards in week one.
There is certainly upside to a third year receiver with Pettis physical tools. Still we’re talking about a guy who has averaged less than 10 yards per catch every year. We’re also talking about a Rams team who won’t always throw the ball 52 times and still has Tavon Austin, Chris Givens and Jared Cook to share the ball with. This next week against Dallas isn’t a bad matchup, but Pettis is probably still just a deep league option.
Charles Clay – TE, Miami Dolphins: Tight End feels like an especially loaded position this season with lots of under the radar options emerging. The latest one on the list being Charles Clay. Clay took over as the Dolphins starting tight end after Dustin Keller was lost for the season.
In week one Clay had five catches for 54 yards, a nice performance for a tight end, but nothing eye popping. Clay followed it up in week two though with another five catches and this time 109 yards totaled. Clay also got a goal line carry that he took in for a TD from the H-Back spot. You can’t count on many of those from him I am guessing, but this may not be the only one. Couple that with his being an underrated pass catcher on a team that’s starting to pass more and you might have a potential top 15 tight end on your hands, even with the position depth.