One note regarding pickups in this column. You won’t see me repeat the same guys twice over the course of a season unless I see a need. Also I won’t state obvious guys. This column is mostly for 12 team leagues and up. 10 team leagues can be in the discussion.
One quick strategy when it comes to pickups. Think a week or two or even three ahead. Depending on how your team is positioned in the standings and the whether you can afford to accommodate on your bench, you should be creative with your pickups. Ex: Beckham Jr. last season. He didn’t return til week 5 and was out there on many waiver wires until then. The talent was there all along and if you would have thought ahead, instead of say keeping two defenses, two QB’s or Brandon Bolden on your bench, you could have put a Dynamic talent like ODB on your bench and reaped the benefits.
Another example would be to stash a talented backup. Last year this was C.J. Anderson. I think I had Anderson from Week 2 last year, but when Hilllman took over and when Anderson got absolutely no burn, I was forced to cut him. In this case I suppose I had him too early. But Hillman’s injury led to Anderson’s domination down the stretch last season. So look for RB’s, TE’s, WR’s, even QB’s that can step in case of injury, etc and showcase their talent. Trust your gut if you truly like a guy and stick with him on your bench for as long as you can.
Scope your leagues wire, it may look bare at first, but if you look again you may see some opportunities that won’t help you right away, but in a few weeks they could be gold.
I listed Alex Smith, Dalton, Tyrod Taylor, Manziel, etc, last week, so there isn’t much to add. I will say that Tyrod Taylor could be in for a pretty nice season with the Bills. The running yards will be there and he should put up some decent numbers week to week. Same with Manziel, once the Browns realize he is their best option.
Derek Carr, Oak
Carr had a good rookie season using Rookie standards and added to that success this week against what was supposed to be a stingy Ravens secondary. Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree both went over 100 yards and Carr finished with three TD’s and 350 yards passing. The Raiders, dare I say it, are “Due” for a turnaround after so many miserable years. Maybe this is the start of it with Carr, Cooper, Crabtree and Murray on this offense.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, NYJ
I hate to ever recommend this guy, but this is probably the best offense he’s every played in with Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall at WR. 244 yards against the Colts last night, four TD’s in two games? As of now I would stay away unless you are forced to use him like I am in a 16 team league, because Gino Smith still looms and Fitzpatrick does this every year, starts out hot then fades like a silent fart in the wind.
David Johnson, ARI
Johnson the rookie out of Northern Iowa, had two TD’s on Sunday, one on a kickoff return to start the game and another on a toss where he went untouched into the endzone. Three TD’s already this year. Please don’t bank on Chris Johnson, he is a shell of his former self and has had his time in this league. The back to own is David Johnson, despite him technically being the backup. The Cards have already stated they will give him more burn this week. He has a solid speed/power combo and could be effective the rest of the year. Ellington has been injury prone the last two seasons so he is no sure bet to maintain the job. In this explosive offense with a healthy Carson Palmer, Johnson is a must-add this week if he is available in your league.
Matt Jones, Skins
If somebody dropped him after last week, YOU NEED TO GRAB THIS GUY ASAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I loved this guy coming into the year. The skins ran the ball 37 times last week, so there could be room for Jones and Morris here. Plus Jones has better hands and his blocking is fine, so he will most likely be the guy playing when they are trailing, which should be often.
Ronnie Hillman, Broncos
Anderson was the guy last year, but he doesn’t look like the same back thus far, while Hillman has looked better. We will see what happens here, but Hillman is a must-own playing in this Denver offense, with the potential to possibly take his job back. RB’s with Peyton Manning are almost automatic to produce nicely.
Devonta Freeman, ATL
Tevin Coleman looked like he had the strangle hold on the job, but it looks like he will be out a few weeks with a rib injury. Freeman steps in as the #1 and while I am not overly excited about him, he does have the body to take the punishment in this league. A Maurice Jones-Drew type build (not nearly as talented) Freeman has decent quickness, good agility and runs with a little bit of power. Good offense, great opportunity for Freeman to showcase his talents. I just don’t think he will show enough to keep the job when Coleman comes back, but I hope I’m wrong. Regardless, starting RB’s are a commodity in Fantasy Football and he should have the job for at least the next 2-4 weeks.
Backups to keep an Eye on
Jeremy Langford seems to have a secure hold as the backup to Matt Forte and is a solid handcuff for Owners. Karlos Williams also is another solid handcuff for McCoy, who has been somewhat iffy with injuries lately. Others that could step in and produce nicely with an injury. Josh Robinson, Indy……Damien Williams, Miami, ……Bobby Rainey, TB, …Khiry Robinson, NO……..Antonio Andrews, TEN
Dorial Green-Beckham, TEN
Slow but steady wins the race. Beckham, 6’5, 225, could slowly creep up more and more each week and eventually take reigns as the top WR on this Titans team. Think A.J Green. A ton of upside here, he needs to be added after showing promise in his 2nd NFL game by beating Joe Haden for a TD last week.
Michael Crabtree, OAK
Crabtree is still young, talented and has been forgotten about. Over 100 yards last week, playing with Carr who could be on his way to a successful season, the reward heavily outweighs the risk here.
Doug Baldwin, SEA
Baldwin has always been a pretty talented WR. He fits somewhere along the lines of a fair mans Steve Smith, Hines Ward/Golden Tate type. The Hawks are playing more uptempo this year and Baldwin is seeing about 8 targets a game so far. I like the prospects of this. Also Seattle’s D doesn’t look to be as dominate as years past, so the Hawks could be throwing a lot more this season. I think Baldwin is going to have his best season to date.
Aaron Dobson, NE
Probably the Patriots lone true deep threat, Dobson had 87 yards on seven catches last week, after doing nothing in Week 1. Probably will remain inconsistent all year, but they did draft this kid expecting him to have an impact. You could do much worse, there is some promise here.
Ty Montgomery, GB
Davante Adams where are you? Davante Adams who I read last year was better than Randall Cobb, where are you? This guy has been so hyped, much like Jermichael Finley was and for no good reason. Adams could be a disappointment this year, although it’s still too early to really tell. Aaron Rodgers can work wonders for anyone. I like what I saw out of Montgomery last week and I don’t think it’s that bold to say he could out perform Adams this year.
Travis Benjamin, CLE
Super Speed. Similar to a Dante Hall type, but looks to be a better WR overall. Josh McCown would hurt him, but playing with Manziel I am willing to bank on it. Six catches this season, three for TD’s.
Soon it’s time to pickup
Breshad Perriman, BAL Perriman is sitting there, forgotten, while people scramble for the hottest thing from last week. You may be able to wait one more week, but after that I think you have to move. Reports will come out, he’s running full speed, etc, etc, . Ravens #1 draft pick this year, Legit QB in Flacco, limited weapons on offense, the ROI potential is crazy here.
Crockett Gilmore, BAL
Kind of slow, but somewhat athletic, I think Gilmore’s performance was more of a result playing Oakland then anything. Rookie TE Max Williams still looms in the background, but I guess if want to take a shot on Gilmore, go hed, just don’t expect much.
Antonio Gates, SD
Time to stash, He will be back in 3 weeks and things should return to normal with him and Rivers.
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