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Waiver wire fodder or fantasy starter?


Week 1 of the NFL season gives us some insight into what players' fantasy value is, both good and bad. Too many owners drop or trade good players because of a poor performance, and too many owners add and trade for players based on a single game. The thing to remember is that sleepers don't always wake up from their sleep and one good game does not a stud make. Let's examine some of the hot waiver wire additions this week and see if they are worth picking up and also look at some guys you should consider cutting.

The most popular pick-up this week was Cam Newton. I think he is more hype than fantasy stud as the Cardinals defense did more for Newton's numbers than the Panthers offense did. He isn't someone I am going to recommend adding.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is someone that I think can make a fine QB2 in most formats and isn't getting much attention because he is on the Bills. His 208 yards was not very impressive, but the four TDs were. If you are in a league that plays two QBs, look to trade for him if the price is right.

Steven Jackson is not going to play this week, which means Cadillac Williams steps in as the Rams RB. Look, the Bucs wouldn't even give Williams a one-year deal for the minimum, so why would you think he is going to be worth playing? Unless you are in a 16-team league, I'd let someone else deal with the headache.

Randall Cobb certainly turned some heads with a 32-yard TD reception and a record-tying 108-yard kickoff return for a TD last week. It is obvious the kid has game-changing playmaking ability with the ball in his hands, but he is too far down on the depth chart to make a true fantasy impact. Remember when Devin Hester ran everything back to the house that teams kicked at him a few years ago? Teams just started kicking the ball out of bounds or to the opposite side of the field. If your league gives you return yards, then he is someone you may be able to play in the flex if he shows he can do it again this week, but I'd use a wait-and-see approach with him.

 I won't lie, I have a Chad Ochocinco signed jersey in my closet and I show it proudly. But his days as a useful member of a fantasy team are long gone. He played in just 18 of the team's 80 offensive snaps in the season opener, and Patriots OC Bill O&39;Brien says Ochocinco&39;s playing time will change "week to week." He is little more than depth in case of a Patriots injury and you should look to see if you can trade him on name value.

Now, the question of the week: do I cut Peyton Manning or stash him on the bench? Well, I cut him on Monday because I don't think he will see the field again this season. But, even if he does play again this season, he will have more rust than the Titanic. I'd personally cut him in favor of Fitzpatrick or Chad Henne.

Last but not least, there is Robert Meachem. I am somewhat indifferent on Meachem because the Saints spread the ball around so much he basically becomes a TD or bust play. If you need some help at WR I'd grab him with a player off your bench you know will never play, but I wouldn't cut anyone that could fill a flex spot to get him.

Start 'em

Rex Grossman:Grossman lit up the Giants for 305 yards and two scores, and this week he gets a Cardinals defense that allowed Cam Newton to set an NFL record for most passing yards in a rookie's first game. If Newton can do it, I see no reason why Grossman can't finish the day with low-end QB1 numbers.

Ryan Fitzpatrick: The Oakland Raiders lost a key member of their secondary this offseason and they gave up 304 yards in the air to Kyle Orton last week. I don't envision Fitzpatrick as a QB1, but he should wind up with solid QB2 stats and is a real possibility if you own Matt Cassel or Donovan McNabb.

Cedric Benson: Benson gets a juicy game this week against the Broncos Swiss cheese defense. Champ Bailey is sure to cover A.J. Green all day, which means Andy Dalton is going to have some trouble moving the ball in the air. That means the Bengals should lean on Benson in this one and I think he can come up as a solid RB in fantasy leagues.

Peyton Hillis: Hillis is someone I avoided in drafts because teams are sure to plan for him now, and there is a Madden curse looming over him. Add to that the Browns have three new O-Linemen this year and there is a reason why he only managed 57 yards on the ground and 30 via the pass last week. But this week he gets the Colts defense and one has to wonder if they might just be in the running for Andrew Luck when the dust settles on the season.

Mario Manningham: I don't expect great things from Eli Manning this week, but with Hakeem Nicks doubtful, Manningham is all they have to throw to. The Giants are going to lean on Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs more, but Manningham is going to be who Manning looks for on passing downs.

Brandon Marshall: This is one pick I am not excited about, but the numbers line up and project him doing well. Last week Marshall managed to haul in seven passes for 139 yards, but failed to score. The Texans gave up 106 yards and a score to Reggie Wayne last week, and we all know the Colts offense isn't one that is going to scare anyone.  Look for a similar day from Marshall if the Dolphins stick to the same gameplan they had last week.

Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez: Yes, I would play either this week and feel fine about it. Last week the dynamic duo teamed up for 189 receiving yards and two scores. Obviously those are tough numbers to duplicate, but they should both be worthy of a TE1 play and even a TE1 and flex play if you own them both!

Detroit Lions defense: The Lions were one of my sleeper defenses entering the fantasy draft, and this week they get to tee off against a Chiefs offense that I think is stalled. I am looking for the Lions to rush Cassel all day long and finish with a top-five fantasy defense ranking this weekend.

Sit 'em

Cam Newton: If you think Cam I Am is going to do what he did last week, you are crazy. There is no way the Packers let Newton look like a Pro Bowl QB again this week. Newton had a career day and the Cardinals were partly to blame. I look for Newton to have low-end QB2 numbers and he isn't even someone I would play in leagues that start two QBs.

Donovan McNabb: I warned people to stay away from McNabb in drafts, but not a lot listened. The Vikings receivers can't get open down field and the Chargers showed a blueprint on how to keep him on the run and the ball out of the air. He has a better matchup with the Bucs this week, but I wouldn't own him, let alone start him in any format.

Chris Johnson: I am swinging for the fences here, but the Titans played it safe with CJ2K last week and this week he faces the Ravens' stout run defense. I simply don't trust the Titans coaching staff to use Johnson right early in the season, and there is a concern that he could develop an injury with his lack of training camp and preseason work.

Cadillac Williams: As I mentioned earlier, the Caddy is running on two flat tires and bionic knees. The Rams might try and get him the touches to take the heat off of Sam Bradford, but I wouldn't let Williams near my flex spot anymore. I'd bet you have better options on your bench or on the waiver wire.

Dwayne Bowe: The Chiefs offense really broke out last season as Cassel threw for 3,116 yards and 27 TDs, with just seven INTs. To some that says they are an offense to target; to me it means the week one debacle of 217 total yards of offense is a sign of regression, not progression. Until the Chiefs show something in the passing game, consider Bowe benched in fantasy leagues.

Roddy White: The simple truth is I don't trust Matt Ryan to move the ball against Nnamdi Asomugha and Asante Samuel. White may get enough targets to be worth a play in PPR leagues, but I don't think he is going to end up being worth the play in standard league.

Tony Gonzalez: It's not that I think Ryan is going to be completely shut down this week, but Gonzales averaged 14.4 YPC in week one and that is an unrealistic number for a 35-year-old TE that has seen his reception and receiving yards go down for four straight seasons. He is a solid TE2 this week as the Eagles will be bust with White and Julio Jones, but I would put my money on someone else if you can.

Chicago Bears defense: And the Bears glory is short lived as they get pounded by the Saints' high-powered offense in this one. I don't care how much love Bears fans have for their team or what they did last week; fantasy football is all about here and now. I wouldn't touch the Bears defense with a 10-foot pole this week!

Question of the week

Should I start Dwayne Bowe, or Jordy Nelson from the Packers this week? - Michael from Martinsburg, WV

Nelson isn&39;t officially above Driver on the depth chart... so you can&39;t count on him just yet. A season ago this would have been a no-brainer with Bowe and Cassel, but this season they came out with no cylinders firing.

That being said, fantasy football is a go big or go home game... and I would go big and play Nelson. Kansas City needs to show me something on offense before I play Bowe again. 

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