Welcome back to our returning readers, and for those of you new to our site.. welcome! This will be FTA’s 3rd year covering fantasy football, and we are excited to have a team of over 50 writers covering every topic under the sun (and still growing). For those of you unfamiliar with the format of my weekly waiver wire articles, I will focus on players owned in 50% or fewer of Yahoo leagues. I find this to be a good baseline for whether or not these players may be available in your fantasy football league.
For those of you coming in from /r/fantasyfootball, looking forward to another fantastic season, and thanks for the upvotes!
Week 1 waiver wire pickups – 2014 fantasy football
Ryan Tannehill – Miami Dolphins (41% owned)
I find it inexcusable that Tannehill is owned in fewer leagues than Carson Palmer (Tannehill – 41%, Palmer – 51%). Palmer and the Cardinals return largely the same offense from a season ago, when he threw for 4274 yards with 24 TD’s and 22 INT’s.. oh, and he rushed 27 times for 3 yards! There is no upside there folks.. Palmer plays in the toughest defensive division in the NFL, and I don’t see him improving much on last season. Tannehill, on the other hand, will be part of a new uptempo offense this season in Miami with new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor calling the shots. In his second year (2013), Tannehill threw for 3913 yards, 24 TD’s and 17 INT’s, to go along with his 40 rushes for 238 yards and a TD. He is a mobile QB who can rack up yards through the air and on the ground, and in an uptempo attack anything is possible.
I don’t know about you, but when I draft a backup QB in the final rounds, I want to find the guy that could explode onto the scene. Who do you think has the better chance? The 3rd year mobile QB in Miami with an uptempo offense.. or Carson Palmer?
Jarret Boykin – Green Bay Packers (37% owned)
Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that the Packers reach their goal of 75 offensive snaps per game. Lets also assume that QB Aaron Rodgers will reach somewhere in the neighborhood of 4800 passing yards (if he plays a full season). If Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb account for 1500 yards each (which is a huge number), and Eddie Lacy ends up around 300 yards receiving.. that leaves 1500 more yards through the air to be accounted for. But what about the TE and other WR will be the question? Well, the starting TE should be Richard Rodgers this year, an unseasoned player who anything over 400 yards receiving would be huge for, and while Devante Adams had a nice preseason, Boykin managed to hold him off and retain the WR3 job.
In 2013, Boykin totaled 681 yards receiving on 49 receptions. He only had 5 receptions in 2012, so we could easily regard 2013 as his rookie campaign. Based on upside alone, I recommend picking up Boykin and stashing him in case of injury to one of the starters, and in deeper leagues he could even be a decent WR3 depending on matchup (obviously not in week 1 against the Seahawks). If you are holding on to dead weight like Tavon Austin, please, make the move and pick up the guy who has a world of upside and the right offense to make it happen.
Shonn Greene – Tennessee Titans (28% owned)
How would you like to pick up a starting RB off the waiver wire? All the preseason hype has surrounded Bishop Sankey, but it is Shonn Greene that will start opening day, and yet there he sits, owned in just 28% of leagues. Do I expect him to hold down the job all season? Nope.. but that doesn’t change the fact that he should see 15+ touches in week 1, including the majority of the goal line work behind a very good offensive line. Run, don’t walk, over to the waiver wire, pick up Shonn Green, and then come back to read the rest of this article.
Oh, and if you happen to be a Bishop Sankey owner, and Shonn Greene is on waivers, there is no excuse for you not picking him up
Tim Wright – New England Patriots (34% owned)
Is Tim Wright the new Aaron Hernandez, or the new Zach Sudfeld? After week 1, we will have a much clearer picture, but by then it may be too late for many of you. Here is what we do know, in 2013 playing with below average QB’s, Wright was able to haul in 54 passes for 571 yards and 5 TD’s. And did I mention it was his rookie season? And did I mention Bill Belichick just traded away a pro bowl offensive lineman to land this kid? No one ever knows what Bellichick has planned, but if you drafted a guy like Antonio Gates, or Eric Ebron, drop them, and grab this kid who could become on of the hottest pickups off the waiver wire by this time next week.
Honorable Mention – Travis Kelce (21% owned)
New York Jets D/ST – (8% owned)
I apply one very easy to follow rule when picking up a DST streamer.. play them against the most turnover prone teams in the league, as you are basically looking for that all important pick 6, and failing that, should be able to rack up INT’s and fumble recoveries. Who do the Jets play in week 1? None other than the Oakland Raiders, who will feature either Matt Schaub or Derek Carr in their first game. Either way, the Jets make for a nice little one week pick and play, who you can then drop for a better streamer in week 2.
Honorable Mention – Pittsburgh Steelers (19% owned) – Against the Cleveland Browns