Some of these options we like, some we don’t. But they’re all included in our Week 2 waiver wire write-up because many owners will be scrambling to acquire their services. The key is to target the players who can really make a difference.
Julius Thomas, TE, Denver Broncos (at NY Giants): Caught five passes for 110 yards and two scores (seven targets) in the season-opener against Baltimore and takes on a Giants team in Week 2 that surrendered eight receptions for 70 yards and two scores to Dallas tight end Jason Witten last week.
Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears (vs. Minnesota Vikings): Was dogged all throughout fantasy draft season, but completed 63.6% of his passes for 242 yards and a score against the rock-solid Cincinnati defense in his first game under new head coach Marc Trestman. Consider Cutler a viable QB2 option moving forward with QB1 potential in leagues featuring 12 or more teams.
Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo Bills (vs. Carolina Panthers): Sorry, C.J. Spiller owners, but F-Jax just won’t go away. The 32-year-old touched the ball 17 times in Buffalo’s Week 1 loss to New England, amassing 108 total yards in the process. One of the best handcuffs in the business.
Brian Hartline, WR, Miami Dolphins (at Indianapolis Colts): Mike Wallace may be the one cashing the fat paychecks, but it was Hartline who was targeted a staggering 15 times at Cleveland on Sunday, catching nine passes for 114 yards and a score in the Dolphins’ 23-10 win. Solid WR3 with WR2 potential, especially in PPR formats.
Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants (vs. Denver Broncos): Big Blue’s Week 2 showdown with Denver has all the makings of a shootout (Las Vegas total: 55.5 points), which favors WR3 Randle nicely. The third-year receiver out of LSU caught five passes for 101 yards on Sunday night at Dallas and has the upside to crack the starting lineup in leagues featuring ten or more teams. Provides excellent depth.
Jordan Cameron, TE, Cleveland Browns (at Baltimore Ravens): Made our 2013 NFP sleepers list and didn’t disappoint in Week 1, hauling in nine receptions for 108 yards and a score against Miami. We all saw what Denver tight end Julius Thomas did to the Baltimore defense last week (5-110-2). Expect quarterback Brandon Weeden to look Cameron’s way early and often in Week 2.
Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots (vs. NY Jets): Somebody has to catch the ball in New England and with Danny Amendola, Rob Gronkowski and Shane Vereen all scheduled to miss Thursday’s home opener against the Jets, look for Edelman to rack up the targets. Caught seven passes for 79 yards and two scores last Sunday at Buffalo.
Terrelle Pryor, QB, Oakland Raiders (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars): Turned a lot of heads in his 2013 debut, amassing 217 yards and a touchdown through the air (65.5% completion percentage) with another 112 yards coming via the ground game. We don’t want to overreact to anything we saw in Week 1, but Pryor showcased a solid skill set on Sunday against the Colts and is worth a look for owners who play in deeper leagues or have the option of starting two quarterbacks each week.
Joique Bell, RB, Detroit Lions (at Arizona Cardinals): Make no mistake about it, Reggie Bush is the man in Detroit at the moment. But Bell carried six times for 25 yards and two scores in Week 1 against Minnesota while Mikel Leshoure wasn’t even activated for the game. Bell is the No. 2 in Detroit and that doesn’t look to change anytime soon.
Matt Schaub, QB, Houston Texans (vs. Tennessee Titans): Lit up the Chargers on the road for 346 yards and three scores (75.6% completion percentage) this past Monday night. In our opinion, Schaub is one of the most productive QB2s in the game. How so many owners passed on him during draft season is a bit baffling.
Brandon Jacobs, RB, New York Giants (vs. Denver Broncos): Re-joined the Giants on Tuesday in the wake of second-year running back David Wilson’s ongoing case of fumblitis. Jacobs will see some carries and could vulture a few touchdown opportunities moving forward, but we don’t see the aging veteran carrying the ball 15+ times per game for the Giants. Only recommended for owners in leagues with more than 12 teams.
Willis McGahee, RB, Free Agent: Pittsburgh opted to sign Jonathan Dwyer while the Giants went with familiar face Brandon Jacobs, but we believe that McGahee is going to get a final shot at the NFL sometime in the near future. This is strictly a recommendation for fantasy owners in deeper leagues who have an extra roster spot that can be used on a calculated gamble.
Kellen Winslow, TE, New York Jets (at New England Patriots): Was targeted a hefty eight times by rookie quarterback Geno Smith in Week 1, which translated into seven receptions for 79 yards and a score against Tampa Bay. The New York receiving unit is a questionable mix of unproven talent and aging veterans and coupled with Smith’s novice understanding of the offense, it makes sense that a safety valve like Winslow will continue to be a hot target.
Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (at Cincinnati Bengals): Was cut and then subsequently re-signed by the Steelers after Sunday’s home debacle against the Tennessee Titans. Could become a hot property this week because he’s a running back, but the bottom line is that if the Steelers sent him packing before the season started, how much faith can they really have in Dwyer? Exercise caution here.
Jerome Simpson, WR, Minnesota Vikings (at Chicago Bears): We’ve seen this before, so exercise caution with your waiver priorities when it comes to Simpson, who caught seven passes for 140 yards Sunday at Detroit. Don’t be surprised if this guy comes up completely empty at Chicago in Week 2, but we felt it necessary to include the 27-year-old on this list in the wake of his recent performance.
Philadelphia Eagles, D/ST (vs. San Diego Chargers): Good spot for the Birds, who get to play a San Diego team that is on short rest, traveling across the country for an early start time. We still have some concerns about the overall quality of this unit, but Philadelphia’s defense came out solid on Monday night at Washington.
Oakland Raiders, D/ST (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars): Surrendered just 21 points and 274 total yards on the road to quarterback Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1 and now returns home to play a Jacksonville team that mustered only two points last Sunday against the Chiefs. Take note that Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon is still suspended and that Chad Henne will start at quarterback over the injured Blaine Gabbert.
Joe Fortenbaugh, worked as an NFL Agent from 2003-2006 at JB Sports, Inc. Follow Joe on Twitter @joefortenbaugh, and check out his website at NationalFootballPost.com. You can reach him at [email protected].