Sep 17, 2013

Waiver Wire Winners: Week 3

Each week Cleveland's Rocks will review top Free Agents owned in under 50% of ESPN leagues.  Worthy eligible players will get lumped into three teams: "Full Season Endorsement" "Future & Upside" and "Plug & Play"

All teams consist of a QB, two RB and WRs with a TE, K, DEF and FLEX.  All "Plug & Play"s need to be rostered in less then 25% of leagues.  For each FLEX, players can only be owned in 15% of ESPN leagues.

Read.  React.  Improve.  Let's do this gamers.

Full Season Endorsement

QB Alex Smith (17.5%) - Unfortunately, there are way too many repeats on our list for full season endorsement.  We start with Smith who is attached to Andy Reid's famous pass happy offense, an elite wide receiver in Dwayne Bowe & a dynamic pass catching running back name Jamaal Charles.  The man who led the league in passer rating last year has continued being an excellent game manager with a 4-0 TD-INT ratio for the year.  Once he leaves Reid's old stomping grounds in Philadelphia with 300+ yards at 3+ TDs owners are going to hop all over the Smith bandwagon.  Beat everyone to the punch and stash him on the back of your roster now.  This former #1 overall pick ranks 15th in our full season rankings & will be an elite bye week plug or maybe even more.  Add him gamers.

RB Bilal Powell (38.0%) - Our second repeat performer on the list, Bilal Powell did exactly what owners want out of their flex back.  15 touches for 70 yards and a score is a perfect performance for your flex back.  Mix in the fact Chris Ivory is already dinged up & this job will be Powell's to loose at the eventual point when Ivory misses some weeks due to injury.  It makes no sense Chris is owned in 100% of leagues while Bilal can't crack the 50% mark.  Add him and you'll have Knowshon Moreno 2.0 people.  Thank me later.

RB Pierre Thomas (23.5%) - Thomas is the same back he was last week.  Another repeater on the list, he had only 9 touches for 48 yards but this is his floor.  Expect 70 or so a yards a week and maybe a score.  That's a better output then Ronnie Hillman, Roy Helu, Shonn Greene, Vick Ballard, Bryce Bown, Isaiah Pead & Isaac Redman are all going to put out.  These guys are all owned somehow in 50%+ of leagues, which should not happen.  PT Bruiser is better then all of them.

WR Andre Roberts (36.0%) - Andre put up a boring 3-36-0 line against the Lion last week, but that's the risk that comes with a flex WR.  There is so much upside here it's amazing he isn't own in more leagues. I don't know what Ryan Broyles or Denarius Moore posses that Andre doesn't, but take advantage of these idiot owners and beat them to the better WR. Roberts needs to be owner in at least two thirds of leagues & he's barely there.

WR Eddie Royal (18.4%) - This isn't a flashback to our 2009 rankings, Eddie Royal is really here.  It's not that anyone believes he is going to keep up his insane 40 touchdown pace, it's more that he looks to be locked in with Philip Rivers & that should produce high floors.  Even if you don't believe in Royal, someone in your league will so & sell him for whatever profit you can find.  He is a WR3 at the moment and could maybe go up to WR2 status, but he should be an add & sell guy.  Or the guy you replace Malcom Floyd with, since he looks to be out for a long time.

TE Jermaine Gresham (11.5%) - There is nothing special about Gresham.  He is going to go out snag 5 balls for 50 yards and maybe sprinkle in a score.  Essentially the TE version of Pierre Thomas, you can do a whole lot worse by starting Zach Sudfled or some other TE who has the "young, sexy upside" label.  I'd rather own the sure points and Gresham.  With bye weeks coming up, he's going to be coveted so put him on your roster & reap the rewards folks.

FLEX WR Marlon Brown (4.9%) - Brown is the first WR in Ravens history to score in his first two games.  Despite going undrafted in April, there is plenty of upside now making him a reasonable fantasy play.  Jacoby Jones is out at least another 3 weeks and there are zero other pass catches on this offense not named Torrey Smith.  Brown should get his looks and produce, which is exactly what you want out of a WR4 on your bench.  There are so many worst things you can do then roster Brown.

K Garrett Hartley (22.0%) - Finally, after a multiple years of being the sleeper kicker tied to a high power offense that disappointed, Hartley looks to have gotten what he needs.  The Saints still look elite, but not as good as the past few years which means more field goal tries.  Hartley is a top 10 kicker and shouldn't encounter any bad matchups the rest of the way.  He's ranked inside the top 6 the rest of the way & should be universally owned.  If you need to cut ties with Phil Dawson, this is the man to go add.

DEF Tennessee Titans (2.4%) - Again, we don't endorse any full season ownership for non-elite defenses, but the Titans have shown they are sneaky good through the first two weeks.  Excluding a brutal final 2 minutes in Houston, those 16 points given up looked real good.  Mix in 4 turnovers and 1 defensive TD already and there is a case to made for ownership.  Somehow, they are in the bottom 5 in defensive ownership.  That should increase soon & considering they still play Jacksonville twice there is a nice looking schedule to go with.  If you want to do the long-term buy thing, Tennessee is who we are selling.

Future & Upside

QB Terrelle Pryor (22.4%) - Despite throwing for a weak 125 yards last week the modern equivalent to Tyler Thigpen is running wild in Oakland.  Ten points don't cut it for a weekly play, but there is no one with the upside Pryor has.  If he can figure out any part of the passing game, he is going to be a poor man's Michael Vick or in fantasy terms equal with Russell Wilson.  Teams that can stash a QB on their roster should look at Pryor because all the signs for fantasy success are there.

RB Andre Brown (27.2%) - We said it last week and we'll say it again, this is a man you want to own. Yes he's out until Week 7 but the Giants RB situation is a disaster & he is a savior in waiting.  Own Andre over Christine Michael and love yourself when the back half of the season rolls around.  Please, add him.

RB James Starks (6.2%) - With the overwhelming possibility that Eddie Lacy will take this week off & the bye week to get his head straight (literally) Starks is getting his 80th chance to prove his worth in Green Bay.  Being the first 100 yard rusher for the team since Ryan Grant last week was a good audition and if given another shot this week he shouldn't disappoint.  Lacy may come back & take the majority of carries, but Starks needs to be owned based on the potential with this offense.  He is probably a sell high candidate, but he still needs to be on rosters.  Now.

WR Kenbrell Thompkins (39.4%) - Where has the hype gone with KT?  Heading into the year there were projections all over the board for 1000 yard seasons.  Amendola is out, Sudfeld is out, Gronk still might be out, but these projections are gone?  It makes no sense that the Patriots offense is in turmoil so Thompkins is getting the axe?  I still like Kenbrell to be the highest scoring WR in New England at year's end & would rather own him over everyone but Amendola & Gronkowski.  Get him back on your rosters and wait for the big game.  His is still seeing his targets & once he gets in sync with Brady the results will be there.  Be patient gamers the kid still has 6 grabs for 99 yards in two games, Lance Moore owners aren't cutting him and he has less then half both those totals.

WR Justin Blackmon (15.6%) - We went through this last week. Add him please.  There is no reason this man shouldn't be universally owned, yet somehow his ownership gets cut in half last week?  Flat out unacceptable Blackmon isn't owned in more leagues, his value went UP last week when Chad Henne got the start.  This make no sense.  Add him.  Now.  For your sake, not mine.

TE Heath Miller (6.9%) - A top 5 TE last year, Miller has slipped through the cracks this year since he had a leg explosion (ACL & MCL) at the end of last year.  Miller is one of those guys who goes out, gets you your fantasy points, then comes home and goes to bed.  There is nothing flashy at all about what he does.  If you need to stash a TE since Julius Thomas is still Julius Thomas, Miller should be on your roster, or at least more then 6.9% of rosters.

FLEX RB Robert Turbin (4.7%) - Another repeat, Turbin is the handcuff everyone needs to Marshawn Lynch.  Criminally underowned, this man might rack up 10 points next week vs the horrible Jaguars.  We said it last week & it bears repeating, high end handcuffs should be owned.  Remember what happened to Joique Bell & Ben Tate?  Turbin is in their league.

K Alex Henery (6.1%) - Kicker tied to Chip Kelly's offense.  Points will be scored weekly, which is what you want with your kicker.  Add this guy.

DEF Cleveland Browns (5.4%) - The Browns have given up 50 carriers for 110 yards & 2 TDs on the ground this year.  They've also been losing in 100% of the minutes they've played this year.  Sounds like if this team could ever get a lead, they'd have a great defense to help hold that lead.  They should be owned in more leagues & you could do a whole lot worse then these guys.

Plug & Play

QB Carson Palmer (23.2%) @NO
RB Daniel Thomas (11.3%) vs ATL
RB Felix Jones (1.5%) vs CHI
WR Santana Moss (23.6%) vs DET
WR Nate Burleson (5.0%) @WAS
TE Charles Clay (0.8%) vs ATL FLEX WR Stephen Hill (1.9%) vs BUF
K Stephen Hauschka (17.7%) vs JAC
DEF Minnesota Vikings (8.1%) vs CLE

Honorable Mentions: 

Andy Dalton (34.3%) E.J. Manuel (12.2%) Mike Tolbert (22.4%) Brandon Jacobs (6.1%) Jordan Todman (1.4%) Brandon Boldin (0.7%) Jason Snelling (0.4%) Andre Ellington (0.3%) Aaron Dobson (6.7%) Robert Woods (4.7%) Harry Douglas (3.7%) Doug Baldwin (3.5%) Rod Streater (3.5%) Donnie Avery (1.7%) Tyler Eifert (8.1%) Coby Fleener (7.9%) Caleb Sturgis (4.7%) Atlanta Falcons (12.5%)

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