The NFL season is getting underway this week and you know what that means…hours and hours of procrastination.
Constantly checking your lineup, but never changing it. Looking over the waiver wire hoping someone drops Adrian Peterson. Reading ESPN’s weekly updates looking for “clever” pickups when everyone’s seen it already and it’s not really going to help. So by now you have probably drafted, and if your league hasn’t drafted, then get out of that bummy league. But if you’re in a real league, and you’re looking to take home that first place prize, listen to our under the radar waiver additions, trade targets, and players to stay away from.
Danny Woodhead RB, SD : Yes, Melvin Gordon just got drafted by the chargers, but Danny Woodhead is a big time sleeper. Caught over 70 balls 2 years ago before he got hurt. Gordon won’t be able to play every snap and Woodhead should see a lot of production even if Gordon is receiving the bulk of the carries. Woodhead will get the majority of his points through receiving. (great for PPR leagues)
Richard Rodgers TE, GB: This is a year where the TE position lacks top tier talent. The only star player is Rob Gronkowski, so it is necessary to find production at the TE position. With the injury to Jordy Nelson the Packers are going to have to find a new target. With Aaron Rodgers at QB, expect a lot of targets and touchdowns for the young TE.
Deangelo Williams RB, PITT: With Le’veon Bell out the first 2 games, Deangelo Williams will get a high number of carries. Hopefully leading to a score and close to a 100-yard game. It is by no means a long-term fix, but if you need someone in the next 2 weeks he is your guy.
Nelson Agholor WR, PHI: If you have watched any of the preseasons, this guy’s skills have jumped off the screen. He has great hands, and the ability to take it to the house on any play. With the loss of Jeremy Maclin to the chiefs and the emergence of quarterback Sam Bradford, this player is a must-get before he breaks out in the coming weeks.
Brandin Cooks WR, NO: Not much really to say about this pick. Jimmy Graham is gone, leaving hundreds of targets to go elsewhere. Who do they go to… Brandin Cooks. His talent is the off the charts as well as he has Hall of Famer Drew Brees throwing him the ball leading to a big year.
Martavis Bryant WR, PITT: He is suspended at the moment for the first 4 games of the season. The asking price will not be too high and he is a high potential player. More of a focus will be going towards Antonio Brown defensively leaving the opposite of the field wide open for young stud Martavis Bryant to get his.
Amari Cooper OAK, WR: Amari Cooper is a superstar in the making. He has the best hands, footwork, and route running of any recent receiver that has come into the NFL, and is already being compared to Antonio Brown, Jerry Rice, and Tim Brown without even playing a single NFL game. This kid torched all-pro corner Patrick Peterson in the 3rd preseason game. He is NFL ready and will explode onto the scene. Expect way over 1,000 yards and 8 touchdowns.
Trade before they fade:
Peyton Manning QB, DEN: By no means am I expecting a bad year from Peyton Manning, but is he going to be ALL Pro? No way. There is too much for him to overcome. His age is rapidly increasing, he has to learn a new system, and he lost his pro bowl LT for the season. He is still Peyton Manning and will be productive, but people will overpay for the name Peyton Manning. Use that to your advantage.
Desean Jackson WR, WASH: Get rid of him immediately. Washington has no QB and no offensive line. The Bottom Line is Desean Jackson will not be seeing the ball in Washington.
New England Patriot RB’s: Never ever keep a Patriot’s running back on the team. Belichick will have them starting one week (probably run for 150 yards and 2 scores), benched the next and cut the week after that. No Patriot running back will consistently get the bulk of the carries for the season. Look at Jonas Grey… CUT. Shane Vereen… on the Giants. LeGarrette Blount… SUSPENDED. STAY AWAY!
Demarco Murray RB, PHI: Trade this man while you can. His value will never be higher. He was the league’s leading rusher a year ago but decided to move on from the best O-line in football to Chip Kelly’s eagles. It’s a losing situation for everyone, including fantasy owners, Demarco Murray, and the Cowboys. He may be a solid player, but with Ryan Matthews and Darren Sproles on his team, the backfield will be crowded leading to a decline in carries.
Week 1 Pick Ems:
Steelers (24) vs. Patriots (20) Saints (24) vs. Cardinals (27)
Packers (27) vs. Bears (14) Lions (31) vs. Chargers (24)
Chiefs (17) vs. Texans (10) Titans (12) vs. Bucs (16)
Browns (10) vs. Jets (13) Bengals (17) vs. Raiders (24)
Colts (24) vs. Bills (23) Ravens (27) vs. Broncos (28)
Dolphins (31) vs. Redskins (6) Giants (31) vs. Cowboys (28)
Panthers (24) vs. Jaguars (13) Falcons (17) vs. Eagles (24)
Seahawks (16) vs. Rams (14) Vikings (21) vs. Niners (10)
Ryan is currently a student at the University of North Carolina. He grew up in the Bay Area and has had Raiders season tickets his entire life fostering his love for the NFL. He has founded his own sports website, thejrreport.com and works at the Sports Desk for the Daily Tar Heel. You can follow Ryan on twitter @rytime98 if you want to discuss anything sports.