Speculative Adds: Week 1
The purpose of this article each week will be to highlight some players that are currently under the radar who have a chance to jump to the top of waivers next week. If you have an extra roster spot because you have a guy that’s injured or someone isn’t performing as expected these are some players/situations you can target in the hopes you’re a week early rather than a week late. Each situation will *probably* have more than one guy listed, and that’s because these guys are coming from unclear situations. I’ll start with the best situations first and move on down the list, and the player from each situation who I believe has the best chance to emerge will be listed first and so on.
Miami’s Top Pass Catcher:
Albert Wilson / Mike Gesicki / DeVante Parker
The Dolphins traded Kenny Stills to the Texans, which leaves Albert Wilson as the top receiving option. Wilson was on pace for a 56/894/9 receiving line last year through 7 games, which would’ve been good for 199 PPR points and WR23 overall. Keep in mind, Wilson only started 3 of those games last season, and is now going to start the year as the top receiving option. At the very least Wilson is a guy who should be owned in your league (currently only 27% on ESPN), and would be a weekly starter if he sees any more usage than he did last season. Gesicki on the other hand is likely only relevant for teams with a need at TE, perhaps Trey Burton owners who need someone to start week 1. Generally, tight ends are expected to take at least a year to transfer from college to the pros, and Gesicki’s athletic testing is as good as we’ve seen from the TE. He is a prime breakout candidate this season, and with any kind of substantial target share will be a weekly tight end starter.
Michael Crabtree / KeeSean Johnson / Andy Isabella
The Arizona Cardinals offense is expected to use 4 wide receiver sets more than any team we’ve seen to this point. That means the 3rd wide receiver will rarely leave the field and could have significant fantasy value each week if Kliff Kingsbury’s offense is successful in the NFL. The Arizona players and coaching staff have continued to emphasize that the offense they have shown thus far is much more vanilla than what we will see in the regular season, meaning we should expect their offense to be better than what we’ve seen to this point. If the actual schemed up offense can achieve the pace and success they’re hoping for one of these receivers could be in for a bigger role than we have anticipated. Michael Crabtree was listed as a starter in the final release of the depth chart, and his familiarity with the spread offense from his time at Texas Tech should allow him to pick up the offense quickly.
Washington’s Top Pass Catcher:
Trey Quinn / Terry McLaurin / Paul Richardson
If/When Jordan Reed misses time one of the other Washington pass catchers will have a fantasy relevant role. Trey Quinn has been the hottest name coming from the Washington receiver corps and rightfully so as the primary slot receiver. So, if he’s available in your league he would be a decent floor option because of the reliable amount of targets he will see. Terry McLaurin is the polar opposite of Quinn. He is the most likely bet to be the team’s big play threat this season, but the downside is that he could become the 3rd or 4th pass catching option in a lower half offense. He ran a 4.35 40 yard dash at the combine and is listed as a starter on the outside to start the season, which means if he’s successful he could develop into an alpha receiver. As a side note, he also played with rookie QB Dwayne Haskins at Ohio State and may get an uptick in targets when Haskins, inevitably, takes over later this season.
Dare Ogunbowale (RB – Tampa Bay)
Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones are ahead of Ogunbowale on the depth chart and are much more widely owned. Beat reporters have given him the title of best pass catching back after he saw some preseason snaps with the starters, but that was following Jones getting banged up. He was named a team captain, however my assumption is that he’s the special teams captain meaning his role on offense will likely be limited.
Jordan Akins (TE – Houston)
The top two tight ends on the Houston depth chart, Jordan Thomas and Kahale Warring, both got sent to IR, opening up playing time for Akins. I don’t see much of a role on offense for him after Houston acquired Duke Johnson Jr. and Kenny Stills this offseason.