Welcome to The Wire (not to be confused with the wildly successful TV series).
To qualify, each player must be owned in 45% or less of all leagues (ESPN, NFL.com, Y! Sports) and be trending toward the top of all waiver wire’s.
This weeks list includes three quarterbacks, two wide receivers, two tight ends, one running back, one defense, and a kicker.
Jesse James (TE Pittsburgh 19% Owned)
So, you waited way too long to draft a tight end and now you’re stuck with Miami Dolphins TE Jordan Cameron. Don’t panic, you’ll likely find Jesse James still sitting there waiting to be added off the wire. The second year Penn State product had a nice pre-season totaling seven catches for 36 yards and a TD from Ben Roethlisberger.
At 6′-7″-261 pounds, and with Ladarius Green indefinitely sidelined, James is a low level TE1 or flex play option with a high ceiling. James is currently projected to score between six to nine fantasy points this weekend against the Washington Redskins.
If you’re not happy with the starting TE you have, take a flier out on James.
Brock Osweiler (QB Houston Texans 28 percent Owned)
Osweiler might have come off the board in a later round of your fantasy football draft (especially in Two-QB leagues). But if he’s available, and you have Alex Smith or Jay Cutler (or you picked Tony Romo before he went down), grab him.
He is projected to score between 15-20 fantasy points this weekend against the Chicago Bears and to average 18-20 points per game this season. With an uber-weapon in DeAndre Hopkins, and a revamped Bill O’Brien offense, Osweiler makes for a low end QB1 with a moderate ceiling.
Tajae Sharpe (WR Tennessee Titans 39 Percent Owned)
Sharpe, has become a late round steal for those drafting at the last minute this week. Nevertheless, he’s still available on some wire’s and is worth the add.
The rookie wide-out generated a lot of fantasy buzz in the pre-season. He posted nine catches for 163 yards and leap-frogged Kendall Wright as the Titans WR2 on the depth chart.
Projected to score roughly seven fantasy points this weekend against the Minnesota Vikings, Sharpe has WR3 fantasy potential and is at least a flex option or WR4/WR5.
Clive Walford (TE Oakland Raiders 19 Percent Owned)
Walford, like a few others on this list, may be selected as TE depth in rounds 13-15. Should you find him hanging out on The Wire and you need a TE who has a solid floor with upside, Walford is your man.
Granted, Lee Smith is currently getting the starting nod over Walford. But Walford offers more fantasy value. He outperformed Smith (12 catches, 70 yards, one TD) last season with 28 receptions for 329 yards and three TDs.
Walford could be a security blanket for David Carr or a Red Zone option when Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree aren’t open.
Kenny Stills (WR Miami Dolphins 19 Percent Owned)
Stills (back) is currently listed as questionable for this Sundays game against the Seattle Seahawks. If he laces up, though, Stills is projected to score nine fantasy points. With DeVante Parker (hamstring) likely to miss Sundays contest though, Stills could be just the flex option WR you need.
I’ll admit, Stills isn’t the safest pickup off The Wire this week, but he offers your fantasy team WR depth with WR3 potential.
Sam Bradford (QB Minnesota Vikings 9 Percent Owned)
Bradford makes this list only because he has potential appeal in Two-QB leagues as a QB2 type. Be sure to add with caution as Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer hasn’t announced if Bradford or Hill will start against the Tennessee Titans this Sunday.
Bradford will become a part of arguably the best offense he’s worked with in his career via Adrian Peterson, Stefon Diggs, Kyle Rudolph, and rookie LaQuan Treadwell. This should allow him to be an efficient game manager and provide a consistent 15 fantasy points a week with the potential for 18-20.
If nothing else, pickup and stash Bradford as a bye-week filler.
Rob Kelley (RB Washington Redskins 6 Percent Owned)
Like Bradford above, be cautious when adding Kelley this week. Both Matt Jones and Chris Thompson have nearly recovered from shoulder injuries and both could be ready to go against Pittsburgh. Should either be ruled out, Kelley could put up seven to nine fantasy points.
Currently he is only projected to score three fantasy points. He makes the list this week as a potential surprise performer ( a nice stash option also).
Carson Wentz (QB Philadelphia Eagles 5 Percent Owned)
With Bradford out of the equation, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson announced Wentz as the teams starter for week one. Wentz having fully recovered from a rib injury he suffered in week one of the pre-season, will take on the Cleveland Browns.
Given the Browns ranked 22nd last season in pass defense, Wentz might have himself a Marcus Mariota outing this Sunday. He’s projected to score roughly 16 fantasy points, and could reach the 20 point plateau.
Sure Wentz has more appeal in a Two-QB league and yea you can probably wait to pick him up next week if he goes bananas. But wouldn’t you rather be a week early?
Tennessee Titans Defense ( Opponent: Minnesota Vikings) 3 Percent Owned
If you like to stream defenses, the Tennessee Titans have an enticing contest with Minnesota this weekend. Should Zimmer go with Hill over Bradford, the Titans defense could see a few interceptions and sacks.
Currently projected to score seven fantasy points, this squad could easily put up a 10-spot if they get after Hill or Bradford early.
Phil Dawson (K San Francisco 49ers 3 Percent Owned)
Speaking of streaming at a position, Dawson offers up a juicy nine projected fantasy points. Considering the 49ers offense could easily crumble against the Los Angeles Rams (still getting used to typing that), 10-11 points is entirely possible.
Unless you have a die-hard 49ers fan in your league, Dawson is a leg for hire that could help you start the season at 1-0.
(All Player Photos Courtesy of NFL.com. Titans Helmet courtesy of ClipArtPanda.com)
Obviously you can’t pickup all of these players, and honestly no one would blame you if you didn’t pick up a single one. However, the point of this weekly list is to help you the fantasy player to salvage your season or survive a bye week.
So, tune in next week when these guys are old news and a flurry of fresh players take their place.