Let me preface this pickups post by noting that no one has jumped out a must add in Week 1. We had some very impressive performances, some disappointing ones, and a crazy Monday night, but most of the explosive pickups like tight ends Jordan Cameron and Jared Cook were drafted. And those leagues that left Julius Thomas on the waiver wire probably have their teams stocked with tight ends across the board.
You could be looking for quarterback help, but I already told you all about Terrelle Pryor’s abilities before Week 1.
If you’re using a FAAB, otherwise known as a free agent acquisition system, I wouldn’t put any money down on these guys and just take what your league gives you.
I think there will be some game-breaking pickups later this season, as there always are, more worthy of spending the big bucks. So I wouldn’t advise blowing your budget on the likes of Julian Edelman, who could dwindle in value as quickly as he has risen.
So here’s who I got.
Julius Thomas, TE, Denver Broncos
No, he’s not going to be this great every week, but owning one of Manning’s targets has value, even if its Eric Decker. Thomas should be in the TE1 conversation going forward and should be seen as an upgrade for anyone who doesn’t already have an elite tight end on their roster.
He could devolve into a matchups play, but you already have a tight end to stream alongside him if he’s on your waiver wire.
Why not spend any money on him? In short, Thomas is good but not a lock to be great with so many targets in Denver, and your league likely has tight ends across the board. If you are terrible at tight end, sure, throw some money down on him, but otherwise, take him if you can get him. Don’t sweat it if you miss out.
There’s tight end depth this season. Enjoy it.
Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots
With Rob Gronkowski out, Danny Amendola in and out of the game, and fumblitis striking Stevan Ridley, Julian Edelman became Tom Brady’s most trusted target on Sunday, especially in the redzone.
Amendola is likely to miss this week and possibly more, and Shane Vereen is headed to the IR with a wrist injury. So Edelman looks even better heading into Week 2 as the last man standing.
I’m sure you want to spend the money on Edelman, and I’m not going to stop you. But let me give you a few words of caution.
Edelman’s no iron man himself. He returned from his own laundry list of injuries for Week 1. While he shined in Week 1, he’s just a bump or bruise away from getting forgotten again. I’d also add that while Rob Gronkowski is still expected to miss this week, he’s on track to return to the field in Week 3. Gronk could steal a large majority of Edelman’s redzone looks and damage his value.
Last but not least, we all liked Kenbrell Thompkins and Zach Sudfeld going into this season. While Sudfeld may miss Week 2 with a hamstring, Thompkins should still take the field. He did get his fair share of targets Sunday even if he couldn’t do much with them.
Assuming he shakes off the rookie rust, Thompkins could emerge in Week 2 or Week 3 and steal some of the Edelman thunder.
So while Edelman looks like a valuable asset, he’s very likely to be a short-term investment. He could work out and lead the Patriots’ offense all year, but it seems improbable.
If you’re desperate for a win in Week 2 (why?), go big, but otherwise, keep the purse strings under control.
Joique Bell, RB, Detroit Lions
Bell benefited from Detroit’s reluctance to use Reggie Bush at the goal line and scored twice Sunday. He should continue to get a nice chunk of the work because the Lions want to keep Bush healthy as their homerun hitter. He’s worth adding, especially if you own Bush, but his workload may vary week to week.
In the right matchup, he could easily be a flex play, regardless of Reggie Bush’s health.
Marlon Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens
With Jacoby Jones out for a few weeks, Brown has a chance to shine beside Torrey Smith and benefit from playing against the lesser corners. With so few targets available for Joe Flacco, Brown’s bound to have a few good performances, and he has a good chance to retain the job when Jacoby Jones returns.
Maybe I’m just not a Jacoby fan, but I see a lot of potential here. He’s worth an add. It’s likely that the rest of your league has forgotten his performance in Thursday night’s blowout so you can slip him right onto your roster as a stash and matchups play for the moment.
Brian Hartline, WR, Miami Dolphins
There’s a lot of talk this week about Mike Wallace’s displeasure with the Dolphins’ game plan on Sunday, but rumors have been swirling about Ryan Tannehill’s lack of rapport with Wallace. Instead, he’s been targeting Hartline.
While Wallace is sure to be a bigger part of the offense moving forward, Hartline’s going to get a nice share of targets due to his familiarity with Tannehill and the No. 1 coverage that Wallace will draw depending on the opponent. I like him as wide receiver depth moving forward if you can squeeze him on your bench.
That rounds out the list for me this week, but there are many more waiver wire pickups at FantasyPros, Fantasy Football Librarian, Gridiron Experts, The Hazean, ESPN, 2mugsFF, Pyromaniac, CBS, and Rotoworld if you want to continue your research.
Streaming the D
If you’re streaming defenses, the Panthers, Cowboys, and Eagles could be sneaky plays this week. There’s plenty more advice on defensive streaming and reasoning at SB Nation and in this three-week plan The Fake Football laid out and updated for Week 2.