It always seems that the busiest waiver wire period is after the first week of action. We finally get a chance to see what player roles will be in a meaningful situation, and can adjust our expectations accordingly.
That being said, I’m not as stoked for the current crop of waiver wonders as some may be. Here is some feedback on several of the usual suspects (based on other website lists) and my personal favorites:
Justin Forsett, RB, BAL. Ray Rice is gone, leaving Forsett and Bernard Pierce to pick up the crumbs moving forward. Forsett ran with the opportunity in Week 1 while Pierce literally fumbled it away. Forsett will be claimed in most every league with the expectation that he’ll be a main contributor moving forward. I just can’t bring myself to jump on the Forsett bandwagon totally. He’s a journeyman for a reason, he isn’t a very big back and he has some talent behind him. Pierce will likely get another chance or two to take the role since he’s more suited for every-down work. However, the wildcard is Lorenzo Taliaferro. He’s a rookie with decent upside and a full season ahead of him to climb the ranks. If you own Pierce, you can’t dump him yet. If you need an immediate RB boost, roll with Forsett — just don’t expect him to last the full season as the Raven’s top guy. If you have a roster spot, look to add Taliaferro (he may clear waivers in most standard leagues).
Jake Locker, QB, TEN. It is not a surprise that Locker shined this past weekend. He has all the ingredients to finally capitalize on his sheer talent. Some great weapons, an improved O-line and, for now, he’s healthy. He’s a guy I’d have no trouble snagging if you are desperate at QB.
Allen Hurns, WR, JAX. Many will be flocking to the waivers to get Hurns based on his breakout numbers. However, be cautious. Cecil Shorts is expected back as early as this week and the Jags have two other rookies with much better pedigrees ahead of Hurns. He’ll have some big games but not enough consistency to start in most formats.
Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, IND. Now here’s a guy I’m looking for in many of my leagues. Trent Richardson continues to spiral downward and it is looking more and more apparent that Bradshaw is the better back. Many don’t realize that he’s on the right side of 30 (28 years old) and doesn’t have a ton of wear on his tires. Of course, he does have an injury history to keep an eye on.
Terrence West, RB, CLE. Some may be focused on the TD that Isaiah Crowell scored last week after Ben Tate went down and think that he’s the guy to own. West didn’t have a stellar preseason and his stock took a hit. However, he looked very dynamic in his own right, notching 100 yards rushing. Even if Tate comes back in the near future, he’s a good bet to get dinged up elsewhere. West should be owned in most every league format.
James Starks, RB, GB. Those who watched the Thursday night game noticed that Starks had decent usage even before Lacy went down with an injury. Starks moved well, made people miss and was able to move the chains. No one knows how long Lacy will be out, but Starks is a solid add regardless.
Travis Kelce, TE, KC. Still unowned in too many leagues, owners may be leary of him for not notching too many stats this past week. But he will definitely be more and more in the mix moving forward. If he’s on your waiver wire, go get him. If someone owns him, throw out a trade offer hoping to buy low.
Larry Donnell, TE, NYG. He lead all Giants in yardage, targets and every other meaningful stat. The concern, obviously, is that he’s a mostly unknown quantity on a team that looks like it will be struggling all season. Eli does love his TEs, and a 50-600-5-ish line could be realistic here, but don’t expect him to be the next Jeremy Shockey.