Early in all but the very deepest of fantasy football leagues you can find real talent on the waiver wire. By filtering the noise from the facts and using sound statistical evaluations you can find quality players to add to your depth and late season success. Here are some tips on how to play fantasy football with these picks.
Joique Bell, RB, Lions
With Reggie Bush dominating the carries and catches (21 carries and eight targets) from the running back position it would be very easy to assume that the other running backs on the team are close to useless for fantasy purposes. That assumption would be very wrong. Joique Bell received six carries and six targets which he used to very effectively gain a combined 92 yards and two touchdowns. Bell looks like the goal line back for the very powerful Detroit Lions offense and should be on a roster in every league.
Marlon Brown, WR, Ravens
Before game one Marlon Brown looked like wide receiver depth. It was depth that the Raven needed after Jacoby Jones went down early in the game. Brown suffered an ACL injury that ended his college football days with the Georgia Bulldogs and probably contributed to weak combine scores. He flashed his talent in the pre-season and stepped up when needed in week one. At the end of game one he had accumulated six targets for four catches, 65 yards and a touchdown. He could increase that production dramatically while Jones recovers from injury.
Tyler Eifert, TE, Bengals
Jermaine Gresham is still the starting tight-end for the Cincinnati Bengals. That fact alone makes Eifert underrated. Eifert is also the superior receiver (not that Gresham is bad). Both players were perfect with five targets and five catches. Eifert gained more yards with a 9.4 yards per catch average (Gresham was solid with a 7.0avg) and looks like a larger part of the future to those that pay attention to these things.
Knowshon Moreno, RB, Broncos
Montee Ball receives all the attention from the Denver media and the coaches seem to love talking about the kid. But Knowshon Moreno has been here for years and just keeps rolling. He is the clear third-down back and is the superior pass blocker which gets him on the field over the rookie in passing situations. He led the running back group in both carries and targets and had a combined 65 yards on 12 touches.
Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Steelers
If you play fantasy football, you know that the Pittsburgh Steelers do not have a good team this season. They seem to have lost some of the knack they used to have for manipulating the salary cap and dominating the draft. They have no running game and a star quarterback that is at least slightly overrated. Antonio Brown is correctly perceived as the number one wide receiver. All this combines to lessen the perceived value of Emmanuel Sanders in PPR leagues. Saunders was leading the Steelers after game one with 12 targets and seven catches.
Julius Thomas, TE, Broncos
Thomas is a talented receiver that has the potential to become an offensive star at the tight-end position. He has great athleticism that fits with his background as a basketball player. He has had problems staying healthy and consistent in his first two seasons and it was difficult to see him starting over the Broncos’ other TE options given his lack of production the last two seasons. But the Broncos started him and gave him every opportunity to succeed in game one and he took advantage with five catches on seven targets for 110 yards and two touchdowns. The Broncos will not produce in that fashion on any close to a regular basis and there is a ton of competition for Peyton Manning’s attention. However, Thomas could be developing into a goal line receiver much like Aaron Hernandez was for the Patriots.
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Jon Williams writes for a variety of sports websites.