Fantasy owners need to pay close attention to the latest trends in their Yahoo! Sports fantasy football league, because you can land bona fide starters off the waiver wire. If your league allows for moves before Week 1, consider the following players that are trending upward.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, DT-ST: The Bucs face New York Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith in his pro debut this week in what should be an ugly outing for the inexperienced passer. He alone makes Tampa Bay a must-add waiver wire pickup as a one-week play.
Julius Thomas, TE, Denver Broncos: Many owners may not be familiar with the athletic pass-catcher, who is now Denver's No. 1 tight end. The Baltimore Ravens were awesome against the position a year ago, but with so much change on D, this could be a prime matchup play. Baltimore will focus on stopping Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker, leaving the young tight end free to roam against single coverage.
Zach Sudfeld, TE, New England Patriots: The rookie will likely start for the Patriots with Rob Gronkowski (back) not expected to play in Week 1. You'll have possibly season-long value in Sudfeld, too, since he should play the role Aaron Hernandez did to become a fantasy factor in years past.
Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets: Powell is a versatile option out of the backfield and has earned the starting job over offseason addition Chris Ivory. Look for a committee approach, though, so Powell's touches could be limited. A rookie quarterback will also work against him. Nevertheless, a starting running back always deserves a roster spot.
Indianapolis Colts, DT-ST: The Colts face the Oakland Raiders in Week 1 and have a golden opportunity against quarterback Terrelle Pryor. Indy should pressure him relentlessly, given the dire state of Oakland's offensive line. Look for a DT1-worthy fantasy showing in Week 1 from the Colts.
Be sure to keep up with your waiver wire on a weekly basis. Always mine for the hidden gems your league mates may be sleeping on. Winning fantasy football championships takes a lot of work, and your quest for a title never ends with your draft!
About Cory J. Bonini
Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.
Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.
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