If you are serious about winning your fantasy league football championship, stay on top of your fantasy football team throughout the year.
Each week during the NFL fantasy football season, KFFL brings you its Fantasy Football Waiver Wire, which breaks down players to pick up. Be aggressive when picking up fantasy football free agents. Even if you do not need a player, you can tuck him away for depth or block others from adding him to their fantasy football team.
Note: Percentage of polled leagues in which player is available in parentheses
Fantasy football free agents: Priority additions
The following players should be high on your radar and are worthy of being added immediately to your fantasy football team.
Houston Texans (47 percent)
Your last required reminder, hopefully, about the potential of this unit that has five sacks, a pick and three fumble recoveries through the first two games, against the Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins. The New Orleans Saints won't be an easy test in Week 3, but now might be a good time to swipe Houston while no one is willing to touch them, especially if you have an alternative for this week.
The aggressive scheme brought in by redemption candidate Wade Phillips spearheads the optimism. J.J. Watt's presence and Mario Williams' move to OLB have increased the QB pressure that was nonexistent last year and left their secondary vulnerable. CB Johnathan Joseph adds more stability to the DBs, and Danieal Manning has sparked the return game.
Some winnable games, especially the last three. Before then, Houston could easily become an every-week play before their Week 11 bye. Their late off-week bolsters the case to ride them for the long run.
Fantasy football free agents: Look to acquire
The following players will have greater significance in deep fantasy football leagues. In shallow fantasy football leagues, they are not as high of a priority but should be considered based on your fantasy football team's needs.
Washington Redskins (66 percent)
Washington has been a solid fantasy play against the New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals. In their second season performing in Jim Haslett's 3-4, they've found more aggressiveness with much better QB pressure from Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan at OLB and Adam Carriker at LDE. Imagine the upside they'll have when playmaking safety LaRon Landry returns.
They play the Dallas Cowboys and St. Louis Rams, both carrying a litany of injuries, over the next two weeks. Though both of those are road games, don't let environment negate the fact that this improved defense could become a more worthy week-to-week play.
Fantasy football free agents: One-week plays
The following fantasy football pickups are for those who need injury or bye week replacements. They are not players you immediately acquire - unless your team is in dire straights. Some have, however, shown some life and should be followed in case they materialize as options beyond their temporary use.
Arizona Cardinals (70 percent)
Secondary in shambles? Still adjusting to a new system? Probably won't be an issue for the Cards against the Seattle Seahawks, who have caved under even the slightest pressure on Tarvaris Jackson so far. Though you should downgrade Arizona if your league penalizes heavily for yardage and points allowed, they took fantasy advantage of a Week 1 matchup with rook Cam Newton (four sacks, one pick) and sometimes erratic Rex Grossman in Week 2 (two INTs, one QB takedown). The Seahawks won't have guard Robert Gallery (groin) for four to six weeks, a devastating blow to an already shaky O-line.
This listing focuses on their next matchup, but they might climb to the Look to Acquire section, too. In the two outings before their Week 6 bye, they face the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings, two more potentially favorable dances.
Tampa Bay's defense has been dreadful for fantasy owners so far this year, but that could change with their Week 3 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta has allowed the third most sacks in the league (nine) and has lost one fumble per game. Quarterback Matt Ryan has thrown three picks this season.
Since entering the league in 2008, Ryan has been mediocre against the Bucs. He has completed 57.1 percent of his throws, averaging 205.4 passing yards and has thrown five touchdowns to eight interceptions in five full games against this defense.
The Buccaneers' D makes for an intriguing one-week waiver wire rental.
The Jaguars' defense has allowed 22.0 offensive points per game, while tallying 1.50 sacks and 1.50 interceptions, on average, each outing. Their defense clearly isn't one that fantasy owners look to for help, but if you are into playing the matchups, Cam Newton's Carolina Panthers host the Jags.
The Panthers have produced a minus-three turnover ratio and have allowed the fourth most sacks in the NFL through two weeks (eight). Newton has thrown four interceptions in two games. Their offense has been all about the big play, and a copious amount of their stats have come from trying to play catch-up or trade blows with a high-profile offense. Jacksonville is not dynamic on offense, nor are they likely to have a large lead.
Owners in deep leagues should consider the Jaguars as a possible waiver wire addition and a one-week play.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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