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.
Kevin Walter will miss most of the year with a fractured shoulder. This opens the door for the talented Jones to step into the starting lineup opposite Andre Johnson (translation: a lot of single-man coverage). The opportunity increase combined with his raw talent should make Jones a viable flex play almost every week.
Marques Colston (clavicle) is out for at least a month. Henderson, a starter before the injury, should see more work with Colston out and Lance Moore (groin) expected to miss some time. In Week 1, Henderson was targeted nine times with Colston on the field. Sean Payton isn't going to cut down on how much he passes just because Colston is out. Henderson's game has evolved from his former all-or-nothing style of play. Fantasy owners already own Robert Meachem in 62 percent of leagues; add him first if he's available, too.
Danny Amendola (elbow) will be lost for roughly half the season, according to early reports. Gibson was targeted five times in Week 1 but should have a larger role going forward. Sam Bradford (finger) appears to have the best chemistry with Gibson, aside from Amendola.
Once this offense starts to gel and finds a groove, you can be sure they will open it up more. Gibson is a possession receiver with enough athleticism to make a few things happen after the catch. His upside is more related to his situation and opportunity than his individual talent.
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.
With Sammie Stroughter out, the Bucs will install Parker as their slot guy, at least for the moment. Parker is tough in traffic and after the catch and could see more work similar to Week 1 (six targets) if Tampa Bay passes more than they want to. Josh Freeman could use another short-range option. He'll have more value as a depth piece in PPR leagues.
No, he didn't match Scott Chandler's production, but Nelson looks like the leader for Buffalo's No. 2 wideout gig behind Stevie Johnson, thanks to his six-target, four-catch and 66-yard opener. There's probably still much to be decided here, but Nelson (6-foot-5, 215 pounds) probably has the most potential to do fantasy damage, even in non-PPR setups.
Fantasy football free agents: Watch list
These fantasy football free agents shouldn't be on your immediate list. They may have had a big week. They may have talent but are buried on the depth chart and merely awaiting an opportunity. Still, fantasy football players must know who they are for their potential contribution in the future.
Who? Exactly. Baldwin is a 5-foot-10, 189-pound rookie from Stanford. A heady, crafty receiver, Baldwin enjoyed success in his first pro game (4-83-1). He scored on a 55-yard play, which translates to a 9.3-yard average for his other receptions - a better illustration of what kind of receiver Baldwin is. He'll be a safety valve, check-down option for Tarvaris Jackson, so don't count on too many big plays from the rook. Also, remember that Sidney Rice (shoulder) didn't play in Week 1.
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.
The Arizona Cardinals served as an NFL welcome mat for Cam Newton; they're still adapting to their new D and trying to rectify issues in the defensive backfield. They line up in Week 2 against an offense that has slightly more experience - Rex Grossman directing a familiar system with a suddenly more respectable cast of offensive vets. Gaffney (3-54-1 in Week 1) is new to this squad but has adapted to being a factor for his numerous NFL teams. Already a potential fantasy depth piece, this matchup makes him flex-worthy in many leagues.
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. Follow @Cory_Bonini
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