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Week 1 Waiver Wire Pickups: Advice for Preseason Sleepers Who May Be Available

Fantasy Football
September 9, 2015

Even after a long fantasy football draft, there are often intriguing players still available on the waiver wire who can help you this season.

Hopefully you stuck around through the late rounds and took some high-upside options like DeVante Parker, Eddie Royal or Charles Sims. If those players are still available, they might be worth an add in standard leagues.

Looking deeper down the list, however, fantasy owners can find some legitimate options hiding on the free-agent list. Here is a look at players who could be still available, as they are owned in fewer than 50 percent of ESPN leagues.

Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills

Despite attempting just 35 passes in his first four years in a league, Tyrod Taylor earned the starting quarterback nod for the Buffalo Bills. Head coach Rex Ryan explained his mindset about the decision, per Joe Buscaglia of WKBW:

Taylor was also clearly the best player at the position during the preseason, completing 77.4 percent of his passes while also rushing for 108 yards on 11 carries. This dual-threat ability is what could make him a valuable fantasy commodity this season.

Quarterbacks who can rack up rushing yards and touchdowns provide an advantage in fantasy football, whether it is one of the elite players like Russell Wilson or even Terrelle Pryor, who was a respectable fantasy option when he was on the field last season.

As Ryan explained, Taylor has a lot of explosiveness with the ball in his hands, and he will likely get a lot of chances to run around this season. Add this to passing targets such as Sammy Watkins and LeSean McCoy, and this could be a respectable year for the quarterback.

Considering the upside, he should be worthy of a roster spot to see what he can do.

Josh Robinson, RB, Indianapolis Colts

Top handcuff options such as Knile Davis, James Starks and Ronnie Hillman could be elite fantasy players in the event of injuries to starters. Not only could Josh Robinson fit in this category, but the chances he’ll get playing time might be better than the others on this list.

The rookie sixth-round pick has ascended to second on the depth chart thanks to injuries to Daniel Herron and Vick Ballard. Of course, he also put together a strong preseason campaign, per Gregg Doyel of the Indianapolis Star:

This place on the depth chart is important because starting running back Frank Gore is 32 years old and has averaged 267.8 carries over the past four seasons. Even if he doesn’t break down, the Colts likely aren’t going to push him too much, providing opportunities for his backup.

The Indianapolis is expected to have one of the most high-powered offenses in the league this season. Robinson has a chance to be a big part of this and provide fantasy value at some point in the year.

James Jones, WR, Green Bay Packers

Few players were likely more excited to be released this past week than James Jones, who quickly went from deep on the New York Giants depth chart to one of the top options for the Green Bay Packers. He was signed by his original team on Monday.

Jones spent seven years with the Packers, most notably catching 14 touchdown passes during the 2012 season. Although his one season with the Oakland Raiders wasn’t nearly as productive, he still came through with a solid 73 catches, 666 receiving yards and six touchdowns.

Based on his comfort level with quarterback Aaron Rodgers—plus the injury to Jordy Nelson—it wouldn’t be surprising to see Jones slide back into his old spot in the Packers offense and once again put up quality numbers.

Randall Cobb and Davante Adams will still be the top options in Green Bay, with Ty Montgomery and Jeff Janis likely getting playing time, but Jones is worth a spot on your roster.

Ben Watson, TE, New Orleans Saints

There was a lot of hype for Josh Hill in the offseason, but New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees left no doubt who was the team’s starting tight end, per Larry Holder of NOLA.com:

Ben Watson is currently 34 years old and isn’t likely to replicate Jimmy Graham‘s stats from the past few years, but he is now the starting tight end in an offense that loves to utilize the position in the passing game. At 6’3″, 255 pounds, he remains a quality option in the red zone and can rack up a bunch of touchdowns this season if he stays healthy.

For those currently unhappy with their tight end situation after the draft, Watson represents a low-risk, high-upside backup.

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