Waiver Wired – Finding this years’ Victor Cruz
In the 2011 fantasy season, 24-year-old Victor Cruz burst onto the scene with a 110 yard, 2 touchdown performance during week three. Fantasy owners who picked him up were rewarded with one of the best fantasy seasons by a wide receiver in fantasy history.
Every year, there are players who come out of oblivion and the free agent pool who reward intelligent owners with unexpected production.
So far this season, there have not been any breakout performers, but eventually there will be. When searching for a good free agent pickup, it is not only important to look for a high upside potential breakout player, but also team need should be considered. If you have the bye week blues, and are looking for capable starters this week, then this column is for you.
The following players could make for good free agent pickups for week 7, and potentially beyond.
Matt Hasselbeck, Titans
Titans coach Mike Munchack announced that Matt Hasselbeck, not Jake Locker will start the Titans week 7 game against the awful Buffalo Bills defense. The Bills have allowed at least 45 points in 3 of 6 games this year, which allows for a juicy matchup for Hasselbeck and all of the Titans receivers.
Advice: Worth a look as a bye week fill in.
Tim Tebow, Jets
While playing for the Broncos in 2012, Tebow rewarded owners with over 17 points per start. As a quarterback who relies heavily on running the football, he’s a safe bet to score over 15 points a week because rushing yards are worth significantly more than passing yards in most scoring systems. Right now he is backing up Mark Sanchez, who consistently looks lost in the NFL. If, and when Tebow takes over for Sanchez, he is nearly guaranteed to perform as a top 10 quarterback.
Advice: I would not recommend starting him, but if you have a roster spot, store him on your bench, and he could pay dividends for you later in the season once he becomes starter.
Felix Jones, Cowboys
Demarco Murray left Sundays game with a foot injury and has since been diagnosed with a sprained foot. While it is only a sprain, running backs rely on their feet to do their job, so no foot injury is small with running backs. For this reason, Felix Jones is a must own. He will start Sundays matchup against the Cowboys, and could be in line to be a feature back for the next several weeks.
Advice: Must own. Pick him up if possible.
Alex Green, Packers
With Cedric Benson placed on the injured reserve, Alex Green will take over feature back duties for one of the most dynamic offenses in the league. While Green’s starter debut was not great, head coach Mike McCarthy said after the game that Green is due for a significant role in the offense. On a team that is so great in the pass game, huge gaps will arise for Green to run through.
Advice: A must own player, could be a good flex play or second RB if your starter has a bye.
Josh Gordon, Browns
RG3’s main target at Baylor, Gordon has now caught 3 touchdowns the last 2 weeks. The deceiving number however, is that he only had 5 receptions these two weeks. He is the epitome of a hit or miss player. With rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden, it is unlikely that he is able to match his last two weeks production for the rest of the season.
Advice: Worth a desperation add
Randall Cobb, Packers
With Greg Jennings out, Cobb’s role in the Packers offense has gotten bigger. As one of the fastest wide receivers in the NFL, Cobb’s upside is limitless. He returns punts and also at times lines up as a third down running back. The Packers are trying to do whatever they can to get his talent into their offense, and Fantasy owners should do the same to get him on their roster.
Advice: Worth an add in all leagues, but only start him if you need to. Worth owning for when his role increases.
Kyle Rudolph, Vikings
The 6 foot 6, 260 pound beast out of Notre Dame has caught 5 touchdown passes so far this year, and his role outside of the red zone is increasing as well. Rudolph has Gronkowski- type size and athleticism, and the Vikings offense is developing into a dynamic offense with a good young quarterback in Christian Ponder.
Advice: If Rudolph is somehow unowned in your league, pick him up now and enjoy the ride the rest of the season.
Image courtesy of ESPN.