|Are the Patriots Still Legitimate Super Bowl Contenders Without TE Rob Gronkowski?||Notes and Observations Week 14: Patriots Mount Another Improbable Comeback; Beat Browns 27-26||Connelly’s Top Ten – Patriots Stink but Exciting; Poor Gronk||Patriots Lose Gronk But Complete Miraculous Comeback to Beat Browns, 27-26|
The waiver wire can win you a title. Talent and opportunity can make different players desirable for a one-week rental or to hold for the season. For instance, the athletic Julius Thomas has staying power in Denver as the Broncos No. 1 tight end in an explosive passing game. David Wilson and Stevan Ridley both coughed up the ball and found themselves on the bench in Week 1. Da’Rel Scott and Brandon Jacobs of the Giants and LeGarrette Blount of the Patriots may benefit. These guys are fliers based on opportunity that you may want to add if you have RB need and roster space. Of these three, Blount has the clearest path to snaps due to Shane Vereen’s injury. Here are some other waiver wire names to consider adding to your team.
Jay Cutler (CHI) Cutler had a strong Week 1 and lived up to the preseason billing that he would spread the ball around in Marc Trestman’s offense. Brandon Marshall is rightfully his main target, but Cutler looked good against a solid Bengals defense. Cutler gets the Vikings at home this week and two nice matchups in Weeks 4 and 5 (@ DET, vs. NO).
Terrelle Pryor (OAK) This is a deep-league or 2 QB league suggestion. Pryor has two things going for him. First, he can run and QB rushing yards feel like bonus points. Second, Oakland is going to have to run a lot of plays and throw to catch up to opponents.
Joique Bell (DET) Bell found paydirt multiple times in Week 1 and he should be rostered in all leagues. In PPR leagues, he can be started even if Reggie Bush’s thumb and groin injuries do not limit his touches. Bell is talented and his play has relegated Mikel LeShoure to the bench.
Isaiah Pead (STL) Pead returns from suspension for the Rams this week. Daryl Richardson was pedestrian in Week 1 for St. Louis. Pead is a former 2nd round pick and teammate of Kenbrell Thompkins at Cincinnati and he is worth a speculative addition in deeper leagues if you need a RB or own Daryl Richardson.
Andre Roberts (ARI) Roberts showed that 2012 was no fluke being targeted almost as often as Larry Fitzgerald by Carson Palmer. Roberts is a better route-runner than Michael Floyd and is a solid PPR flex speculative play. It’s not relevant, but I find it intriguing that he attended the Citadel.
Julian Edelman (NE) Edelman is probably already gone in your league, but if he’s still out there grab him now. You might as well use him now before he gets hurt again like the rest of the Patriots receiving options.
Marlon Brown (BAL) Brown showed explosive speed on Thursday night in Denver to complement his 6’5” frame. He will start opposite Torrey Smith with Jacoby Jones out with injury after his own teammate ran him over fielding a punt.
Julius Thomas (DEN) Thomas had huge spaces to roam created by the threat of Thomas, Decker and Welker. Thomas, like Edelman is a must-add in all leagues if he is still available.
Brent Celek (PHI) Celek is Vick’s second most reliable receiving weapon after DeSean Jackson and he plays in an offense that will run more plays than any other in the NFL.
Kellen Winslow (NYJ) Even though Winslow is past his prime, he had a solid performance in Week 1 going for 79 yards and a TD on eight targets. Rookie quarterbacks like Geno Smith tend to utilize veteran tight ends as a security blanket. Winslow is a deeper-league add or a decent replacement if you doubled down on Patriots TEs Rob Gronkowski and Zach Sudfeld.