Navigating the waiver wire can cause undue stress to a wounded team. And unless you participate in an archaic league that allows teams to grab players from Free Agency (FA) at will without a waiting period, the heart rate can quicken accompanied with rapid hair loss. Tune-up Tuesday is designed to alleviate your concerns and get your team fine-tuned for the following week by helping you find which fantasy football free agents are worth claiming. Let’s get it!
Jake Locker, TEN QB: I’m afraid to say too much. It is universally known that Jake Locker has the potential of a starting quarterback in this league. The fear of injury is what holds us back from commitment. It is real and a lurking place holder every season. Against what was supposed to be a dominant defense, Locker threw for 266 yards and a pair of touchdowns with zero interceptions. Locker should be in your sights if your starting quarterbacks are injured (i.e. Cam Newton) or struggling out of the gate (i.e. Nick Foles, Tony Romo). There should be no intention of starting the injury prone field general, but he could be an interesting preventative measure as we step into the regular season.
Ahmad Bradshaw, IND RB: Ahmad Bradshaw is looking like the Bradshaw of old before sustaining a foot injury back with the Big Blue (NY Giants). His stutter step was rhythmic and decisive while Luck dumped it off five times as he amassed 70 yards. The run game was abandoned after the Broncos shocked the Colts with a 24-point deficit, so it’s unfair to say that Trent Richardson was ineffective enough for Bradshaw to leech lead back duties. What I will say is that Pep Hamilton should take notice of Bradshaw’s nimble nature and implement him in packages.
Allen Hurns, JAX WR- There was no doubt that you were going to see this name on today’s list. Plenty of savvy drafters and waiver wire hunters picked him up before week one, only to let him go because of the NFLPA’s declaration of eliminating suspensions that plague Josh Gordon. We all were tricked. Allen Hurns first two receptions in his first NFL game were both touchdowns from at least 20 yards out (21,36). By the end of the day, Hurns added two more receptions which totaled to 110 yards. What was once thought as a preseason romance with Blake Bortles has brewed into a full on love affair with Chad Henne. This stat line reeks like the perennial “Flavor of the Week”, but there is no harm in ditching a bench warmer for a possible Hurns outbreak.
Terrance West, CLE RB- Ben Tate was unsurprisingly injured before the first half was complete. His status for a return was on a steady degradation as the game pursued which should concern fantasy investors. Before the injury, Tate was looking spry and prepared to do some damage to the Steeler’s defensive unit. Tate exited as Terrance West and Isaiah Cromwell did a bang up job in tandem-like fashion. I like West over Crowell despite the two touchdowns that Crowell converted. West displayed burst, power and agility as he turned 16 carries into 100 yards. Tate’s status for week 2 is undecided, but one thing is certain; if you have Tate on your roster, you should be tagging West as his primary backup.
Greg Jennings, MIN WR- While the rest of the business is busy chasing Cordarelle Patterson; others are focused on wrapping up Adrian Peterson. Additionally, defenders are obsessed with what Kyle Rudolph can do with his big paws and newfound speed. This means there is a receiver in Norv Turner’s scheme that is likely not on your roster, and his name is Greg Jennings. Now, you might remember him from his days in Green and Gold. Oh, I’m sorry, you know him? It just seems like most have fanatics have forgotten that Jennings is a master of the position. After reeling in six receptions for 58 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings thrashing of the St. Louis Rams, we can see that Cassel often looks to the veteran to pick up the slack. Jennings’ classic skill set of separation over speed and tremendous hands make him a valid PPR candidate in this week of free agency.
Justin Forsett, BAL RB- After TMZ broke the footage of Ray Rice’s vulgar display of power on his now wife, The Baltimore Ravens banished him from the team. Bernard Pierce ran like a horse with heaves against the Bengals, while Justin Forsett ran with ease and carved up 70 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown to boot. Clearly versatility isn’t a problem as he took in a five receptions for 15 more yards. He made his case as to why he should be the number one guy in B-more and we are listening.
Dwayne Allen, IND TE- In a week that was largely disappointing in the tight end department, Dwayne Allen came in like a wrecking ball (Pardon the Miley reference). Andrew Luck engaged in an all-out passing war after Peyton Manning used his tight end, Julius Thomas, to leave the other horses behind. While most of Allen’s yards came in on a 41 yard touchdown, it’s worthy to note that on that specific play Allen kept his feet in bounds while several defenders desperately pushed him in hopes that he would step out. He didn’t. And he edged the sidelines the whole way to the end zone. Now most people who drafted Jordan Reed, Tyler Eifert, or other injured or failing tight ends are going to look to Allen for an answer. He is merely a band-aid, but it would be worth a shot considering the injury filled weekend.
Quick Hit: As the NFL and the NFL Players Association hammer out a new agreement on a drug policy that would abolish Josh Gordon’s one-year ban from the NFL. So, if you use a Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB) system, put a bid in that secures Mr. Talented
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