Andy’s Week 2 Waiver Wire Pick-ups:

Fantasy Football Fantasy Football Strategy Waiver Wire

By Andy Miley:

There is nothing more important to keeping yourself connected to a fantasy league than by working the waiver wire every week. Inseason management is crucial to fantasy football success. Keep those juices flowing by reading this column every week as it will provide you with a few players that might be available to improve your team. I only play in point per reception leagues (sorry for the last five years and my mindset makes it too difficult to go back for standard scoring), so consider that when reviewing my advice.

RB Dion Lewis, Patriots

This fifth year slashing back looked healthy against Pittsburgh on opening night. Lewis showed quick feet and did not take many direct shots from the Steelers defenders. With LaGarrette Blount suspended for the first game, the former Pitt Panther accounted for 120 total yards (59 on the ground with 61 on four catches). Now those numbers are unrealistic with Blount as the starter, but Coach Belichick loves to mix and match backs. If Lewis can hold off Brandon Bolden (who looked rather pedestrian) and James White (didn’t receive a carry), the fifth year runner could easily account for 80 combined yards per game with three to five catches making him a valuable third or fourth back to roster.

I would not spend a lot of my blind biddings bucks on him though. A reasonable bid would be about five percent of your budget. Call it a hunch, but I think if Lewis remains healthy (spent last two regular seasons out of football and is only 24 years old), that the back could finish with 750 to 800 total yards with 50 catches and three to five touchdowns. His lone fumble could cause a bit of concern, but keep in mind Lewis recovered it and Belichick kept him in the game avoiding going to another back.

QB Tyrod Taylor, Bills

The former Ravens backup now has a shot at fantasy relevance in his fifth year with a defensive minded head coach Rex Ryan. Taylor impressed in his debut throwing for almost 200 yards and completing over 73% of his passes all the while throwing his receivers open. The game started with some trickery with the signal caller lined up in the slot, but things calmed down after that. I have my doubts that Taylor will become a top tier quarterback, but I think he can be a good NFL player and might be able to help your fantasy team. In two QB leagues, his no-nonsense style making quick decisions while remaining cool and calm in the pocket will keep his turnovers down.

I loved the way he stepped up in the pocket and was willing to run to daylight (had nine carries for 41 yards) avoiding pressure. He followed his blocks well and used the sidelines to lessen potential hits. Taylor started off the game trying to find his safety valve receivers (tight ends and backs in the flat), but soon progressed to downfield throws. His 51 yard bomb to Percy Harvin broke the game right open. The signal caller sold fake handoffs, booted out to avoid pressure, and threw sidearm to get passes off. Even when the defense tipped the ball, Taylor jumped up to knock the pigskin down. When Taylor fumbled the ball, he did not panic, instead the quarterback picked up the ball and got some positive yardage out of the play. From what he demonstrated on the gridiron today, Taylor appears like he could account for 22 total touchdowns, close to 3,000 yards passing and add another 450 yards rushing. That is not bad for a bye week filler or a QB3 in two quarterback leagues. Do not get overly excited though as Indianapolis does not have a stout defense. Much like Lewis, I would not spent a lot of my waiver wire funds to acquire him, but the Bills signal caller could become valuable fantasy depth.

WR Donte Moncrief, Colts

Any wide receiver that is fortunate enough to see significant playing time with Andrew Luck needs to be owned even if they are the third or fourth receiver. On Moncrief’s eleven targets against the Bills, the wide out converted six into catches for 46 yards and a touchdown. This was better than the newly acquired former all-pro Andre Johnson produced (four catches for 24 yards on ten targets).

While Moncrief started the game in the Colts three-wide sets on the one receiver side, he got moved to the other side once T.Y.Hilton went down with injury. The second year receiver got off the line quickly, but had some issues with maintaining his feet near the sidelines early. Moncrief shielded the ball well from the defender at times, but then tried to attempt a few ill-advised one handed snags. He has a good catch radius and is willing to dig down low for worm burners.

Even after a few mishaps, Luck went back to him twice in the endzone, where Moncrief converted one of them for a touchdown. The young wideout needs to improve his jump balls and hand strength to be a true short-yardage scoring threat. If Hilton’s knee injury is serious or Johnson continues to look this old, Moncrief could become a very valuable fantasy asset that is worth about 20% of your blind bidding budget. Don’t wait as some people might make the move on Phillip Dorsett instead, who did not look as ready with a fumbled punt return and limited targets.


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