2011 Watch List #2

I’ll admit it. Before I “found the light” and subscribed to Fantasy Football Starters I did not speculate on players very much. In 28 years of fantasy football the waiver wire is a relatively new concept for our league. We used 4 supplemental drafts during the year to replace injured players or to pick up “hot” talent for our roster.

Since the inception of the waiver wire and joining FFS, my views have started to change. While I make it a personal mission not to use the wire, many choose just the opposite path and love the flexibility the waiver wire offers. I fault no one who decides for or against the wire in their league. It’s a choice you make based on how you drafted. If you feel your roster is strong and competitive, then there is no need to move on additional talent.

Seven days ago I threw out a group of names before the start of the NFL season of players I thought could possibly put up some good numbers. While one week doesn’t make a season (Cam Newton!) we can look back on the weekend and add a few more names to that list that I feel deserve to be watched.

Marcel Reece RB OAK
Here is another fullback who seems to have a good set of hands and was used very well in the Raiders offensive scheme last night against DEN. Reece has outsstanding size, 6-3, 240 lbs. And did catch 25 balls last season. If last night was any indication on how Raider football was going to be played, then Reece could be a surprise running back in both the passing and short game (goal line). It should be noted McFadden was not in the game for some of the goal line plunges, it was Bush and Reece. One of the few to keep an eye on.

Carnell Williams RB STL
Caddy only makes this list because of the potential lingering injury to Steven Jackson. It’s also too hard to ignore the 19-91 yard performance on the ground, while grabbing 5-49 through the air. He was Steven Jackson “light” so to speak in his performance against Philly. I don’t expect this all season, but he did play very well against a notably stingy defense.

 

Darren Sproles RB NO
For those San Diego fans, Sproles 7-75-1 TD and 72-yard punt return TD does not come as a real big surprise. This is the type of player he was in his tenure with San Diego. He is that change of pace back that head coaches like. Sproles has the speed to make defenders miss, as well as the skills to be a game changer. Brees used him perfectly in the passing attack as the Saints attempted to comeback against the Packers. While I would not expect these types of numbers weekly, he is a running back that adds quality depth to your fantasy team.

Randall Cobb WR GB
Not sure it would be fair to leave him out, as he outscored all out Packer wide receiver in Week 1. His value was in the kick return game, as he took a kick off back 108 yards for a TD. Then late in the first quarter he caught a 32 yard TD pass from Aaron Rodgers. I don’t believe he will be an integral part of the passing attack in Green Bay, but if you are looking for a kick return or get yards for kick returns, then Cobb might be your man. He is way down the pecking order in terms of starting, but his talent has him on the watch list.

 

Early Doucet WR ARI
It might be “too early” (no pun intended) to tab Doucet as the legitimate #2 in Arizona opposite Larry Fitzgerald. Kolb only passed 18 times and Doucet and Fitzgerald both had 3 receptions, but it would be Early with the 105 yard performance and TD to outplay the $120 Larry Fitzgerald. Kolb only targeted Doucet 3 times, but he made the most of them. At best he is worth watching for now. I don’t believe I would make a move on this early on Doucet.

Ted Ginn Jr. WR SFO
Here is another player that might make some noise as a kick returner, but I hesitate to even include him. Ginn returned both a kick off and a punt for a TD in the Sunday victory over Seattle. As a wide receiver, he is #2 on the depth chart behind newly acquired Braylon Edwards, so I won’t expect much from him in the passing game. Like Randall Cobb if you are looking for a return guy and get points for return yards, then Ginn might be on your short list, but I don’t recommend watching him for depth at WR.

Eric Decker WR DEN
A very ugly 304 yards passing for Orton on Monday night in a somewhat unexciting game, but owners should take note of Eric Decker who returned a punt 90 yards for a TD in the 3rd quarter. He also caught 3-53 (5 targets). More importantly, if the injury to Brandon Lloyd is extensive, Decker gets a bump, more playing time and targets.

Ben Watson/Evan Moore TE CLE
Watson shouldn’t be a real surprise as he led the Browns in receiving last year with 68 receptions (763 yards 3 TD). Evan Moore has good size andimpressed during camp this season but is the #2 TE on the team. His lack of consistency has been a bit discouraging, but the new West Coast offense might see McCoy targeting both Watson and Moore in the red zone. Between the 2 players in week one they saw 13 targets, caught 6 for 80 yards and 2 TE. While not the most popular team or TE, they are two players to watch.

Fred Davis TE WAS
Washington has already planned to use a lot of 2 TE sets this season and Fred Davis is half of that set. In Sunday’s game he was targeted 6 times and had 5-105. Not bad considering it was Rex Grossman at QB. While I won’t tab Davis as a #1 TE, he is another player to watch. In a year where the league might be heavy at that position, Davis could potentially put up some good numbers if Grossman (or even Beck) stays healthy. He is another big, athletic player who can get underneath and become difficult to defend.

Other notables: Jason Avant, WR PHI, David Nelson, WR BUF, Jacoby Ford, WR OAK, Brian Hartline, WR MIA