Welcome to the first edition of Top Targets for 2010. Like last year, there will be three categories of waiver options. Head Smackers, which are pick ups that a 5 year old could advise you on, you really should not need help with them, but I will point them out anyway. Not as Obvious, which are players that might not have had the best game this week, but have showed signs that they will be consistently productive. Finally, Hail Marys, which are players that you will probably not find on anyone else’s waiver wire columns. In a lot of cases, the Hail Mary selections will be players that only had a single catch or none but were open a lot and were targeted regularly. I don’t waste your time talking about players that had good weeks but were most likely drafted in your league. So don’t look for me to tell you to pick up Arian Foster or Anquan Boldin.
Brandon Jackson, RB, Green Bay Packers – Reports are the Ryan Grant is done for the season, this leaves Brandon Jackson, who looked very good this weekend, as the featured back in a very powerful Green Bay Offense. Grab him now.
Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles – Kolb was knocked out of the game in week one with a concussion and with the leagues new “kid glove” approach to concussions, he will have to pass a test in order to play again. No worries for the Eagles though, Vick stepped in and was moving and playing like the Mike Vick of 2003, marching his team back into contention and picking up over 100 yards on the ground along the way. As long as Kolb can’t go (and maybe even when he can) Vick is a solid play.
Mark Clayton, WR, St. Louis Rams – Although the stat line may not show it, Sam Bradford had a very good first game. He did through 3 picks, but only 1 of them can be truly attributed to him. In addition, he showed some pretty amazing poise, working his team downfield with 1:41 left in the half and scoring a game tying touchdown. He reminded my a lot of Peyton Manning in his first season. Now, I am not stupid enough to think that the Bradford is going to be Peyton Manning and I am not stupid enough to think that the Rams are going to throw the ball 40+ times every week, but they obviously have some confidence in Bradford and they will be trailing often, so he will be throwing a little. This weekend, Mark Clayton was targeted 16 times for 10 receptions and 119 yards. He is definitely looking like Bradford’s favorite target and worth a grab if you need some help at wide receiver.
Legedu Naanee, WR, San Diego Chargers – There was a lot of preseason buzz about Malcolm Floyd being the replacement for Vincent Jackson. After one game it appears that Naanee is going to be the greatest beneficiary of the lack off Vincent Jackson. He looked quicker than Floyd and had little problem getting separation. He only had 5 receptions but he was targeted 8 times and made a lot of the balls he did get a hold of. Also, the Chargers will be throwing and throwing a lot, so these numbers are not a flash in the pan.
Not As Obvious
Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Seattle Seahawks – Hasselbeck has always been able to deliver the ball, his only problem has been being able to keep himself on the field. However, Matt looked strong and ready to play this weekend. He also looked to be comfortable with the new QB friendly Pete Carroll offense. As long as he is healthy, Hasselbeck is a good option at QB.
Bernard Scott, RB, Cincinnati Bengals – In limited time Scott rushed 6 times for 35 yards and added 3 catches for 15 yards. Although the Pats effectively eliminated the running game for the Bengals this weekend, Bernard Scott seemed to be able to fine space when given a shot. Mike Lombardi said that Scott “will get more carries” and “his talent cannot be denied”. If you have Benson, grab Scott. If you have space for a bench stash, not a bad option for the stretch.
Austin Collie, WR, Indianapolis Colts – Collie should be in “Head Smackers” but his numbers are inflated this week because Manning threw 57 times. Just like last season, Collie and Garcon will trade weeks as the golden child playing Reggie Wayne to Reggie Wayne’s Marvin Harrison. Also, with balls also going to Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark, Collie is not as much of a head smacker as he appears.
Mike Williams, WR, Seattle Seahawks – We talked about Williams in our podcast a couple of weeks ago (available at iTunes, free) and said the he looked good in preseason and appeared to have wiped the stink of first round bust off of him. He is back with Pete Carroll and might be worth a look. I am saying it again, he looked good and found the end zone this weekend. He is fast, big and has great hands…is there a better WR combination?
Jordan Shipley, WR, Cincinnati Bengals – Yes this is my second Bengal suggestion. With all the attention going to “Batman” and “Robin” as they are calling themselves on Twitter, Shipley had lots of room and snagged 5 balls on 7 targets for 82 yards. Shipley looks to be a decent possibility in deep leagues and if the Bengals continue to have problems with the run.
Peyton Hillis, RB, Cleveland Browns – Hillis had success in limited action with the Broncos before he landed in Cleveland and looks to be doing the save with the Browns. He is a great compliment to Harrison and will vulture a lot of the goal line carries. Worth a stash especially if you own Harrison.