We’re basically one week away and while most of you are drafting now or this weekend, a lot of folks out there have already had their drafts and the good old waiver wire is about to open up for the first time of the year..
Yes, I can hear most of you saying; “If you need to hit the waiver wire, you’re already in trouble.” Maybe so but the inevitable outcome in most of your early drafts is that you’re going to end up with an injured player, could be a released, or possibly suspended.
The bottom line remains that players like Matt Leinart, Ben Tate, Donnie Avery, and Sidney Rice were drafted in a majority of league formats and they need replacing now.
I’m not going to sugar-coat it either, this list isn’t full of gems or dandies. These are players that are likely available in your leagues, so I’m going to cover their situations and give you my take on their potential impact early in the 2010 season.
Leon Washington – RB – Seattle Seahawks
I’ve always liked Leon because of his explosive ability in open space. He was on his way to another solid season in New York before breaking his right fibula against the Raiders last year. Washington has battled his way back and is rumored to have regained a lot of his pre-injury quickness, so he’s definitely had a speedy recovery. I don’t think there’s a possibility that Washington will get back to where he was but I’m still confident that 80% of Leon Washington is better than 100% of Justin Forsett and I’m not trying to be a Forsett-hater, I just think Washington has a legitimate shot at being fantasy relevant this year. Definitely a solid addition to any roster in a PPR league.
Kareem Huggins – RB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
So long Derrick Ward, we hardly knew ye… The Buccaneers uncovered a gem in Kareem Huggins as an undrafted free-agent out of Hofstra and he now looks to be the primary backup to Cadillac Williams in the Buccaneers’ backfield. Huggins is an extremely shifty back that has great lateral quickness to go along with his very good vision to see the field, as he has the ability to anticipate his blocks and make defenders miss. The best part about Huggins is the very suspect health of one Carnell Williams. While Williams enjoyed a terrific rebound season in 2009, I wouldn’t bank on him repeating that in 2010. Look for Huggins to make some noise in Tampa ifwhen he gets his chance.
Correll Buckhatler – RB – Denver
I’m not excited about this one but I’m even less excited about Knowhson Moreno’s prospects in 2010. I really like Moreno as a player and person with up-side because he is very genuine but I hate the Denver Broncos’ very limited play-book an ineffectiveness running the ball. If anything, the Broncos will throw even more than they did last season and that will result in less opportunities for Moreno. On top of that, this phantom injury situation still looms over Dove Valley and while the coaching staff is maintaining that Moreno will be ready by week one, I’m not so sure what his status will be once we make it to kickoff. Buckhalter is a nice handcuff because he’s a better receiver and pass blocker than any of the Broncos’ other backs and he might just be the only healthy one left which should scare the holy hell out of most Broncos’ fans.
Jarrett Dillard – WR – Jacksonville Jaguars
This is another player I see just bubbling over with potential to be great. While the Jaguars have a terrible passing offense and David Garrard is probably standing on his last leg in Jacksonville, Dillard should start to find his way into a regular rotation at WR with Mike Thomas. Yes, I know Mike Thomas is listed as the starter but that doesn’t give us any indication on how the season will play out and I still stand by my draft evaluation of these two WRs, Jarrett Dillard is just flat-out more talented than Thomas. I don’t think it’s out of the question that Dillard could start to emerge in PPR leagues because of how well he runs routes, how consistent his hands are, and his attention to detail.
Michael Hoomanawanui – TE – St Louis Rams
This guy is awesome and for the record, I have yet to hear anybody say his name correctly, which I regret to say is a huge let-down in some cases but I digress. For the folks that want to hear it said properly, go ahead and tune in tonight for the latest edition of The Fantasy Exchange and I’ll belt it out for ya 5 times fast. Bottom Line, Hoomanawanui was supposed to be a terrific in-line blocker who would be an asset in the run game and might snag the occasional pass or two. I guess somebody forgot to tell Hoomanawanui that because he has flashed sticky hands all throughout camp and in the last two pre-season games, he’s gone for 6 receptions, 86 yards, and 2 touchdowns. What gets me more and more excited about this kid is the QB he’s playing with and no, I’m not a huge Bradford fan or anything, I just recognize his natural tendencies to utilize his TE in the passing game. Bradford is a very smart kid and he’s extremely accurate with the football. He’ll take the check-down instead of going for a home-run any day of the week and Hoomanawanui could be in store for a much bigger impact than anybody had originally expected. All I can say is; “Will the real Fendi Onobun please step up?”
Derek Anderson – QB – Arizona Cardinals
Meh. It’s tough to get excited about a guy who got bounced by a team that had zero help at QB in Cleveland but he’s obviously more capable than Matt Leinart at this point and he is playing with a pretty fancy supporting cast in Arizona. While he’s still a questionable decision maker and wildly inaccurate at times, Anderson does possess good arm strength which is something Leinart just doesn’t bring to the table. As much as I’d like to say Anderson is “the guy to get”, I just don’t see him being a huge difference maker for the Cards because there’s a reason he’s no longer in Cleveland and it’s that he’s just not a good quarterback. The reality is that he’s likely the starting QB for Arizona and in deep leagues, that’s good enough to roster so temper your expectations here and hope for a few good match-ups to exploit.
Thanks for reading folks and if you’ve got any comments, questions, or complaints please bang them out below and you can also send ‘em my way to email@example.com