Posts Tagged ‘Stevie Johnson’

This is a waiver wire pick-up column of sorts. Seeing as many fantasy football leagues have already processed their waiver claims for week 2, and nearly all others will have by the time this is published I’m putting these 5 names that exceed my threshold of >30% ownership to qualify for my weekly pick-ups column but are still out there in some leagues. These are guys who’s week 1 success should carry through the rest of the season and as such deserve to be owned in all leagues regardless of size. The numbers I’ve posted are accurate as of Wednesday night, but will likely have changed once Thursdays waivers post. I’ll do my best to update in the morning.

Percy Harvin, WR, Bills (33.6% on NFL)(57.5% on ESPN) – Coming into the season the lack of buzz around Percy Harvin confused me. This is the same guy who was a mid-season MVP candidate a few years ago with Christian Ponder throwing him the ball. He’s the guy who rejuvenated the Jets, Geno Smith led, offense the second half of last season. He followed Rex Ryan to Buffalo. Oh, and he made his young QB look good with a diving touchdown grab. He won’t always score and the numbers won’t always pop off the screen, but defenses will continue to key in on Sammy Watkins ensuring that Harvin maintains fantasy value as a risk/reward flex play.

Terrance Williams, WR, Cowboys (39.7% on NFL)(66.1% on ESPN) With Dez Bryant out for what could be 6 to 8 weeks, Williams takes over as number 1 on the Cowboys wide receiver depth chart. Williams likely won’t see as many targets as Dez would, and certainly should not be expected to put up top 5 fantasy numbers, but he should see enough targets to make him a solid starter. Williams is a talented young player who disappeared into the shadow of Dez Bryant and the power running game last season, so expect him to capitalize on his time in the spotlight, starting in week 2 against the Eagles (though after getting torched by Julio Jones, Byron Maxwell has plenty to prove as well.)

Stevie Johnson, WR, Chargers (13.1% on NFL)(43.2% on ESPN) The difference in ownership on the two sites is a bit staggering, but likely mostly related to bench size. In any case Johnson was targeted 6 times, caught all 6 passes and scored a TD, and that was in a game that saw Keenan Allen catch an absurd 15 passes. Like with Harvin there’s sure to be some games that disappoint, but Johnson is a big bodied target with reliable hands who can move around the formation. He should continue to be a favorite for QB Philip Rivers at least until Antonio Gates suspension ends and even beyond, though a reevaluation may be necessary following week 4. 

Tyler Eifert, TE, Bengals (47.0% on NFL)(70.5% on ESPN) In 2013 it was Marvin Jones, last year it was Mohamed Sanu, and at least through week 1 of the 2015 season it appears that Eifert will claim the role of Andy Dalton’s preferred #2 pass catcher. Actually, Eifert topped even the newly resigned AJ Green, leading the team with 9 receptions on 12 targets for 104 yards and 2 TDs. While it’s possible we’ve already seen Eifert’s best fantasy output of the season he should continue to be a reliable target in the middle of the field and finally have the breakout season analysts predicted for him last year, before his season was wiped out by injury.

Dion Lewis, RB, Patriots (11.5% on NFL)(31.7% on ESPN) A bit borderline for the ‘must own in all leagues’ category, but I don’t think we’ve heard the last of Lewis. He benefitted big time from the absence of LeGarrette Blount in week 1, but given his versatility and Bill Belichick’s penchant for messing with fantasy owners who think they’ve figured out the backfield, I’d expect Lewis to see his share of snaps going forward. Of course I’d be remiss not to mention that Lewis did have a red zone fumble and repercussions may still be to follow.

 

I’ve been following this offseason a lot closer than I’ve followed any of the previous ones, and there have been a few teams that have caught my eye, the Buffalo Bills are one of them. The Bills made headlines last offseason after their splashy signing of Mario Williams. This season is was the draft where the Bills made their splash by making EJ Manuel the only QB taken in the first round.

While I don’t know that he was worth the first round pick, I was a big proponent of the Florida State QB as the most underrated passer in the draft; especially early in the process when his name got lost under the hype surrounding Geno Smith and Matt Barkley and Ryan Nassib. Manuel has the size and arm strength to be a superstar. That said, I really hope he isn’t forced to be the week 1 starter. The way the 49ers brought along Colin Kaepernick should serve as the model here. Give him a year holding the clipboard and learning how to play in the NFL. Ideally you’d like a stronger mentor(s) than Kevin Kolb and Tavaris Jackson, but hey a poor man’s Colin Kaepernick is a heck of a lot better than Ryan Fitzpatrick.

My biggest concern with the Bills offensive is the offensive line. They still haven’t quite addressed the hole left at guard by Andy Levitre’s departure and they could still use another tackle to pair with Cordy Glenn, but as far as the skill positions are concerned I think the Bills have set themselves up nicely. I’m really looking forward to seeing this passing attack as Buffalo managed to grab 3 of my favorite prospects from this wide receiver class. I think Robert Woods is a great hands guy to compliment Stevie Johnson and Marquise Goodwin may need some coaching, but he’s already a great speed guy. Then they added Da’Rick Rogers shortly after the draft who, if he keeps his nose clean and stays out of trouble, will also be a key contributor. I’m not sure what Buffalo’s current cap situation is, but if they have the space, I still think they should look into the addition of LT Brandon Albert via trade, that the Chiefs have Eric Fisher. Or if the team’s comfortable with Cordy Glenn playing LT, adding free agent RT Eric Winston could be a cheaper option, reuniting him with former Texans teammate Mario Williams and keeping him off the rival Dolphins roster. Solidifying that line could make this offense very scary, very quickly.

On defense things also seem to be trending upwards. Kiko Alonso adds a big bodied presence to the middle of the field and I like the signing of Manny Lawson to play outside linebacker. I also think the team will benefit from the switch to a hybrid scheme. I’m disappointed the secondary wasn’t better addressed with such a deep class at cornerback, and really the whole back half of the draft leaves something to be desired, at least on paper, but the two safeties they drafted seem to have some fan support from their college careers and Dustin Hopkins could be this year’s Blair Walsh or Greg Zuerlein. Regardless, this is a Bills team that’s got a lot of promise, and while they’re probably still a year or two from challenging for the division title, if they get the line sorted, and some rookie and sophomore players come along quicker than expected, this is a team that could surprise some people.