Week one is in the books.Â It brought us some drama, some blowouts, and some premier performances from the league’s best. But, there are those of us that are in search of a missing piece to get to fantasy glory. Let’s take a look at a few names that you should be able to find on your league’s waiver wire to get you back in the saddle.
Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks. If you were worried about Hasselbeck’s health being an issue, his performance against the Rams should settle those nerves. He racked up 279 pass yards and three scores. Sure, it was against one of the league’s worst defenses. But he gets to play a weak schedule. Grab him if you’re in need at the QB position.
Mark Sanchez, Jets. Is there a trend emerging in the NFL regarding high-profile rookie QBs playing well in their first ever starts? Obviously, I’m not talking about Matthew Stafford. Mark Sanchez threw for 272 yards with a score and a pick. Not elite fantasy numbers,Â but definitely good enough if you’re in a bind. He’ll be available in most leagues, so keep him on your radar.
Edgerrin James, Seahawks. Julius Jones stole the show for the Seahwaks with his 100-yard day and a score. It could have been better had Edge not stolen 11 of those carries. Sure, he’s old. But Jones is no stud, either. With 11 carries in the first game, it shows that Jim Mora, Jr. has some faith in him. Some more familiarity with the offense could get him more carries.
Tim Hightower, Cardinals. If you were banking on Beanie Wells being the first great Cardinals RB, Hightower must have been offended. He was terrible on the ground with eight carries for 15 yards. But through the air, he racked up 12 catches for 121 yards. This guy is definitely worth a spot on any bench.
Ahmad Bradshaw, Giants. Earth, Wind, and Fire has been dismantled in the Big Apple with the departure of Derrick Ward to the Bucs. That leaves Bradshaw to spell Brandon Jacobs. Bradshaw saw 12 carries for 60 yards. Pedestrian stats, but starter (and much higher fantasy pick) Jacobs saw only 16 carries for 46 yards. He’s worth a start against any team.
Ray Rice, Ravens. Sayonara, Willis McGahee. Rice appears to be the new feature back in Baltimore after his 19-carry, 108-yardÂ performance against the Chiefs. John Harbaugh’s Ravens are a power team, and Rice is exactly what they need. Let’s see some consistency from him before we give him a crown, but he should have a spot on your bench for the time being.
Laurent Robinson, Rams. Um, who? Robinson was let go from the Falcons and was picked up by St. Louis. In his first game with the Rams, he was the lone spotlight with five catches for 87 yards. The Rams have the lowest number of career receptions by a receiving corps in the league. Gotta start somewhere.
Steve Smith, Giants. This is one of the few times Smith will far surpass his namesake. Smith hauled in six passes for 80 yards in the Giants’ win over the ‘Skins. With Hakeem Nicks nursing a sprained foot, Smith could emerge as a legitimate threat for New York. Pick him up.
Devery Henderson, Saints. I guess everyone on the Saints is a threat, especially against the Detroit High School Lions. Henderson was explosive with five catches for 103 yards and a score. Quarterback Drew Brees will throw to anyone, and Henderson was rewarded. With all the throwing the Saints do, Henderson’s worth a spot.
Percy Harvin, Vikings. Harvin’s numbers weren’t special (3 rec., 36 yds., TD). But with Brett Favre under center, everyone’s a weapon. Harvin shows glimpses of a younger Donald Driver, and we all know how much Favre loved him. He’s worth a pickup, just in case Adrian Peterson doesn’t score all of Minnesota’s points.
Robert Royal, Browns. A tight end is a young quarterback’s best friend. Brady Quinn found Royal for four catches for 60 yards and a score. Tight end is a deep position in fantasy leagues this year, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that Royal had a solid game Sunday. If you drafted Vernon Davis thinking, “This is the year,” grab Royal.
Brent Celek, Eagles. Celek was a bit of a sleeper coming into this year, and had a good first game to the 2009 season. He hauled in six passes for 37 yards and a score. With Kevin Kolb expected to fill in for the injured Donovan McNabb, he could become a frequent target.