Every Tuesday from now until week 16 will include at least a partial segment of waiver wire available players based on ownership numbers from ESPN, CBS, and Yahoo. This way, if you have a roster need or missed the "sleeper rising" play of someone over the weekend, you can get some of that information rolled into a neat little ball right here. I will also field questions about who to drop/add for specific rosters if people have questions. Most starting lineup guidance I will save for the Friday article, but I will answer questions because I know Thurs. games can complicate matters. Without further adieu, your Week 1 waiver wire free agents might include.....
Ryan Fitzpatrick (22% owned in ESPN, 44% in Yahoo, 53% in CBS) - He finished last year terribly, but if he can find his early to mid season form from 2010, he could be good for depth with some talented receiving options in Steve Johnson, Fred Jackson, and C.J. Spiller if no one else. If you skipped on a back up and have Peyton Manning, you may be shopping already.
Colt McCoy (27% ESPN, 38% Yahoo, 60% in CBS) - McCoy doesn't have a star studded cast, but his receiving options are under rated and he is a very accurate passer. I can't explain it yet, but I have a feeling here and if you are waiver wire shopping week 1, you need to hope to out smart everyone else.
Donovan McNabb (66% ESPN, 47% Yahoo, 67% CBS) - More owned and less available, 40% or so leagues still have him floating out there, and with a strong running game, McNabb may have more juice left than imagined, at least for 1 season.
Ronnie Brown (54% ESPN, 43% Yahoo, 66% CBS) - I don't trust LeSean McCoy, to the point of probably being thought of as a hater, and I just may get proven wrong, but a big part of me expects the Eagles to need to play more physical at points this season, and D. Jackson, M. Vick, and L. McCoy won't do that for them. Brown might be just what Philly needs if the passing game struggles.
Ben Tate (40% ESPN, 43% Yahoo, 60% CBS) - If Foster is hurt, or gets hurt, or struggles (the least likely of the three, I know) Ben Tate could be positioned to run behind a heck of an offensive line. I wouldn't start him, but if he isn't owned, I'd hold him as a 4th-5th RB just in case.
"The Cluster" of handcuffs and others (typically 15% or less ownership) - Kendal Hunter is next in line behind oft injured Gore in San Francisco from a talent perspective. Delone Carter will be Indy's starting RB by week 9 in my bold guess of the season (one of many). It'll be Roy Helu that ends up with close to 1000 yards in Washington, not Torrain or Hightower. Jerome Harrison (DET) and Montario Hardesty (CLE) will both expand their playing time drastically this season behind starters I don't trust (Best and Hillis). Watch Cadillac Williams behind Steven Jackson too.
Davone Bess (43% ESPN, 55% Yahoo, 66% CBS) - Bess was just under 900 yards last year with a few scores, and will remain an important part of Miami's passing offense. Its not like they added play makers, and their running game may have declined with the WildCat twins leaving and Daniel Thomas & Reggie Bush coming in.
Nate Burleson (23% ESPN, 44% Yahoo, 72% CBS) - He had 10 multiple reception games in 2010, so with any QB consistency this year, he could surprise as a backup.
Antonio Brown (19% ESPN, 28% Yahoo, 59% CBS) - Popular opinion is that Emmanuel Sanders is the heir apparent to Hines Ward, and if he is you can get him too (10% ESPN, 14% Yahoo, 12% CBS) but Sander's injuries keep catching up to him, and Brown was the pre-season receiver hero. Either is worth looking at in case this year is finally the end of Ward, as the Steelers will continue to be a passing team that fakes being a smash mouth running team on occasion.
Bears Receivers: Own 1, trust none.Johnny Knox is the most drafted (100%/73%/77%) with Roy being second (96%/67%/48%), and Hester (7%/29%/24%) coming in third...Poor Bennett (3%/19%/15%) got neglected. None of us know who will lead the Bears in receiving this year (Bennett?), but I think having a Bears receiver as a 4th or 5th option is a fair gamble until you know you can get something better.
Chris Cooley (31% ESPN, 49% Yahoo, 57% (CBS) - Cooley got hurt in the pre-season, and Fred Davis is darn good...But Cooley managed to be an 850 yard receiver in 2010, and he can do it again.
Brent Celek (15% ESPN, 26% Yahoo, 61% (CBS) - If the Eagles lose some of their speed surprise, its not just Ronnie Brown who could re-emerge. Celek was neglected and forgotten last year, but he is a very talented Tight End with a high ceiling when used (500 yards last year, 970 the year before).
Benjamin Watson (8% ESPN, 17% Yahoo, 25% CBS) - Ben is quit simply the most likely benefactor of the unsettled wide receiver positions and performances in Cleveland, especially when paired with an accurate passer like McCoy. He had 760 yards last year, and McCoy should be much more up to speed this season in delivering passes.
Chiefs (55% ESPN, 34% Yahoo, 50% CBS) - The Chiefs defense was decent last year and could improve quite a bit. The lack of sacks let them get lost in the noise, but they have some real talent and should be more used to their new scheme by now.
Giants (43% ESPN, 89% Yahoo, 92% CBS) - Most got the message that a great D-line will keep the Giants worth owning in 2011, but if you are in an ESPN league, there is a huge chance they didn't get picked up this season...They are worth storing as a 2nd D/ST, and this coming from someone who rarely ever has a 2nd D/ST.
Texans (6% ESPN, 19% Yahoo, 28% CBS) - Call them a sleeper, but Wade Phillips is a heck of a D Coordinator even if he was an overly easy on the players head coach. The Texans are already starting to look vastly improved, and their division matchups aren't bad this year - 2 games against JAX and TEN each, and it looks a lot like a Manning-less Colts in week 1.