Football is finally back! Week 1 is upon us and draft season is finally in the books. Now is the time to review your roster and figure out if there are any moves to be made before the real bullets start flying. These rankings will typically come out every Tuesday morning. Instead of following the boring narrative of the top four or five guys worthy of a waiver add, I thought I would rank all of the available free agents that are owned in less than 50% of ESPN or Yahoo leagues. This will be helpful for all of the players who don’t have a top waiver priority but still have holes to fill on their roster.
- Ryan Tannehill
- Dak Prescott
- Brock Osweiler
- Ryan Fitzpatrick
- Robert Griffin III
- Alex Smith
- Joe Flacco
- Jay Cutler
- Trevor Siemien
- Blaine Gabbert
Ryan Tannehill – The Dolphins have a brutal Week 1 road matchup against the Seahawks. After Week 1 the schedule opens up with matchups against the Patriots, Browns, Bengals, Titans, Steelers, and Bills. Tannehill is another player who is coming off a rough season, but with Adam Gase running things in Miami, Tannehill should return to fringe QB1 status in 2016.
Dak Prescott – Let’s be honest, Dak is a complete wildcard. He balled out in pre-season, but that’s against vanilla defenses and zero game planning. When the real bullets start flying it will be interesting to see how he fairs. With a matchup against the Giants on Sunday, he get’s a defense that allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing QBs last season.
However, the key word was last season. The Giants spent heavily to improve their defense, and JPP is another year removed from his unfortunate accident. Despite the decent matchup, there’s no way I’m playing outside of DFS this week. He’s certainly worth a stash, especially when you factor in his rushing ability and his chemistry with Dez Bryant.
Ryan Fitzpatrick – After a strong season in 2015, the journeymen QB will look to build upon his career resurgence. Despite the duo of Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, Fitz is more of a matchup-based QB2 at this point.
Robert Griffin III – RG3 is currently in a nice spot in Cleveland. They have far more weapons this season than last. Factoring in first round pick Corey Coleman, Gary Barnidge, Duke Johnson, and Josh Gordon (suspended) in the fold, RG3 may have the best weapons he’s ever had. I know their offensive line is terrible, and they have an even worse defense, but I have faith in Hue Jackson. RG3 costs nothing, but could easily provide high-end QB2 numbers.
Alex Smith – The Chiefs have one of the weakest schedules on paper. They get a great matchup against San Diego Week 1. With Jamaal Charles out, Spencer Ware becomes a strong RB2 with RB1 upside. As for the passing game, Alex Smith is always a threat because of his scrambling ability and won’t cost you negative points because of INTs. If you’re in a 2QB league, Alex Smith could pay off big time.
The Chiefs defense won’t be what it was in 2015, due in large part because of the injury to Justin Houston and the departure of Sean Smith in the secondary. Houston’s value cannot be understated. He’s just as important as Von Miller or JJ Watt. If Dee Ford can’t get going the Chiefs offense will be forced to keep them in the game, which will result in far more passing opportunities for the game manager.
- Jerick McKinnon
- James White (PPR)
- DeAndre Washington
- Buck Allen (PPR)
- C.J. Prosise
- Robert Kelley
- Alfred Morris
- James Starks
- Benny Cunningham (PPR)
- Kenneth Dixon
- Shane Vereen
- Paul Perkins
- Jordan Howard
Jerick McKinnon – I targeted him in all of my drafts. He’s likely to be heavily involved in the passing game and is an AP injury away from being a solid RB2 with RB1 upside. Whether you’re in a standard league or PPR, McKinnon is worth a roster spot.
James White – Once the Dion Lewis news was announced, James White instantly became a viable fantasy asset. He was strong down the stretch in relief of Lewis last season and now he will get the first 6-8 weeks to fill in for Lewis. In PPR leagues, I would be shocked if he’s available. In standard leagues, he’s worth a look as a matchup dependent flex option.
DeAndre Washington – Just like Jerick McKinnon, DeAndre Washington is in a terrific spot as a third-down/change of pace option in Oakland. If something happens to Murray, or he struggles, Washington could be a fantasy lottery ticket.
C.J. Prosise – He’s an interesting name and one that could pay off down the road in PPR formats. He’s been hampered by injuries thus far, but will likely work his way into the third-down role once he is acclimated to the offense. He’s worth an add now, and could play a David Johnson type roll later.
Robert Kelley – Another handcuff to a running back with plenty of red flags. Kelley shined in preseason but I wouldn’t expect that same type of production in real game action. Kelley is a between-the-tackles grinder but flashed more athleticism than he showed with his underwhelming 4.6 forty. He’s worth a flier but not someone you should hold onto for a long period of time.
Alfred Morris – He’s a proven talent and has an elite level offensive line. The problem is he’s squarely behind the uber-talented Ezekiel Elliott. He’s a worthy handcuff, and could have some stand-alone appeal.
- Phillip Dorsett
- Rishard Matthews
- Mohamed Sanu
- Kenny Stills
- Tajae Sharpe
- Tyler Boyd
- Will Fuller
- Eli Rogers
- Dorial Green-Beckham
- Josh Doctson
- Jermaine Kearse
- Sammie Coates
- Breshad Perriman
- Mike Wallace
- Chris Conley
- Davante Adams
- Terrelle Pryor
- Charles Johnson
- Chris Hogan
- Quinton Patton
Phillip Dorsett – An injury away from being a strong WR2 option. If he’s available, add him immediately.
Rishard Matthews – After signing with the Titans, Matthews has been the forgotten man in the offense. Tajae Sharpe has been the sexy name, but Matthews projects as the better WR to own this season.
Mohamed Sanu – Sanu is another undervalued WR who should offer WR4 numbers on a consistent basis. Much is made of the 200+ targets Julio Jones received last season, but not much is mentioned in regards to the horrible play of Roddy White. Sanu should receive 89-90 targets and will have some useful weeks.
Kenny Stills – After a strong offseason, Kenny Stills could be primed for a breakout season. He’s often thought of as purely a deep threat, but he’s worked all offseason to improve his chemistry with Ryan Tannehill. His value goes up further with the reported hamstring issue DeVante Parker is dealing with. Parker was thought of as a breakout WR early in the offseason, but he’s done nothing to prove that. His arrow continues to point down, and Stills has an arrow point straight up.
Tajae Sharpe – I love the talent, but hate the situation. He’s looked great during training camp and the preseason, but with the exotic smashmouth offense in full effect, there won’t be tons of opportunities for the rookie wide receiver. He’s worth a roster spot based purely on the chance of being a WR1 in the offense, although I would invest in Rishard Matthews first.
Tyler Boyd – First off, Tyler Boyd could be in one of the best spots of any rookie WR. With injuries to Eifert, and only Brandon LaFell blocking him, Boyd is in a fantastic spot to provide excellent ROI. He showed well during the preseason, and with not much in his path, he could quickly rise to the WR2 slot next to AJ Green.
Will Fuller – Great talent and could play opposite of DeAndre Hopkins as the team’s deep threat. He’s more of a boom or bust option but is worth a stash in 12 team leagues.
Eli Rogers/Sammie Coates – The duo has battled it out all preseason for the No.3 job. As things stand, Eli Rogers has the job but makes no mistakes, Sammie Coates could easily yank the rug right out from under him. Sammie Coates still holds some value in deep 16 team formats, but as long as Rogers is holding down the slot, he’s the one to roster.
Mike Wallace/Breshad Perriman – Mike Wallace couldn’t have landed in a much better situation. The issue with him is how much of that speed does he have left. He’s made his name off of being a deep threat and if he’s lost that ability then he’s not nearly as valuable.
Breshad Perriman will finally get his chance to showcase his talents. He missed all of last season, most of training camp, and the majority of the pre-season. He’s worth a flier, but I wouldn’t expect too much from him.
- Vance McDonald
- Virgil Green
- Charles Clay
- Jesse James
- Clive Walford
- Austin Seferian-Jenkins
- Crockett Gillmore
- Josh Hill
- Austin Hooper
- Tyler Higbee
Vance McDonald – I’m fully committed to Vance McDonald at this point. I’ve drafted him as my TE1 in every draft. I just love the opportunity that he has in front of him. With Torrey Smith as the deep threat and a season-ending injury to Bruce Ellington, McDonald could receive a heavy dose of targets. I never draft TE early and found that I could draft McDonald late. He has TE1 upside but is still widely available in most fantasy leagues. He’s one player I’m pushing all of my chips into the middle on.
Virgil Green – I love his athletic profile, and could end up being a security blanket for Trevor Siemien. He’s still widely unowned and is firmly in the Vance McDonald sleeper category. He’s worthy of a roster spot in a 12 team league, and considering how unpredictable the TE situation can be, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him flirt with TE1 numbers.
Charles Clay – Another tight end with TE1 appeal. He’s going to see a solid market share of targets, and could be a monster in the red zone.
Jesse James – When the Steelers signed Ladarius Green over the offseason, the fantasy community was in a frenzy over the idea of Green taking over for Heath Miller. As we now know, Green has yet to log a single snap for the Steelers. Which is great news for Jesse James, he’s not an overly athletic TE, but he could see a tremendous amount of work inside the RZ.
Clive Walford – Walford isn’t a name we’ve heard all that often in fantasy, but he’s certainly a player you should roster. He’s a big TE who profiles as a dominant red zone target. I currently have him inside my top 15 this week going against a terrible Saints pass defense.