There’s very little chance that anyone on your waiver wire can come close to replacing the production that Keenan Allen was penciled in for. With that being said, there’s still some intriguing wide receiver options that are available in most leagues.
Travis Benjamin, San Diego Chargers – Yahoo (75% owned) ESPN (67.4% owned)
Travis Benjamin is no Keenan Allen. That much is obvious. Benjamin is still a pretty good player in his own right. He is in line for a bump in production as Allen is ruled out for the rest of the year with a torn ACL.
Benjamin showed well last year as the Browns number one passing option. He reeled in 68 receptions for 996 yards and 5 touchdowns in 2015 with Josh McCown. Now he will have an opportunity to be the number one option in a better offense under Philip Rivers.
Rivers and Benjamin connected 7-of-8 times for 32 yards Sunday against the Chiefs. He will almost always be that involved as he will move forward as the number one receiver on a team that figures to be playing catch-up in most games.
Benjamin is a WR3 who has the upside to be a WR2. He isn’t owned in nearly enough leagues as it stands today, so I figured he is at least worth mentioning.
Tajae Sharpe, Tennessee Titans – Yahoo (47% owned) ESPN (41.7% owned)
Sharpe operated as quarterback Marcus Mariota’s number one receiving target during Tennessee’s week one loss to the Minnesota Vikings. He hauled in 7-of-11 targets for 76 yards, which is a surprising amount involvement for a rookie. It all aligns with the rave reviews this offseason.
Head coach Mike Mularkey went as far as to say that Sharpe has “already gained the trust” of Mariota before the season started. That trust was put on display as Sharpe made several tough catches including one that came on a third down during a two-minute drill.
Tajae Sharpe appears to be a stronger addition in PPR formats. His eleven targets were four more than any other Titans receiver. Sharpe has the talent and the opportunity to lead Tennessee in receiving in 2016.
Will Fuller, Houston Texans – Yahoo (50% owned) ESPN (58.0% owned)
Fuller did what he has done his whole life on Sunday; burn defensive backs. He caught 5-of-11 targets for 107 yards and a touchdown in his debut Sunday against the Bears.
He operated as the Texans second receiver opposite DeAndre Hopkins and averaged a whopping 21.4 yards per catch. What makes him more intriguing is the fact that he didn’t register this mark by just using his 4.32 speed to get past defenders before the catch. He showed some great run-after-the-catch ability on a screen pass that went for a 27-yard touchdown.
He could have had an even bigger day if it wasn’t for a drop that would have resulted in an 83-yard touchdown.
Described as “a very special football player” by quarterback Brock Osweiler, Will Fuller is the favorite to finish the year as the second-leading receiver in Houston behind DeAndre Hopkins. He will see some very favorable coverages due to Hopkins.
Phillip Dorsett, Indianapolis Colts – Yahoo (39% owned) ESPN (41.9% owned)
It’s hard to suggest adding a wide receiver that is placed third on the depth chart. Special exceptions can be made when that receiver has one of the best quarterbacks in the league on his team.
Andrew Luck looked very much over his injuries which plagued him in 2o15. He connected with Dorsett for 4-of-6 targets for a team-leading 94 yards.
The Colts defense isn’t going to shut down NFL caliber offenses anytime soon. He will be a fantasy asset if Luck continues to spread the ball between him, T.Y. Hilton, and Donte Moncrief.
Eli Rogers, Pittsburgh Steelers – Yahoo (8% owned) ESPN (12.3% owned)
While it was teammate Sammie Coates who generated the most offseason buzz, it was Eli Rogers who saw the biggest involvement week 1 against the Redskins.
Rogers hauled in 6-of-7 targets for 59 yards and a touchdown Monday night. While his touchdown came from a lucky bounce in the end zone, Rogers impressed in his first regular season action and was counted on to convert several important third-downs.
It’s entirely conceivable that this surprising amount of involvement is due to the absence of Markus Wheaton. The good news is that Rogers will continue to be the starting slot receiver for the Steelers regardless of Wheaton’s return. Owners who are in desperate need of a wide receiver in PPR leagues could do worse than the undrafted Louisville product.
Keep in mind that offensive coordinator Todd Haley has been on record for saying he’s never had a better slot receiver than Rogers since he’s been in Pittsburgh.