Wild on Sports
NFL Week 1 Wavier Wire Wonders
By Wild on Sports Analyst Jason Gillson
Each week we take a look at the players still available in most league that you can plug and play in case of an emergency injury or bye week. The key to surviving the gruling season is staying a step ahead of your competition. Who is that next Alshon Jeffery? Nick Foley? Zach Stacy? At some point this season you are likely to find them here...
QB Derek Carr - Oakland Raiders
Who would have thought that of all the teams with high profile rookie QB's it would be Oakland with the only rookie starting week one. The Raider announced yesterday that Carr, not Matt Shaub, will be their week 1 starter -- and with good reason -- he torched defenses in the pre-season (anyone see what he did to the Seattle starters?). On top of that he seems to have won the favor of the locker room particularly amongst the veteran players. He is mature beyond his age, a characteristic that should help him avoid the "bust" status that his older brother garnered after being drafted #1 years ago. He doesn't have the supporting cast that Foles did last year in Philly or that Blake Bortles will have in Jacksonville once he takes that job. That said, if you don't like your QB situation you might be presently surprised if you take a flyer on this kid.
RB - Benny Cunningham - St. Louis Rams
The Cunningham pick might be 3 or 4 weeks premature but you had better pounce on him now before someone else in your league does. Rumors out of St. Louis indicate that Zach Stacy might be losing favor in the Rams backfield. Cunningham looked like the best back in the pre-season and had about a 50-50 split with the #1's in the final pre-season games. If Stacy falters early look for Cunnignham to run away with the job on a team that will need to be run first if they want to be successful.
RB Jonathan Grimes - Houston Texans
Arian Foster is the heart beat of the Texans Offense but of the elite runingbacks in the league is the most likely candidate to go down to injury again. Grimes is a more durable Ben Tate and is just waiting for his chance to carry the load. With Fitzpatrick/Mallet at QB the Texans will rely on the running game just like they did in their dominant 2012 season.
WR Jarrett Boykin - Green Bay Packers
Boykin showed glimpses last season when injuries ravaged the Packers WR corps. Nelson and Cobb are back (healthy-ish) and in place as starters. That leaves Boykin as the #3 but ready at a moments notice should one of the big guys go down. James Jones put up some big numbers as a #3 in Green Bay in years past. Boykin is smaller and quicker -- more of a slot/Cobb build but he has shown that he is not afraid to go into the dirty areas to make a catch. He could be in line for a very solid season, injury to Nelson/Cobb or not.
WR Jordan Matthews - Philadelphia Eagles
DeSean Jackson is gone. Jeremy Maclin has trouble staying healthy. Is Jason Avant or Riley Cooper really that good? All those things open the door for a potential breakout for Matthews. The Eagles spent a second round pick on the 6-3 wideout. You know Chip Kelly is going to want to see what he has early on. Huge upside potential here.
WR Cody Latimer - Denver Broncos
Wes Welker is one hit away from never playing football again. Eric Decker is gone. While his role will largely be filled by Emmanuel Sanders (another player you should pick up yesterday if he is available) there will always be balls to go around in Peyton Manning's offense. The Thomas' are likely to see double coverage opening the door for the physical Latimer to reek havoc of opposing defenses. He has the build and go up and get it ability to be dangerous in the red-zone as well. If there was a Alshon Jeffery type sleeper pick to name in week 1, Latimer would be it.
TE Tim Wright - New England Patriots
The Patriots gave up pro bowl guard Logan Mankins to get him. That in itself should tell you what they think of the guy. Belichick has been looking for that Aaron Hernandez replacement for a couple years now. Wright put up some decent numbers last season in a disaster of an offense. Imagine what he can do with Tom Brady throwing him the ball.