With the return of the NFL season and the conclusion of week 1, so to returns the waiver wire for all you fantasy football players out there. While you may play in deeper leagues or have a lower priority on the waiver wire, there are still a lot of talented players, and the fantasy points that accompany them to nab. Will Pendleton highlights who's available for you to pick-up before week 2.
Cameron Brate – TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Brate has flown under the radar this offseason due to the arrival of OJ Howard, the Bucs’ shiny new 1st round tight end. However, don’t forget that Brate led tight ends in receiving touchdowns in 2016. While being a leaner tight end, Brate brings additional athleticism and speed to the position, making him a perfect asset for Jameis Winston to utilise over the middle of the field and in the red zone also.
Winston is poised for a superstar season and that means his receiving corps are too. While conventional wisdom suggests that Howard is the heir to the throne in Tampa Bay, tight end is a notoriously difficult position to adapt to from the college level to the NFL. It is likely that at least for the beginning of the season that Brate will dominate the snap count in this position battle and don’t underestimate the importance of an existing rapport with Winston.
Brate is available as a free agent in most fantasy leagues and so will cost you nothing to add to your roster. His 2016 season showed that he has indeed the talent to perform at a top 5 level at his position and at the very worst he will act as a solid tight end back-up option in case of injury and for bye weeks.
The Bucs face the Chicago Bears in their first game of the season in week 2, a Bears team which were just ripped apart by another athletic tight end in Austin Hooper of the Falcons. If you’re struggling for a quality tight end then look no further; Make America Brate Again.
Chris Thompson – RB, Washington Redskins
The Redskins have struggled to fill the shoes of Alfred Morris ever since his departure a few seasons ago. Since then they have tried an amalgamation of Matt Jones and Rob Kelley as well as others, constantly scuppered by injury and suspension. Chris Thompson on the other hand has remained constant and emerged as premier receiving back.
Thompson has the skills of players such as Theo Riddick and Darren Sproles, both players held in much higher regard than Thompson. Last season truly was a breakout year for the Washington pass catching back, cementing his role in that high-flying Redskins offense and earning the trust of Kirk Cousins.
With the offense not exactly going to plan early in the season in Washington, it is likely Jay Gruden will turn to the players he can trust to perform and shovel volume their way in order to get the ball rolling. Thompson looked impressive already in his week 1 match-up against a tough Eagles defense and showed off his speed and elusiveness on a long touchdown scamper.
Thompson may not be available on the waiver wire in all leagues but with both his role and volume guaranteed Thompson should certainly be a trade target who should be available for a relatively low price.
Kenny Golladay – WR, Detroit Lions
While many dismissed Golladay as a preseason flash in the pan, Kenny himself appears to have different ideas. The consensus agreed that Golladay would make a nice squad player to add depth to a talented Detroit receiving group but Golladay has gone over and above to earn his place on the field.
It is far too early to suggest such things yet but Golladay’s body type and athletic style of play has Lions fans whispering in hushed tones about a new No. 1 wide receiver and possibly even the next Calvin Johnson.
One game into his career may be hasty to crown Golladay the next Megatron yet during week 1 Golladay certainly pulled out his best Megatron impersonation, hauling in 69 yards and two touchdowns in his rookie debut. With TE Eric Ebron perennially struggling with injuries Detroit our lacking in a big body in the end zone and Golladay seems to fit that mold.
Golladay is an exciting player and while he may not be ready to plug into your fantasy line-up just yet, be sure to pick him up off the waiver wire now so that you’re not regretting it later.