Week one officially gets rolling On Wednesday night, but before fantasy owners can buckle down their finalized starting lineups, we have to push out our waiver wire Gold Mine picks for the week.
Each week I’ll scour a fantasy site’s waiver wire options and come away with five guys that simply must be owned. We’ll get it started with Yahoo! For week one, and will only include players available in 50% or more of standard leagues.
The following five guys should be quality plays for week one, and could also have roster-worthy long-term value. See who’s on my hot list heading into week 1:
Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks (62%)
Wilson tore up the preseason field earlier in August, and I don’t think it was a fluke. He’s athletic, accurate, and has a big arm. If he wasn’t 4 feet tall, the dude would have been a first-round draft pick. I know he could still have some bumps in the road as a rookie, but the Cardinals aren’t an elite pass defense, so he might have a shot at getting off to a solid start. Long-term, he’s NFL-ready and he has enough weapons to do some damage in Seattle’s West Coast system.
Robert Turbin, RB, Seattle Seahawks (88%)
Is it against fantasy laws to roll with two Seahawks players – ever, much less when both are on the waiver wire? In this specific case, I really think so. Turbin’s value hinges largely on Marshawn Lynch’s status for week one, but Lynch has been dealing with a sore back and he could be a game time call. If you catch wind that Lynch is out, Turbing is a mega sleeper this week and could have a shot at top-20 production. If your running back corps is thin, he’s worth a stash immediately.
Kendall Wright, WR, Tennessee Titans (58%)
I like Wright’s talent regardless, but he could really be in for some solid production in his pro debut thanks to a one-game suspension for Kenny Britt. Wright could have a solid role the rest of the way, too, but you have to like his chances as a starter versus the Patriots in week one. This should be a high-scoring affair.
Austin Collie, WR, Indianapolis Colts (69%)
I know Collie’s head was bumpin’ earlier in August and there’s some real fear to be had there, but he is 100% as we speak, and he’s slated to start versus the Bears. With Chicago focusing on Reggie Wayne, I think Collie could get open early and often, while the matchup suggests Indy will be playing from behind and passing a good amount. He’s at least a WR3 in week one, and I like his long-term value.
Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings (66%)
Rudolph caps my top five waiver wire options in standard Yahoo! leagues for week one. I won’t always force myself to include a tight end if I don’t have to, but with Rudolph, I make the room gladly. With Jerome Simpson out and Adrian Peterson up for a bit role, I think Rudolph could be in for some solid action right away in 2012. He has the skills to be an every down threat, while his size and ball skills make him a legit red-zone terror at the very least. His development simply depends on second-year passer Christian Ponder’s own progress.
That does it for our golden waiver picks for week one. Embrace football being a part of your life again this week, and keep your eye on the waiver wire. And if you forget the second part, just bang it back here next week for five more quality options that should be owned more.
Written by Kevin Roberts of NFLSoup.com for TheFantasyFix.com. For more great fantasy football analysis, follow Kevin on twitter @NFLSoupKevin.