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2012 Fantasy Football Week 1 Waiver Wire: Russell Wilson, Rashard Mendenhall, Ronnie Brown and More

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Mike Shanahan has already started with the nonsense. The flavor of the week for the Redskins first game is Evan Royster, not Roy Helu or the surprising Alfred Morris. Does it mean Royster is actually going to start and get the majority of carries? Maybe. Is Mike Shanahan the bane of fantasy football owners the world over and someone who most likely makes his RB decisions after a liter of Wild Turkey? Absolutely.

But, if you’re thin at running back, or if you drafted Roy Helu under the sane, non alcoholic, assumption that after his strong finish last year he would be the man, then you might want to give Royster a long hard look. Most likely, the story will be completely different come week 2. Still, with Mike Shanahan you never know, and it may be better to handcuff right out of the gate and see what happens.

Rashard Mendenhall

Remember when ACL injuries were a big deal? Jamal Anderson must be so pissed he didn’t live in an age of stem cell surgeries and blood platelet transfusions. We miss you, Jamal. I actually do the Dirty Bird every morning to get myself loosened up and ready for the day.

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Despite blowing out his knee only nine months ago, it appears Mendenhall may be ready for Week 2. He may have had a down year last season, but he’s still much better than Isaac Redman. The Steelers made the conscious choice to move towards being an aerial team and that certainly hurt Mendenhalls value, but that was when he was a 2nd-3rd round pick. I’m talking about the Rashard Mendenhall who may be sitting out there on your waiver wire or on your friends’ bench. That’s the kind of Rashard Mendenhall that has sleeper written all over it.

Ronnie Brown

Long gone are the days in Miami where Brown was a fantasy beast. The Chargers won’t be running any wild cat options and I’m not sure he’s going to get 25 touches, but, for lack of a better option, he’s going to be the starter out in San Diego at least for week 1. Phillip Rivers, as much as he would like to, can’t throw the ball every time. So the Chargers are going to turn to Brown to see what he can do. He didn’t show much in Philly last season and expectations should be seriously tempered, but maybe, just maybe, he’s got one or two more good games left in the tank.

Ryan Matthews will hopefully be back by week 3, and Jackie Battle was serviceable for the Chiefs last season, but this will be Brown’s job to lose.

Robert Turbin

Going in to this season there were question marks around Marshawn Lynch. Would he get another DUI? Can you actually overdose on Skittles? What happens if you play with a grill in your mouth instead of a mouth piece? Can he spell his own name? Is he the ugliest player in the NFL?

But it appears that the correct question would have been: Are the back spasms that limited him a couple times last season still a lingering issue?

Lynch hasn’t been ruled out yet, but even if he plays he’s most likely going to not be at 100%. With his mercurial history and potential injury problems, you would be wise to pick up Turbin. He’s not a burner, but when you’re looking for value at the backup position you’re looking for one thing – TOUCHDOWNS!

Turbin is a big boy and whatever quickness he lost last year at Utah State from his knee injury he more than makes up for with brute force. If you own Lynch, or just want some added depth, Turbin more than fits the role of valuable handcuff with serious upside. And if he gets the start in week 1, you can be sure he’s going to see almost all of the carries and, more importantly, all the goal line work.

Braylon Edwards

Old Stone Hands actually did it. He beat out T.O. and earned a roster spot. Now, with Golden Tate sidelined for at least week one, he’s going to be starting.

It remains to be seen how successful Russell Wilson will be, but Edwards is a big receiver with serious red zone upside. If Sydney Rice can draw double teams then Edwards could go to work on a smaller corner. The reports on Edwards were positive all camp and even if Tate gets healthy, he’s never done much of anything in the NFL. Just keep him away from LeBron’s boy and Edwards could be in line for a resurgence.

Also, if you’re looking for a back up QB with a limitless ceiling (which you all should be), then Russell Wilson is far and away the best candidate. Much better than the sneaky fat Carson Palmer. Although I do think he’ll have a good year too.

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