Alfred Morris (RB | Washington| 31 percent owned in Y!) Morris is the hottest name on the waiver wire this week, as the rookie was shockingly named the starting back in the nation’s capital and subsequently racked up 98 yards and two scores against the Saints.
While owners should be putting in a claim on the young rusher, you may want to temper your expectations a bit.
In the first half on Sunday, Morris carried the ball nine times for just 21 yards (2.3 yards per carry) and a score. And although the young back tacked on 77 yards on 19 carries and a second touchdown in the second half, the Redskins maintained a healthy lead, causing Washington to lean on the run game in an attempt to eat the clock.
Moreover, each of Morris’ two scores were punched in from inside the five yard line — one resulting from a pass interference in the end zone on fourth down placing the ball at the one, and the second was punched in from the three after DeJon Gomes returned a Drew Brees interception 49 yards.
The final concern is the Shanahan effect. The coach’s usage of running backs has given fantasy owners headaches for years. The Redskins currently have numerous rushers (Roy Helu, Jr., Evan Royster) capable of carrying the load of a lead back should either member of Team Shanahan wake up on the other side of the bed next Sunday. The situation is simply unpredictable.
Feel free to burn your number one waiver priority or up to 40 percent of your FAAB to acquire Alfred Morris — who could turn out the be a top 20 rusher — but don’t be afraid to immediately put him on the trade market to see what you can get for him.
Jon Dwyer (RB | Pittsburgh | 15 percent owned in Y!) Many writers within the fantasy football community (including myself) considered Isaac Redman, not Jon Dwyer, the man in the Steelers’ backfield to get the lion’s share of the work until Rashard Mendenhall returned.
As of week one I wasn’t exactly wrong (just mostly), as Redman appeared on the field for just 24 snaps, taking the ball 11 times for a measly 20 yards (1.8 yards per carry) against the Broncos. On the other hand, Dwyer was on the field for 42 snaps (21 passing downs), carrying the ball nine times for 43 yards (4.8 yards oer carry).
Neither Dwyer or Redman were used extensively in the passing game, with the tandem drawing four and two targets respectively.
It’s very early in the season, but based on each back’s usage — and the “eye test” — in week one, Jon Dwyer appears to be the rusher to own in the Steel City. Redman is not yet droppable, but the injury that was rumored to be lingering during the preseason may have stuck around longer than anticipated.
I would not use a top four waiver priority to grab Dwyer, unless your league’s waiver priorities reset each week. Additionally, I wouldn’t spend any more then ten percent of your FAAB to acquire the running back.
Dexter McCluster (WR/RB | Kansas City| 15 percent owned in Y!) McCluster caught six passes on ten targets for 82 yards in week one against Atlanta. I like young Dexter more in points-per-receptions formats. I’d be willing to burn a top six waiver priority and five percent of my FAAB to grab this speedster.
Kevin Ogletree (WR | Dallas| 43 percent owned in Y!) There are so many mouths to feed in Dallas, and with names like Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and Jason Witten demanding receptions, its unlikely that Ogletree meets or exceeds his week one performance. However, you don’t want to miss out on the possibility of Ogletree exceeding his career numbers in one outing again, so invest up to 15 percent of your FAAB to secure him.
Alshon Jefferey (WR | Chicago| 35 percent owned in Y!) Jay Cutler looked Jeffrey’s way five times on Sunday leading to three connections for 80 yards and one touchdown. While many teams will be doubling up on Brandon Marshall, the Bears’ rookie receiver could put up some gaudy numbers on the opposite side. I wouldn’t burn a top six waiver priority, but would spend about five percent of my FAAB on the former Gamecock.
Brandon LaFell (WR | Carolina| 23 percent owned in Y!) I spoke briefly about Brandon LaFell in the “sleepers” section of our fantasy football draft kit we published this summer — I like him a lot. This past week, he found himself on the field for the most snaps of any Panther pass catcher. However, he caught just three passes on five targets for 65 yards and a touchdown. I expect those targets to spike — as most defensive backs will be keying on Steve Smith — and have no problem spending ten percent of my FAAB to ensure I get him on my squad.
Kevin Kolb (QB | Arizona| percent owned in Y!) For those in two quarterback leagues, Kolb could give your team some production if John Skelton isn’t able to go on Sunday. Kolb lost the quarterback competition to Skelton back in the preseason, and with a chip on his shoulder, could try and work his way back into the starting gig. Well, maybe not, but some points are better than none of the starter’s low ankle sprain keeps him sidelined.
Written by Alan Harrison for TheFantasyFix.com. Follow Alan's rants on Twitter @TheFantasyFix .