Working the Wire: Watching Like a Hawkins

The situation surrounding Josh Gordon’s suspension should play out in the coming hours, but regardless of his availability, Andrew Hawkins remains our top option off the wire. Hawkins was limited to eight games last year with Cincinnati but emerged as the go to receiver with his new squad in week one, racking up eight catches for 87 yards on 10 targets.

Hawkins won’t give you the elite size that many are looking for in a No. 1 wideout in today’s NFL, but his 4.34 wheels, solid route running ability and massive opportunity in a Cleveland offense thirsting for playmakers puts him at the top of our wavier wire list this week. Hawkins is currently owned in just 25% of standard leagues and should be the top waiver priority for any receiver-needy teams. Gordon’s potential return may eat into some of Hawkins’ appeal in the long run, but his work in the slot should allow him to maintain steady value even if he’s not the target monster we saw Sunday.

Working the Waiver Wire

Each week, we’ll outline the top options available in more than 50% of standard fantasy leagues. 


Carson Palmer (ARI): He sits just above our standard ownership threshold, but Palmer is dangling out there on a number of waiver wires. It’s rarely going to be pretty with the veteran gun-slinger and while you might be best served not actually watching Palmer’s game, he always seems to get his in the box score one way or another. He backed up his furious finish to the 2013 season with a 24-for-37, 304 yd, 2 TD effort on Monday night football, good for a to-5 score amongst quarterbacks.

Jake Locker (TEN): In Locker’s first game in the Ken Wisenhunt era, Locker posted top-10 numbers, tossing a pair of touchdown passes to go along with 266 yards. He’s got an underrated set of wide receivers at his disposal and, perhaps most importantly, a date with the pitiful Dallas defense on tap for Sunday. Locker is a nice plug and play in Week 2 with top-12 upside the rest of the way.

Running Back

Terrance West (CLE): Surprise, surprise – Ben Tate is hurt. The rookie West stepped in admirably in Week 1, rushing for 100 yards on 16 carries. He lost out on the goal line touches to Isiah Crowell, who will also be a popular name on the wire this week, but West is your first add.

Christopher Ivory (NYJ): It’s never been a question of talent with Ivory, merley his ability to stay on the field. He’s working in a fairly even split with Chris Johnson in New York and has some flex appeal for as long as he stays healthy.

Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson (NO): It’s a package deal in the New Orleans running back department because it’s  really difficult to project week to week. Ingram appears to be the early down pounder while Robinson represents a change of pace roll. We are adding Ingram first, but don’t mind a flier on Robinson either.

Benny Cunningham (STL): Much was made of Cunningham’s potential role heading into week on and speculation as to whether he would supplant Zac Stacy as the Rams’ lead back. It was a fairly even split Sunday, with Stacy out-touching Benny 11 to 9 on the afternoon. Of course, if the Rams continue to put together such a pathetic offensive attack, it won’t really matter who the starter is.

Justin Forsett (BAL): While Forsett ran well when given opportunities and there have been reports that he’ll draw the start Thursday evening, Bernard Pierce remains the back to own in Baltimore following the departure of Ray Rice. Also keep an eye on interesting rookie Lorenzo Taliafaro, who could also throw his hat in the mix if given opportunity by the coaching staff.

Roy Helu (WSH): Deeper PPR players will want to keep tabs on Helu moving forward. He’s not taking Alfred Morris’ job outright, but four carries for 46 yards and antoher two catches for 15  in the passing game (while the Redskins’ offense struggled as a whole) is a nice start.

Wide Receiver

Greg Jennings (MIN): The veteran Jennings may not be the playmaker that his teammate across the field is turning into, but Jennings continues to be effective with Matt Cassel at the helm. He rewarded the faithful with 5-for-58 and a touchdown Sunday on seven targets.

John Brown (ARI): It wasn’t Larry Fitzgerald getting tossed the fade in the end zone in Monday’s win over the Chargers, but the short and speedy Brown. While he failed to convert that score, Brown did hit pay-dirt, making a few nifty moves on a wide receiver screen to give the Cards the lead for good. This team is going to chuck it, and Brown is going to continue to play a role.

Allen Hurns (JAX): Hurns burst on the scene Sunday, torching the Eagles for 110 yards on four catches with a pair of touchdowns. He’s an interesting add this week, but perhaps not the most interesting on his own team…

Marquise Lee (JAX): While Hurns grabbed a couple of scores and all the headlines, the Jags more highly touted rookie receiver had a  solid NFL debut as well, catching six of 10 targets for 62 yards. While your opponents head to the waiver to grab Hurns, we don’t mind prioritizing Lee as your pickup.

Brain Quick (STL): Well, St. Louis has to throw to someone right? Quick caught seven balls for 97 yards Sunday and looks to be the lead dog in the Rams’ aerial attack… we think thats a good thing.

Tight End

Dwayne Allen (IND): Allen broke off a long play Sunday to pad his stats and while it may have been the result of some poor tackling on the part f the Denver secondary, he was much more effective than his counterpart Colby Fleener.

Larry Donnell (NYG): Monday was a night to forget for much of the New York Giants roster, but their tight end showed up in a big way, reeling in five of eight targets for 56 yards and a score. He’s got the size to be a solid red-zone threat and should see plenty of action in New York’s dink and dunk offense.


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