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Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Free-agent finds for Week 2

By Christopher Harris
ESPN.com

Waiver-wire news changes fast and furious throughout the week, as injuries and depth-chart shenanigans overtake us. So be sure to follow me on Twitter, @CHarrisESPN, and I'll keep you updated as news warrants. Let's get to Week 2's best fantasy roster additions:

Standard ESPN League Finds

Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots (owned in 15.9 percent of ESPN.com leagues). Kenbrell Thompkins face-planted in Week 1: 14 targets, four catches, and several mental mistakes. In his place, Danny Amendola and Edelman became Tom Brady's only reliable receivers. Is there reason to believe Edelman could see his workload diminish when Rob Gronkowski returns? Maybe. However, a likelier scenario is Amendola getting more outside work, with Edelman continuing to man the slot. Plus in the short term, it now appears that Amendola won't play Thursday night against the Jets because of a groin injury, so Edelman becomes something close to a must-start in most leagues. Remember that Edelman is an injury risk himself, but he certainly should be owned in all fantasy leagues.

Jordan Cameron
Despite his QB issues, Jordan Cameron does appear to have the physical tools and the talent to be a top-flight tight end this season.

Jordan Cameron, TE, Cleveland Browns (32.5 percent). Week 1 featured breakout performances by several of the "freak athlete" tight ends who whetted our appetites the past couple seasons. Julius Thomas, Martellus Bennett and Jared Cook are all mostly owned, but Cameron isn't. And that's understandable, considering his quarterback is Brandon Weeden. But Cameron was all over the field Sunday, with nine grabs and a TD on 13 targets. I can't promise any of these hybrid size/speed monsters will be every-week fantasy contributors (I give Cook the best chance), but Cameron has a shot.

Daniel Thomas, RB, Miami Dolphins (8.1 percent). And now we reach the portion of our program in which I have to list running backs I don't believe in. Thomas surprisingly split carries with sprinter Lamar Miller in Week 1, with Miller playing 36 snaps and Thomas playing 32. One imagines that if Miller had run well in the first quarter, he'd have gotten a greater workload, but we have to acknowledge that Thomas got Miami's only crack from close in, and he converted a 1-yard score. The larger point here may be that Miami's offensive line might not be very good.

Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (0.4 percent). Against the Tennessee Titans, Isaac Redman fumbled twice and was benched, LaRod Stephens-Howling tore an ACL, and Felix Jones missed a block and never saw the field thereafter. Hurry back, Le'Veon Bell! The Steelers re-signed Dwyer on Monday after cutting him before Week 1. You know Dwyer's act: He's a big guy with good feet, and he probably should've made more of his NFL career, but he apparently has been "motivationally challenged." If Bell can't play Week 2 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Dwyer probably will be the lead dog in a frustrating platoon. But a TD can't be ruled out.

Brian Hartline, WR, Dolphins (34.6 percent). Don't get carried away. Hartline produced one huge game in 2012 (253 yards against the Arizona Cardinals) and otherwise never found the end zone. But if the Fish are going to struggle on the ground this badly all season, more than just Mike Wallace is going to be fantasy-relevant. Wallace whined after Week 1 and should find the sledding easier against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, but I'll be most curious to see if Hartline can stay as involved. If he can avoid the stinkers he pitched every other week last season, he'll be interesting, because his deep speed is legit.

Andre Roberts, WR, Arizona Cardinals (35.8 percent). Roberts' problem could be the same as Hartline's: Will the Cards continue to fling it to him on a weekly basis? In Week 1, all three Arizona WRs (including Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd) were given chances to shine, and Roberts in particular seemed to earn Carson Palmer's slot confidence on third downs. Bruce Arians will use three-receiver sets as much as any NFL coach, so field time isn't a concern. The main rub is whether Roberts and Floyd will cancel one another out. Just in case they don't, however, Roberts certainly can be added as a bench player in all leagues.

Marlon Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens (2.1 percent). If I'm looking for a lightly owned high-upside WR, here he is. Jacoby Jones is out at least a month with a sprained knee, and the tall, lanky Brown has bypassed Deonte Thompson, Aaron Mellette and Tandon Doss on the Ravens' roster. He grabbed a (fairly meaningless) red-zone TD in Week 1 and didn't exactly flash great wheels, but you can't coach 6-foot-5. Torrey Smith was unimpressive in his first game as a No. 1 wideout, and while I'm willing to give Smith a bunch more chances to show more (and/or prove he can beat safety help), the Ravens simply will have to find him a running mate. Brown should get a shot.

Other solid waiver adds, about whom I've written in previous weeks: Justin Blackmon, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (20.5 percent); Heath Miller, TE, Steelers (12.1 percent).

Deeper League Finds

Terrelle Pryor
Most of Terrelle Pryor's value in Week 1 came from his legs, but his passing looks decent.

Terrelle Pryor, QB, Oakland Raiders (9.9 percent). The Colts looked utterly shocked that Pryor constantly pulled the ball down after his first read and took off, which speaks volumes about their defense. But it should also be said that when his first read was open, Pryor often did a pretty nice job throwing the ball, much nicer than he did during the preseason. Only time will tell if Pryor's strong Week 1 performance (OK, the 112 rushing yards really was the only strong part) was mostly about Indy's ineptitude, but in a deeper or two-QB league, I'm willing to spend a roster spot so we can find out.

Rod Streater, WR, Raiders (2.2 percent). And although I'm skeptical that Pryor is about to become an NFL-quality thrower, if I'm wrong, Streater might be his favorite target. Streater saw eight targets to Denarius Moore's seven, and was clearly more sure-handed (though Moore got a target -- and a TD -- from inside the Colts' 5). Both Streater and Moore have legit deep speed, and Streater has a bit more size. I don't want to start either guy in any league just yet, but if you were impressed enough by Pryor, you could try and get ahead of the curve by adding one of his top weapons.

Harry Douglas, WR, Atlanta Falcons (0.9 percent). Roddy White played on only about two-thirds of Atlanta's offensive snaps and admitted he was often a decoy because of his high-ankle sprain. That gave a meaty role to Douglas, who responded with four catches for 83 yards. It's not a one-to-one replacement situation; Douglas is a slight player who can't get off the line or beat a defender in the air the way White can. But as a short-team solution in deep leagues, especially for a White owner, there are worse options.

Da'Rel Scott, RB, New York Giants (0.7 percent). As of this writing, the Giants have yet to announce anything about David Wilson and the starting RB job. Wilson lost two fumbles early Sunday night and was never heard from again, and until and unless the Giants give us a clue, anyone you ask will be guessing. Will Wilson get the Week 2 start against the Denver Broncos? Will he even play? It seems likely that the team will sign a veteran rusher, and that could crush everyone's fantasy value here. If they don't, perhaps Scott is a deep-league option by sheer dint of a partial workload, but while he's a straight-ahead burner, Scott has no wiggle and his football instincts are shaky.

Brandon Bolden and LeGarrette Blount, RBs, Patriots (0.3 and 1.6 percent, respectively). Speaking of fumblers, whither Stevan Ridley? At least with the Pats we know we won't get any clues, right? There's some comfort in that, I suppose. All we really know is that Shane Vereen is out multiple weeks with a broken bone in his wrist, which could grant Ridley a reprieve from the governor. Or it could thrust Bolden (who sat out Week 1) or Blount into the spotlight. I don't know. The Boston media doesn't know. Nobody will know until the Patriots take the field Thursday night.

Jerome Simpson, WR, Minnesota Vikings (3.9 percent). Sorry, Jerome, it's going to take more than one game to earn any fantasy owner's trust. Simpson did a nice job on a long pass where he fought through defensive interference to make a grab, and in all produced 140 yards against the Detroit Lions. But Simpson has been a tease for years, and there's a reason the Vikes drafted Cordarrelle Patterson in the first round in April. But for the moment, Patterson is no threat to the starting lineup, while Simpson is certainly locked in. I'd still rather own Greg Jennings, but I'm willing to have my mind changed throughout September.

Nate Burleson
Nate Burleson just keeps putting up decent stats opposite Calvin Johnson, even with higher-upside wideouts waiting for their shot.

Nate Burleson, WR, Detroit Lions (3.4 percent). Ryan Broyles has pain and/or weakness in his surgically repaired knee, and couldn't go in Week 1. Pat Edwards is a super-deep sleeper of mine who's worth watching, but for now the only game in town opposite Calvin Johnson is apparently the veteran Burleson. He made six grabs Sunday, and isn't an awful option in a deep PPR league, but the Lions need one of their younger players to emerge.

Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets (32.9 percent). Maybe we shouldn't be surprised that Powell got 16 touches compared to 10 for Chris Ivory, who missed much of training camp with a bad hammy. But we definitely shouldn't be surprised that Powell turned 12 carries into 29 yards rushing. He's just not a player who can make something out of nothing. He's OK. He'll get what's blocked. But Powell is best cast as a third-down player, and I assume that's in his near future.

Kellen Winslow, TE, Jets (2.7 percent). Jeff Cumberland took a head shot from Dashon Goldson in Week 1, which led to a whole bunch of looks for K2. While the 30-year-old's knees are held together by barbed wire and broken dreams, he got himself open for Geno Smith again and again on Sunday. Expecting him to stay healthy is probably folly. But if you need a PPR tight end in a deep league, you could probably do worse.

Dallas Clark, TE, Ravens (9.4 percent). Seldom has seven catches for 87 yards looked so terrible. Clark dropped three passes, including a sure touchdown, and contributed to a second-half series of miscues that got the Ravens poleaxed. Baltimore has brought in a few free-agent TEs this week, which gives you an idea of how it views its corps sans Dennis Pitta. But until someone else is in the lineup, expect Clark to get a whole bunch of targets each week.

Other solid waiver adds for deep-leaguers, about whom I've written in previous weeks: EJ Manuel, QB, Buffalo Bills (14.3 percent); Kendall Hunter, RB, San Francisco 49ers (10.5 percent); Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego Chargers (20.8 percent); Kenny Stills, WR, New Orleans Saints (4.0 percent); Quinton Patton, WR, 49ers (4.3 percent); Pat Edwards, WR, Lions (0.1 percent).