Wow, another fantasy football season has come to a close. * SIGH * Â Well, I hope you are reading this article, moving your mouse with one hand and hoisting your leagueâ€™s Championship trophy with the other!
Just like the draft, the fantasy Waiver Wire plays a huge part in building a winning roster. Depth and insurance is key and is a big factor in roster management and team effectiveness. Players come in to fantasy relevance due to injured starters, opportunity and unexpected success. There is nothing more rewarding than grabbing that once unknown commodity and riding that playerâ€™s success on the gridiron all the way to success in the world of fantasy.
Letâ€™s take a look at some All-Pro Waiver Wire Players for 2012! Basically some players that you ignored on draft day in 2012, but will more than likely be on your draft day radar in 2013!
QB Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers â€“ Coming into prominence after the concussion to starting QB Alex Smith, the fleet-footed Kaepernick got the nod and never looked back. Ignored on draft day in most leagues, Kaepernick was a force in the second half of the season and surely wonâ€™t be lingering on the wire in 2013. Expect him to be behind center moving forward.
QB Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders â€“ Despite petering out towards the end of the season, no one will argue that for a lengthy stretch there was no hotter and excitingly productive quarterback in the league than Palmer. During the stretch of Week 9 through Week 14, Palmer threw for 1,864 yards and tossed 15 touchdown passes.
QB Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks â€“ Another player largely ignored in most leagues on draft day, but turned more than a few heads as the season progressed would be Russell Wilson. You could see his comfort level growing with each passing week, and his play, along with a stout defense and solid running attack is one of the reasons that Seattle is one of those teams that no one wants to draw in the playoffs.
RB Bryce Brown, Philadelphia Eagles â€“ As I mentioned above, sometimes an opportunity comes due to injury befalling the starter at the position. No one embraced this opportunity more than Brown. Of course he needs to embrace the football and cut down on the fumbles, but I digress… He was an outstanding replacement for the Eagles while RB LeSean McCoy was out with the concussion and really gives Philadelphia a nice stable of backfield options for the future.
RB Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos â€“ When RB Willis McGahee was lost for the season, the question was who would fill the void? Ronnie Hillman? Lance Ball? Nope, it was Moreno who came on in week 12 and has cranked out over 600 combined yards and scored two touchdowns. Solid production late in the season out of nowhere is always pretty sweet.
RB Joique Bell, Detroit Lions â€“ Of course we all know that RB Mikel LeShoure was the lead dog in Detroit, but I really cannot ignore what Bell brought to the table in limited action. Through week 16, Bell has contributed almost 900 yards of total offense and has hit pay dirt three times.
RB Marcel Reece, Oakland Raiders â€“ It should have come as a surprise to no one that Raiders starting RB Darren McFadden would miss time this season due to injury. However, when this also happened to RB Mike Goodson,Â they turned to Reece and he did not disappoint. In addition to solid performances on the ground, the former college wide receiver also added quite a one-two punch as a receiver.
RB Andre Brown and David Wilson, New York Giants â€“ With starting RB Ahmad Bradshaw battling a myriad of injuries, both of these guys stepped up and made an impact at different points of the season. Before being lost for the year with a broken leg, Brown was a beast near the goal line, totaling eight rushing touchdowns. The rookie Wilson was more of a factor late both in the return game and on the ground and was quite a hot commodity. Both guys were coveted and valued fantasy options for sure.
WR James Jones, Green Bay Packers â€“ Despite the fact that QB Aaron Rodgers spreads the ball around to a multitude of receivers, and that WR Jordy Nelson and WR Greg Jennings were lost for numerous games throughout the season really opened the door for Jones. So far he has out-performed every Packers receiver including WR Randall Cobb compilingÂ 722 receiving yards and an amazing 13 touchdowns in 16 games.
WR Danario Alexander, San Diego Chargers â€“ Every year there is that receiver that comes out of the blue and makes a sizable fantasy impact. Last year we had two that instantly come to mind â€“ New York Giants WR Victor Cruz and then-Dallas Cowboys WR Laurent Robinson. This season is was Alexanderâ€™s turn and he turned into a favorite of QB Phillip Rivers and plenty of fantasy owners out there. Bursting onto the scene in Week 10 with 134 yards receiving and a touchdown, Alexander kept things going and through Week 16 has complied 624 yards receiving and six touchdown receptions.
WR Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville Jaguars â€“ There is no denying his talent, but the lack of talent at the quarterback position for Jacksonville certainly left many fantasy owners leery on draft day when considering acquiring the services of Shorts. That said, he was able to overcome those inadequacies and actually turned in a solid rookie season thus far. Through week 16, Shorts has 979 yards receiving and seven touchdown catches.
WR Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns â€“ The deep threat receiver can be a hit or miss proposition, more so when you add in a young, inexperienced quarterback into the mix. However, with 759 receiving yards and five touchdown receptions, you can look for Gordon to be more active and involved for many seasons to come.
WR T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts â€“ As a young quarterback matures, youâ€™ll find some of his young receivers maturing right along with him. This was certainly the case with QB Andrew Luck and Hilton. It will be very exciting to see this combination grow and develop a solid rapport for years to come. So far in 2012, Hilton has 750 receiving yards and has hauled in six touchdowns.
TE Brandon Myers, Oakland Raiders â€“ The prototypical PPR machine. For a stretch there, the kid caught everything thrown his way. Case in point, so far in 2012, Myers has been targeted 98 times and has managed to catch 75 of those offerings. If he his able to add to his touchdown totals in 2013, he could really emerge as a dominant fantasy option at the position.
TE Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Bengals â€“ With an attention-grabber like WR A.J. Green downfield, it was only a matter of time that things opened up for the talented Gresham. With that and finally the ability to stay healthy and on the field, Gresham had quite a solid year with 737 receiving yards and five touchdowns.
TE Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens â€“ Just prior to the season, trying to decide who would be the man at tight end for the Ravens between TE Ed Dickson and Pitta was rather difficult. Early on in the season, things cleared up pretty quickly. Pitta was the clear-cut option, as evidenced by his 669 receiving yards and six touchdown catches.
TE Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers â€“ When Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger said he was out to get Miller a Pro-Bowl caliber season, he wasnâ€™t joking. Generally a solid but quiet producer, Miller had fantasy owners take notice in 2012. Through 16 weeks, he has over 70 receptions for 816 yards and has scored 8 touchdowns. Yes, that is just as many as New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham and Atlanta Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez, and more than Dallas Cowboys TE Jason Witten, San Diego Chargers TE Antonio Gates and San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis. All draft day selections, of course.
TE Martellus Bennett, New York Giants â€“ Finally getting out of Dallas and out of TE Jason Wittenâ€™s shadow, I expected good things from Bennett in his first year in New York. Heâ€™ll need to work on his consistency, but the fact that he was able to go from second fiddle in Dallas to a quality contributor for the Giants is worth mentioning.
If I missed anyone â€“ let me know!!!!
In conclusion, I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for checking in during the season. It was a blast for me, and I hope I was able to offer up a pearl of wisdom or two that you found helpful. Iâ€™ll be around her during the off-season with draft reporting, off-season moves and fantasy impact, as well as dynast and keeper league information and insight. Feel free to hit me up on TwitterÂ – @djleason.
All the best in the New Year and make sure you gear up, because in six short months â€“ MOCK DRAFT!!!
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