Each week, we will run down the top waiver wire pickups with a focus on the coming week and rest of the season.
Philip Rivers (@ Titans)
Week - 36/47, 419 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT
After a dismal 2012 season, Rivers has turned back the clock so far in 2013, throwing for 614 yards and seven touchdowns with only one interception through two weeks. Rivers spread the ball around nicely in the win over the Eagles hitting eight different receivers while matching Michael Vick punch for punch. Bottom line, he just looks more comfortable in Mike McCoy's new offence and could easily produce solid numbers this season. He is still a borderline QB1 at this point, but a very solid QB2.
Ryan Tannehill (vs Falcons)
Last Week - 23/34, 319 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
The Dolphins are off to a 2-0 start thanks in large part to Tannehill's solid quarterbacking. After a good Week 1, he turned in an even better performance in the win over the Colts and got on the same page with Mike Wallace which bodes well going forward. The Dolphins running game is a work in progress while the passing game is starting to fire so you can expect Tannehill to throw the ball quite a bit. He also has appealing matchups against Atlanta and New Orleans in the next two weeks.
Others to consider - Alex Smith (@ Eagles), Carson Palmer (@ Saints), EJ Manuel (@ Jets)
James Starks (@ Cardinals)
Last Week - 24 touches, 168 yards, 1 TD
There is a very strong possibility that Eddie Lacy will sit out this week at Cincinnati. The Packers have a Week 4 bye so there is no sense rushing him back from his concussion. That opens the door for Starks who turned in an extremely fine performance against Washington after Lacy went down. Running backs with a solid chance at topping 100 yards aren't often available so go ahead and grab him for this week. Even when Lacy gets back, Starks has probably earned himself a bigger share of the Packers carries with his huge day against Washington.
Bilal Powell (vs. Bills)
Last Week - 14 touches, 70 yards, 1 TD
There is limited upside with Powell given that he is locked into a timeshare with Chris Ivory in the Jets backfield. That said, the split looks to be pretty even, so Powell should see around 12-14 carries per week and catch a pass or two on check downs giving him some value. If you need depth at running back or a desperate for a flex play you could definitely do worse.
Danny Woodhead (@ Titans)
Last Week – 17 touches, 64 yards
Woodhead appears to have taken over second spot in the Chargers running back hierarchy behind Ryan Matthews and ahead of Ronnie Brown. While he has limited value as a runner, Woodhead will see lots of work on third down which puts him in position to catch a lot of balls from Philip Rivers who loves his check downs. Eight of Woodhead's 17 Week 2 touches came in the passing game giving him definite value in PPR leagues.
Donald Brown (@49ers)
Last Week - 7 carries, 30 yards
With Vick Ballard shut down for the season, Brown becomes the Colts' de facto No.2 running back behind Ahmad Bradshaw. He isn't close to being worth a flex play right now, but with Bradshaw's injury history might be worth a pickup if you have room to stash him on the bench. He is one foot injury away from being a starter. (09/19 Note: With Indianapolis acquiring Trent Richardson Brown should no longer be considered)
Others to consider – Andre Ellington (@Saints), Pierre Thomas (vs Cardinals), Da'Rel Scott (@ Panthers), Brandon Jacobs (@ Panthers)
Eddie Royal (@ Titans)
Last Week - 7 catches, 90 yards, 1 TD
If you grabbed Eddie Royal after his two touchdown performance in Week 1 you're probably feeling pretty smart right about now. Royal followed up his two touchdowns in the opener with three more against the Eagles. His five touchdowns through two weeks actually match his total output from the previous four years. The TD rate is clearly unsustainable but he has finally developed some chemistry with Philip Rivers and with Malcom Floyd out indefinitely, Royal will continue to see plenty of targets.
DeAndre Hopkins (@ Ravens)
Last Week - 7 catches, 117 yards, 1 TD
He's already owned in over half of all leagues, but if Hopkins is available in your league, grab him. The Texans rookie had a productive Week 1 with five catches for 66 yards and followed it up with an even better performance in Week 2. With good speed and excellent ball skills he has established himself as the clear No.2 in Houston behind Andre Johnson. Hopkins has solid WR3 potential and if Johnson is forced to miss any time, his value is even higher.
Kendall Wright (vs Chargers)
Last Week - 7 catches, 54 yards, 1 TD
Kenny Britt is supposed to be the Titans No.1 receiver, but he is in the doghouse and Wright looks like the much better play. After a disappointing opener, Wright bounced back with a strong effort in Week 2. He was targeted a team-high 11 times and hauled in seven of those looks including a six-yard TD in the first quarter. Tennessee's offensive scheme and Jake Locker's inaccuracy limits the potential for Titans receivers but Wright maintains a pretty high-ceiling and has value as a WR3 in PPR leagues.
Marlon Brown (vs Texans)
Last Week - 4 catches, 45 yards, 1 TD
Brown has found the endzone in back-to-back weeks to start the season. With Jacoby Jones sidelined and a serious lack of depth at receiver, Brown is quickly establishing himself as Joe Flacco's No. 2 behind Torrey Smith. If Ray Rice is forced to miss any time it could mean even more targets for Brown. The Texans have also allowed six passing touchdowns in the first two weeks making this a decent matchup for Brown this week. He is a solid depth receiver and a good pick up for bye weeks.
Others to consider – Andre Roberts (@ Saints), Robert Woods (@ Jets), Ted Ginn (vs Giants), Aaron Dobson (@ Bucs)
Charles Clay (vs Falcons)
Last Week - 9 catches, 108 yards, 1 TD
Clay has opened the season with back-to-back five catch performances and picked up 109 yards against the Colts in Week 2. He also added a rushing touchdown on a carry from the one-yard line. He's not really a TE1 at this point but is a good pickup in two tight end leagues and a solid bye week replacement. The goal-line carries are an added bonus and worth keeping an eye on.
Tyler Eifert (vs Packers)
Last Week - 5 catches, 110 yards, 2TDs
For now, the Bengals are going to use Eifert and Jermaine Gresham fairly evenly which limits the value for both. However, Eiftert is simply a better player and has the potential to be a star. He can line up anywhere in the offence and should eventually start to shoulder more of the offensive load for Cincinnati. He's no more than a TE2 right now, but if you have room to stash him, it could pay big dividends in the long run.
Others to consider – Coby Fleener (@ 49ers), Heath Miller (vs Bears), Jordan Reed (@ Lions)