The season hasn’t even officially started yet, but millions of fantasy drafts are now in the books. It’s the fantasy fever, folks. The hype is very real. Anyway, with a tons of drafts completed, owners can get a general idea of what their league’s waiver wire looks like. In a few of my own leagues, I was surfing the waiver wire just to see what was out there. However, when I looked, I found way too many players that weren’t owned, but should be. Here’s who came to mind.
Ownership percentages are based off Yahoo! leagues.
Joique Bell, Detroit Lions (29%): I don’t understand why fantasy owners fail to realize how valuable Bell is in fantasy this year. Sure, he isn’t a starting running back in the league right now, but who cares? Coming off of a season where he caught over 50 balls (again, as a backup), Bell still plays on the most pass-happy team in all of football, and has already leap-frogged over Mikel Leshoure as the team’s number two back. If you own Reggie Bush, I don’t see how you can not own Bell. Bush stated in the past that the reasoning behind a lot of his injuries during his time in New Orleans is the turf aspect. Well, whether you believe it or not, Bush is in Detroit now, who (you guessed it) play on turf. Bell has been absolutely stellar during the preseason, and even with the addition of Bush, he’ll get his fair share of playing time. And if Bush suddenly goes down, fantasy owners will be killing to acquire him. Stash him now while you can.
Danny Woodhead, San Diego Chargers (44%): People are sleeping on Woodhead this year, but they seriously shouldn’t be. We all know starting running back Ryan Mathews is fragile to say the least, and he won’t be used in passing situations. Last season, Mathews played on just five third downs, and was actually benched during passing downs for Ronnie Brown. Now, after acquiring Woodhead, he is fully expected to be the team’s third-down back, and considering the Chargers will likely be behind a lot this year, quarterback Philip Rivers will have to throw the football a ton, which benefits Woodhead. Remember, he was a top-25 fantasy running back last year, despite only carrying the football 76 times. There’s value here.
Bilal Powell, New York Jets (34%): As of right now, Powell is the starting running back on an NFL team. That alone should make him owned in more leagues. Not to mention that the Jets want to run the football, and with a rookie quarterback under center, they may be doing it quite a bit. Yes, I understand that Chris Ivory is there, and he is probably the better talent. But Powell is no slouch either, and Ivory has already dealt with a nagging hamstring injury. If news breaks during the week that Ivory can’t go, many owners who need a running back will be rushing to grab Powell on Sunday mornings. Don’t forget. Shonn Greene was nothing more than an unattractive plodder last year, but still finished as the number 15 fantasy back.
EJ Manuel, Buffalo Bills (19%): One of my bold predictions this year was that Manuel would finish as a top-15 fantasy signal caller. With that being said, of course I feel as if he needs to be owned in more leagues. He has that dual-threat ability that fantasy owners love, the weapons in Buffalo are the fastest and most talented they have been in years and Manuel has the 9th-most favorable schedule among quarterbacks based off last year’s pass defenses. This Buffalo offense will be much better than people realize, and Manuel should be owned in much more than 19 percent of fantasy leagues.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.