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Fantasy Football: Week 2 Waiver Wire Pickups

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Fantasy Football 2013: Waiver Wire Pickups For Week 2

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Week 1 of the 2013 NFL season is nearly in the books, with only the traditional two Monday night games remaining, and many impactful players for fantasy football owners are on the four teams that have yet to play (Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Houston Texans, San Diego Chargers). So many owners may not know if they’ll start the season on a winning note or with a mark in the loss column right now, but that does not mean it’s ridiculous to cast an eye toward Week 2 and beyond in an effort to add roster depth.

Each week during the season, I will attempt to focus on players that fantasy owners can add with some degree of confidence they can be kept on a roster for the long haul with some semblance of long-term impact. Players who are widely available, in more than half of Yahoo! leagues ideally, will take precedent as well, with rare if any exceptions to that rule.

Under that last bit of criteria, a player sure to be a hot waiver wire pickup in fantasy football leagues this week will not be on my list. Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas, coming off his five-catch, 110-yard, two touchdown performance against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1, is owned in 55 percent of Yahoo! leagues and misses the cut this week. If that changes down the road, don’t be surprised to see Thomas on this list.

Without further ado, and with tons of anticipation to be sure, here are my fantasy football “Waiver Wire Pickups” for Week 2.

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Terrelle Pryor, QB, Oakland Raiders

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Pryor threw for 217 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, and he also added 112 rushing yards on 13 carries. His mobility will be essential behind an injury-riddled Oakland offensive line, and also bolsters his fantasy value as long as he avoids significant injury. Any fantasy owner in 12 and 14-team leagues looking for a QB2 with some upside should consider adding Pryor, who is available in 89 percent of Yahoo! leagues right now.

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EJ Manuel, QB, Buffalo Bills

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Manuel shook off any concerns over his surgically repaired knee with an efficient performance in Week 1 against the New England Patriots, as he went 18-for-27 for 150 yards and two touchdowns along with 23 rushing yards. A favorable matchup is coming next week against the Carolina Panthers, who allowed 320 yards through the air to Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. Manuel is roster-worthy as a QB2 in all fantasy formats, and his rushing numbers should rise going forward.

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Joique Bell, RB, Detroit Lions

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Reggie Bush grabbed most of the headlines for his performance against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1, but Bell had six carries for 25 yards and two touchdowns along with five receptions for 67 yards in the game. Bush was bothered by groin and thumb issues during Sunday’s game, and though neither injury looks likely to prevent him from playing it serves as a reminder of his past durability issues. Bell has stand-alone fantasy value apart from being a handcuff to Bush, particularly in PPR leagues, and his ownership percentage (33 percent in Yahoo! leagues) should rise significantly this week.

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Vick Ballard, RB, Indianapolis Colts

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Ballard had 13 carries for 63 yards against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, as he led the Colts’ backfield in carries with Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) working his way back to full strength. Bradshaw’s role is sure to increase going forward, but I don’t see Ballard’s workload completely going away due to the former Giant’s history of foot and ankle issues. There are more exciting options out there for sure, but I think Ballard needs to be owned in the majority of 12 and 14-team leagues.

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Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots

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Edelman had seven catches for 79 yards and two touchdowns against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, as he also played the majority of New England’s offensive snaps (83 of 94, per ESPN Edelman should finally get a chance to see the field a lot with the uncertainty in the Patriots’ group of pass catchers, and anyone who is catching passes from Tom Brady needs to be on the fantasy radar.

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Jerome Simpson, WR, Minnesota Vikings

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Simpson had seven catches for 140 yards against the Detroit Lions in Week 1, as last year’s injury issues seemed to be in the rearview mirror. The poor play of Vikings’ quarterback Christian Ponder will not do Simpson’s fantasy value any favors, but any owner looking to take a flier on a wide receiver in deep leagues should give him a look.

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Dallas Clark, TE, Baltimore Ravens

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Clark had seven receptions (on 12 targets) for 87 yards against the Denver Broncos in Week 1, though he did have multiple drops, including a potential touchdown. The Ravens lack good options in the passing game right now, so as long as Clark stays healthy he should see enough targets to be relevant to fantasy owners. His days as a top fantasy option are gone, but Clark is worth a look as a TE2 in 12-team leagues.

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Greg Zuerlein, K, St. Louis Rams

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Zuerlein made four field goals on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, including a 48-yarder to win the game, and he also made his lone extra point. His late season slump as rookie last season, with eight missed field goals over his last 16 attempts, may have led to fantasy owners ignorong him on draft day and his ownership percentage in Yahoo! leagues (29 percent) seems to reflect that. With the offensive talent the Rams’ added this offseason Zuerlein is in line for plenty of opportunities, and with the team not having a bye until Week 11 he is a potential long-term solution for fantasy owners.

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Dallas Cowboys Defense

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The Cowboys allowed 31 offensive points to the New York Giants on Sunday night, but they did force six turnovers (including an interception return for a touchdown) and sacked quarterback Eli Manning three times. Things should be a lot easier in Week 2 against the Kansas City Chiefs, who put up less than 300 yards of offense on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Chiefs' running back Jamaal Charles briefly left Sunday's game with a quad injury, and if he is at all limited next week the Dallas defense would have things even easier. A Week 5 matchup against the Denver Broncos is obviously going to be a challenge, but with matchups against the St. Louis Rams (Week 3) and San Diego Chargers (Week 4) coming after next week the Cowboys’ defense is a viable option for fantasy owners over the next few weeks.