Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 1
Every Tuesday I will be bringing you the NFL players who have somehow flown under the fantasy radar and are owned in far too few leagues given their production and/or ceiling. Injuries and byes are inevitable, too.
With the first game a mere 48 hours away, here are some players that are on quite a few waiver wires out there that simply shouldn’t be.
Josh Freeman (Yahoo: 37% owned; ESPN: 26%)
While his inconsistent play over his first four years has been maddening to fantasy owners, Freeman is still just 25 years of age and has arguably his best supporting cast. With the proven Vincent Jackson and the emerging Mike Williams — who, at 92%, is also under-owned given his physical tools — on either side and a young running back in Doug Martin who set the world on fire last season, all the pieces are in place for Freeman to build on last season’s success (career high in touchdown passes with his second lowest interception total).
His future as an NFL starting quarterback is also on the line as the Bucs elected to delay contract talks, and in a division where scoring is mandatory and defense is optional, that should mean a high volume of attempts. For mid level quarterbacks, the worsening weather can limit their potential, but the Bucs play either in a dome or in a southern state 11 times over their final 13 games (including eight straight to close out the regular season). The risk is minimal due to the depth at quarterback this season, making Freeman a high upside play that I’d stash just in case he continues to progress (don’t forget, he is only two seasons removed for a 3,400 yard season with a 4.2 touchdown to interception ratio).