It is the same thing every year in fantasy leagues. Owners start panicking after a lackluster week one and rush to the waiver wire to find the next big thing. It is the gold rush of fantasy football leagues.
But most of the popular prospects in week one of the regular season turn out to be nothing more than a hunk of pyrite.
What owners are trying to find is Fort Knox, the real deal, the next fantasy football hall of famer. And they do find them every year. Guys like Peyton Hillis, LeGarrette Blount, Stevie Johnson and Michael Vick came off the wire last year and led teams to fantasy championships.
Those guys are out there in your leagues this year, but are they any of the week one wonders?
Rex Grossman, QB, Redskins
Week 1 Stats: 305 passing yards, two touchdowns
Saints’ fans remember the Grossman who led the Bears past New Orleans to the Super Bowl several years ago. And when I say “led”, I really mean he let the Bears’ defense and running game win it for him. This Grossman is a little more seasoned but still a gun-slinger at heart. The mind-numbing mistakes will come.
Ben Tate, RB, Texans
Week 1 Stats: 24 carries, 116 yards, one touchdown, one fumble
Tate took advantage of Arian Foster’s absence and a runaway blowout of the Colts in week one. No need to overreact here, though, because according to most experts in the football community he still is behind Derrick Ward in the pecking order. And if this kind of production keeps up, I expect Foster to get back sooner rather than later.
Cadillac Williams, RB, Rams
Week 1 Stats: 19 carries, 91 yards; Six receptions, 49 yards
Steven Jackson took his first handoff to the house and was off to a big start for the Rams, but a leg injury sidelined him for most of the week one game against Philadelphia. Williams stepped in and filled up the stat sheet. With Jackson likely out in week 2 — and maybe more — Williams is in line for a lot of touches the next few weeks.
Status: Buy (Short term)
Cam Newton, QB, Panthers
Week 1 Stats: 422 passing yards, two touchdowns, one interception; Eight carries, 18 yards, one touchdown
I hate to recommend a rookie quarterback in fantasy football, I really do. In fact, I hate it so much that I am not touching Newton in any of my leagues. But Newton definitely is worth adding after a debut like that. If I was not set at quarterback or if I had drafted Peyton Manning, I would feel differently about adding Newton to my fantasy teams.
Scott Chandler, TE, Bills
Week 1 Stats: Five receptions, 63 yards, two touchdowns
Chandler is getting his 15 minutes of fantasy fame thanks to a two-score performance in a blowout of the Chiefs last weekend. But do not let the glitter from his ticker-tape parade blind you from the fact that he had one career reception before Sunday.
Chad Henne, QB, Dolphins
Week 1 Stats: 416 passing yards, two touchdowns, one interception; Seven carries, 56 yards, one touchdown
I kind of want to buy this, but I think I have seen it before from Henne. Oh that’s right, I have: In two of his four previous starts against the Patriots, Henne has topped 300 yards and thrown two touchdowns in each. So this is his one good game against New England this year, and we should have the same old Henne the rest of the way.
Devery Henderson, WR, Saints
Week 1 Stats: Six receptions, 100 yards, one touchdown
What you need to know about Henderson’s week one touchdown catch: He also caught a touchdown in the season opener last year against Minnesota. Then he went on to catch zero more touchdowns. This could be a little different, though, because of the injuries to Marques Colston and Lance Moore. Think: Super Bowl Devery Henderson.
Status: Buy (Short term)
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Bills
Week 1 Stats: 208 passing yards, four touchdowns, one interception
Fantasy owners found Fitzpatrick on the waiver wire last year and he put together several service-able starts. He still has his top option in Stevie Johnson and another year as the undisputed leader of the Bills’ offense. I do not think his week one start was a fluke, but I still would not consider him an every-week starter.