RotoWire Partners

Working the Wire: From Bucs to Vikes to Fantasy Worthy?

Kevin Payne

Kevin Payne

Kevin has worked for Rotowire just under a decade and has covered basketball, baseball and football. A glutton for punishment, he roots for his hometown Bills, Sabres and the New York Yankees. He hosts the RotoWire SiriusXM show every Wednesday and Friday and you can follow him on Twitter @KCPayne26.

QUARTERBACKS

Primary Targets

Nick Foles, PHI -
At this point it should be a shocker when Michael Vick is healthy rather than being surprised when he gets hurt. Foles played brilliantly in relief of Vick on Sunday against the hapless Giants, finishing with 8.4 YPA and two touchdown passes. Those numbers are even more impressive considering the Giants were 10th in the league defensively in YPA. Chip Kelly has more or less made it clear that the Eagles will go back to Vick once he's healthy, but as of now there doesn't appear to be a timetable. Another impressive performance from Foles could pave the way for Vick to take his time coming back or make the whispers for Foles as the outright starter grow louder. Either way, there aren't many backups in the league I'd rank higher than Foles. FAAB: $6-$12 in two-QB leagues, $3-$6 in standard formats

Secondary Targets

Josh Freeman, MIN -
When Freeman was released and narrowed his choices to three teams, it seemed obvious he would go where he thought he had the best chance of playing. Landing in Minnesota could be the ideal place with Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder given their limitations. It's much more difficult for a quarterback to walk in and pick up a new offense quickly so it's likely Freeman takes a few weeks to get acclimated to his new team. The new set of receivers he has are at least on par with what he had in Tampa given that Kyle Rudolph is light years ahead of anything he had with the Bucs. FAAB: $3-$6

Chad Henne, JAC -
I know it sounds strange recommending the backup for an 0-5 team but follow me here for a minute. Justin Blackmon looks like a legit No. 1 wide receiver and Cecil Shorts is capable of being just as good. This is a team that's going to be playing from behind a lot, meaning Henne should have plenty of pass attempts against prevent defenses. The Jaguars shouldn't go back to the interception-prone Gabbert, and this week should provide plenty of garbage time for the Jacksonville quarterback. FAAB: $2-$4

Hail Mary

Thaddeus Lewis, BUF -
Given his play in the preseason I find it a little odd the Bills aren't going to give Jeff Tuel another shot at starting. Instead, the Bills turn to the former Duke standout Lewis who makes the jump from the practice squad to the starting 11. This week is a tough matchup against the Bengals' stingy defense, but Lewis should get a long look provided he isn't a complete disaster. He isn't a mobile quarterback, and the Bills should lean heavily on Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. Still, in two-quarterback leagues he's going to have some value merely being a starting quarterback.FAAB: $1 or FCFS

RUNNING BACK

Primary Targets

Pierre Thomas, NO -
Thomas isn't available in most leagues, but he only has 75 percent ownership on a couple sites I checked. His 19 carries Sunday were the most he's had since 2010, and his 28 total touches will make him the most wanted running back this week if he's available. It's hard to predict what the Saints will do week-to-week after Sproles went off Week 4 and then was relatively quiet this week. While the game plan may change, it appears Thomas is going to have a big role and expecting 15-20 touches each week is reasonable as long as Mark Ingram is out. FAAB: $20-$25

Seconday Targets

Marcel Reece, OAK -
It was expected that Rashad Jennings would have a big role against the Chargers, but a hamstring injury early in the game sidelined him. With Darren McFadden already out it was Reece who got the bulk of the work for the Raiders. Despite being north of 250 pounds, Reece is a solid pass-catcher who could be in for a big workload against the Chiefs if Jennings and McFadden are both out. The problem is you'll have to make a bid on Reece before more definitive injury reports come out on his teammates. I think he's worth the gamble if you're desperate for running back help; he had two 100-yard games (from scrimmage) last season when McFadden was out. FAAB: $8-$12

Hail Mary

Donald Brown, IND -
Brown vultured the goal-line carry from Trent Richardson Sunday and to be completely honest, has looked better than Richardson the last two games. Brown will continue to get 5-8 touches, spelling Richardson and obviously would have a lot of value should Richardson and his style of running lead to an injury. FAAB: $1 or FCFS

WIDE RECEIVERS

Primary Targets

Keenan Allen, SD -
Allen has put together consecutive solid performances totaling 195 yards and a touchdown, developing into one of Philip Rivers' favorite targets. Allen is the first of two San Diego receivers on this list but should be the top wide-receiver target this week. Allen at 6-foot-2, 210, is the biggest target Rivers has outside of Antonio Gates and narrowly missed a second touchdown Sunday against the Raiders. Allen was drafted in the third round (76th overall) and was considered one of the best wide receivers in the draft before a bad pro day 40 time (4.71) hurt his stock. The bad time was due to a PCL injury he suffered during the 2012 season, and he considered himself only 80 percent healthy at the time. As a result, it appears the Chargers got a steal in the third round, and with all the injuries to their wide receiving corps he should be a big part of the San Diego passing game. FAAB: $20-$25

Vincent Brown, SD -
The world appears to have re-aligned itself as Brown finally had a big game Sunday with Eddie Royal assuming a lesser role in the Chargers' passing attack. Brown led the receivers in targets the last two weeks (18) and should continue to produce after getting a lot of preseason sleeper buzz. Both Allen and Brown will benefit from playing in a high-scoring division and with the team's less-than-stellar defense; Rivers will throw a lot this season. FAAB: $15-$20

Secondary Targets

Rueben Randle, NYG -
Until this week Randle had been relatively quiet since his five-catch, 105-yard performance Week 1. Benefiting from single coverage all game as the Eagles attempted to slow Victor Cruz, Randle finished with six catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns. It's tough to see consistent production for now with Hakeem Nicks and Cruz both being Eli's main targets. I stress the "for now" part because Randle could move into a bigger role should the Giants scrap this season and trade Nicks. FAAB: $8-$12

Jeremy Kerley, NYJ -
With Santonio Holmes out the next several weeks, look for Kerley to carve out a significant role in the Jets' passing game. He was dealing with a concussion earlier this season but has passed all league tests and should be fine. Kerley is your typical slot guy; he's small but is quick and runs sharp routes making him tough to cover. Geno Smith has looked better as quarterback than I thought we would see this soon and loves to go downfield with the ball. FAAB: $6-$10

TIGHT ENDS

Secondary Targets

Jeff Cumberland, NYJ -
Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said earlier this week he needed to get Jeff Cumberland more involved in the offense. It didn't take long for Cumberland to get involved after a play where he was called for illegal substitution (too many men in the huddle) he brought in a back shoulder catch for a 20-yard touchdown. He later caught a long pass on a seam route and has seemingly moved past Kellen Winslow on the depth chart. FAAB: $4-$6