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NFL Waiver Wire: Send It In, Jerome

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.

Week 1 in the books, we now have a better idea of how teams will use players and the viable options on the waiver wire. This column has already discussed players like Terrelle Pryor, Kenny Stills and Da'Rel Scott the last couple weeks, so you won't see their names in this week's edition. Instead, let's look at some new players you should consider adding this week.


Geno Smith, NYJ -
Like my recommendation of Pryor last week, Smith intrigues me more than someone like Chad Henne in deep leagues or two-quarterback leagues due to his ability to scramble. While it's the smallest sample size, a 6.7 YPA isn't terrible, and the Jets looked much better than the team everyone was dumping on during the preseason. Smith's value will increase if Santonio Holmes gets healthy, Stephen Hill takes the next step and Kellen Winslow can continue to rekindle his magic of a few seasons ago.

EJ Manuel, BUF -
Sticking with mobile rookie quarterbacks, the Bills may have found their first franchise quarterback since Jim Kelly. Manuel only had a 5.6 YPA Sunday but completed two passes for touchdowns and added in 23 rushing yards. The performance wasn't terrible considering he missed most of the preseason after undergoing a procedure on his knee, so chances are he improves as the season goes on. He has a nice tandem at wide receiver in Steve Johnson and Robert Woods, and safety valve Scott Chandler has made a speedy recovery from his knee injury.


Knowshon Moreno, DEN -
Probably the most discussed/argued backfield situation this summer was the Broncos backfield. While many thought that rookie Montee Ball would be the starter and main ball carrier, it was Moreno who started and got the majority of work in the NFL's season opener. Moreno's problem hasn't been his ability to produce; it's staying on the field. Perhaps his biggest skill is the ability to pass-protect and keep Peyton Manning upright. If Moreno can get back to matching his production over the final six games of the 2012 season, he's at least a flex player in most formats.

Joique Bell, DET -
Bell is clearly the second running back option to Reggie Bush with Mikel Leshoure a healthy scratch for Sunday's tilt with Minnesota. Bell got two touchdowns receiving the main goal-line work and caught five passes out of the backfield as well. Unless something happens to Bush, Bell likely isn't going to get a heavy workload (i.e. 20 touches) but has value in PPR formats or touchdown-only leagues.

LeGarrette Blount, NE -
Don't start Blount this week, unless Bill Belichick shows his hand with the Patriots' running back carousel, but Blount's worth a bench spot if you're looking for a speculative running back. With Shane Vereen out multiple weeks with a wrist injury, the Patriots likely will go back to Stevan Ridley on Thursday night. Should Ridley put the ball on the ground once more, though, Blount looks like the next in line for carries before Brandon Bolden or Leon Washington.


Julian Edelman, NE -
After watching the Bills/Patriots game, it was pretty obvious that Tom Brady doesn't have the utmost confidence in all of his receivers. However, Edelman appears to be one receiver Brady will continue to target. Edelman caught seven of his nine targets and perhaps more importantly was targeted multiple times by Brady in the red zone. His value would increase even more if Danny Amendola were to miss time with his groin injury.

Jerome Simpson, MIN -
I was a little surprised at Simpson's stat line - seven catches for 140 yards - considering the hype surrounding rookie Cordarrelle Patterson this preseason. I don't trust Christian Ponder week-to-week but it's worth noting Simpson has played with him more than Patterson or Greg Jennings and therefore could have a better rapport. Simpson will benefit from single coverage as teams stack the line in an effort to slow Adrian Peterson.

Brian Hartline, MIA -
We were teased at times last season when Hartline put up the occasional fantasy relevant game as the top wide receiver on the Dolphins. His nice stat line - nine catches for 114 yards and a touchdown - was likely due to getting softer coverage with Joe Haden shadowing Mike Wallace. The addition of Wallace will help Hartline's value, as Hartline draws the No. 2 corner in coverage. Also, Wallace's ability to stretch the field allows Hartline more room to work underneath running intermediate routes.

Marlon Brown, BAL -
The injury to Jacoby Jones opens more playing time for Brown, an undrafted free agent out of Georgia. The Ravens defense didn't look that impressive in the opener, and should it continue to struggle, Joe Flacco could be throwing a lot this season. The lanky wide receiver hauled in four passes for 65 yards and a touchdown against the Broncos and should only be considered in deeper leagues for now.


Julius Thomas, DEN -
Obviously, Thomas should have been profiled, and not Zach Sudfeld, a few weeks back. While Sudfeld could miss Thursday's game with a hamstring injury, Thomas could be in line for another big game this week against the Giants. Like many other tight ends in the league, Thomas played college basketball at Portland State and holds the school record for games played and highest career field-goal percentage. Remember that no one knew Jacob Tamme before Dallas Clark got hurt, and Peyton Manning turned him into a household name.

Kellen Winslow, NYJ -
First off, if Jordan Cameron is somehow available in your league he should be your second tight end target after Thomas. I have to admit, I laughed when at about pick 250 of my hometown draft someone said Winslow's name. He justified that pick with his performance against the Bucs, finishing with seven catches for 79 yards and a touchdown. It's not surprising considering rookie quarterbacks have a tendency to lean on their tight end, who typically runs short, safe routes.

Anyone I missed or someone you'd like to hear my thoughts on? Hit up the comments section as always.