Fantasy Football: Depth Chart Digging (Week One)

Cross-eyed? Yes. Talented? Yes.
Photo Credit: Jeffrey Beall 

Depth Chart Digging focuses on players who are backups on their NFL squads or are considered bit players in the fantasy football realm. Here, we’ll be digging through the crates looking for some fly off-the-radar options that have more value than you think.

After the wonderful double-dose of Monday night football (I could really get used to Boomer calling games), the NFL’s overwhelming, time-consuming, exhausting and poorly-officiated first week of official action is in the books. And what a week it was. Does any Week One disappoint though? I guess it does when you had Chris Johnson and Wes Welker dubbed as your “studs” this year.

We’re not here to analyze top performers or debate whether Peyton Manning is back in midseason form after Week One. No, no, no. We’re going off the radar. Off the beaten path.

More after the jump:

Andre Roberts (WR) Arizona Cardinals
Mr. Roberts is who I am going all in on and any sane fantasy owner should do the same.  Coming into the opening snap on Sunday, the mysterious Ken Whisenhunt did not divulge who would be the wingman to Larry Fitzgerald. By now it is as clear as Howie Mandel’s forehead. While Roberts put up pedestrian numbers in Week One (five receptions, 54 yards), the touchdown made his performance noteworthy to waiver wire sharks. Even if Roberts wasn’t able to snag a late fourth quarter touchdown I still want him. The ball was thrown to him nine times. He was clearly getting more looks than prized rookie Michael Floyd (one target). But, the statistics were more impressive when the injured John Skelton left the game. In Kevin Kolb’s limited time (one drive), he looked Roberts’ way four times including the go-ahead and game winning touchdown. It looks as if the magical, talented and obviously severely underpaid Kolb could be getting the start next weekend against the Patriots. Intriguing matchup, I think yes.  Fitzgerald will continue to get 97% of the attention from the Patriots defense and Roberts and his newfound rapport with Kolb could light up fantasy boards. He is owned in only 2% of Yahoo! leagues. Get on this guy and get on him now (editor’s note: pause). Expect a big, big week for Roberts on Sunday in Foxboro.

Jonathan Dwyer (RB) Pittsburgh Steelers
Sure, Manning looked good Sunday night. And Roesthlisberger had third down conversions you only see in Madden games. Yet Mr. Dwyer made a statement as well. He was the lone productive weapon the Steelers has on the ground on Sunday. Dwyer rushed for 43 yards on only nine carries (4.8 yards per carry) compared to Isaac Redman’s 20 yards on 11 touches. They weren’t all gained in one fell swoop either. When the Georgia Tech grad was in the backfield, he had a burst and bounce that hasn’t been seen in Pittsburgh for a couple years. Rashard Mendenhall is a question mark for this week after being doubtful in Denver. We all saw how the Jets gave up the most rushing yards in Week One to CJ Spiller. Even if Mendenhall gets in the mix, I know Dwyer will work his way up to featured back duties on Sunday against New York. Dwyer is a sneaky pickup this week, but his production could land him an eventual starting job by the end of the season.

Kevin Ogletree was left off the list??? Of course he was left off this list. Even the common NFL fan who cheers on the Panthers on Sunday because they have the “coolest colors in the league” knows about Ogletree after his Week One performance. Go get him, but don’t think you are a fantasy genius by making the most obvious waiver wire pickup of the fantasy season thus far. Week One is done and the waiver wire begins. This is where the real players come out for lunch! Stay thirsty my friends.

COMING INTO RADAR: Kendall Hunter, Randall Cobb, Donnie Avery


About Starbonell

Starbonell is the co-founder of Sons of Roto and one of the most insightful and colorful fantasy analysts in the game. Mixing intelligent and well-researched advice with an entertaining style of writing that is easy to digest, Starbonell is the king of info-tainment.