Some of us may have had the misfortune of an inopportune Internet glitch, making for a questionable “auto-pick.” Some of us may have seen the three people that we were going to choose between go consecutively right before us, leaving us rushed and unsure and spontaneous. Some of us just could have been a little dumb and gotten a 3rd string running back without thinking or an injured player.
Whatever the case, it seems like every year, after the teams have been picked, you look at it and think it could be just a touch better.
If that is the case, then I have made this post just for you. If you currently own a player that you're not to high on, read through the following list of fantasy football waiver wire darlings. The guys that didn't get drafted, but are in line to be great sleepers with the potential to turn up a great season.
Trust me, nobody else will be checking these guys out until the end of week 1. So the free agency pool is your playground. So, here is the list of 2012 best fantasy football waiver wire pickups.
Scenario: Perhaps you just didn't get yourself a backup. Or worse, you did get yourself a backup that you just learned won't be starting. Or even worse, Mark Sanchez was auto-picked for you.
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (35.7% owned)
He's all hot right now. But that might be for good reason. He had a great preseason, and you know that he is doing something right in Seattle when he beats out the player that they paid so much money for in the offseason. There is good talent around him, and established running game, and a defense that could end up in the top five this season. We're not looking for a starter here, just a solid backup. He could fit the bill.
Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans (15.5% owned)
Named the starter for Week 1, we now get to see the future of the Titans for an entire season. Similar situation as Wilson with a good running back in place and a solid defense. But Locker has the advantage of a tiny bit of NFL experience, and a group of receivers far superior to those found in Seattle. Titans play Minnesota in Week 5, Colts in Week 8 and Dolphins in Week 10, so if your starter has their bye in those weeks (Romo, Stafford, Schaub, Rodgers), it could be a good plan to pull the trigger.
Scenario: Generally just a case of swapping a RB for a RB. Maybe you drafted early and got someone injured in preseason. Maybe you just remembered the name Hardesty or Hightower from last season.
Ryan Williams, Arizona Cardinals (66.3%)
It is pretty glaringly obvious that the Cardinals are not the biggest Beanie Wells fans. He put up 1,000 yards last year, but still no one is excited about it. Couple that with the fact that his knees are about as reliable as a Yugo. There is little doubt that Ryan Williams will step in at some point. The only question there is when will it happen. If it happens soon. You could have gone from a waiver pickup to a flex starter just like that.
Kendall Hunter, San Francisco 49ers (14.2%)
I frankly hate the entire running back situation in San Fran, but in a deeper league, I wouldn't hesitate to keep him on my bench for a little while. I don't think that Frank Gore has much left, and I don't think that any other running back on their roster has the ability to step up. If Gore goes down at all, it will be Hunter that gets the lion's share of the carries. And even if Gore just struggles out of the starting blocks, Hunter could swoop in and show his stuff.
Scenario: You're just looking for a better sleeper. You got screwed on one of your picks, and you just want to fill the stop with someone who has tremendous upside.
Trust me, this list could be very very long. So i'm just listing a few of my favorites.
Kendall Wright, Tennessee Titans (38.8%)
Looked good in preseason, and he will be lining up as a starter opposite Nate Washington until Britt is back. Wright will have highs and lows along with his quarterback, but he is in a very good position to start the season.
Davone Bess, Miami Dolphins (16.1%)
And add to this Legadu Naanee and perhaps Brian Hartline. The chances that any Miami receiver was taken in your draft is very small. But someone has to catch passes there, right? Bess is the experienced one and my pick to be the main man. Naanee could steal a show for a couple weeks, and if Hartline is ever at full health he could play a poor man's Welker role. Seriously though... NO ONE IN YOUR LEAGUE OWNS A RECEIVER FROM MIAMI! Get on that.
Danny Amendola, St. Louis Rams (16%)
Had the most miserable injury I can imagine last year, but is back and ready to go. St. Louis is still going to be back, but I would think that we will see more of the 2010 Sam Bradford than the 2011 one. Amendola was his favorite receiver in 2010, and that should not change. And even if his TD count isn't stellar, he could very well end up in the top 15 receivers in terms of receptions.
Mike Williams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (62.8%); Alshon Jeffrey, Chicago Bears (14.5%); Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals (11.8%)
The three of them have one major think in common. They are the (relatively uncelebrated) second wide receiver behind a superstar. All three of them will have the advantage of a receiver in front of them who is drawing double coverage, leaving them with the easiest route to the receptions, yardage and scores. Williams has shown once that he is a great threat, and with Vincent Jackson taking the heat off of him, he could get back to over 1,000 receiving yards. Jeffrey and Floyd are rookies, but both will see plenty of single coverage with Brandon Marshall and Larry Fitzgerald, respectively, getting all of the attention. All of them will put up some good weeks... one is going to have a breakout year.
Scenario: You saw a lot of teams taking backup TEs but you never did, now you are rethinking that. You have a flex spot that allows for a tight end, and think that an extra one on your bench couldn't hurt. You are desperate to show that you are the king of all sleepers and can even get the right TE.
Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers (37.6%)
No real surprise here if you read anything that I write ever. Here's the thing... Greg Olsen had 45 receptions for 540 yards and 5 TDs last year. But he wasn't the only tight end in town. He was accompanied by one of my least favorite human being in the world, Jeremy Shockey, who managed 37 receptions, 455 yards and 4 TDs.
It is unrealistic to assume that all of that work will go to Greg Olsen, but I think that half of that isn't out of the question. If he gains just half of Shockey's totals, Olsen winds up with a 65 catch, 750 yard, 7 TD season, enough to make him a top 7 tight end.
Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Bengals (28.4%)
I just hate how the Bengals use him. And every year, I'm hopeful that it will change. If the Bengals start using him like a receiving tight end, he will turn some heads. He is insanely athletic and can make big catches, break tackles and wind up the second best receiver on this team. IF, the Bengals let him.