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The Watch List II

The Watch List II

Players to watch in the coming weeks (updated 2pm)
By: Pete Davidson : September 22, 2013 5:18pm

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I like to throw out an article like this on occasion. These are players that have significant fantasy potential, but that are, for one reason or another, on the fringe of ownership in deeper formats. I own a few of these guys and I’d own a few others if had the roster space. Some are just players that I follow in case they start getting the requisite snaps and touches.

I’ll do my best to give you the appropriate context with each player, so you’ll know what to look for and when to act. Of course, if you just read our weekly Waiver Wire, you’ll know. I used a threshold of 15% ownership in CBS leagues. These are players who could break out at any time and I want Rotobahn’s readers to know about them early.

Here are some guys who were on the last Watch List but have graduated past the 15% threshold.

  • Julian Edelman - 100%
  • E.J. Manuel - 36%
  • Kenny Stills - 23%
  • Julius Thomas - 100%
  • Joique Bell - 97%
  • Robert Woods - 18%
     

Markus Wheaton, WR, Steelers - Owned in 11% of leagues.

He could break out at any time and more importantly, for those who play in long term formats, he’s almost a lock to be a starter in 2014. His playing time will begin to rise this week.

LaMichael James, RB, 49ers - Owned in 10% of leagues.

He should be owned in more leagues as both Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter have rich injury histories. James is a very solid talent and he’d be quite valuable if he was getting regular snaps behind the 49ers line.

Riley Cooper, WR, Eagles - Owned in 10% of leagues.

He’s going to start gaining steam as a matchup play. We’ve seen him having trouble with quality corners, but as the Eagles settle in, he will begin to see the ball more, especially in the red zone. He’s a player to own for sure in large formats with 14 or more teams. His 12-team viability is not there yet, but things could change.

Stephen Hill, WR, Jets - Owned in 9% of leagues.

He should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues because of his huge upside. If OC Marty Mornhinweg’s offense begins to take flight and if Geno Smith settles in, Hill could be a serious fantasy factor. He’s a worthy stash if you have the bench space.

Zac Stacy, RB, Rams - Owned in 7% of leagues.

He could become the starter at some point and he should definitely be stashed for now in deeper leagues as his upside in the Rams offense is pretty high. He has the most fantasy upside of all the Rams tailbacks for the long term. OC Brian Schottenheimer’s offense, with its substantive verbiage, is notoriously hard on rookies, so be patient.

Jordan Reed, TE, Redskins - Owned in 7% of leagues.

This kid has a very high ceiling in the Redskins’ offense and he is there for the taking in most leagues. I own him in my long term leagues and larger redraft leagues. This guy could bust out any time.

Denard Robinson, RB, Jaguars - Owned in 5% of leagues.

MJD is showing ominous signs of decline and this team will be in “future mode” soon if they aren’t already there. Players like Denard will be getting long looks over the season’s second half and “Shoelace” could be an asset in large formats.

Ed Dickson, TE, Ravens - Owned in 5% of leagues.

He’s been a bust so far, but he has talent and there is a target vacuum in Baltimore until Dennis Pitta gets back. Dickson is still a guy to own in large formats with 14-plus teams.

Quinton Patton, WR, 49ers - Owned in 4% of leagues.

Patton is a player with a high ceiling and he should be stashed in larger formats. He’s very much a Jim Harbaugh guy and his lack of usage is still related to all the missed time Patton had in camp. His snap totals should rise in the coming weeks. Get him now in larger leagues and obviously in long term formats if he is somehow available.

Stepfan Taylor, RB, Cardinals - Owned in 4% of leagues.

Andre Ellington has the buzz right now and rightly so, but don’t forget about Taylor, who has more size and is incredibly sound fundamentally for a rookie. In larger formats and in long term leagues, this is still a player to own or at least monitor.

Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers - Owned in 4% of leagues.

With all the brittle opinions in San Diego and with the overall functionality of the Chargers’ offense, Allen is now squarely on the radar in larger formats. He’s not a bad stash if you have the bench space. He’s looking better in his routes. He has some breakout potential if there’s one more injury in SD.

Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles - Owned in 4% of leagues.

He’s very talented and in Chip Kelly’s offense, the tight end is a high profile position. Ertz could start gaining fantasy steam at any point. Keep an eye on his snap totals. If they begin to rise, you should consider adding him in deeper formats.

Terrance Williams, WR, Cowboys - Owned in 3% of leagues.

If Miles Austin doesn’t show a little more life, this kid could start to build momentum. The Cowboys probably want Williams to take over for Austin in 2014, so I doubt they will hesitate to make the switch early if Williams shows week-to-week improvement. He is definitely a player to watch closely.

Dennis Pitta, TE, Ravens - Owned in 2% of leagues.

He could make it back during the fantasy regular season. If you are in really good shape but lack a top shelf tight end, Pitta will make a nice high-quality stash option very soon.

Kenjon Barner, RB, Panthers - Owned in 2% of leagues.

He’s still working back from an ankle injury but he could find a role when he returns if he’s 100%. The Panthers need something more dynamic to pair with Cam Newton and the Williams/Stewart combo is starting to wear thin.

Vance McDonald, TE, 49ers - Owned in 1% of leagues.

I think he gains steam as we move through the season. In large formats, he’ll be worth rostering at some point. We’ll be monitoring his snaps. He could get some extra love this week if Vernon Davis sits due to his hamstring woes.

Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs - Owned in 1% of leagues.

He’s been banged up and a bit slow to learn so far, but don’t sleep on this kid’s potential if he starts getting serious snaps for the Chiefs--and he could once he’s healthy. In fact, he COULD be exactly what they need. 

Joseph Fauria, TE, Lions - Owned in 1% of leagues.

Touchdowns. This kid scores touchdowns. If Brandon Pettigrew continues to misfire and make mistakes, we could see more of this kid, who already has a score on the year. I like him in long term leagues as he could be a primary red zone weapon by 2014 or even late 2013.

Chris Polk, RB, Eagles - Owned in 1% of leagues.

If LeSean McCoy gets banged up, Polk will have a role and any back with a role in Chip Kelly’s offense is worth owning. He’s a player to know about, especially for McCoy and Bryce Brown owners.

Brice Butler, WR, Raiders - Owned in 0% of leagues.

He could become a real asset if the coaching staff benches Denarius Moore, which is possible if Denarius doesn’t make the coaches happy soon. Butler is a guy we liked before the draft. We hoped that he’d land in a place like Green Bay, but he’s shown well since landing in Oakland and he’s playing significant snaps. Definitely a player to keep tabs on.

Cierre Wood, RB, Texans - Owned in 0% of leagues.

All it takes is one injury and Wood will be rostered in most leagues. If there is an injury to either Arian Foster or to Ben Tate, you should be running to the wire to add this kid.

Da’Rick Rogers, WR, Colts - Owned in 0% of leagues.

He’s a serious talent, folks. He’s also a serious gas-head, but just go watch the footage from Tennessee and from Tennessee Tech last year, and you will see a seriously talented guy. Landing with Andrew Luck was an extremely fortunate outcome for Rogers and he could have serious value if he outplays Darrius Heyward-Bey or if Bey’s health continues to be an issue. He’s just a player to know right now in redrafts, but he is definitely a player to own in long term leagues. Rogers has legit red zone chops. He’s a touchdown guy.

Theo Riddick, RB, Lions - Owned in 0% of leagues.

With the injury to Reggie Bush and with the fall of Mikel Leshoure, Riddick is a player to know about. He’s extremely versatile and sound fundamentally. This kid could post serious numbers in the Lions’ offense if he was getting the snaps. Just remember the name if there are more injuries in Detroit.

Alex Green, RB, Jets - Owned in 0% of leagues.

Green is a player we really like, but the key is for him to get all the way back from his ACL surgery.  He's not a guy to roster right now outside of long term leagues, but if positive news starts to leak about him, he be a guy to add in large formats.  He is a very good fit for the Jets new offense.  Probably the best fit on the roster.

Ladarius Green, TE, Chargers - Owned in 0% of leagues.

He has one grab today and he could be a major fantasy force if anything happens to Antonio Gates.  Huge upside if he can get enough snaps due to his size, speed and red zone potential.

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