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The Wire Troll: The Almost All-Rookie Edition

September 23, 2014 | by Nick Wagner | Comments (1)
Lorenzo Taliaferro, the fourth round pick of the Baltimore Ravens, is starting to pay off.
Lorenzo Taliaferro (right) is taking advantage of injuries in B-More. (Shawn Hubbard/Baltimore Ravens)

Yes, we could have easily made this a rookie-only column this week. Two young signal-callers (Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater) took their first NFL snaps on Sunday, and both will hopefully have long productive careers. Fantasy owners in need of a bye-week replacement, however, may not want to put their trust in such inexperienced youngsters quite yet. We don’t love either players’ Week Four matchup, leaving us with no choice but to look elsewhere for a recommendation. Finding quality fill-ins can be the difference between victory and defeat in most leagues, meaning we need to see more than one half of football before giving either guy our seal of approval. Good luck and enjoy The Wire Troll for Week Four.

Bye weeks: Arizona, Cincinnati, Denver, St. Louis, Seattle and Cleveland

QUARTERBACK

Eli Manning, New York Giants: Don’t get us wrong, we wouldn’t feel comfortable going with Manning as a starter all season. The inconsistent Manning is coming off a respectable game versus Houston (21-for-28, 234 yards, two touchdowns — see video below for one of them — and after watching the film we can confirm he actually threw zero interceptions) and this weekend faces a Washington secondary that not only got torched by Nick Foles to the tune of 325 yards and three scores, but also must replace their top cover corner DeAngelo Hall, who was lost for the season. Manning also finally got on the same page with top wideout Victor Cruz, giving a glimmer of hope for brighter days ahead. Look for the Giants’ passing attack to thrive in Week Four.

RUNNING BACKS

Lorenzo Taliaferro, Baltimore Ravens: Thanks to an injury that kept unimpressive starter Bernard Pierce sidelined in Week Three, Taliaferro got his first chance to carry the rock at the professional level. Despite his impressive debut (18-91-1) he is probably more of a guy to stash than a bye week replacement right now, since Pierce is expected back soon. We do believe, however, that the talented rookie should take the lead in this committee before too long. While Justin Forsett is also in the mix for touches in a complementary role, he is not viewed as an every-down back. If Pierce continues to struggle look for Taliaferro to be the main beneficiary.

Alfred Blue, Houston Texans: Who could have ever predicted that Arian Foster would get hurt? Again. Since Foster can’t be trusted to stay healthy anymore his owners absolutely need to have Blue as a handcuff. Other owners looking for help at the position should consider Blue as well now that he is the unquestioned No. 2 back in Houston. The Texans’ defense usually keeps them in games, meaning whoever is in the backfield will normally receive more than the 13 totes Blue had in his first start. Maybe Foster stays healthy the rest of the season, relegating Blue to spot duties, but we have a hard time seeing that happening. Plus, if you can pair Blue with Montee Ball then you win the right to have a great team name!

WIDE RECEIVERS

Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles: We have not been shy about our love of this year’s rookie crop of wideouts, and Matthews has been one of our favourites from the start. Now that the rookie has had his first breakout game we think the time has come to sell off any shares of Riley Cooper (whose days of Fantasy relevance appear to be fading) and buy Matthews while his price is still low. Matthews has the size to be a major red-zone contributor in one of the league’s top scoring attacks.

Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars: While fellow rookie (and previous Wire Troll recommendation) Allen Hurns did have a flashy 63-yard touchdown in which he shook off two would-be tacklers against Indianapolis, Robinson actually surpassed Hurns on the depth chart and is getting the targets (16 in the last two games) to prove it. Robinson appears to be the safest option among Jacksonville’s trio of rookie receivers. Like the aforementioned Matthews, Robinson also has the size to be a factor in the red zone. Unlike Matthews, Robinson will likely find himself on the wrong side of a number of lopsided contests, opening the door for those unpredictable garbage-time points.

TIGHT END

Owen Daniels, Baltimore Ravens: Last week we joked around on the RotoRob.com Fantasy Football Podcast that Daniels’ two touchdowns against Pittsburgh may be his only scores all year. All that has changed now with the season ending hip injury suffered by teammate Dennis Pitta. Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak loves to feed his tight ends so as the new No. 1 option Daniels should get enough looks to be considered roster worthy in most leagues. Health is always a concern with Daniels so you may want to think about also holding onto a backup in deeper leagues. If his health holds up Daniels should post numbers similar to what was expected of Pitta.

Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy football waiver wire pick up of the week is.

RotoRob’s Fantasy Football Weekly Podcast

Crave more Fantasy football chatter? Then join us every Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. EST for RotoRob Fantasy Football Weekly Podcast on Blogtalkradio as we commit personal fouls and chop-blocks for 90 minutes or so each week. Tune in here.

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2014 RotoRob MLB Wire Troll All-Star Team

September 21, 2014 | by Michael Seff | Comments (0)
This must be a good omen for the Amazins’. Duda (a.k.a. The Big Lebowski) has developed into quite the power threat, with 28 bombs so far, giving him a legitimate shot at 30. He has gone deep 13 times since the All-Star break and boasts an 854 OPS in the month of September.
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The Wire Troll: Bobby Rainey is Bringing it for Bucs

September 16, 2014 | by Josh Johnson | Comments (1)
While Quick may not actually be as fast as his name suggests, he is rapidly making himself Fantasy relevant. Two straight seven-reception performances will do that. PPR homers will drop lots of FAAB greenbacks for such consistency. Flex option? You bet your 0-2 ass he is!
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The Wire Troll: Chris Young’s Comeback Story

September 14, 2014 | by Michael Seff | Comments (0)
De Aza has experienced a rebirth, not to mention a 16 percentage point spike in ownership over the past week. All he’s done since joining the Orioles is go 13-for-33 (.394) with five extra base hits, including two homers. With Chris Davis now suspended for the season, De Aza’s bat will come in even handier for the playoff-bound O’s.
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The Wire Troll: Jake Locker Looking Very Efficient

September 9, 2014 | by Josh Johnson | Comments (3)
It seems the Ken Whisenhunt genius has sunk into Locker already. While Locker didn’t torch the respectable Chief Defense for 400 or more yards he did play a swift and efficient game. We think had this game been closer we would seen more shots downfield from him. Oh, by the way, Locker gets to play the historically awful Dallas Cowboys in Week Two.
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