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Balancing Act: Working The Waiver Wire For Week 1

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You may be satisfied with your fantasy football team following your draft. You may even be excited for the expected championship you envision based off of a spectacular draft. How ever you may feel about your fantasy football team, now is not the time to sit back and relax. Championships aren't won in August at your local Buffalo Wild Wings or Hooters. They're won on the waiver wire.

Here are a few players to go put a waiver claim on before the kickoff to the season tomorrow:

Austin Collie - WR - Indianapolis Colts

Collie has suffered four concussions over a 21-month span with his latest occurring just a few weeks ago against the Pittsburgh Steelers, during the second week of preseason games. Prior to that hit, Collie was easily Andrew Luck's favorite target and caught three passes for 45 yards and a score in the first preseason game. 

Mike Chappell has reported that Collie is all systems go for Week 1 against the Chicago Bears.

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With Luck looking sharp and Collie serving as his go-to guy, Collie is a must-add in all formats. Prior to suffering his fourth concussion, Collie was being drafted in the 14th round of most drafts. After the concussion, he more than likely went undrafted in your league. Snatch him up.

Jacob Tamme - TE - Denver Broncos

All eyes will be focused on Peyton Manning when the Denver Broncos take the field Sunday. Manning's eyes will be focused on his familiar target, Jacob Tamme. Tamme was brought in from the Indianapolis Colts this offseason to connect with Manning in the passing game.

Manning and Tamme had a solid connection during the 2010 season, when fellow tight end Dallas Clark got injured. Tamme hauled in 67 of Manning's passes in the final 10 weeks of the 2010 season, good for 631 yards and 4 touchdowns. Tamme will compete for targets with Joel Dreessen, but he's a solid waiver wire pickup prior to Week 1.

Russell Wilson - QB - Seattle Seahawks

To start the 2012 NFL season, ten teams will showcase quarterbacks who have one year or less experience in the league. Quarterbacks such as Andrew Luck and RGIII came into the season with high expectations and plenty of hype surrounding them. Ryan Tannehill stormed up the Miami Dolphins' depth chart immediately after signing his rookie deal. Seattle's Russell Wilson was more like the tortoise racing against the two hares, Matt Flynn and Tavaris Jackson. 

Now that head coach Pete Carroll has given Wilson the nod for Week 1, your fantasy team should do the same. Wilson showed great poise this offseason slowly rising through the quarterback ranks with the Seahawks. After the 'Hawks brought in Flynn, it seemed that Wilson would have to wait a few years before getting a serious look at starting. With outstanding play in the preseason games, Carroll had no choice but to give the rookie his due and name him the starter.

With Sidney Rice on the mend and Wilson's ability to run, the rookie quarterback makes for a solid QB 2 in most leagues. At a minimum, he should be plucked off the wire and stashed on your roster. Facing the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1, Wilson makes for an interesting pluck-and-play. The Cardinals have looked atrocious this preseason. 

Eddie Royal - WR - San Diego Chargers

The reports out of San Diego are dismal with respect to their offensive line. Between the retirements and injuries, the Chargers just may recruit some fans as they come through the gates for opening week in Oakland. Philip Rivers will be under constant pressure and have to get the ball out quickly to avoid being pummeled.  

With a leaky offensive line, Rivers will focus on quick passes to his tight end and slot guy. That slot guy is Eddie Royal. Royal has shown promise in the past and with a steady quarterback in Rivers, he may just be a sneaky WR3 in fantasy circles. Royal offers solid upside in the Chargers' offense and if he's available in your league, you'd be wise to land him for the next couple of weeks.

Jonathan Dwyer - RB - Pittsburgh Steelers

Apparently, Rashard Mendenhall was quite impressive in Monday's practice. According to teammates, Mendenhall showed great speed and burst, returning from his knee injury. Even head coach Mike Tomlin hasn't ruled Mendenhall playing in Week 1. Don't buy it.

And as far as preseason hype-man, Isaac Redman, his ankle injury will most likely keep him sidelined this week. That leaves you with Jonathan Dwyer as the starting running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers travel to Denver for their Week 1 matchup, so it won't be easy sledding for Dwyer. Because there are few other options for the Pittsburgh backfield, Dwyer makes for an excellent waiver claim. If you have Marshawn Lynch, who may not play this week, Dwyer is a more than capable pluck-and-play for your fantasy team.  

Cedric Hopkins

Cedric Hopkins Bio

Cedric Hopkins runs this sports law/fantasy football blog. If you have issues with it, it's all his fault. Cedric was an athlete-student at the University of New Mexico (Basketball - Go Lobos!). He then morphed into a student-athlete when he attended law school in San Diego. Age replaced athleticism and now he writes appellate briefs for criminals (alleged criminals, of course) in state and federal cases, including writing U.S. Supreme Court briefs.

For years Cedric has researched and written about legal issues but maintained a love for sports. With FieldandCourt.com, he's combining his two passions: researching and writing about sports. When he's not in court arguing a case before a judge (or writing about himself in the third person), he'll be doing the same with his articles on FieldandCourt.com. Follow me, er, him on Twitter (opens in a new window).

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Cedric Hopkins

Cedric Hopkins runs this sports law/fantasy football blog. If you have issues with it, it's all his fault. Cedric was an athlete-student at the University of New Mexico (Basketball - Go Lobos!). He then morphed into a student-athlete when he attended law school in San Diego. Age replaced athleticism and now he writes appellate briefs for criminals (alleged criminals, of course) in state and federal cases, including writing U.S. Supreme Court briefs.

For years Cedric has researched and written about legal issues but maintained a love for sports. With FieldandCourt.com, he's combining his two passions: researching and writing about sports. When he's not in court arguing a case before a judge (or writing about himself in the third person), he'll be doing the same with his articles on FieldandCourt.com. Follow me, er, him on Twitter (opens in a new window).