Disposable Draft Picks
By Sigmund Bloom
August 18th, 2010

Players You Can Cut Early Without Remorse

One of the most underrated types of fantasy football owners is the overactive waiver wire player who maximizes potential "hits" by dropping dead wood and adding multiple players in the first few weeks who show signs of a breakout or get newfound opportunity via injury or depth chart movement. One of the most common mistakes when drafting is stocking your bench with RB handcuffs or promising young players who you will have to wait on for weeks or possibly months to see if they meet expectations. There is a place for players like that on your bench, but you should incorporate into your draft plan at least one and as many as three potentially disposable players (depending on bench size), Like most late-round picks, these players have very low floors and only modest upside, but the disposable player is one that you can have clarity about whether you have trash or treasure after only one or two games. Here are some of the best "blind date" players this year that should allow you the flexibility to try to snag this season's Miles Austin/Mike Sims-Walker:

Quarterbacks

  • David Garrard, Jacksonville: If he doesn't impress in the season opener at home vs. a Dumervil-less Broncos defense, you can toss him back.

  • Matt Cassel, Kansas City: Like Garrard, Cassel opens the season at home with what should be a good matchup (San Diego), so the first performance should tell us all we need to know.
  • Garrard and Cassel should only be drafted as QB3s or QB2s to Brees/Rodgers/Peyton, so giving them an audition for your QBBC or bye week plug-in in week 1 is no-risk proposition.

    Running Backs

  • Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris, New England: The Patriots backfield is a QBBC mess, but Laurence Maroney's ball security issues likely rule him out of goal line back duties. That means that one of these grizzled vets should get the call inside the five. Taylor is the better bet as long as he makes the team since he finished the year as a the goal-line back. You'll know whether either is worth holding as an end-of-the-bench RB by the way they are used vs. Cincinnati.

  • Leon Washington, Seattle: Early reports are positive about Washington's leg. If he can regain 2009 form, he'll be the most explosive back in Seattle, and he'll be the most valuable in PPR leagues. We should see enough of him vs. San Francisco to know if he's going to be close to his old self in 2010. If we don't, it's another sure sign to drop him and move on.
  • Wide Receivers

  • Harry Douglas, Atlanta: There is a chance that Douglas will have to shake off some rust coming back from an ACL tear, but with #2 Michael Jenkins also ailing with a shoulder injury and a season-opener against the Steelers, who are stout against the run, Douglas should be prominent in the game plan. His PPR breakout campaign potential (or lack thereof) should be evident within the first few games.

  • Mike Williams, Seattle: You had to rub your eyes when you saw Big Mike streak down the sideline for an easy catch-and-run 51 yard TD. If he truly is "back", his giant body will exert its gravitational pull on the football and playcalls and make Williams an important part of the Seahawks air attack from day one. Pete Carroll knows what he might have in Williams, and by the end of September, you will too.

  • Julian Edelman, New England: Mystery still surrounds the fitness of Wes Welker's knee for regular season football, but if he is going to be limited or sit as a precaution, it is most likely to happen early in the season. If Welker has a setback, it is also most likely to happen early in the season.
  • Tight Ends

  • Greg Olsen, Chicago: Rumors of Olsen's fantasy demise could be exaggerated. Jay Cutler has insisted that Olsen will be involved. The alleged murderer of Olsen's value, offensive coordinator Mike Martz, has himself said he has never had a tight end like Olsen and that he would do things with him that he hadn't done with TEs in the past. We'll know whether Olsen will suffer the same fate as every other Martz tight end before byes start in week 4.

  • Tony Scheffler, Detroit: Scheffler is a similar talent to Olsen, but unlike Olsen, he is actually with a team that wants to use him as a quasi-WR. Scheffler should line up in the slot, but the prevalence of the two-TE/three-wide set and whether Scheffler and QB Matthew Stafford will be on the same page are questions that should be answered during an early schedule stretch that should force the Lions to go pass happy.
  • As always, thanks for reading. Questions, comments and suggestions are always welcome to bloom@footballguys.com.

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