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Row12.com - A Community of Sports Writers and Fans!                                               ***Attention Writers***
 
Waiver Wired: Episode 1
By Clayton Bailey

Johnny ManzielQuarterback

Johnny Manziel | BROWNS

JUST DO IT ALREADY. We all know you want to, and that's okay.

Finishing second in the NFL this preseason in yards per carry (7.3), Manziel flashed enough familiar playmaking abilities from his playing days at Texas A&M to believe he's arguably the most exciting piece to the Browns' puzzle.

In deeper leagues, no free agent quarterback has near the breakout potential as Johnny Football. While Brian Hoyer remains set to be the Week 1 starter in Pittsburgh, an underwhelming preseason performance reminded us the quarterback competition in Cleveland is indeed alive and well.

Full disclosure: Don't deny the inevitable, the kid is going to play this season. Potentially facing the Raiders and Jaguars in Weeks 8 & 9, Johnny could be set up to be the best bye-week filler Nick Foles and Colin Kaepernick owners could ask for.

I'd take him over: Jake Locker, Geno Smith, EJ Manuel, Derek Carr

Running Back

Dexter McCluster | TITANS

Could Dexter McCluster be last year's Danny Woodhead?

Typically, utility players in the NFL tend to not play a large enough role in their respected offense's to become fantasy relevant. Maybe it's worth the add, but most of the time not worth the start. That's not exactly the case under Titans new head coach Ken Whisenhunt. Racking up the fifth most receptions by a running back a season ago (67), Woodhead emerged as an elite RB2 option in PPR leagues under Whisenhunt's spread offense in San Diego.

McCluster, possessing equal, if not, even more elusiveness as a pass catcher - could be poised in for an identical role behind rookie running back Bishop Sankey and veteran Shonn Greene. Even if Sankey becomes a featured every down back and Greene gets the goal-line carries, it's hard to imagine an offense run by Whisenhunt that doesn't utilize the game breaking potential of McCluster.

Full disclosure: Likely left off a majority of draft boards heading into Week 1, McCluster arguably possesses the highest ceiling of any running back currently on waivers. Observe from a distance for now, but one breakout game could be all it takes for McCluster to begin consistent offensive production.

I'd take him over: Christian Michael, Darren McFadden, Mark Ingram, Ronnie Hillman

Wide Receiver

Jordan Matthews | EAGLES

There's no denying that Chip Kelly's high powered offense is perfect sitution for the Vanderbilt standout.

Jordan MatthewsEnding his college tenure as the SEC's all-time leader in career receptions (262) and receiving yards (3,759), Matthews has 'Offensive Rookie of the Year' potential written all over him. Lining up in the slot alongside Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper, Matthews could be in line to become one of the most impactful late-round fliers at wide receiver this season, especially for concerned Maclin owners.

Full disclosure: Facing Jacksonville Week 1, Matthews could be the top waiver-wire pickup heading into Week 2. Considering Maclin and Cooper's injury track record as of late - I'm hanging on to Matthews as long as I can.

I'd take him over: Anquan Boldin, Hakeem Nicks, Rod Streater, Cecil Shorts

 Tight End

Travis Kelce | CHIEFS

Reeling in 10 catches for 185 yards and two touchdowns in his first three preseason games, Kelce appears poised to play a key role in the Chiefs' offense beginning as early as Week 1. Who else is Alex Smith going to throw to?

While Dwayne Bowe faces suspension, the Chiefs' depth chart at wide receiver includes the following: Donnie Avery, Junior Hemingway, Frankie Hammond, Albert Wilson, A.J. Jenkins.

Impressed yet? Didn't think so.

Full disclosureKelce is a prime TE2 with breakout potential and should be added with confidence in all leagues. 

I'd take him over: Dwayne Allen, Eric Ebron, Jace Amaro

Kicker

Nate Freese | LIONS

Freese, a rookie from Boston College, has officially won the starting job in Detroit after an impressive preseason where he made all three field goal attempts, incuding a 55-yard boot against the Raiders on Aug. 15 

Full disclosureIn a potent offense, under a dome, with a late season bye week? You could do a lot worse. Test Freese out for Week 1 and see how the kicking situation develops over time. Then name your team 'Test Freese', that sounds kind of awesome.

I'd take him over: Robbie Gould, Caleb Sturgis, Dan Carpenter, Josh Brown, Mike Nugent

Notables: Greg Zuerlein (vs. MIN), Nick Folk (vs. OAK), & Blair Walsh (at STL)

D/ST

Pittsburgh Steelers | vs. CLE

Notables: Lions D/ST (vs. NYG), Eagles D/ST (vs. JAX), Vikings D/ST (at STL)

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