Week 1 Waiver Watch: Streater, Brown and Bennett

Rod Streater, the rookie receiver out of Temple, is worth a look in fantasy football. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

If your draft hasn't happened yet, this post won't help you very much, but perhaps my running back or quarterback rankings will. If you're looking for a more complete take, make sure to check out the Daily News' fantasy football preview section. Ed Barkowitz killed it, and there is everything from rankings and breakdowns to a mock draft and a video. Ed and I also did a fantasy chat on Thursday - we will be doing these every Thursday at noon.

Now onto the waiver wire...

When scouring the wire, it is best to look for injured players first. Then you find their backups, and snatch them up before someone else does.

Heading in to Week 1, the free agent pool is quite shallow. Most of the free agents available are the leftovers from your draft, and the ones that are going to emerge as worthy are waiting for their opportunity, i.e. injuries to players above them on the depth chart.

However, some injuries from the preseason and even 2011 will linger into Week 1, and here's a look at three players who could make the most out extra reps in their openers.

Rod Streater (OAK, WR) - Streater, the 6-foot-3 rookie receiver out of Temple, could benefit from injuries to two of the Raiders top three receivers, Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford. If you are looking for a wideot with some upside, especially early in the season, Streater could offer you a boost. Not to mention the fact that because of the injuries, Carson Palmer does not feel comfortable with the amount of reps he's had with Moore and Ford.

Be wary, however, because they are only listed as questionable, so even if they miss Week 1, they should be back shortly after. That could be why he is owned in only 1.2% of ESPN.com leagues, but he was running with the first team Monday with Moore and Ford out, so why not take a shot.

Ronnie Brown (SD, RB) - Brown, who struggled in the preseason, put in his best effort in the Chargers finale against the 49ers. However, it was only five carries for 25 yards. That is significantly better than the 3.2 yards per carry that he averaged with the Eagles last season, but the 30-year-old running back has clearly seen his best days.

With Ryan Mathews' status still uncertain for the Chargers' Week 1 matchup against the Raiders, Brown could likely get the starting nod in his absence. Mathews is planning to play, but even if he does, his reps will likely be limited.

Like Moore and Ford of the Raiders, Mathews is expected to be back before long, but in Week 1, Brown is certainly worth a look. Take into account Mathews' injury history, Brown could wind up finding a permanent spot on your roster. If you already own Mathews, you should definitely pick up Brown - he is owned in just 19.8% of ESPN.com leagues - just in case Mathews is out for a week or two.

Martellus Bennett (NYG, TE) - With Travis Beckum recovering from ACL surgery, Bennett looks to take over as the Giants main pass-catching TE. Only 25-years-old, Bennett didn't show much over the last four years with the Cowboys. Then again, he was playing in the shadow of Jason Witten and only averaged just over 20 receptions per season to go with 4 career touchdowns.

With Beckum out, however, Bennett could be worth picking up for the early part of the season, especially if you play in a league that starts two tight ends - which isn't many - or if you are thin and looking for a solid backup. Better act fast because Bennett is owned in 23.1% of ESPN.com leagues, up 5.4% over the last week, higher than any other tight end.


Here's a look at a few other players that are worth a look in Week 1:

Brandon LaFell (CAR, WR) - Owned in 26.6% of ESPN.com leagues
Braylon Edwards (SEA, WR) - Owned in 10% of ESPN.com leagues
Kyle Rudolph (MIN, TE) - Owned in 14.3% of ESPN.com leagues
Jacquizz Rodgers (ATL, RB) - Owned in 18.8% of ESPN.com leagues


Matt Mullin is a sports producer at philly.com. You can reach him by e-mail at mmullin@philly.com. Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin