Commentary

Waivermetrics: Week 1 pickups

Kyle Orton, Donovan McNabb are among the top Week 1 waiver wire options

Originally Published: September 6, 2011
By KC Joyner | ESPN Insider
Kyle OrtonDoug Pensinger/Getty ImagesFantasy owners shouldn't be concerned about Kyle Orton being in a John Fox offense.

It's a new season in the world of waiver wire pickups, and this year that means saying goodbye to one article series and hello to another. The long-running Pass Plays series that I penned for the past few years is now being retired.

Taking its place is a series called Waivermetrics, which will use metrics and matchups to review all the top waiver wire options in the passing game, the same way that Pass Plays did. In addition, Waivermetrics will apply that line of thinking to the running game to identify the highest-percentage picks available in that area.

Now that we have the introduction out of the way, let's jump right into this week's picks.

Quarterbacks

My gut instinct is that Peyton Manning's injury will either keep him out of the lineup for an extended period of time or will make him a risky fantasy quarterback when he does return.

That means his fantasy owners need an immediate backup plan. The three best options here are:

Kyle Orton (available in 42.0 percent of ESPN leagues)
The knock on Orton is that he's playing in coach John Fox's run-first offense. Fox does lean on the run, but it has to be noted that in 2004, Jake Delhomme led the league in vertical passes while playing in a Fox offense. Orton placed 15th in quarterback fantasy points last season, despite missing Denver's final three games due to a rib injury, and he had a very good set of metrics. A 16-game season in Fox's offense should see Orton at least equal last season's point total.


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