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Top waiver-wire pickups for Week 1 of Preseason By Steve Raynes

So this is it, the season is just weeks away and we can now start to see how things are taking shape as we enter the Pre-season schedule.

Preseason games aren’t in many ways true reflections of the league season. Teams that go 4-0 in Preseason often have terrible regular seasons, and teams that go 0-4 can often find themselves still playing in January in the Playoffs. What pre-season is good for though is seeing the usage those roster bubble guys are getting and can help you find some diamonds in the rough.

So before a down is even played let me highlight some of the guys currently sat on waivers across the league that you should be looking at even now to help your roster.

Quarterback

Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Reinhold Matay – USA Today Sports

ESPN fantasy ownership: 30.3%

2018 stats: 2996 yds, 19 TDs, 14 INT

To consider: Winston managed to put up QB22 numbers in 2018 even whilst losing the job at various times of the season to Ryan Fitzpatrick. The departure of Fitzpatrick to Miami and the arrival of Bruce Arians as Head Coach means the chopping and changing of last year is going to stop. With this being a contract year for Winston, and Arians favouring a high volume passing attack I fully expect to see Winston jump to borderline QB1 status in fantasy football in 2019. Available in over 2/3rds of leagues still go grab Winston before the hype builds.

Other notable QBs to consider: Jimmy Garoppolo (21.4% owenership), Josh Allen (13.3%) and Kirk Cousins (27.3%

Running Back

Kalen Ballage, Miami Dolphins

Canadian Press

ESPN fantasy ownership: 22.7%

2018 stats: 191 yds, 1 TD

To consider: Anyone who knows me knows im no Kalen Ballage fan. I think he is slow, lacks athleticism and quite frankly is not a great running back. That being said Im just not convinced anyone in Miami thinks Kenyan Drake is the clear lead back and as such Ballage has some value as he could quickly find himself getting 15-20 touches a game. Overall the Miami offence looks to be pretty bad in 2019 but with the depth at running back around the league being so thin then Ballage offers at least a shot at winning the job out, come week one.

Other notable RB’s to consider: Justin Jackson (8% ownership), Devin Singletary, (8%) and Tony Pollard (3.7%)

Wide Receiver

John Brown, Buffalo Bills

Michael Greenlar – mgreenlar@syr

ESPN fantasy ownership: 8%

2018 stats: 715 yards, 5 Tds – with the Baltimore Ravens

To consider: No team asked their quarterback, Josh Allen, to throw more deep balls than Buffalo and as such in the offseason they brought in one of the best deep threat wider receivers in the game in John Brown. Brown seems the perfect fit for the vertical, run scheme the Bills will look to introduce and has every shot of being the WR1 on a team with options but no stars at the position. I think the Bills are going to be in plenty of tight games this year so having a game breaker like Brown should be an easy target in those situations.

Other notable WR’s to consider: Taylor Gabriel (3.1% ownership), Albert Wilson (11.8%) and Mo Sanu (26.9%)

Tight End

Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins

USA Today Sports

ESPN fantasy ownership: 28.1%

2018 stats: 558  yards, 2 Tds

To consider: Jordan Reed on his day is one of the biggest mismatch nightmares. He has shown in flashes that he is a premier pass catching Tight End but injuries have hugely affected his ability to stay on the field. He has though been fully fit this offseason and reports out of Washington are that he has had a fantastic training camp. With rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins likely to see the field early for the Redskins and with a dearth of talent at the wide out position I fully expect Reed to be the leaned on pass catcher. Get him now before his value skyrockets.

Other notable TE’s to consider: Mark Andrews (8.3% ownership), Tyler Eifert (6.7%) and Darren Waller (2.4%)

@StevieTRayKM on Twitter

@kickers_matter

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