Someone's garbage is often someone else's prized possession. It happens at your neighborhood garage sale and in fantasy football when panicking owners overreact to Week 1 results and start dropping players they deemed worth selecting on draft day. You know the type. A fantasy team gets shellacked by 50 points because the studs didn't come through, so all of a sudden the overzealous owner starts cutting potential assets to add flavors of the week Jonathan Dwyer and Stephen Hill, hoping the new guys turn into Arian Foster and Larry Fitzgerald.
Here in the weekly Friday Sneaky Pickups blog entry, we plan ahead not to the upcoming Sunday, because really, we at ESPN Fantasy have done that already with rankings, articles, blogs, chats, video, podcasts, etc. Nothing against Dwyer and Hill, each of whom could be relevant this week and perhaps beyond, but let's look ahead and focus on casualties of overeager roster movement from the opening week, according to the ESPN most dropped list. There's a reason these guys were on rosters in the first place, and they fit the profile of sneaky additions.
Jake Locker, QB, Tennessee Titans: In most cases on this list we can ask the question, "What changed?" And the answer will be not much. With Locker, a high-powered New England Patriots team went up 21-3 at the half in Week 1, made the Titans' running game irrelevant and eventually forced him out of the game with a separated left shoulder. Don't view Locker as riskier today than he was a week ago, and the future is bright. Chris Johnson will be fine, and Kenny Britt will help open things up downfield. Locker isn't a fantasy starter yet, but to place him 28th in quarterback ownership in ESPN formats seems odd. He's been dropped in more leagues this week (9.1 percent) than he's currently owned (8.6). Locker should play well this week and beyond.
Toby Gerhart, RB, Minnesota Vikings: Adrian Peterson is owned in every league, and for good reason. His Week 1 performance was surprising and uplifting to owners who can't love him enough. Gerhart saw little action, but he remains one of the most important handcuffs out there, perhaps the NFC version of Ben Tate, except Tate's teammate isn't coming off a torn-up knee. Peterson had a big game, but he hardly fits the description of safe. Gerhart produced double-digit fantasy points when he saw significant snaps last year. Even if you don't own Peterson, Gerhart remains someone in whom to invest.
LeGarrette Blount, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: He was held to three carries in part because he's a backup but mainly because he left the Week 1 game in the second quarter with a stinger and did not return. He does not have a concussion. His knees are fine. And a rookie, a good one incidentally, is the starter. Blount isn't a great player. He might not be a particularly good player, even though he clearly was two seasons ago. Point is we should expect a more equitable distribution of touches with him and Doug Martin when the larger Blount is healthy.
Greg Little, WR, Cleveland Browns: Rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden was terrible by any measure in Week 1, and Little didn't catch any passes, but one goose egg game seems a poor reason to give up on someone who showed talent last year and is in a position to succeed. It's not like the Browns have other All-Pro wide receivers lurking. Little will be relevant.
Titus Young, WR, Detroit Lions: His inclusion on the most dropped list makes little sense. Sure, Young caught only one pass last week and found himself on the sideline more than normal due to an ill-timed personal foul penalty -- well, there's never a good time -- but there are reasons so many of us like Young. He's talented, and the Lions throw a ton. This is a particularly poor week to use Young, as the San Francisco 49ers can certainly play a little defense, but by Week 3 things get easier.
Other QBs: Andrew Luck is a rookie, and he will make mistakes. Perhaps he's not Robert Griffin III, but there's a 4,000-yard-passing season looming, and status as a useful fantasy backup in deep leagues ... Mark Sanchez played well for the New York Jets, and he's being added. Tim Tebow is being dropped. This week, the Pittsburgh Steelers' defense will make those trends look a bit awkward. ... If someone cuts John Skelton, you don't need to pick him up. But I'd rather invest in Skelton than Kevin Kolb.
Other RBs: Everyone loves Alfred Morris so much that Washington Redskins teammates Roy Helu and Evan Royster are among the most dropped at this position. Trust me, Helu will be heard from this year. ... So many people are down on Michael Turner, but Jacquizz Rodgers is being dropped. Nice handcuff opportunity here. ... Miami Dolphins running back Daniel Thomas likely will miss the next game or two with a concussion, but Reggie Bush isn't the most durable fellow. ... And finally, Lions coaches are literally telling the media that Mikel Leshoure, eligible to play in Week 3 after his suspension ends, will be a factor immediately. We don't know whether Leshoure will thrive, but he's going to get chances. As noted last week, he's worth adding in all formats before Sunday's games.
Other WRs: Titans rook Kendall Wright is the most dropped at this position, which makes sense with the timing of Kenny Britt returning. Thing is, does anyone think Britt will play 15 games? ... Denarius Moore, a very interesting Oakland Raiders wideout, wasn't active in Week 1, which has fooled owners into dropping him. That's a mistake. I'd consider using Moore even this week. ... The St. Louis Rams' Danny Amendola is being dropped, but he's an 80-catch guy with upside. ... And if you talk Amendola, the Miami Dolphins' Davone Bess is the AFC version of the hidden PPR gem. He's being dropped, too. Someone will catch passes in Miami.
Enjoy your weekend, and best of luck to all in Week 2!