Apologies for the tardiness of the Week 3 Waiver Wire, fake footballers. I’m still honing my be-everywhere-at-once-like-Santa-Claus skills. Soon, my minions, soon… Until then, stuff your stockings with these waiver wire options:
Add these players first: Philip Rivers, Carson Palmer, Terrelle Pryor, and E.J. Manuel
Ryan Tannehill hasn’t been flashy through the first two weeks of the season, but he has thrown for at least 270 yards and a touchdown in each of his games. On the flip side, he’s also had a turnover in each game. Still, Tannehill should start to tally more multi-TD games going forward and he can be a solid bye-week QB for you if the matchup is right.
With the thumb injury sustained by Brandon Weeden on Sunday, Jason Campbell is in line to start Cleveland’s Week 3 game against Minnesota. Only desperate 2-QB managers need apply. If Campbell is already owned and your desperation is level with the bottom of Buffalo Bill’s basement-hole, you could even make a play for Brian Hoyer.
Real talk: I was very high on Josh Freeman for fantasy coming into this season. Oops. Luckily, I didn’t wind up with Freeman on any of my 2-QB squads. Although if I did, I’d be scrambling to make room on my roster so I could protect my Freeman investment with Tampa’s backup QB, Mike Glennon. It’s possible Freeman will be traded to another team where he’d become the starter (the Browns and Vikings come to mind), but trades don’t often occur during the NFL season. The more likely scenario is that the rift between Freeman and Greg Schiano results in Freeman simply being benched. Grab Glennon now if you’re a Freeman owner; otherwise, you will have to fight other owners in your league for him if Freeman is ousted.
These players should already be owned: Joique Bell, Knowshon Moreno, and Bilal Powell
Bernard Pierce is also likely owned in all leagues, but if he is somehow available, he’s the top running back waiver target this week. Ray Rice strained his hip flexor against the Browns and I’m skeptical about the “day-to-day” tag the Ravens are putting on him for Week 3. The injury did not look good in real time and even if Rice is able to suit up and play, Pierce will probably see his role expand so that Rice’s malady doesn’t worsen. I don’t expect Rice to play at all and if that’s the case, Pierce will be a solid RB2 in the upcoming week.
James Starks carried the rock with authority after Eddie Lacy’s first carry resulted in concussion. His match-up against Washington was a good one, so don’t read too much into Starks’ 168 total yards. Starks is a must-add in all formats, but Lacy could be back after Green Bay’s bye in Week 4, so don’t break the FAAB bank on Starks.
Steven Jackson was also injured on Sunday and in his absence, Jacquizz Rodgers assumed the bulk of the Falcon’s carries. It was Jason Snelling, however, who garnered the goal line carry that led to Atlanta’s only rushing touchdown. Based on usage, Rodgers is the RB you want to replace Jackson, but if he doesn’t improve on the paltry 1.5 yards per carry he posted on against St. Louis, Snelling could take over the starting role.
Ryan Mathews may still prove to be a viable fantasy starter, but he’ll never be a quality beat poet. For the second week in a row, he was out-snapped by one of his teammates. The pace of the game against Philly’s high-octane offense is partially to blame, but Danny Woodhead saw more action than Mathews on Sunday. The Chargers clearly trust Woodhead more in the passing game, so he’s worth a look in PPR formats.
Maurice Jones-Drew is questionable for Jacksonville’s Week 3 game against Seattle. If he can’t go, some combination of Jordan Todman, Denard Robinson, and/or Justin Forsett will take over the rushing duties for the Jags. Based on the horrendous matchup, the nebulous state of Jacksonville’s RB depth chart, and the fact that MJD might be able to suit up on Sunday, I’m steering clear of this mess.
Add these players first: Josh Gordon, Marlon Brown, and DeAndre Hopkins
Stay hot, Eddie Royal! With three scores against the Eagles on Sunday, Royal now sits alone atop the receiving touchdown throne. Before you declare your allegiance to the regal one, remember that those 3 TDs came against the not-so-regal Eagles. Regardless, Royal has been and should continue to be a viable threat in San Diego’s passing attack and he should be picked up in most leagues.
Alshon Jeffery is off to a slow start and his targets dipped from eight in Week 1 to only five in Week 2, but I’m not scared of a Jeffery. If he was dropped in one of your leagues, stroke the furry wall and pick him up. Better games are coming.
A preseason darling before Kenbrell Thompkins hijacked the hype train, Aaron Dobson broke onto the scene Sunday with three catches for 56 yards and a TD. The patchwork Patriots receiving corps isn’t pretty, but it’s all Tom Brady has at this point and Dobson is Brady’s best deep-threat.
Robert Woods snagged 4 passes for 68 yards and added a 2-point conversion on Sunday. He’s averaging 7.5 fantasy points per game through two weeks. That’s modest production over a small sample size, but the Bills’ rookie will only become more involved in the offense as the season plays out.
After a disappointing opener, Kendall Wright is back in our good graces thanks to 7 catches for 54 yards and a touchdown against the Texans. His fate is tied to that of Jake Locker (who only had 148 passing yards on Sunday), but Wright and perhaps even Kenny Britt should be productive when the match-ups are favorable.
Geno Smith and Stephen Hill seem to have a good thing going. Hill’s upside is limited by Smith’s raw skills, but the top wide receiver on any team is typically worth owning in fantasy.
Jason Avant isn’t breaking any box scores with his numbers, but he is managing a decent number of targets if you’re looking for help in deep PPR formats.
Add these players first: Jordan Cameron, Julius Thomas, and Martellus Bennett
Charles Clay found the end zone on a rushing play to go with 109 receiving yards on Sunday. His 13 targets in Miami’s first two games show that the Dolphins want to keep him involved on offense. If you’re holding onto Fred Davis, Brandon Pettigrew, Scott Chandler, or one of the Baltimore tight ends, it’s time to jump ship and take a chance on Clay.
As Dwayne Allen ailed on the bench Sunday, Coby Fleener saw an increase in playing time and posted 65 yards and a TD on 7 targets. Allen could return in Week 3, but Fleener is worth a speculative add on the chance that Allen continues to miss time.
Tyler Eifert put up 66 yards on Sunday, but 61 of them came on a single pass. He’s not a reliable source of fantasy production just yet, but his big-play ability makes Eifert a decent dice-roll option for teams thin at tight end.
Jordan Reed has out-targeted and outscored Fred Davis in both games this season. If you’re still holding out hope for Davis, stop.