Week 3 Waiver Wire September 17, 2012  |  gregsauce

We’re two weeks deep into the fake football season and the waiver wire pickings are starting to fit into their snug hipster jeans. The fashionable kids out there in fantasy land didn’t want to cop to their bad draft picks after just one round of games, so a lot of my proposed pickups this week are retreads from last week, particularly at tight end. Meanwhile, we have some new hit singles in the free agent pool thanks to a couple injuries to prominent running backs and sustained production from what could have been Week 1 aberrations. Pick the following players up so you can say you owned them before it was cool.


Andy Dalton, CIN; Sam Bradford, STL – As of this writing – prior to what could be a Matt Ryan/Peyton Manning shootout in Atlanta – Bradford and Dalton are your #4 and #5 quarterbacks from Week 2, respectively. Both of them may be owned as backup QBs in your leagues, but if one of them is available and you’re the owner who gambled on Russell Wilson as a starter, it may be time to jump ship. I recommend Dalton, who gets to go against the same Redskins defense in Week 3 that allowed 21 fantasy points to Drew Brees in Week 1 and 23 points Sam Bradford in Week 2.

Matt Flynn, SEA – Speaking of Russell Wilson, he didn’t do much against the Cowboys on Sunday (admittedly, the Seahawks didn’t need him to). Considering Wilson’s lack of production thus far and how his penchant for running may increase his injury risk, Flynn is the still one of the better stashes in 2-QB leagues. In a related story, the “best QB ‘stache” title was vacated when Aaron Rodgers shaved this beauty.


Michael Bush, CHI – Bush was in this space last week and should have been picked up in all leagues after scoring two TDs in Week 1. If he’s still available after Matt Forte’s Week 2 injury, the first thing you need to do is add Bush. Second, start recruiting fantasy managers for next season so you can have more than six teams in your league.

Andre Brown & David Wilson, NYG – Ahmad Bradshaw left Sunday’s game with a neck injury after 5 rushes. Brown carried the load for the Giants after that, piling up 71 yards on the ground with a touchdown and catching two passes for 19 yards. Wilson, meanwhile, only carried the ball 3 times for 6 yards. Brown is the player to add for now, but Wilson will also have value if Bradshaw misses extended time.

Daryl Richardson & Isaiah Pead, STL – Stephen Jackson left the game with a groin injury and Richardson substituted well in the starter’s absence with 83 yards rushing and 2 catches for 19 yards receiving. Of the Rams’ backup RBs, Pead got all the fantasy hype in the preseason, but he has yet to touch the ball on offense in the regular season. Richardson is the obvious add for Week 3, but Pead might still be worth a flyer in deep leagues.

Kendall Hunter, SF – Despite losing a fumble in Week 2, Hunter makes his second Waiver Wire appearance in as many weeks. It’s clear that the 49ers are going to run the ball a ton this season, which translates to plenty of work for Hunter in relief of Frank Gore. When Gore gets hurt (“ifs” are for pansies), Hunter will ascend to top-12 running back status.

Lamar Miller, MIA – Miller rushed for 65 yards and a TD on 10 carries on Sunday, but don’t read too much into this outburst. The Dolphins had the lowly Raiders on their heels all game and Miller piled up his stats spelling a busy Reggie Bush. Against stronger opponents, Miller won’t get as much work.

Bilal Powell, NYJ – Shonn Greene missed part of Sunday’s game with an apparent head injury. He returned to the game eventually, but be prepared to snatch up Powell if Greene starts missing practices early this week.


Brandon LaFell, CAR – I left LaFell out of this piece last week because I figured he was owned in most leagues. After another effective week, I checked in to find that LaFell is only owned in 32% of Yahoo leagues and 25% of ESPN leagues. This is your last chance to jump on the bandwagon. Productive fantasy receivers don’t just la-fall out of the sky every week.

Danny Amendola, STL – Similarly, because Amendola was drafted in all my leagues, I assumed he was owned everywhere, which is not the case. He’s unowned in 53% of Yahoo leagues and 82% (!) of ESPN leagues. After 15 catches on 16 targets for 160 yards and a TD in Week 2, you better believe he’ll be owned in a lot more leagues when waivers clear on Wednesday.

Brandon Gibson, STL – I mentioned Gibson last week and he delivered in Week 2 with 53 yards and a score. Steve Smith was more involved in this game (3 catches, 39 yards), but Gibson is the clear #2 WR in St. Louis.

Donnie Avery, IND – “Suck for Luck” has evolved into “Let Luck Chuck” this season and as long as Austin Collie remains sidelined, Andrew Luck will be chucking it to Donnie Avery.

Andre Roberts, ARI – Roberts only caught one pass for two yards in Week 2, but it was for his second touchdown in as many weeks. While he won’t see a plethora of targets in general, the Cardinals are clearly comfortable calling his number around the goal line while opposing defenses obsess over Larry Fitzgerald.

Mohamed Massaquoi, CLE – The Saint Valentine’s Day Massaquoi led the Browns in receiving for the second week in a row. Winning fantasy matchups with Cleveland receivers is about as unsatisfying as arresting Al Capone on tax evasion charges, but the end is more important than the means in fake football.

Brian Hartline, MIA – Someone has to catch passes for the Dolphins, right? Hartline turned 12 targets into 9 receptions for 111 yards on Sunday. The yardage total was a career-high for Hartline and he has yet to find the end zone, so temper your expectations going forward.

Jon Baldwin, KC – If an owner in your league panic-dropped Baldwin after he posted zero fantasy points in Week 1, scoop him up. Baldwin had 63 yards on six targets Sunday and should continue to get more involved in the Kansas City offense.

Leonard Hankerson, WAS – Hankerson replaced the inactive Pierre Garcon and caught two of his three targets for 63 yards and a touchdown. He’ll lose most of his value when Garcon returns, so don’t break the FAAB bank on Hankerson.

Brandon Tate, CIN – Tate caught all three of his targets this week for 71 yards, including a 44-yard TD. Without the big play, I wouldn’t be talking about him now, but if you’re fishing for touchdowns in a deep league, set your hook and reel in Tate.

Golden Tate, SEA – Tate matched Sidney Rice in fantasy production against the Cowboys. More importantly, he outperformed Doug Baldwin and Braylon Edwards. The Seahawks will do most of their damage on the ground, but Tate will have value if he continues to start opposite Rice.


Dennis Pitta, BAL – The most targeted tight end in Week 2, Pitta finished with 8 receptions for 65 yards. He missed out on the end zone this time around, but Pitta cemented himself as a starting fantasy tight end. I’d take him over Jason Witten, Fred Davis, and Jacob Tamme at this point.

Martellus Bennett, NYG – Two weeks, two top-5 finishes for the Black Unicorn. Eli Manning won’t throw for 500 yards every week, but Bennett has shown he’ll be featured in the Giants’ passing attack. If it weren’t for Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks squeezing Bennett for targets, I’d have him ranked above Pitta. Still, they’re very close in value at this point and Week 3 might have me flipping them in my rankings, but they should each be on someone’s fake team by then.

Kyle Rudolph, MIN – “Reindeer Games” Rudolph is another preseason darling I expected to be owned in more leagues based solely on the hype. After a decent Week 1 (6 fantasy points) and finding the end zone in Week 2 (9 points), it’s clear that Rudolph has earned Christian Ponder’s trust. As Adrian Peterson gets healthier and Jerome Simpson returns from suspension, the middle of the field should open up even more for the red-nosed tight end.

Scott Chandler, BUF – Likewise, as long as C.J. Spiller keeps lighting the world on fire in the Buffalo running game, Scott Chandler will continue to get open and catch TDs for the Bills.

Coby Fleener, IND – His production dipped in Week 2 after a solid opening game, but Fleener is still poised to be one the most targeted tight ends this season.

Heath Miller, PIT – Miller snagged another TD in Week 2. Echoing what I said in last week’s Waiver Wire, he’s a nice bye week fill-in and deep-league play.

Dante Rosario, SD – Four targets, four receptions, three touchdowns. It’s too bad his value will regress back to zero when Antonio Gates returns.

48 Responses

  1. Me says:

    Vick owner with Wilson as a backup. Would drop Wilson for Bradford or Locker?

  2. LakerSteve says:

    Sauceman – I’ve got the #1 Waiver priority in a 10 Team, 1pt PPR. I’m debating on using it for either Amendola (my WRs are weak) or Ben Tate – or perhaps holding it for a rainy day. My RBs are solid, but Tate could be a valuable trading piece if Foster gets banged up (for example: today I was offered A. Rodgers for McCoy – he has ELI and bad RBs).
    We play: QB, 2RBs, 3WRs, TE, DEF, K. (NO flex!)
    QB: Romo
    RB (2): McCoy, Murray, T. Rich, Ryan Williams, Dwyer
    WR (3): Harvin, Bowe, L. Moore, Blackmon, Britt, Cobb
    TE: Graham
    Use my waiver position for Danny A or Tate? Or pass for now? Also available, LeShoure, K. Hunter, LaFell, Hartline, Avery – might be able to get a couple of these guys as FAs.

    • gregsauce says:

      I’m not a fan of “saving” waiver priority, so I would use it now on Amendola (dropping Cobb or Blackmon). Furthermore, if I was going to use up my #1 waiver, I would also put in claims for LeShoure (dropping Dwyer or Williams) and LaFell (dropping Cobb/Blackmon). Most weeks you’ll be starting some combo of McCoy/Murray/Richardson at RB, and I like the upside of LeShoure on your bench more than either Williams or Dwyer. Meanwhile, at WR, both Amendola and LaFell could start over Lance Moore in any given week, depending on their matchups.

    • LakerSteve says:

      Thoughts on Ben Tate? I was going to put in a claim for him after Amendola, but before LeShoure or LaFell.

    • gregsauce says:

      Sorry, I glossed over Tate’s name in your previous comment for some reason. I would claim him as well, trying to dump Dwyer or Williams (whichever you don’t drop for LeShoure).

  3. Kyle says:

    Cruz or Marshall ROS in a PPR league? I can decide between the two in the trade I mentioned above (Vick/RG3).

    • gregsauce says:

      It’s really close. I like Marshall a lot in PPR because Jay Cutler tends to zero-in on him, but I think Cruz will finish the season with better numbers.

  4. Ryan says:

    I’d like to pick up any 2 between amedola Gibson Avery or Hawkins. And would like to drop dwyer and Titus young who’s been a dissappointing knuckle head. And seems to be supplanted by burelson.

    And also wanna drop Fred Davis (#2 te niles has been getting looks) for Brent celek or Bennett.

    Any of this suggested?

    • gregsauce says:

      I’d drop Titus Young for Amendola, Gibson, or Avery, but I wouldn’t drop Dwyer. Dropping Davis for Celek or Bennett is fine, especially considering Davis’ Week 2 concussion.

  5. Alex says:

    I’m going to have to drop either Crabtree or Amendola in a 10 team, standard scoring. Which would you drop?

    • gregsauce says:

      What do you mean “have to”? Who are you picking up? Why not trade one of them instead?

    • Alex says:

      I dropped my defense (I stream) to pick up Amendola. I’m going to need to drop one if I can’t get a trade done by Sunday. I am trying to trade though. Either package Amendola with Crabtree for a single WR, or package one of the two with BJGE for a RB. What do you think would be fair value in trades like those? I feel like worst case scenario, I could get Denarius Moore for the two of them, but hopefully I can get better than that. And if I do end up having to drop, who would you?

    • gregsauce says:

      I’d rather have both Amendola and Crabtree than Moore, so I wouldn’t make that deal. If you’re packaging both of them together for a WR, I’d target second/third-tier players like Jeremy Maclin, Stevie Johnson, Vincent Jackson, and Mike Wallace. You might be able to buy low on Jordy Nelson or Wes Welker, if you’re lucky. As for one of your WR plus BJGE, I’d target RBs in that same second/third tier like Reggie Bush, Michael Bush/Matt Forte, Stevan Ridley, and Kevin Smith. If you’re feeling dangerous, you could buy low on Jamaal Charles or Chris Johnson. I’d say buy low on Run DMC too, but I doubt his owner will bite. Above all, play up the fact that Amendola & Crabtree are the #1 wide receivers on their respective teams in your trade talks. If you absolutely have to drop one of them at the end of the week, I’d let Crabtree go because the 49ers will be passing less than the Rams with Amendola. Is there anyone else on your bench possibly worth dropping?

    • Alex says:

      I really appreciate the dialogue. I don’t know what I was thinking with DMoore, I agree that would not have been good. But anyway, that seems about in line with what I’ve been targeting. My attempts for Antonio Brown, Stevie Johnson, and Colston all have been turned down so far. I’m going to keep looking. I think I may be able to convince the Maclin owner. Haven’t tried the BJGE package yet, but I’ll probably start inquiring.

      I’ll just list my roster to make this simpler:
      QB: Vick and Cutler
      RB: DMC, Forte, BJGE, and MBush
      WR: BMarsh, Andre Johnson, Greg Jennings, Lloyd, Crabtree and Amendola
      TE: Pettigrew and Hernandez

      So trading for DMC, Forte, or Bush are all out of the question for me, obviously.

      Also, curveball, I was just countered with BJGE and Amendola for Antonio Brown and Sproles. I feel like that’s a no brainer, but it doesn’t really solve my too many players issue.

    • Alex says:

      Scratch that last offer, he revoked it, intelligently.

    • gregsauce says:

      The other option you have is to package one of your WR with Aaron Hernandez to upgrade at some position. One of your leaguemates might be willing to gamble on your injured tight end and you can afford to deal him because you have Pettigrew.

    • B.J. says:

      Thanks for the response. The same owner is now willing to move Steven Jackson straight up for Dwayne Bowe. I could then use LaFell or Denarius Moore as my WR3 and bump CJ to flex or bench him until he shows signs of life.

  6. BJ says:

    I am having buyer’s remorse on Chris Johnson and looking ahead to the his schedule after this week against Detroit I’m a little nervous. I have an owner who is interested in CJ and Brandon LaFell and was wondering if a deal of CJ and LaFell for Steven Jackson is a good one for me. I still have Denarius Moore and Austin Collie on my bench so I’ve got some depth at WR. Am I selling too short on CJ?

    My roster
    QB- P. Manning RB- CJ, Murray
    WR- Nicks, Lloyd, Bowe TE- Witten
    Flex- J. Stewart K- Kaeding D- Streaming

    Bench- Hillis, LaFell, D. Moore, Ingram, Rudolph, Collie, A. Luck

    • gregsauce says:

      I wouldn’t give up Johnson AND LaFell for Jackson. If you really want to get rid of CJ, dealing him straight-up for S-Jax seems reasonable to me considering Jackson’s Week 2 injury. With that said, I would hold onto Johnson and try to add another running back by trading from your WR depth. You can deal one of your starters for a starting RB or deal LaFell/Moore for a lower-tier guy. Ultimately, you’ll get a pretty terrible return on your investment by trading CJ; whereas, your wide receivers all have pretty good value right now relative to their draft day prices.

  7. Nate says:

    I want to add Pitta and Avery. Which two if any, would you drop?
    Dwyer, Titus and Davis

    • gregsauce says:

      I wouldn’t drop Dwyer or Davis yet (see my response to Randy above regarding Davis). As for Dwyer, he had a tough match-up against the Jets in Week 2, but he gets the Raiders in Week 3. Titus Young, on the other hand, is absolutely droppable. If you’re set at WR to the point where Avery would be a depth pickup for you, drop Young for Pitta.

  8. stumanji says:

    Stuck with Cutler in my 12 tm league (backup is Freeman). RBs are D. Murray, D. Martin, T. Richardson, Deangelo Williams, and Leshoure. Do you like dealing Richardson for Ridley & Big Ben? Is Ridley The Guy for NE or will they turn into a RBBC with Vereen & Woodhead? No PPR.

    • gregsauce says:

      Stick with Cutler. He had a bad game against GB, but the Packers have a pretty solid defense and that games was on a short week. I do think Ridley is the guy for NE, but I rather have Cutler and Richardson than Roethlisberger and Ridley.

  9. Mundo says:

    Would you rather have Blackmon or J. Simpson?

    • gregsauce says:

      For now, I’d still rather have Blackmon. Try not to read too much into his no-show against the Texans because they have one of the best defenses in the league. If Blackmon continues to disappoint against the porous Colts defense in Week 3, you can consider jumping ship for Simpson.

  10. Randy says:

    Frustrated with S Moss, Fred Davis, and J Dwyer.
    Luckily I picked up Pitta so I’ll be starting him instead of Davis.
    Avery, K Gibson, Massaquoi, Hankerson, B Tate, G Tate, Andre Brown, D Richardson, L Miller, B Powell, S Chandler, and D Rosario are all available. I’m in a 14 team league and like #12 on waivers. Should I try to get some of these guys?

    • gregsauce says:

      Andre Brown is the best of those options (dropping Moss or Dwyer), but I doubt he survives to the 12th waiver claim. Daryl Richardson for Dwyer might be worth it for this week if S-Jax sits, but you’d rather have Dwyer when S-Jax comes back.

      Dropping Moss for Avery or Massaquoi is reasonable, but I’d hold onto Fred Davis for at least one more week. Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) noted that Davis played every offensive snap on Sunday and ran 30 of 34 possible routes. There’s room for him to improve on his slow start.

  11. rob J says:

    what about VJax & Mathews for my T.Rich

  12. Kyle says:

    I drafted Vick and RG3. Was just offered Brandon Marshall, Jay Cutler, and Seahawks D for Vick, Decker, and Cardinals D. Should I pull the trigger? Are two games enough to realize how great of a fantasy player RG3 will be? I’m still a little nervous, being that he is a rookie.

    • gregsauce says:

      I don’t really understand the point of a QB/WR/DEF for QB/WR/DEF trade, but I like the deal for you because you get the best player in the deal (Marshall) and Vick + RGIII isn’t all that different than Cutler + RGIII.

  13. y4rivera says:

    I’ve been offered Martin, S. Smith/Roddy, and Witten for my Nicks, Alf, and S. Johnson. I have Pitta and F.Davis so I don’t really need Witten. Should I let that be a deal breaker or should I just do it? If yes should I take Smith or Roddy? I could also maybe change Witten for Finley or Shonne Greene.

    My Team before trade
    qb- Cam
    rb- McFadden
    rb- Murray
    wr- Cruz
    wr- Nicks
    wr- Percy
    te- Pitta
    flx- Alf
    flx- Forte

    bn- CJ2k, F.Davis, Jacquizz, Laurent

  14. cp says:

    in a .5 PPR league – which two would you prefer: Olsen, Pettigrew, Pitta or Rudolph?

  15. VandrMang says:

    I lost Hernandez yesterday and someone offered me Gronk for D Martin. My other rbs include: McFadden, T Richardson, Alf Morris, and Mark Ingram. I could pick up Celek or Rudolph on waivers. Am I insane if I turn down this trade? Really liking Martin.

    • gregsauce says:

      Depends on how many RBs you start (including Flex). If you start 3, stick with your RBs and just pick up Celek/Rudolph. If it’s only 2, you have to consider the trade, as you could start McFadden and Richardson at RB and upgrade to a top-3 TE in Gronk. With all that said, I’d still probably add Celek and keep my RBs.

  16. rob J says:

    In a 10 team league standard league:
    I’ve been offered Eli & Mathews 4 T.Richardson

    I have Vick and RB are Spiller,Forte,A.Brown & T.Richardson

    Do I pull the trigger?

  17. unit says:

    pitta or celek?

    • gregsauce says:

      It’s pretty close. Pitta has 24 total targets on the season compared to Celek’s 19, but Celek is +2 in fantasy points (standard scoring). Breaking it down simply by opportunity, I’d rank the Ravens receiving options R.Rice, T.Smith, D.Pitta, A.Boldin. For Philly, I’d rank them J.Maclin, L.McCoy, D.Jackson, B.Celek. This is reflected in the extra targets that Pitta has been seeing. Pitta also seems like a better red zone threat. My gut says go with him, but Celek might be a little “safer”, especially while Maclin and D-Jax are somewhat hobbled.

    • unit says:

      worth trading DHB for celek? I have olsen now and DHB is my 4th wr by far after marshall, harvin, antonio brown

    • gregsauce says:

      I like that trade. Olsen is replacement-level.

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