Fantasy Football: Some Waiver-Wire Options Heading into Week 3
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One of the players on our waiver-wire list last week was Lions running back Joique Bell, who has seen his fantasy ownership in Yahoo! leagues more than double in a week's time.
That said, he is still available in slightly more than one-quarter of leagues.
If you added Bell (or can add Bell), he may be on the verge of delivering a huge week for fantasy owners.
Not only is the status of Reggie Bush in question (knee) for Week 3, but Bell (or Bush or any Lions running back) has a primo matchup coming up against the Redskins. After allowing 100-yard rushers in back-to-back weeks, the Redskins are giving up, on average, a league-worst 201 rushing yards per game and 511.5 yards of total yards per game.
Every week, we compile a list of potential additions to your fantasy squad(s) that may be available on your league's waiver wire that could help your team in either the short- or long-term (or both).
For a player to appear on this list, he needs to satisfy two criteria: (1) he is owned in 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues or less and (2) he was not on last week's waiver-wire list.
While Bell fails to meet either requirement since he was on last week's list and is owned in more than 50 percent of leagues, he's still worth adding.
Here's a new list of players to consider adding to your fantasy squad (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):
QB - Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (owned in 38 percent of Yahoo! leagues)
As a "game manager," Smith has been consistent and solid through two games. He has thrown for only 396 yards combined and averaged only 5.7 yards per attempt so far, but he also has two touchdowns in each game in addition to 82 rushing yards.
Smith and the Chiefs play in short week as Andy Reid returns to Philly to take on his former team. While the Eagles offense is much more exciting than that of the Chiefs, Smith (and Reid) should be excited for their opportunity to face the Eagles pass defense, which has allowed 721 passing yards in two games. Only the Chargers have allowed more.
QB - Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (39 percent)
With a pair of emotional games in back-to-back weeks, Rivers has not played consistently from quarter to quarter but he has had solid stat lines in both games for fantasy owners. Through two games, Rivers has 614 passing yards, seven touchdowns and only one interception and he has scored more than 20 fantasy points in both games this season.
RB - Bernard Pierce, Baltimore Ravens (46 percent)
Compared to other teams, Pierce was already one of the backup running backs that figured most heavily into the mix with a healthy starter. That said, Ray Rice left Week 2's matchup against the Browns with a hip flexor strain and appears to be a game-time decision for Week 3.
Pierce had 19 carries for 57 yards and a touchdown in Week 2 and has scored in back-to-back weeks. Even though he is averaging only 2.8 yards per carry (YPC) this season, Pierce averaged 4.9 YPC as a rookie.
RB - Danny Woodhead, San Diego Chargers (31 percent)
After getting no carries and two receptions in the opener, Woodhead was much more involved in the Chargers offense in Week 2. Although he didn't put up big numbers in Week 2, he had 17 touches — nine carries and eight receptions (on nine targets) — for 64 yards from scrimmage. Especially in point-per-reception (PPR) formats, Woodhead should be owned in most leagues.
RB - Jacquizz Rodgers, Atlanta Falcons (21 percent)
Steven Jackson scored a touchdown early in Week 2 against his former team and then left with a thigh injury and did not return. Depending on his status for Week 3, Rodgers may be more involved than he otherwise would. Even if Jackson can't go, however, Rodgers is not anything more than a flex option and he will split work with Jason Snelling.
RB - James Starks, Green Bay Packers (11 percent)
Although it took an Eddie Lacy injury (concussion) early in the game for the opportunity, Starks ran with it and became the Packers first 100-yard rusher in 45 games. Starks carried it 20 times for a career-high 132 yards and a touchdown in the Packers rout of the Redskins.
Next week's matchup against the Bengals is not great, but it's possible that Lacy won't be cleared to return and that Starks gets the opportunity for a large workload.
RB - Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals (one percent)
Ellington was used as the team's change-of-pace back in Week 2 and finished with four carries for 20 yards and caught two passes for 42 yards and a score. While it's unlikely that we see many more, if any, games with double-digit fantasy points from Ellington, he's someone to keep an eye on, especially in deeper leagues.
WR - DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans (49 percent)
Believe it or not, Hopkins is available in more than half of Yahoo! leagues ... but barely. That will change after this week.
After a solid career opener (five receptions for 66 yards), Nuk had seven receptions for 117 yards and a (game-winning) touchdown against the Titans in Week 2. Hopkins will figure into the team's offensive plans regardless of the status of Andre Johnson, who left Sunday's game with a concussion, but he could be even more heavily targeted if Johnson misses a game.
WR - Eddie Royal, San Diego Chargers (21 percent)
After a two-TD performance in the opener, Royal hauled in three touchdown receptions and now leads the league with five receiving touchdowns. That total also ties the career high that he set as a rookie in 2008 when he finished with 91 receptions for 980 yards for the Broncos.
Even though he won't catch multiple touchdowns every week, Royal should be heavily involved in the Chargers' passing attack going forward considering the injuries they have had with their receiving corps.
WR - Marlon Brown, Baltimore Ravens (25 percent)
Perhaps not as impressive as Royal's five scores, Brown has posted double-digit fantasy points and scored in back-to-back weeks for the Ravens.
The big receiver (6-5, 205) has eight receptions for 110 yards and two scores through two games. Without many other options aside from Torrey Smith in the passing attack, Brown should continue to have WR3/Flex upside even when Jacoby Jones returns from injury.
WR - Nate Burleson, Detroit Lions (10 percent)
Through two games, Burleson has 13 receptions for 123 yards and no scores. Although he hasn't been spectacular, he's been very solid (especially in PPR formats). This week, Burleson and the Lions have a great matchup against the fantasy-friendly Redskins defense (as noted earlier).
WR - Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills (eight percent)
Woods was targeted six times and finished with four receptions for 68 yards in yesterday's come-from-behind win over the Panthers. He is clearly the team's second option behind Steve Johnson, but he has some upside for folks in deeper leagues as he and E.J. Manuel continue to grow in the Bills' offense.
WR - Stephen Hill, New York Jets (four percent)
Perhaps no receiver in the league has Hill's combination of size and speed, but the raw receiver drops too many passes as well. That said, he has been targeted a total of 17 times through two games and has 10 receptions for a team-high 125 yards. At this point, he's someone to consider adding to your bench for his upside.
TE - Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts (11 percent)
With fellow second-year tight end Dwayne Allen out in Week 2, Fleener had a good game that was nearly a great game in the team's loss to the Dolphins. He finished the game with four receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown, but he had a second TD catch called back for a penalty. He's not in the mix to be a TE1 yet, but he does have some upside.
TE - Charles Clay, Miami Dolphins (three percent)
Through two games, Clay has 10 receptions for 163 yards (including 109 yards Sunday). He ranks second on the team in both categories and has emerged as a TE2.