Week 3 Waiver Wire: Top 5 Players Available in Most Leagues
Sunday injuries to former or current fantasy standouts like Aaron Hernandez, Ahmad Bradshaw and Jeremy Maclin could cause a waiver-wire rush this week. Weighing past production, current situation and potential fantasy value is key in determining the right players to pick up and fill in for those injured players and the under-performers on your fantasy roster.
With those criteria in mind, the following five players are owned in less than 50 percent of public leagues and could yield big returns for fantasy owners in the coming weeks.
Amendola has become the No. 1 receiver for Sam Bradford in St. Louis and has already been targeted 25 times this season (nine times Week 1, 16 times in Week 2). He’s a high-volume receiver who won’t put up big yardage (career YPC is 8.4) but could be a valuable commodity as the Rams' WR1. While Amendola’s Week 2 output (15, 160, TD) will probably remain a season-high in yards and catches, there’s always upside in having a team’s No. 1 receiver and rarely is one available on waivers.
Amendola may be a surprise for fantasy owners because he missed all of last season after sustaining a broken elbow in Week 1. Because of the injury, he was unable to build on a promising, 85-reception 2010.
LaFell might be the second-best option at WR on waivers (depending on your league). Cam Newton and the Carolina offense shook off their Week 1 disappointments (LaFell scored the Panthers’ lone TD) and looked more like the dynamic unit that they’re expected to be in a 35-27 victory over the Saints. LaFell was targeted eight times, resulting in six catches for 90 yards. He also had one rushing attempt that resulted in a 25-yard gain.
LaFell could continue to put up nice numbers as the No. 2 receiver for Carolina behind Steve Smith. Newton is throwing the ball efficiently this season (70 percent completion percentage, 100.8 rating), but owners of LaFell would be more comforted if Newton were attempting more passes (just 20 attempts in Week 2). Still, LaFell is a nice option to have off the bench for your fantasy squad.
Bennett has great physical tools at the TE position and the benefit of two of the games’ elite WRs (Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz) drawing coverage away from him on the outside. The Giants have one of the top passing attacks in the game (No. 1 so far this season, No. 5 in 2011) and Bennett will continue to have opportunities for big games. He has caught a TD in both games so far this season and is good bet to reach seven or eight receiving TDs on the year.
Another good sign for Bennett is the amount of targets he’s been getting: Bennett was targeted six times in Week 1 and 10 times in Week 2.
A quick turnaround for the Giants, who play Thursday at Carolina, and a neck injury to Ahmad Bradshaw could mean that Andre Brown becomes a viable fantasy play in Week 3.
Brown came in against the Bucs when Bradshaw went down and ran the ball 13 times for 71 yards with a TD. He also caught two passes for 18 yards. Rookie David Wilson was expected to be the main relief for Bradshaw at the beginning of the season, but all indicators point towards Brown getting the start on Thursday if Bradshaw is unable to play. Brown could be worth a pickup if you have a flexible roster spot.
The man listed as the second TE on the Ravens’ depth chart (behind Ed Dickson) is one of the best available fantasy options at TE right now. Pitta has been Baltimore’s most targeted receiver (23 through two weeks). As a result, he leads the Ravens in receptions (13) and receiving yards (138).
Perhaps most importantly, Pitta has produced fantasy value evenly in both games this season (15 and 13 points in standard scoring).
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