Week 3 Waiver Wire: Must-Adds from Each Position After Week 2 Games
The dawn of Tuesday signals the start of Week 3 in the NFL, and also the beginning of frantic waiver wire searching by fantasy football owners. The players you discover today can be yours by the time the third week of football kicks off Thursday night (New York Giants vs. Carolina Panthers this week).
Below, we give you a quick primer on some must-adds on the Week 3 waiver wire.
Note: All fantasy ownership numbers come from ESPN fantasy football.
Sam Bradford, Rams
Fantasy owners have mostly forgotten about Bradford (owned in just 52 percent of ESPN leagues), but he's starting to re-open eyes through two weeks in 2012. Against a Redskins defense that rattled Drew Brees in Week 1, Bradford calmly threw for 310 yards and three scores. He'll be tested over the next three weeks with games in Chicago and home to Seattle and Arizona.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills
There's always the chance of a big turnover game for Fitzpatrick, but he's also one of just two quarterbacks (Matt Ryan) with five touchdown passes through two weeks. And while the yardage numbers still aren't where you want them to be (below 200 in both weeks), there's no reason to think the Bills won't keep scoring touchdowns via Fitzpatrick's arm. He's owned in just 42 percent of ESPN leagues.
Andre Brown, Giants
Starting running back Ahmad Bradshaw is receiving an MRI on his neck Tuesday, and any bad news from the testing would open a huge door for Brown (available in over 98 percent of ESPN leagues) in the Giants backfield. Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Browns rushed for 71 yards and the game-winning score. At least in the short term, Brown has clearly jumped rookie David Wilson for the backup role.
Mikel Leshoure, Lions
Leshoure has been reinstated after serving a two-game suspension, and all signs point to the former second-round pick taking over as the Lions starting running back. There are concerns, especially considering Leshoure hasn't played in a real game since college. But he should get every opportunity to receive touches in Detroit's offense, and that means fantasy potential, even in a pass-heavy scheme. You can find Leshoure on the waiver wire in 80 percent of ESPN leagues.
Danny Amendola, Rams
Expect Amendola to be owned in close to 100 percent of leagues, whether it's PPR or not. His 15-catch, 160-yard performance against the Redskins all but guaranteed that. He's now first in the NFL in receptions and third in receiving yards, so it's now or never if you want to add him off the waiver list (owned in less than 20 percent of ESPN leagues).
Brandon LaFell, Panthers
LaFell now has 10 or more points (standard scoring) in back-to-back weeks. In Week 2, LaFell complimented his 90 receiving yards with 25 more rushing. Overall, LaFell (available in over 73 percent of ESPN leagues) has nearly 200 total yards and a score in 2012. He's the clear No. 2 in Carolina, where Steve Smith continues to battle injuries and more opportunities could eventually open up.
Brian Hartline, Dolphins
In an offense void of play-making pass-catchers, Hartline is the top option. In two weeks, Hartline has made the most of his spot atop the Dolphins receiver depth chart. His coming out party was Sunday, when Hartline caught nine passes for 111 yards as Ryan Tannehill's top target (12). There isn't a lot of high upside here, but Hartline (owned in less than one percent of ESPN leagues) could realistically catch 70-80 passes for 1,000 yards and 5-6 scores in 2012.
Martellus Bennett, Giants
Mostly an afterthought with the Cowboys, Bennett has now caught touchdown passes in each of his first two games with the Giants. His fantasy ownership, currently sitting at below 40 percent, should rise significantly over the next week. Tight ends with touchdown potential every week don't last long on the waiver wire, nor should they.
Kyle Rudolph, Vikings
It's somewhat hard to believe that Rudolph is owned in just 12 percent of ESPN leagues, but that's the case through two weeks. Behind Percy Harvin, it's clear Rudolph is Christian Ponder's next favorite target. Like Bennett, Rudolph is a threat to score a touchdown every week.
Scott Chandler, Bills
For the second year in a row, Chandler has opened the season with touchdown catches in each of the Bills' first two games. Proceed with caution here, however, as Chandler hauled in just three more touchdowns after Week 2 of the 2011 season.
Green Bay Packers
Maybe, just maybe, the Pack is back defensively. Or maybe it helped that Bears left tackle J'Marcus Webb couldn't have blocked an eighth grade version of Clay Matthews Thursday night. Either way, the Packers are going to get sacks and cause turnovers again in 2012. Randall Cobb is always a threat to return a punt or kick for a score, too. Owned in less than 65 percent of leagues, but that number should be 100.
The Cardinals have put together two really solid performances, both in limiting points and creating special teams points. That's the recipe you want in a starting fantasy defense. A bounce the right way on the blocked punt, and Arizona is one of the top defenses of Week 2. You can get them in just about any league, as the Cardinals are currently owned in just seven percent at ESPN.
Justin Tucker, Ravens
Six-for-six on field goals and seven extra points in two weeks? Sign me up. Tucker has been money from distance too, hitting all five of his kicks from 40 yards out or more. He's owned in less than 20 percent of ESPN leagues.
Blair Walsh, Vikings
Walsh is clutch and clutch is everything, right? Walsh is also 6-for-6 to start his kicking career in Minnesota. 3-for-3 from distance helps the fantasy bottom line, too. You can find Walsh in more than 90 percent of ESPN leagues.
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