Ramses Barden and Free Agent WRs Your Fantasy Team Needs

Pete SchauerCorrespondent ISeptember 21, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 20:  Ramses Barden #13 of the New York Giants stiff-arms Luke Kuechly #59 of the Carolina Panthers during play at Bank of America Stadium on September 20, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The performance put on by Ramses Barden on Thursday night had fantasy owners reaching for their laptops or phones to add the free agent wide receiver to their team before their fellow league-mates.

Barden truly put on a show for the injury-riddled Giants, filling the enormous shoes of Hakeem Nicks in a Giants win.

That said, if you're looking for some under-the-radar fantasy options at WR, you've come to the right place.

Here are three guys who can immediately impact your fantasy lineup in Week 3.


Brandon Gibson

Brandon Gibson has taken a backseat to Danny Amendola reception-wise, but he's still a favorite red-zone target for St. Louis Rams QB Sam Bradford and is the clear-cut No. 2 receiver.

Gibson has at least 50 receiving yards and a touchdown in both games this season and is up against a Chicago Defense in Week 3 that allowed nine receptions and 135 yards to Reggie Wayne in Week 1 and six receptions for 84 yards to Jordy Nelson last Thursday.

Bradford and the Rams' offense looks much improved here in 2012, making Gibson a viable fantasy option.

The Rams should be able to attack the Bears through the air, with Gibson seeing a lot of targets.


Andrew Hawkins

Nobody knew Andrew Hawkins before Week 1, but they sure do now.

The Cincinnati wideout went for eight catches and 86 yards in Week 1 and then found the end zone in Week 2.

Entering Week 3, Hawkins has just two less receptions (10 to 12) but more yards (142 to 128) than 2011 standout A.J. Green, while each have caught a TD pass from Andy Dalton.

Hawkins finds himself against a Redskins defense in Week 3 that was torched by Danny Amendola last Sunday to the tune of 15 receptions, 160 yards and a TD.

With Green likely drawing most of the coverage, look for Hawkins to have another successful day for fantasy owners.


Ramses Barden

Hakeem Nicks who? (Joking, of course.)

Giants fans have been waiting for Ramses Barden to prove his worth and he finally did that on Thursday night, catching nine balls for 138 yards and possibly cementing himself as the No. 3 wide receiver for the G-Men.

The presence of Victor Cruz allowed for Barden to take over Thursday night's game, as the Panthers main concern was to stop Mr. Salsa.

Barden's 6'6" frame makes him an obvious red-zone target, and he showed great speed and athleticism on his cuts and pivots against Carolina.

We'll have to continue to monitor the status of Nicks going forward, but either way, Barden now has the trust of Manning and should be a solid fantasy option going forward. 


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