With three weeks under our belts, the waiver wire is beginning to thin out as fantasy owners continue to drop the dead weight from their rosters.
This week, there were a couple of breakout performances but mostly this week’s waiver wire pickups are more about future potential than actual production.
WR Lance Moore, New Orleans
As I stated last week, Moore is the Saints player who gained the most fantasy value with Reggie Bush out of the line-up. While I have never been a big fan of Moore’s, he does produce when given an opportunity, it’s just that he’s not good enough to get a solid opportunity unless the Saints lose another player to injury.
Of course, I like him better today more than ever just because he made me look good.
Here’s what you need to know: In 2008, when Bush and wide receiver Marques Colston missed several games, Moore responded with a career season, catching 79 passes for 928 yards and a whopping 10 touchdowns.
With Robert Meachem and Devery Henderson continuing to disappoint and Bush out, Moore figures to be a big part of the game plan over the next several weeks.
RB Ryan Torain, Washington
I picked up Keiland Williams on waivers in a salary-cap league last week and debated signing him to long-term contract but I had the nagging suspicion that maybe he wasn’t really a sleeper.
Maybe he was just on the roster as the third down running back who contributed on special teams. Maybe the Redskins would add Ryan Torain from the practice squad and he would be the real sleeper in the Redskins backfield.
Didn’t Torain look good in his one start in Denver when Mike Shanahan was the head coach before he suffered a season-ending injury? What did it all mean? How could I figure this out?
Then I checked the NFL ticker and saw the Redskins had signed Torain to the active roster. Grrr. Then he goes out and gets 46 yards on seven carries with Clinton Portis nailed to the bench for most of the second half. Double Grrr.
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis, New England
Now we know why the Patriots traded away perennial tease Laurence Maroney to the Broncos along with a sixth round pick for only a fourth round selection in next year’s draft. It’s because of the man with four names.
Finally let loose by the Patriots offensive schemers, Green-Ellis pumped out 98 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries as well as catching one pass for six yards against Buffalo. The only caveat was that he got most of the playing time after Fred Taylor left the game after aggravating a toe injury.
On the plus side, the Bills contained Taylor before he left (six carries, 16 yards) and Green-Ellis clearly outperformed him. Were the Patriots coaching watching?
RB Chris Ivory, New Orleans
With Reggie Bush out, the Saints signed Ladell Betts to take his roster spot and the fantasy world was abuzz debating what role Betts would play.
As it turned out, he would play no role. Ivory subbed in to spell starter Pierre Thomas and in short yardage situations, fumbling once unfortunately.
That being said, he looked decent enough and showed some ability. The issue is – was the fumble a playing time killer?
Other Players to Consider:
RB LeGarrette Blount, Tampa Bay
Hey, I’m not getting too excited over this one. Cadillac Williams is getting a lot of touches, Earnest Graham is getting some touches and this week, Blount got some touches. Plus, Kareem Huggins was supposed to get some touches.
Nonetheless, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention his six carry, 27 yard, one garbage time touchdown performance against the Steelers in a game in which Williams struggled mightily.
WR Craig Davis, San Diego
Well, Vincent Jackson isn’t coming back anytime soon and Davis has looked good over the last two weeks, catching eight of nine passes for 130 yards.
Did I mention the Chargers passing offense ranks second in the league?
Week Three Review:
If you’re looking for accountability, here is a review of last week's suggestions.
RB Mike Tolbert, San Diego – Thumbs up with 73 yards on the ground and 17 receiving yards the Seahawks. He’s holding down the fort until Ryan Mathews returns.
RB Jason Snelling, Atlanta – Thumbs up. The Falcons coaches noticed Snelling’s production in Week 2 and he was rewarded with 15 touches this week, gaining 70 yards.
WR Kevin Walter, Houston – Thumbs up. Only four targets this week against Dallas but he turned those into three receptions for 34 yards and a touchdown.
WR Demaryius Thomas, Denver – Thumbs up. Thomas missed part of this week’s game against the Colts with an apparent arm injury but caught two passes for 43 yards before leaving. Still shapes up as the Broncos top wide receiver but look for head coach Josh McDaniels to spread the targets around.
TE Brandon Pettigrew, Detroit – Thumbs up. Unfortunately, Tony Scheffler caught a touchdown and Pettigrew didn’t but he was still decent with six receptions for 44 yards.
TE Dustin Keller, New York Jets – Thumbs up. Six receptions for 98 yards and two touchdowns will get you a thumbs up every time.
Other Players to Consider:
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo – Thumbs up. Fitzpatrick was a surprisingly solid 20 of 28 for 246 with two touchdowns and two picks against the Patriots in Foxboro.
QB Bruce Gradkowski, Oakland – Thumbs up. One touchdown and 255 yards on the road against Arizona.
TE Aaron Hernandez, New England – Thumbs up. Another solid performance by Hernandez with six receptions for 60 yards on seven targets.