It's more challenging for fantasy owners in the beginning of the season than it is as the season wears on.
We, as fantasy owners, compare players who have a strong week (or two) and are available in our league(s) to those currently on our roster. At the same time, we try not to overreact to what may be a one-game (or two-game) wonder. After all, there was a reason why nobody drafted said player just a few weeks ago.
But it's oh so tempting.
As the season plays itself out, it's easier to exercise restraint and more of our decisions are based on logic than emotions or whims.
To help you scour your league's waiver wire for some values, we put together a list of potential candidates to add on a weekly basis.
We have two criteria for a player to appear on our list: (1) the player did not appear on the previous week's list and (2) they are owned by 50 percent or less in Yahoo! leagues.
For example, a player like Houston's Ben Tate, who was on our pickups list last week, won't appear on this list.
With a second 100-yard game (in two weeks) and comments by coach Gary Kubiak saying Tate will get "most of the [work] load," Tate is now owned in more than 50 percent of leagues and he was on last week's list. In other words, he fails both of the criteria to appear on this list, but he is certainly worth owning in your league.
Buffalo receiver David Nelson, who had ten receptions for 83 yards and a score last week, is owned in only 10 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Even though he meets our league ownership criteria, he won't appear on this list because he was also mentioned on our list last week
Here are some new waiver wire suggestions that may be available to help your team in Week 3 (and beyond):
QB - Rex Grossman, Redskins (owned in 22 percent of Yahoo! leagues): Although I expected Grossman to play better in Week 2 than he did, Grossman has thrown for at least 291 yards and two touchdowns in both games this season. Granted, Grossman is consistently inconsistent, but he has a favorable matchup this week against the Cowboys.
QB - Mike Kafka, Eagles (one percent): With Michael Vick sustaining a concussion last week, his status for Week 3 is in doubt. If Vick does not play, his replacement (more likely Kafka than Vince Young) is a possible starter in deeper leagues, especially if you need to replace Vick in your starting lineup. Not only do the Eagles have explosive weapons at Kafka's (or Young's) disposal in receivers Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson and running back LeSean McCoy, the Giants have suffered numerous season-ending injuries on defense to make for a good matchup play. New York has allowed the ninth-most passing yards (283.0 per game) through two weeks.
RB - Roy Helu, Redskins (24 percent): Most think that Helu is as talented as current starter Tim Hightower, who currently ranks second in the NFL in rushing attempts (45). While there is no doubt that Hightower is the guy now, it's possible that we see Helu continue to get the 13 touches he got last week. And if he keeps making the most of those touches (114 yards from scrimmage), the split between the two could (should) become closer to even.
RB - Thomas Jones, Chiefs (37 percent): With Jamaal Charles out for the season with a torn ACL, Thomas Jones is likely to get the most carries in the Chiefs offense. A major concern with Jones is his age (33), which is like 85 in running back years. In addition, Jones has seen has yards per carry drop from 4.2 (2009) to 3.7 (2010) to 3.1 (this year).
RB - Dexter McCluster, Chiefs (29 percent): McCluster is more dynamic and especially more valuable in point-per-reception (PPR) formats. As a rookie, McCluster had 21 receptions for 209 yards in 11 games. With Charles out, I wouldn't be surprised if McCluster finishes with 50 receptions (or more).
WR - Eric Decker, Broncos (23 percent): With Brandon Lloyd being a late scratch, Decker, a third-round pick in 2010, finished with five receptions for 113 yards and two scores in last week's win over Cincinnati. In both games this season, however, Decker has three-plus receptions and 50-plus receiving yards. He also had a punt return touchdown in Week 1.
WR - Denarius Moore, Raiders (19 percent): Moore, who was a popular sleeper pick this preseason, had a huge game in Week 2 with many of the team's top receivers out of the lineup. Moore, the team's fifth-round pick this year, had five receptions for 146 yards and a score. In Week 1, however, he did not have any catches. It's likely that Moore will have greater variability in his production than Decker.
WR - Jerome Simpson, Bengals (22 percent): Simpson has had four receptions in back-to-back weeks this season, but he finished with a season-high 136 receiving yards in Week 2. Going back to 2010, Simpson has 100-plus yards in three of his past four games. While his numbers may fluctuate a bit with rookie quarterback Andy Dalton starting, Dalton currently ranks eighth in the NFL in passer rating (105.7).
WR - Kevin Ogletree, Cowboys (one percent): Miles Austin, who scored three touchdowns against the Niners, will likely be out through the team's bye week in Week 5. That means that Ogletree becomes the team's No. 2 receiver behind Dez Bryant, who missed last week's game with a thigh contusion. While Austin is out, Ogletree should see an uptick in his targets and is worthy of consideration in deeper leagues.
TE - Fred Davis, Redskins (24 percent): Only one tight end in the NFL has more receiving yards than Davis (191): Jason Witten. Only three tight ends have more receptions than Davis (11): Aaron Hernandez (14), Witten (13) and Tony Gonzalez (12).
Our Week 3 fantasy rankings will be available on Wednesday at TheTipDrill.com, which is the fantasy section of our site.
If you have specific questions on players available in your league or lineup questions, feel free to submit those in our free fantasy football forum. Additionally, our free fantasy football contest for Week 3 is up in our forums.
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Good luck in Week 3!
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