NFL Fantasy Football: 3 Sleeper Picks You Need to Pick Up on Waivers

Justin SparksCorrespondent IIISeptember 21, 2011

NFL Fantasy Football: 3 Sleeper Picks You Need to Pick Up on Waivers

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    Week 3 has arrived, and there has already been plenty of shake up in the NFL. Injuries have plagued certain teams after just two weeks into the season, and that can only mean one thing: fantasy sleeper picks.

    Leagues are won on the waiver wire, not in the draft room. Any fantasy football aficionado would tell you that you must take big risks to receive big rewards, and sometimes, those risks actually pay off.

    The following are three players you need to pick up today to experience success come Sunday.

Buffalo Bills: David Nelson

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    "Who the heck is David Nelson?" That's what I asked myself after seeing him on my league's fantasy wire. Then, I remembered his days as a Florida Gator and hearing his name during the highlight reels from Sunday.

    The Buffalo Bills may not be for real just yet, but they're off to a good start. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been slinging the ball around for the Bills and putting up a lot of points.

    Fitzpatrick's main guy is still Stevie Johnson, but with the news that Roscoe Parrish will be sidelined on IR for the remainder of the season, the Bills will need a guy to step up as the No. 2 guy.

    David Nelson could very well be that wide receiver. He will likely be taking over as the Bills starting slot receiver, which should enable him to get quality yards and looks in the red zone.

    Nelson recorded 14.3 points with 10 catches, 83 yards, and a touchdown in Week 2 versus the Oakland Raiders. According to Yahoo! Sports, the Bills slot receiver is only owned by 28 percent of fantasy owners.

    The Bills host the New England Patriots, but do not let that score you. The Patriots, through two weeks, have allowed the second most yards per game in the league, with 479 yards given up on average.

    If the Bills are for real, you could have found an early sleeper that will produce every week.

Cleveland Browns: Defense/Special Teams

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    This may come as a surprise to some, but the Cleveland Browns have the second best pass defense in the league. The Browns have only allowed 165.5 yards through the air in the first two weeks of the season as they host the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

    Chad Henne came out slinging the ball in Week 1 versus the New England Patriots, but was slowed down last week, only throwing for 170 yards with a 40 percent completion rating. Not exactly stellar numbers for a quarterback playing in his own stadium.

    The dog pound will be loud and crazy as they try to will their Browns to a 2-1 start to the season. With so many of the top defenses playing explosive offenses this week, picking up the Cleveland Browns defense could end up saving you three to five points, and we all know how important those extra few points can be.

    Add in the special teams factor for the Browns, and you could have an outstanding outing from this unit. Joshua Cribbs still lines up for kickoffs last time I checked.

    Certainly not a home run pick up by any means, but with only 11 percent of fantasy owners fielding the Browns on their rosters, you could end up outsmarting your competition. Defense and special teams are about how teams match up against each other, and I like the upside on this one.

Kansas City Chiefs: Thomas Jones or Dexter McCluster

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    The Kansas City Chiefs have suffered the worst start to their season imaginable. A year removed from making the playoffs, and the Chiefs are sitting in a 0-2 hole with their best player on offense and best player on defense out for the season.

    Maybe it's the consequences of fantasy football becoming a nationwide addiction, but my second thought after hearing that Jamaal Charles went down with an ACL injury was "Thomas Jones, waiver wire."

    Several fantasy owners have already jumped at the chance to snap up Jones, but Yahoo! Sports still reads that he is only on 47 percent of teams.

    His ownership jumped 12 percentage points this week, but pending on how astutely alert your fellow league mates are, he could be available. The San Diego Chargers have given up the 24th most points to running backs through two weeks, and the Chiefs are desperate for a win.

    If you cannot grab Thomas Jones, I suggest taking a shot with Dexter McCluster. The small speedster is currently the Chiefs leading rusher and leading catcher going into Week 3. His touches will be limited to roughly 20-25 per game, but he has all the skill needed to break one.

    McCluster is only on 45 percent of rosters, up from 25 percent a week ago. Grab one of these two guys quick and consider them as a flex spot for your third choice running back or wide receiver. It just might pay off big dividends.

    Oh, did I mention that the Chargers have given up an average of 252 yards on the ground through the first two weeks.