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Fantasy Football: Week 3 Waiver Wire Pickup Power Rankings

RotoExperts Staff September 21, 2015 12:22AM EST

Week 3 Waiver Wire Pickup Power Rankings

FNTSY Sports Network’s Pat Mayo talks with Dr. Victor Khabie and Jake Ciely about every significant injury from Sunday, and unleashes his Week 3 Waiver Wire Pickup Power Rankings for every position. Plus, the streaming QBs and DSTs of the week.

*Week 3 Waiver Wire Power Rankings  | All Players less than 60-percent owned*

Week 3 Rankings: Rankings Debate | FLEX | RB | WR | QB | TE/DST | Waiver Wire | Injury Report
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DraftKings is giving away $7M in its Week 3 Millionaire Maker Contest. So, sign up for DraftKings NOWWWWWW and receive a FREE ENTRY!!!!

Video: Subscribe to the Pat Mayo Hour on YouTube | Audio: Subscribe to the Pat Mayo Hour on iTunes

Week 3 Waiver Wire Pickups: Running Back

  1. James Starks
  2. Dion Lewis
  3. Matt Jones
  4. David Johnson
  5. Devonta Freeman
  6. Chris Johnson
  7. Ronnie Hillman
  8. Duke Johnson
  9. Lorenzo Taliaferro
  10. Khiry Robinson
  11. Karlos Williams
  12. Knile Davis
  13. Lance Dunbar
  14. Andre Williams
  15. Theo Riddick
  16. Josh Robinson
  17. Chris Polk
  18. DeAngelo Williams
  19. Charles Sims
  20. Javorius “Buck” Allen
  21. Mike Tolbert
  22. Mike Davis
  23. Benny Cunningham
  24. Terrance West
  25. Jeremy Langford
  26. Denard Robinson
  27. Jonathan Grimes
  28. Dexter McCluster

David Johnson, TAKE A HIKE, PALLLLLL!!!!! The new king of the Week 3 Waiver Wire Pick up POWER RANKS is James Starks. Poor Eddie Lacy, and you, the Eddie Lacy owner; ankles aren’t supposed to turn that way. Obviously, I’ll update after his MRI, once we get more concrete info, but INSTANT REACTIONS have Lacy avoiding the dreaded high ankle sprain (which would start at missing at least 4 weeks). That’s the shred good news. Still looks like Lacy will miss time however. Appears to be at least a week, but probably slightly more. For Starks, it’s simple, you want the lead back in Green Bay. Don’t overthink it. With a full complement of touches, Starks will be a solid RB2 while Lacy is sidelined. Hopefully, we’ll have more info by the time the Week 3 waiver wire deadline hits. When the injury timetable is released, increase your FAAB bid by the severity of the injury. The longer Lacy misses, the more you bid. [Update: Ian Rapaport reporting there’s a chance Lacy could play Monday night. Wouldn’t be depending on that. Starks is still worth grabbing, in case the injury still turns out to be more serious, but don’t pay a premium for his services]

Oh hai, Dion Lewis. Lewis monopolized the work in Patriots’ backfield, playing 70 of 84 offensive snaps, piling up 138 total yards (7 carries; 6 receptions). For comparison, LeGarrette Blount only snuck his way on to the field for 7 snaps. I want to believe in Lewis as an every week starter, I really do, but I refuse to be duped by those dastardly Belitricks again. I still wager the volume allotted to the lead RB in the New England backfield will be dictated by game-flow. Eventually, the Pats are going to start running more, and with James White’s deactivation, Blount remains the likeliest candidate to see the majority of the work between the tackles. Still, Lewis seems to have locked down the “Kevin Faulk/Danny Woodhead/Shane Vereen role,” which is definitely worth rostering with this offense’s firepower. And, strangely enough, among this crop of potential RB adds, Lewis may actually be the best full-season option of the group. Where the other available RBs are either handcuffs, battling in a time-share, or dealing with a limited shelf life, Lewis has every week viability as a low-end RB2/FLEX option in PPR leagues, ideally, a bench RB to plug in for bye weeks and injuries. Just don’t expect consistent production; It’s still the New England backfield. Also, Blount is likely going to be dropped in a lot of leagues. If I was weak at RB, I’d pick him up after he clears waivers, and see if his role expands.

Matt JONESSSSSSS!!!!!! Unfortunately, even though he’s the non-coked out Matt Jones, he won’t be worth what you’ll have to pay in FAAB bucks. First waiver wire priority? Sure, worth burning after Starks, but I wouldn’t go shelling out a significant amount of FAAB for him. Unless you’re convinced Washington is going to be playing from ahead and pounding the ball with impunity every week, that is. And, outside of DC homers, I doubt anyone is that diluted. Did he look better than Alfred Morris? Absolutely. But, just because he out touched ALF this week, doesn’t mean that’s the new norm. Don’t take this as an indictment against him, I’d love to have him on my squad, but I don’t wanna pay huge for an RB I wouldn’t feel comfortable starting next week. If I can get him at stash prices, I’m taking him. That’s just not the way it’s going to be, though.

There’s a very similar situation brewing in Arizona. On the whole, David Johnson is the RB I want to own; however Chris Johnson is the better add if you need an RB to play now. At least until Andre Ellington returns in a few weeks. Right now, David Johnson is nothing more than a stash, an appreciating asset – a bench player. I’m aware he’s currently scoring on over 40% of his career touches, and yes, that’s a GREAT PACE, but we all know this isn’t sustainable. I’d take a medium pace if it meant an increase in his volume. But that simply doesn’t look like it’s going to happen any time soon. David was out carried by Chris Johnson 5-to-1 against the Bears, after only seeing one touch (in garbage time) Week 1. Relying on players that require a GIANT PLAY to have a viable Fantasy day is a losing strategy. Like Jones, David Johnson’s talent gives him a path to the starting gig, but that time isn’t now. If you want to grab him off the wire, you have to understand the commodity you’re acquiring, or you’re going to get ripped off.

Lamar Miller rolled his ankle against the Jags and didn’t return. Damien Williams would be the pick up in Miller’s place, but the injury isn’t considered serious (Didn’t require an MRI). Just to be safe, let’s transport ourselves to a future where Miller misses next week. With the Dolphins drawing the Bills – not exactly a primo match up – Williams would be nothing more than a fringe FLEX in PPR formats, at best. Pass.

Thanks for the Week 2 win, DeAngelo Williams. Now get your ass back to handcuff hell. The Steelers get to what they want to do, in Le’Veon color.

Beware Justin Forsett and LeSean Mccoy owners, Lorenzo Taliaferro and Karlos Williams are here to steal your touchdown. Jerks.

Chris Polk established himself as the non-Arian Foster Texans RB to play if you’re truly desperate. Foster returned to practice last week and is getting closer to the field every day. If you need a plug-and-play for Week 3, and Foster is still out, he’ll be a capable body against the Bucs.

Tevin Coleman was carted off with a rib injury, and DeVonta Freeman assumed the starting role in Atlanta. The good news: He got 12 carries, caught 4 passes (on 8 targets) and got into the end zone. Bad news: He averaged a shade over 2-yards per carry. No word yet on the extent of Coleman’s injury, but, if he misses time, Freeman would be a priority add for anyone who needs a filler RB to tide them over until a better option presents itself. He’d become the homeless man’s James Starks from this week’s available players. Don’t go crazy spending on him, especially not knowing the extent of Coleman’s injury. [Update: Coleman will miss a few weeks few a fractured rib. I’m moving Freeman ahead of Chris Johnson in the rankings. Since an injury to Coleman doesn’t upgrade Freeman’s skill level, only his opportunity it may be worth stashing Terron Ward in deeper leagues.]

No, I’m not concerned about Jeremy Hill getting benched. In fact, I’m trying to buy low as we speak.

Week 3 Waiver Wire Pickups: Wide Receiver

  1. Stevie Johnson
  2. Travis Benjamin
  3. Rishard Matthews
  4. Cole Beasley
  5. Leonard Hankerson
  6. Cecil Shorts III
  7. Nate Washington
  8. Ted Ginn Jr.
  9. Brandon Coleman
  10. Aaron Dobson
  11. Allen Hurns
  12. Doug Baldwin
  13. Michael Crabtree
  14. Marvin Jones
  15. Malcom Floyd
  16. Devin Funchess
  17. Eddie Royal
  18. Jermaine Kearse
  19. Ryan Grant
  20. Devin Street
  21. Tavon Austin
  22. Markus Wheaton
  23. Kenny Britt
  24. Tyler Lockett
  25. Phillip Dorsett
  26. Rashad Greene
  27. Jordan Norwood
  28. Harry Douglas
  29. Rueben Randle
  30. Ty Montgomery
  31. Andre Roberts
  32. Louis Murphy
  33. Philly Brown
  34. Darrius Heyward-Bey
  35. Andrew Hawkins
  36. Willie Snead

Another week, another 6 targets and a TD for Stevie Johnson. He’s a quality WR3/bench guy, and he’s the blue ribbon receiver pick up this week. It’s a deep, but ultimately unmoving group. If Johnson is going to be too rich for your blood, the always underrated Malcom Floyd is a solid pick up in standard formats because of his vertical prowess.

Don’t go crazy trying to add Travis Benjamin. I like his big play ability, and the fact he makes JOHHHNNNNNYYYYYYYYYY look vaguely like an NFL QB, but the Browns simply don’t throw enough to make me trust him. Through two games, Sir Jonathan Football and Josh McCown have combined to attempt 47 passes. Tom Brady threw 59 times against the Bills. He’ll have more value in standard over PPR leagues, and his ability to score in the return game is a nice side bonus, but there are going to be weeks where his numbers evaporate. Consider this: Benjamin was only on the field for 23 of CLE’s 49 offensive snaps, and only 9 were passing plays. Worth a small bid to see if you can nab him, but don’t break the bank.

It’s much the same for Leonard Hankerson. Worth grabbing in deeper leagues for cheap, if you can, but Roddy White is going to be far more involved in the coming weeks.

For consistency purposes, I like Rishard Matthews. Although Kenny Stills, Old Greg Jennings, or Davante Parker were all considered better options entering the season, it’s Matthews who has morphed into the Dolphins WR2. I’m shocked too. He’s much in the Stevie Johnson mold, though. A high floor, low ceiling WR that’s better suited for deeper leagues. A guy you can start as a WR3/FLEX every week if you wanted, but is best suited for spot duty. I still feel like Parker will eventually develop into a star, but it appears like it won’t happen soon.

Since the Texans are always losing, both Cecil Shorts III and Nate Washington keep getting peppered with targets. After two weeks, Shorts has amassed 20 looks, Washington 19 – opportunity matters. Since their aDOTs are so far apart I’ve created a Lenny/Carl-esque way of remembering which one you want: Shorts = PPR; Washington = Standard.

Speaking of targets, Ted Ginn Jr. gets lots. Now, if he could only catch more of them. But after skimming at his list of accomplishments, it’s easy to see how he never made it a priority.

Week 3 Waiver Wire Pickups: Tight End

  1. Jordan Reed
  2. Eric Ebron
  3. Kyle Rudolph
  4. Ladarius Green
  5. Crockett Gillmore
  6. Vernon Davis
  7. Richard Rodgers
  8. Anthony Fasano
  9. Larry Donnell
  10. Gavin Escobar

Jordan Reed injured his quad mid-week and, not only played, but never left the game. It was the biggest upset of the week. When Reed’s on the field, he’s a Top 10 TE. PICK HIM UP!!!!!!!!!!

Turns out, Eric Ebron may actually be awesome. Two games, two scores; with a total of 9 catches on 15 targets. If you’re looking for safer at the position, Kyle Rudolph is your guy, but Ebron oozes upside with his elite skill/size combo. I prefer that on my team.

The only question mark next to Ladarius Green? (Besides that one). How much will Antonio Gates affect his production once he returns? Frankly, I don’t care. I’m adding him for the next two weeks and figuring it out then.

Crockett Gillmore: Likes Touchdowns.

[UpdateAustin Seferian-Jenkins is out 4-6 weeks with a shoulder injury. Next up on the Bucs depth chart is Brandon Myers, then Luke Stocker. I wouldn’t concern myself with either. If one of them does anything in Week 3, we’ll reassess]

Week 3 Waiver Wire Pickups: Streaming Quarterbacks

  1. Tyrod Taylor at MIA
  2. Ryan Mallett vs TB
  3. Colin Kaepernick at ARZ
  4. Teddy Bridgewater vs SD
  5. Joe Flacco vs CIN
  6. Blake Bortles at NE
  7. Andy Dalton at BAL
  8. Alex Smith at GB
  9. Ryan Fitzpatrick vs PHI
  10. Johnny Manziel vs OAK

Tony Romo’s finished for the foreseeable future after fracturing his left clavicle.  He’ll undergo surgery and hopefully return by early November, but there’s no guarantee. Brandon Weeden is the assumed starter for the moment, unless Dallas decides to bring someone else in. Anyone have Kyle Orton or Jon Kitna’s numbers? Anyone?

I just thought Jay Cutler was taking a quick cig break, but he apparently he suffered a hamstring problem, despite everything looking like a shoulder injury. Not sure if he’ll play or not in Seattle this week, but I can assure you, you want no part of Jimmy Clausen, aka The Clausomy Bag.

Stream wise, Tyrod Taylor looks to be the best option against the Dolphins. In fact, since many of you are going to be looking filler QB with all the injuries (Romo, Cutler, Bress), Taylor can be a multi-week plug. He gets favorable matchups against the Dolphins, Giants and Titans the next three weeks…Blake Bortles could be useful as a garbage time stat accumulator in New England… Although it wasn’t pretty, Ryan Mallett posted 17 Fantasy points against a tough (albeit without Luke Kuechly) Panthers defense. If Arian Foster remains sidelined, Mallett could post useable numbers again, through attrition. He put the ball up 58 times in Carolina, and Tampa has no one to keep up with DeAndre Hopkins. That’s assuming Mallett’s still the starter next week. Something which shouldn’t be assumed… If Derek Carr can carve up the Ravens, there’s no reason “GINGERVITUS” Andy Dalton can’t do the same. But then you’re starting Andy Dalton, and that’s never ideal.

Week 3 Waiver Wire Pickups: Stream Defense/Special Teams

  1. NE vs JAX
  2. CLE vs OAK
  3. NYG vs WAS
  4. PIT at STL
  5. IND at TEN
  6. OAK at CLE

Not a bulk of quality streaming options available on the wire. There’s a chance New England DST is out there, but probably not in competitive leagues. If you’re lucky, and someone dropped them before the Bills game, that’s the top choice… Browns DST should do a better job of making Derek Carr look more like Derek Carr at home… The Giants DST is a real gamble, but Thursday night DSTs generally post points. You may have to close your eyes and shove them in if you’re out of options… That, or go with Steelers DST. Pittsburgh’s pass defense is abysmal, yet have looked surprisingly solid against the run. And when you have to make Nick Foles beat you through the air, Fantasy points will follow. I don’t feel great about it, but they’re certainly available.

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