Fantasy Free Agents to Target – Week 3


Another week, for better or worse, is in the books, and luckily the injury bug didn’t bite too hard for fantasy owners. Nonetheless, some new faces appeared and others continued on with what they started in Week 1. As usual, this week’s Waiver Wire consists of players you need to either jump on immediately or strongly consider adding to your squad. Remember, resting on your laurels can come back to bite you later in the year. It is important to be proactive to better your squad in addition to preventing other teams from bettering theirs.


Matt Schaub, Houston TexansThe Atlanta Falcons must be cringing each time Schaub drops back, finds an open receiver and completes a pass. Through two games, he is averaging 226 yards passing, 1.5 touchdowns and 0.50 interceptions per game. He and wide receiver Andre Johnson seem to have good chemistry, and he isn’t spending most of his time on his butt like former starter, David Carr, did behind the Texans’ offensive line. Be aware though as Johnson (knee) is doubtful for Week 3. Schaub is available in about 69 percent of leagues polled.

Others to consider…

David Garrard, Jacksonville Jaguars – This one isn’t a sexy pickup. Actually, he might put you to sleep. However, Garrard is averaging 238 yards passing and one touchdown per game. The Jaguars’ running game is struggling, which might force him to put the ball in the air a bit more often, too. He is definitely a better backup than starter, but if you’re scrambling he is worth the look. He is available in about 85 percent of leagues polled.

Derek Anderson, Cleveland Browns – Don’t think for a minute Anderson is going to repeat his five-touchdown performance anytime soon. However, his strong showing versus Cincinnati helped keep him in the starting lineup rather than allowing the team to quickly hand the reins over to rookie Brady Quinn. If you are desperate, Anderson is worth considering, but keep in mind his leash is short unless he keeps producing. He will be picked up immediately in most leagues after last weekend, but it’s safe to say that production was an aberration.

Running Backs

DeShawn Wynn, Green Bay PackersBrandon Jackson is looking like a fantasy (and NFL) bust through two games and the Packers need to mount a running game somehow… someway… from somewhere. Enter Wynn, also a rookie. Coming off a two-touchdown showing in Week 2, one needs to keep in mind it was against the hapless Giants. However, he showed more in that game than Jackson has been able to and nobody knows when Vernand Morency (knee) will actually take the field in a game yet. He is averaging 29 rushing yards, 18 receiving yards and one touchdown per game through two outings. He was utilized 13 times in Week 2 after being used just twice in Week 1. He should be immediately picked up just in case he is able to stake a claim on the job, but keep in mind he has always been somewhat of an underachiever. By the way, he is available in almost every league polled!

Derrick Ward, New York Giants – While Brandon Jacobs (knee) remains sidelined, Ward is expected to continue carrying the load at running back. In two games, with just one start, he is averaging 89.5 rushing yards, four receptions and 0.50 receiving touchdowns per game. Ward has been utilized 30.3 percent of the offense, averaging 19.5 plays per week with 4.50 inside the red zone. He hasn’t found the end zone rushing yet, but his average of 18 touches per week leads to potential. Ward is available in about 53 percent of leagues polled.

Ron Dayne, Houston Texans – Are the Texans for real? Who cares, they are producing fantasy points! Dayne is available in almost every league polled. He is averaging 15.5 carries per game through two weeks. He is averaging 38.5 rushing yards and five receiving yards per game. Dayne is being utilized an average of 16.5 per game – just one less than Green – with two plays coming in the red zone each week on average. Green has not been a poster boy of health in the last few years, so look for Dayne to keep complementing him to help keep him fresh. He is a definite pickup as a handcuff to Green but also worth the look for non-Green owners.

Sammy Morris, New England Patriots – The Patriots seem content sticking with a running back by committee approach, using Morris to compliment Laurence Maroney each week. He banged the Chargers’ defense well in Week 2, looking solid in the process. Through two weeks, he is averaging 52.5 rushing yards, 0.50 rushing touchdowns, one reception and 5.5 receiving yards per game. If you own Maroney, he is who you need to handcuff to him. If you don’t need Maroney but could use some depth, he is worth the look simply because he is averaging almost a dozen touches per game right now. He is available in almost every league polled.

Wide Receivers

Wes Welker, New England Patriots – Through two games, Welker is averaging seven receptions per game. Despite being the Patriots’ third receiver, he and Tom Brady are clearly comfortable with each other and the two are hooking up often! Welker’s yardage is always likely to remain low, but in point-per-reception leagues he can really contribute. He is averaging 76 yards receiving and 0.50 touchdowns per game. He has been targeted an average of 9.50 times per game with 1.50 looks per week within the red zone. He is also available in 35 percent of leagues polled!

Brandon Marshall, Denver Broncos – Marshall, who is available in 38 percent of leagues polled, is averaging five receptions, 67 receiving yards and 0.50 touchdowns per game. He is being targeted 7.50 times per week, with 1.50 within the red zone. Even though he is second fiddle to Javon Walker, he is getting his due in the early goings of the season. Snag him if he is available.

Nate Burleson, Seattle Seahawks – With D.J. Hackett (ankle) out for the foreseeable future, Burleson remains a must pickup, too. He found the end zone last weekend and his role in the offense should only improve. Through two games, he has been targeted an average of 4.50 times per week with one look coming in the red zone. He is averaging two receptions, 40 yards receiving and 0.50 touchdowns per week. Burleson is available in 97 percent of leagues polled, too.

Shaun McDonald, Detroit Lions – McDonald has been involved in the Lions’ offense each of the last two weeks, averaging 8.50 targeted plays per week with an average of one in the red zone. He has averaged 6.5 receptions, 80.5 receiving yards and 0.50 receiving touchdowns per game, too. Many forget he played for offensive coordinator Mike Martz while the two were in St. Louis so he knows this offense inside and out. Is he this year’s Mike Furrey? It is starting to look like he has a chance to be!

Joe Jurevicius, Cleveland BrownsComing off a two-touchdown game, Jurevicius needs to be considered and will likely have someone in your league jump on him right away. He has been targeted 5.50 times per game this season, while averaging three receptions, 36 yards receiving and one touchdown per game. He is available in about 98 percent of leagues polled, but one has to wonder if he’ll score two touchdowns the rest of the season? He scored just three times in 13 games for the Browns last year.

Others to consider…

James Jones, Green Bay Packers – It is easy to jump on a rookie bandwagon, but we all need to remember they struggle. Jones, however, has looked strong since the preseason. With Greg Jennings (hamstring) missing the first two games, Jones has been targeted an average of six times per week. He has seen one look within the red zone while averaging four catches, 52 yards and no scores thus far. He is available in 95 percent of leagues polled.

Dennis Northcutt, Jacksonville Jaguars – Northcutt is also a very ho-hum type player and is available in 99 percent of leagues polled. He is, however, averaging 7.50 targeted plays per week but is seeing just 0.50 looks per week within the red zone. Northcutt has averaged 4.50 receptions, 66 receiving yards and no touchdowns through two games, but with the Jaguars’ running game nonexistent right now the team may be forced to rely more on the passing game.

Jacoby Jones, Houston TexansAndre Johnson (knee) is doubtful for Week 3, which could lead to Jones finding his way into the starting lineup. He has been targeted five times through two games, second most amongst the team’s receivers. Despite a strong preseason, he is averaging just one reception, 16.5 receiving yards and zero touchdowns. Jones is available in about 92 percent of leagues polled.

Tight Ends

Eric Johnson, New Orleans Saints – The Saints haven’t had many bright spots, but Johnson has been one for them. Available in about 40 percent of leagues polled, Johnson is averaging 5.5 receptions and 37.5 receiving yards. Like many of the Saints’ players, finding the end zone has been tough for him. He is being targeted an average of seven times per week, with one look coming in the red zone. If the rest of the Saints’ offense could pick it up, he could see his numbers quickly improve.

Donald Lee, Green Bay Packers – Lee is available in almost every league polled and is quietly posting decent numbers. Through two games, he is being targeted five times per week. Lee is averaging four receptions, 31 receiving yards and 0.50 touchdowns per game. With little-to-no running game, quarterback Brett Favre is being forced to work the underneath passes often. This is an area Lee can benefit, especially in point-per-reception league formats.

Jeff King, Carolina Panthers – The Panthers’ running game continues to struggle while the passing game is picking up steam. Despite the team not being tight end friendly for fantasy teams in recent years, King is starting to change that. His numbers aren’t special – and may never be – but he is contributing with an average of 4.5 receptions per week. He is averaging 37 yards per game but has yet to find the end zone. The team has targeted him an average of 5.50 times per game, with zero looks in the red zone.

Others to consider…

Bubba Franks, Green Bay Packers – The second of the Green Bay tight ends to fall in the report this week, Franks is now the team’s No. 2 option. However, he is making the most of it with an average of 3 receptions, 18.5 yards receiving and 0.50 touchdowns per game. More importantly, he is being targeted an average of 5.50 times per week. He is available in 99 percent of leagues polled.

Place Kickers

Jeff Reed, Pittsburgh Steelers – Reed has started the season off hot, averaging three field goal attempts and three extra point attempts per game through two weeks. He has also hit every kick. He is available in roughly 90 percent of leagues polled.

Nick Folk, Dallas Cowboys – Folk is averaging two field goal attempts and five extra point attempts per week, which is pretty impressive for a rookie. Even more importantly, he is nailing all of his opportunities. While the Cowboys are unlikely to continue scoring five touchdowns on a weekly basis, it appears Folk is going to continue getting his chances.

Others to consider…

Kris Brown, Houston Texans – The Texans’ offense is surprisingly solid right now and they are putting Brown into position to score points. He is averaging two field goal attempts and three extra point attempts per week. He is available in almost every league polled.

Defensive Teams

Oakland Raiders – Looking for a one-week play? The Raiders may be your choice. This pickup is based off their opponent and the potential it will provide the Raiders “D” more than anything else. The Cleveland Browns may have scored all day against the Cincinnati Bengals, but it is time the real Browns’ offense shows back up. The Browns have averaged three turnovers per game, along with three sacks per game. The Raiders’ defense, in contrast, has averaged 2.5 turnovers and 2 sacks per game. If you are looking to roll the dice based off a strong matchup, the Raiders “D” should be given some attention. They are available in about 58 percent of leagues polled.

Cleveland Browns – On the other side of the aforementioned matchup, the Browns “D” falls into the same boat. They are not anything special, but the woeful Raiders’ offense might make them look that way this weekend. The Raiders are averaging three turnovers per game, while also giving up three sacks per game. Quarterback Josh McCown (hand) is less than 100 percent, and the Browns could force him into turnovers early this weekend if they are able to apply pressure. Cleveland has averaged two turnovers and one sack per game. They should be considered as a one-week play. They are available in almost every league polled.

Kansas City Chiefs – Again, this one is more based off of the opponent than it is the Chiefs’ defense itself. The Minnesota Vikings have turned the football over six times in two games and allowed one sack per game in the process. Simply put, they are making opposing defenses look better than they really are. The Chiefs are averaging 2.5 turnovers and 2.5 sacks per game. If you’re looking for a one week play with upside potential, the Chiefs are a good one to consider. They are available in about 95 percent of leagues polled.

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