It was another busy weekend of action in the NFL. There were more than a few injury concerns coming out of the week (Eddie Lacy, Ray Rice, etc) to go along with players seeing their stock rise (Eddie Royal, DeAndre Hopkins). Needless to say, there will be some interesting decisions to be made on the waiver wires of most leagues heading into week 3.
To help out, we’ve lined up another batch of Featured Pros to share their advice. The pundits ranked a list (provided by us) of RB/WR/TE based on rest of season value. Their picks were then combined to create the consensus waiver wire rankings below. For additional insight, be sure to check out our Week 3 Rankings and Rest of Season Rankings.
Tuesday Update: With the news that Steven Jackson is likely out for 2-4 weeks, we gathered expert opinions on the value of his injury replacement.
Waiver Wire Rankings (STD Scoring)
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Week 3 Waiver Wire Advice
Each expert was asked to share advice regarding a couple pressing questions for this week’s waiver wire. Here’s what the experts had to say.
Q1: Eddie Royal is available in most leagues and will be a popular add this week. How high are you on him as a consistent Flex option (or better) moving forward?
The Chargers’ offense has had a surprising amount of success in the first two weeks and no one has benefited more than Royal, whose skills are translating well to Mike McCoy’s offence. Royal definitely has Philip Rivers’ attention, but defenses will adjust in the next few weeks and I expect Vincent Brown will draw more targets now that Malcom Floyd is sidelined. If you need an upgrade at your Flex spot Royal is a nice pickup, just don’t sacrifice too much of your FAAB budget on a receiver that hasn’t produced consistently since his rookie season in 2008.
Eddie Royal caught 91 passes, 5 went for Touchdowns and it landed him inside the top 20 fantasy receivers in 2008. In the next 4 seasons he caught only 138 passes, five of which were of the Touchdowns variety. Now, the Chargers have turned to Royal with their receiving corps banged up and he has 5 Touchdowns in two games. It is a great story, but I’d temper expectations. Teams aren’t going to let him beat them going forward. It’ll get tougher for Royal.
If you were one of the savvy fantasy football players who snagged the speculative Eddie Royal off the waiver wire before Week 2, then you hit the jackpot and are surely in for a nice 2013 campaign out of the now primary target of Philip Rivers. With a severe injury to Malcom Floyd yesterday and a revamped offensive scheme that has produced big scoring opportunities in two straight weeks, it is safe to assume that the former 2nd round pick who caught 7 passes for 90 yards and 3 TDs on 8 targets will be a viable option for the Chargers. Obviously, we cannot expect this kind of Bugs Bunny production (5 TD in 2 games) each week, but he is at the very least worth a decent bid off the waiver wire and may be a viable WR3/4 or high end flex option for remainder of the campaign. While Royal isn’t our first choice (DeAndre Hopkins) on this waiver list, he’s a still a nice addition. So if you missed the Julian Edelman train last week, we suggest you punch your ticket for the Eddie Royal sweepstakes heading into week 3 if you can’t get one of the other guys.
So you’re buying into Eddie Royal, eh? Does the fact he has equaled his touchdown total for the past three seasons in just two games mean anything to you? How about the fact that he’s had his share of injuries?
It seems like the first two weeks have seen opposing defenses completely forget about Royal’s presence on the field. The Texans haven’t looked dominant on defense, and the Eagles aren’t exactly a defensive powerhouse to boot. Teams will tighten up against the Chargers, so don’t expect Royal to score every game. In fact, it would be surprising if he scored five more touchdowns the rest of the season. If you already grabbed him or you plan on using your waiver wire priority to get him, try to sell high before the bottom falls out underneath him.
I personally picked up Royal after his week 1 performance and may use him in week 3 instead of my other flex, Ben Tate. The Chargers have no doubt added some plays for Royal that leverage his quickness and after watching two highlight reel catches in week 2 I’m a believer. There are a lot of haters out there and we all have to understand he won’t keep piling up touchdowns, but his flex appeal is strong in PPR leagues. For the record, I’d snatch DeAndre Hopkins off waivers over Eddie Royal based on assumed consistency going forward.
Q2: Give us some additional thoughts about another waiver wire target or two you like.
With injuries beginning to hit and bye weeks around the corner, some fantasy owners will be in desperation mode regarding their backfields. If you started Bilal Powell this week, you were rewarded with 70 total yards and a touchdown. He may not be a pure runner like Chris Ivory, but Powell is a decent pass catching back on a team that will frequently be in catch-up mode. With Eddie Lacy and John Kuhn potentially missing time with injuries, don’t be afraid to grab James Starks. While he isn’t an elite talent, Starks can be productive if the Packers are willing to feature him like they did Sunday.
Recommended pickup: James Starks. This is not the waiver wire recommendation that Eddie Lacy owners want to see and it’s not because Starks is the next coming of Adrian Peterson. In fact, in the opportunities he was given before Green Bay drafted Lacy to fix the running game woes, Starks failed miserably or became too injured to play. Yesterday’s game saw what the Packers can do if they force feed one guy the ball all game, as Starks racked up 132 yards on the ground with a TD to go along with 5 receptions for 44 yards. With numbers like that it won’t be shocking to see James Starks as the highest bid on player for this waiver period. If you are an Eddie Lacy owner, that’s probably not what you wanted to hear…or is it? The fact is, while some in standard league formats will view Starks as a solid RB3/Flex play heading into week 3, the Packers get the intimidating Bengals D next week and have a bye in week 4, so the hoopla surrounding Starks is only valid if Lacy is out at least 4 weeks. Don’t go crazy with your waiver budget for Starks.
Marlon Brown has two touchdowns on the season and both have come inside the Red Zone, which makes sense considering he is 6’5 and boasts excellent quickness off the line. If he hadn’t run into injury issues during his college career he would have likely been as coveted entering the NFL as he was out of High School. The Ravens need pass catchers and Brown is quickly showing he is both capable and reliable
DeAndre Hopkins is available in your league? How is this possible? Hopefully you have a top waiver priority or a lot of FAAB money to spend, because he should absolutely be your top target. Hopkins looked fantastic, and things could get even better as he develops a rapport with Matt Schaub. With Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels occupying the attention of opposing defenses in the passing game, Hopkins will see lighter coverage.
If you’re in a deeper league you might give Charles Clay a look. In Week 1,the Miami TE tallied 10 PPR points against the Browns. Sunday against the Colts, he notched 5 catches for 109. He also acted as the goal-line back on one play, plunging in for a score from one yard out.
Thanks to this week’s Featured Pros for sharing their advice! You can check out more picks from them in their weekly rankings.