Waiver Wire Wizardry: Pickups for Week 3

Kirk CousinsQuarterback:

Kirk Cousins (8% Y!): So first, if you have a weak stomach, please don’t watch RG3’s ankle injury. Unfortunately for RG3, he suffered a dislocated ankle and will be out a minimum of a month if not longer. If he needs to have surgery, then he could be lost for the season. In either case, Kirk Cousins needs to be owned as a QB2. In a pocket-passer style offense, Cousins is the much better fit than RG3 who is more of an option QB. Cousins came in yesterday and did a great job despite losing DeSean Jackson not too long after and of course, not having Jordan Reed on the field either. He threw for 250 yds and 2 TDs against Jacksonville and has a very nice matchup next week against a weak Eagles secondary. If Reed and/or Jackson are back for Week 3, Cousins could be bumped to a high-end QB2 and make for a nice DFS play.

Joe Flacco (35% Y!): Despite being given a huge contract last offseason, Joe Flacco is a much more valuable football QB than fantasy QB. But after seeing what he and the Ravens did to the Steelers on Thursday, I’m convinced he warrants at least QB2 consideration. Their play-calling on offense by Gary Kubiak helped them dice up Pittsburgh’s defense and it also showed just how many weapons Flacco has. Steve Smith has quickly become Flacco’s favorite target, and he has Torrey Smith, TD vulture Owen Daniels, Dennis Pitta, Bernard Pierce, and check-down machine Justin Forsett. Flacco is facing a rather tough CLE defense this week but the Browns’ secondary is beatable so I expect Flacco to be a QB2 this week and going forward and is going to be one of the better BYE week replacements.

Running Back:

Knile Davis (18% Y!): He is my #1 WW pick-up this week by far. Davis has always been talented for sure and could even contend for being the #1 RB on some teams but he was just stuck behind Jamaal Charles. That all changed Sunday when Charles went down with an ankle injury. Davis didn’t disappoint, having over 100 combined yards, 6 receptions, and 2 rushing TDs. Charles has a high-ankle sprain, which is usually a multiple week injury and if the Chiefs are smart, they will sit Charles until he is fully healthy rather than rush him back. Having Davis to take over for him in the mean time only helps the Chiefs to sit Charles. Davis is a MUST-OWN in all formats and in any size league. Put your house up for him, he is just THAT good.

Donald Brown (8% Y!): DISCLAIMER: I am not telling you to add Donald Brown because of his talent like Knile Davis, I am telling you to add him because of volume. Brown has never been impressive to me in his NFL career and he still wasn’t on Sunday. But with Ryan Mathews going down for a month or so with a knee injury, Brown is a must-add in most leagues. He is in a run-heavy offense and since Woodhead is more of a pass-catcher and not intimidating as a runner, Brown is going to pick up most of the carries. He will also get looks in the pass game but Brown is an almost-lock for at least 15 carries a game and could end up doing nicely as a RB3/FLEX until Mathews gets back.

Khiry Robinson (17% Y!): A breakout favorite this off-season and preseason, Robinson has unfortunately received minimal work so far through two weeks with Ingram doing so well as their lead RB. But, news just passed yesterday that Ingram will miss the next 4-6 weeks with a broken hand. That opens the door for Robinson to get a lot more looks and touches, especially in the running game. Pierre Thomas is a more of a passing-down back while Robinson is more of a hybrid between receiving and rushing. Robinson will see the majority of carries while Ingram is down and could be in line for high-end RB3/FLEX production if not better while in this role. He is my #2 WW pick up for this week.

Bobby Rainey (21% Y!): Despite facing a strong Rams run defense, Bobby Rainey shredded it for over 140 yards rushing on Sunday. Doug Martin did practice all week last week but on Sunday, suddenly was not playing. It leads to two hypotheses, that either his knee injury got worse all of a sudden, or that he is falling out of favor with the Buccaneers coaching staff already. Regardless of what it is, Martin should be considered questionable for week 3 against a juicy Falcons defense. If Martin doesn’t go or is limited, Rainey is a great add this week as the Falcons have been torched when it comes to their run defense. He didn’t have a particularly good season last season but under a new coaching staff and scheme, it’s looked to help him so far. Pick up Rainey and if he does start week 3, he is instantly a RB2 if not better considering what he did on Sunday and who he is facing.

Wide Receiver:

Mohamed Sanu (8% Y!): AJ Green re-aggravated his foot/toe injury Sunday and the Bengals’ official website is predicting he won’t be back until week 5 (week 4 is their bye week), which would mean he misses this Sunday’s match-up. In steps Mohamed Sanu, who had over 80 yards receiving and a TD on Sunday. With Marvin Jones still recovering from surgery, Sanu has been the #2 WR for CIN the first two weeks. But with Green out, Sanu steps into that #1 WR role and could have a great game against TEN, who lost their #1 CB this off season. He is a great DFS player as the #1 WR pick up and could put up a WR3 game if not better. Pick him up if you are dealing with an AJ Green or DeSean Jackson injury.

James Jones (21% Y!): Signed this off-season from GB, James Jones was originally thought to be their #1 WR. Last week, he did not have the kind of game you would expect from a #1 WR despite having a TD catch. This week, he was fed the ball and played like their #1 WR. He was targeted 14 times, had 9 catches for 114 yards and a TD. He is certainly the most talented WR of the bunch in OAK and should be the go-to/veteran guy that rookie Derek Carr continues to look towards in the passing game. OAK, after seeing what Jones and Carr did together in week 2, will work to get Jones a lot of looks again for week 3 and going forward. His situation warrants WR3 stats from here on in and has mid-WR3/FLEX status this week facing the Patriots even if he faces Revis because of how many looks Jones will get.

Miles Austin (9% Y!): Don’t pull a hammy reading this please, or otherwise you’ll jinx Austin. As both I and Ricky said on this past Sunday’s show, Austin was in line for a good game with Jordan Cameron being out and he didn’t disappoint. He had 10 targets, 6 catches, 44 receiving yards, and a TD. As long as Austin stays healthy, he has a good shot to put up these stats every week until Gordon and/or Cameron returns. Cameron suffered a re-aggravation of his shoulder injury and could be out for an extended amount of time to ensure that he doesn’t get rushed back too quickly. If that is the case, Brian Hoyer will continue to throw towards Austin and Andrew Hawkins (see below). CLE has looked really good on offense so far when compared to expectations. Hoyer has been stable, their running game has been solid, and their passing game will continue to improve, so Austin is a great add for this week, especially for DFS against a CB-needy Ravens team.

Andrew Hawkins (32% Y!): Through 2 weeks, Hawkins has 22 targets. That is good enough for top 10 in the NFL, and nothing more should be said. Hoyer loves throwing to Hawkins and it has shown in both targets and the stats that Hawkins has put up so far. Hawkins also has 14 receptions through 2 weeks and that is also good enough for top 10 in the NFL. In PPR, Hawkins is a must-add right now as his arrow will only go up as the weeks progress. Hoyer will continue to look Hawkins’ way and will keep putting up solid stats. Despite only having 70 yards and 6 catches in Week 2, Hoyer did miss Hawkins on some big throws that would’ve boosted Hawkins’ day exponentially. Go out and grab him as a WR4 in standard, but is a nice WR3/FLEX play in PPR moving forward.

Tight End:

Larry Donnell (21% Y!): I was skeptical to put Donnell on this list for last week because I was worried of a flash-in-the-pan performance from him and considering the NYG TE situation as well. But after two weeks of being the top receiver for the Giants, it’s time to add him before it’s too late. He has 12 receptions, 137 yards receiving, and 1 TD through two games, good enough for top 10 in TE so far. He will continue to be looked at by Eli until he can handle the west-coast offense better. He is a low-end TE1 going forward, making him a must-own in every format. This is not a fluke or flash-in-the-pan, he looks like the go-to guy for Eli.

Niles Paul (4% Y!): A little bit of the same scenario for Paul as with Donnell, I was worried it was a flash-in-the-pan performance he had week 1. But he also has Jordan Reed in front of him, but Paul has done well while Reed has been sidelined. And knowing Reed’s injury history, he could be out next week as well if the Redskins take the conservative path and let him be 100% again. If that is the case (and very well could be), Paul is a great DFS play this week and could put up another TE1 week on Sunday. Keep in mind, Kirk Cousins is the QB now, and both he and Paul were both 2nd stringers and practiced a lot together, so they may have a better connection then people realize. Grab Paul this week.

Owen Daniels (12% Y!): In a TE-friendly offense run by Gary Kubiak, you just can’t count out his main man Owen Daniels. That held true this past Thursday as Daniels caught all 5 of his targets from Flacco and secured two TDs as well. Kubiak just loves Daniels all the way back to their Houston days together and it could be a season of Daniels stealing looks from Dennis Pitta and also TDs as well. Daniels is not the #1 TE in Baltimore, but he could very much sap away targets and RZ looks from Pitta with Kubiak at the helm. You could find worse TE2 options going forward than Daniels moving forward. Kubiak’s TE-heavy offense is enough to keep Daniels relevant.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/LEFvnH

Doug Moore is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @DMM0822!

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