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NFL Fantasy Fixer-Uppers Week 3
Week 3 is the time of year when there are still some breakout players that can be found on the waiver wire. Why you ask? Because people weren't quite sure if they were worth the roster spot. Well, it's time to make them worth it. Drop your number four receiver. Drop a second tight end. And for crying out loud stop carrying multiple defenses and/or kickers. You only need one. Always. Jeez. Let's see who may be worthy of a pickup this week.
Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Carolina Panthers (37% owned standard ESPN leagues)
Let me preface this by saying Benjamin was a sleeper pick of mine in one draft. I sat him Week 1 because Cam Newton wasn’t playing and he’s a rookie wide receiver. He then posted quite the game with six catches for 92 yards and a score. Great news right? So I plugged the rookie into my lineup in Week 2. The line? Two catches for 46 yards. Yawn. Benjamin was back on my bench for Week 3 when he put up eight catches for 115 yards and a score. Damned if I do and damned if I don’t. Don’t be like me and sit him. Grab Benjamin now off the waiver wire and plug him into your lineup. He’s available in 2/3 of leagues right now but I expect that number to rise dramatically once waivers clear. Put in a claim and thank me later.
Owen Daniels, TE, Baltimore Ravens (6% owned)
It wasn’t that long ago that Daniels was a top-flight fantasy tight end option. Now, due to an injury to Dennis Pitta, Daniels is the top option for the Ravens at the tight end position. He found the end zone twice against Pittsburgh in Week 2 but hasn’t done much else this season. Expect that to change immediately. Joe Flacco likes throwing to the tight end and without Ray Rice as a safety valve I expect the targets to increase. A little icing on the cake is that Baltimore’s offensive coordinator is Gary Kubiak who coached Daniels for those great years he put up in Houston. Tight ends are dropping like flies this year and you could certainly do worse than Daniels.
Miles Austin, WR, Cleveland Browns (5% owned)
Like Daniels, it wasn’t long ago that Austin was a force at the wide receiver position. He worked some magic with Tony Romo but ultimately was done in by nagging injuries. Owners weren’t sure if Austin would play week in and week out and in fantasy, that just won’t cut it. But now he has resurfaced in Cleveland and has found paydirt in back-to-back weeks. Brian Hoyer is a better quarterback than most experts will give him credit for and he has to throw the ball to someone, right? Why not Austin? Josh Gordon may not be back at all this year and the Browns have some soft defenses on their schedule (Jacksonville, Oakland, Atlanta) which makes Austin an intriguing play. If he stays healthy he is certainly worthy of a roster spot.
Blake Bortles, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars (2% owned)
After the 2014 NFL Draft it was said that Bortles would sit behind the incumbent Chad Henne and learn the position. The plan was to keep him on the sideline for the whole season. That plan was scratched halfway through Week 3. Henne was benched and Bortles came in to a blowout game against the Colts. All the rookie signal-caller did was throw for 200+ yards and two scores. Now he did throw two interceptions as well which will happen with a first-year player but you have to take the lows with the highs. Let’s face it, Jacksonville is a bad team and figures to be behind a lot this year. That sounds like a formula for a lot of passes. Now that Bortles is the man chucking the ball he is worth the add.
Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, Baltimore Ravens (2% owned)
With Bernard Pierce a late scratch I assumed Justin Forsett would be the man in the backfield for Baltimore. Boy was I wrong. Talieferro logged 18 carries for 91 yards and a score. Forsett did get 11 carries himself but that workload seems backwards to me. Pierce may or may not be ready for Sunday’s game but who knows if he regains his starters carries. The Baltimore backfield has become murkier as the weeks roll on. If you’re desperate he could be worth a speculative add but it might be best to stay away from this mess entirely. But that’s what fantasy football is all about isn’t it? Desperation. Especially now that the bye weeks are in play. As a Pierce owner in one league I’m completely dumbfounded with who will tote the rock come Sunday. Pierce-Forsett-Taliaferro. Who saw that Cerberus rearing its heads a month ago?
If I didn't mention a player you had your eye on please feel free to ask questions in the comments or even ask me on Twitter @therichwhiteguy. I'll try and respond as quickly as I can.