The Wire: Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 3, 2008

Here’s a look at the players to target on your league’s waiver wire this week. This list is ordered by the percentage of ESPN leagues in which the player is available; even if you’re not a ESPN user, it’s a decent indication of how likely you are to find the player on waivers in your league. We also note here how strongly we feel about this pickup with three categories: Instant Starter, Grab ‘n’ Stash, or Desperation Pickup.

Chansi Stuckey, WR, Jets (0.7% owned, Desperation Pickup) – He’s not the primary target in this offense…or even the second (third?), but he does have a touchdown in each of the first two games for the Jets on a combined six catches for 80 yards. He’s not going to blow your opponent away, but if you’re absolutely stuck for a WR3 play in week three, you might consider Stuckey.

Michael Bush, RB, Raiders (6.1% owned, Grab ‘n’ Stash) – “Starter” Justin Fargas left Sunday’s game with a groin injury and the severity is yet to be determined. While Darren McFadden is still the main man in this running game, Bush will get a healthy dose of carries in the next week or so if Fargas happens to miss extended time.

John Carlson, TE, Seahawks (8.0% owned, Desperation Pickup) – With every other receiving option in this offense hurt, Carlson has become quarterback Matt Hasselbeck’s go-to guy, catching a combined 10 passes for 130 yards over the first two games. If you’re in a bind for a tight end play, you could do worse than Carlson…but only use him if absolutely necessary.

Darren Sproles, RB, Chargers (12.7% owned, Grab ‘n’ Stash) – If you’re a LaDainian Tomlinson owner and don’t already have Sproles (I am…and didn’t), you might be out of luck already. Sproles had a huge game after LT left the game with a toe injury and could be considered for a RB2 spot start if necessary…especially if LT can’t go in week three.

Matt Jones, WR, JAX (16.2% owned, Desperation Pickup) – Although I don’t advocate Jones’ off the field activities, he has been the most consistent in a pretty poor Jaguars passing game so far. He caught six balls in week one and five last week, so he’s getting plenty of looks from David Garrard…but it’s still a Jaguars team with a duct-taped offensive line.

LaMont Jordan, RB, Patriots (16.9% owned, Grab ‘n’ Stash) – Who knows what’s going on in the New England backfield at this point. Laurence Maroney left Sunday’s game with an apparent shoulder injury, but maybe Belichick was just mad at him. In his absence, it was Jordan that ended up with the most carries, as Sammy Morris proved to be pretty ineffective (although he did get a touchdown on zero yards rushing.) If any of the other running backs were to be out for any length of time, Jordan’s carries would increase dramatically.

Ryan Longwell, K, Vikings (17.8% owned, Instant Starter) – AS long as Tarvaris Jackson is the quarterback of the Vikings, expect a lot of stalled drives as teams gang up on Adrian Peterson. Longwell hit five of six field goals on Sunday and should get plenty of chances for the rest of the season.

Justin Gage, WR, Titans (26.0% owned, Instant Starter) – Coach Fisher has announced that Kerry Collins will remain the team’s quarterback, even once Vince Young returns, as long as the team is still winning. This is good news for all the receivers on the Titans, as Collins is a much better passer than Young, but keep in mind that Tennessee is a run-first team. Justin Gage (five catches for 59 yards and a TD in week two) is the receiver that gets the biggest boost from Collins’ extended stay at QB and is worth plugging in as a WR3 if necessary.

Trent Edwards, QB, Bills (34.9% owned, Grab ‘n’ Stash) – Looking for a quick fill-in at the quarterback position? Check if Edwards is available in your league. While he’s not going to put up superstar numbers (he has a little over 200 yards and a touchdown in each of his two games), he might do a little better than JaMarcus Russell, Matt Ryan, Tarvaris Jackson or whatever other fourth-rate QB you were trying to put in your lineup.

Waiver wire defense(s) of the week: Indianapolis (vs JAX), Tampa Bay (@ CHI), and maybe even Atlanta (vs KC)?

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