The Wire – Week 3 Pick-ups: Revenge of the Back-ups

With only the Saints and 49ers left to play in week two, I figured it was about time to get out the waiver wire recommendations for the upcoming week. To be honest though, there aren’t a whole lot of players on the list that get me all that excited (there are no Brandon Jackson’s this week!) Unless you’re a Michael Turner or Ryan Mathew owner and really need their backups, the most promising players on the list are probably Kyle Orton, Demaryius Thomas and Aaron Hernandez. Anyways, I hope everyone did a lot better this week than yours truly, because I got beat up pretty bad in most of my leagues 🙁

Running Backs

  • Jason Snelling (ATL): With Michael Turner suffering a mild groin injury and the game already in their hands, the Falcons turned to backup Snelling, who delivered in a big way. I’m pretty sure he wasted a lot of fantasy points on your league’s waiver wire with his combined 186 yards and three touchdowns and who knows how much he’ll play next week, but he’s a MUST pick-up for Turner owners.
  • Mike Tolbert (SD): Starter Ryan Mathews hurt his ankle and had to be carted off the field on Sunday, but apparently was healthy enough that he could have played later in the game if they needed him. However, they were dominating the Jaguars, so Tolbert (not Darren Sproles) was sent in and put up solid numbers. There’s no word yet on if Mathews will be available for week three and if you have him on your team, you should make Tolbert your #1 waiver priority.
  • Peyton Hillis (CLE): Seems the Browns are perfectly comfortable splitting carries between Jerome Harrison and Hillis, but they seem to lean towards Peyton when it comes to the goal-line. He has two touchdowns in two games, while Harrison has zero.
  • Others: Donald Brown (IND)

Wide Receivers

  • Kevin Walter (HOU): Honestly, I was expecting this to be the year where Jacoby Jones assumes the starting role in Houston opposite Andre Johnson, but apparent Walter has other plans. He went off in a big way against the Redskins on Sunday, racking up 144 yards and a score on 11 catches. He should be a solid WR3 in all leagues and could be even better in PPR.
  • Demaryius Thomas (DEN): He missed week one’s game with an injured foot, but this week he finally made his debut…and what a debut it was. Eight catches for 97 yards and a score are solid numbers from any receiver, never mind a rookie making his first NFL start.
  • Mark Clayton (STL): It’s hard to get a reading on Clayton. In week one he caught loads of passes and racked up the yardage, but couldn’t find the end zone. In week two he catches two passes for a measly 24 yards…but scores twice. He may not be consistent for your team, but he’s shown he can put up fantasy points and is worth a WR3 play as long as Bradford continues to look his way on a regular basis.
  • Mike Williams (TB): Between Dez Bryant, Thomas (above) and Williams, who says rookie receivers can’t put up fantasy numbers?! Two scores in two games for the other Mike Williams makes him a decent WR3 play and a great keeper league prospect (although I’m sure he’s not a free agent in any keeper leagues out there.)
  • Others: Nate Washington (TEN), Louis Murphy (OAK), Jacoby Jones (HOU), Brandon Lloyd (DEN), Mike Thomas (JAX)


  • Kyle Orton (DEN): When the season started I was worried that the Broncos, after losing Brandon Marshall in the offseason, just wouldn’t have the receivers to allow Orton to put up solid fantasy numbers. It seems that I’m being proven wrong though, as he’s thrown for around 300 yards each game so far. Eddie Royal is finally putting things together and rookie Demaryius Thomas was great in his debut. If you can get your hands on Orton as your backup quarterback, do it immediately.
  • Josh Freeman (TB): He’s got two touchdowns in each of the first two games so far and while Freeman doesn’t rack up the yards, somehow he loves passing in the red zone. I’m still not sure I want him as my primary backup quarterback, but one or two more decent weeks could easily change my mind.
  • Mark Sanchez (NYJ): Start him if you want, but something tells me you won’t see a lot more of these games. Not every secondary in the NFL is as bad as the Patriots is right now 🙁

Tight Ends

  • Aaron Hernandez (NE): Hernandez now has 146 receiving yards through the first two games and seems to be one of Brady’s favorite targets early in the season. Fellow rookie tight end Rob Gronkowski might end up being the bigger red zone target and could end up with more touchdowns, but Hernandez should put up more yardage and will be much more helpful in PPR leagues.
  • Dustin Keller (NYJ): Not a big part of the game plan in week one, Keller was a huge part of the passing game against the Patriots and racked up 115 yards and a score against the lowly New England secondary. Last year he was a bit inconsistent and didn’t find the end zone all that often, but maybe Sanchez will start looking his way more often this year.
  • Brandon Pettigrew (DET): Pettigrew was supposed to be the Jermaine Gresham of last year, but ended up a big disappointment. In week one he continued that trend, but apparently he has a connection with Shaun Hill, because he rebounded in a BIG way on Sunday (108 yards on 7 receptions.) I still wouldn’t start him unless you’re really hurting at TE.
  • Others: Marcedes Lewis (JAX)