Waiver Wire Watch: Week 3
Editor’s Note: We’re happy to announce that 4for4 Contributor Pat Fitzmaurice (formerly of Pro Football Weekly) is back on the Waiver Wire Watch this year. He will continue to work in conjunction with Senior Editor John Paulsen to compile this list of the top pickups each week.
Here is a look at the top waiver wire pickups for Week 3. To be eligible for discussion, the player must be owned in 50% or fewer Yahoo leagues, though we’ll stretch the rules a bit for the RB position, which is usually very thin. We’ll also include suggested bid prices (with a $100 budget) for those leagues that use Free Agent Acquisition Budgets. Of course, player value depends on league characteristics and team needs. Players are listed by position in order of importance. For extremely shallow or extremely deep leagues, be sure to review our Rest-of-Season Rankings (updated every Tuesday) to get an idea of how to value players not on this list.
We’ve now seen a game in which things went almost perfectly for Taylor and the Bills (Week 1 vs. Colts), and one in which things went poorly (Week 2 vs. Patriots), and from a fantasy perspective Taylor was far more valuable in the game where things went kablooey. That’s an encouraging sign, because fantasy owners don’t want to be saddled with a quarterback who goes into the tank when the game script goes south. Taylor was owned in only 14% of Yahoo leagues as of Sunday, but that ownership rate is destined to skyrocket this week as the owners of Tony Romo and Drew Brees scramble to address the QB position.
After throwing three TD passes against the Texans in Week 1, Smith had a nightmarish performance against the Broncos in Week 2, completing 16-of-25 passes for 191 yards with no TDs and a rare pair of interceptions. Smith’s naysayers no doubt believe that the Chiefs’ QB showed his true colors in Week 2. But in Smith’s defense, the Denver defense is an elite unit that can lock down receivers and apply a fierce pass rush. The Houston defense that Smith fared so well against in Week 1 isn’t too shabby either, so I’m still inclined to give Smith the benefit of the doubt. He could be a sneaky-good play this week against the Packers, since the Packers don’t have a top pass defense, and since Smith might be forced to try to keep up with Aaron Rodgers.
Credit Cousins for an efficient, no-frills performance in Washington’s 24-10 win over St. Louis on Sunday. The Redskins’ current placeholder at quarterback completed 23-of-27 passes against the Rams for 203 yards, with one TD and no INTs. It’s hard to get excited about a mediocre passer who’s temporarily without the services of DeSean Jackson, one of the best deep threats in the league, but Cousins’ schedule in the weeks ahead is pretty delicious. Tony Romo owners might want to consider placing a cheap bid on Cousins to get through the next several weeks, which will buy some time to find a more permanent solution.
This year’s No. 1 overall draft pick rebounded from a wobbly NFL debut, completing 14-of-21 passes for 207 yards in the Bucs’ road upset of the Saints, with one TD and no INTs, plus six carries for 23 yards and a TD. Tough matchups against Houston and Carolina the next two weeks mar Winston’s value as a streamer, but his schedule is almost ridiculously easy from Week 5 on. This might be a good time to get him on the cheap. You can stash him for a couple of games and then pick your spots to deploy a toolsy young QB with a seemingly endless series of easy matchups.
So far, so good for the Red Rocket, who’s picked apart the Raiders and Chargers over the first two weeks of the season, completing 68.3% of his passes with a 5-0 TD-INT ratio. The schedule gets far more difficult over the coming weeks, however, making Dalton little more than a desperation play until after the Bengals’ Week 7 bye.