There are some intriguing names available on the waiver wire this week. The key word is intriguing because none of these players are going to turn your season around. However, there are some nice grab and stash options that could pay dividends later in the season.
These recommendations are based on non-PPR, 10 team leagues. I tried to stick with the average because you will have different priorities in different scoring systems. Most of these guys will be available in an 8-10 team league while you may have to dig a little deeper in 12-up team fantasy football leagues.
Keep in mind a few things with these waiver wire recommendations. Not all of these guys are players I’d recommend starting in your lineup this week or even next week. Some of these recommendations are based purely on Week 3 matchups. The idea here is to grab a player now in the early weeks of the fantasy season that you can hold on your bench and use when you are starters have bye weeks or when you have injury concerns.
Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs – Matt Cassel! You probably think I am kidding you right? Nope! Cassel has had double digit games in the first two weeks and may be the best start of this coming week! Cassel and the Chiefs will get the New Orleans Saints, who may be the worst defense in the NFL. He has quietly put up nice numbers the last two weeks and will likely continue to do so throughout the season. He has some tough games in the upcoming weeks, but that matchup against the Saints is juicy enough for me to grab Cassel if I need to shake things up this week at QB.
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals – Andy Dalton is one of those quarterbacks that fantasy players continue to overlook, yet he gets it done. He had a rough week in the opener but he was playing a division game against the Baltimore Ravens. On Sunday he put up more points in standard scoring leagues than Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford, and Aaron Rodgers. He plays a Washington defense this week that have allowed over thirty points in each of their first two games. The Redskins are stingy on touchdowns but Dalton will get the yards if you need someone for this week and/or your bye weeks.
Andre Brown, New York Giants – Ahmad Bradshaw went down with his annual injury and it was Andre Brown, not David Wilson who came in and got the carries for the Giants. Brown got 13 carries and managed 71 yards, a touchdown, a two-point conversion, and a couple of receptions. The Giants have a short week and play a Carolina Panthers who gave up over 150 yards on the ground to the Saints on Sunday. My hunch is that Bradshaw doesn’t go on a short week. That makes Brown a fantastic pickup this week and going forward with Bradshaw’s injury history.
Mikel Leshoure, Detroit Lions – The Detroit running back is off suspension this week and is returning to work. Reports out of Detroit suggest that Leshoure will be the starting back before long in Detroit. The Lions want to establish a running game. So far they haven’t had much luck with Kevin Smith. You could grab the starting running back from one of the most explosive offenses in the league right off waivers this week.
Daryl Richardson, St. Louis Rams – Was Steven Jackson hurt or benched? According to reports it may be a little bit of both, although Jeff Fisher denies it. Richardson racked up 102 yards on Sunday but really hurt his chances moving forward with a late game fumble. Groin injuries are tough to recover from, especially for a running back. Even if Jackson plays, he is an older and brittle player. Keep in mind that the Rams play the Chicago Bears this week, so this wouldn’t be the week to get cute with your new waiver wire pickup if Richardson does get the start.
Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins - Miller is a grab and stash kind of player to me. Miller had a score and 65 yards last week and looked great with his 10 carries. Reggie Bush is the workhorse here but Bush is a very brittle player. Bush is a free agent next season so the Dolphins will run him until he breaks and chances are pretty good he will break. I know Daniel Thomas is ahead of him on the depth chart, but Miller was drafted by this new regime. He is there guy. If the Dolphins are out of it or Bush gets hurt, Miller could be a sneaky play down the stretch in the playoffs.
Danny Amendola, St. Louis Rams – Amendola is the man in St. Louis and is probably available on your waiver wire. Amendola got a whopping 16 targets on Sunday and has developed some nice chemistry with Sam Bradford. He is what many are calling a “poor man’s Wes Welker”, although he has greatly out-produced Welker thus far. A lot of teams are going to be sleeping on the Rams and they will be putting up points all season. Keep in mind that the Rams play the Bears this week so you may want to wait a week before you start him. Otherwise, grab him now while you still can!
Donnie Avery, Indianapolis Colts – Savvy fantasy football experts have called Avery a sleeper play over the next two weeks. Avery has now produced in back to back weeks. Granted, this could change when Austin Collie comes back but so far I like what I am seeing. Avery led the team with 11 targets Sunday and has some big potential moving forward with Andrew Luck. He is certainly worth a grab if you have room or need some wide receiver help.
Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings – I am really surprised that Rudolph is still on most waiver wires. He continues to be the leader among targets for Christian Ponder in Minnesota. Rudolph had a TD this past week and will probably have many more in the near future. I certainly wouldn’t play him against San Francisco this week, but he has Detroit and Tennessee the following weeks in games which could bring him back to back scores.
Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens - Did you know that Dennis Pitta is tied with Jimmy Graham for the most targets among tight ends? Did you know that Joe Flacco is looking at Pitta often in the red zone? Did you know that the 2012 Baltimore Ravens offense has enormous potential? If the Ravens wind up in a shootout with the Patriots in Week 3, you could see Pitta with a lot of targets and points.
Dante Rosario, San Diego Chargers – Dante Rosario was the leading scoring tight end in standard scoring leagues this week. Not Jimmy Graham, Not Rob Gronkowski, but Dante freaking Rosario! Antonio Gates was a surprising scratch and Rosario made the most of his opportunity with three touchdowns. Gates is expected back next week, but for how long? If you have the room, Rosario is a great grab and stash tight end this week on the wire.