Fantasy Football 2013: The Waiver Wire; Edition Three
Man, I swear. It is impossible to figure this game out.
If you projected Geno Smith, Jake Locker and Brian Hoyer to all post better Week 3 fantasy outings than the likes of Aaron Rodgers and Colin Kaepernick, raise your hand. Alright, and if you did raise your hand for some reason, you are clearly a liar. The game of fantasy football is the most bizarre, unpredictable game we have ever seen, and as someone who devotes their time to analyzing/writing about it, madness can ensue. However, because the game is so crazy and anything can happen, owners need to be prepared, and the best way to be prepared is to always have the top guys that need to be added on your roster.
Let’s hit the waiver wire.
Note; Ownership percentages are based off of Yahoo! leagues.
Johnathan Franklin, Green Bay Packers (10%): It wouldn’t be fantasy football without an annoying backfield situation in Green Bay, right? With exciting rookie running back Eddie Lacy sidelined with a concussion, James Starks received the nod in Sunday’s contest, but after leaving with a knee injury, fellow rookie Franklin took the reigns. Franklin was pretty disappointing during the preseason and training camps, falling off of the radar. However, he looked sharp in Week 3, coming in and totaling 103 rushing yards and a touchdown on just 13 carries. The strong play presented himself with an increase in workload, and while a costly fumble did hurt his value a tad, Franklin’s coming-out party was an overall impressive one. He had a strong combination of speed and power, showcases a tremendous burst through the whole and looked very strong in pass protection in this contest. His immediate fantasy value will hinge on the injury status of the other running backs on the roster, but from what we say, this kid can play, and is a must-add for anyone who owns the Green Bay backs.
Fred Jackson, Buffalo Bills (65%): Jackson is already owned in a good amount of leagues, but I feel the need to stress that he should be owned in practically all leagues. Firstly, you must handcuff him with C.J. Spiller, but still, he has value even with Spiller in the mix. On Sunday, Spiller got out to a very rough start, while Jackson was far more efficient. Then, as I cried and pouted, Spiller didn’t come back into the game after suffering a mysterious knee injury. Jackson already had 17 touches in each of the first two games, so if Spiller is forced to miss any time (please no), Jackson’s value will skyrocket into a top-20 fantasy running back. Through three games, Jackson is averaging a strong six yards per carry and still has that versatility in his game. He may be 32-years old, but Jackson has looked very good thus far, and with the Bills wanting to run the football, Jackson continues to get looks. A must-add in all formats. But please, fantasy gods, let Spiller return to fantasy glory. I beg of you.
Stephen Hill, New York Jets (6%): Hill looks like a prototypical number one receiver. He has 4.3 speed, 6’4″, 215 pounds and can go up and make any play on a ball. Through the first few weeks, we way be starting to see what this kid can do. On Sunday, Hill exploded for 108 yards and a score against the Bills, and continues to build a strong rapport with quarterback Geno Smith. Hill has been targeted by Smith an impressive 23 times through three games, resulting in 13 grabs for 233 yards and a 51-yard touchdown. The Georgia Tech product could be worth consideration this year, but especially next week against a Tennessee secondary that has surrendered five passing touchdowns already.
Kenbrell Thompkins, New England Patriots (59%): If someone in your league was impatient and dropped Thompkins, now is the time to scoop him off of your waiver wire. Thompkins is a project, but he shows tons of promise, and on Sunday, we may have seen the next coming of one of Brady’s targets. On seven targets, Thompkins caught three passes, but two of them went for touchdowns. While Aaron Dobson‘s struggles have tainted the rookie name on this receiving corp, Thompkins has actually looked decent. He can get open pretty easily, has decent size and his hands are much better than Dobson’s, for whatever it’s worth. Still, take the addition of Thompkins with a grain of salt, as tight end Rob Gronkowski is set to return in Week 4, and we know Tom Brady will look for him at will, especially in the red zone. However, the Patriots will throw the ball a good amount, and perhaps the presence of Gronkowski will help Thompkins fly even more under the radar. Bye weeks begin this week, so Thompkins is worth a look.
Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers (26%): I don’t know about you, but I think 2012′s number four fantasy tight end should be owned in more than 26 percent of leagues. Miller made his season debut on Sunday night, and while it wasn’t exactly a very exciting one (3 catches, 35 yards), the presence of Miller could change the outlook of many fantasy teams this season. Miller was extremely productive last season, and I can’t ignore the fact that he was targeted 20 times in the red zone, which was more than any tight end in football. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger fully trusts his veteran tight end, and Miller should become a major security blanket option for Ben, especially since the offensive line is one of the worst in all of football. Expect Miller to receive a boatload of looks from Roethlisberger this season, and as long as he stays on the field, could flirt with a top-10 fantasy finish among tight ends, which would be an absolute steal for fantasy owners.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.