Week 3 fantasy pickups include Eddie Royal, DeAndre Hopkins, James Starks
Unlike the relatively quiet opening week we began with this NFL season, Week 2 was littered with injuries. Ray Rice is dealing with a hip flexor strain that is not considered serious, but everyone needs to be adding Ravens backup running back Bernard Pierce if he isn’t already owned. He should have been drafted in almost all leagues, so we’re not considering him a waiver wire pickup.
Other injuries included Packers running back Eddie Lacy and Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson, who both left their respective games with concussions. Falcons running back Steven Jackson also went down with a thigh injury and is expected to miss 2-4 weeks. Vernon Davis could also miss time with a hamstring injury. Long story short, the waiver wire is more important than ever. Here are your Week 2 fantasy pickups.
Eddie Royal, WR, Chargers: The bad news for Royal in fantasy terms is that he has hauled in five touchdown passes in the first two games of the season — while he was on waivers in most leagues. He’s only owned in 24% of fantasy leagues, but that number will shoot up this week now that he has obviously developed a rapport with Philip Rivers. Should we expect the WR1 or WR2 numbers to continue? It’s doubtful at best, but with Floyd looking like he’s going to miss time Royal should continue to see plenty of targets. He’s worth adding if you’re in a league that starts three receivers and are struggling to find someone to plug in.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans: Hopkins is an incredibly talented first-round pick out of Clemson who broke out in a big way on Sunday. He caught seven passes for 117 yards, including the game-winning touchdown, in an overtime win over the Titans. Johnson is reportedly doing fine after leaving the game with concussion-like symptoms, but Matt Schaub should trust Hopkins a lot more going forward. That should lead to more respect from defenses and should benefit both the rookie and Andre. Hopkins is worth a waiver claim in almost all formats.
James Starks, RB, Packers: If you’re desperate for running back help this week, Starks is a good add. Lacy is expected to return as early as Week 5 after suffering a concussion, and Green Bay has a Week 4 bye. Starks tore up the Redskins when taking over for Lacy on Sunday, but Washington’s defense has been horrible. Starks is hardly going to be a stud, otherwise the Packers wouldn’t have drafted Lacy. He will, however, get the bulk of the carries this week at the very least. For many of you, that probably makes him worth an add.
Knowshon Moreno, RB, Broncos: We don’t have much to say here because Moreno should already be owned in all leagues. Somehow, he’s only owned in 57% of Yahoo! Sports leagues. Moreno has locked down Denver’s starting role and scored two nifty touchdowns against the Giants on Sunday. If he’s still available and you can somehow grab him, you may have picked a winning lottery ticket.
Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Falcons: With Jackson expected to miss up to four weeks, Rodgers and Jason Snelling will likely split carries for the Falcons. Personally, I wouldn’t use a waiver claim on either. I’m including him in this list more to warn you against him, since I know people will be rushing to grab him. Snelling will probably get the goal-line work and Rodgers lacks any real explosion. I doubt either will put up big numbers in Jackson’s absence.
Coby Fleener, TE, Colts: After catching just one pass in Week 1, Fleener was a safety valve for Andrew Luck in the Colts’ loss to the Dolphins. He caught a touchdown pass and had another called back because of a penalty. He also caught four passes for 69 yards and was targeted eight times after seeing just one target in Week 1. With Darrius Heyward-Bey potentially out with a shoulder injury, Luck could lean on Fleener more consistently going forward.
As usual, any player we included on last week’s list would also make a good addition if they weren’t snatched up last week. Other names worth a look this week include Nate Burleson, Rod Streater, Isaiah Pead and Sam Bradford. Good luck, all.