Week 3’s first batch of games was a mixed bag. We saw a massive scale back of scoring compared to the first two weeks and many of the fantasy stars owners spent such high draft picks on finally proved worthy.
The first wave of Week 3’s games saw excellent and in some cases unexpected defensive performances. The Bills almost blanked what was supposed to be the most balanced offense in the NFC, Arizona, in the first-half, while teams like Detroit, Miami, Minnesota, Jacksonville, and could only finish many drives with field goals or punts.
This could just be a bad week, or it could further provide fantasy owners with empirical evidence of who’s the best on their roster and who deserves to be cut for a waiver-wire selection.
The Packers and Giants offenses each stood out the most this week, and it’s likely time to tap into any of their available players. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers finally woke up and fired off three touchdowns in the first half, looking more like the MVP than he really has since maybe 2014, while the Giants charged forward without starting running back Rashad Jennings and tapped into their backfield depth and younger players.
With that in mind and to help make your decisions prior to Week 4 easier, here are our early waive-wire picks following the first wave of games. Keep in mind, others can emerge and injuries will likely happen later in Week 3, but give these guys a close look.
Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers
Adams was part of Green Bay’s 31-point first-half explosion against Detroit and it's possible he’ll play a similar role like James Jones did for the Packers. Rodgers found No. 1 receiver Jordy Nelson for a pair of touchdowns and Adams for one. Adams could very well be Green Bay’s No. 2 receiver, but in fantasy leagues, he’s a WR3 or FLEX2 for now. The Packers have waited for Adams to get over some injury woes and make the most of his potential, and maybe this is his breakout year. But owners should only snag Adams in standard non-PPR leagues. He’s owned in just 10 percent of Yahoo leagues and 12.4 percent on ESPN.
DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins
Limited in his rookie year because of a foot injury, Parker scored his first touchdown of the year but owners should be wary of fellow Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills. Also, many owners have already been on to Parker since he’s owned in 74.3 percent of ESPN and 79 percent of Yahoo leagues. Like Adams, Parker is not a reliable option in PPR leagues but in very deep rotisserie leagues he might be a solid WR3 down the line.
Shane Vereen, RB, New York Giants
With Jennings down, Vereen wasn’t just a pass-catching back. He put together some long runs that started with cuts at the line of scrimmage and broke free for chunks of yardage. He’s owned in 44 percent of Yahoo and 44.9 percent of ESPN leagues, so Vereen is gettable but questions remain. His fumble late in the first half is worrisome and likely hurts his chances of taking carries away from Jennings once he’s healthy. Temper expectations on Vereen, but if you're desperate for running back depth and can take a risk Vereen’s worth a shot.
Cameron Artis-Payne, RB, Carolina Panthers
The second-year back is an example of rushing too soon to the waiver wire. He wound up getting the most carries and leading Carolina in rushing after Fozzy Whittaker became a waiver sensation before Week 3. The proof is in the ownership percentages (Artis-Payne is currently owned in 19 percent of Yahoo and 21.1 percent of ESPN leagues). Carolina said they were going to go with a committee in the backfield, but Artis-Payne is the lead rusher. He’s worth a look, but understand Artis-Payne and Whittaker will be roughly month-long plug-ins once regular starter Jonathan Stewart comes back from injury.
Others to consider: Jamison Crowder, WR, Redskins; Ted Ginn Jr., WR, Panthers; Richard Rodgers, TE, Packers; Terrelle Pryor, WR, Browns; Kyle Rudolph, TE, Vikings