Waiver-Wire Pickups – Week 3

With week 2 now squarely in the books, it’s time to look ahead to the all important 3rd week of the fantasy football season. To help your team continue a winning streak or stop the bleeding of a losing streak, invest in these three players as soon as possible. Options from last week that should also be picked up if available: Terrance West, Kelvin Benjamin.

Bobby Rainey, RB, Buccaneers

When word got out that Doug Martin would be inactive about 10 minutes before the early games kicked off on Sunday, there was a mad rush to fill lineup holes with Rainey. If you were lucky enough to get him and start him, kudos to you. However, if you’re like most people, it’s not too late to invest. While Doug Martin is probably the more talented back in the Tampa Bay backfield, there’s no denying the production that Rainey has put forward in Martin’s multiple absences. The 5’8 Rainey mustered 532 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns in just 9 games last season and already sports a 6.0 YPC average in 2014. Meanwhile, Doug Martin has showed nothing resembling even a competent starting RB over the past two seasons. Not only has he missed 11 of his last 18 games with injury, but his 3.6 YPC average when he was healthy in 2013 doesn’t scream “start me” to anyone. To put it simply: Bobby Rainey is the Tampa Bay running back that you want to own… and it’s not very close.

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Matt Asiata, RB, Vikings

The whole Adrian Peterson fiasco is clearly a mess, and while early indications are that he’ll play this week, just ask Ray Rice how fast a situation like this can turn on its head. To be safe, all Peterson and non-Peterson owners must immediately snatch Asiata. The Vikings’ backup RB not only had 10 more carries than any other player on the roster on Sunday, but he also was tied for a team high in receptions. If the Vikings continue to use him as a feature back (even if he may not have feature back talent) then Asiata is clearly a worthy pickup.

Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers

The Carolina running back situation has been a full-fledged disaster for fantasy owners for multiple years now. Normally, it’s best to stay away from both DeAngelo Williams and Stewart just based off of principle, yet now is the time to take a chance on the latter. In Williams’ absence on Sunday, Stewart managed 11 fantasy points on 16 touches. While that’s quality production, the 2.5 YPC average might scare some potential buyers off. Sure that number is ugly when taken out of context, but anyone who watched the game knows that the Lions were daring the Panthers to throw by putting eight men in the box while using their stout run defense to stop a traditionally strong Carolina running game. Yet even with these factors working against him, Stewart muscled through and ended up having a productive day. As long as DeAngelo Williams remains banged up, Stewart is a viable fantasy option in most leagues.