It’s no secret that fantasy championships are won on the waiver wire. A lot can change from week to week and new players are always looking to step up under the spotlight. So before you take to the fantasy field for week 3, you might want to grab some of these players off of the wire.
1. James Starks, Green Bay RB: The waiver wire is all about capitalizing on surprise players- and there was no bigger surprise for fantasy owners on Sunday than James Starks’ monster performance against the Redskins. After Eddie Lacy left the game early in the 1st quarter with a concussion, the Packers turned to their 4th year running back, James Starks.
Starks gave the Packers offense an unfamiliar (but very welcome) surge in the run game. He ran for 132 yards and a touchdown (becoming the 1st Packer to rush for over 100 yards since 2010). Whether Eddie Lacy is back for week 3 or not, Starks is sure to maintain a role within the Packer’s offense.
Head Coach Mike McCarthy said that the Packers had plans for Starks’ involvement all along and will not bring in another back even if Lacy is sidelined. Starks has averaged just over 4 yards per carry throughout his career and is sure to have opportunities come his way as teams continue to worry more about Aaron Rodgers’ air raid than about Starks in the backfield. The Packers face a tough Bengals defense during week 3 in Cincinnati.
2. Eddie Royal, San Diego WR: Wide receiver Eddie Royal has had an absolutely insane first 2 weeks of the 2013 season. He scored on 2 of his 3 receptions in week 1 and proved it was not just a fluke during Week 2 when he hauled in 7 catches for 90 yards and 3 more touchdowns.
This spectacular end zone success is more than likely to slow down, but Royal has definitely earned himself a look from fantasy owners. The Chargers are looking for new options downfield with Danario Alexander out for the year, and Malcom Floyd recovering from a neck injury he sustained in last week’s battle with the Eagles.
Chargers quarterback, Phillip Rivers continued to target Royal in week 2, despite a few drops in week 1. It’s clear that both Rivers and head coach Mike McCoy have faith in the 27 year old veteran and will continue to ride rely on him in the passing game.
3. Coby Fleener, Indianapolis TE: With all the weapons in Indianapolis, it’s easy to overlook this 2nd year tight end out of Stanford. However, with Dwayne Allen out for Week 2, Coby Fleener rose to the occasion and delivered, catching four passes for 69 yards and a touchdown.
Dwayne Allen is still listed as day-to-day, and Fleener could very well see action again in week 3. Best of all, Fleener displayed a very positive rapport with his old Stanford teammate, Andrew Luck. Indianapolis’ shaky running game make their tight ends a great safety valve for Luck who didn’t hesitate to target Fleener, even in the end zone. Facing the 49ers tough defense in week 3, the Colts will definitely look to use their tight ends on quick passes up the middle, which could bode well for fantasy owners smart enough to pick up Fleener.
4. Knowshon Moreno, Denver RB: The Broncos have been experimenting with 3 serviceable backs to compliment Peyton Manning in their 2013 offensive scheme, but Knowshon Moreno seemed to separate himself during Week 2. Moreno rushed for 93 yards and a touchdown and was very successful at protecting Peyton Manning.
Moreno only had one more carry than teammate, Montee Ball, but clearly outperformed the rookie who only rushed for 16 yards and lost a fumble in the red zone. The Broncos are not going to cut bait on Ball, but are likely to put more faith in Moreno after what they saw in Week 2. Moreno also excels over his competition in pass protection, which gives him much more value in the Manning-led offense.
Moreno is leading the pack in Denver’s backfield and will see even more playing time when the Raiders come to town for a Monday Night Football showdown. Playing with Manning brings a lot of opportunity for offensive players, and Moreno has certainly earned his stripes going into Week 3.