2015 Fantasy FootballFantasy Football

2015 Fantasy Football, Week 3 Waiver Wire: Matt Jones, Dion Lewis are Top Targets

Week two of the National Football League is officially in the books. And with that, fantasy football fans are looking towards the waiver wire to see if their team can be improved in any way. Some fantasy footballers will react — or, overreact — to their players performances unjustly during this period. Plenty of buzz and player recommendations will surface in preparation of your league’s waiver period causing owners to make rash decisions and drop players they spent months researching. But if I had one recommendation at all, it would be to sit back, relax and let your league mates be the ones to overreact.

Before we get to this week’s potential waiver wire pickups, it’s important to note that I WOULD NOT spend my first waiver priority on any player from the list below. Also, players listed below are in no particular order.

Matt Jones | Redskins and Dion Lewis | Patriots

A lot of buzz surrounded Redskins’ running back Matt Jones in the preseason — and rightfully so. In week two’s effort against the Rams, Jones showed fantasy owners exactly why so many analysts were talking about him over the summer. The Redskins placed the former Florida Gators’ standout on the field for 31-of-72 snaps, handed him the ball 19 times and targeted him on pass plays on three occasions. This is almost an exact 50-50 split with veteran Alfred Morris’ 32 snaps, 18 carries and two targets. But Jones’ results were far superior to Morris’. Jones rushed 18 times for 123 yards (6.5 yards per carry, compared to Alf’s 3.3) and two touchdowns and added three receptions on three targets for 23 yards. He and Freeman should be 1a and 1b in your waiver priorities this week, don’t be afraid to break out your checkbook to spend on these guys if your league uses FAAB.

Dion Lewis played in 73-of-86 snaps for the Patriots, carrying the ball seven times for 40 yards and a touchdown — for an average of 5.7 yards per carry. He added six receptions on eight targets for 98 yards in the passing game out of the backfield. Lewis’ elusivity was on displays this weekend as well. He made eight tacklers miss on Sunday, four each carrying and receiving the ball. Lewis also impressed with yards after the catch. Of his 98 yards in the passing game, 55 of those came after the catch — an average of 9.2 yards after catch per reception. Lewis is a PPR monster — and should be one of your top waiver targets this week — but one has to wonder about his usage going forward with LaGarrette Blount waiting for his turn in Belichek’s rotation.

Consider in leagues: All
Waiver Priority Worthy: 1 and lower
Spend this much FAAB to acquire: 40%
Players I’d drop for him: Darren McFadden, Alfred Blue, Benny Cunningham

David Johnson | Cardinals and Devonta Freeman | Falcons

Falcons’ rookie ball carrier Tevin Coleman left Sunday’s game against the Giants early with what was later diagnosed as broken ribs. He’ll likely miss a few weeks, making Devonta Freeman an immediate add in all formats. In Coleman’s absence, Freeman ran the rock 12 times for 25 yards (2.1 yards per carry — meh) and a touchdowns and hauled in four receptions on seven targets for an additional 34 yards (8.5 yards per reception). His results weren’t exactly eyebrow raising, but with Coleman out, Freeman should see the bulk of opportunities out of the backfield. It’s all about the volume. Add him if you’re a Tevin Coleman owner. Add him to be a thorn in the side of the Coleman owner. Add him if you went zeroRB and could use another horse in the stable. Matt Jones should be considered first, followed by Dion Lewis. Freeman should be third of the bunch.

Andre Ellington is expected to miss at least another week due to a strained PCL. Veteran Chris Johnson was expected to take the lion’s share of carries out the backfield according to Head Coach Bruce Arians — and Arians made good on his promise. The elder Johnson played 39 snaps and carried the ball 20 times for 72 yards (3.6 yards per carry). Rookie David Johnson played just 17 snaps, carried the ball five times for 42 yards (8.4 yards per carry) and a touchdown while hauling in one pass on two targets for three yards. Additionally, David Johnson took a kickoff return 106 yards for a score. You obviously can’t expect the return touchdowns on weekly basis, but he’s this gave potential owners a good look at the explosiveness Johnson possesses. In the short-term, Chris Johnson amy be the “safer” of the two, but the younger Johnson is the more of the lightning in a bottle long-term solution for fantasy football owners.

Consider in leagues: All
Waiver Priority Worthy: 2 and lower
Spend this much FAAB to acquire: 15-20%
Players I’d drop for him: Alfred Blue, Benny Cunningham, Denard Robinson


James Starks | Packers and Lorenzo Taliaferro | Ravens

Eddie Lacy suffered an ankle injury in week two, but the Packers’ starting running back hopes to be ready for week three. In his absence, James Starks carried the ball 20 times for 95 yards (4.8 yards per carry) and hauled in each of his four targets for 11 yards out of the backfield. The veteran should be added in all formats and Eddie Lacy owners should use a higher waiver priority to acquire his services should your stable of horses be shallow without your first round selection (Lacy).

Taliaferro played in 31 of Baltimore’s 82 snaps, carried the ball seven times for 34 yards (4.9 yards per carry) and a touchdown, then added three receptions on three targets for 12 yards in the passing game. This is more of a depth addition — especially for Justin Forsett owners.

Consider in leagues: All
Waiver Priority Worthy: 5 and lower
Spend this much FAAB to acquire: 10-15%
Players I’d drop for him: Alfred Blue, Benny Cunningham, Denard Robinson

Travis Benjamin | Browns
Travis Benjamin hauled in three passes on four targets for 115 yards and two touchdowns this weekend. Pretty impressive. The problem with Benjamin is the volume. He’s not seeing a ton of targets. In fact, he only has a total of seven in the first two weeks. Of those seven targets, Benjamin has scored three times. Owners should consider adding Benjamin during this week’s waiver period, but also consider potential regression when calculating your potential FAAB bid.

Consider in leagues: All
Waiver Priority Worthy: 5 and lower
Spend this much FAAB to acquire: 10-15%
Players I’d drop for him: Devin Funchess, DaVonte Parker, Jermaine Kearse

Leonard Hankerson | Falcons and Rishard Matthews | Dolphins

Unlike Benjamin, the Falcons’ Leonard Hankerson is seeing a rather healthy volume of targets through two weeks. In week one, Hankerson hauled in two receptions on four targets then six receptions on 10 targets in week two. Roddy White seemed to disappear in week two, so I don’t exactly think Hankerson will continue to earn 10 looks each week as the Falcons likely try to get the veteran more involved in the passing game. But Hankerson amassed 77 yards on those six receptions (12.8 yards per reception) with a long of 20 yards to go along with a score, so he is taking advantage of the given opportunities.

The rapport between Ryan Tannehill and Rishard Matthews seems to be gaining traction. Tannehill looked for Matthews seven times on Sunday and then connected six times for 115 yards — averaging 19.2 yards per reception. DeVante Parker, a name that seemed to be floating around as a potential sleeper this offseason, has just one reception on one target for three yards so through two weeks. Matthews is owned in just 3% of Y! leagues, while Parker is owned in 29% of Y! leagues. The ownership percentages should flip flop this week.

Consider in leagues: 12-team
Waiver Priority Worthy: 8 and lower
Spend this much FAAB to acquire: 5-10%
Players I’d drop for him: Devin Funchess, DaVonte Parker, Jermaine Kearse

Crockett Gilmore | Ravens

Crockett Gilmore hauled in 5-of-6 targets for 88 yards and two touchdowns in week two. Gillmore is now up to seven receptions on 10 targets for 111 yards (15.9 yards per reception) and two touchdowns on the year. Additionally, he’s producing after the catch. Gillmore has accumulated 55 yards after the catch so far this season, an average of 7.9 yards after the catch per reception. He’ll be a fine option going forward for those in 12-team leagues and deeper.

Consider in leagues: 12-team
Waiver Priority Worthy: 8 or lower
Spend this much FAAB to acquire: 5%
Players I’d drop for him: Darren Fells, Josh Hill, Owen Daniels

Jets Defense/Special Teams

Three sacks, four interceptions and six fumble recoveries through the first two weeks. They draw the Eagles in week three and the Dolphins in week four followed by a week five bye.

Consider in leagues: 10-team
Waiver Priority Worthy: 10 or lower
Spend this much FAAB to acquire: 0-5%
Players I’d drop for him: Titans, Saints, Lions

Thanks to our friends at PFF, Y! and ESPN for the statistical data and ownership percentages.

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