Waiver Worthy: Week 3 Fallout: Jordan Howard, Terrelle Pryor, Wendell Smallwood & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Looking to hit the waiver wire?  Who isn’t looking to improve, though making any hasty decisions off one game could ultimately prove more costly than helpful.  With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few players who may be available and if they are worth targeting or not:


Jordan Howard – Running Back – Chicago Bears
We were proponents of adding him after Week 2, given the struggles of Jeremy Langford, and Howard’s Sunday night performances helps to hammer it home:

  • Rushing – 9 carries for 45 yards
  • Receiving – 4 receptions (6 targets) for 47 yards

Langford did break a 23 yard run, but finished the day with just 3 carries and 2 receptions (on 3 targets) before being forced from the game due to injury.  Given how bad he was over the first two weeks and the potential that Howard possesses, this appears to be the changing of the guard in the Bears’ backfield.  Howard is a must own option, as he has the upside of a must play RB2 (and occasionally more than that, depending on the matchup).

Verdict – Must Add


Wendell Smallwood – Running Back – Philadelphia Eagles
With Ryan Mathews sidelined for much of the game and the Eagles enjoying a big lead, they unleashed Smallwood in the second half and watched him flourish (17 carries for 79 yards and 1 TD).  Of course he wasn’t the only Eagles running back to enjoy the day against Pittsburgh:

  • Kenjon Barner – 8 carries for 42 yards and 1 TD
  • Darren Sproles – 6 receptions for 128 yards and 1 TD

The Eagles are entering their bye week, which will allow them time to sort things out (as well as allow Mathews to get healthy, if it was an injury that sidelined him).  This appears to be headed to a true committee, with Mathews/Smallwood handling the early down work, Sproles the receiving duties and Barner being a factor as well.  That turns this into a tough situation to buy into, though it doesn’t hurt to invest in deeper formats just in case.

Verdict – Worth adding as a stash, but not as a player to depend on quite yet


Orleans Darkwa – Running Back – New York Giants
With Rashad Jennings sidelined and Shane Vereen losing another fumble, Darkwa made the most of his opportunity as he took 10 carries for 53 yards and 1 TD.  That said, he’s going to be nothing more than a complimentary back when Jennings is healthy.  The Giants learned their lesson last season, and there’s little chance that they go with a three-headed type monster once again.

Verdict – Only worth adding if Jennings will miss another week


Terrelle Pryor – Wide Receiver – Cleveland Browns
The Browns clearly wanted to get him involved in the offense, letting him do a little bit of everything:

  • Passing – 3-5, 35 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
  • Rushing – 4 carries for 21 yards and 1 TD
  • Receiving – 8 catches for 144 yards

With the quarterback position a mess, he should still receive opportunities there in an effort to keep defenses honest.  He also should be one of the most targeted receivers (he was targeted 14 times yesterday), even after Josh Gordon returns to the lineup.  In other words he has the potential to stuff the stat sheet each and every week on a team that should often play from behind and needs play-makers, which is going to make him one of the more intriguing additions this week.

Verdict – Must Add


Adam Humphries – Wide Receiver – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers threw the ball 58 times, with Doug Martin sidelined, so there were obviously significant targets to go around.  It’s still notable that Humphries was the second most targeted receiver on the team:

  • Mike Evans – 13
  • Adam Humphries – 12
  • Vincent Jackson – 6

It’s possible he continues to be ahead of Vincent Jackson on the depth chart, as the veteran has struggled to just 9 receptions for 99 yards over the first three weeks.  Humphries has been targeted 25 times thus far, turning them into 18 catches and 201 yards.  That said he’s not a red zone/TD option (he’s listed at 5’11”) and hasn’t shown big play potential (11.2 yards per reception).  In PPR formats he’s worth the add, but otherwise he can continue to be ignored.

Verdict – PPR Addition Only


Jamison Crowder – Wide Receiver – Washington Redskins
He was one of four Redskins to be targeted at least 7 times, picking up 4 receptions for 78 yards and 1 TD.  The running game is questionable, and there’s a chance that Crowder becomes one of the more consistent performers with DeSean Jackson being a bit of a boom or bust type and Pierre Garcon on the downside of his career.

Crowder is emerging as a big play threat, and also has consistently been targeted by Kirk Cousins (7+ targets in each of the first three games).  At 5’8” he’s not going to be much of a TD threat (despite scoring each of the past two weeks) and that limits any potential appeal.

Verdict – Only a PPR Consideration


Cameron Brate – Tight End – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
With Austin Seferian-Jenkins cut, Brate has emerged as the team’s top tight end and a go to option in the red zone (5 receptions, 46 yards, 2 TD).  It was an impressive day, though how often is the team going to throw the football nearly 60 times?  He also doesn’t have the upside of many others at his position, limiting his appeal despite the big game.

Verdict – Nothing More Than A TE2-type

Source – ESPN 

Waiver Worthy: Week 4 Fallout: Terrance West, Paxton Lynch, Eddie Royal & More
Waiver Worthy: Week 2 Fallout: Jay Ajayi, Tyrell Williams, Charles Sims & More


  1. Gern says:

    Good morning Prof!
    Thanks again for a great article to lead off the week. Okay, I was thankful to have KC’s defense this week to pull out the win, but I’m a little concerned with the lack of production throughout my roster (standard scoring) as A. Rogers (26) and KC (35) carried my team (107). I’m curious (given my lineup below) whether you think this is an anomaly or whether it’s time for me to make some changes if I’m going to challenge for the championship. When I looked through the week 3 performances last night Pryor jumped out to me (doing what I was hoping Edelman would have done) and Howard, who depending on the extent of Langford’s injury looks like a solid RB2. Sims is also available on the waiver wire. Here’s my roster:
    QB: Rogers/Brady
    WR: Green/J. Matthews/Edelman/Tyrell Williams
    RB: D. Williams/Ware/Bernard/Martin/Foster
    TE: Ebron/Eifert
    K: Gotkowski
    D: KC

    I tried to work a trade for an RB1 (to replace Peterson) by offering A. Rogers, but my only offers were J. Landry or Stafford/Matt Jones for Rogers. With Rogers into the bye and Brady coming off suspension week 5 I’ll have to add a QB this week (probably Tennehill). As always your thoughtful insight is highly valued.

    • Mikein Macon says:

      Gern, I’m not the Professor, of course, but I would consider that Stafford/Jones offer for Rodgers because I believe you’ll get reasonably similar performance from the high-octane Detroit offense and Stafford plus you get an RB in Jones who may come around sooner than later (would drop Tyrell Williams). Then, you could maybe package Ware or Williams to the Jamaal Charles or LeVeon Bell owner along with one of your weaker RBs, maybe even Jones, if necessary to upgrade to a RB2. Remember, both Ware and Williams are out of jobs this week after the return of Charles and Bell. You’re good with Bernard as an RB3, Martin as an RB1 when healthy and Foster as an RB2, when healthy. You also have three solid WRs in Green, Matthews and Edelman. I would alsolook to the Sims owner to assist with Martin. Or, might I suggest moving Martin to the Sims owner for one of his RB1s. But, in closing, with Brady and Rodgers, you need to move one of those now and I like getting Stafford back with an RB you can either use in your lineup or as trade bait to improve your roster.

  2. Andy says:

    RP,Who should I drop Theo Riddick, Jerick McKinnon for Jordan Howard for ROS ?
    I keep Rashad Jenning, Mulvin Gordon and Todd Gurley.
    10 team PPR for ROS.

  3. Haggy says:

    Got T.Lockett. Diggs and T.Williams. WR and Gordon and C.Hogan on bemch… Can win it all but WR and TE costing me big time. Who I drop can drop. Want to either pick up J.Graham orJ.Crowder.

    • Haggy says:

      Got C.Fleener starting TE and Andy Dalton on bench too. Running backs are great. Lacy,Ware,Charles,D.Johnson and Howard on bench.

  4. Gern – I like your roster, though the RB are a bit shaky. I’d play the wire a bit if you can to try and get some guys and shop around. If it’s not a 2 QB league, keep shopping them and see what develops!

    Andy – I’d probably drop Riddick, who is more of a PPR back, but both are droppable

    Haggy – I’d grab Graham for sure. Hogan most droppable

  5. Ben says:

    hi Professor. I amin dire need of RB help. I have Ryan Mathews, Sims, Rawls, and Dwyane Washington. who should i drop to pick up Howard or Darkwa?

  6. Haggy says:

    Does Prior or Crowder make sence over any of mine as well.

  7. David says:

    would you take christine michael over jeremy hill? is jeremy hill now a fantasy semi stud over bernard? or is jordan howard better than both other running backs i mentioned? thank you prof

  8. romo says:

    hey roto!! I’m currently sitting 3-0! my starting qb is palmer and i think ima sit him this week. i have taylor and prescott. I’m thinking of putting in prescott. but i should i try and pick up siemian and if i do get him should i start him instead?

    i was going to bench freeman week 4 but seeing his performance, should i keep him in my line up or put in howard? my other rb is david johnson.

    TE i had j thomas starting but i think ima put j graham in this week and maybe keep him in. I’m planning on dropping clay and picking up brate for my upcoming bye. is that a good idea?

    thanks for all your help roto!

  9. K says:

    Need some RB help for the always injured (and on a bye) Ryan Mathews and the big question mark that is Charles. I’ll be freeing up a roster spot by dropping Williams with Bell coming back:
    Michael and Howard are both available, target them in that order?

    I have a feeling there’ll be some tough competition for those 2 and I’ve got a low waiver priority. Here’s the best of the rest:
    Sims, Gio Bernard, Matt Jones, Henry, Duke Johnson.

    As always, thanks!

  10. Ben – Howard is by far the better pickup. Hard to drop Rawls, but could easily argue the upside is the lowest at this point with the emergence of Michael (though Mathew may be out of a “lead” role as well).

    Haggy – I’m a big Prior propenent right now

    David – Howard is not better, ideally I’d own all 3 and play the matchups

    Romo – I’d go Prescott at QB // Graham at TE (he looks to be “back” // & probably Freeman at RB (though I reserve the right to change my mind later in the week…lol)

    K – Yea, I’d put them in that order (even though I’m a big fan of Howard)

    • K says:

      Any thoughts on the other backs (Sims, Gio Bernard, Matt Jones, Henry, Duke Johnson) in case I can’t get Michael or Howard? They mostly seem to be squarely stuck as #2 or #3 on their respective teams though…

  11. dodge10 says:

    start two- ware, gore, christine michael or Dwayne Washington. standard format

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