Waiver Worthy: Week 3 Fallout: Steve Smith, Kendall Hunter, Mike Kafka & More

There is plenty to talk about stemming from Sunday’s action.  Who’s big game makes him worth adding?  Which injuries have sent someone else’s fantasy value soaring?  Let’s take a look at who owners should be targeting, and who they should be ignoring, this week:

Kendall Hunter – San Francisco 49ers – Running Back
According to Matt Maiocco of csnbayarea..com (click here for the article), “When asked if he’d be able to play next week against the Philadelphia Eagles, Gore answered, ‘I can’t tell until tomorrow. See how I’m feeling.’”  In other words, Gore is now a major question mark for fantasy owners as he suffered an ankle injury.  Hunter wasn’t tremendous in Week 3, totaling 38 yards, though he did score a TD.  He hasn’t been given much of an opportunity yet, but if Gore is unable to go he will almost certainly be a major cog in the 49ers offense.  That alone makes him worth grabbing if you are in need of a RB2/FLEX option for the coming week.  He’ll be a low-end option, but a viable one.
Verdict: Buy ‘Em

Steve Smith – Philadelphia Eagles – Wide Receiver
It appears like he’s healthy, and his role with the Eagles is slowly growing with each passing week.  He was not targeted in Week 1, but has seen three and five targets the subsequent two weeks.  Now comes word, according to Jeff McLane (via Twitter), that, “This is why you sign a Steve Smith: With Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper unlikely for next week, the WR will see his most time with”.  With Michael Vick’s status also in question, you have to wonder how often the Eagles with throw the ball (or if they will go to a ground and pound attack).  Regardless, Smith immediately becomes an intriguing option.  We all know the potential he brings, so those desperate for a receiver will want to grab him immediately.
Verdict: Buy ‘Em

Nate Washington – Tennessee Titians – Wide Receiver
Kenny Britt suffered a knee injury, with rumors swirling that his season will come to an end due to a torn MCL & ACL.  While that remains to be seen, it is obvious that he is going to miss a significant amount of time.  The Titans will need a receiver to step up and yesterday it was Washington who delivered.  He had 8 receptions for 92 yards and 1 TD, while leading the team with 9 targets (the only other player with more than 5 was Chris Johnson).  With Matt Hasselbeck at QB the team should continue throwing the ball, and Washington should be the centerpiece.
Verdict: Buy ‘Em

Montario Hardesty – Cleveland Browns – Running Back
With Peyton Hillis scratched due to strep throat, Hardesty was handed the bulk of the carries in Week 3.  He had 14 rushes, going for 67 yards (as well as adding 3 receptions for 19 yards).  There is little chance that he continues to see a significant number of carries, especially with Hillis almost a certainty to be back in the lineup next week.  It was a nice game, but it’s hard to imagine him making any type of impact going forward.  Still, he proved that he can be productive and, given the injury concerns of Hillis, is a nice handcuff option or player to stash in the deepest of formats.
Verdict: Buy ‘Em

Alfonso Smith – Arizona Cardinals – Running Back
With both Beanie Wells & La’Rod Stephens-Howlings inactive for Week 3, Smith was leaned on over Chester Taylor.  He carried the ball 17 times for 54 yards (while adding 3 receptions for 21 yards).  The early word had been that Wells was going to play in Week 3, so I would anticipate him being back in Week 4.  Regardless, with another week of practice, if the team was in a similar situation Taylor could easily takeover as the main back.
Verdict: Deny ‘Em

Dexter McCluster – Kansas City Chiefs – Running Back
As expected, Thomas Jones got the most carries in Week 3.  Also, as expected, he was extremely unproductive, averaging just 2.2 yards per carry.  McCluster was far more explosive, rushing the ball 9 times for 45 yards.  While he may never be considered an every down back given his diminutive stature (5’8”, 170 lbs.), you have to think that his workload is going to continue to increase as the season progresses.  If you are in need of some potential long-term help, he’s definitely worth grabbing.
Verdict: Buy ‘Em

Torrey Smith – Baltimore Ravens – Wide Receiver
The 2011 first round draft pick exploded in a big way, catching 5 passes for 152 yards and 3 TD against the St. Louis Rams.  Obviously, you can’t expect those types of numbers very often, as the Ravens’ aired the ball out 48 times (with 8 targets going to Smith).  In most weeks, on a team with Ray Rice, can we really expect that?  He actually had been targeted just once over the first two weeks.  A lot of the extra looks came because Lee Evans was inactive.  In a normal week, Smith will likely be behind Rice, Evans, Anquan Boldin and maybe even Ed Dickson on the depth chart.  As a big risk, big reward guy, there are probably safer, more consistent, options available to you.
Verdict: Deny ‘Em

Victor Cruz – New York Giants – Wide Receiver
With the Giants receiving corps depleted by injuries, Cruz stepped up and delivered in a big way by catching 3 passes for 110 yards and 2 TD.  The team has been searching for a WR3, with Steve Smith and Kevin Boss leaving via free agency in the offseason and Dominick Hixon now out for the year.  In other words, Cruz has the potential to be a consistent producer from here on out.  He’s not likely to be more than a WR3, at best, in any week, but if you are desperate he could easily have value.
Verdict: Buy ‘Em

Michael Jenkins – Minnesota Vikings – Wide Receiver
He was targeted 11 times in Week 3, leading to 9 receptions for 88 yards.  Really?!  Jenkins got 11 targets?  He was targeted a total of 6 times in the first two games and has never had more than 53 receptions or 777 yards in a season.  This feels like a one week aberration and nothing more to me, making him not worth your time.
Verdict: Deny ‘Em

Mike Kafka – Philadelphia Eagles – Quarterback
With Michael Vick’s status in question, Kafka is worth adding for those in two quarterback leagues.  That’s about it, however.  Unlike Week 2, he looked terrible in Week 3 going 4-7 for 35 yards, 0 TD and 2 INT.  Those in shallow formats should have better options available to them.
Verdict: Deny ‘Em (except in two-quarterback formats)

What are your thoughts of these players?  Which would you grab?  Who else are you targeting?

Waiver Worthy: Week 4 Fallout: Stevan Ridley, Laurent Robinson & More
Waiver Worthy: Week 2 Aftermath: Dexter McCluster, Matt Hasselbeck & More


  1. David says:

    What are your thoughts on Stevan Ridley in NE?

  2. Tim says:

    Would you play Helu or Felix Jones tonight ? Im in a rough spot at the RB position.

  3. mark says:

    i need 20pts from either dez or hightower,i know dream on, but whom would you start

  4. fiji.siv says:

    Who do you like short-term (until Colston returns), David Nelson or Nate Washington? BUF’s schedule over the next few weeks isn’t exactly pleasant for receivers (Cin, Phi, NYG) but TEN’s is brutal (Cle, Pit, Bye).

  5. David – I like Ridley, but he’s a real wild card in that offense. Can you really be sure how many touches he’s going to get from week-to-week? It’s going to make him a tough play.

    Tim – It all depends on Jones’ health. If it seems like he’s going to work a regular workload, then he’s probably worth it. How many points do you need?

    mark – Tough, tough call. If Bryant is healthy, he may actually have the better chance, with Austin out, due to the presence of Helu. What’s the scoring system?

  6. Cody says:

    Do u think Nate burelson and aj Greene for Ahmad Bradshaw I’m hurting at rb and those two wr are yet to play for me

  7. Tim says:

    im up by 5 and I have felix jones (or helu) against JASON WITTEN =X

  8. Tim says:

    O and I have redskins D

  9. fiji – It’s really close, though if you are going to have to plug in for that bye week anyways, Nelson may be the safer choice. The Titans could easily go into “Run, Run, Run” mode over the next few weeks. If the question is who has the higher upside, I’d say Washington, because he’s going to be the top option, though.

    Cody – I doubt the other owner does it, but if you don’t need either of them it couldn’t hurt to try.

    Tim – It’s a really tough call, because it seems like Jones is going to be limited. Monitor the news the rest of the day, but my guess is Helu is a better option.

  10. Rob says:

    Wasn’t sure where to post this one but since I’ll be searching the waiver wire I figured this would be a good a place as any.

    With the loss of Kenny Britt I’m looking for a filler. Any suggestions? I’ve got a few folks in my league that i’m considering like Victor Cruz, Gaffney and Mike Thomas but wondering if you have any other reccomendations?


    • It’s hard to say without knowing exactly who is available for you. Mike Thomas is a nice option, because he is going to continue to get targeted (unlike someone like Cruz).

      Who else is out there?

  11. Faisal says:

    Hi, i was wondering what you thought about steven jackson, im looking to trade matthew stafford and mario manningham for greg jennings and steven jackson (i am desperate at WR) and I am concerned about Jackson’s durability and age. Also, im new to FF, just in general is that a relatively fair trade? Thanks very much.

  12. Jared says:

    Thoughts on giving Arian Foster for Matthew Stafford in a 12 team league where TD passes are worth 6 points? I know Foster is coming back, but he is definitely risky the rest of the way. I currently have Kolb at QB, and would have Turner, Forte, Ingram, and Law Firm at RB still.

  13. Ket says:

    My RBs are Arian Foster, Ben Tate, DeAngelo Williams, and Mark Ingram.

    If Foster is slated to start, who do I start?

    My league only allows 4 RB and start 2. It’s PPR.

    Thinking of dropping DeAngelo and picking up Brandon Jacobs, Michael Bush, Earnest Graham or going with speculation on Ridley or Kendall Hunter or Redman.

    Other thought is trading to the Jon Stewart owner, or equivalent. He has little value right now.

    My WRs are banged up – Austin, Nicks, Maclin and A Hernandez. We start 1 WR and 2 WR/TE flexes. I also have Lance Moore, Fred Davis, Tony Gonzalez.

    Would you pick up Jacoby Ford, Brandon Gibson, Donald Jones, or Amendola (I dropped after Wk1). Colston is on waivers. SSmith-Philly and VCruz-NYG are available but I have Nicks/Maclin. Emmanuel Sanders?

    Thanks – love your articles…

  14. Faisal – It’s not unfair, depending on team need. Who are you leaving yourself with at QB?

    Jared – I think you do have enough at RB to deal Foster, but I would aim higher at first. I don’t think his value has taken that big of a hit. Assuming the Stafford owner has a viable replacement, considering where he drafted Stafford vs. where you drafted Foster, they’d jump at the opportunity.

    Ket – Colston is the best long-term answer, but when healthy you don’t have too much of a need there, either. I wouldn’t drop Williams for Jacobs. All the guys you are considering are #2 backs for their team and offer little upside outside of handcuffs. At least Williams has the potential to be his team’s top RB. It doesn’t make sense to tinker there.

  15. Mike Warren says:

    Should I pick up Torrey or Cruz?

  16. Sam says:

    with DeAngelo Williams lack of production, i was wondering if he is worth keeping or should I trade him. im looking at trying to get LeGarrette Blount, who is up on the trading block. should try to make a trade strait across for Blount or keep williams??


    • Sam says:

      just got offered a trade of LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Lloyd for Vernon Davis and Nate Washington. Im not giving up Nate Washington, but I already have Jason Witten and Aaron Hernandez at the tight end. do you think if i through in DeAngelo Williams in place of Nate Washington it would be a fair counter? I also have Massaqoui, McGahee up on my block.

      thanks for any help again

    • I don’t think it’s an unfair offer, no. It’s a matter if the other team wants a WR or a RB. While Williams has struggled, he does have more value than Washington.

      If you don’t need the RB depth, I would give it a shot (though, if McGahee is your lone backup you are leaving yourself a little thin there).

      Who else do you have?

  17. Mike Warren says:

    Torrey Smith is still available on the waivers in my league… I picked up Victor Cruz already but I was wondering if you think I should pick up Torrey just to have him in case he has another fantastic week. I’d have to drop either Roy Williams, Chad Henne or Rex Grossman. What do you think?

    • Are you carrying 3 QB? Unless you play in a 2 QB league, there really is no need to carry a third. Dropping Henne would make sense.

      • Mike W says:

        I am carrying 3 QB’s and am in a 1 QB league… So you would advise dropping Henne over Grossman? And is Torrey worth picking up or should I take a chance with someone other than him?

        • Mike W says:

          I was actually thinking of dropping one of these QB’s before I had asked you and the thing is, I have Rivers as my starter and the bolts’ bye week is week 6 and in week 6, Grossman’s got the Eagles and Henne’s got the Jets… So what do you think?

        • I would drop Henne. Picking up Smith is worth the risk if you need WR depth (and it sounds like you do), but who else is available?

          • Mike W says:

            Brandon Gibson, Michael Jenkins, Brian Hartline, Donald Jones…

          • Yeah, couldn’t hurt to bring Smith into the mix. Just gives you another option to hope fully breaks out and becomes a must use option. Sooner or later you’ll have to pare the WR down (my guess is you’ll need RB depth), but for now it’s not going to hurt you and Henne has no value.

  18. dennis says:

    Hey Professor. I need help at WR. Thinking of picking up Manningham and/or D.Moore maybe Amendola for later, off of waivers. But I need to drop one or more of the following. Tolbert, R.Bush, Starks. I am pretty deep at RB with R.Rice, Forte, F.Jackson and B.Wells. Who should I pick up and who should I drop. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks

    • I’d probably drop Bush or Tolbert, as I don’t see either ever getting into your lineup (though, could you trade either of them?)

      For this week, Moore is the best play, but long-term I would be looking at Manningham.

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