Top 10 waiver wire pickups for Week 3
Carson Palmer (OAK): It was reasonable to think that Palmer's numbers last week were a fluke, and that he wouldn't be throwing 46 passes for the rest of the year. However, the Raiders seem to be content with running a lot of dink-and-dunk plays to make up for their abysmal running game. Palmer is now averaging 335 yards through two games, and though he has only thrown two touchdowns, the Raiders' offense should score more as the offensive line gets more in sync in their new scheme.
Sam Bradford (STL): The former first overall pick has put together two straight games with a QB rating higher than 100. Though he didn't put up great fantasy numbers in Week 1, he completed 74% of his passes for over 300 yards and three touchdowns in Week 2 against the same defense that gave Drew Brees fits just a week before. Bradford could be a good bye week fill-in or matchup play, depending on who your starter is.
Andre Brown (NYG): Brown is playing for his fifth NFL team, but only had two rushing attempts before joining Big Blue. He finally got a chance to show what he's got on Sunday and impressed with 71 yards on 5.5 per carry and a touchdown. Ahmad Bradshaw missed practice on Tuesday, and with the Giants playing on Thursday night against the Panthers, it's looking like Bradshaw will be doubtful to suit up. David Wilson is still in head coach Tom Coughlin's doghouse, so Brown could very well have Bradshaw-esque value getting the bulk of the carries.
Mikel Leshoure (DET): Leshoure was one of my under the radar waiver wire pickups last week, but he's about to hop on the radar. The Lions, who seemed to want to establish a running game on Sunday night, got nothing going on the ground with Kevin Smith and Joique Bell. Leshoure, a 2011 second round pick, is coming back from suspension and will be given every chance to be the early-down back. The Detroit Free Press expects him to gain the starting job "before long."
Daryl Richardson (STL): The seventh round pick out of Abilene Christian beat out second round pick Isaiah Pead in the preseason, and he has put together 17 carries for 103 yards so far this season. Starter Steven Jackson had 58 total yards before leaving the game with a groin injury and was replaced by Richardson, who had 102 total yards. Head coach Jeff Fisher said that Jackson could have returned had Richardson not been playing so well. Richardson, at the very least, has earned a change of pace role behind Jackson. Everyone knew that Jackson's years of brutal running had a chance of catching up with him this season, and this is likely not the first of his physical ailments.
Greg Little (CLE): Little was drafted in a lot of leagues, but then dropped after laying goose eggs across the board in Week 1. However, it seems that as long as Cleveland's offense isn't in complete disarray, Little can be a productive player. Quarterback Brandon Weeden responded from his 5.1 QB rating to throw for over 300 yards in Week 2. Little was tied for the team lead in targets with seven, and hauled in five of those passes. With exceptional size, good speed, and questionable hands, Little is a Terrell Owens type talent, and he can be expected to put in plenty of solid games in his second NFL season.
Danny Amendola (STL): When I flipped to the Rams game in the first half and heard the commentator say that Amendola had a career high 12 catches, I had no idea what he was talking about. I knew he had seasons with more than 12 catches, and I was certain he didn't yet have 12 catches in the game. Turns out I was wrong about the latter. The slot machine finished with 15 catches for 160 yards and a touchdown. Bradford was 15 for 16 when throwing his way. Don't expect him to top this line, but he's sure to have a few more double-digit catch games this year.
Martellus Bennett (NYG): I had Bennett on my top 10 waiver wire list last week, but he's still only owned in 38% of Yahoo! leagues. Well in case you thought his Week 1 performance was a fluke, he was targeted ten times on Sunday, catching five of the passes for 72 yards and a touchdown. The pass that Eli threw to him for the touchdown showed the immense amount of trust that Eli has in his new tight end, despite his multiple previous redzone drops. Bennett should continue to put up at least these type of numbers.
Anthony McCoy (SEA): The Seahawks have been in search of a tight end for a while now. They brought in Zach Miller from Oakland, who has done almost nothing. They tried out Kellen Winslow this offseason and eventually cut him. Well, they may have found their answer in a sixth round pick out of USC. McCoy lead the team in targets with five on Sunday, catching all five of them for 41 yards and a touchdown. Starting tight end Zach Miller was only thrown to once. As the Seahawks put more and more trust into Russell Wilson, they should let him zip the ball around more often, and Wilson seems to like his big, sure-handed tight end.
Detroit Lions: This isn't really about how good the Lions defense is. I don't know if they're a good defense or a great defense or what - it's really too early to tell. But what I do know is that the Titans, the Lions' Week 3 opponent, can't do much of anything on offense. The Titans' best player, Chris Johnson, can't find any holes to run through, and Jake Locker is struggling with accuracy. The Lions should shut this team down. Owned in 66% of leagues, however, they may not be available to you. In that case, I'd go with the Falcons. If they can confuse the great Peyton Manning, they can confuse Philip Rivers.