An injury plagued week 2 in the NFL leaves the door wide open for some new names to enter the fantasy world.
Another week another Waiver Wire Gem hit. This past week featured many top fantasy producers get bit by the injury bug. Owners of Adrian Peterson, Danny Woodhead, Ameer Abdullah, Doug Martin, Johnathan Stewart, and more all suffered injuries that will see them miss some time. Don’t give up on your season just yer, let the Pug provide you with an alternative while helping you set your week 3 line up.
Marcus Mariota- QB- Tennessee Titans- After a solid first two games, stock on Mariota is rising. If you have him, this is the week to start him. He played well against a solid Vikings defense in week 1, then played better against a softer Lions defense. This week it doesn’t get much any better for Mariota match up wise as they face a Raiders defense that is allowing 404 yards per game in this young season.
Melvin Gordon- RB- San Diego Chargers- A great start to the season fantasy wise for Gordon probably has him in most starting line ups by now. if not, make sure you get him in there for this week. The Colts rank dead last in the league in terms of fantasy points allowed to running backs. They have given up five touchdowns to opposing backs through just two games. With Danny Woodhead done for the year, Gordon is going to have to be the man for the Chargers, and this is the week he proves he can be.
Coby Fleener- TE- New Orleans Saints- Although Fleener has yet to do anything this season in term of fantasy production, this week should be his breakout week. The Saints play the Falcons on Monday Night Football in a match up between two teams with high-powered offenses and beatable defenses. Fleener saw his targets double from four to eight last week, and should be in line for more looks against a defense that is allowing the second most points to opposing tight ends then anyone in the league so far. In fact, tight ends have caught all but one target thrown their way this year against the Falcons.
High Risk, High Reward
Rob Gronkowski- TE- New England Patriots- The Pug feels there is way more risk here than there is reward. The first risk being obvious, there is a chance that Gronk doesn’t play for the third straight week. If he does play. look for his time to be limited. The Patriots are playing the Texans on Thursday night, and Houston has given up less points to tight ends then everyone but three other teams. The reward is also obvious, it’s Gronk!
Julio Jones- WR- Atlanta Falcons- In week one he tweaked his ankle and played through it. In week 2 he strained his calf, but appears to be ready to play through it against the Saints. Still risk here as a banged up Julio may mean less opportunities or him losing a step. Another obvious reward here is that he is one of the best receivers in the league going against a soft defense. Gut call on this one ,unless you have great receiving depth then you should consider another option
Ben Roethlisberger- QB- Pittsburgh Steelers- Let’s complete the high risk list with three normal everyday starters. Big Ben may seem like a hard guy to bench, especially when you hear they are playing the Eagles. Not so fast. This is a different year and with the Eagles defense not being on the field all the time their defense has been impressive. They have yet to give up a passing touchdown this year, and are the best in the league in term of giving up fantasy points to quarterbacks. Yes, Ben is a better quarterback than the previous two they faced but it’s worth noting.
Players To Avoid
Tyrod Taylor- QB- Buffalo Bills- Taylor had a solid game against the Jets throwing for just under 300 yards with three touchdowns. Problem here is the match up. They play Arizona this week that put a hurting on Tampa Bay last week after being shocked by the Patriots in week 1. The Cards have allowed the third fewest points to opposing quarterbacks so far this year, and I don’t think they got all there anger out last week against the Bucs. The Pug sees a long day for Tyrod Taylor this Sunday.
Stefon Diggs- WR- Minnesota Vikings- The Pug’s fantasy darling last year is off to a pretty solid start to 2016. This week Diggs will see a much tougher defense and his hot start may even warrant some double coverage. The Carolina Panthers have only allowed 19 of 40 targets to wide receivers to be caught and have only given up one touchdown. If you grabbed one of the Waiver Wire Gems of the Week from the first two weeks, consider one of them instead.
Todd Gurley- RB- Los Angeles Rams- Gurley has gotten of to a slow start with 98 yards rushing and 14 yards receiving. It’s easier for teams to guard against the run when they have zero respect for your passing game, and that’s exactly how opposing defenses feel. Case Keenum and the Rams conservative passing style scares no one, and Gurley’s production is taking a hit as a result. They play the Bucs this week who haven’t been impressive on defense, but look for the Bucs to stack the box and force the Rams to beat them through the air.
Waiver Wire Gem of the Week
Fozzy Whittaker- RB- Carolina Panthers- Plenty of back up applying to step up, and The Pug believes Whittaker will be the cream of the crop. This is a temporary fix as Johnathan Stewart should only be out 2-4 weeks. He has a tough match up this week against the Vikings, but then follows up with three good match ups against the Falcons, Saints, and Bucs. Fozzy has 100 yards last week on 16 carries.
Jerrick McKinnon- RB- Minnesota Vikings- The Vikings will use two backs in Adrian Peterson’s absence, but McKinnon is the more talented of the two. He should provide good yardage, but may lose out on goal line carries to Matt Asiata. Still all things considered McKinnon should be the back you pick up from Minnesota.