Fantasy football Waiver Wire: Powell in position to be every-down back
Week 3 of the NFL showed that the Jets do, in fact, have offensive weapons, and the Raiders' offense has come together enough that I am going to recommend one of their receivers. With the first set of byes already here, the fantasy community will no doubt see a very interesting week of potential waiver pickups.
• Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (Owned in 59 percent of CBSSports leagues, 63 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 94 percent of ESPN leagues): The 0-3 Steelers don't look like a very good team right now, which is actually great news for his fantasy owners. The Steelers trailed the Bears early in Week 3, and Roethlisberger was forced to throw the ball 41 times, finishing with 406 yards passing and two touchdowns. Rookie running back Le'Veon Bell is expected back in Week 4, which should help open things up for the passing attack. We've never really seen Big Ben as the type of quarterback who racks up garbage-time yards because the Steelers are usually a much better football team. Roethlisberger hates losing but his fantasy owners shouldn't root for a miraculous turnaround in Pittsburgh.
• Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (36 percent, 17 percent, 10 percent): Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton owners: Consider Tannehill as a one-week replacement. The Dolphins travel to New Orleans to battle the Saints on Monday night. While both the Dolphins and Saints have impressed on defense thus far, this game could be a shootout. The 3-0 Dolphins are better than you probably think, so don't be scared because Carson Palmer and Josh Freeman couldn't get it done against the Saints defense. Tannehill is a safe bet to throw for 250 yards and a touchdown or two.
• Bilal Powell, New York Jets (72 percent, 48 percent, 59 percent): In the wake of his 27 carries in Week 3, Powell should be owned in every league. It appears the Jets aren't as bad as we anticipated, and Powell doesn't have any competition for carries, with Chris Ivory nursing a hamstring injury. When asked about Powell's Week 3 performance, Rex Ryan told Newsday, "It's not like we're surprised by it. He's durable, dependable, and just a much better player I think than he's been given credit for." Sometimes fantasy success isn't a result of talent as much as it is situation. The Jets love to run the ball, and Powell's in a situation to be an every-down running back.
• Jason Snelling, Atlanta Falcons (39 percent, 18 percent, 15 percent): With Steven Jackson reportedly sidelined with an injured hamstring until Week 7, Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling will likely split the workload. In Week 3 at Miami, Rodgers had 18 carries, while Snelling had 11, but Snelling also caught four balls. Moreover, he should receive most of the work inside the red zone. You could do a lot worse than Snelling if you need a starter because of bye weeks or injuries
• Isaiah Pead, St. Louis Rams (31 percent, 14 percent, 91 percent): Daryl Richardson has not only been ineffective this season, averaging just 3.3 yards per carry, but also he has an injured foot, which will hamper him if he plays in Week 4. Fantasy football isn't always fair. The next man up in St. Louis is Pead, who caught seven balls last week at Dallas. Pead is a nice weapon catching passes out of the backfield and is one big game away from being a very hot waiver commodity.
• Brandon Bolden, New England Patriots (three percent, four percent, zero percent): Heading into the season, everyone loved Stevan Ridley. After Week 1, everyone loved Shane Vereen, but not anymore. Bolden caught five passes in Week 3 and is worth adding in most leagues just in case Bill Belichick decides to turn him into a star. Bolden has averaged 5.5 yards over 59 career rushing attempts and could emerge as a significant threat in the passing game.
• Denarius Moore, Oakland Raiders (Owned in 51 percent of CBSSports leagues, 48 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 95 percent of ESPN leagues): Moore might be your guy if you need a bye replacement for Randall Cobb, Steve Smith or Jordy Nelson. Moore was targeted 11 times in Week 3, and finished with six catches for 124 yards and a touchdown. Moore should have another nice stat line after the defensively-challenged Redskins travel to Oakland in Week 4. Terrelle Pryor suffered a concussion, so Matt Flynn might get a chance to carve up the Redskins in Week 4. The Raiders will score some points regardless of who's under center.
• Kendall Wright, Tennessee Titans (31 percent, 21 percent, 50 percent): Fantasy owners should take note that the Tennessee receiver situation is changing. Wright has been targeted 17 times in the last two weeks. I bet he emerges as the No. 1 option for Jake Locker -- he has tremendous upside and has the tools to be a star. Teammate Kenny Britt has been awful and should lose snaps to Justin Hunter going forward. Hunter is a nice talent and could also be a fantasy factor as the year progresses. Nate Washington is also an option in deeper leagues, but he lacks the breakout potential that Wright brings.
• Santonio Holmes, New York Jets (17 percent, 11 percent, nine percent): Holmes exploded for 154 yards and a touchdown in Week 3 against the Bills. He was targeted 10 times and appears to have some chemistry with rookie QB Geno Smith. Holmes keeps saying he's not 100 percent physically, but he looked close last week. He could emerge as a target monster if he decides to take Smith under his wing. If you're starting a disappointing receiver, Michael Floyd for example, Holmes should be atop your waiver priority. You won't find No. 1 receivers with 350-plus career catches on the waiver wire too often.
MORE WEEK 4 FANTASY FOOTBALL CONTENT:
GONOS: Start 'em, sit 'em -- Who should start in place of Rodgers or Newton?
BELLER: Week 4 player stat projections -- Expect big things from the Colts this week
SI STAFF: Week 4 composite player rankings -- Manning tops QB rankings for second week
FLOOD: Waiver wire -- Uncovering the best replacements for players with Week 4 byes
BELLER, FLOOD: Weekly Roundtable -- Will Spiller start performing like a first-rounder?
McQUADE: Risers, Sliders -- Richardson will continue to rise with new team
BELLER: Fast Forward -- Browns aren't crazy; Giants' offense a disaster