Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football Week 3 Waiver Wire

Channing Tatum
My dad said it best: "I think he meant Carol Channing."
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Ryan Fowler

Ryan Fowler has spent the past 10 years covering and talking sports on TV and radio, in newspapers and on the web. He joined FOXSports.com as lead Fantasy Sports Editor and also acts as Digital Content Manager at WhatIfSports.com. Follow him on Twitter. Listen to his FOX Sports Team Report Podcasts on SoundCloud and iTunes

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A year-and-a-half before I was named Fantasy Editor of FOXSports.com, I was hired by  Whatifsports.com as their Digital Content Manager.  I still am the DCM of WIS. We all wear several hats in this field. Our website specializes in NFL, college football, MLB, NHL, and college basketball simulation predictions.

As you can imagine, the computer predictions business receives the occasional negative feedback for a variety of reasons:

“What do you mean Auburn wouldn’t have won the National Championship?!?!? War Eagle!”

“You are such an East-coast homer! The Atlanta Falcons are winning the Super Bowl this year!”

“You are an #$##ing idiot.”

Tisk, tisk, it’s “You are a #$##ing idiot.”

The good news is with the negative comes plenty of positive and emails from loyal Whatifsports.com users. One of those people happens to be Ben T. When I first started at WIS, I must have received dozens of emails from him over the first few months. He loved ranking NFL franchises and wanted my thoughts on which team I believed was the greatest of all-time. The email exchanges and rankings continued throughout the summer.

However, the frequency of the emails and questions started to pick up the more I responded.  The task of answering each email began to cut into my productivity. So, I made the decision to limit my replies to once a month. This was back in 2010. In 2011, I heard from Benny T a handful of times. In 2012, another five-pack of questions hit my inbox during the calendar year, but I hadn’t heard from him in nearly a year.

That was until last night.

Twelve minutes after 11 o’clock, Ben hit the send button on what I consider my favorite email of all-time and not for the reason you’ll assume here in a second. I’m going to break the note into two sections. Here is the first line of the email and keep in mind this is the first time I’ve heard from Ben in over a year:

“Have you ever heard of tatum channing? You look like him. I was doing football picks with my girlfriend and we looked at your website to give us ideas... and she freaked over you! LOL!!!!!!”

{pausing for dramatic effect and for you to stop laughing}

Alright, Ben’s reference to {sic} Tatum Channing immediately makes me think of this Jimmy Kimmel skit {I’m not sure if it's safe for work or not}:


Secondly, when I relayed this message along to my Amy, she busted out laughing … followed by several minutes of deep sobbing. I’m not sure what that was all about.

But Ben’s message didn’t end there. Following the Tatum Channing critique, he promptly spun the conversation 180 degrees:

“Do you think Denver or Seattle will be one of the greatest teams of the past decade by the time the year ends?”

There it is!

Similar to a compliment sandwich - you know when a boss praises you, negatively critiques you before wrapping up the conversation with another compliment - Ben handed me a compliment pita: flattery stuffed inside a warm NFL-intentioned shell.

Rank on Ben, rank on.

FANTASY 15 PODCAST

John Halpin hosts his fantasy baseball podcast throughout the 2014 MLB season on iTunes and SoundCloud.

Week 3 Waiver Wire Targets


Josh Gordon
Owned: 60 percent of leagues on FS.com
Analysis: Chances are good that Gordon is already on a roster, but I thought it worth noting that he returns from a two-game suspension this week. The Browns’ top wide receiver finished with 50 receptions for 805 yards and five touchdowns last season. The bad news for Gordon is that his quarterback, Brandon Weeden, may miss Week 3 with a thumb injury.

Some reports suggest Brian Hoyer and not Jason Campbell could earn the start against the Vikings. No question, Gordon is worthy of a roster spot, but perhaps we wait on starting him until the starting QB scenario in Cleveland becomes clearer.

Eddie Royal
Owned: 7.6 percent
Analysis: Mike McCoy and Ken Whisenhunt have the Chargers’ offense headed in the right direction. Now a line is forming around the corner to acquire the services of Eddie Royal.

Through the first two games, Royal has already matched a career-high in touchdowns for a season with five scores. Philip Rivers 7:1 TD:INT ratio is a career-best to start a season.

With Malcom Floyd in a neck brace and out indefinitely, Royal (14 targets) and Antonio Gates (14 targets) expect to be the favorites to pick up the slack in the passing game. Vincent Brown and Keenan Allen are closer to WR4/5 for the time being.

Also, for those owners facing a waiver priority decision between Royal and DeAndre Hopkins (who should be added), look at the upcoming schedule for both:

Royal: TEN / DAL / OAK / IND / JAX
Hopkins: BAL / SEA / SF / STL / KC

Houston, we may have a problem.

Knowshon Moreno
Owned: 53.0 percent
Analysis: I may be biased on this waiver add because I drafted Moreno in the 12th round. Denver’s running back by committee heading into the season came with a 33-percent chance of me selecting a RB1 to emerge from the group.

Do I believe Moreno has the Broncos’ starting running back gig on lock? No. Even during his two-touchdown performance against the Giants, Moreno only played 46-76 snaps.

However, rookie back Montee Ball fumbled and Ronnie Hillman only saw two plays in Week 2. I like my chances with Moreno in a FLEX role moving forward especially this weekend against the Raiders.

FOX Sports Team Report

Fantasy editor Ryan Fowler hosts his MLB and NFL podcasts weekly on iTunes and SoundCloud.

Bernard Pierce
Owned: 33.9 percent
Analysis: Ray Rice’s non-contact, hip flexor injury opens the door for those owners who invested in Pierce on draft day. The second-string running back was one of the top fantasy handcuffs coveted following a strong finish to his 2012 campaign.

Pierce racked up 123 rush yards in Week 16, 89 yards in Week 17 and 103 yards against the Colts in the playoffs (6.4 yards per carry during that stretch). He finished with 57 yards on 19 carries with a score against the Browns in Week 2.

Robert Woods
Owned: 2.1 percent
Analysis: Without question Royal and Hopkins are ahead of Woods on the waiver wire depth chart, but owners should be paying attention to what’s going on in Buffalo. E.J. Manuel has completed over 68 percent of his passes the first two weeks (ranked fourth in the NFL) with a tendency to lean on Steve Johnson’s WR1 talents. Defenses will continue to blanket Johnson downfield, which means more targets for Woods. The rookie receiver out of USC caught five passes on eight targets for 86 yards and a touchdown in two games. He has too much talent to be completely ignored by fantasy owners.

Other Nominations: Gio Bernard, Jacquizz Rodgers, James Starks and Michael Floyd

Tagged: Bills, Browns, Broncos, Ravens, Chargers, Texans, Eddie Royal, Knowshon Moreno, Vincent Brown, Bernard Pierce, Josh Gordon

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