Stake Your Claim: Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 3 2
Brace Hemmelgarn, USATSI

Fantasy Football was dominated by injuries in week two, but targeting the Vikings and Panthers backfields could spell redemption for owners.

Fantasy football is so unpredictable.

After a brutal week two for injuries in the NFL, odds are you need to pick up some help via the waiver wire. Major players like Adrian Peterson, Doug Martin, Danny Woodhead, Jonathan Stewart, Ameer Abdullah, and Arian Foster (no surprise there) all have injuries – some longer than others. Below is a list of who you should be adding in order to recover from these setbacks.

Worthy Of Your First Waiver Claim:

Matt Asiata & Jerick McKinnon

Adrian Peterson is undergoing surgery on his torn meniscus on his right knee this week, which means a boatload of carries are now up for grabs in Minnesota. The Vikings relied heavily on Peterson last year, and will now most likely split the duties between Matt Asiata and Jerrick McKinnon. Asiata has been very effective as a goal line back while McKinnon has performed well catching passes out of the backfield.  For those reasons, I give the slight edge to Asiata in this backfield, but snagging McKinnon (assuming he’s available in your league) is not a bad second option.

Cameron Artis-Payne

One thing is for certain, the Carolina Panthers love running the football. Last season, they ran the ball 526 times for 2,282 yards. Even if you take out Cam Newton’s carries (132 attempts for 636 yards), there’s still a ton of carries to spread around down in Charlotte. I would expect a few more designed runs per game by Newton now that their feature back, Jonathan Stewart, is most likely out this week with a hamstring injury, but not enough to diminish the value of the running back position. While Fozzy Whittaker performed fantastically in relief of Stewart last week, remember that Artis-Payne was a healthy inactive for week two. Also, consider that last season he received 45 carries to Whittaker’s 25. At 5’10” 220 lbs, Artis-Payne resembles Stewart in skill set and body type more than Whittaker.

Fozzy Whittaker

Given the aforementioned notes about the Panthers, don’t sleep on Fozzy Bear. As mentioned above, the Panthers love running the football. Through two weeks this season, the Panthers have already run the ball 69 times. There is no real way of telling how the Panthers will split up the carries this week against the Minnesota Vikings, so adding Whittaker if you can’t get Artis-Payne may not be a bad consolation prize. This week’s matchup is a tough one, but if Stewart is to miss action beyond this week, you reap the benefits of three straight games against the NFC South and their porous defenses.  The Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and New Orleans Saints all rank in the bottom 10 in allowing fantasy points to running backs so far this season.

Worthy Of Your 2nd Waiver Claim:

Phillip Dorsett

It appears that Donte Moncrief will be out 4-6 weeks for the Indianapolis Colts, which vaults Dorsett into the number 2 receiver role opposite of T.Y. Hilton in a pass-happy offense. Even better, the Colts take on the San Diego Chargers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Chicago Bears in the next 3 weeks. Anybody smell burnt toast in here?

Quincy Enunwa

The New York Jets used the most four receiver sets in the NFL last season, and not much has changed so far this season. Without any true threat at tight end, Enunwa serves as the middle of the field pass-catcher for the Jets. Both Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker are banged up after last Thursday night’s win against the Buffalo Bills, but both look on track to play this Sunday. If either were to miss any time, Enunwa would be a very intriguing play going forward, and definitely worth the add either way.

Worthy Of Your 3rd Waiver Claim:

Jay Ajayi & Kenyan Drake

The Miami Dolphins are another situation where there are two running backs filling in for an injured veteran. Ajayi is the incumbent backup but has had issues with ball security early in the season. Since he’s a rookie, Drake has had a minuscule sample size in the NFL, but could be a nice add if you’re looking for a stash in a deep PPR league.

If You Need A Tight End:

Kyle Rudolph and Jacob Tamme are both great options. Rudolph looked to have a decent rapport with new starter Sam Bradford on Sunday night, and it paid dividends with a touchdown. Tamme already has 16 targets to start the season and looks to be Matt Ryan’s second option behind all-world wideout Julio Jones. This is a team that is going to be behind a lot this season, so there will be plenty of opportunities for Tamme to convert those targets into receptions.

Future Add of the Week:

Sometimes it’s best to get ahead on your league mates and scoop a player off the waiver wire before they realize he has a favorable matchup that week. This week, add Joe Flacco if your QB is going to be on a bye in Week 4 (Aaron Rodgers, Carson Wentz). Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens will be going up against an Oakland Raiders defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season.

Fantasy football and NFL writer. Hopefully I don't have to wait 108 years for another Jets Super Bowl win.