Injuries, surprise suspensions and poor performances, oh my!
The emotions of fantasy football owners have been shoved into a blender and turned on high more times than could ever be expected in 2014, and we're only two and a half weeks into the regular season.
Matt Asiata is now a household name due to the suspension of Adrian Peterson, and any sliver of fantasy production he could give in Week 3 can be considered a blessing given the obvious talent drop-off between the plodding Asiata and arguably the best running back of this generation in AP. Fellow Vikes backup Jerick McKinnon is another boom or bust fantasy option this week, with his boom being bigger than Asiata's but his bust being big as well.
Injuries have already begun to play a vital role this season as well. Before the first matchup of Week 3 commenced between the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night, a few key players were de-activated due to injury concerns, with the two main ones being Falcons No. 2 wideout Roddy White and Buccaneers running back Doug Martin.
The results of their substitutes varied, as veteran receiver Eric Weems relished an uptick in targets and churned four catches for 69 yards out of it. On the Bucs side, backup running back Bobby Rainey struggled in the rushing game, finishing with 11 carries for 41 yards. He did, however, make up for it in the receiving game with seven receptions for 64 yards, though most of those catches came in garbage time when the Falcons had already built an insurmountable 56-0 lead.
The point is, with all this unpredictability going on, taking risks through acquiring players on the waiver wire and having them pay off for you is what makes fantasy football fun. So here is one more crop of players who could surprise in Week 3.
Davante Adams, WR Green Bay Packers (owned in 6% of Yahoo! Leagues)
Why he's a good pickup: Through two games, Adams has outplayed fellow No. 3 option Jarrett Boykin in Green Bay. Through two games, Adams caught five of his seven total targets for 50 yards, and is looking more and more like he'll be the more relied upon player going forward. He caught a nice slant pass late in the first half against the New York Jets last week that almost went for a score. A second-round pick in 2014, Adams has displayed better hands than Boykin (who had a crucial drop down around the end zone in the first half and wasn't looked at much after that). Adams was on the field more as well, as he played in 43 total snaps compared to Boykin's 39 in Week 2.
We're not totally out on Boykin yet considering he displayed good ball skills last year after several Packers' receivers went down, but right now Adams is the better option. The Packers face a tough defense in Detroit this week, but they have easier matchups ahead with the Bears and Vikings coming up. It wouldn't be surprising if Adams snags a touchdown in one of those games. He's a solid WR3 going forward.
Latavius Murray, RB Oakland Raiders (owned in 1% of Yahoo! Leagues)
Why he's a good pickup: If the Oakland Raiders' coaching staff want to keep their jobs (and who knows if they do at this point), then they'll give this young guy a shot. Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew have combined for just 63 rushing yards through two games. Rookie quarterback Derek Carr has 57 yards on five rushing attempts. You know your running game is bad when your quarterback has just six rushing yards less than both your starting RBs on half the amount of attempts.
Adding Murray to your roster is more of a wait-and-see stash at this point, and he shouldn't be started until he sees more carries. Still, he showed good talent in the preseason as he led the Raiders in rushing with 94 yards on 23 carries (4.1 YPC) and finally got one whole carry against the Houston Texans in Week 2, which went for six yards. It's a travesty the Raiders haven't given him the ball more, but he's got the talent and the fresh legs at age 24 to be a factor. If you're in a deep league and are hurting at running back, Murray is worth an add.
Jarvis Landry, WR Miami Dolphins (owned in 1% of Yahoo! Leagues)
Why he's a good pickup: The rookie Landry had a quiet coming out party in Week 2, but it was still somewhat noteworthy. After seeing zero targets in Week 1, Landry was targeted six times against Buffalo and caught five of them for 46 yards. Brian Hartline saw eight targets and caught five of them for 36 yards.
The Dolphins utilized Landry in the screen and short passing game more so than on long passes in Week 2, a strategy that usually translates to more efficient numbers so long as Landry's hands are reliable. Landry is also averaging a respectable 22.6 yards per kick return as well, so if your league gives out points for special teams play, he's superior than Hartline in that regard.
Hartline is still the starter and sees the most snaps, but there's a lot of upside to Landry as the season goes along. Dolphins No. 1 wideout Mike Wallace has overachieved through two weeks with two touchdowns. One has to expect his numbers will go down, which will leave the door open for another receiver to produce. Landry worth stashing on your roster just to see if he remains as efficient as he was against Buffalo. The Dolphins arguably have the easiest schedule for the next month in terms of defenses they're going against, as they play injury-riddled Kansas City followed by Oakland, Green Bay, Chicago and Jacksonville.