Alfred Blue, RB, Texans- Week 3 Stats: 13 car, 78 rush yds, 1 rec, 10 rec yds
Blue became the red hot pick up Sunday morning after it was announced that Arian Foster was going to miss the game with a hamstring injury. He showed flashes of skill in the Texans 30-17 loss to the Giants, including a 46 yard second half scamper. It took a little while for Houston to get anything going on offense, which was largely a result of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s three drive-stopping interceptions. But the fact remains this team stays committed to the run, making Blue a must own handcuff, who could be in line to see more starts as the season progresses and Foster’s body continues to deteriorate.
Miles Austin, WR, Browns- Week 3 Stats: 6 rec, 51 rec yds, 1 rec TD
After being injured or irrelevant for the better part of the past three season, Austin is in the midst of a full-on resurgence in Cleveland. He has six catches and a touchdown in each of the past two games and is still available in more than 80% of all leagues. Brian Hoyer (716 passing yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs) has done the unthinkable- got fans to forget about Johnny Manziel. And if Austin keeps performing the way he has been playing they may forget about Josh Gordon next!
Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, Ravens- Week 3 Stats: 18 car, 91 rush yds, 1 rush TD
The rookie out of Coastal Carolina turned heads Sunday while filling in for the injured Bernard Pierce. Taliaferro was the workhorse back, carrying the rock 18 times for 91 yards and a score. Head coach John Harbaugh is on the record saying they will ride the hot hand as their Ray Rice-less season continues, and there is reason to believe Lorenzo will have as good an opportunity as anyone (Pierce/Forsett) to earn his stripes. There’s no way I would throw him in my starting line-up week 4 against Carolina, but with an enticing week 5 game in Indy, owners should act now and pay extra close attention to how this backfield shakes out.
Cody Parkey, K, Eagles- Week 3 Stats: 3 FGs (1 50+), 3 XP
I’ve suggested using your waiver priority on a kicker in the three years that I have been writing this column, but Parkey’s start has been too special to ignore. The undrafted rookie didn’t win the starting job in Philly until after most leagues had already drafted, resulting in the NFL’s top scoring kicker to going unowned in the majority of all leagues heading into week 4. That is simply unacceptable. I know they say it is hard to predict kickers scoring from week to week, but this is a no brainer. High octane, fast paced offense that scores a ton of points to go along with the leg strength to hit from 50+.
Through three games he has outscored Tom Brady.
Jordan Matthews, WR, Eagles- Week 3 Stats: 8 rec, 59 rec yds, 2 rec TD
The Eagles are firing on all cylinders right now and have scored the second most points in the league through three games, so it should come as no surprise that there is fantasy value to be found deep down their depth chart. Thus far it’s been rookie Jordan Matthews, not Riley Cooper, who has shined alongside Maclin in their receiving corp. Matthews caught eight balls for 59 yards and two touchdowns in Philly’s 37-34 come from behind win over the Skins. At this point in time I would not feel comfortable starting him as a fantasy WR 1,2 or 3. But at flex during a week when you are short on guys due to byes? Sure, why not. Always better to take a flier on a guy whose team can move the ball (added bonus what that team’s defense sucks too!).
Eddie Royal, WR, Chargers- Week 3 Stats: 4 rec, 42 rec yds, 2 rec TD
The oft-dropped Eddie Royal once again finds himself at the top of some poor fool’s waiver claim. He’s now scored 10 touchdowns in his last 18 games, and appears to have leap-frogged Malcolm Floyd as the #2 WR in San Diego. There are a lot of mouths to feed the Chargers passing game, with Gates, Green, Allen and the aforementioned Floyd all stealing looks, but I don’t think Royal’s production will fizzle out like in years past. He’s sitting just outside the top 25 in targets and should continue to excel as their slot receiver. Especially with the rate at which running backs on his team are going down.
Owen Daniels, TE, Ravens- Week 3 Stats: 1 rec, 8 rec yds
Daniels was not fantasy-relevant in the Ravens 23-21 win over the Browns, but look for that to change moving forward. First string tight end Dennis Pitta suffered a non-contact hip injury that some fear could sideline him for the remainder of the season. Daniels stands to reap the benefits from this devastating blow to Baltimore’s middling offense. He won’t put up top 10 tight end numbers the rest of the way, but he has high end TE2 potential.