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Week 3 Waiver Wire: Matt Jones, Travis Benjamin Highlight Pickups to Know

Fantasy Football
September 21, 2015

Fantasy football’s Week 3 waiver wire might just save the day for struggling owners.

Is a declining Drew Brees hurting an owner’s team more than the opposition? How about Lamar Miller‘s belly flop down in the Miami waters?

For occasions such as the above and other disappointments guaranteed to occur in a lengthy season akin to a roller coaster, the waiver wire stands as a saving grace. New contributors emerge through coaching changes, injuries and more on a week-to-week basis, opening new doors for owners.

Here’s a rundown of the top waiver names to know this week.

Week 3 Waiver-Wire Pickup Targets

Pickups to Know

Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders (10.4 ownership percentage)

Quarterback is one of those positions an owner could start a different player each week and find some semblance of success.

It’s because players such as Derek Carr of the Oakland Raiders have occasional outbursts. Despite entering a contest with the Baltimore Ravens after an injury scare in Week 1, Carr exploded for 26 points on 351 yards and three scores.

Nerdy Football’s Matt Miller pointed out Carr’s biggest area of improvement:

What a turnaround, right? Carr goes from injured question mark to outscoring Aaron Rodgers and others in a matchup most should have shied away from in the first place.

Regardless, Carr is a solid young player worth an add, especially when he has a budding elite receiver such as Amari Cooper. He’s not going to win fantasy games on his own each week, but the Raiders figure to be playing from behind a decent amount this season, meaning he’ll have plenty of opportunities to post gaudy stat lines keeping fantasy squads afloat.

Matt Jones, RB, Washington (15.7 ownership percentage)

So it finally happened.

There was a low hum of hype around Washington rookie back Matt Jones after a strong preseason performance. Said hype now looks ready to explode, and owners will want to get out in front of the tidal wave.

Jones finished as fantasy’s second-highest scorer at running back before Monday’s game. He went for 24 points a week after scoring just two in his rookie debut, rushing 19 times for 123 yards and two scores.

Oh, and it happened against a St. Louis defense that bottled up Marshawn Lynch in Week 1.

Washington coach Jay Gruden touched on the performance, per the team’s official Twitter account:

It doesn’t look like Jones is the lead back—yet. He took 19 carries to Alfred Morris‘ 18, but it’s quite clear he’s more than the somewhat one-dimensional runner the veteran is.

Owners shouldn’t hesitate to scoop up Jones no matter the designation. Washington wants to run a ball-control offense with a question mark under center and no DeSean Jackson. Opportunities equal production, and if Jones keeps this sort of performance going, it won’t be long before he handles the load on his own.

Travis Benjamin, WR, Cleveland Browns (6.2 ownership percentage)

Johnny Manziel‘s favorite targets is…Travis Benjamin.

What, expecting Gary Barnidge?

Owners had every right to shy away from anyone on the Cleveland offense, as they do in most years. Benjamin posted a career-high 89 yards and a score in Week 1, but it wasn’t something to write home about.

Now would be the time to get to writing. Benjamin breezed his way through Tennessee Sunday, turning three catches into 115 yards and two scores and taking a punt back for a touchdown. The running total? A head-turning 29 points, second at the position behind only Larry Fitzgerald before Monday.

Now, it’s important to understand that Cleveland touts a low-volume passing attack. Benjamin’s three catches tied for a team high as Manziel only attempted 15 passes in the win.

But Benjamin is worth an add because of what he can do with the football in his hands. He’s the top target when the Browns do take to the air, and his chances on special teams won’t cease. Some might call the early-week explosion a fluke, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to jump on the chance that Benjamin can keep this thing rolling.

Eric Ebron, TE, Detroit Lions (20.0 ownership percentage)

Something owners thought was a fluke after the season’s opening week?

Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron‘s 11 points after four catches for 53 yards and a score. On an offense with Calvin Johnson and others, how could the formerly hyped sophomore have any fantasy consistency?

Quite easily, apparently. Those brave enough to scoop up Ebron and shoo him into lineups received a cool 10 points thanks to his five grabs for 43 yards and a score, the fifth-highest output at the erratic position before Monday.

Context is important. Ebron tied with Golden Tate at 10 targets and they both sat behind Megatron’s 17. But the volume should encourage owners, as Ebron‘s talent has always been apparent. The opportunities, not so much.

Detroit already sits in an 0-2 hole. If things keep trending this way, the team will play from behind quite often and keep Ebron in this target range. It’s clear Matthew Stafford has a budding rapport with his top tight end, so owners will want to scoop Ebron off the market and take advantage.

All scoring info courtesy of ESPN standard leagues, as is points-against info and ownership stats as of September 21. Statistics courtesy of ESPN.com.

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