Did you miss out on the top waiver-wire options this week? Instead of pouting, act quickly to add some useful players to your fantasy football team.
Between James Starks, Matt Jones and Dion Lewis, there were a number of quality running backs likely on the table heading into Week 3, with players such as Michael Crabtree, Jordan Reed, Eric Ebron and Tyrod Taylor also representing good pickups. If any of them is still available, you should stop reading this and immediately figure out a way to upgrade your team.
On the other hand, those in deeper leagues with smart opponents will likely have to be more creative with their fantasy rosters. Here is a look at players who can help out your team this season but are still available in more than 70 percent of ESPN leagues.
Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders
Tyrod Taylor should be your first option at the position with Andy Dalton also possessing plenty of ability, but Derek Carr should not be ignored after an impressive week.
The second-year quarterback suffered an injury early in Week 1 but came back strong in Week 2 with 351 passing yards and three touchdowns against a tough Baltimore Ravens defense. He also showed the ability to go deep, per Nerdy Football’s Matt Miller:
This last skill is important with quality receiving targets such as Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, who represent a major upgrade compared to what he had last season. You can expect plenty of yards after the catch with this duo as well as with running back Latavius Murray on shorter throws.
Meanwhile, the Raiders have shown no hesitation to let Carr throw. The 24-year-old totaled 46 attempts on Sunday and averaged over 37 passes per game last year. With his talent and opportunity, the young passer could have many more big fantasy days in front of him.
Dexter McCluster, RB/WR, Tennessee Titans
It’s very possible last week was the best game we will see from Dexter McCluster all season. The versatile player finished with 98 rushing yards on 10 carries to go with four catches for 26 receiving yards.
While he got the majority of work in a backfield with Bishop Sankey and Terrance West, even McCluster acknowledged the timeshare just happened to work in his favor, per Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com:
Coach came to me early in the week and told me to be ready for some opportunities early in the game, and I got some opportunities and tried to make the most of it. We kind of went with who was hot at the moment – running back by committee, that’s our identity right now.
It is not going to change the way I work. If the opportunity is there, I’ll try and make the most of it.
The one reason to be excited is the fact McCluster has carved out a role as the lead running back in passing downs. Considering the Titans are expected to be trailing a lot this season, this could mean a lot of work for the veteran back.
With multi-position eligibility and the upside of someone who will get a lot of touches, McCluster is worth at least a roster spot in most leagues—especially those who utilize points per reception.
Rishard Matthews, WR, Miami Dolphins
Jarvis Landry might be Ryan Tannehill’s favorite target at the moment, and rookie DeVante Parker has the most upside. But through two games it’s clear Rishard Matthews has a major role in the Dolphins offense.
After catching a touchdown in Week 1, Matthews was all over the field in Week 2 and finished with 115 receiving yards. He caught six of his seven targets, both of which were his most since 2013. The former seventh-round pick is proving himself as a reliable option over newcomers like Parker, Kenny Stills and Greg Jennings.
Until something changes, Matthews will remain the starter in what has become a pass-heavy offense, giving him plenty of opportunities to post big numbers in the near future.
Aaron Dobson, WR, New England Patriots
Tom Brady is on a mission this season, and you don’t have to like him to take advantage of his ability in fantasy football. This means getting hold of anyone who will catch passes on the Patriots roster.
Apparently, this list includes Aaron Dobson, who was all but forgotten until this past week. The third-year wideout barely saw the field last season, but as Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald noted, Sunday was a re-emergence for the talented player:
Dobson finished with seven catches for 87 yards in the win and was targeted by Brady eight times. Perhaps most importantly, he got plenty of chances to show what he can do, finishing with 70 snaps at receiver compared to just 36 for Danny Amendola, according to ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss.
Even if the receiver is a third option behind Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman, there are a lot of fantasy points to be had in this offense. Dobson still has to prove this wasn’t a fluke, but he is worth a spot on your bench to see if he can keep it up before Brandon LaFell returns.
Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for all your fantasy football and daily fantasy needs.
Read more Fantasy Football news on NerdyFootball.com