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Waiver Wire Watch: Players to Pick Up Week 3

Mario Puig

Mario Puig

Mario sets the direction of RotoWire's college football and NFL draft content, with his other responsibilities primarily resting in those same subjects. He's a fan of Jim Harbaugh, James Harrison and David Bowie.

ACC

Chris Givens, WR, Wake Forest


Consider this a joint entry between Givens, Michael Campanaro (WR) and Tanner Price (QB). The Wake Forest passing game has been extremely effective through the first two weeks, and these players look sharp. Price has 586 yards and four touchdowns through the air so far, with 453 yards and all the touchdowns going to Givens and Campanaro. All three are probably worth owning in all formats until they slow down.

Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina

Bernard still has to worry about Ryan Houston stealing carries, particularly around the goal line, but there's absolutely no doubt that he's the best running back on the North Carolina roster. It seems like the coaches are catching on, too. After getting 16 carries in Week 1, Houston was only given six against Rutgers last week. Meanwhile, Bernard saw his carry total rise from nine to 16 in that span. With those 25 carries he went for 145 yards and four touchdowns, two in each game. He's worth adding in most scenarios.

Big East

Devon Brown, WR, West Virginia


With Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey and Ivan McCartney also stealing catches in the West Virginia offense, one shouldn't expect consistency to be Brown's strong suit (and the same goes for the other three, too). But after two games, the Wake Forest transfer has the most yardage among Mountaineer receivers, totaling 151 yards on eight catches. It's possible he could get some work as a ballcarrier as the weeks pass, too.

Ryan Griffin, TE, Connecticut

In a college football season that lacks stars at the tight end position, Griffin is worth owning in basically all leagues. He has at least three catches in his first two games this year, totaling seven catches for 144 yards and a touchdown. His upside is probably limited by Connecticut's shockingly bad quarterback play so far, but he seems to have a decent floor, at least.

Big Ten

Derek Moye, WR, Penn State

After a rather quiet start to the season, Moye's fantasy stock might be low in a lot of leagues. But if you need a receiver and Moye is available, he's worth a gamble. He's simply too talented to stay low for much longer, and Penn State has an easy schedule until the end of October.

Darius Millines, WR, Illinois

Millines is probably only worth adding in Big Ten-only leagues, but he's definitely someone to watch in most other cases, too. Teams will need to start singling out star Illinois receiver A.J. Jenkins eventually, and Millines will be in position to capitalize when it happens. He has eight catches for 157 yards and a score in the first two weeks, including five catches for 119 yards and a score against Arkansas State in Week 1.

Big 12

Malcolm Brown, RB, Texas


Foswhitt Whittaker simply isn't good enough to keep much of a hold on the Texas offense, and Brown is clearly the team's best runner. That means it's only a matter of time before he starts getting the vast majority of carries. He has 30 for 154 yards through two weeks, but expect his numbers to increase. There are many scenarios in which he's worth adding, and he's a must-own in Big 12-only leagues.

Steele Jantz, QB, Iowa State

Jantz wasn't especially productive in Week 1, but he took his game to a high level when the Cyclones faced Iowa on Saturday. He finished the game with 279 yards and four touchdowns through the air while running for 42 yards. He has proven to be a promising dual threat and is worth a speculative addition in most scenarios.

Conference USA

Bryan Burnham, WR, Tulsa


Burnham is close to a must-add in most scenarios, as he seems to have emerged as Tulsa's clear go-to target at receiver. He has 10 catches for 162 yards and three scores through the first two weeks, including three catches for 68 yards and a score against Oklahoma in Week 1. Damaris Johnson isn't coming back any time soon, so there's no reason Burnham can't keep it up.

Michael Bowman, WR, East Carolina

Bowman is mostly a consideration for C-USA-only and other deeper formats, but one that can still pay off in a big way. Bowman caught 46 passes last year for East Carolina and is much more experienced than Justin Hardy, who caught 14 passes in the first two weeks. Back from suspension, Bowman has a good chance to steal much or most of Hardy's work.

Independents

Theo Riddick, WR, Notre Dame


Riddick is only a consideration for deeper leagues, but there are worse targets for a receiver-needy fantasy roster. Michael Floyd had 25 receptions through the first two games for Notre Dame, but that's simply an unsustainable number. Floyd's numbers have to come down soon, and Riddick is a solid candidate to pick up that slack. He has nine catches for 94 yards and two scores.

MAC

Eugene Cooper, WR, Bowling Green


Kamar Jorden was great for Bowling Green last year, but Cooper may have usurped him. Cooper has 10 catches for 244 yards and six touchdowns after two games, and that kind of production makes him a must-add in almost all leagues. Even if he's a fluke, those numbers are worth gambling on.

Branden Oliver, RB, Buffalo

With 50 carries (and six catches) through the first two weeks, it's clear that Buffalo plans to give Oliver as much work as he can take this year. He turned those touches into 274 yards and four touchdowns from scrimmage, and he's looking like one of the most valuable players in the MAC. He's close to a must-add in most scenarios.

MWC

Brett Smith, QB, Wyoming


Smith needs to produce against a real defense before he can be considered legit. But so far, the results have been promising. He has 530 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions through the air heading into Week 3, as well as 117 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Unfortunately, Weber State and Texas State are obviously not quality opponents. Still, Smith is worth a roster stash in many scenarios and probably is a must-own in MWC-only leagues.

Tarean Austin, QB, New Mexico

Austin should be on benches until New Mexico gets past Texas Tech, but Austin could be a sneaky start in MWC-only leagues against Sam Houston State on Sept. 24. His 25 rushing attempts from Week 1 likely would have yielded more than 57 yards against an FCS opponent, and his completion percentage (59.3) and zero interceptions indicate that he should be able to move the ball through the air that week, too.

Pac-12

Aaron Pflugrad, WR, Arizona State


Pflugrad has shown great chemistry with quarterback Brock Osweiler so far this year, totaling four receiving touchdowns through two games while hauling in 11 catches for 230 yards. He's a must-add in all leagues and has the potential to end the year as one of the nation's most productive receivers.

De'Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon

As perhaps the most prized non-Jadeveon Clowney recruit of 2011, the fact that Thomas is making plays for Oregon is not especially surprising. The extent of his success, however, is a bit more than anyone expected. He has 243 yards and three touchdowns from scrimmage in the first two weeks, so Oregon probably needs to get him the ball even more. The problem for Thomas' owners is that Oregon hasn't gotten him the ball that much, and his averages of 8.6 yards per carry and 17.5 yards per reception are unsustainable. Still, he's worth adding in many scenarios just in case Oregon does start giving him more work.

SEC

Emory Blake, WR, Auburn


Blake's eight-touchdown 2010 season was no fluke. Despite having a new starting quarterback in Barrett Trotter, Blake has gotten off to a fast start this year, totaling 10 catches for 203 yards and two scores. Matchups with Florida, LSU and Alabama are concerning, but Blake might be able to burn up the rest of his remaining schedule.

Trey Burton, TE, Florida

If your league classifies Burton as a tight end, he could definitely be worth a speculative addition. He seems like Florida's only real inside runner, which means he has a chance to emerge as the team's top short-yardage option. He had six carries for 46 yards and a touchdown against UAB last week.

Sun Belt

Josh Jarboe, WR, Arkansas State


Jarboe is a former blue-chip recruit who got kicked off the Oklahoma and Troy football teams before being given one last chance with Arkansas State. He's managed to avoid the third strike so far, and he's capitalizing on his opportunity in a huge way in the meantime. Dwayne Frampton, Taylor Stockemer and Allen Muse give Arkansas State one of the country's most productive wideout groups, but Jarboe has easily distanced himself from all three so far. He has 12 catches for 220 yards and two scores heading into the third week.

Benny Cunningham, RB, Middle Tennessee

Despite starting the year off against two BCS schools (Purdue and Georgia Tech), Cunningham heads into the third week of the year with 145 rushing yards and two touchdowns, averaging 5.0 yards per carry. He also has five receptions for 67 yards. If he keeps it up, he'll end up being a decent start for every remaining game, with perhaps the exception of a Nov. 5 showdown with Tennessee.

WAC

Mike Ball, RB, Nevada


Nick Hale started against Oregon for Nevada, but Ball is the better player. Nevada's coaches realized/remembered this rather quickly, as Hale finished the game with just eight carries, while Ball ended up with 14. As usual, Ball showed rare big-play ability, going for 99 yards on the ground while adding a five-yard touchdown reception. He could really go off against San Jose State.

Taveon Rogers, WR, New Mexico State

The New Mexico State offense looks revived under the watch of quarterback Andrew Manley (another decent waiver target, by the way), and Rogers has burned up the field in the first two weeks as a result. He caught five passes for 92 yards and a score against Ohio in Week 1, and he flew past the Minnesota defense for 88 yards and two scores on four catches last week.