Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
Watkins has been a huge hit for Clemson - an instant star despite being a true freshman. He showed his promising first two games of the season were not the product of weak competition. He saved his best game so far for Clemson's toughest opponent, lighting up Auburn for 155 yards and two touchdowns on 10 catches while adding 44 yards on seven carries. He should be owned in all leagues.
Orwin Smith, RB, Georgia Tech
Smith is probably best used as a roster stash than immediate fantasy starter, as his workload is extremely inconsistent. Still, assuming Georgia Tech wants to win, it almost has to get Smith the ball more. He averaged 9.7 yards per carry on 53 rushes last year, and his numbers are even better so far this year. He has only 12 carries this season, but those carries have gone for a truly insane total of 270 yards and four touchdowns. That's 22.5 yards per carry. He also has 151 yards and a touchdown on just four catches (37.8 yards per catch).
Darrell Scott, RB, South Florida
Scott is a former five-star recruit who was a big bust for Colorado, but he might finally be "getting it" at South Florida. The competition in question was quite weak, but Scott is worth speculating on in most scenarios after totaling 228 yards and four touchdowns on just 23 carries the last two weeks against Ball State and Florida A&M. He also added two catches for 95 yards and a touchdown.
Ivan McCartney, WR, West Virginia
McCartney was one of West Virginia's top recruits last year, and it seems as if he's turning the corner in his second season. Just like every other West Virginia receiver, McCartney's owners will need to deal with a bit of inconsistency since the team spreads the ball around so much, but through three games he ranks second on the team with 17 catches, totaling 211 yards and two scores.
Nick Toon, WR, Wisconsin
Toon's yardage and reception opportunities tend to be a bit limited since Wisconsin blows out most of its opponents, but he figures to get more work once the Badgers take on some in-conference opponents. After facing South Dakota in Week 4, Wisconsin takes on Nebraska, Indiana, Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue, Minnesota, Illinois and Penn State. When the stakes get higher, expect the Badgers to throw more, with Toon being the main target.
James Vandenberg, QB, Iowa
Vandenberg had a spectacular game against Pittsburgh on Saturday, throwing for 399 yards, three touchdowns and one interception while adding a fourth touchdown on the ground. That gives him nine touchdowns in the first three weeks, with Saturday's interception being his only pick. He doesn't figure to keep up that pace, but he's worth owning in all formats until he slows down.
Henry Josey, RB, Missouri
Missouri normally features a rotation-heavy system at running back, but Josey's Week 3 performance ought to make the team rethink that approach. Josey took 14 carries for an absurd total of 263 yards and three touchdowns, good for 18.8 yards per carry. Given that he averaged 10.4 yards per carry against Arizona State and 7.2 against Miami (Ohio), Missouri obviously needs to give Josey the ball more. He should be added in all scenarios just in case the Tigers coaches come to their senses.
Darius Reynolds, WR, Iowa State
Reynolds has been on fire the last two weeks, catching 10 passes for 213 yards and four touchdowns. He never produced much previously in his career, so he's probably best left on benches outside of Big 12-only leagues until he proves himself more, but there appears to be good upside with Reynolds.
Trey Watts, RB, Tulsa
With G.J. Kinne out for 2-to-4 weeks due to a Grade II MCL tear, Tulsa would be wise to lean heavily on the running game. Watts has been quite productive on a per-carry basis so far this year, taking 45 carries for 262 yards. That includes 159 yards on 23 carries against Oklahoma State on Saturday. Ja'Terian Douglas is another good Tulsa runner who could steal carries, but Watts seems to be ahead on the depth chart.
Justin Johnson, WR, Houston
E.J. Smith is still in the mix, but it appears Johnson has a decent shot to emerge as Houston's third receiver behind Patrick Edwards and Tyron Carrier. Johnson's reception count has increased (two, four, then five) in each game so far, and his size (6-foot-1, 223) really makes him stand out in Houston's receiver lineup. He's worth a speculative add in many scenarios, though like all Houston receivers, you have to expect some inconsistency.
Trent Steelman, QB, Army
With two three-rushing touchdown performances in a row and Ball State up next, Steelman will be a very popular pickup in leagues he's not currently owned. He increased his season rushing touchdown totals from five to 11 between 2009 and 2010, and it looks like he's going to breeze past last year's mark within the next few weeks. Army's schedule doesn't look especially tough until mid-November, so Steelman has utility beyond this week.
Javonti Greene, RB, Eastern Michigan
Greene showed good playmaking ability a year ago, and Eastern Michigan took notice in the offseason. He has received 57 carries and run for 346 yards and a touchdown. Dominque Sherrer is a threat to steal carries, but it seems safe to say that Greene is the greater talent between the two. If you're in need of a running back, stash Greene on your bench as Eastern Michigan takes on Penn State in Week 4, and watch him tear up Akron the week after.
Jahwan Edwards, RB, Ball State
It's still early, but it looks like Ball State may have found its next feature back. Edwards has come out of nowhere to lead the Cardinals running game, taking 45 carries for 237 yards and three scores, including 112 yards and two touchdowns against Buffalo on Saturday. He's worth adding in many cases due to the easy nature of MAC schedules.
Crockett Gillmore, TE, Colorado State
Gillmore has quietly been one of the nation's most productive tight ends, catching 13 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns. He has caught at least four passes in each game, and it seems likely that he'll be a permanent factor in the Colorado State offense. He's worth owning in all scenarios until he slows down.
Deon Long, WR, New Mexico
Long is a former four-star recruit and West Virginia transfer who is just too talented for most MWC defenses to keep up with. He has yet to score in 2011, but he does have 15 catches for 265 yards. That means he's responsible for 43.5 percent of New Mexico's receiving yardage. It will be a disappointment if he didn't score his first touchdown against Sam Houston State in Week 4.
Lavasier Tuinei, WR, Oregon
He's probably no Jeff Maehl, but it nonetheless appears as if Tuinei is Oregon's top receiver for 2011. Since catching seven passes for 47 yards against LSU in the opener, he has totaled seven more catches for 115 yards and three touchdowns against Nevada and Southwest Missouri State.
Isiah Barton, WR, Washington State
You could find a worse receiver target in Pac-12-only and deep leagues than Barton, who has scored a touchdown in each of the season's first three weeks. His consistency generally can't be trusted due to the presence of Marquess Wilson and Jared Karstetter, but it is possible that Barton has surpassed Karstetter in the passing game, at least.
Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
With 304 yards and three touchdowns on just 28 carries through the first three weeks, Lacy has to start getting the ball more, right? He has just 11 fewer rushing yards than starter Trent Richardson despite Richardson receiving 22 more carries, and his average of 10.9 yards per carry is ridiculous.
Malcolm Mitchell, WR, Georgia
Even though he's a true freshman, it appears that Mitchell is Georgia's best receiver. He has 14 receptions in his first three college games, totaling 159 yards and two scores. His upside seems limited since he appears to mostly be a possession wideout, but he should be owned in all SEC-only leagues at least.
Eric Thomas, WR, Troy
Troy has plenty of receivers catching passes, but Thomas is the only one making plays. Despite facing off against two BCS opponents in Clemson and Arkansas, Thomas heads into Week 4 with nine catches for 144 yards and three touchdowns. He's worth owning in most formats and is a definite must-own in Sun Belt-only leagues.
Tavarese Maye, WR, Louisiana-Monroe
Maye was fairly impressive as a redshirt freshman last year, totaling 43 catches for 505 yards and three scores while adding 103 yards and another touchdown on the ground. He appears to have taken another step forward in 2011, however, as he has 14 catches for 213 yards and two touchdowns heading into the fourth week. That includes 12 catches for 197 yards and two scores in the last two weeks.
Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech
With 18 receptions for 388 yards and three touchdowns through the first three weeks, it seems safe to say that Patton is no fluke. The junior college transfer is far and away Louisiana Tech's most productive receiver, with the nearest receiver being Taulib Ikharo, who has just 135 yards on 11 catches. No one else on the team has more than eight receptions. Patton looks like a must-own in most or all scenarios.
Noel Grigsby, WR, San Jose State
Grigsby is only worth a gamble in WAC-only and deep leagues due to the instability of the offense around him, but the talented wideout has a shot to get going against New Mexico State in Week 4. He has 16 catches through the first three weeks, so it's not as if he's not getting the ball.