Check the Wire – Week 3

Brassica nigra a.k.a. black mustard, is a plant that grows up to nine feet from a seed that’s about 1 mm in size. Ants are some of the strongest creatures on the planet, and weigh around 3 mg. Have an old/broken laptop? Open it up, and take a look at how tiny the components are.

Some of the smallest things on the planet have an extremely large impact, and while scouring the waiver wire may seem like a trivial task, it can pay huge dividends.

Here are some of the top players who are likely available (and will offer more value than simply occupying space on your bench) to target this week on waivers…

*Ownership percentages via fantasypros


Trevor Siemian – DEN

Yahoo Ownership: 12%

ESPN Ownership: 10%

I touched on Siemian in last week’s Check the Wire, then mentioned him again as a DraftKings Start for Week 2, and what do you know? I’m back again with more on Mr. Siemian.

I’m really not sure when it happened, but apparently I’ve become a fan boy, and I can’t say that I’m the least bit ashamed. Back-to-back Top-5 fantasy QB finishes, 3-to-1 TD/INT ratio, 65% completion rate…

My guy is practically a legend at this point.

Although he’s played well, has an improved offensive line, dominant run game, and the Thomas/Sanders duo, he hasn’t quite made the ascension into baller status just yet. However, he does still face the Raiders twice, and the Broncos Week 12 – 15 schedule goes: @OAK, @MIA, NYJ, @IND.

It’s never too early to start thinking about the fantasy playoffs.

Running Back

Javorius Allen – BAL

Yahoo Ownership: 55%

ESPN Ownership: 8%

In a moment of complete modesty, I must point out that this is another guy I mentioned in last week’s Check the Wire. Hopefully you grabbed him because Terrance West is dealing with an injury, and Buck is surely to have caught everyone’s attention with his performance in Week 2.

Now, even if West doesn’t miss time, Danny Woodhead will be out at least another 5 weeks so he’ll be a factor in this offense for the foreseeable future regardless. And this offense should only improve as Flacco gets his legs back; though the loss of Marshal Yanda does hurt.

Chris Thompson – WAS

Yahoo Ownership: 29%

ESPN Ownership: 67%

Sure, Samaje Perine will garner all of the buzz with Robert Kelley potentially missing time. I mean, the guy did see 21 carries in Kelley’s absence, so wouldn’t that make him the logical choice?

Nah, let someone else go after the rookie. The guy you want from Washington’s backfield is Thompson.


He’s a useful fantasy asset – regardless of Kelley’s status.

In Week 1 – with a healthy Pied Piper of R&B –  Thompson finished as a top-15 fantasy RB, and only 4 backs put up more fantasy points than his 22.6 in Week 2. In a PPR league? Well, only 5 RBs have seen more targets than Thompson’s 12, and while you might not have noticed, Kirk Cousins has attempted the 11th most passes of any QB thus far.

Thompson isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Wide Receiver

JJ Nelson – ARI

Yahoo Ownership: 19%

ESPN Ownership: 15%

Heading into the season I was all in on John Brown. I “wrote” about how he’d received medical clearance, and was due to bounce back and have a career year. But, what I was really trying to say was that JJ Nelson is the receiver to own in Arizona, and that he was about to ball his ass off this season.

Damn auto-correct.

Nelson has two TDs through two games, is averaging 12.5 yards per target and 6.5 targets per game, and is currently the #2 fantasy WR (standard scoring).

‘Nuff said.

Jermaine Kearse – NYJ

Yahoo Ownership: 6%

ESPN Ownership: 6%

Stop me if you’ve heard this, but here’s another guy I wrote about in last week’s Check the Wire. And, after a 64 yard, 2 TD performance in Week 2 he now finds himself as a Top-5 fantasy WR.

Quick Recap:

He plays for the jets, and it’s risky to roll with Jets receivers. However, he’s clearly McCown’s favorite target and should be productive enough to justify an add/start.

Tight End

Charles Clay – BUF

Yahoo Ownership: 25%

ESPN Ownership: 16%

I’m not giving up on Clay yet. The Broncos just allowed Jason Witten to go for 10 receptions, 97 yards, and a TD. The Falcons have allowed the 7th most yards, and 10.7 yards per catch to opposing TEs through two. The Bengals just played a team with 0 TEs, and another which threw just 17 passes…

His schedule looks promising, and given the run he’s been on since the end of last season, we can write-off last week as aberrant.

Ed Dickson – CAR

Yahoo Ownership: 0%

ESPN Ownership: 0%

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me countless times?

Well, that’s on the both of us.

From 2010-2013 I waited for Dickson to breakout, but like that time I stayed up all night waiting for Santa, my man never came through. But oh, let Greg Olsen break his foot and say he’s likely to miss “a lot of games”, and am I focusing on the Panthers receivers and backs?

Of course not.

I never learn.

Dickson will face some favorable match-ups in coming weeks, and without Olsen, you have to figure he’ll see some obligatory targets… Right?!

Week 3 DST Streamer

Cleveland Browns at Indianapolis Colts

Really?! The Browns?


The Browns have an interception in each of their two games, and have yet to put up less than 5 fantasy points despite playing two offenses which are exponentially better than the Colts – who have given up at least 4 sacks and a turnover in both of their games this season.

Andrew Luck has been ruled out again, and it’s not likely we’ll see Peyton Manning, Edgerrin James, or Marvin Harrison suit up either.

Indianapolis is averaging a league worst 2.8 yards per carry, and just 75.5 rushing yards per game. Meanwhile, the Browns are allowing just 3.5 yards per carry and 85.5 rushing yards per game – they faced one of the best backs in the league, Le’Veon Bell, in Week 1.

This game had the 2nd lowest opening point total of the week, and the total has already dropped a full point at some sports books – points should come at a premium. In fact, the Colts projected individual team total of 20 is the 4th lowest of the week, and at -120 odds on the under, Vegas is thinking they’ll fail to reach it.

Low scoring, high likelihood of turnovers/sacks… I’d like it better if this game were being played in Cleveland, but you could do a lot worse this week than the Browns.

Hopefully you don’t have to.


As always, thanks for reading! Be sure to subscribe, and check me out on Twitter: @maxingyourodds to stay up to date with the latest fantasy advice, and betting tips.

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