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Week 3 Waiver Wire Pickups

Injuries in the running game are starting to take a toll on some of the top twenty backs around the NFL. Last week Ryan Grant was done for the season with an ankle injury and in week two Ryan Mathews and Michael Turner got hurt. While both backs are not expected to miss a long time (on Monday mourning anyway), their backups are worth picking up.

For week three I don’t have a quarterback for you to pickup but it is worth noting that Jimmy Clausen has taken over for Matt Moore in the starters’ role. This won’t change, unless Clausen suffers an injury, so we will now see if Clausen is fit to be an NFL quarterback or not.

Don’t look for him as a fantasy option as Clausen hasn’t played well in his short time on the field, and the Panthers only have Steve Smith in the passing game. Now, on to our week three waiver wire pickups for standard and PPR fantasy football leagues.

Running Backs

Jason Snelling: Last season Jason Snelling filled in admirably for Michael Turner after the star running back suffered a high ankle sprain against the Panthers. Turner went on to basically miss the rest of the season, and Snelling was a decent flex play option for most weeks.

This season Turner has already shown signs of breaking down as he suffered what the team is calling a mild groin injury. The Falcons told the press that Turner could’ve come back into the game but I think that is more coach talk than anything else. I won’t believe Turner is ready for this week until I see him take full practice at some point.

If Turner should be slowed or out at any time Snelling will be a starting running back for your team. Against the Cardinals, Snelling posted 129 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 24 carries. He also got it done in the passing game as he totaled five receptions for 57 yards and a score.

San Diego Chargers running back Mike Tolbert scores his second touchdown of the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars during their NFL football game in San Diego, California September 19, 2010.   REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Mike Tolbert: Chargers’ rookie running back Ryan Mathews suffered an ankle injury against the Jaguars and was carted back to the locker room. He reportedly had trouble putting any weight on the ankle when coming of the field and this isn’t a good sign he will be back for week three.

Again, Norv Turner like the Falcons’ coaching staff came out and tried to down play the injury after the game. In this case, I do think Mathews will miss at least one game, and I will keep a close eye in his health this week in practice.

When Mathews was out, it was Mike Tolbert that led the way for the Chargers on the ground. Tolbert posted 16 carries for 82 yards and two touchdowns against the Jaguars. This week Tolbert will probably start and will get a nice matchup against the Seahawks.

Wide Receivers

Kevin Walter: Where the heck did Kevin Walter go in 2009? Who knows as Walter had a nice second half of the season in 2008 and is now off to a hot start in 2010. I was disappointed that the Texans resigned Walter this offseason as I thought Jacoby Jones was ready for a starting role.

The Texans’ coaching staff came out after signing him and made a big deal about how important he was. It was hard for me to believe this when Walter hardly showed up the season before.

In fantasy football, it is all about what have you done lately and Walter has been producing at a starter level so far. In week one he had a touchdown catch in a game that Matt Schaub threw for just over 100 yards. Week two, Walter had a huge game as he posted 11 receptions for 144 yards and a touchdown.

You may not trust Walter enough to start him every week, but he should be on your bench as good depth. With the Texans giving up so many yards (400 plus for both weeks already) to opposing quarterbacks the offense will have to throw most weeks to win football games.

Louis Murphy: At one of my private leagues where all the fantasy owners show up to draft, I laughed when my Uncle drafted Louis Murphy in the late rounds. It’s not that I don’t like Murphy but more that the Raiders aren’t a very good passing team. In week two Murphy had six catches for 91 yards and a touchdown score.

This is only one game but if Bruce Gradkowski continues to play, he loves to get the football to Murphy. Just last year Murphy had some big catches against the Bengals and Steelers to help the Raiders win and that was when Gradkowski was in the game. At least keep an eye on Murphy as he is probably the Raiders best receiver going forward.

Devin Hester: The Bears will throw the football to many different options this season but Jay Cutler did show some favor to Hester early last season. In week two, Hester posted four catches for 77 yards and a score. Hester isn’t a player you should start every week, but he makes for a decent bye week fill in.

Team Defense

Redskins Defense: Sure the Redskins defense was walked on by the Texans last week, but they did play well against the Cowboys. This week they play the Rams and make for a very nice one week play. Look for the Redskins to sack Sam Bradford a good number of times and acquire turnovers as well.

Honorable Mention

Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez: Lets see him show more consistency but last week was a nice game as he went over 100 yards receiving.

More 2010 NFL Fantasy Football Player Rankings

Waiver Wire Pickups | Weekly Player Rankings | Start’em – Sit’em Lineup Advice | FF Injury Status Reports

NFL fantasy football player rankings writer Sean E. Douglas:

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