Not all weeks are created equal on the waiver wire, and this one is slim pickings all around.
There are a few reasons for that. Partially because some of the surprising standouts from last week are likely flashes in the pan (Donnie Avery), partially because a bye week will likely move them back down the depth chart (Johnathan Franklin), and partially because Nate Burleson broke his arm when he crashed his car at 2:30 in the morning while preventing pizzas from sliding off his passenger seat (Nate Burleson).
The biggest surprise of the week was that according to police, Burleson was sober when this happened.
But there are a few players worth a look if you're ready to make some changes on your bench, or like me, you just can't wait to cut David Wilson (Note: You probably shouldn't do that quite yet, but he should be deep in the dog house of your bench until he proves otherwise. I may cut him out of spite, but I'm a petty man.).
For more promising option that may still be available in a league near you, see the picks for Week 2 and Week 3.
(For our purposes, we'll be categorizing players each week as should be added, could be added, or if you're desperate. The number of players we take a look at will vary each week depending on injuries and their realistic usefulness in the weeks to come -- no adding players for the sake of meeting a minimum.)
Should be added
Ryan Broyles, WR, Detroit Lions
With Burleson's injury, there's a big opportunity for the second-year receiver to make a name for himself opposite Calvin Johnson in the Lions' offense. Keep in mind though, he is coming off of ACL surgery and Titus Young proved just being athletically gifted and across from Megatron is no guarantee for success. He caught all three of his targets last week against Washington, for what it's worth. Needs to be added in all leagues while we see just what he can do.
Willis McGahee, RB, Cleveland Browns
Well, he's a starting NFL running back, so that alone means McGahee belongs somewhere in your league. He didn't have much to do with the Browns pulling off the week's biggest upset (he had nine yards on eight carries... and his longest run was a nine-yard gain), but as he gets used to the workload we'll hope for better results. He's old, but only a couple years removed from a season with over 1,200 all-purpose yards. He won't get anywhere close to that number this year, but he can contribute and someone will have to run the ball near the goalline. He's another wait-and-see add.
Santonio Holmes, WR, New York Jets
Holmes has received more targets each week of the season, and turned 10 of them into five catches for 154 yards and a score Sunday against Buffalo. Keep in mind the injury-riddled Bills secondary is garbage, but drawing 10 targets from a rookie quarterback is a good sign. If Holmes is healthy and Geno Smith is going to lean on him, he's worth at least an add and has potential as a flex starter if he keeps it up.
The Patriots' rookie receivers, WR, New England Patriots
They may have already been snatched up in your league, but as many have been saying since the preseason, someone has to catch passes from Tom Brady. At receiver, beyond Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman, Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins are the best bets. Thompkins has 28 targets through three games, while Dobson has 20 targets in the two games he's played (he was injured in Week 1). They are both developing chemistry with Brady, and while they'll see less targets once Gronk and Amendola return, at least one will still have appreciating value as the year goes on. Which one? Your guess is as good as mine, but I'd lean towards Thompkins at the moment, since he has received more looks in the redzone.
Jason Snelling, RB, Atlanta Falcons
With starter Steven Jackson thought to be out until about Week 7 and Jacquizz Rodgers already owned in most leagues, Snelling may be the best way to benefit from another starting running back getting bit by the injury bug (and let's face it, age). 'Quizz is absolutely not a between-the-tackles redzone back and Atlanta's offense often called on Michael Turner to be the closer in that role in the past. Snelling will likely take over near the goalline until Jackson is healthy, and should be a safe play for a few weeks.
Could be added
Donnie Avery, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
He's always been a speed demon, but his performance against the Eagles Sunday (seven catches, 141 yards) was more an example of his ceiling than what to expect with any regularity. Avery caught every single target thrown his way in the game, and had room to work against a shaky Philly defense. Dwayne Bowe will still get the downfield looks for the Chiefs and Avery will have catches underneath, but odds are most weeks he won't be quite so efficient.
Pierre Thomas, RB, New Orleans Saints
With a timeshare in the backfield and a pass-first offense, Thomas is more of a plug-and-pray option than anything. But, he is New Orleans' top handoff option as Mark Ingram continues to disappoint and he gets a fair amount of targets out of the backfield. If he's available in your league, he's a better bench option than most with byes beginning this week.
Johnathan Franklin, RB, Green Bay Packers
Eddie Lacy is coming off of a concussion and James Starks left Sunday's game against the Bengals with a knee injury of some kind, but the Packers are on bye this week. Presumably at least Lacy will be back for Green Bay's next game, and Starks may well be too. Franklin's numbers were eye-popping (13 rushes for 103 yards and a score, plus three catches on three targets), but it's doubtful he'll keep getting that kind of work.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins
Your "hey-do-you-need-a-replacement-for-Aaron-Rodgers?" pick of the week, Tannehill has played moderately well all year, has a number of good receiving options, and faces the Saints this week. New Orleans has been a lot better against the pass than you think (they're 4th in the league with opponents averaging 184 yards through the air), but that may have to do more with their last two opponents (Tampa Bay and Arizona) than new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
If you're desperate
Kendall Hunter, RB, San Francisco 49ers
Frank Gore can't stay healthy forever, right? If/when he goes down, Hunter is the starter and has some spark to him. A speculative pickup if you have room, a required add if you own Gore.
Ronnie Hillman, RB, Denver Broncos
Monte Ball is fumbling away his chances to prove himself as the late-game closer for the Broncos, who threaten to be up by a lot often late in games this year. Hillman also led the team in yards-per-rush this week. If Moreno goes down (hey, another veteran running back with an injury history!), don't be surprised if Hillman gets the call over Ball.
Justin Blackmon, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
A major disappointment in his rookie campaign and suspended for the first four games of this year after violating the league's substance-abuse policy, not to mention being in the NFL's worst offense, wouldn't seem to add up to a lot for Blackmon. But the Jaguars will be behind constantly and throwing a lot. And maybe he's taken his extended offseason to maximize his potential a bit. We'll see...
Josh Davis is a WFAA.com web editor, formerly covered the Texas Rangers for WFAA.com. and is kinda obsessed with fantasy sports. He has no professional expertise in fantasy sports, but finds it funny that anyone claims they do.