Each week, we will run down the top waiver wire pickups with a focus on the coming week and rest of the season.
Jake Locker (vs Jets)
Last week - 23/37, 299 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 1 rushing TD
The Titans felt it was unfair to judge Locker's play last year because he was operating with such a bad offensive line. The team improved the line over the off-season and the early reviews of Locker's play have been pretty good. Locker has rougly 50 fantasy points through three weeks and while that doesn't make him a QB1, with bye weeks beginning this week he could be worth a pickup as a one-week replacement. The young QB could improve throughout the year.
Brian Hoyer (vs Bengals)
Last week - 30/54, 321 yards, 3 TDs, 3 INTs
Hoyer's starting debut was impressive, more so in fantasy football than real football, but impressive nonetheless. The 27-year-old was the xx-ranked QB in Week 3 and while nobody expects him to remain a QB1, he'll likely retain his starter's role in Cleveland and could settle in as a QB2. Cincinnatti is a tough matchup but so to was Minnesota. Hoyer has one thing all young QBs covet in the NFL, a terrific safety valve in TE Jordan Cameron.
Others to consider - Christian Ponder (vs Steelers), Terrelle Pryor (vs Redskins)
Isaiah Pead (vs 49ers)
Last week - 13 touches, 63 yards
Pead got the bulk of the Rams work at RB last weekend after starter Daryl Richardson reaggravated a foot injury on his first snap and left the game. St. Louis has a quick turnaround, hosting San Francisco in the Thursday nighter, so Pead could be in line for a big workload while Richardson continues to recover.
LeGarrette Blount (at Falcons)
Last week - 14 touches, 65 yards
Blount took advantage of Stevan Ridley's early season struggles and led the Patriots in backfield touches with 14. He produced only 65 yards on those touches but the lead back in an offence as potentially potent as New England's should be owned moving forward.
Willis McGahee (vs Bengals)
Last week - 8 touches, 9 yards
If McGahee wasn't snapped up in your league right after Trent Richardson was traded last week, now could be the time to get him cheap. The veteran RB gets a pass for his abysmal nine-yard effort against the Vikings last weekend after being signed just three days prior. McGahee isn't a running back with a lot left in the tank, but he should be a starting running back moving forward, and that's worth at least something.
Jason Snelling (vs Patriots)
Last week - 15 touches, 111 yards, 1 TD
Jacquizz Rogers seemed the preferred pickup when the Falcons announced Steven Jackson would miss some time to injury last week but Snelling got almost as many touches in the timeshare. You could stick with Rogers who earned a few more carries, or switch to Snelling who was the better option through the air with four catches for 58 yards and a touchdown. Each week Jackson is out, one of Snelling or Rogers could score double digit points, but not both.
Others to consider - Brandon Jacobs (at Chiefs), Daniel Thomas (at Saints)
Kenbrell Thompkins (at Falcons)
Last week - 3 catches, 41 yards, 2 TD
If you dropped Thompkins earlier in the season, now is the time to pick him up again. After struggling to find chemistry with Tom Brady in the first two weeks of the season, the two connected in Week 3 with Thompkins hauling in the first two touchdowns of his career. With Rob Gronkowski nearing a return, Thompkins' red zone targets will go down but he's still worth owning simply as a piece of New England's potentially potent offence.
Donnie Avery (vs Giants)
Last week - 7 catches, 141 yards
Avery's seven catches last Thursday were six more than presumptive top receiver Dwayne Bowe's one. While that certainly won't be the case every week, with the Chiefs offence looking promising through three weeks of the season, having their No. 2 receiver certainly isn't a bad thing.
Stephen Hill (at Titans)
Last week - 3 catches, 108 yards, 1 TD
The thinking heading into the season was that Jets receivers, save for perhaps Santonio Holmes, were basically undraftable. After Hill's big day against the divisional rival Buffalo Bills, that may change. To be fair, Hill still only had three catches so to think he'll eclipse 100 yards receiving every week is unreasonable, but he's the team's No. 2 WR and should see more targets as Geno Smith continues to progress.
Others to consider - Ace Sanders (vs Colts), Jason Avant (at Broncos)
Heath Miller (at Vikings)
Last week - 3 catches, 35 yards
Miller made his season debut on Sunday night and if he's still available this week, needs be picked up. Miller was held to just three catches for 35 yards against Chicago but should see his numbers improve moving forward. Miller was the fifth-ranked tight end for 2012 and while Pittsburgh's offence has looked inconsistent to start 2013, he's still a TE1 moving forward.
Coby Fleener (at Jaguars)
Last week - 2 catches, 13 yards
Fleener's first game as a starter in the wake of Dwayne Allen's season-ending hip injury was forgettable, but the sophomore TE is still a starter in a fairly potent offence, and that means plenty of chances for big games. While he isn't a TE1, at least not at this stage in his career, Fleener should be given the chance to develop into a strong TE2 this season.
Zach Miller (at Texans)
Last week - 2 catches, 5 yards, 2 TDs
What Miller's line against the Texans tells us is that he's not targeted very often in Seattle's offence, expect in the red zone. And that's okay! You aren't going get a lot of receiving yards points from Miller but if you're desperate for a tight end, he is one that could find the end zone for you.
Others to consider - Scott Chandler (vs Ravens), Dallas Clark (at Bills)