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Waiver Wire for Week 4

by | Rotowire.com
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AMERICAN ATHLETIC

Ryan Jackson, RB, Houston: Kenneth Farrow started the year as the top Houston running back, but through two weeks it appears that Jackson might force his way into the lead role in the Houston backfield. He has 32 carries compared to Farrow's 29 and, more important, averages over a yard per carry more than Farrow and has three rushing touchdowns compared to Farrow's zero. There should be room for both Jackson (16 carries per game) and Farrow (14.5 carries per game) in the Houston offense, but Jackson could pull away with even more of the workload if he maintains his quality play.

Darius Joseph, WR, SMU: Owners in PPR definitely need to take note of Joseph, who tentatively looks like a good bet to be among the nation's leaders in receptions. Through two weeks SMU has attempted 110 passes, and Joseph has hauled in a team-leading 23, as well as the team's only receiving touchdown. The SMU passing game will improve its efficiency in the coming weeks, so Joseph should start to see more scoring opportunities and should improve his 9.4 yards per catch.

ACC

Terrel Hunt, QB, Syracuse: Syracuse finally made the switch from Drew Allen at quarterback to Hunt. Hunt easily outperformed Allen against Wagner on Saturday, completing 15-of-18 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns while running for 22 yards as Allen completed 8-of-11 passes for just 62 yards and a touchdown. As a dual-threat quarterback in an uptempo offense, Hunt is an intriguing Fantasy sleeper due to the number of passes and rush attempts he'll accumulate. It's difficult to see Syracuse going back to Allen at any point, as he has just two touchdowns compared to six interceptions and offers nothing as a runner.

Jarrod West, WR, Syracuse: With Hunt arriving at quarterback at Syracuse, West seemingly has someone who can get him the ball at receiver. After heading into fall with a fair amount of hype for his offseason performances, West got off to a very disappointing start, totaling just five catches for 60 yards against Penn State and Northwestern. He went off for 147 yards and a touchdown against Wagner, though, and with Hunt seemingly providing a big upgrade over previous starter Drew Allen, West could keep his hot streak going against Tulane this week.

BIG 12

Brennan Clay, RB, Oklahoma: After scoring 11 rushing touchdowns in 2012, Damien Williams headed into this year as the top runner in the Oklahoma backfield. By Week 3's game against Tulsa, though, Williams had landed in the Oklahoma doghouse for some reason, allowing Clay to establish himself as starter. Clay was actually more explosive than Williams in 2012, averaging 6.0 yards per carry compared to Williams' 5.4, so Clay might not give the job back. He has 37 carries for 219 yards and a touchdown the last two weeks.

Johnathan Gray, RB, Texas: Joe Bergeron, Malcolm Brown and Gray are talented runners, but the presence of the other two negates the Fantasy value of each in most cases. That might be changing now, as Gray seems to be pulling away in the race for carries. Bergeron and Brown will both remain factors, but Gray has 32 carries the last two games for 181 yards and a touchdown while Bergeron and Brown have just 18 carries combined. Gray is unlikely to be anything more than an RB3 sort of asset outside of Big 12-only leagues, but his value is swinging upward.

BIG TEN

Kofi Hughes, WR, Indiana: Indiana's passing game has kicked into high gear under the leadership of quarterback Nate Sudfeld, who has 698 yards and six touchdowns through the air the last two weeks. While Shane Wynn and Cody Latimer are also good, Hughes might be the most talented Hoosiers receiver, which makes him a logical Fantasy standout as long as Sudfeld is throwing the ball. Hughes has 205 yards and three touchdowns receiving on 13 catches, scoring once in each game so far. He'll be in a probable shootout game against Missouri this week.

Jake Rudock, QB, Iowa: Rudock is rough as a passer - he's averaging just 6.9 yards per pass and has as many touchdowns (three) as interceptions, but he's the sort of player who can provide cheap matchup-specific Fantasy utility due to his rushing ability. He has 63 yards on the ground through three games, as well as four touchdowns. He quietly averages about 20 Fantasy points per game and should have another good game in him as Iowa takes on Western Michigan.

CONFERENCE USA

Austin Brown, QB, UAB: Brown doesn't offer anything as a runner - he has minus-22 yards on the ground through two games - but he seems to be coming into his own as a passer, and he plays in an offense that throws the ball constantly. Add an enticing Sun Belt schedule and an emerging star wideout in Jamarcus Nelson, and you've got a surprising amount of Fantasy potential. Despite playing through a doomed matchup against LSU in Week 2, Brown heads into this week's game against Northwestern State with 437 yards (8.2 YPA), four touchdowns and no interceptions in two games. That includes 301 yards and three touchdowns against Troy in Week 1.

Aaron Jones, RB, UTEP: Jones is backup to starter Nathan Jeffery, but Jeffery is hobbled with an ankle injury and might not be able to play against UTSA this week. Jones has done well to this point while playing in Jeffery's place, totaling 224 yards (6.8 YPC) and two touchdowns on the ground through two weeks. The uncertainty surrounding Jeffery's ankle issue primarily makes Jones a deep-league and Conference-USA-only consideration, but he definitely has high upside if Jeffery sits out.

INDEPENDENTS

DaVaris Daniels, WR, Notre Dame: Daniels had a fair amount of hype surrounding him prior to the 2012 season, and yet he disappointed by finishing the year without a single touchdown, posting just 31 catches for 490 yards in 11 games. If the first three games of 2013 are any indication, however, Daniels has decisively arrived for Notre Dame, and he might be one of the nation's best receivers. He heads into the fourth week of the year with 17 catches for 299 yards (17.6 YPC) and four touchdowns, leaving him with the team lead for receiving yardage and receiving touchdowns.

MID-AMERICAN

Tyreese Russell, TE, Eastern Michigan: Russell has been extremely busy through three weeks, catching 19 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown in an offense that has thrown for just 667 yards. Russell is easily the team's leading receiver with the next closest pass catcher (Dustin Creel) possessing just 10 receptions for 127 yards. Russell needs to be owned in all formats.

Da'Ron Brown, WR, Northern Illinois: The Northern Illinois offense isn't known for big passing numbers for the most part, but it appears that the Huskies will have room for both Tommylee Lewis and Brown to excel in 2013. Lewis was expected to play a big role heading into this year, and he's followed through the tune of 138 yards and two touchdowns receiving along with 108 yards rushing. Brown, on the other hand, wasn't expected to play a big role, and yet he heads into Week 4 with 12 catches for 149 yards and two touchdowns after two games. He should be one of the stronger Fantasy wideouts in the MAC this year.

MOUNTAIN WEST

Shaun Wick, RB, Wyoming: Wyoming splits carries between Wick, Brandon Miller and quarterback Brett Smith, so Wick's Fantasy upside is a bit limited on a workload of 14.3 carries per game. He has established a high floor, though, as the Cowboys move the ball very well thanks to Smith's passing ability, allowing Wick to head into Week 4 with three rushing touchdowns. It doesn't hurt that Wick is averaging 6.9 yards per carry with 298 yards on the ground, including a 12-carry, 101-yard showing against Nebraska on the road.

Tim Cornett, RB, UNLV: Cornett has gotten off to a rather quiet start to the year as UNLV deals with the toughest part of its schedule, running for just 4.1 yards per carry while dealing with BCS opponents Minnesota and Arizona, but he should hit his stride against Western Illinois in Week 4. Minnesota ran for 213 yards and four touchdowns against Western Illinois in Week 3, so Cornett should be able to capitalize this week thanks to his big workload (57 carries in three games).

PAC-12

Travis Wilson, QB, Utah: Wilson was promising as a freshman in 2012, throwing for 1,311 yards, seven touchdowns and six interceptions while running for four more touchdowns, but no one could have possibly anticipated the numbers he's posted through the first three weeks of 2013. Wilson has been an enormous Fantasy asset this year, throwing for 845 yards (10.6 YPA), seven touchdowns and three interceptions while running for 244 yards (10.2 YPC) and five more touchdowns. He figures to be hit-or-miss over the next month or so with tough defenses like BYU, Stanford and USC on the schedule, but Wilson looks like the sort of player who can almost single-handedly win for you when he faces a weak defense.

Jordon James, RB, UCLA: James didn't impress in his first two seasons at UCLA, running for just 247 yards on 70 carries (3.5 YPC), but he's off to a great start in the first two games of 2013. Taking over the role previously held by Johnathan Franklin, James has 260 yards and two touchdowns on 43 carries (6.1 YPC), and he should have another big game in him in Week 4 as UCLA takes on New Mexico State. He should start making some plays as a receiver, too, as he caught 25 passes in 2012.

SEC

James Franklin, QB, Missouri: Franklin was one of the nation's elite Fantasy quarterbacks while he was playing in the Big 12, but a brutal SEC schedule last year wrecked his 2012 season. After opening the season with an easy schedule featuring Murray State and Toledo, Franklin made clear that he can still put up big numbers against manageable opponents this year, throwing for 530 yards (8.4 YPA), four touchdowns and one interception while running for 121 yards. He should have a huge game this week against an Indiana defense that's one of the nation's worst every year.

Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU: Hill's season started slowly due to a suspension for an offseason arrest, but he picked up steam over the last two weeks and should have a productive game against Auburn in Week 4. Hill ran wild on Kent State on Saturday, needing just 11 carries to total 117 yards and two touchdowns. Auburn is looking quite weak against the run after three games, allowing 472 yards (4.6 YPC) and five touchdowns despite facing the unimpressive running games of Washington State, Arkansas State and Mississippi State.

SUN BELT

Rashon Ceaser, WR, Louisiana-Monroe: He hasn't been able to break loose for any big plays to this point, but Ceaser has 21 catches through three weeks despite playing the toughest stretch of Monroe's schedule. If he keeps snagging seven passes per game, he'll have a breakout game soon enough. There's a good chance he'll do so in this week's game against a Baylor defense that gave up 42 points to Monroe last year.

Nicholas Norris, WR, Western Kentucky: Norris was behind Willie McNeal and Austin Aikens on the depth chart to begin the year, but over the last couple weeks he has shown the ability to push for the top wideout role with Western Kentucky. Aikens left the team before the first week, and through three games McNeal has only 122 yards and has yet to score. Norris, meanwhile, leads the team with 129 yards and three touchdowns. That includes seven catches for 95 yards and two scores against South Alabama on Saturday. He has a nice on-paper matchup with Morgan State.

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