Fantasy football Week 3 recap and top waiver wire picks

Sunday was wild.

So much history made, so many upsets and quite a few break out performances highlighted Week 3.

Drew Brees broke the record for career completions on the way to 396 yards and three touchdown passes in an overtime win over the Falcons. He also rushed for a couple touchdowns with the help of a pretty sweet spin move and a game-winning QB sneak over the top.

Opposite Brees, Matt Ryan threw for 374 yards and five touchdowns. And despite leading many fantasy teams to wins, he was a loser Sunday.

On the bright side, Ryan looks to be building a nice rapport with Calvin Ridley. The rookie has been better week after week and should be a high priority waiver wire addition.

That overtime clash would have been the main story of the week if there weren’t so many big upsets.

The upsets were some serious head-scratchers, but the Vikings, who were favored by more than two touchdowns, falling to the Bills was unbelievable. The Bills took a 27-0 lead into the fourth quarter before winning 27-6. Josh Allen rushed for two scores and threw another, but I don’t think you should rush out and add him to your team.

Outside of Adam Thielen, who had 14 receptions for 105 yards, this game was somewhat of a fantasy points wasteland. Kirk Cousins turned the ball over three times while Stefon Diggs caught four passes for just 17 yards. The Vikings rushed just six times in the game. That’s astounding and was a big reason Latavius Murray didn’t cash in on a start in place of injured Dalvin Cook.

The Sunday night game also offered up a surprise. The Lions, with the help of a break out performance from rookie running back Kerryon Johnson, topped the Patriots 26-10.

The Patriots offense struggled mightily. Tom Brady threw for fewer than 150 yards and was intercepted while Rob Gronkowski had just four receptions for 51 yards.

Johnson helped salt away the win with some tough gains and became the first Lion to rush for at least 100 yards since 2013. He tops my list of waiver wire picks.

Top waiver wire picks:

Kerryon Johnson, RB, Lions: Johnson ended the streak of rushers failing to gain 100 yards for the Lions in Sunday night’s win over the Patriots. It’s a good sign that his 16-carry, 101-yard effort came in a win. Hopefully that means he has earned the Lion’s share of touches. (Sorry.)

Calvin Ridley, WR, Falcons: Targeted eight times through the first two games, Ridley had a coming out party on Sunday as he caught seven passes for 146 yards and three touchdowns. The first-round pick is progressing toward becoming the No. 2 receiving option in Atlanta.

Tyler Boyd, WR, Bengals: I guess people aren’t trusting him yet because he’s still widely available in a lot of leagues. He just had his second straight game of making six receptions and scoring a touchdown. Boyd did that on the way to gaining 132 yards.

Mike Williams, WR, Chargers: Williams scored twice this week on the way to gaining 81 yards. That brings his totals to 189 yards and three touchdowns.

Jordy Nelson, WR, Raiders: It’s a little weird to have him as a suggested waiver wire addition, but some owners probably had enough after two dud weeks. He caught six passes for 173 yards and a touchdown in the loss to Miami Sunday and looks like he’s getting comfortable with Derek Carr.

Baker Mayfield, QB, Browns: Don’t get crazy, but you can pick him up to stash until he makes it clear that he can string a few good games together.

Chris Carson, RB, Seahawks: Teams tend to stick with what works. The Seahawks were favored at home against the Cowboys, but they were 0-2 with previous gameplans. This week they handed the ball to Carson 32 times for 102 yards and a win.

Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants: He caught six passes for 80 yards and scored a touchdown in the Giants’ first win.

Chris Godwin, WR, Buccaneers: If the Bucs stay with Ryan Fitzpatrick, Godwin should be a decent play for WR2 status. He’s scored in each week so far, including a five-catch, 74-yard performance Monday night.

Vance McDonald, TE, Steelers: He’s been targeted at least five times in each of the first two games he’s played in. Jesse James was barely visible Monday night, getting targeted just once. McDonald has the skills to be a TE1, evidenced by his 75-yard score.

Javorius Allen, RB, Ravens: His fantasy scoring has been consistent, but it’s hard to imagine him scoring a touchdown in every game. That’s the only way he’s been valuable through the first three games. He has 29 touches for just 102 yards but has scored four times. Add him, but be aware.

Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens: Don’t look now but Flacco is starting to put up decent fantasy numbers. He hasn’t thrown for fewer than 236 yards in a game this season and has six TDs versus just two picks.

Christian Kirk, WR, Cardinals: He’s starting to warm up, finishing with seven catches for 90 yards in Week 3. Strike now before he has a serious break out.

Ryan Tannehill, QB, Dolphins: With bye weeks coming up, you’ll want a decent fill-in and Tannehill has been better than decent. He’s thrown seven touchdowns against just two interceptions in three weeks. Not to mention he’s rushed for 74 yards in that span as well.

Dallas Goedert, TE, Eagles: Add him if you’ve got room on your bench because he could end up paying off. Carson Wentz returned to the lineup and utilized the rookie effectively. Goedert caught seven passes for 73 yards and a touchdown. Philly is hurting at the WR spot, so they’ll look to get both Zach Ertz and Goedert involved.

Contact Cat Vasquez at 512-445-3677. Email cvasquez@statesman.com. Twitter @AAS_Cat.

Fantasy football Week 2 recap and top waiver wire picks

Some of the overreactions after Week 1 turned out not to be overreactions at all.

Pat Mahomes became the youngest quarterback to throw six touchdown passes in a game a week after throwing four touchdowns in Week 1. His ten touchdown passes is the most through two games in NFL history.

The Chiefs, and Alex Smith, started out great last season as well, but the situations are different. Smith was letting it all hang out as he had Mahomes over his shoulder last year. That start was an anomaly for Smith and he came back to earth after a while. This start by Mahomes could just be the norm for the second-year quarterback. He’s certainly used to putting up ridiculous numbers from his college days. The way he carved up the Steelers, utilizing Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce was masterful.

The Chiefs are set up to be productive all year. They are clicking on all cylinders and their defense is so bad that they’ll have to keep pushing for more points in most games.

Speaking of which, the Steelers put up a lot of fantasy points in that contest. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 452 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for another score.

JuJu Smith-Schuster led Pittsburgh with 13 receptions for 121 yards and a touchdown. Though Antonio Brown had nine receptions, he gained just 67 yards in a mild disappointment. James Conner had a terrible day rushing but managed to get into the end zone. He also caught five passes for 48 yards to make for a solid outing.

Ryan Fitzpatrick also lit it up once again, tossing for more than 400 yards and four scores for the second week in a row. That’s the first time that’s ever happened in franchise history.

The veteran could end up keeping the starting spot, even when Jameis Winston returns, if he continues to play with the confidence and swagger he displayed in his post-game press conference. The guy looked like Conor McGregor with an assist from DeSean Jackson’s wardrobe.

Speaking of Jackson, he started the day off right, catching a 75-yard pass on the first play from scrimmage to give the Bucs an early lead. He finished with four catches for 129 yards and his second straight 100-yard game. Jackson was in danger of missing this week after suffering a concussion in Week 1.

Both Jackson and Fitzpatrick, alongside Mike Evans, should have success next week against the Steelers as well.

Another strong passing attack in Week 2 was that of the Vikings. Kirk Cousins is earning his money, connecting on 35 of 48 passes for 425 yards and four touchdowns. He distributed the ball well, targeting Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen 13 times each. Diggs finished with nine catches for 128 yards and two scores. Thielen led the team with 12 catches for 131 yards and a touchdown. The TD he scored to tie the game late was unbelievably improbable, but Cousins dropped the ball perfectly inbetween two defenders on the play.

The most successful running backs were the usual suspects with a few exceptions. Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon, Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley all had good days. Gurley and Gordon each scored three times while McCaffrey and Barkley each had 14 receptions.

The more surprising performers were Matt Breida and Corey Clement. Breida didn’t get as many touches as Alfred Morris in the 49ers backfield, but he was more productive as he rushed for 138 yards and a score. Clement filled in for Jay Ajayi who was briefly injured. Clement had 85 total yards and a touchdown.

The biggest disappointments of the day had to be Rob Gronkowski, David Johnson and Demaryius Thomas. Gronk was held to just two catches for 15 yards in a tough loss to the Jaguars. Johnson has some serious issues in Arizona. The offense can hardly move the ball at all. It might be Josh Rosen time soon. Thomas was the odd man out in the Broncos’ attack, catching five passes for just 18 yards.

Top waiver wire picks:

Matt Breida, RB, 49ers: He has three straight good matchups coming up.

DeSean Jackson, WR, Buccaneers: Tampa Bay’s passing attack is on fire and Jackson is still available in a fair amount of leagues.

Antonio Callaway, WR, Browns: Callaway caught three passes for 81 yards and a touchdown and Josh Gordon is gone.

Calvin Ridley, WR, Falcons: The rookie caught four passes for 64 yards and a touchdown.

Bears defense/special teams: They have 10 sacks through two games, which leads the league. They’re on pace to top the NFL record set by the ’84 Bears.

Blake Bortles, QB, Jaguars: He can surprise you every now and then. This week he did it to the tune of 377 yards and four touchdowns.

Javorius Allen, RB, Ravens: He’s scored in two straight games and has five catches in each of those contests.

Tyler Boyd, WR, Bengals: So far he’s outplaying John Ross as the Bengals’ No. 2.

Gio Bernard, RB, Bengals: Joe Mixon is set to miss at least two weeks after a procedure on his knee.

Cowboys defense/special teams: The pass rush looks to be for real. They’ve notched at least three sacks and a turnover in each of the first two weeks.

Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks: Lockett caught a touchdown pass for the second game in a row and could remain a useful player as long as Doug Baldwin is out.

Dan Bailey, K, Vikings: He’s the new kicker for the Vikings and they score lots of points and set up for lots of field goals.

Eric Ebron, TE, Colts: Two weeks, two touchdowns.

Keelan Cole, WR, Jaguars: He’s the guy to own if Bortles starts stringing good games together.

Dede Westbrook, WR, Jaguars: He displayed big-play ability and was targeted five times.

Will Dissly, TE, Seahawks: He’s still available in a lot of leagues and he scored in his second straight game.

Jesse James, TE, Steelers: Five catches for 138 yards and a touchdown in Week 2 makes him another option at the position.

Bilal Powell, RB, Jets: He’s had at least 65 yards from scrimmage in each of first two weeks and could be added for depth.

Chris Godwin, WR, Buccaneers: If Fitzpatrick stays hot, the top three wideouts for the Bucs are worth owning.

Contact Cat Vasquez at 512-445-3677. Email cvasquez@statesman.com. Twitter @AAS_Cat.

Fantasy football Week 10 recap and top waiver wire picks

Just two running backs rushed for more than 100 yards in Week 10. Lucky for the New Orleans Saints, both running backs are on their team.

In what has become one of the best addition-by-subtraction moves this season, the departure of Adrian Peterson has unleashed a dangerous backfield for the Saints. Mark Ingram rushed 21 times for 131 yards and three touchdowns for his most productive game of the year. Alvin Kamara rushed 12 times for 106 yards and a touchdown, in addition to catching five passes for 32 yards. I suggested starting both in my start-sit column last Thursday because there’s enough opportunity to go around.

RELATED: Fantasy football Week 11 rankings.

In a game in which the Saints nearly scored 50 points, it was somewhat puzzling that Drew Brees didn’t have a touchdown pass. The Saints were so successful rushing the ball that they didn’t need to put up points through the air. Even Brees rushed for a score while only throwing for 184 yards.

A good amount of Brees’ passing yards went to Michael Thomas, who isn’t getting the credit he deserves this season as a fantasy asset. He may not be an exciting, high-ceiling type of player, but he’ll give you a nice scoring minimum each week. Thomas hasn’t caught a touchdown pass since Week 4, but he crossed the century mark for the first time this season with 117 yards receiving Sunday.

Michael Thomas #13 of the New Orleans Saints attempts to catch the ball as Leonard Johnson #24 of the Buffalo Bills attempts to defend him during the second quarter on November 12, 2017 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

Robert Woods had the best week catching passes, hauling in eight balls for 171 yards and two touchdowns for the Rams. His biggest play came on a 94-yard connection with Jared Goff. It was Woods’ second straight week scoring two touchdowns. I suggested you pick him up last week and if you did then he paid off for you right away.

Goff was one of my starts of the week and he came through with 355 yards passing and three touchdowns. He has nine touchdown passes and just one interception over his last four games. Goff is nearly a must-start every week. His three worst games came against the Redskins, Seahawks and Jaguars.

Speaking of the Redskins, Kirk Cousins had a nice bounce-back performance as he faced the Vikings. He threw for 327 yards and a touchdown in addition to rushing for two more scores. Cousins has had a solid season in terms of fantasy production despite lacking a true No. 1 at the wideout position.

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins throws the ball during an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally)

A couple of quarterbacks that had some surprisingly productive days were Case Keenum and C.J. Beathard. Keenum put up 304 passing yards and tossed four touchdown passes for the Vikings. Beathard led the 49ers to their first win of the season as he threw for 288 yards and a touchdown pass.

Keenum’s success was due in large part to the play of Adam Thielen, who had eight catches for 166 yards and a touchdown. He’s the top receiver for the Vikings, even when Stephon Diggs is healthy in my opinion, and has been targeted at least eight times in every game since Week 3.

Another No. 1 receiver, who hasn’t been playing like one, is A.J. Green of the Bengals. The big-play receiver didn’t even finish last week’s game due to being kicked out for fighting in the first half. Green finally broke out of a three-week funk in Week 10 as he caught five passes for 115 yards and a 70-yard score.

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green scores a touchdown on a 70-yard pass play against the Tennessee Titans in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

One receiver who has been thrust into a No. 1 role is Sterling Shepard. With both Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall out for the season, Shepard will have to be Eli Manning’s top wide receiver target. The second-year player hasn’t disappointed for fantasy purposes. He caught 11 of his 13 targets for a career-high 142 yards receiving. I saw him as a top waiver wire target last week and he could end up being worth it with a great schedule coming up.

One final top-trending wideout I’ll mention is JuJu Smith-Schuster of the Steelers. I suggested picking up the rookie after his huge Week 8 performance even though he was off last week. If you waited out the Pittsburgh bye then you were rewarded with a great performance. Smith-Schuster caught five passes for 97 yards and a touchdown. Even the return of Martavis Bryant didn’t put a damper on the rookie’s three-game TD streak.

On the defensive front, the Falcons led the way by sacking Dak Prescott eight times, forcing two fumbles and allowing just seven points to a once potent Cowboys offense.

Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys is sacked by Adrian Clayborn #99 of the Atlanta Falcons during the first half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on November 12, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Without Ezekiel Elliott and starting right tackle Tyron Smith, Prescott definitely struggled to get going. He rushed for a touchdown early but was disappointing after that. Of course, if Prescott struggles that means Dez Bryant wasn’t productive either.

Other disappointing performances were turned in by Tyrod Taylor, Adrian Peterson, Devonta Freeman and Jordy Nelson.

Taylor was a victim to an emerging Saints defense. Peterson couldn’t match his Week 9 performance on a short week in which he rushed 21 times for 29 yards. Freeman left his game early due to a blow to the head and Nelson still can’t get on the same page with Brett Hundley.

You don’t have much room for poor performances as you ready for a playoff push. Here are the top waiver wire targets heading into Week 11.

Top waiver wire picks

Austin Ekeler, RB, Chargers: 10 rushes, 42 yards, 5 rec., 77 yards, 2TDs. He’s a must-own handcuff for all Melvin Gordon owners.

Marqise Lee, WR, Jaguars: 6 rec., 55 yards, TD. He’s still owned in less than 60 percent of leagues on some platforms. He has caught at least 72 yards or at least one TD in his last four games and has a favorable schedule coming up.

Orleans Darkwa, RB, Giants: 14 rushes, 70 yards. Darkwa is definitely the No. 1 running back for the Giants at this point. He passes the eye test and just needs a handful more touches in order to have real value.

Rex Burkhead, RB, Patriots: 10 rushes, 36 yards, 3 rec., 27 yards, TD. He’s getting involved and could end up being a winning flex play as you hit the playoff push.

Jermaine Gresham, TE, Cardinals: 5 rec., 64 yards, TD. He’s scored in each of the last two weeks and has a favorable schedule coming up and through the fantasy playoffs.

Contact Cat Vasquez at 512-445-3677. Email cvasquez@statesman.com. Twitter @AAS_Cat.

Fantasy football Week 8 recap and top waiver wire picks

There were six teams on bye in Week 8, but that doesn’t mean the NFL was short of action.

In possibly the game of the year so far, the Seattle Seahawks outlasted the Houston Texans 41-38. Deshaun Watson went toe-to-toe with Russell Wilson in a game that featured huge days for a handful of players.

Watson made history Sunday by becoming the first quarterback in the league in the Super Bowl era to pass for more than 400 yards, throw four touchdowns and rush for more than 50 yards in a game. He also became the rookie with the most touchdown passes (19) through his first seven games. Watson had the most productive day of the week, 469 total yards, including 67 yards rushing. He was helped in large part by DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller.

Wide receiver Will Fuller V #15 of the Houston Texans brings in a 59 yard touchdown pass from Deshaun Watson #4 in the first quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on October 29, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

Hopkins led all receivers this week with 224 yards, including a screen pass he took 72 yards for a score. Fuller had the first big play of the game, getting behind the Seahawks’ secondary for a 59-yard touchdown early in the first quarter. The play turned out to be a sign of things to come. Fuller caught a second touchdown in the second quarter, bringing his league-leading total to seven, though he’s played in just four games. He has just 13 catches on the season. You call that efficiency.

The only way the Texans lost the game was due to the few mistakes Watson made, he had three interceptions, and the stellar play of Wilson. Wilson finished with 452 yards and four touchdown passes, including the game-winning score to Jimmy Graham with less than a minute to play. Wilson also rushed for 30 yards and threw just one interception.

Graham gained just 39 yards receiving, but two of his four catches went for touchdowns. Paul Richardson and Tyler Lockett also came up big for Wilson. Richardson had six catches for 105 yards and two scores while Lockett led the Seahawks with 121 yards receiving on six catches.

The wide receiver that led the league in Week 8 was JuJu Smith-Schuster. The rookie kind of called his shot on Twitter when he said, “everybody loves me now, but these same people won’t start me in fantasy on Sunday.” He made those people regret their decision by catching seven passes for 193 yards and a 97-yard touchdown, a Steelers’ record. Smith-Schuster is making a lot of people forget who Martavis Bryant is.

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19), chased by Detroit Lions cornerback Quandre Diggs (28), runs 97-yards for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 29 2017, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

As far as the best running back performances go, a couple of familiar names led the way. Ezekiel Elliott and LeSean McCoy were both fantastic. McCoy rushed 27 times for 151 yards and a touchdown while catching six passes for 22 yards. Elliott had season highs in rushes (33) and rushing yards (150) while scoring two touchdowns. He’s getting in a groove at just the right time to help the Cowboys get back into the NFC East race, but may come to a halt after Monday’s court ruling.

The reason Elliott got so many carries was the weather was pretty dreadful in Landover, Md. Rain had the Cowboys content to control the clock once they had the lead, leaving Dak Prescott and Dez Bryant owners up a creek without a paddle.

Prescott had his worst fantasy week of the season, throwing for just 143 yards and no touchdowns. It was the first time this season that he didn’t account for at least one touchdown. Bryant suffered from the game script alongside Prescott, catching four passes for just 39 yards.

Brandin Cooks, another receiver who had a bad week, continues to frustrate owners with his inconsistent play. He caught five passes for 26 yards, despite Tom Brady having a solid day.

A surprising disappointment was Nelson Agholor who had a great matchup against the 49ers. He caught just three passes for 26 yards. Despite Agholor’s poor performance, Carson Wentz still had a good day by throwing for 211 yards and two scores. Alshon Jeffery was the wideout that had success for the Eagles Sunday. He caught just two passes, but for 62 yards and a touchdown.

Other top receivers were Robby Anderson, Jamison Crowder, Marvin Jones and Adam Thielen. Jones had six receptions for 128 yards. Thielen had 98 yards receiving and a touchdown in the Vikings win in London.

New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) catches a pass for a touchdown in front of Atlanta Falcons’ Sharrod Neasman (20) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Also playing for the Vikings, Jerick McKinnon found success running and receiving. He had 50 yards rushing and a touchdown while catching six passes for 72 yards. In that same backfield, Latavius Murray didn’t fare as well. The encouraging sign is that he had 20 touches, but he gained just 47 total yards.

Week 8’s other top rushers were Melvin Gordon, Lamar Miller and Isaiah Crowell. Gordon rushed just 14 times for 132 yards and a touchdown. Miller got the most touches in the Texans’ backfield, a bit of a surprise given that D’Onta Foreman seemed to be getting more action. Miller rushed for 54 yards and a touchdown while catching three passes for 19 yards and another score. Crowell scored for the first time this season as he rushed for 64 yards and caught four passes for 54 yards.

The Bears, Browns, Chargers, Vikings, Patriots and Steelers are off in Week 9. Here are some waiver wire suggestions to help you survive the week without Gordon, Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, Tom Brady and Jordan Howard.

Top waiver wire picks

JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Steelers: With Martavis Bryant on the outs, Smith-Schuster is in a great position to contribute. He could also be available since the Steelers are on bye in Week 9.

Alex Collins, RB, Ravens: 18 rushes, 113 yards in Thursday’s win.

Paul Richardson, WR, Seahawks: 6 rec., 105 yards, 2TDs.

Jack Doyle, TE, Colts: 12 rec., 121 yards, TD. He’s still available in a lot of leagues and he’s been heavily targeted since the Week 5 bye.

Jamison Crowder, WR, Redskins: 9 rec., 123 yards. I thought he would be a lot better, but he’s starting to get more targets as Terrelle Pryor continues to disappoint.

Quality defenses on bye in Week 8: Sometimes owners have to drop good defenses in order to field a full lineup. Check the wire for the Rams and Jaguars defenses, which were off this week.

Robby Anderson, WR, Jets: 6 rec., 104 yards, TD. He’s riding three straight solid outings.

Contact Cat Vasquez at 512-445-3677. Email cvasquez@statesman.com. Twitter @AAS_Cat.

Fantasy football Week 6 recap and top waiver wire picks

There were a lot of headlines in Week 6 of the fantasy football season but none bigger than the broken collarbone suffered by Aaron Rodgers.

Packers fans, relax? No, it’s time to worry. Unless Brett Hundley improves significantly, the Packers have no shot to make the playoffs after losing their leader.

RELATED: Fantasy football Week 7 rankings.

Though this season has seen its share of huge injuries affecting fantasy football, none can be bigger than the one suffered by Rodgers. Odell Beckham Jr. and Dalvin Cook each suffered injuries in successive weeks before Rodgers in Week 6. If your team was being carried by Rodgers, then you’re going to have a tougher time than Beckham and Cook owners. It’s why I advise on waiting on a quarterback during the draft, so that you can balance out your roster with quality at the running back and wide receiver positions.

Anyone who drafted Rodgers early missed out on a high quality running back or wide receiver that could come in handy right about now.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) lies on the ground after being hit by Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Anthony Barr (55) in the first half of an NFL football game in Minneapolis, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

The other big headline from this week was the big week turned in by Adrian Peterson after being traded to the Cardinals. A lot of people thought he was washed up by now, and who could blame them? He was getting very few touches with the Saints. Peterson needs touches to flourish, and that’s just what he got with the Cardinals on Sunday. He rushed 26 times for 134 yards and two touchdowns. The Arizona offense looked rejuvenated with him in the backfield and I don’t see why his production would drop off.

Not only did his move to Arizona help his fantasy value, it helped the values of the running backs on the team he left. Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara both had great days. Ingram rushed 25 times for 114 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught five passes for 36 yards. Kamara rushed 10 times for 75 yards and caught four passes for 12 yards.

New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) scores a touchdown in front of Detroit Lions free safety Glover Quin (27) in the first half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)

The top performing running back in Week 6 was Melvin Gordon who rushed 25 times for 86 yards and a touchdown. He also caught nine passes for 67 yards and another score.

Le’Veon Bell had a great day as well, rushing 32 times for 179 yards and a touchdown as the Steelers handed the Chiefs their first loss of the season.

Also in the Steelers game, Antonio Brown led all receivers this week. He caught eight passes for 155 yards and a spectacular 51-yard score.

Larry Fitzgerald also had a big day as a wideout. He caught 10 passes for 138 yards and a touchdown. Fitzgerald, Peterson and Carson Palmer look like the best 30-plus-year-old triplets in the NFL. Palmer looked like a new man, throwing for 283 yards and three touchdowns.

Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona Cardinals catches an 11 yard touchdown pass from Carson Palmer #3 during the second quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 15, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

The best quarterback of the week was Kirk Cousins. He threw for 330 yards and two touchdowns. Cousins also rushed for 26 yards and a touchdown.

The signal caller that leads the league in touchdown passes is Deshaun Watson with 15. He had another great week, throwing for 225 yards and three touchdowns. Watson has tossed at least three touchdowns in each of the last three weeks. With Rodgers out for the rest of the season, is it that far fetched to think Watson could be the best fantasy QB the rest of the season?

Watson has been utilizing second-year player Will Fuller extremely efficiently. Fuller has five touchdowns in three games on just eight receptions.

Demaryius Thomas had a big day for the Broncos, catching 10 passes for 133 yards.

Both Lions receivers had productive days, and nearly identical stat lines. Golden Tate had seven receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown. Marvin Jones had his best day of the season, catching six passes for 96 yards and a touchdown.

Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones pulls in a one-handed touchdown reception overNew Orleans Saints cornerback Ken Crawley (20) in the second half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

In a game that totaled 90 points, the Saints vs. Lions, there were a few fantasy disappointments. Michael Thomas had just three catches for 11 yards for the Saints. Lions running back Ameer Abdullah had just 54 total yards.

The biggest disappointments of the week were Derek Carr, Jonathan Stewart, Sammy Watkins and Chris Hogan.

Carr returned from an injured back and didn’t inspire confidence in his owners. He threw for just 171 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Sitting Amari Cooper continues to be the right move as he caught five of Carr’s passes for just 28 yards.

Stewart had a dreadful Thursday night game, rushing eight times for minus-four yards. He’s one of the least reliable starting running backs in the league.

Watkins’ poor performances are becoming commonplace and he can’t be trusted until he strings a couple of good games together.

Hogan had been doing well, but he had just one catch for 19 yards this week. Before Week 6 he had five touchdowns in his previous four games.

Rob Gronkowski led the Patriots in receiving, catching six passes for 86 yards and two touchdowns.

Another tight end that produced well was Evan Engram, who is the last good remaining target for Eli Manning. Engram caught five passes for 82 yards and a touchdown.

Cameron Brate’s scoring streak continued in Week 6. He caught six passes for 76 yards and a touchdown.

Zach Ertz was in danger of not having a good game this week as he caught just two passes on Thursday night. Both catches happened to be touchdowns.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins should have had two touchdown receptions, but apparently crossing the goal line with complete control of the ball isn’t a touchdown anymore. The officials ruled that Seferian-Jenkins lost control of the ball and didn’t regain it until he touched out of bounds on a play. The replay seemed to show him cross the goal line with control, but that’s just my opinion. He finished the game with eight catches, 46 yards, a touchdown and an unjustified fumble lost.

New York Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (88) is tackled by New England Patriots’ Malcolm Butler (21) and Duron Harmon (30) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. After further review the play was ruled a fumble into the end zone. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

On the defensive side, the Saints once again surprised me, scoring three times, making five sacks, forcing two fumbles and intercepting three passes. The Giants and Rams also had big weeks defensively.

Top waiver wire picks

Orleans Darkwa, RB, Giants: Darkwa had the best day of a Giants running back on Sunday night. He rushed 21 times for 117 yards.

Dion Lewis, RB, Patriots: He carried the ball more than 10 times for the first time this season.

C.J. Beathard, QB, 49ers: Only a streaming option, but could be a good one.

Josh McCown, QB, Jets: Another streaming option who does well against bad defenses.

Aldrick Robinson, WR, 49ers: 2 rec., 66 yards, TD. He caught a TD with the Niners new starting QB.

Contact Cat Vasquez at 512-445-3677. Email cvasquez@statesman.com. Twitter @AAS_Cat.

Fantasy football Week 5 recap and top waiver wire picks

Another week, another devastating injury hits the NFL and the fantasy football world.

This time around it was Odell Beckham Jr. who was carted off the field after fracturing his ankle. He was having a good game, too, catching five passes for 97 yards and a touchdown.

RELATED: Fantasy football Week 6 rankings.

Another huge injury that could significantly impact fantasy came in Sunday night’s game. J.J. Watt had a fracture occur in his knee, putting him out for the rest of the season. He wasn’t the only Texans defender to suffer a likely season-ending injury. Whitney Mercilus also went down with a torn pectoral muscle.

The Texans defense isn’t the only fantasy “player” affected by these injuries. It may actually help increase the value of Deshaun Watson. Take Sunday’s game as an example. Houston was trailing for most of the game and Watson showed he has the firepower to put up big numbers, even in garbage time. He threw five touchdown passes, most of which were in desperation to get back in the game. The Texans are more likely to need him to have big days in order to stay competitive.

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) throws against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Another quarterback that had a huge day was Carson Wentz. He’s entering must-start territory based on his passing attempts alone. He hasn’t thrown the ball less than 30 times in a game this year. In fact, Wentz had his lowest attempts Sunday (30) and translated that into 304 yards and four touchdowns.

For the fifth straight week Dak Prescott has improved his fantasy scoring, throwing three touchdown passes and rushing for another. His team fell once again to Aaron Rodgers, who threw three touchdown passes and rushed for 32 yards.

Cam Newton, once again proved that you can’t just write guys off in the world of fantasy football. He had another big day, throwing for three touchdowns. He’s thrown for six TDs over the last two games after throwing just two in the first three weeks.

At this point you’d rather be starting Newton over Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben had one of his worst games, throwing five interceptions in the loss to the Jaguars. Despite the terrible game for the quarterback, Antonio Brown still produced like always. He had 10 catches for 157 yards.

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) makes a catch in the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

What’s strange is Blake Bortles had an even worse game than his counterpart. Though Roethlisberger threw five picks, he managed 312 yards. The Jaguars didn’t want to risk Bortles throwing too much so they only allowed him to drop back 14 times. He didn’t even eclipse 100 yards and threw a pick.

The Jaguars’ game plan was to the benefit of Leonard Fournette, who had a career game as he rushed for 181 yards and two touchdowns. His 90-yard score late in the game was music to some fantasy owners’ ears. The late-game big plays can save your day or break your heart.

That wasn’t more apparent than during the end of the Texans-Chief Sunday night contest. Watson’s final touchdown pass came with no time on the clock and gave DeAndre Hopkins his third score of the day. There were definitely fantasy owners that had the Watson-Hopkins stack that got a bonus 12 points on a meaningless play.

Speaking of Hopkins, he finished with just four catches but three of those were touchdowns. Another Texan, Will Fuller, continued to make a big impact since his return to action last week. He scored twice in Week 5, including a 48-yard score.

Another receiver that had two scores was Davante Adams, who recovered quickly from a brutal hit on Thursday night of Week 4.

The wide receiver that had the biggest week was A.J. Green, who has benefited from the change in offensive coordinator in Cincinnati. He caught seven passes for 189 yards and a touchdown. Even losing a fumble didn’t ruin his fantasy day.

T.Y. Hilton continues to bide his time until Andrew Luck returns to action. Hilton caught seven passes from Jacoby Brissett for 177 yards. He has a great matchup against the Titans next week.

A teammate of Hilton’s who had a great day was Marlon Mack. The backup rookie running back rushed just nine times for 91 yards and a touchdown. He’s making a strong case that he deserves more touches than the aging Frank Gore.

After Fournette, Melvin Gordon had the best day among running backs. Gordon rushed 20 times for 105 yards and caught six passes for 58 yards and two touchdowns.

Leonard Fournette #27 of the Jacksonville Jaguars reacts after rushing for a 2 yard touchdown in the second quarter during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on October 8, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Another running back that cashed in through the air was Duke Johnson. He caught three passes for 63 yards and a touchdown. Johnson also rushed for 20 yards and is seemingly the best running back in Cleveland, despite a lot of preseason hype surrounding Isaiah Crowell.

One player who had zero hype entering the season was Aaron Jones. The rookie out of UTEP was behind Ty Montgomery and Jamaal Williams entering the season. With Montgomery out this week and Williams slightly banged up, Jones made the most of his opportunity. Jones, a top waiver wire pick from last week, rushed 19 times for 125 yards and a touchdown.

In the same game Ezekiel Elliott posted another strong performance. The Cowboys will likely have more of the same out of the second-year back if he stays eligible. The run-heavy game plan is their best chance to win and they won’t have to play Aaron Rodgers every week.

The worst performers of the week out of the backfield were Carlos Hyde, Eddie Lacy and Todd Gurley. Hyde took a back seat to Matt Breida for some reason. Lacy had just 19 yards rushing despite getting the most attempts for Seattle. Gurley had a real letdown after a great game in Week 4. He was inches away from a touchdown in the first quarter, but Earl Thomas forced a fumble that resulted in a touchback for Seattle.

Todd Gurley #30 of the Los Angeles Rams runs a 12-yard touchdown which was overturned and ruled a fumble that went out of bounds in the end zone during the game against the Seattle Seahawks at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 8, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

The biggest disappointment in the Rams-Seahawks contest was Sammy Watkins. He didn’t haul in one of the four passes sent his way.

As far as tight ends go, nobody had a better day than Ed Dickson. He’s replacing Greg Olsen in the Panthers offense and could turn out to really help Newton stay a strong option. Dickson caught five passes for 175 yards.

Zach Ertz, Cameron Brate and Travis Kelce performed well as usual while Austin Sefarian-Jenkins proved to be a solid spot start.

Top waiver wire picks

Ed Dickson, TE, Panthers: If he continues to be Newton’s favorite target, he could be a nice addition.

Nelson Agholor, WR, Eagles: 4 rec., 93 yards, TD. Wentz is getting hot and Agholor could be the one to benefit.

Jermaine Kearse, WR, Jets: 4 rec., 38 yards, TD. He’s the No. 1 option on a surprising 3-2 team.

Nick O’Leary, TE, Bills: 5 rec., 54 yards. He’ll fill in for an injured Charles Clay when coming off a bye in Week 7.

Cole Beasley, WR, Cowboys: 4 rec. 23 yards, 2TDs. If Terrance Williams continues slumping, Beasley could benefit. He’s on bye in Week 6 so he should be available.

Marquise Goodwin, WR, 49ers: 5 rec., 115 yards. His season-high 11 targets makes him one to stash.

George Kittle, TE, 49ers: 7 rec., 83 yards, TD. He has a good matchup in Week 6 for any Jason Witten, Jimmy Graham or Charles Clay owners. Those guys are on bye.

Fantasy football Week 3 recap and top waiver wire picks

A chaotic fantasy football season continued Sunday, but we actually got to see some quality games.

Of the 14 games played on Sunday, eight of them finished with a margin of victory within 10 points. Seven of those games finished with a margin of victory within six points. Even Monday’s game was close until late as the Cowboys topped the Cardinals 28-17.

Sunday didn’t start out with a quality game, however. The Jacksonville Jaguars must have felt at home as they trounced the Baltimore Ravens 44-7 in London, England early.

Blake Bortles made you think he’s still a viable fantasy option as he threw four touchdowns on the day. Three of those scores went to Marcedes Lewis, the Jaguars’ tight end who hadn’t caught three touchdowns in a game ever. In fact, he hadn’t scored that many TDs in a whole season since 2013 when he had four.

The Ravens skill players were non-existent in terms of fantasy. It’s hard to trust the results of this game, given the unique circumstances. Suffice it to say Bortles may have some viability left while the Ravens running backs aren’t actually as bad as they appeared. One thing is undeniable, though, and that’s that the Jags’ defense is a real option to start for you.

Speaking of what looked like a good start, turns out Trevor Siemian isn’t John Elway just yet. He feasted on a poor Cowboys secondary last week but didn’t find such success against the Bills. Though he turned the ball over twice, he managed to provide enough for Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders to avoid turning in dud games.

Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) gestures during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

One thing to keep an eye on from this game was the use of Jamaal Charles. C.J. Anderson was great in the first two weeks, but Charles had the same amount of touches as Anderson and scored. Charles also outgained Anderson 57 to 43.

Another running back tandem that had better success was the one in Chicago. Jordan Howard, though banged up, had his best game of the season with 138 yards rushing and two touchdowns, including the game winner against the Steelers in overtime. Tarik Cohen nearly scored the winning touchdown but was ruled out of bounds, negating an electrifying play. He finished with 102 yards of offense.

On the other side of the ball, Antonio Brown was reliable as always with over 100 yards and a score. Le’Veon Bell had his best fantasy game of the season as he finally got into the end zone.

The best running back performance of the week came from Todd Gurley on Thursday night. He scored three times and totaled 149 yards.

Todd Gurley #30 of the Los Angeles Rams rushes for a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during their NFL game at Levi’s Stadium on September 21, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Another back that came through was the ultra-efficient Chris Thompson of Washington. I didn’t think he would be able to keep making the most of his few touches like he did in the first two weeks. Well, the Redskins gave him 18 touches for 188 yards and a touchdown. Shut me up.

A running back that has to have few doubters left is rookie Kareem Hunt. He scored once again, this time from 69 yards in the fourth quarter. Hunt became the first player ever to score a touchdown from beyond 50 yards in each of his first three career games.

Dalvin Cook, another rookie, Devonta Freeman and DeMarco Murray all had big days. Murray surprised with a 115-yard performance, highlighted by a 75-yard score. Cook totaled 169 yards and scored while Freeman rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown.

On the flip side, Terrance West, Jay Ajayi and Marshawn Lynch were terrible in what looked to be decent matchups.

In a far cry from last week, 13 wide receivers caught passes for over 100 yards. The best performance of the week came from Stefon Diggs, who caught eight passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns. It was quite the surprise given that Case Keenum was his quarterback Sunday. Even Adam Thielen had a serviceable five catch-98 yard game.

Stefon Diggs #14 of the Minnesota Vikings catches the ball for a touchdown over defender Vernon Hargreaves #28 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the second quarter of the game on September 24, 2017 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

T.Y. Hilton had a surprisingly good game with Jacoby Brissett at the helm. Hilton caught seven passes for 153 yards and a touchdown.

Brandin Cooks had his best game as a Patriot, catching five passes for 131 yards and two touchdowns, including the game winner in the final minute.

Larry Fitzgerald had a huge game for the Cardinals, like I thought he would, taking advantage of a banged up Cowboys secondary. He caught 13 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown.

Fitzgerald’s counterpart nearly had a terrible game, but Dez Bryant was able to turn a short pass into a highlight score as he dragged four defenders into the end zone with the help of his teammates. The Cowboys’ best receiver of the night turned out to be Brice Butler. He caught just two passes but gained 90 yards and scored.

Sammy Watkins had his best game as a Ram on Thursday. He scored twice and gained 106 yards.

Chris Hogan, Jordy Nelson and Odell Beckham Jr. each scored twice as well. Beckham Jr. made another one-handed highlight catch for his second score of the day.

New York Giants’ Odell Beckham, left, catches a touchdown against Philadelphia Eagles’ Jalen Mills during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The worst receiving performance of the day was put up by Kelvin Benjamin, though it was mostly due to his leg injury. With him and Greg Olsen already out, Cam Newton was terrible.

The only worse performance from a quarterback was by Joe Flacco, who scored negative fantasy points.

It’s important to mention that Russell Wilson finally looked like he did in the second half of last season. He threw for a career-high 373 yards and four touchdowns. If you bought him low after his first two weeks, good for you. Wilson even hooked up with Jimmy Graham well. The tight end caught seven passes for 72 yards.

It’s been a tough two years for tight ends. Fifteen of them caught touchdowns this week, though. Vernon Davis was a big factor in the Redskins’ win on Sunday night. If Jordan Reed stays sidelined, Davis can be a nice pickup.

Top waiver wire picks

Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants: 7 rec., 133 yards, TD.

Taylor Gabriel, WR, Falcons: 5 rec., 79 yards, TD.

Case Keenum, QB, Vikings: A great streaming option for as long as Sam Bradford is out.

Robert Woods, WR, Rams: 6 rec., 108 yards.

Brice Butler, WR, Cowboys: 2 rec., 90 yards, TD. If he can continue to stretch the field and catch jump balls, things could open up for the passing game.

Jamaal Charles, RB, Broncos: He’s owned in just 33 percent of Yahoo leagues. Stow him away if you have room.

D’Onta Foreman, RB, Texans: 10 touches, 90 yards.

Wendell Smallwood, RB, Eagles: Darren Sproles is out with a broken arm and Smallwood stepped up.

Robby Anderson, WR, Jets: 3 rec., 95 yards, TD

Vernon Davis, TE, Redskins: 5 rec., 58 yards, TD