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Waiver Wire: Week 3 scouting report

by | Rotowire.com
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ACC

A.J. Blue, RB, North Carolina: Giovani Bernard presumably won't miss much time with his knee issue given that he previously expected to play gainst Wake Forest on Saturday, but until Bernard's game-day status matches his pre-game expectation, Blue should be owned in at least ACC leagues. He's the top backup behind Bernard and is running well this year, totaling 145 yards (5.2 yards per carry) and three touchdowns through two games.

Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina: Ebron is primarily an ACC and deep-league consideration, but he's one of the nation's most intriguing tight ends at the moment. He showed tons of big-play ability as a freshman last year, catching 10 passes for 207 yards and a touchdown, and he's off to a promising start in 2012 with 108 yards and a touchdown through two weeks. That includes four catches for 55 yards and a score against Wake Forest on Saturday. In an offense that should be active through the air, Ebron looks like North Carolina's second-best receiving target, which gives him quite a bit of upside.

BIG 12

Damien Williams, RB, Oklahoma: His shaky workload makes him a big risk outside of Big 12-only leagues, but Williams has been red hot to start the year and is a justifiable pickup in most formats until he cools off. He only had 19 carries through two games, but he somehow broke loose for 260 yards (13.7 YPC) and five touchdowns. Oklahoma's incumbent starter at running back, Dominique Whaley, has just 117 yards and a score on 21 carries. Williams will earn more work if he keeps this up.

Blake Jackson, TE, Oklahoma State: He's primarily a deep-league consideration because he didn't catch a pass in Week 1, but Jackson looks like one of the nation's better gambles at tight after catching six passes for 105 yards against Arizona on Saturday. Jackson is a highly athletic tight end who presents huge mismatches, and there was enormous demand for him as a recruit. He could almost certainly be starting in the SEC if he hadn't chose to play at Oklahoma State.

BIG EAST

Andre Davis, WR, South Florida: After a quiet Week 1, it looked like Davis was another case of the infamous training camp star who failed to live up to the hype once real games started. South Florida played him up all offseason as a breakout star, but then he caught just one pass for 13 yards against Chattanooga. On the road against Nevada in Week 2, however, Davis took over. He caught 12 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns, making him a player who should be owned in most formats. South Florida is incredibly deep at receiver, but Davis' stunning performance Saturday gives reason to think he'll rise above the target competition.

Ralph Abernathy, RB, Cincinnati: Abernathy is only a deep-league and Big East-only consideration for the time being, but the running back is nonetheless on the radar after catching four passes for 71 yards and two touchdowns against Pittsburgh on Thursday. He only had five carries for 20 yards, but if he remains a playmaker as a receiver, Abernathy could become a surprise Fantasy factor at Cincinnati.

BIG TEN

Venric Mark, RB, Northwestern: For the first time in years, Northwestern has a good running back. After moving him from receiver to the backfield, the Wildcats finally found a legitimate starter in Mark, who has 205 yards (5.4 yards per carry) and a touchdown on the ground through two weeks despite facing two decent defenses in Syracuse and Vanderbilt. He also has one touchdown each as a receiver and punt returner. He should probably be owned in most formats.

Antavian Edison, WR, Purdue: Edison's yardage totals tend to be modest – he averaged just 13.3 yards per catch in 2011 and has just 8.3 per catch so far this year – but it's usually bearable when you're catching six passes a game and finding the end zone. Edison has 13 receptions and three touchdowns through two games, and in PPR leagues in particular he looks like a solid option. He might be the top receiver in the Big Ten this year.

CONFERENCE USA

Daniel Spencer, WR, Houston: After a pitiful Week 1 in which it totaled just 211 yards through the air against Texas State, the Houston offense got on track in a big way in Week 2, scoring four times against a Louisiana Tech squad that played tough defense a year ago. Spencer lookS like the most reliable receiver in the Cougars passing attack after catching 13 passes for 206 yards and a touchdown through the first two games, including seven catches for 157 yards and a touchdown against Louisiana Tech.

Storm Johnson, RB, UCF: Johnson is a Miami transfer with much more talent than the typical Conference-USA runner, and he showed some glimpses of it against Ohio State on Saturday, running for 75 yards on 12 carries and catching three passes for 22 yards. With starter Latavius Murray potentially missing more time with a shoulder issue, Johnson is a worthwhile running back addition just in case he has the UCF offense to himself as the Golden Knights take on Florida International this week.

INDEPENDENTS

Kaneakua Friel, TE, BYU: We don't usually list a player two weeks in a row, but Friel is too hot to put anyone else in his place. Friel looks like he might be college football's top Fantasy tight end and should be owned in all formats. He followed his huge Week 1 game of six catches for 101 yards and two scores against Washington State with a four-catch, 30-yard game against Weber State on Saturday, adding his third touchdown of the year in the process. He looks like the second option in the BYU passing game after wideout Cody Hoffman.

MAC

Terrance Owens, QB, Toledo: Owens was given the Toledo quarterback role to himself against Wyoming on Saturday, and he predictably put up huge numbers as a result. He threw for 300 yards and four touchdowns, adding 74 more yards on the ground. Owens scored 19 touchdowns last year despite splitting the offense with Austin Dantin, who did not play against Wyoming, so he could be one of the nation's most productive quarterbacks if Toledo wisely keeps Dantin on the bench.

Dalton Williams, QB, Akron: No joke – Akron has a quarterback this year. Facing off against a very experienced Florida International defense Saturday, Williams led the Zips into overtime as he threw for 313 yards and five touchdowns compared to one interception. He's primarily just a MAC-only and deep-league option until he proves himself a bit more, but Williams has seven touchdowns and just two interceptions this year, and he faces a Morgan State defense that's nowhere near as tough as the UCF and Florida International squads Williams saw in his first two starts.

MOUNTAIN WEST

Cody Getz, RB, Air Force: Like Friel at BYU, Getz has been too dominant to not get listed two weeks in a row. If he's eligible in your league, he must be owned. There is no exception to that rule, because Getz has 348 yards and six touchdowns on the ground after two games. That includes 130 yards and three touchdowns on the road against Michigan on Saturday. With a very nice schedule from here, Getz is looking like he'll be one of the elite Fantasy running backs for the rest of 2012.

Dominic Rufran, WR, Wyoming: Rufran had a fairly promising freshman season in 2011, catching 44 passes for 402 yards and two touchdowns, but it looks like he added some explosiveness to his game in the offseason. After averaging just 9.1 yards per catch a year ago, Rufran has 148 yards on six catches after two games this year, good for 24.7 yards per reception. He caught three passes for 102 yards and a score against Toledo on Saturday, and he should be good for similar numbers in a number of his in-conference games from here.

PAC-12

Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA: Although he's just a redshirt freshman, Hundley looks like he might be one of the nation's best quarterbacks already. As a big dual-threat who's adept as both a passer and runner, he looks almost like a Pac-12 Cam Newton imitation, throwing for 507 yards (8.3 yards per attempt), six touchdowns and one interception after two weeks while running for 121 yards (6.4 yards per carry) and a touchdown. After completing 21-of-33 passes for 305 yards and four touchdowns against Nebraska on Saturday, Hundley should be owned in most formats.

Christian Powell, RB, Colorado: Although he headed into the season as a backup at running back for Colorado, it's difficult to imagine how the Buffaloes can keep him on the bench after his strong Week 2 showing. He took 28 carries against Sacramento State for 147 yards and three touchdowns, giving reason to believe that the fullback-tweener has what it takes to make it as a runner. Since his competition was weak, though, he's mostly a player to monitor outside Pac-12 leagues.

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