Fantasy additions hinge on waivers

When I was growing up, the most exciting times of the year were always on Sunday and always during the football season.The best of these fall Sundays came when Dallas would play Green Bay or San Francisco, all three of whom were top teams in the NFL. The latest decade had seen them decline into obscurity, but to quote Thin Lizzy, “The boys are back in town,” with all three of the teams now leading their respective divisions.

But before we get into this week’s stuff, here are my thoughts:

1. Why is everyone proclaiming Donovan McNabb healed after beating Detroit? This is the same team that has been the focal point of every NFL joke since the departure of Barry Sanders. Philadelphia’s win last week said more about how overrated the Lions are than it did about how good the Eagles can be.

2. It is now obvious Jerry Jones made the right decision to pass on Norv Turner and hire Wade Phillips. The Chargers and Cowboys are two teams on very different tracks three weeks into the season. But hey, at least Turner didn’t get stuck with the Falcons job.

And now the main event, this week’s top three waiver wire adds and the matchups to keep an eye on.

Waiver Wire Adds:

Brian Leonard (RB-STL): Meet the new starting running back for the St. Louis Rams. The talented rookie from Rutgers is taking over for an injured and ineffective Steven Jackson. The coaches have liked what they have seen from Leonard so far and I’m betting if you are in need of a running back the next couple of weeks, you will too.

Nate Washington (WR-PIT): Another new face, but this one plays for a great team with a solid passing attack and a soft schedule the next few weeks. Washington was good for the Steelers last year with a struggling Ben Roethlisberger, so he could turn in some great fantasy numbers while starting for the injured Hines Ward.

Dwayne Bowe (WR-KC): The only pickup for this week that has some lasting value outside of the next couple of weeks. He has emerged as the best wide receiver on this very bad receiving team. Although his quarterback will limit his potential, he has been consistent the first couple weeks of the season, and you can’t find many teams’ No. 1 wideouts on the waiver wire.

Week 3 Matchups:

Green Bay at Minnesota: This NFC North clash will provide another measuring stick for the 3-0 Packers. Adrian Peterson is a no-brainer starter and should get his 100 yards rushing and a score, but don’t expect for any other Vikings starter to post significant numbers. The real test of this game will be Green Bay’s offense against Minnesota’s stingy defense.

Houston at Atlanta: The Texans held their own against the Colts last week, but added more injuries in the process. Houston is now looking dangerously thin at wide receiver with Andre Johnson and Jacoby Jones both out as well as having running backs Ahman Green and Ron Dayne banged up. Samkon Gado and Andre Davis will be their replacements, at least in role. The only real lock in this game is the very good Texans defense against the very bad Falcons offense.

St. Louis at Dallas: Don’t look now but Dallas’ defense is getting on track. In the last two games, Da’ Boys have racked up nine turnovers, a touchdown and five sacks. Look for those numbers to improve against a Rams offense that has been disappointing. There isn’t enough space in this column to for a list of all the injured St. Louis offensive players, which includes its starting running back, tackle, guard, two wide receivers and quarterback Marc Bulger. What I’m trying to say is that this could end very badly for the Rams.

Kansas City at San Diego: This could be the week the Chargers get themselves back on track due to Kansas City’s defense. San Diego will stop Larry Johnson, although Bowe will sneak by them for about 80 yards receiving and a score.

New England at Cincinnati: Cincinnati better pray for an offensive shootout Monday night because there is no way their defense can contain the high-powered Patriots offense. If you have a solid defense with a better matchup, it may be worth exploring this week, as opposed to starting New England against a strong Bengals offense that will be playing from behind. Rudi Johnson will be limited if he plays with his hamstring injury.