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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fantasy football: Week 3 waiver-wire picks

Before we get to the top five at each position, let's get to a few quick notes on four players we really like this week:

-- Giants running back Andre Brown could be the featured back Thursday night at Carolina. Starter Ahmad Bradshaw left last week's game against the Buccaneers with a neck injury, and he's questionable for this week.

Since it's a short week for the G-Men, the guess here is Bradshaw will sit, which would make Brown -- not rookie David Wilson -- a decent option as a low-end No. 2 running back in a deep league or as a flex play. Brown had 13 carries for 71 yards and a touchdown against the Bucs, and he caught two passes for 19 yards.

Carolina ranks 28th against the run. The Panthers are allowing 146.5 rushing yards per game and 4.7 yards per attempt.

-- Rams receiver Danny Amendola, as you know by now, is a machine in point-per-reception leagues. Amendola enters this week owned in only 19.2 percent of the ESPN leagues -- a number that should increase to the 90s by tomorrow. Amendola caught 15 passes for 160 yards and a TD last week against the Redskins, and he should be considered an immediate starter in any format. He has a ridiculous 25 targets in two games, and 20 of them have resulted in receptions.

-- Lions running back Mikel Leshoure could be the featured back after Kevin Smith managed just 53 yards on 16 carries Sunday night at San Francisco. Leshoure, a rookie, returns from his two-game suspension this week, and it sounds as if Detroit will waste no time getting him into the flow. Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan told the team's website Leshoure will "definitely be involved heavily in the game plan, and we'll go from there." If you're desperate for help at running back, Leshoure should be considered a No. 3 option in 12-team leagues and a low-end starter in deeper formats.

-- Colts receiver Donnie Avery has received 18 targets in two games, and last week he caught nine passes for 111 yards. Considering Andrew Luck has attempted 76 passes and thrown for 533 yards in two contests, Avery should continue to produce. He's a decent No. 3 receiver in deeper leagues.

On to the rankings. As always, we only consider players who are owned in fewer than 50 percent of the leagues on

1. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills (owned in 42.5 percent of the ESPN leagues)
2. Matt Cassel, Chiefs (32.9)
3. Russell Wilson, Seahawks (16.3)
4. Mark Sanchez, Jets (37.9)
5. Christian Ponder, Vikings (5.0)
Dropped out: Blaine Gabbert, Jaguars
Just missed the cut: Brandon Weeden, Browns (2.1 percent)

1. Andre Brown, Giants (1.5 percent)
2. Mikel Leshoure, Lions (20.0)
3. Dexter McCluster, Chiefs (24.6)
4. Daryl Richardson, Rams (1.1)
5. Jackie Battle, Chargers (0.4)
Dropped out: Alfred Morris, Redskins (he's now owned in 90.4 percent of the ESPN leagues); Jonathan Dwyer, Steelers; Evan Royster, Redskins; Ronnie Brown, Chargers
Just missed the cut: Royster; Shaun Draughn, Chiefs (3.0 percent)

1. Danny Amendola, Rams (19.2 percent)
2. Donnie Avery, Colts (1.0)
3. Brandon LaFell, Panthers (26.8)
4. Brian Hartline, Dolphins (0.7)
5. Greg Little, Browns (17.4)
Dropped out: Kevin Ogletree, Cowboys (now owned in 71.4 percent of the ESPN leagues); Stephen Hill, Jets; Randall Cobb, Packers; Alshon Jeffery, Bears
Just missed the cut: Cobb; Jon Baldwin, Chiefs (25.9 percent); Kendall Wright, Titans (14.5); Andrew Hawkins, Bengals (2.4); Brandon Gibson, Rams (0.5)

1. Martellus Bennett, Giants (35.6 percent)
2. Dennis Pitta, Ravens (24.8)
3. Coby Fleener, Colts (32.6)
4. Kyle Rudolph, Vikings (12.0)
5. Brandon Myers, Raiders (0.1)
Dropped out: Heath Miller, Steelers; Jermaine Gresham, Bengals
Just missed the cut: Miller; Gresham; Scott Chandler, Bills (18.0 percent)

Past waiver-wire picks: Week 2

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