One catch for 4 yards.
That was the combinedoutput for a fantasy owner who lamented: "What to do with my awful WRs" in the subject line of his email.
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So who were these two slackers? None other than Hakeem Nicks and Dwayne Bowe, both of whom were ranked in my preseason top 30 among wideouts.
This dilemma isn't unique as I'm sure as many of you are wondering what to do with fellow slackers such as Andre Johnson, Roddy White, Vincent Jackson, Arian Foster, Trent Richardson, Ray Rice and Maurice Jones-Drew, among others.
Most leagues' waiver wires are pretty picked over, so your best bet is to send out a mass email looking to deal from strength while shoring up the leaks in your team's bursting dam.
In our example above with Nicks and Bowe, our reader has Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers as his QBs and Foster as a RB. The only movable piece here is Manning (since you're never going to get market value for Foster at this point), but moving forward with Rivers is a dicey situation now that the Chargers' O-line is in complete shambles. (I might be regretting that column from last week!)
The only way you even think about trading Manning is if you have another top-end QB on the roster, which isn't very likely, or if you have faith in a waiver-wire QB.
In this case, my advice to the reader is just to stay patient. Nicks had 16 catches for 197 yards in the Giants' first two games, and while Bowe is off to a slow start, things should pick up for him eventually.
As for the rest of you, a well-time, fair trade three weeks into the season is a great way to give your team a boost. If you are 1-2 or 0-3, it's time to start getting serious about revamping your roster. The season can get away from you in a hurry.
As for the other mopes, let's take a look at them on a case-by-case basis.
•Texans WR Johnson: Short term, I'd exercise caution as Johnson is banged up and a game-time decision this week against an almost-impossible-to-score-on Seahawks secondary. Long term, I still like him as a solid WR1.
•Falcons WR White: Bench him until Week 7 when Atlanta comes off the bye. An ankle injury is clearly limiting a player who has produced six straight 1,100-yard seasons.
•Bucs WR Jackson: Stay patient, but monitor how Tampa Bay looks with rookie Mike Glennon running the show.
•Texans RB Foster: This week against the Seahawks, I'd consider other options if you have any. Truth be told, Houston's schedule doesn't get a whole lot easier moving forward. Trading for an upgrade over Foster seems insane, but if you can pull it off, I'd give it a shot.
•Colts RB Richardson: Eventually, Richardson is going to be the main man in Indy, but watch for another 12-16 touch day this week. Against the Jaguars, that's enough to be an RB2. I still think he'll end up in the top 8 among RBs by season's end.
•Ravens RB Rice: Stay patient. Big games are coming.
•Jaguars RB Jones-Drew: Run away. Do whatever is humanly possible to find a replacement.
I'm excited to see what Le'Veon Bell can do to jump-start a putrid Steelers running game. I took the rookie out of Michigan State in the seventh round in one league, knowing he's easily the best option Pittsburgh has in the backfield. If you are hurting, feel free to put him in your lineup, but I'd wait a week if possible. ... Throwing for 321 yards and 3 TD passes, Browns QB Brian Hoyer looked solid last week in a 31-27 victory over the Vikings. With Brandon Weeden nursing a thumb injury, Hoyer gets the call again, but it will be tougher sledding for the rookie against a solid Bengals squad. ...
Need WR help? Get Detroit's Ryan Broyles if he's available. The second-year player out of Oklahoma is going to see a lot more action with Nate Burleson (broken arm) out. ... Another player to consider is Dallas' Terrence Williams. Miles Austin is likely out, and Williams will see plenty of action against a terrible Chargers pass defense.
My teams: Eric Decker (133 yards, TD) and Tony Romo (3 TDs) kept me from getting off to a disastrous 0-3 start in my regular league as I beat a 2-0 team 101-79. Also won in my auction league (2-1) with Romo (19 points), Jimmy Graham (20) and Matt Forte (13) paving the way to a 79-37 victory.
•Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger vs. Minnesota (at London). If Brian Hoyer (321 yards, 3 TDs) and Jay Cutler (290-3) can shred the Vikings' defense, just wait until Big Ben and the run-challenged Steelers hit the field. Even with Le'Veon Bell making his pro debut, the ball could go in the air 45-50 times.
•Bengals RB Giovani Bernard at Cleveland. The number of touches for the rookie from North Carolina has gone from 5 to 9 to 14 in the first three weeks of the season. Cincinnati knows what it has and figures to give the ball to Bernard a minimum of 12 times a game going forward.
•Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew vs. Indianapolis. Feature backs are averaging 4.73 yards per carry against the Colts. Despite my gloomy outlook on MJD in the beginning of the column, I still like him to finish with 80-100 yards from scrimmage with a TD.
•Raiders RB Darren McFadden vs. Washington. McFadden had one of the oddest productive fantasy days in recent memory Monday: 12 carries for 9 yards, but he managed 12 fantasy points thanks to a rushing TD and a passing TD. This week, he'll shred a sickly Redskins D.
•Chiefs WRs Dwayne Bowe and Donnie Avery vs. New York Giants. Bowe (9 catches, 90 yards) is off to a horrendous start, but that changes against the 0-3 G-Men.
•Seahawks WR Golden Tate at Houston. Not expecting miracles here, but watch for 5-6 catches for 70-80 yards.
•Giants QB Eli Manning at Kansas City. The Chiefs have allowed just 2 TD passes thus far. It's going to be a long, long day for Manning and Co.
•Eagles QB Michael Vick at Denver. This is an awfully risky call in that the Broncos have given up a decent amount of fantasy points through the air. Vick won't be unplayable fantasy-wise, but I see a line like this: 240 yards, 35 rushing, 1 TD, 2 turnovers.
•Bills RB C.J. Spiller vs. Baltimore. Spiller's about to apply for permanent residency in the Bad Bets. Play him at your own risk.
•Chargers RB Ryan Mathews vs. Dallas. Mathews (55 rush yards per game; 3 total receptions) is nothing more than a desperation flex play at this point.
•Texans RB Arian Foster and WR Andre Johnson vs. Seattle. Seeing as I own both of these players, I really, really hope I'm wrong here. But I really, really doubt I am. Foster hasn't been Foster, Johnson hasn't been Johnson, and the Sehawks' D has been virtually impenetrable.
•Titans WR Nate Washington vs. New York Jets. Don't get seduced by Washington's big game last week. Anything more than 55 yards against this Jets defense would be sensational.
•Falcons WR Roddy White vs. New England. Seven catches for 56 yards. That's what White has given his fantasy owners through three weeks.
•Dolphins WR Mike Wallace at New Orleans. This might look like a good spot to play Wallace, but only five teams have allowed fewer fantasy points to wide receivers and tight ends than New Orleans.