ADD/DROPS

Week 3: Working the waiver wire

Photo via: Chiefs/Facebook

Did anything interesting happen this week? Week 2 was a bloodbath for fantasy owners. Losing Big Ben and Drew Brees certainly hurt a lot of fantasy teams, but luckily QB is deep and there are plenty of good options on the waiver wire. Some of these players are good for the short-term, while others have more long-term value. You have to make the call on what your team needs. Immediate help to start this week, or a player to stash on your bench and hope he breaks out. Let's get started.

QB

Josh Allen: He's available in 70% of ESPN leagues, and he's recorded a rushing TD in both games already. Plus, he already has 17 rushing attempts. Keep in mind he's thrown for over 250 yards in both games, so he can get you points through the air too. He gets the Bengals this week, so the matchup is good.

Matthew Stafford: You can get him in 74% of ESPN leagues, and he's a Top 5 QB in PPR leagues after the first 2 games. He has to go to Philly this week, but Matt Ryan put up big numbers against them in week 2. Ryan threw 3 picks, but also put up over 300 yards and 3 TDs. Stafford should be a pretty reliable option this week and going forward if you need him.

Jimmy Garoppolo: He's rostered in only 24% of leagues, and had a nice performance against the Bengals on Sunday with 3TDs. He faces the Steelers at home, and should have a lot of opportunities to put up points if Mason Rudolph can't keep the offense on the field.

RB

Carlos Hyde: Hyde has looked good so far this year, and he's still available in 55% of ESPN leagues. The Texans love to run the rock, and the offense should be good despite their performance against the Jags. Kerryon Johnson had 150 total yards and a TD against the Chargers, so Hyde certainly has a chance to do something against them this Sunday.

Darwin Thompson: If he ends up with a starter's role in this offense, he could be a league winner. LeSean McCoy and Damien Williams both were injured against the Raiders on Sunday, so you'll have to check the injury report this week to see if they're out. Thompson has a tough matchup against the Ravens this week, but that shouldn't matter in this offense. He's only rostered in 18% of ESPN leagues, so pick him up. McCoy reportedly has no structural damage in his ankle, but Thompson should have a role if Williams is out and McCoy returns.

Jaylen Samuels: Samuels certainly lost some value when Big Ben went down, but with James Conner dealing with a knee issue he should be a good option until Conner returns. He showed he could be productive filling in for Conner last year, so he's definitely worth a shot. He's available in 75% of ESPN leagues.

Raheem Mostert: It's hard to get too excited about Mostert since the 49ers like to use several RBs, but he got 16 touches last week, and we know Breida has trouble staying healthy. He's out there in 89% of ESPN leagues.

WR

Demarcus Robinson: Wow, that was an impressive performance against the Raiders. You can't expect him to have over 100 yards and 2 TDs every week, but Mahomes is going to air it out, and they have some injuries at RB that may lead to them throwing more. He gets the Ravens this week who are dealing with some injuries in the secondary. He's available in 99% of ESPN leagues. He's a veteran, so we'll give him the nod over Hardman.

Mecole Hardman: Hardman has speed to burn, and he got a lot of reps with Mahomes this offseason because of Tyreek Hill's suspension. Anybody with a role on the Chiefs should be added. He's rostered in 38% of ESPN leagues.

Nelson Agholor: The Eagles are dealing with injuries to their top 2 pass catchers and Carson Wentz has to throw the ball to someone besides Zach Ertz. Jackson and Jeffery will likely return sooner than later, but if you need a WR this week Agholor can help you. He's only rostered in 4% of leagues.

Marquise Goodwin and Deebo Samuel: It's hard to know which guy is the better start from week to week, but it's worth picking them up and watching how their roles evolve over the course of the year. This offense should be good, so they have value. Goodwin is available in over 95% of ESPN leagues while Samuel is only rostered in 13% of leagues.

TE

Will Dissly: It appears Dissly is the TE to have in Seattle. He came away with 2 TD grabs against the Steelers, so pick him up if you need some help at the position. You can get him in 98% of leagues.

Jason Witten: I know, he's a thousand years old and can't really run anymore, but Dak Prescott looks for him in the red zone and let's be real. Unless you have an elite TE, you're just hoping for a TD and Witten has scored two weeks in a row. He's only rostered in 18% of ESPN leagues. Also, he's playing the Dolphins this week. If there's ever a week to start him, this is it.

Jordan Reed: He'll return at some point from the concussion protocol, and he can help you out until he gets hurt again. If you're desperate, you can roster him and Vernon Davis playing Davis until Reed returns to action.

Defense

Who's playing the Dolphins this week? That's what you should be asking every week. This week the Cowboys have the honor of playing Miami, so they're a great start obviously.

If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter or listen to my radio show MoneyLine with Jerry Bo Sundays from 10-noon on ESPN 97.5 FM. We talk all things fantasy football and NFL gambling getting you ready for kickoff every Sunday.

@JoshJordan975@Moneyline975

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Mattress Mack and the Astros host Pearland Little League at Wednesday night's game. Photo by LittleLeague.org

Sure, it’s impressive that the Astros have made four World Series appearances in recent years, but they’re not alone. There’s another baseball team around here that’s also headed to its fourth World Series since 2010.

Pearland defeated Oklahoma, 9-4, on Tuesday to win the Southwest Regional and qualify for the Little League World Series starting Aug. 17 in South Williamsport, PA.

Most fans and media say the Little League World Series is held in Williamsport, but it’s South Williamsport, just a 5-minute stroll across a bridge over the Susquehanna River in north central Pennsylvania.

Pearland is on a torrid 13-game winning streak that swept through district, sectional, state and regional tournaments to earn the Little League World Series bid.

Here’s how difficult the road to the Little League World Series is. There are 15 teams in MLB’s American League. If the Astros finish with one of the two best records, they’ll have to win two playoff series to play in the World Series.

Little League is a little bigger than MLB. Little League is the largest youth sports organization in the world, with 2.5 million kids playing for 180,000 teams in more than 100 countries on six continents.

Pearland, representing East Texas, had to defeat All-Star teams from West Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arkansas and Colorado to win the Southwest Regional. The Little League World Series will host 20 teams - 10 from the U.S. and 10 from international regions.

If you have children that play Little League, or you’re just a fan, attending the Little League World Series should be high on your baseball bucket list.

I covered the Little League World Series in 2010 when Pearland made its first appearance and made it all the way to the U.S. championship game. It may have been my most fun assignment ever.

The Little League World Series is played by 11 and 12-year-olds in Little League’s major division. When ESPN and ABC air these games, they’ll present the players as innocent little kids, like Beaver and Wally or Tom and Huck. They’ll show the kids playing Simon Says with the Little League mascot called Dugout. They’ll ask the kids who’s their favorite big leaguer.

I was a Little League coach. I followed Little League All-Stars across Texas all the way to South Williamsport. These kids are absolute baseball maniacs with $400 gloves, $500 bats and Oakley sunglasses. I thought the Astros might call and ask where they got their super neat equipment.

Especially in Texas, these kids are built tough with long ball power and play year-round travel baseball with high-priced private coaches. This isn’t a choose-up game in the park where kids play in their school clothes, one kid brings a baseball and the players share bats. I looked at some of the Little Leaguers and wondered if they drove to the stadium.

I half-expected, when ABC asked who their baseball idol was, they’d answer “me!”

Here’s how seriously good these kids can play the game. Justin Verlander throws a 97-mph fastball. That’s pretty fast. It’s not rare anymore for a Little League pitcher to reach 70-mph on a fastball. The Little League mound is 46 feet from home plate. A 70-mph pitch in Little League gets to home plate in the same time as a 91-mph pitch from 60 feet 6 inches in MLB.

In 2015, a pitcher named Alex Edmonson fired an 83-mph heater at the Little League World Series. The reaction time a Little League batter had against Alex’s pitch was equal to a Major Leaguer trying to hit a 108-mph fastball. Good luck with that. Alex pitched a no-hitter and struck out 15 batters in six innings at the Little League World Series. Now 20, Alex is a relief pitcher for Clemson.

The Little League World Series is a trip. The easiest way to get there is to fly into Philadelphia and drive to South Williamsport. I sat next to CC Sebathia’s mother on the plane.

Admission to all Little League World Series games is free and snack bar prices are reasonable. A hot dog is $3. Alcohol and smoking are prohibited.

The first Little League World Series was held in 1947. Only 58 players have played in the Little League World Series and later played in MLB. The most famous are Cody Bellinger and Jason Varitek. Only two players from the Houston area made the leap: Brady Rodgers and Randal Grichuk both played on the 2003 team from Richmond, about 30 miles from Houston in Fort Bend County.

While you’re in South Williamsport, you should visit the Little League museum and Hall of Excellence. Among the inductees: Presidents Joe Biden and George W. Bush, Astros manager Dusty Baker, Kevin Costner, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dick Vitale, Rob Manfred and someone who’d later play stadiums in a different way, Bruce Springsteen.

Speaking of Springsteen, I shattered a record at the 2010 Little League World Series. The record was Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. I was talking to a Little League executive while teams were warming up on the field. Born in the U.S.A. came over the stadium loudspeakers.

I told the executive, I’m a big fan but maybe this isn’t the best song you should be playing. The executive asked why not? Well, you might want to listen to the words. Born in the U.S.A. is a depressing song about a U.S. soldier who is sent to Vietnam and can’t find a job when he gets back home. It’s not exactly Yankee Doodle Dandy. You have teams from Asia here (Japan won the tournament that year). The executive said, please tell me you’re kidding. Here’s one verse:

Got in a little hometown jam

So they put a rifle in my hand

Sent me off to a foreign land

To go and kill the (what is considered a slur for Asians).

Later I got an email from the president of Little League International.

“Quite honestly, I've never listened closely to the words of Born in the USA. I see clearly how it is offensive to our Little League friends from Asian nations. I have directed our folks who coordinate the stadium music to discontinue playing it in the future.”

Play Centerfield by John Fogerty instead. The message of that song is, “put me in coach.” Little League couldn’t say it any better.

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