Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Advice Week 3
Through two weeks of NFL, Tony Pollard has outscored Alvin Kamara, Juwan Johnson has outscored George Kittle, and Daniel Jones has outscored, well, almost everyone. That’s life in fantasy football.
Last week, I begged you to not panic. Guess what I’m doing this week? We have a bit clearer picture of players’ usages, but two games still don’t cut it. You typically can’t tell true patterns until after Week 3, so until then, let’s pump the brakes on the panic button.
On the flip side, feel free to get amped about these guys! In all seriousness, now’s the time to pounce on the waiver wire—if the usage lines up. Remember, it’s the numbers behind the numbers that paint the full picture. I’d say that’s the case for these potential waiver pickups.
Week 2 Stat Line: 29.46 points, 249 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 9 carries, 95 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown
Your QB4 for the 2021 NFL season so far is… Daniel Jones. Jones’ rushing ability has bolstered him into the upper echelon of fantasy quarterbacks through Week 2. Like I said in the intro, there’s no need to celebrate Jones’ production yet, but he’ll have a good chance to prove more doubters wrong with a juicy upcoming game against Atlanta. He’s worth a pickup if you need a backup quarterback. We’ve seen Jones be hot and cold in the past though, so I wouldn’t start him just yet.
Week 2 Stat Line: 21.22 points, 328 passing yards, 2 touchdowns
Bridgewater has been quietly dealing through the first two weeks. He dropped 20-plus points each against the Giants and the Jaguars. He tends not to make a large dent in the ground game, though he has yet to throw an interception. Bridgewater isn’t the flashiest option for your team, but he does face the Jets at home this week. Maybe we’ll see him in Jaime Eisner’s Sneaky Starts article later this week?
Week 2 Stat Line: 24.18 points, 382 passing yards, 2 touchdowns
Let’s talk about Derek Carr. Like Bridgewater, he doesn’t get it done on the ground, and he apparently doesn’t need to. He’s a top-10 fantasy quarterback with at least 24 points in his first two games. He doesn’t have the best Week 3 matchup—the Raiders host the Dolphins—but he did play fairly well against the stout Steelers’ defense.
Names to watch: Sam Darnold, Taylor Heinicke
Week 2 Stat Line: 20.3 points, 4 carries, 10 rushing yards, 1 touchdown, 5 receptions on 6 targets, 83 receiving yards
A week after McKissic was a popular drop candidate, he showed why people like myself were so high on him. Antonio Gibson saw more carries than him but McKissic saw four more targets. McKissic also snatched a goal-line touchdown from Gibson, much to the dismay of Gibson’s fantasy managers. It was a true role reversal from Week 1, so you shouldn’t expect this every week. However, for the draft capital you likely spent on McKissic, this type of production is of great value. He has more upside than most available running backs.
Week 2 Stat Line: 18.5 points, 5 carries, 20 rushing yards, 1 touchdown, 5 receptions on 6 targets, 45 receiving yards
Similar to McKissic, White’s main value comes in the passing game. White led the Patriots in receptions and receiving yards a week after being top-two in both categories for the team. Again, he has more immediate value than most running backs on the waiver wire. Dare I say he’s the Patriots’ most reliable pass-catcher?
Week 2 Stat Line: 23.9 points, 7 carries, 11 rushing yards, 1 touchdown, 5 receptions on 6 targets, 58 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
Whether you classify him as an RB or WR, Patterson may have confirmed my preseason suspicions that he’ll be involved in the Falcons’ offense.
Patterson produced that stat line while leading Atlanta in targets. He also saw nine carries—just two fewer than Mike Davis saw. I still don’t know what Patterson’s exact role will be moving forward, but the bottom line is he has one. Who knows? Maybe he’ll eventually earn a WR designation, too.
Week 2 Stat Line: 7.2 points, 6 carries, 14 rushing yards, 2 receptions on 3 targets, 18 receiving yards
I had Gainwell here in last week’s column so I won’t spend too much reiterating what I said. Gainwell’s involvement in Week 2 seems to further prove that he may not be going anywhere. He even outscored Miles Sanders by 0.3 points. My condolences, Sanders fantasy managers.
Names to watch: JaMycal Hasty (if healthy), Ty Johnson, Salvon Ahmed
Week 2 Stat Line: 24.4 points, 7 receptions on 8 targets, 114 yards, 1 touchdown
Last week, I had Moore as a name to watch. Well, I hope you were watching. The rookie receiver balled out against the Vikings en route to finishing as a top-10 WR. But wait, it gets better. Moore was uber-efficient for the second straight week.
If he keeps this up, we could be looking at the No. 1 rookie receiver for fantasy. Moore looks like a must-add in all formats.
Week 2 Stat Line: 12.7 points, 3 receptions on 4 targets, 37 yards, 1 touchdown
Setting my burning urge to make a Patrick Star joke aside, Patrick’s Week 2 performance shouldn’t have surprised you. Last week, I explained why Patrick was worthy of a waiver claim. Thanks for making me look somewhat good, Tim! The Broncos spread the ball around, so Patrick was one of a few Denver players to see four targets. Luckily for him, one of those targets turned into a 12-yard touchdown. You should still consider adding Patrick, especially with Jerry Jeudy out.
Week 2 Stat Line: 20.1 points, 5 receptions on 6 targets, 91 yards, 1 touchdown
So I guess Osborn is going to be a thing? I wrote about the second-year wideout in this column last week, and he earned another spot here after Sunday’s 20-point performance. Despite seeing the third-most targets on the team with six, Osborn led all Minnesota receivers in receiving yards. I have a feeling this won’t be the last we see from him, though you shouldn’t automatically pencil him in your lineups, yet.
Week 2 Stat Line: 14.4 points, 3 receptions on 6 targets, 54 yards, 1 touchdown
Slayton has quietly been a steady fantasy option in his first two games. He put up 9.5 points in Week 1 and followed that up with 14.4 points in Week 2. His 13 targets in that span are the team’s third-most and they’re just one shy of Kenny Golladay, who’s had his fair share of struggles. Slayton’s not a bad pickup, though you should prefer the other wideouts in this column.
Names to watch: Bryan Edwards, Braxton Berrios, Demarcus Robinson, Freddie Swain
Week 2 Stat Line: 9.7 points, 2 receptions on 3 targets, 17 yards, 1 touchdown
Consider me impressed with Knox. Not necessarily impressed with his production, but with his usage.
Knox’s usage has been fairly consistent through the first two weeks, and it certainly helps that Buffalo is unsurprisingly a top passing team in the league again. While Knox isn’t churning out starter-level points, his involvement in the Bills’ offense suggests a sustainable line of production for your fantasy team. If you need a tight end, Knox is a sneaky waiver candidate.
Names to watch: Tony Gonzalez in a time machine