Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: NFL Week 3
Dan Malin brings you his top waiver wire adds heading into Week 3 of the fantasy football season
So you’ve fallen to 0-2 and all hope is lost for your fantasy football team. Put a fork in yourself and throw in the towel, right? WRONG! The waiver wire is where you can find solutions to your problems and potentially fix them. There’s always talent to be found on waivers no matter how deep your league is. Week 2 gave us some interesting names to look at heading into Week 3, but I’m not necessarily willing to break the bank with a 30% bid on anybody in particular. So without further ado, here are some names to consider for waivers…
(Note: The FAAB bids are represented in a percentage of your budget. No FAAB budget is the same. Some leagues do a $100 budget, others do $200 or all the way up to $1,000. Use the percentages as a guide to determine how much you should bid for these players.)
Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB – Tampa Bay; FAAB Bid: 10-13%) If you’re experiencing quarterback woes then turn to Fitzpatrick. They say that DisneyWorld is the most magical place on Earth in Orlando, FL but if you hop in I-4 and head down to Tampa Bay you’ll find Ryan FitzMagic throwing back-to-back 400-yard, four touchdown games. He’s available in over 65% of ESPN leagues, but only pick this guy up if there’s an absolute need for a quarterback next week. Jameis Winston returns from his suspension shortly and it’ll be very hard to take the ball out of Fitzpatrick’s hands if the Bucs are 3-0 after next Monday’s matchup against Pittsburgh. Even after the Pittsburgh matchup, they have a short week to prepare for the Bears so it’s not a guarantee they’ll want to turn to Winston on a short week.
Aaron Jones (RB – Green Bay Packers; FAAB Bid: 12-18%) Well the suspension is over and while he may not get a healthy workload to start, there’s plenty of reason to be optimistic about Jones’ fantasy prospects. In a small sample size in 2017, Aaron Jones averaged 5.5 yards per carry on 81 carries with four touchdowns. A majority of this production came earlier in 2017 when he was at his healthiest. With Jamaal Williams averaging a measly 3.4 yards per carry and the Packers fresh off a tie against a division rival, they may feed Jones the rock sooner rather than later.
Giovani Bernard (RB – Cincinnati Bengals; FAAB Bid: 12-16%) With Joe Mixon sidelined for a few weeks Gio Bernard is the guy to grab out of Cincinnati. Bernard is a commodity in PPR formats. He had 230 receptions coming into this year and was a lock for at least 40 if given the opportunity. And now the opportunity has arrived! The Bengals have some difficult road matchups coming up against Carolina and Atlanta and Bernard figures to be involved in both those contests especially if Cincy falls behind.
Austin Ekeler (RB – Los Angles Chargers; FAAB Bid: 20%) It appears as if the Chargers have found their new and improved Danny Woodhead . Through two games Ekeler has 116 rushing yards on 16 carries and eight receptions for 106 receiving yards and a touchdown. It goes without saying you should own Ekeler if you own Gordon. Gordon won’t lose his workload by any means. However, Ekeler is proving to be more than just a simple handcuff. He’s actually a viable Flex option in PPR formats. A tough matchup in Week 3 is on the horizon against the Rams, but the Chargers then play the 49ers, Raiders, Browns, and Titans heading into their bye week.
Quincy Enunwa (WR – New York Jets; FAAB Bid: 8-10%) Wide receivers are easy to come by on waivers so you don’t need to break the bank as much as you would need to for a running back. Enunwa has seen double-digit targets in each of the first two games this season and it’s translated to 13 receptions for 155 yards and a touchdown. Until Sam Darnold can effectively throw it deep to Robby Anderson there’s plenty of reason for optimism with Enunwa in the Jets passing game.
Keelan Cole (WR – Jacksonville Jaguars; FAAB Bid: 6-8%) He may not be worth starting every week, but he’s a decent Flex option so far and he’s nice depth on your bench at the very least. Through two games he has ten catches for 170 yards and a touchdown on 12 targets. Last season he averaged 17.8 yards per reception so despite the small sample size it’s not too surprising he’s currently averaging 17 yards per reception. Cole’s next three matchups are the Titans, Jets, and Chiefs and neither defense boasts a particularly threatening secondary.
Eric Ebron (TE – Indianapolis Colts; FAAB Bid: 8-10%) If you sat and waited on tight ends in your draft well this could be the opportunity to find one on waivers that can help you rest of season. There is some hesitancy to go all in on Ebron. Yes he has two touchdowns so far on the year, but he’s only run pass routes on 36% of the snaps he’s been on the field for. By comparison, Jack Doyle has run 88%. If it does help persuade you a little more towards Ebron, Andrew Luck is averaging 8.6 yards per attempt on passes to Ebron. He’s averaging just 5.3 yards per attempt to Doyle. The tight end position is very touchdown dependent and this duo will be frustrating all year long, hence why I’m not willing to bid too much on Ebron.
Jordan Wilkins (RB – Indianapolis Colts; FAAB Bid: 8-12%) Marlon Mack returned on Sunday and he and Wilkins had the same number of rushing attempts. Wilkins, however, had 61 rushing yards on ten carries while Mack had just 34 rushing yards on ten carries. The Colts RBBC will be annoying especially with Nyheim Hines getting carries as well, but Wilkins stands to get the most yards as well as extra work in the passing game.
Corey Clement (RB – Philadelphia Eagles; FAAB Bid: 18-20%) Clement can also be targeted in shallower leagues based on the opportunity he’s about to be given in the Eagles backfield. Jay Ajayi does have three touchdowns so far this year, but his name has been attached to a couple different injuries to start the season also. Darren Sproles was inactive this past week so it’s time for Clement to get an opportunity and he did not disappoint against the Bucs. He had six carries for 30 yards and a touchdown while adding five carries for 55 yards. That’s a pretty valuable add in deeper PPR leagues and one you should be willing to spend up on.
Javorius Allen (RB – Baltimore Ravens; FAAB Bid: 10-12%) Alex Collins is probably still the top running back in Baltimore, but Buck Allen sure has been a thorn in the side of his fantasy production. Allen has a rushing touchdown in each of Baltimore’s first two games as well as five receptions so there is some PPR appeal as well. The Ravens do have a tough home matchup against Denver this coming week before going on the road to Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Tennessee.
Phillip Lindsay (RB – Denver Broncos; FAAB Bid: 18%) Lindsay is interesting, but there are some concerns. Obviously you can’t deny the production because he’s done more than Royce Freeman who everyone was hyping up in the preseason. The issue is that defenses are stacking the box more against Freeman than they are against Lindsay. At a certain point defenses may wise up and give Lindsay a similar treatment. Obviously if you missed out on Lindsay last week, shame on you, especially if you’re a Freeman owner. Lindsay’s price tag has gone up a bit so you might have to fork over some coin.
Chris Godwin (WR – Tampa Bay Buccaneers; FAAB Bid: 15-20%) If you’re in need of a solid Flex option or a WR3, Godwin could be your guy and you better be ready to pay up cause his ownership is going to spike this week. He’s caught a touchdown in back-to-back games and if Ryan Fitzpatrick remains at quarterback for Tampa then Godwin should continue to see a steady workload in the passing game.
Mike Williams (WR – Los Angeles Chargers; FAAB Bid: 10-15%) It’s a bold decision, but I’m willing to fork over a little more money than usual for a wide receiver especially one who only had two targets. That said, Williams did find the end zone in Week 2 after a five-catch, 81-yard performance in Week 1. Travis Benjamin was inactive Week 2 and Tyrell Williams fumbled, although he didn’t lose it to Buffalo. The Chargers invested a first-round pick in Williams back in 2017 and he could put himself in a nice position to be the Chargers number two wideout behind Keenan Allen if he takes advantage of the targets given to him.
O.J. Howard (TE – Tampa Bay Buccaneers; FAAB Bid: 8%) Howard is the kind of player who is making the absolute most of the targets coming his way. He’s caught five of his six targets for 150 total yards and a touchdown. Now he won’t average 30 yards per reception the entire season, but Howard played 46 snaps to Cameron Brate ’s 14. Brate didn’t have a catch in the season opener and then he wasn’t even targeted this past Sunday. If Howard’s targets go up so will his fantasy value. For now he’s pushing all the right buttons.
14-Team Leagues and Deeper League Options
Jalen Richard (RB – Oakland Raiders; FAAB Bid: 4-5%) Richard is certainly a game script player. He requires the Raiders to fall behind by a lot and fast in order for the team to abandon the running game and air the ball out more. This was quite noticeable in Week 1 when he had nine catches for 55 yards. In Week 2 with the Raiders in control in the second half they didn’t need to lean on him as much against Denver because they had the lead until they didn’t. Looking at Richard’s fantasy playoff schedule: vs. PIT, at CIN, vs. DEN in Weeks 14-16 seem like Oakland could be playing from behind quite a bit. For now he doesn’t warrant a big bid, but he’s worth keeping an eye on especially if you have deep rosters.
Chris Ivory (RB – Buffalo Bills; FAAB Bid: 2%) Don’t break the bank for Ivory this week. The matchup in Week 3 against Minnesota is rough and Buffalo’s offensive line is awful. This recommendation is based solely off the fact that LeSean McCoy is probably out Week 3 with some fractured ribs so this is merely a handcuff suggestion because it’s not likely that Ivory goes off in this matchup. Marcus Murphy is also worth mild consideration especially in a deeper league that rewards for return yards.
Tyler Boyd (WR – Cincinnati Bengals; FAAB Bid: 6-8%) Boyd had a hell of a game last Thursday night and it appears the Bengals may have found their number two wide receiver behind A.J. Green . Boyd brought in six catches for 91 yards and a touchdown. As previously noted the Bengals have some difficult matchups on the horizon and Boyd could build upon the production he had Thursday night. Boyd is just another big target at Dalton’s disposal similar to Green.
Antonio Callaway (WR – Cleveland Browns; FAAB Bid: 5-7%) Does Callaway have talent? Yes, that was on display in his late touchdown grab to tie the game Sunday against the Saints. He’s owned in less than 10% of leagues and right now he’s merely a stash because you can’t rely on a deep touchdown every week for production. You’d like to see the snaps and targets go up. With Josh Gordon traded to New England yesterday there’s a real possibility the Browns put a little more faith in Callaway. For now you don’t want to break the bank, but if you can get him for a reasonable amount then don’t hesitate.
Jonnu Smith (TE – Tennessee Titans; FAAB Bid: 3%) Smith has minimal ownership and he has a pair of difficult matchups coming up against Jacksonville and then Philadelphia. He’s also coming off a zero-catch performance the week after Delanie Walker was injured. Smith is still the tight end that’ll collect the most snaps in Tennessee. Unfortunately for him, his first game in this role saw Marcus Mariota watching from the sidelines. This may be a slow-developing fantasy project but there is some upside even though Tennessee has been crushed by injuries on offense.
Defenses to Stream
The Bears are currently just 58.6% owned and face off against the Cardinals on the road who have had massive problems getting things going with David Johnson on offense. Not to mention the Bears DST has collected double-digit points each of the first two weeks of the season. If the Bears are unavailable the Jets are another decent option Thursday night in Cleveland. Thursday night games are typically a mess, but the home team usually has some advantage in these games. But the Jets DST has totaled 36 points the first two weeks and you have to imagine, on a short week, Thursday will be another sloppy game that they might be able to disrupt the Browns offense.