Following Week 2, it’s a great time as a fantasy football manager to take a step back and assess your team. If you’re 2-0, have comfortable depth at running back and wide receiver while also having a reliable quarterback at the helm of your team, then you might be able to just go light on waivers this week. If you’re 1-1 or 0-2, it’s on you to identify what the problem has been. If you’ve posted the third-or-fourth-most points so far but you’ve had bad luck and faced off against teams that ran a train on you, then maybe you just evaluate your players and see if there’s a chance you turn it around with what you have or you start making some changes. The problem with this week’s waiver wire is that I truly don’t feel there’s anyone worth spending a significant portion of your FAAB on. We saw some minor injuries this week, but nothing too debilitating. Again, evaluate your teams and decide how much you really need to spend this week.
Now, I mentioned this one week ago but it’s worth repeating… I will NOT be in the NFL Seasonal Discord Tuesday evening handling waiver wire questions. I normally am there on Tuesday nights to help with waiver wire acquisitions, but I am unable to make it this week so this is all you get from me heading into Week 3. But the rest of the #FAmily is in the NFL Seasonal Discord channel throughout the day to help you with your waiver wire inquiries.
Derek Carr (LV; FAAB Bid: 10%) This is around the time of the season, after two wins against the Ravens and Steelers, everyone starts asking “Are the Raiders for real?” And we don’t need a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ for fantasy, but Derek Carr has over 800 passing yards through two games. The games have been competitive and the Raiders offense has looked great so far. Carr is spreading the ball around and the Raiders draw easier defenses in the coming weeks against the Dolphins and Chargers. We all likely had bigger concerns regarding the AFC North start to Vegas’ season. The Raiders’ defense may also keep opposing offenses in the game which helps Carr’s fantasy prospects.
Justin Fields (CHI; FAAB Bid: 6-7%) Now, this is a scenario where you really need to assess your team. If you play in a 10-or-12-team league and you have a quarterback named Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray, Dak Prescott, Justin Herbert, Jalen Hurts, or maybe even Matthew Stafford then you really don’t need Fields. And even if you think about adding him as “trade bait” in a standard, 1-QB format he doesn’t have a ton of value. If you’ve been streaming QB’s to start the season then you should look to acquire him. In 2-QB/Superflex formats he should be owned. Hopefully, I covered all bases there. It looks like we’ll finally get to see Fields start in Week 3, albeit in a less than ideal matchup. Andy Dalton went down with injury and it looks like Fields is taking over under center. This is an added bump to the offense and while we shouldn’t expect the rushing numbers of Jalen Hurts, Fields can bring fantasy value with his legs. The Week 3 matchup sucks (on the road against the Browns) but like I said, hopefully you have a better option where you don’t need to rely on Fields.
Teddy Bridgewater (DEN; FAAB Bid: 5-6%) Bridgewater and Fields are kind of a toss-up for me. Personally you can probably lean on Bridgewater’s floor. He’s not going to give you 24+ points every week, but he’s completing over 75% of his passes and he isn’t turning the ball over. I’m not sure how much he’ll need to throw next week against the Jets, but Teddy B is a viable option on the waiver wire, but hopefully most of you are probably set at quarterback at this juncture.
Zack Moss (BUF; FAAB Bid: 10-12%) Moss reclaimed his role as the Bills goal line running back on Sunday. He scored twice against the Dolphins in Week 2 from the seven-and-one-yard line. I’m not willing to write him off just yet due to his role this week and remember he saw at least a dozen carries in three straight games last December prior to the playoffs. His absence in Week 1 was apparently health-related and it doesn’t appear as if it impacted his role on the team.
Sony Michel (LAR; FAAB Bid: 10%) Again, ask yourself how much you need Michel this week. Darrell Henderson scored in each of the last two weeks, but suffered a rib cartilage injury that could potentially sideline him this week. If I had to guess, I’d say he’s questionable leading up to Week 3 because if they rest him and he’s feeling up to it, he could still play. By now, Michel has had enough time to become acclimated to the playbook. Michel isn’t a viable option in PPR formats. In three years with New England he had 26 total receptions, but his pass catching abilities looked solid in the preseason before he was traded. So maybe he goes out there and makes me look like an idiot. I don’t think he’s a long-term solution for your team. If Henderson’s out this week, then Michel could be a way to plug a leak.
James White (NE; FAAB Bid: 10%) He’s always a PPR darling if you’re brave enough to start him. With that being said, White has six catches in each of New England’s two games this season and he found the end zone against the Jets this week. Now he is game script dependent but it was refreshing to see him used consistently. If he’s getting at least ten touches then he’s a Flex-worthy play in 12-team PPR formats. After two games it’s easy to fall in love with the production so far, but a pair of difficult matchups are on the horizon against the Saints and Buccaneers.
J.D. McKissic (WFT; FAAB Bid: 6-7%) McKissic was a non-factor in Week 1, but he really frustrated Antonio Gibson owners on Thursday night. McKissic caught five-of-six targets for over 80 receiving yards including a huge catch for 56 yards late in the game. The fact the offense rolled with McKissic late instead of Gibson should catch your attention. He’s a preferred target in PPR formats; a flex option at best though.
Cordarrelle Patterson (ATL; FAAB Bid: 3-6%) There are more reasons to not trust Patterson at this stage than there are to actually trust him. But I say it all the time, you can’t really quantify the importance of running back depth. Patterson scored twice this past Sunday and while he only has 21 touches through two games, seven of those have been receptions. But Sunday’s production was game script dependent, and it looks like he’ll be a thorn in Mike Davis’ side, or at least his value. Personally, I’m not rushing to grab him in any league. But I know there are questions and intrigue. I find it hard to believe he’s having his breakout year at the age of 30 on a pretty bad team.
Ty Johnson (NYJ; FAAB Bid: 2-3%) Here’s another guy that I’m not overly excited about, but he looks to be the running back to own behind Michael Carter. Carter’s ownership is a little high but if anyone drops him out of frustration, I would be targeting him this week. But Johnson led the team in snaps in Week 1 and was clearly more involved this past week than Tevin Coleman who is an easy drop at this point. You’re looking at Carter and Johnson as bench depth. Unless you have a player on bye, you aren’t adding either to start them right now. You must be incredibly desperate if that’s the case, but there’s value here in terms of depth.
Darnell Mooney CHI; FAAB Bid: 12-14%) Mooney is likely only available in shallow leagues as his rostership is pushing 50% on many sites. But Mooney has seen seven and eight targets in each of his first two games this season. He’s only turned them into 11 catches for 92 yards, but better days could be ahead with Justin Fields starting for the Bears. Hell, Mooney almost caught a touchdown pass from Fields that went off his fingertips. I’d prefer him over any of the players listed below. The Bears offense has a tough matchup against the Browns, so he’s a borderline Flex play in the coming scoring period. But he’s a must add off waivers at the moment.
Elijah Moore (NYJ; FAAB Bid: 10%) If you want to swing for the fences, Moore’s rostership numbers are on the rise and he’s on the brink of breaking out if Zach Wilson can make better decisions with the football. Moore ran 35 routes and had eight targets last week, which were second on the team to Braxton Berrios. The schedule gets better in the coming weeks with matchups against Tennessee and Atlanta on the horizon. The window to acquire Moore is slowly closing.
Rondale Moore (ARI; FAAB Bid: 6-9%) If we’re looking at just the box score, it makes sense why Moore is in the waiver column. He caught seven-of-eight targets for 114 yards and a touchdown in Week 2. However, James Grande shed a little transparency on the Cardinals offense on Monday…
Now it’s worth mentioning that Moore’s snap rate (46% in Week 2), route rate (57%), and target share (22.2%) were all significant increases following Week 1. The WR2 role will fluctuate through the entire season and don’t rely on the efficiency we saw in Week 2. Don’t expect that every week. The increase in activity is the more telling sign that they’re working him into the offense more.
Tim Patrick (DEN; FAAB Bid: 6-8%) With many mouths to feed in Denver’s passing attack, Patrick found the end zone and had three catches last week. What stands out to me is that he ran 33 routes in the absence of Jerry Jeudy, which was one more than Courtland Sutton. Both players still played well, but the Broncos will use Patrick’s massive frame in the red zone going forward. With a matchup against the Jets coming next week, it’s possible he scores once again.
K.J. Osborn (MIN; FAAB Bid: 5%) Osborn, similar to Mooney, has 15 targets through two games after not catching a single pass in his rookie season. So far he has a dozen catches for 167 yards and a touchdown. It’s odd that the Vikings are supporting three wide receivers, and while it’s refreshing to see, I doubt it’s sustained over the long run of the season. Osborn could have some Flex appeal next week against the Seahawks in what could be a shootout, but that appeal likely only comes in deeper leagues.
Jack Doyle (IND; FAAB Bid: 3-4%) It’s not a great week for tight ends but at least we can rely on Doyle. He grabbed five-of-eight targets for 64 yards and he was on the field for 49 snaps and he ran 33 routes. Now if you’re worried about the quarterback play in the coming weeks, I wouldn’t blame you. It’s a fair reason to not trust Doyle in the short-term, but the involvement and activity in the offense are certainly there.
Gerald Everett (SEA; FAAB Bid: 3%) A lot of people will look at this acknowledgement and scoff at it because Everett finished with just one catch for three yards on Sunday. You have to look past the box score. If you’re just looking at the names in bold in this column every week, and you aren’t examining tight end usage, you’re doing this all wrong. Everett played 43 offensive snaps out of 54 and he ran 29 routes. The targets have been hard to come by early in the season, but the involvement with the offense is once again there.
Jared Cook (LAC; FAAB Bid: 2-3%) Cook was in the waiver column a week ago and he almost paid off, but his touchdown was waved off because of a penalty. He still has eight catches on 13 targets through two games and will get looks in the end zone. The good news is that the Chargers play the Chiefs next week and they’ve historically been pretty weak against the tight end position.
Carolina Panthers – If you have to you can bid a small fraction of your FAAB, but I normally don’t recommend offering up FAAB for a D/ST. But the Panthers have been great through two weeks. They used all their 2020 draft picks on the defense and addressed that side of the ball early in the 2021 draft by taking Jaycee Horn who grabbed his first career interception on Sunday. This week the Panthers have to travel to Houston for Thursday Night Football and it’s possible Houston will be rolling with Davis Mills at quarterback after TyRod Taylor was hurt on Sunday. We could be looking at another double-digit fantasy point performance from this defense and they’ll likely be the most sought-after D/ST this week.
Las Vegas Raiders – Las Vegas might be my second-favorite streaming target this week. They stood up to the tough task of starting the season against Baltimore and Pittsburgh and while they weren’t glamorous, they got the job done. I think this week is a great match-up for the Raiders against a fairly unimpressive Dolphins offense. This will be a home game and Tua Tagovailoa is dealing with some bruised ribs at the moment so it’s not a guarantee that he plays. The Raiders are probably foaming at the mouth at this matchup.
Indianapolis Colts – I like the Colts, but I don’t love them yet. The NFL did them zero favors to start the year against the Seahawks and Rams, and now the Colts are kicking off three straight road games with the first of them being against the Titans this week. The Titans have a deadly offense as we saw them come back from two possessions down to beat the Seahawks this past week. The Colts still have a respectable defense. The early season schedule has been rough and if you don’t have the luxury of streaming the Panthers this week, then I’m fine stashing the Colts. They possess a better defense than Seattle and I’d roster them hoping they don’t get destroyed by Tennessee this week because I like the Colts against Miami (mentioned previously) next week as well.