Sunshine State QBs, Rookie WR Top Week 3 Waiver Wire Options
NFL Week 3 - Patience is key in fantasy football, as in life, but it can be tough to be patient if you start 0-2. Through just two weeks, we're starting to panic on some players, but I like to give it another week or two before cutting ties with some of those mid-round picks. At any rate, here are some guys to consider to pick up the slack for slumping studs or to bolster your lineup and solve some fast-approaching bye week issues.
If you lost Trey Lance, you're still looking for a Dak Prescott fill-in, or you're just stuck with Matt Ryan, look no further than the Sunshine State for a starting QB.
- Tua Tagovailoa – MIA (64.2% rostered ESPN; 63% Yahoo!)
- Tua is one of the higher-owned QBs, but he is still available in over 1/3 of ESPN and Yahoo! leagues. After Sunday’s six-TD performance, he should be owned in nearly every league. He’s completed 71.1% of his passes with a 8.66 Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt (he had only 5.81 and 5.40 the last two years). And we can’t forget he had the highest deep ball completion percentage in 2021 at 50%. He connected with Hill and Waddle on 3 of his 4 throws 20+ yards downfield, even if some were a tad underthrown. He’s obviously not going to throw for six TDs every week, but with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle to throw to, Tua should remain in the QB1 conversation. I’d pay up for Tua.
- Trevor Lawrence – JAX (49.8% rostered ESPN; 57% Yahoo!)
- We said this in the Jaguars chapter of this year’s Football Outsiders Almanac, but Trevor Lawrence became a better NFL quarterback just by not having Urban Meyer as his coach. He’s thrown for 510 yards through and 3 TDs through 3 games, and he’s scored more fantasy points than much higher rostered players like Matthew Stafford, Russell Wilson, Kirk Cousins, Aaron Rodgers, and Tom Brady. With a competent coaching staff plus the surrounding talent, he could push for back-end QB1 numbers this season, especially if he runs more like he did last season (average over 4 rushes per game in 2021). The schedule toughens up over the next couple weeks with matchups against the Chargers and Eagles. But if you lost Dak Prescott or Trey Lance, or you’re struggling at QB, Lawrence is worth taking a chance on, if Tua isn’t available.
- Other QBs worth considering (<40% rostered)
- Jared Goff – DET (6.9% ESPN; 23% Yahoo!)
- Jimmy Garoppolo (1.1% ESPN; 6% Yahoo!)
- Marcus Mariota – ATL (9.3% ESPN; 11% Yahoo!)
As is typically the case, quality running backs are few and far between. However, between injuries and workload splits early, there are a few solid options with lead-back potential on the wire this week.
- Darrel Williams – ARI (3.6% rostered ESPN; 4% Yahoo!) and Eno Benjamin – ARI (4.0% ESPN; 11% Yahoo!)
- Both running backs are worth adds in the wake of James Conner’s injury. Reports say it’s not considered serious, but we know Conner’s injury history. Williams earned 8 carries and 2 receptions to Benjamin’s 8 carries and 3 receptions. Williams ran 4 more routes than Benjamin and turned his goal-line carry into a touchdown. Despite the nearly even workload, Williams is my preferred option as the favorite for early-down and goal-line work in the event Conner misses time,. He caught 47 passes and was an RB2 last year in Kansas City, so we know he can produce as the lead back. Benjamin could have value in deeper leagues with a 3rd-down role.
- Raheem Mostert – MIA (51.7% rostered ESPN; 43% Yahoo)
- Mostert is trending up after a solid showing in Week 2. He started over Chase Edmonds and received 14 touches after logging just six in Week 1. They ran the same number of routes and each received 3 targets, but Edmonds was given just 5 carries to Mostert’s 11, giving Mostert a much higher opportunity share. Both backs have been productive in their careers, so the Dolphins may go with a hot-hand approach. Mostert is the much lesser owned back and should be picked up in all formats.
- J.D. McKissic – WAS (42.0% rostered ESPN; 24% Yahoo!)
- A week after Antonio Gibson dominated the backfield touches, J.D. McKissic was much more in involved in Week 2. He received 7 targets to Gibson’s 4, hauling in all 7 for 54 yards. He had the 7th-highest taget share among running backs in Week 2. This is mostlly a product of game-script, with the Commanders trailing for most of the game. But we’ve seen McKissic involved in the pass game in the past; he received 5+ targets in more than half the games he played in 2021. Antonio Gibson will still be the lead back while Brian Robinson is out, and perhaps even after his return, but I think McKissic is worth a bench spot, especially this week, where a similar game-script is expected against NFC East rival Philadelphia. Don’t go out of your way to acquire him, though.
- Other RBs worth considering (<20% rostered)
- Jerick McKinnon – KC (13.6% ESPN; 6% Yahoo!)
- Sony Michel – LAC (5.2% ESPN; 6% Yahoo!)
- Tyler Allgeier – ATL (14.0% ESPN; 14% Yahoo!)
- Jordan Mason – SF (2.1% ESPN; 5% Yahoo!)
Wide receiver is the easiest position to replace on the waiver wire, but this week's top pick won't be easy to get after a monster performance in just his second NFL game. Whether you're looking for short-term value or a potential season-long starter, consider these options.
- Garrett Wilson – NYJ (8.4% rostered ESPN; 24% Yahoo!)
- Garrett Wilson broke out in a big way in Week 2 and may be the hottest add of the week. He received a 33% target share, turning his 14 targets into an 8-102-2 line and leads the team with a 22% target share. He received a whopping 8 red-zone targets, 2 more than anyone else, and he now leads the league in red zone targets. I’d expect Elijah Moore to get a little more involved after last year’s production, but Wilson is here to stay and is a priority add in all leagues. The volume should remain for Wilson with the Jets expected to be in a lot of negative games scripts. Go all out to land him this week.
- Noah Brown – DAL (0.8% rostered ESPN; 2% Yahoo!)
- Brown ran a route on 94% of dropbacks in Week 2, 19th in the league, and ran just one less route than teammate CeeDee Lamb. Despite seeing six less targets than Lamb, Brown led the Cowboys in receiving yards for the second straight week, and it was Brown who caught Cooper Rush’s only touchdown pass. Lamb still leads the team in targets, but Brown is 16th in the league in catch rate, 6th in DYAR, and 4th in DVOA. He won’t supplant Lamb as the #1 option, and Michael Gallup will be returning soon, but with the unknown surrounding Dalton Schultz and his knee injury, Brown should remain involved moving forward. He’s not a priority over someone like Wilson, or Jahan Dotson, but I wouldn’t leave him on the wire, if you have room.
- Cole Beasley – TB (0.1% rostered ESPN; 0% Yahoo!) and Breshad Perriman – TB (0.2% rostered ESPN; 0% Yahoo!)
- Tom Brady needs someone to throw to while Mike Evans is suspended for Week 3 plus Chris Godwin and Julio Jones potentially missing more time. Beasley had a career year in 2020, catching 82 passes on 107 targets for 967 yards. He followed that up last season by matching the 82 receptions on a career-high 112 targets for 693 yards. We’ve seen veteran receivers find success with Tom Brady, but don’t expect Antonio Brown treatment for Beasley. However, don’t expect him to run off the field in the middle of a game either. Perriman’s best season came in 2019 finishing as WR60. He caught 3 of his 5 targets last weekend against the Saints, scoring the lone offensive touchdown for the Bucs and is tied for 3rd on the team with a 13% target share. Neither is a priority add, but with potentially limited options at Brady’s disposal, both Beasley and Perriman could carve out decent roles in the near-term.
- Other WRs worth considering (<20% rostered)
- Sterling Shepard – NYG (10.2% ESPN; 11% Yahoo!)
- Greg Dortch – ARI (2.7% ESPN; 7% Yahoo!)
- Sammy Watkins – GB (4.4% ESPN; 17% Yahoo!)
- Nelson Agholor – NE (0.7% ESPN; 2% Yahoo!)
- Ashton Dulin – IND (2.4% ESPN; 1% Yahoo!)
The tight end position is always ugly and this year is no different. I grabbed Gerald Everett in my home league last week and it paid off. Here are two other tight ends who could pay huge dividends if you're struggling at the position.
- Evan Engram – JAX (16.6% rostered ESPN; 21% Yahoo!)
- Doug Pederson’s Eagles targeted tight ends on 32% of passes. Ertz averaged over 8 targets per game from 2016-20 and received over 100 targets in each season he played at least 14 games. Engram likely won’t reach 8 targets per game with Christian Kirk the clear #1 pass-catching option in Jacksonville, but he’s already received 12 targets, putting him on pace for 102. He ran a route on 84% of dropbacks in Week 2, tied for 7th in the NFL with Mark Andrews, and received a 27% target share, behind only Andrews. While Dan Arnold has received the only red zone target among tight ends in Jacksonville, it’s his only target on the season, and Engram should receive some red zone looks. Evan Engram is locked in as the TE1 in a tight end friendly offense with an ascending quarterback. While he’s disappointed since his TE5 finish as a rookie in 2017, I like Engram moving forward, and game-script should play in his favor over the next couple weeks. He was a pre-draft sleeper of mine and is my top tight end pick up.
- Logan Thomas – WAS (19.5% rostered ESPN; 14% Yahoo!)
- And speaking of those Pederson Eagles, Carson Wentz’s top tight end is a good fantasy option. Thomas has received at least 5 targets in each of the season’s first two games, catching 6 of those for 82 yards and a score. That makes him TE10 on the young season in PPR. Thomas’ 51 air yards are 8th among all TEs. With all the receiving options in Washington, he’s seen only 1 red zone target, which he caught for a 20-yard touchdown. But we should expect that target number to increase, giving him more TD opportunity. He likely won’t command the 112 targets or 19.2% target share he did in his TE5 season in 2020, but it's been a promising start coming off an ACL injury. He’s worth paying for given Wentz’s historical propensity for tight ends in the red zone and given the tight end landscape of late. He’s not too far behind Engram in my eyes, so take your pick.
- Other TEs worth considering (<40% rostered)
- Hayden Hurst – CIN (23.2% ESPN; 16% Yahoo!)
- Robert Tonyan – GB (21.3% ESPN; 38% Yahoo!)
- Juwan Johnson – NO (0.2% ESPN; 1% Yahoo!)
- Isaiah Likely – BAL (3.7% ESPN; 6% Yahoo!)