Waiver Wire Week 3: Is it Time to Start Justin Fields?

Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields
Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Week 3 - The best-laid plans of mice and fantasy football players. Elijah Mitchell looked like a star with 19 carries, 104 yards, and a touchdown in Week 1 in relief of Raheem Mostert, now out of the season. But after a top FAB recommendation here and pretty much everywhere, Mitchell was one of several 49ers backs to suffer an injury in Week 2. Haven't we seen this play before?

The good news for the 49ers and for the fantasy players who added Mitchell is that his shoulder injury appears less severe than Trey Sermon's concussion or JaMycal Hasty's high ankle sprain. But if expectations turn or you need help for other reasons or other positions, here are my waiver wire recommendations for Week 3.

Roster percentages are for ESPN/Yahoo.

Justin Fields, QB, Chicago Bears


Fields was a compelling waiver option before the Bears' Week 2 game against the Bengals even started. Veteran quarterback Andy Dalton threw for just 5.4 yards per attempt in Week 1 against the Rams, and the Bears' Week 4 home tilt versus the Lions always looked like an appealing soft starting spot for the rookie. Well, even that aggressive timeline may prove to be too slow. Dalton left Sunday's game with a knee injury. And while early indications are that he suffered a bone bruise and avoided a more serious injury to his ACL or MCL, Dalton seems like a long shot to play this weekend.

Fields did not excel in the 65% of his team's snaps he played in Week 2, but from a fantasy perspective, it is unlikely to matter. He still carried the ball 10 times (for 31 yards), a total that will almost certainly drive fantasy success however effective he is with his arm. Last season, just six quarterbacks ran for 10 or more carries in two or more games: Lamar Jackson did it 10 times, Cam Newton did it seven times, Kyler Murray did it six times, Josh Allen did it four times, Taysom Hill did it three times, and Jalen Hurts did it three times. Five of those six ended the season with a top-12 fantasy points per game average among quarterbacks with four or more starts. Fields has decent odds to follow suit, no matter his inexperience. You may want to exercise some restraint with a FAB bid since you can have a solid baseline of success streaming quarterbacks in shallow formats. But if you need help at the position or play in a deeper league, Fields could be a league-winning pick-up.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 31%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: Yes

Rondale Moore, WR, Arizona Cardinals


Next to DeAndre Hopkins, the 5-foot-7, 180-pound Moore has little chance of becoming a No. 1 receiver for his Cardinals team. But with the team set to continue its 66% reliance on three or more wide receivers from 2020 this season, he doesn't need to be a No. 1 receiver to excel in fantasy. He most likely only needs to pass teammates A.J. Green and Christian Kirk in Kyler Murray's target pecking order. And Moore made major strides in that effort in Week 2, improving his snap share from 29% to 46% and leading his team with eight targets, seven catches, 114 yards, and a touchdown. The touchdown was a Murray special—a pressure-broken play that the quarterback somehow escaped and turned into a 77-yard touchdown catch.



But Moore teased his prospect potential on plays with lesser statistical output. Check out his agility to quickly change directions as he fought for extra yards and then to get out of bounds on the team's last pass play of the first half.



With his ability, Moore will undoubtedly do more than Larry Fitzgerald could in a similar role in the twilight of his playing career. But Moore has even greater potential, and that spurs my 11% FAB recommendation.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 11%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Michael Pittman, WR, Indianapolis Colts


At 6-foot-4 and 223 pounds, Pittman looks more like a receiver you would expect to be his team's No. 1. And he certainly looked that part on Sunday when he caught eight passes for 123 yards and saw 12 targets, the most of any Colts receiver by four. But the Colts may not have the right kind of offense to enable a true Pittman breakout for fantasy. So far this season, running backs Nyheim Hines (13.9%) and Jonathan Taylor (11.1%) have combined for a 25.0% target share that in essence makes the team's running backs their No. 1 receiver. Pittman isn't far behind at 22.2%, but that is a modest total for a top receiver and lands him just 32nd at the position this season. Pittman may have little to fear from teammate and fellow second-round draft pick Parris Campbell. After missing Week 2 with an abdominal injury he suffered in practice last week, Campbell slipped further to a ratio of just 10 of a possible 34 games played in his career. But Zach Pascal seems dramatically better than his reputation and may even better the much bigger Pittman in touchdowns this season if his recent end zone success is any indication.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 10%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants


A six-year veteran, Shepard isn't following the typical Year 2 receiver breakout schedule that Pittman seems to be following. But it's difficult to argue with Shepard's playing time and production from the first two weeks. He has led his receiver room with 95% and 93% of snaps played the first two weeks and a 27.9% target share that is the 10th highest among all wide receivers in football. It's a surprising development after the Giants added a star wideout in Kenny Golladay this offseason. Shepard played 85% or more snaps just once last season. That said, the production may not be unsustainable. In his healthy games, Shepard saw a strong 23.3% target share last year that renders his current rate a modest jump from 2020.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 10%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas Cowboys


Pollard has had a ceiling as a handcuff since he entered the league in 2019, and teammate Ezekiel Elliott offers 90 million reasons for the Cowboys to stick with that status quo. I can't exactly say otherwise. But Pollard has looked so good so far this season that I am compelled to recommend him as a talent play without seeing a clear path to an increase in his playing time. Pollard's biggest plays from Sunday afternoon showed the skills you might have expected to see, first in his lateral quickness…



… and then in his explosiveness through a hole.



But the 6-foot-0, 209-pound Pollard is making a case that he could thrive between the tackles as well as outside. On a 6-yard Sunday carry, he broke an attempted Joey Bosa tackle and pushed an ensuing pile for several yards. It was a vintage Elliott rushing effort.



Pollard compiled 140 total yards on just 16 touches on the day and is up to outrageous rates of 7.7 yards per carry and 8.6 yards per catch this season. That extreme efficiency may force the Cowboys to further increase his snap share, already up from 24% in Week 1 to 34% last week.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 6%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Michael Carter, RB, New York Jets


Carter paced the Jets running backs with 13 touches and 88 yards in Week 2 and nearly doubled his snap share from 25% in Week 1 to 45%. That new workload won't sustain his fantasy success. For now, he remains a member of a three-back committee on what may be the worst team in football. But Carter demands fantasy consideration because of his potential as a prospect and because of his skill as a receiver. He could earn his way to a majority of the team's touches in a month or two. And in the meantime, he may continue to see more work than Ty Johnson and Tevin Coleman if the Jets prefer to use him in obvious passing situations. The team had a lot more of those in Week 2 than Week 1 once they fell behind the Patriots by multiple scores. And that scenario seems likely to repeat itself until the team can make some major talent upgrades in future offseasons.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 5%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Henry Ruggs, WR, Las Vegas Raiders


Ruggs owes the bulk of his Week 2 fantasy success to a 61-yard touchdown catch, the type that his 4.27s speed makes possible but that will unlikely come frequently enough to on their own make him an appealing fantasy receiver. But Ruggs is a waiver wire option because he could be more than just a deep threat. His 67% snap share and 13.0% target share through two weeks fall short of the standout rates at his position. But the latter at least is still a decent improvement from his 10.3% share last season. And Ruggs may not need to hit the target highs of most receivers to match them in fantasy. With his explosiveness, he averaged 5.7 expected touchdowns per 100 targets last year—29th among wideouts with 40 or more targets—and is a threat to score eight or more times this year with an expanded role.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 5%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Mark Ingram, RB, Houston Texans


Ingram had the game on Sunday that founded my Week 2 waiver wire pessimism. He comfortably led his backfield again with 14 carries. But without a touchdown and with just one catch for -1 yard, that netted him a paltry 5.0 PPR points. That could be a common Ingram box score in 2021. He played just 31% of offensive snaps last weekend and ceded time to Phillip Lindsay (23%), Rex Burkhead (18%), and especially David Johnson (43%), who enjoyed extra snaps as compared to Week 1 since the Texans fell behind and faced more obvious passing downs. But with the scarcity of appealing options at the position, you can't completely ignore Ingram even in shallow formats. His 40 carries are fifth most among backs through the first two weeks. And while his rate of 0.73 carries per snap is unsustainable, Ingram fits the mold of last year's carry-skewed backs such as Damien Harris (55%), Derrick Henry (54%), Adrian Peterson (50%), and Peyton Barber (50%), who all attempted runs on at least half of their offensive plays.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 4%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

J.D. McKissic, RB, Washington Football Team


McKissic is the anti-Ingram. He took a surprising red zone carry late last Thursday night and scored a touchdown. But his broader usage from the first two weeks shows he has lost some work to teammate Antonio Gibson. The two backs have basically flipped their respective 60% and 46% snap shares from 2020 to 40% and 63% this year. And that reversal has nearly halved McKissic's standout 20.4% target share to just 10.6% so far this year. Still, that might be enough for McKissic to maintain his fantasy relevance in PPR formats. It is currently 27th best among running backs and does not need much improvement for McKissic to mirror what Nyheim Hines has seen with the Colts last year (14.4%) and so far this year (13.9%). That can play in deeper PPR formats, especially if Taylor Heinicke can generate some scoring chances, something his 2020 predecessors Dwayne Haskins and Alex Smith struggled to do to counterbalance their more extreme reliance on running back targets.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 3%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Jakobi Meyers, WR, New England Patriots


Meyers has yet to score a touchdown on his 137 career targets, and Mac Jones may prove less impactful a boon to that aspect of fantasy value than I would have expected versus Cam Newton. The Patriots still run a lot and seem likely to continue to do so more than they pass near the end zone. Still, Meyers led all Patriots receivers in both snap share (90%) and targets (six) for the second straight week. His 22.4% target share this season is good for 31st among wide receivers and should make him a flex option in PPR formats even if he settles for a handful of touchdowns this season.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 2%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Darnell Mooney, WR, Chicago Bears


Justin Fields will have his legs to thank for the bulk of whatever fantasy value he creates this season. As such, I wouldn't count on his turn as a starter to improve the fortunes of any Bears receivers other than Allen Robinson. That said, Fields may be special. Football Outsiders draft expert Derrik Klassen considers Fields the second-best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck, but Fields' status as second to Trevor Lawrence in the 2021 class has tempered those public expectations. If you have the bench space to stash a receiver and see how Fields plays his first few starts, Mooney is a compelling pick-up. He played 89% of snaps in Week 2 and saw eight targets, four more than any other receiver. His 23.1% target share to start this season is 28th highest at the position. And while he has yet to score a touchdown in 2021, his 1.0 expected touchdowns are 15th-most among receivers. His 1.0-touchdown shortfall is the third biggest and likely to shrink with improved fortune.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 2%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Zack Moss, RB, Buffalo Bills


Bills head coach Sean McDermott dissipated the all-out Moss fantasy panic, stating that preseason injuries contributed to Moss being inactive in Week 1. And maybe those injuries explain Moss' limited Week 2 playing time as well. His 28% snap share was down dramatically from a 45% share when healthy in 2020. But I'm concerned that share may have shifted permanently in favor of Devin Singletary. With Moss out and then limited, his teammate excelled with more than 6.0 yards per carry in both Week 1 and Week 2. Meanwhile, Singletary has always played better than his basic statistics would on their own suggest. His 9.4% avoided tackle rate across the last two seasons is the seventh-best among backs with 300 or more carries. Singletary may not have the size to survive 20 carries a week or usurp Moss' end zone work that netted him a pair of touchdowns on Sunday. But a subtle shift in their workload balance could render Moss a touchdown-or-bust fantasy option. Every back with a role deserves some fantasy consideration, but don't overspend on Moss because of his pair of Week 2 touchdowns.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 2%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Cordarrelle Patterson, RB/WR, Atlanta Falcons


From the outside, the Falcons appeared to enter the 2021 season with no Plan B at running back behind former journeyman Mike Davis. But maybe they knew something that everyone else didn't. The four-time All-Pro kick returner Patterson never made it work as a wide receiver, but relief stints as a Patriots and Bears running back may have teased his current role as a legitimate No. 2 in the Falcons backfield. Patterson put up a 33% snap share in Week 2 and has a 9.9% target share so far this season that make him already relevant for deeper fantasy formats. That latter rate is 32nd highest among running-back-eligible fantasy players. But Patterson has looked explosive with 4.6 yards per carry and 10.1 yards per catch. And his two touchdowns this season are supported by 1.7 expected scores, a better total than Davis (1.1) has compiled as a definitive lead back. He's more of a stash than a streaming option, but Patterson has a high fantasy ceiling with running back eligibility and receiver skills.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 2%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Sony Michel, RB, Los Angeles Rams


Michel may have looked more involved in Week 2 than he was when he played just 6% of offensive snaps in Week 1, but looks can be deceiving. He did not take his first Week 2 carry until the fourth quarter when Darrell Henderson left with a rib injury. Michel finished the game with 10 carries and 46 yards that secure his value as Henderson's handcuff, but that may not be too valuable a role in the short term. Rams head coach Sean McVay told reporters he hoped Henderson could play in Week 3, which at least suggests Henderson shouldn't miss a bunch of weeks. But even if Henderson misses the game on Sunday, Michel is unlikely to be an RB2 in his absence. The Rams are poised to play a Bucs team that finished first in run defense DVOA in 2020 and allowed just 33 and 38 rushing yards to Ezekiel Elliott and Mike Davis the first two weeks. I wouldn't overspend on Michel.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 2%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Sam Darnold, QB, Carolina Panthers


Darnold has had a charmed start to his second chance as an NFL starter. He drew the Jets and their bottom-five projected DVOA defense in Week 1. He drew the Saints with eight coaches out in COVID protocols in Week 2. And in Week 3, he is poised to play a Texans team that, with the quick turnaround for Thursday night, is unlikely to have their normal quarterback starter Tyrod Taylor, who suffered a hamstring injury on Sunday. Darnold can't expect so soft a schedule all season. But his early fantasy success could portend a real breakout with his new team. Darnold's current 68.5% completion rate would be a career high by more than 6.0%. His 8.0 yards per attempt would be a career high by more than a yard. And Darnold has thrown 3.6 expected touchdowns this season, the sixth-highest total behind elite fantasy quarterbacks Tom Brady (5.7), Justin Herbert (5.0), Josh Allen (4.5), Kyler Murray (4.1), and Dak Prescott (3.8). The Panthers have yet to improve on last season's red zone inefficiency with their new starter. But Darnold's off-target pass to Terrace Marshall in Week 1 explains his touchdown shortfall.



And that is a much more realistic fix than Teddy Bridgewater's poor arm strength.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 2%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Elijah Moore, WR, New York Jets


There's a fine line between garbage-time fantasy success and play so bad that no one can accumulate any stats, and rookie Jets quarterback Zach Wilson certainly crossed it in Week 2 when he completed more than 20% as many passes (four) to the Patriots as he did to his actual teammates (19). But I don't think the Jets are a total stay-away for fantasy. The team won't have to play the No. 3 projected DVOA defense every week. After a third unfavorable opponent in the Broncos in Week 3, the Jets will have possible plus opponents in the Titans, Falcons, and Bengals in three of their next four games. In anticipation of that schedule turn, the rookie receiver Moore may merit a fantasy add. He led his receiver room with 78% of snaps played in Week 2, and his eight targets boosted him to a 17.4% target share on the season that matches the rate of the team's presumed No. 1 wideout Corey Davis. In at least deeper formats, Moore is worth a stash to see how well his talent can play when the Jets face some lesser teams.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 2%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Jamison Crowder, WR, New York Jets


If the Jets prove to be at least a year away from even modest offensive improvements, Moore and Davis may not have the opportunities on the outside to produce the fantasy success their talent would enable in other situations. And if that's the case, a less versatile slot receiver could lead the Jets in fantasy scoring. Through the first two weeks, Braxton Berrios has outpaced both Moore and Davis with a 26.1% target share that is 17th-highest among all wide receivers. But don't target Berrios in fantasy. Jamison Crowder has missed the first two weeks with a groin injury, but he was trending toward playing in Week 2 until his injury flared up the Friday before the game. Crowder seems like a good bet to make his 2021 debut this weekend and could rack up catches for a team likely to trail in most of their games and be forced to pass and pass short to escape from pressure.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 1%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Jared Cook, TE, Los Angeles Chargers


Cook's Week 2 line of three catches and 28 yards looks modest. But he caught a touchdown that was overturned on an illegal formation penalty. And even excluding that play, Cook has a 14.9% target share through two weeks that is tied for 14th-highest among tight ends. Don't expect much more from the 34-year-old veteran. But even a fourth-place receiving role on an explosive Chargers team could vault him into the top 10 of the position in fantasy. His 0.8 expected touchdowns (on his plays not overturned by penalties) are the fourth-most among tight ends.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 1%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Juwan Johnson, WR/TE, New Orleans Saints


Despite Johnson's two touchdowns in Week 1, his teammate Adam Trautman looked like the better pick-up with double the Week 1 targets (six versus three) and more than double the Week 1 snap share (82% versus 19%). But Johnson may have earned a bigger role with his breakout performance. In Week 2, he nearly matched Trautman with a 41% versus 52% snap share and out-targeted his teammate three to zero. That expanded role did not net Johnson much in the way of fantasy points, but the Saints were down eight coaches and had as extreme a result as they did in Week 1, just on the opposite side of the ledger. Presumably, things will eventually find an equilibrium that offers Jameis Winston more than the 42 pass attempts he has thrown in two games. And when that happens, Johnson could reach TE1 status with a heavy touchdown volume. His 1.1 expected touchdowns are the second-most among tight ends this season behind just Rob Gronkowski's 1.5.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 1%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants


Engram may have frustrated fantasy players by missing Weeks 1 and 2 after he suffered what seemed to be a minor calf injury in the preseason. But that may have been a scheduling quirk. The Giants had a short week to prepare for a Thursday night game in Washington. Now they'll have 10 games to prepare for the Falcons this Sunday. I expect Engram to play. And while he is no sure thing to remain active the rest of the year after missing time in now four of his five professional seasons, remember that Engram played in all 16 games just last year and finished fourth at his position with 109 targets.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 1%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Zach Pascal, WR, Indianapolis Colts


With teammate and likely No. 1 receiver Michael Pittman earning just a tepid fantasy endorsement, Pascal is a difficult sale. On paper, he looks like the fourth receiver on a Colts team that throws less to their wideouts than most teams do. But I remain intrigued. Pascal played 91% of offensive snaps in Week 1 and in Week 2. Parris Campbell did not move that needle when he played. T.Y. Hilton may need several weeks to return from a preseason neck injury that landed him on injured reserve. And like Campbell, Hilton is a poor bet to remain healthy once he finds the field again. But mostly, this recommendation is about Pascal the player. As a frequent substitute since the start of 2020, Pascal has eight actual touchdowns and an impressive 7.4 expected touchdowns per 100 targets. That latter total is the seventh-highest among wide receivers with 75 or more targets, trailing just Mike Evans (9.5), Adam Thielen (8.0), Christian Kirk (7.6), Mike Williams (7.6), Nelson Agholor (7.5), and Davante Adams (7.4). At 6-foot-2 and 214 pounds and with a tendency to play from the slot, Pascal does not look the part of a red zone target the way that Evans and Williams do. But Pascal looks awfully similar to the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Thielen, who may be the league's best touchdown-scorer at the position. And Thielen provides a template for Pascal to follow to fantasy success. The former player broke out with a Pro Bowl season in his fourth year in the NFL in 2017 at 27 years old. Pascal is 27 in his fourth season this year.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 1%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

K.J. Osborn, WR, Minnesota Vikings


The Vikings did not have room for a third fantasy-relevant wide receiver when they perennially finished in the top five in reliance on 12 personnel. But with Kyle Rudolph in New York and Irv Smith out for the year, the team does not have the bodies to consistently play a pair of tight ends. And at least so far, Osborn has benefited. He has played 81% and 59% of offensive snaps the last two weeks and has a 19.2% target share that is 48th-highest among wide receivers and makes him a flex option in deeper PPR formats.

Recommended FAB bid (% of maximum): 1%
Should you use your No. 1 waiver priority on him: No

Players on More Than 80% of Rosters to Add

Darrell Henderson, RB, Los Angeles Rams (94%/97%)
Ja'Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (94%/94%)
Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers (94%/94%)
Jalen Hurts, QB, Philadelphia Eagles (93%/96%)
Mike Davis, RB, Atlanta Falcons (93%/95%)
Odell Beckham, WR, Cleveland Browns (93%/93%)
Brandin Cooks, WR, Houston Texans (93%/91%)
Rob Gronkowski, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (92%/94%)
DeVonta Smith, WR, Philadelphia Eagles (92%/88%)
Antonio Brown, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (91%/95%)
Leonard Fournette, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (91%/89%)
Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos (91%/88%)
Javonte Williams, RB, Denver Broncos (90%/90%)
Corey Davis, WR, New York Jets (87%/89%)
Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (86%/85%)
Laviska Shenault, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (86%/77%)
Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers (85%/85%)
Elijah (Eli) Mitchell, RB, San Francisco 49ers (84%/85%)
Ty'Son Williams, RB, Baltimore Ravens (83%/81%)
DJ Chark, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (83%/80%)
Marquise Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens (83%/65%)
Marvin Jones, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (83%/63%)
Jamaal Williams, RB, Detroit Lions (79%/83%)
Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills (78%/84%)
Tyler Higbee, TE, Los Angeles Rams (76%/96%)
Trey Sermon, RB, San Francisco 49ers (70%/86%)

Players on More Than 20% of Rosters You Can Drop

Jarvis Landry, WR, Cleveland Browns (89%/85%)
Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas Cowboys (74%/52%)
Curtis Samuel, WR, Washington Football Team (63%/35%)
David Johnson, WR, Houston Texans (57%/48%)
Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Miami Dolphins (47%/27%)
Raheem Mostert, RB, San Francisco 49ers (41%/29%)
Phillip Lindsay, WR, Houston Texans (40%/39%)
Tyrell Williams, WR, Detroit Lions (30%/27%)
Parris Campbell, WR, Indianapolis Colts (29%/8%)
Russell Gage, WR, Atlanta Falcons (28%/18%)
Eric Ebron, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers (24%/7%)
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts (22%/18%)
Giovani Bernard, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (16%/21%)
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Washington Football Team (11%/22%)


8 comments, Last at 23 Sep 2021, 3:10pm

1 Two understudies to elite…

Two understudies to elite RBs worth consideration: Alexander Mattison (even if Cook is fine, he admitted to dealing with a "minor ankle issue" down the stretch last week); Chuba Hubbard (the Panthers play on Thursday night, so if you can drop an inconsequential player before kickoff, add him just in case something happens to McCaffrey; a low-risk move). 

2 Re: Handcuffs

I agree with those.  I would say Mattison and Hubbard are two of the 10 or so handcuffs that are worth considering in the formats where that strategy makes sense.

3 Link?

“And Darnold has thrown 3.6 expected touchdowns this season, the sixth-highest total behind elite fantasy quarterbacks Tom Brady (5.7), Justin Herbert (5.0), Josh Allen (4.5), Kyler Murray (4.1), and Dak Prescott (3.8).”

Two games into the season and Brady has already thrown more than three touchdowns more than expected?  Who calculated that?  None of his TDs seemed exceptional to me.

4 Re: Link

In reply to by Raiderfan

That data will be here (part of FO+):  https://www.footballoutsiders.com/fantasy/touchdown-efficiency

The parameters will be updated soon to allow for 2021 searches where they don't right now.

Expected passing touchdowns look at every pass a quarterback has based on its air yards and proximity to the end zone and gives that quarterback an expected touchdown total for the play based on league averages on similar throws.  It's very possible that Tom Brady has thrown only ordinary-looking passing touchdowns and still has more actual than expected touchdowns by the measure.  I'm pretty confident good quarterbacks on good teams can consistently throw more touchdowns than their expected totals, which I don't believe most skill players can do with their rushing and receiving scores.  But Darnold's current high expected passing total is a sign that he's had a lot of scoring opportunities, which I see as an indicator of an improved fantasy outlook.

5 Is Cordarelle Patterson really going to be viable?

I have a bunch of flex-worthy RBs, but no one to count on. Is Patterson really better than any of the following?

T. Williams, Bal

M. Gaskin, Mia

D. Harris, NE

E. Mitchell, SF

Hell, my “RB1” is Gibson from WFT, so I’m hurting at RB all around. 

7 WR Trade

Would you choose to acquire Courtland Sutton or Hollywood Brown in a trade?

8 Re: Sutton and Brown

In reply to by DAMdawgVU

I rank Sutton and Brown 26th and 30th in my true talent WR rankings, so the answer is Sutton for me.  Even with Jerry Jeudy poised to return to the Broncos in the second half, I'm projecting Sutton for 168 PPR points over the rest of the season vs. 154 for Brown.