Waiver Wire: Week 3

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We didn’t quite see the type of major impact injuries as we did in week 1 of the NFL season, but there were still quite a few injuries that created openings throughout the league. Greg Olsen broke his foot and is expected to be out 6-8 weeks, although that timetable could be long enough to make him droppable in leagues that don’t have an IR spot. The Panthers offense just doesn’t dynamic enough for anyone to sustain week to week value. Corey Coleman broke his hand on Sunday, a tough blow for the talented young WR. It’s literally and figuratively a tough break for the kid, after he missed significant time last year with a broken hand as well. He is also not worth holding onto outside of deep leagues perhaps.

NOTE: Players mentioned will be owned in 40% or less of ESPN leagues. MUST ADD will be a recommended add in all leagues. MAYBE ADD is for those in 12 team leagues or deeper. DEEP ADD is for those in 14+ team leagues. 

Quarter Backs

Eli Manning (New York Giants) – 22.4% OWNED – MAYBE ADD

I am still not going to rule out Eli as having solid QB2 value the rest of the year despite his week 1 debacle. The O-Line is a concern but he has a great group of weapons around him once OBJ gets healthy again. Tonight is a big test and a match up he should fare well in as long as Beckham is somewhat useful. If he struggles tonight, then I’d probably take a more wait and see approach.

Jay Cutler (Miami Dolphins) – 4.1% OWNED – MAYBE ADD

Cutler did a great job managing the game yesterday, and showed why he is a great fit for Adam Gase’s offense. He didn’t put up spectacular fantasy numbers but they were solid considering the defense he was up against and he also didn’t turn the ball over. I’d expect better games from him moving forward and with a great supporting cast on offense surrounding him, he is definitely worth a look as a QB2.

Trevor Siemian (Denver Broncos) – 10.4% OWNED – MAYBE ADD

Who would have thought Trevor Siemian and Alex Smith are 1 and 2 respectively for the most passing TD’s in the league after two weeks. I think a lot of the credit for Siemians hot start needs to go to Mike McCoy, who is one of the better offensive minds in the game. Still, Siemian made all the plays he was supposed to against the Cowboys and should continue to be put in situations to succeed.

Running Backs

Chris Carson (Seattle Seahawks) – 7.9% OWNED – MUST ADD

Carson seemed to have taking over as the lead dog in a crowded Seattle backfield this weekend, handling 21 touches for 100 yards. He is clearly the back to own here and looks like a legitimate talent who can be a 3 down workhouse for a team that needs to run the ball often. C.J. Prosise is talented, but can’t stay healthy and is better off as a change of pace/passing down back. Thomas Rawls is an injury prone fringe talent and Eddie Lacy probably won’t see the field unless there are significant injuries. This backfield will be Carson’s until further notice.

Buck Allen (Baltimore Ravens) – 7.8% OWNED – MUST ADD

Even despite Terrance West going down with a “soft tissue injury”, Allen has looked like the better back through 2 weeks and the Ravens are rewarding him with plenty of touches. He should continue to see the majority of snaps given his passing game contributions, and even if West plays this weekend, I still trust Allen more in that match up. He can be a legitimate RB2/Flex (especially in PPR) going forward.

Alvin Kamara (New Orleans Saints) – 14.9% OWNED – MUST ADD

Kamara is looking like a potential weekly PPR flex play after seeing 13 targets over the past 2 weeks. He is clearly cutting into Mark Ingram’s passing down work, and I’d imagine he gets more touches out of the backfield as the season progresses. He is a must own in PPR formats and probably worth an add in standard 12 team leagues.

Chris Johnson (Arizona Cardinals) – 3.3% OWNED – MAYBE ADD

After Kerwynn Williams started and did very little to prove he deserved more touches, the artist formerly known as CJ2K took over as the teams lead back in the second half and was actually somewhat effective. Bruce Arians stated today that Johnson could move his way up the depth chart, making him the back to own in Arizona perhaps. Realistically, this RB situation will be a nightmare for the rest of the season and none of the 3 will have much value. Still, I would take a chance on Johnson if you can manage to open up a roster spot.

Samaje Perine (Washington Redskins) – 1.8% OWNED – MAYBE ADD

The good news here is Perine took over as the primary RB/clock killer on Sunday after Rob Kelley suffered a rib injury and was given 21 carries. The bad news is that he wasn’t very effective, only totaling 67 yards whereas Kelley piled up 78 yards on 12 carries before departing. He would still be in for a big workload this week if Kelley (who is day-to-day) misses the game, but he isn’t a must add outside of the deepest of leagues.

D’Onta Foreman (Houston Texans) – 4.7% OWNED – MAYBE ADD

Bill O’Brien stuck to his word and gave Foreman more work on Thursday night, given the rookie 12 carries. He looked pretty good as well, and while he probably has a ways to go to supplant Lamar Miller as the lead back, he should continue to be in line for 10 or so touches a game as the team will need to focus on a run heavy offensive approach. He is an upside flier for those in 12 team leagues, but Miller owners may want to make sure they handcuff him with Foreman.

Alex Collins (Baltimore Ravens) – 0% OWNED – MAYBE ADD

If Terrance West winds up missing time, Collins makes for an intriguing add with the Ravens commitment to using 2 RB’s heavily. A favorite of a few of our QB List writers, Collins looked good filling in for West on Sunday, taking 7 carries for 42 yards. He was used primarily to run down the clock in the 4th quarter with the team up multiple scores, but could still be in for double-digit carries this weekend against a Jaguars team the Ravens should carry a lead with.

Wendall Smallwood (Philadelphia Eagles) – 1.5% OWNED – DEEP ADD

Smallwood started and played more than Legarrette Blount (prime drop candidate), but the majority of the RB snaps ultimately went to Darren Sproles. I’d expect that to be the case more often than not, but Smallwood could still be the featured early down RB when the game script favors the Eagles. He surely has more to offer than Blount at this point.

Jalen Richard (Oakland Raiders) – 1.7% OWNED – DEEP ADD

I don’t expect production like Sundays against the Jets on a weekly basis, but Richard could be in line for some nice games in certain match ups and would be the back to own in Oakland if anything happens to Marshawn Lynch. You could certainly do worse at the end of your bench in deeper leagues.

Wide Receivers

J.J. Nelson (Arizona Cardinals) – 15% OWNED – MUST ADD

Stepping in for the injured John Brown, Nelson went off for 120 yards on 5 catches and looked like a dynamic offensive weapon. He is definitely in play this weekend against the Cowboys if Brown is out, and could still even carve out value in that offense when Brown does return. For now, he is a must add in all formats as a WR3/Flex option with some potential upside.

Rashard Higgins (Cleveland Browns) – 0.3% OWNED – MUST ADD

With Corey Coleman going down with a broken hand and Kenny Britt being useless, Higgins made the most of his opportunity by bringing in 7 of 11 targets for 95 yards. Just signed off the practice squad this past weekend, Higgins now appears to be the #1 receiving option in Cleveland, making him a top waiver priority this week. Even better, he gets a match up with the Colts this weekend, so he is a reasonable plug and play option for teams desperate for a WR3 or Flex, especially in PPR formats.

Marqise Lee (Jacksonville Jaguars) – 30.2% OWNED – MAYBE ADD

Lee was definitely used as the Jags #1 receiving option this week, and while the only passing TD went to Allen Hurns, Lee caught 7 of his 12 targets for 76 yards. He did have two bad drops (one leading to an INT), but Lee is certainly a weekly FLEX option in PPR leagues, especially in games were the Jags are expected to play from behind (more often than not).

Allen Hurns (Jacksonville Jaguars) – 7.7% OWNED – MAYBE ADD

Hurns did all of his damage in the last 17 minutes of Sundays game, and while it’s not ideal to bank on garbage time production, Blake Bortles and the Jaguars have proven to be pretty consistent with it. He, as well as Lee mentioned above, will likely only be trustworthy in games were they are big underdogs against weak secondaries, but those situations will almost assuredly be there throughout the rest of the season.

Cooper Kupp (Los Angeles Rams) – 34.9% OWNED – MAYBE ADD

Kupp followed up his impressive debut with a bit of a dud on Sunday, finishing with just 3 catches and 33 yards. He did make a nice circus catch to set up a Todd Gurley TD but he was also targeted on Jared Goff’s game ending INT, however that was just a textbook telegraph job by Goff more than anything. Goff will continue to make trusting the Ram’s receivers in fantasy a roller coaster ride, but Kupp still should see enough passing game volume to be owned in PPR formats.

Kendall Wright (Chicago Bears) – 7.8% OWNED – MAYBE ADD

Despite two bad drops on Sunday, Wright was able to make himself useful in PPR leagues with 7 grabs for 69 yards. He led the team in targets, which is a good sign that this type of production should continue going forward. Just don’t expect a high yardage totals or a TD’s, limiting his non-PPR upside significantly.

Jermaine Kearse (New York Jets) – 5.5% OWNED – MAYBE ADD

Kearse has been Josh McCowns go to option in the passing game the first two weeks which is obviously a good sign for his value. However, this is the Jets offense, so Kearse will likely be hit or miss going forward, even if the team is playing from behind all the time as expected. Still, there are less valuable players owned in most standard 12 teamers, so he can be stashed as a match up play. 

Tyler Lockett (Seattle Seahawks) – 32.6% OWNED – MAYBE ADD

Despite the total ineffectiveness of the Seahawks passing game so far, Lockett still had 9 targets and went 6 for 64 on Sunday. He still will be limited to roughly 75% of the snaps, which obviously limits his value, but if the passing game ever gets going, he will more likely than not have a huge factor.

Devin Funchess (Carolina Panthers) – 5.4% OWNED – DEEP ADD

With Greg Olsen out for the next 6-8 weeks, there is suddenly a need for a 2nd pass catching option in Carolina behind Kelvin Benjamin. Funchess stepped up on Sunday, catching 4 passes for 68 yards and should be in line for a more active passing game role. Still, being in the Panthers passing attack this day isn’t exactly exciting, and his ceiling is ultimately limited.

Mohamed Sanu (Atlanta Falcons) – 20.5 % OWNED – DEEP ADD

Sanu has been able to take advantage of teams focusing their coverage on Julio Jones through 2 weeks, with 11 catches on 14 targets, the targets being the same amount as Julio. Still, Sanu is more of a complimentary option, and the #2 pass catcher last year would tend to be different on a weekly basis based on match ups. Sanu’s fantasy value is trending upwards, but expectations should still be kept in check.

Paul Richardson (Seattle Seahawks) – 2.8% OWNED – DEEP ADD

Richardson saved his fantasy day with a TD late in Sundays win over the 49ers and is still extremely hard to trust given the Seahawks passing game as a whole is broken at the moment. I’d still rather own Lockett, but he and Richardson are not too far apart at this time.

Philip Dorsett (New England Patriots) – 0.8% OWNED – DEEP ADD

While all the Patriots prominent pass catchers outside of Brandin Cooks suffering injuries recently, Dorsett was thrust into a pretty prominent role on Sunday and looked capable of helping out the offense. Dorsett himself suffered a knee injury, but it doesn’t seem to be too serious. He caught 3 passes for 68 yards and could have some bigger games ahead if injuries keep some of the other Patriots weapons out.

Tight End

Ben Watson (Baltimore Ravens) – 15% OWNED – MUST ADD

Watson came out of nowhere and exploded onto the TE map with an impressive 8-91 line on Sunday. Joe Flacco has proven time and again he loves to target his tight ends and running backs, so this performance may not just be an anomaly. He is a logical replacement for those who lost Greg Olsen this week.

Zach Miller (Chicago Bears) – 15% OWNED – MAYBE ADD

With all the injuries to receivers in Chicago, Miller may wind up as the team leader in targets this season. The Bears offense will limit any potential upside here, but he should be a safe TE2/streamer option.

Jared Cook (Oakland Raiders) – 15% OWNED – DEEP ADD

While Cook has a solid 11 targets the first two weeks of the season, he still has only managed 81 yards on 8 receptions. He will probably have a few big games this year, but he is awfully hard to trust as a TE1 on a week to week basis.

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Rick Graham

Currently reside in Foxboro, MA so you can guess where my loyalties lie. Seasoned fantasy football vet who craves for the return of the true feature back. I also contribute over at PitcherList.com.

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