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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 3
9/16/19; Update: 9/17/19

Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business, but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious selections to help your team from week to week while you strive to collect fantasy wins, reach your league playoffs and win the elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp. While I’m a big proponent of making trades to bolster your roster, the waiver wire can be an almost limitless resource when it comes to discovering fantasy value in strange places. Each week, I’ll highlight some of the popular (and not-so-popular) players who can help your squad and may still be available in your league.

Feedback is always welcome, appreciated and encouraged. I’ll get to as many e-mails as I can.

Note: This column will be updated tomorrow at the conclusion of Week 2.

Mason Rudolph


Jimmy Garoppolo, SF – Garoppolo (20-40 percent owned) has the Niners at 2-0 and he came through with a solid Week 2 performance (297-3-1) that silenced many of his critics after a lackluster season opener. The biggest concern is his lack of weapons, but there’s a smattering of deep threats (Marquise Goodwin and a stud TE in George Kittle to help keep him in the Top 20 fantasy QBs.

Josh Allen, BUF – Allen (25-45 percent owned) is really developing into a complete QB. He completed 19-of-30 passes for 253-1-0 in the Bills’ 28-14 win over the Giants in Week 2, adding seven rushes for 21 yards and a TD on the ground. He’s poised for a potential ceiling-reaching spot in Week 3 against the Bengals, and then takes on the challenge of the Patriots in Week 4.

Andy Dalton, CIN – We can’t disregard the fact that Bengals are missing A.J Green, but this isn’t a great offense right now. They looked bad during the first half against the 49ers but Dalton (10-30 percent owned) eventually finished with 311-2-1 on Sunday. He’s a high-floor, low-upside QB2 for Week 3 against Buffalo but should be owned in most 12-team leagues and all 14-team leagues.

Teddy Bridgewater, NO – Bridgewater (17-of-30 passes for 165-0-0 on Sunday) inherits a potent offense and vaults into high-end QB2 this week and beyond, as Drew Brees is out six weeks with a torn ligament in his thumb. He’ll face Seattle in Week 3 and makes for a fine addition off the waiver wire if you’re a Brees owner.

Mason Rudolph, PIT – Rudolph takes over as the Steelers signal caller with Ben Roethlisberger (elbow) out for the year, and Week 3 against the 49ers is a contest that could turn into a shootout. Rudolph took over after halftime on Sunday and completed 12-of-19 passes for 112 yards, two TDs, and one INT in the loss to the Seahawks. He’s available in all formats and makes for a high-risk QB2 going forward.

Other QBs to consider: Jacoby Brissett, Case Keenum, Daniel Jones


Matthew Stafford, DET – Stafford completed 22-of-30 passes for 245-2-2 in the Lions’ Week 2 victory over the Chargers. He’s a high-end QB2 with occasional QB1 upside going forward.

Gardner Minshew, JAX – Minshew (5-10 percent owned) got off to a bad start Sunday against a tougher defensive opponent, eventually settling down in the second half and almost pulling off a victory. He completed 23-of-33 passes for 213-1-0 in the loss to the Texans, adding 56 rushing yards. He appears to have some weekly streaming value in DFS and should be owned in larger formats, but he’s safe to fade in a tough Week 3 matchup against the Titans.

Marcus Mariota, TEN – Mariota is famous for dinking and dunking his way to pedestrian fantasy totals, and Week 2 was no different. He completed 19-of-28 passes for 154-1-0, adding 32 rushing yards on five carries in the Titans’ Week 2 loss to the Colts. He’s not a great option in Week 3 facing the Jags.

UPDATE: Mariota did have a quad issue on Sunday and didn’t practice Monday – but should be fine for Thursday’s game at Jacksonville.

Running Backs

Carlos Hyde, HOU – Hyde (45-60 percent owned) finished with 90 rushing yards on 20 carries Sunday, establishing himself as the lead back in the Texans offense. Duke Johnson is still the more valuable back in PPR leagues, but Hyde is a solid runner with some RB3/flex appeal going forward. He was on the field for just 37% of the Texans’ snaps in the opener, but he’ll always benefit from a positive game script and more rushing plays.

UPDATE: As staff writer Kevin Scott explains in his Usage Notes for Week 2 (I LOVE this column, by the way – it’s a must-read every week), “Hyde played on 61% of the Texans snaps, and garnered 20 carries to Duke Johnson’s 6. Hyde is the lead back in Houston.”

Raheem Mostert, SF – Mostert (10-20 percent owned) has showed flashes of talent since last season and rushed 13 times for 83 yards (3-68-1 receiving) in Week 2 against the Bengals. His role has been expanded with Tevin Coleman sidelined and he ended up leading the SF backfield in carries after Matt Breida was spelled in the blowout win. Mostert is a viable option in 12-team PPR leagues as a FLEX option and stands to benefit from injury/ineffectiveness in the other Niners RBs.

Frank Gore, BUF – Gore (15-40 percent owned) continues to stay relevant. He carried the ball 19 times for 68 yards and a TD in the Bills’ Week 2 win over the Giants, adding 2-15-0 receiving. If the hamstring injury to rookie RB Devin Singletary is serious, he’ll be a must-add in all formats.

UPDATE: Singletary (hamstring) is currently considered day-to-day, so Gore and T.J. Yeldon will be the timeshare to watch in Week 3 if the rookie misses time.

Jaylen Samuels, PIT – UPDATE: With James Conner questionable for Week 3 after leaving the game early with a knee issue, Samuels (20-40 percent owned) is a priority add who’s filled in before and done quite well. The Steelers’ 2019 4th round pick Benny Snell might see a few carries but if Conner is forced to miss time, Samuels has immediate value on a team that will be running the ball more and utilizing its backs extensively in the passing game.

Darwin Thompson, KC – UPDATE: He’s a rookie without a clear shot to major touches unless one of LeSean McCoy (ankle) or Damien Williams (knee, groin) misses time. But that time might be now, as we’ve received no update on Williams and McCoy “has a shot to play.” Thompson might be worth a speculative add even if we don’t get a Williams update in the next couple days.

Other RBs to consider: Jordan Wilkins, Rashaad Penny, Jeff Wilson, Ito Smith


Malcolm Brown, LAR – Brown didn’t get a huge workload Sunday, rushing six times for 37 yards in the Rams’ Week 2 win over the Saints. He’s the handcuff to have for Todd Gurley owners and will continue to get some work and vulture some TDs – but he’s not a priority unless we see Gurley start to falter.

Giovani Bernard, CIN – Joe Mixon ended up being active Sunday and Bernard assumed his secondary RB role, rushing six times for 6 yards and hauling in 1-of-3 targets for 7 yards in Week 2. He’s still a must-own in PPR formats and as a handcuff to Mixon.

UPDATE: Mixon looks to be fine moving forward, so Bernard can be stashed without deployment until further notice.

Rex Burkhead, NE – Burkhead finished with just 21 yards on five carries and added 2-47-0 on his two targets. It’ll be difficult to deploy him in most formats without some type of injury to Sony Michel or James White.

Justin Jackson, LAC – Jackson rushed for 59 yards on just seven carries in the Week 2 loss to Detroit, and he’ll continue to get 5-10 carries on traditional rushing downs and short yardage situations.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Demarcus Robinson, KC – Robinson (1-10 percent owned) caught all six of the targets from Patrick Mahomes, blowing up for 6-172-2 in the Chiefs' Week 2 win over the Raiders. Heading into Week 1, Robinson was slated to assume the Chris Conley role in the offense, but the Tyreek Hill injury forced him into a larger role this week. He responded with the best fantasy WR performance of Week 2 (so far). He should be added in all formats and will have WR2/3 value against the Ravens.

Mecole Hardman, KC – The speedy rookie (and second-round draft pick) took advantage of the absence of Hill, hauling in 4-of-6 targets for 61 yards and a TD on Sunday. Hardman (30-50 percent owned) looked right at home in the Chiefs’ offense, regularly getting behind the Raiders’ secondary and flashing major upside. His 42-yard touchdown came on 3rd-and-20, while a 72-yard bomb on 3rd-and-14 was negated by a holding penalty. I was concerned that he and Robinson would eat into each other’s targets, but they’re both huge components in offense with plenty of looks to go around.

Marquise Goodwin, SF – Goodwin (5-10 percent owned) started opposite Deebo Samuel in two-wide sets and caught 3-77-1 in the Week 2 against the Bengals. He’s a big-play guy with plenty of speed and remains a week-to-week play with some upside – and a very low floor. He’s a boom-or-bust option facing the Steelers on Sunday.

Deebo Samuel, SF – UPDATE: I didn’t include Deebo in my initial column because I have a feeling this will be a Goodwin/Kittle week, but he did have 5-87-1 in Week 2, and he’s an explosive receiver with upside that surpasses Dante Pettis at this point. He makes sense as a WR4/flex in 12-team leagues with a decent floor in PPR.

Nelson Agholor, PHI – Agholor (5-10 percent owned) had a monster game Sunday night in the loss to Atlanta with 8-107-1. He had a couple drops but showed excellent rapport with Carson Wentz after DeSean Jackson (groin) and Alshon Jeffrey (calf) left early with injuries. He’s got WR4/flex value if either Jackson or Jeffrey are forced to miss additional time.

UPDATE: Jeffery is dealing with a strained calf and his status is in doubt for Week 3, and Jackson is bothered by a groin issue. Agholor, JJ Arcega-Whiteside (who saw 93 percent of the Eagles’ snaps in Week 2) and Mack Hollins (85 percent of the snaps) could also be relevant this week.

TE Will Dissly, SEA – A large target for Russell Wilson in the red zone, Dissly has been active in both games and caught all five of his targets for 50 yards and two TDs in the Seahawks’ Week 2 win over the Steelers. He may not have huge games every week, but there’s enough value here to add him in 12-team leagues as high-end TE2.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: Chris Conley, Bennie Fowler, Mack Hollins, Tre’Quan Smith, Damiere Byrd


Marquise Brown, BAL – “Hollywood” Brown (now about 70-80 percent owned) caught 8-86-0 in the Ravens’ Week 2 win against the Cardinals and is developing excellent rapport with second-year QB Lamar Jackson. He should be owned in all formats.

D.K. Metcalf, SEA – The big-bodied Metcalf caught 3-61-1 on seven targets in the Seahawks’ Week 2 win over the Steelers, making a gorgeous 16-yard TD reception on an off-target throw on the Seahawks’ first play from scrimmage and adding an athletic 28-yard TD later in the game. A monster target and physical receiver with upside, Metcalf makes for a fine WR3/flex play against the Saints in Week 3.

D.J. Chark, JAX – The sophomore standout caught 7-55-1 on a team-high seven targets in the Jaguars’ Week 2 loss to the Texans. He’s a must-own in all formats despite being rostered in just 20-40 percent of leagues heading into Week 3.

UPDATE: Chark has a minor ankle injury but is tentatively expected to play Thursday night against the Titans. He was on the field for 82 percent of snaps in Week 2 (thanks again, Kevin!) and could be looking at a foundational role in this Jaguars offense.

John Brown, BUF – Brown (50-70 percent owned) still has his share of haters, but he’s shedding them with his new team. The veteran WR caught 7-of-8 targets for 72 yards in the Bills’ Week 2 win over the Giants and is getting regular looks from Allen in this underrated offense.

John Ross, CIN – Ross followed up a huge Week 1 with another solid game. He finished with 4-112-1 on eight targets against the 49ers, though a negative game script helped him bolster those numbers in the second half, as he didn’t do much before a 66-yard TD on the Bengals' final drive. He’s a good trade chip if you don’t trust he can keep posting these numbers, and there’s plenty of evidence to suggest a big regression in the coming weeks and months.

Terry McLaurin, WAS – McLaurin (35-50 percent owned) squared off with Cowboys CB Byron Jones and still managed 5-62-1 on nine targets in Washington's Week 2 loss to the Cowboys. He’s a major part of this offense and should continue to get 8-10 targets per week going forward. The Round 3 draft pick is a must-own in all formats, especially PPR.

Danny Amendola, DET – Targeted once, zero catches in Week 2. He and rookie TE T.J. Hockenson combined for just four targets (and one catch) a week after combining for 13-235-2 receiving in the opener. Weird – because they both looked like huge parts of the Detroit game plan. Stay tuned.

TE Darren Waller, OAK – I don’t think Waller was on the field for every snap in Week 2, but he had another impressive game, finishing with 6-63-0 on seven targets in the Raiders’ Week 2 loss to the Chiefs. He’s an athletic TE with WR ball skills and should be an acceptable low-end TE1 with a decent floor moving forward.

UPDATE: Not every snap, but 95 percent of them in Week 2. Waller is must-own in all formats and is still available in about 10-25 percent of leagues.