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. I’ll
also provide a brief update on the players I covered the previous
Jones, NYG – Jones wasn’t the most
efficient passer on Thursday night, but he did compile a nice
fantasy line, completing 22 of 32 passes for 249-1-0 while adding
95 rushing yards and another score on nine carries in the 30-29
loss to Washington. With the Giants RBs still getting their legs
under them, Jones will likely be asked to shoulder a large offensive
role each week and sometimes play from behind. Just 10-15% owned,
he could have several big fantasy performances like this coming
in 2021 and gets a tasty Week 3 matchup against the Falcons.
UPDATE: Jones is worth serious
consideration as a streaming option this week for owners needing
a solid week from their QB, and the injury situations in Chicago
and Indy translate to huge question marks. We know Jones will
throw and he’s got a host of capable receivers to put up
Fields, CHI – Fields’ normal rotational
role increased when he came in for the injured Andy Dalton on
Sunday, finishing with 60 passing yards and an INT while adding
10 rushes for 31 yards in the win over the Bengals on Sunday.
He’s owned in almost 50% of leagues (which is relatively high
considering his raw skills and undeveloped passing game) and could
be a fine bench stash as he develops a more refined game a la
“2020 Jalen Hurts.”
UPDATE: Dalton’s MRI showed
just a bone bruise to his knee and he remains the starter “if
healthy,” – but it appears Fields will get the start.
It could be a bumpy road for the rookie, but he's the better long-term
fantasy option and he needs his chance to show what he can do.
He's not a recommended fantasy option in his first NFL start.
Heinicke, WAS – Heinicke (just 2%
owned) completed 34 of 46 passes for 336-2-1 on Thursday night,
adding 6 rushing yards on four carries. I’m not as interested
in him next week against the Bills, but Heinicke has the chops
to get it done as an NFL quarterback and could help as a 12-14
team league backup.
Winston, NO – Winston completed
just 11 of 22 passes for 111 yards and two interceptions while
rushing for 19 yards and a TD on three carries in Sunday’s 26-7
loss to the Panthers. We warned you that without the passing TDs,
he could put up some stinkers.
CAR – Darnold looked good again in Week 2, finishing
with 305-2-1 on 26-for-38 passing in Sunday’s 26-7 win over the
Saints. He’s 5-10% owned and could be a relevant fantasy backup
in 12-14 team leagues, especially considering the upcoming road
matchups in Houston (Thursday night) and Dallas (Week 4) against
Goff, DET –UPDATE:
Goff had a typical Goff game, where he looked sharp at times and
awful on some plays where he forced balls into coverage. He completed
26 of 36 passes for 246-2-1 in the loss to the Packers, rushing
four times for 46 yards and a lost fumble. He’s not much
of fantasy option this week against the Ravens, although anything
is possible in garbage time. I’d steer clear.
Carr, LV – Carr is probably the
best QB available on your waiver wire, at just 15-20% ownership.
He posted a solid fantasy line in Sunday’s win over the Steelers,
throwing for 382-2-0 on 28-for-37 passing. The days of him being
just a game manager type in this offense may be gone as the running
game sputters and his host of capable receiving options keeps
DAL – We highlighted Pollard prior to Week 1 and noted
last week that he was “still just a latent-value handcuff,” but
that assessment may already be dated. He carried the ball 13 times
for 109 yards and a touchdown and caught all three of his targets
for 31 yards in Sunday’s 20-17 win over the Chargers. Pollard (still
just 35-40% owned) seems to have enough of a role in this offense
for flex consideration in 12-team leagues.
Lindsay, HOU – Now about 40% owned,
Lindsay was also a Week 1 recommendation who we updated last week.
He’s coming off another productive game where he rushed just five
times for two yards but hauled in his only target for a 22-yard
TD in the loss to the Browns on Sunday. On a short week, they
might give him more rushing work to spell the veteran Mark Ingram.
Gainwell, PHI – Gainwell is up to
25-30% ownership since we first discussed him (at just 3-5% ownership)
prior to Week 1. He rushed six times for 14 yards and caught two
of his three targets for 18 yards in the Week 2 loss to the 49ers,
and remains a relevant addition for Miles Sanders owners and deep
McKissic, WAS – Perhaps I gave up
on McKissic too early. I dropped him in a PPR league after he
was nowhere to be seen in Week 1, and I’m regretting it now after
a monster Week 2 performance that saw him haul in five of six
targets for 83 yards and handle four carries for 10 yards and
a TD. Ouch.
Mitchell, SF – This 49ers season
is already an injury rollercoaster. Mitchell left the game with
a shoulder (MRI planned) but eventually returned, finishing with
17 carries for 42 rushing yards and caught both of his targets
for 11 more yards in the win over the Eagles. But both Trey Sermon
(concussion) and JaMycal Hasty (ankle) also suffered injuries
in Week 2, so Mitchell could remain the starter against the Packers
next Sunday. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: Hasty’s injury is
a high ankle sprain, so he’s week-to-week, and Sermon is
in the concussion protocol. To complicate matters further, the
49ers brought in Duke Johnson, fantasy football relic Lamar Miller
and T.J. Yeldon for visits. Mitchell is expected to play and shoulder
most of the load against the Packers and their admittedly poor
rush defense in Week 3.
Ingram, HOU – Still just 30-40 percent
owned, Ingram rushed 14 times for 41 yards and secured one of
two targets for -1 yard in the loss to the Browns. He could see
a more even role with Lindsay due to the quick four-day turnaround
for a Week 3 matchup against the solid Panthers D.
UPDATE: Given both the short week
and the tough matchup, I’m staying away from Ingram this
week, even if he remains the top RB to own in Houston.
Patterson, ATL – It’s amazing to
me that Patterson is just 7-10% owned, especially since we said
he’d have an expanded role this week. The dynamic offensive tool
rushed seven times for 11 yards and a TD and caught 5-58-1 on
six targets in the loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday, and he’ll
carry that momentum into a favorable Week 3 matchup against the
UPDATE: Patterson is probably
the only sub-10% ownership RB that is projected to score around
10+ points in Week 3, so he’s the priority add in most leagues.
Obviously, your league could have better options because of a
silly drop by an owner, but Patterson seems like the hottest commodity
given the matchup vs. the Giants.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Pittman Jr., IND – I listed Pittman
before Week 1 and his ownership has since dropped a few points since
then – because impatient owners saw a mid-week injury and cast him
aside. Well, he responded in a huge way 8-123-0 on 12 targets in
the loss to the Rams on Sunday, leading the team in receptions,
receiving yardage and targets. He needs to be added in all formats,
but we’ll need to keep an eye on the QB situation (Carson Wentz
injury) before you activate him next week.
Moore, ARI – Moore, still under
20% owned, busted out for 7-114-1 on eight targets in the win
over the Vikings. He’s a must-add in 12-team leagues given the
explosive nature of the Cards offense.
Osborn, MIN – The sophomore wideout
is almost universally available (1-2% owned) and he had a monster
day in Week 2, catching five of six targets for 91 yards and a
touchdown. He now had 15 targets and 12-167-1 through two games
and should be rostered in 12-team leagues.
DEN – At just 10-15% owned, Patrick is a capable receiver
who sees a few targets but has made the most of red zone opportunities
in the absence of Jerry Jeudy. He’s now scored in two straight
games and is coming off another productive (3-37-1) game and Denver
Cephus, DET –UPDATE:
The more I see what Cephus can do, the more I like him. The second-year
WR from Wisconsin hauled in four of seven targets for 63 yards
and a TD on MNF, and now has two scores on 14 targets through
two games. Even if Tyrell Williams (concussion) returns for Week
3, the athletic Cephus should continue to see targets from Goff
and post decent WR4/5 numbers on a weekly basis.
Watkins, PHI – Watkins (1-2% owned)
isn’t a must add because of his low target volume, but he is a
big play WR who could see his role increase as the season wears
on. He had just two receptions on two targets Sunday but tallied
117 yards – in large part due to a 91-yard catch on a Hurts pass.
Reagor, PHI – Reagor’s ownership
jumped to 55-60% before Week 2, when he caught just two of his
five targets for 5 yards in the loss to the 49ers. He’ll have
Shepard, NYG – Shepard is also about
55% owned, but had a monster TNF game with 9-94-0 on 10 targets.
He should be owned in all 12-team leagues.
Kirk, ARI – Kirk (25%) followed
up his huge Week 1 with a more boring line, catching just three
passes (on four targets) for 65 yards. It’ll be tough to discern
when he’ll have another big game.
Higbee, LAR – Just one target for the TE and 1-8-0
to show for it. Not what we were looking for.
UPDATE: He’s safe to start
again in Week 3 in a matchup against Tampa Bay that demands the
Rams be passing most of the game.
Johnson, NO – Another three targets for Johnson but
no scores, just 1-23-0. He’s off the radar for now.
Edwards, LV – Edwards had a decent game with 3-40-0
on three targets and is about 15-20% owned. I still really like
his upside this season.