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
Fitzpatrick, MIA – Fitzpatrick (just
1-2% owned) gave his old team quite a scare on Sunday, completing
31 of 47 passes for 328-2-0 in the Dolphins’ narrow 31-28 loss to
the Bills. He also rushed thrice (that’s three times) for 12 yards
and tossed a nifty little two-point conversion pass to Preston Williams,
who – with DeVante Parker healthy – wasn’t much of a factor otherwise.
The Bearded One is still the starting QB on a team that throws it
a lot, and gets a favorable Week 3 Thursday night road matchup against
the Jaguars, albeit on a short week.
Herbert, LAC – Tyrod Taylor began
Week 2 on the bench and never got in the game because of chest
pains he experienced during warm-ups, and Herbert answered the
call in the starting role. The rookie completed 22 of 33 passes
for 311-1-1, adding 18 rushing yards and a TD on four carries
in the 23-20 overtime loss to Kansas City. The early word from
coach Anthony Lynn is that Taylor would remain the starter if
he's 100 percent for Week 3, so we’ll have to monitor this. If
he starts, Herbert is a viable QB2 in a plus matchup.
UPDATE: The Chargers cleared up
the mystery surrounding Taylor’s injury by detailing that
it was due to complications from a pre-game painkiller injection
to treat his rib injury. Lynn got a little salty when he reiterated
Monday that “the veteran quarterback (Taylor) right now
gives us the best chance to win. It’s not like we won the
damn game yesterday. We lost last time I checked.” Fair
enough, coach. Both Taylor and Herbert seem capable of leading
this offense and we’ll just have to stay tuned to the reports
coming out of Los Angeles.
Tannehill, TEN – My sincere apologies
to anyone who asked me if they should insert Tannehill over “X”
QB in Week 2, but I was expecting a Derrick Henry game – not 239-4-0
from the 2019 Comeback Player of the Year – in Week 2. Tannehill
now gets another favorable matchup in Week 3 against a Vikings
defense that has surrendered a boatload of passing yards and five
passing TDs through its first two games.
Minshew, JAC –UPDATE: I had
GM3 (owned in about 20-35% of leagues) listed in QBs to consider
but figure he warrants his own blurb given his performance thus
far in 2020 and the next four matchups on the docket for the Jags
(MIA, @CIN, @HOU, DET). The Dolphins have been terrible against
the pass this year and Fitzpatrick and the offense are just good
enough to keep this close enough for a shootout. The same goes
for the other upcoming matchups, so if you’re a believer
in Uncle Rico (AKA the Jock Strap King) rostering him for what
might be the most productive stretch of his 2020 season is probably
a good move.
Rivers, IND – Rivers completed 19
of 25 pass attempts for 214-1-1 during Sunday’s 28-11 win over
the Vikings, and while this was a disappointment, he still has
a couple of plus matchups on the way (NYJ, @CHI, @CLE in the next
Trubisky, CHI – Trubisky wasn’t
quite as sharp in Week 2 as his 2020 debut, but he did complete
18 of 28 passes for 190-2-2 in Chicago's 17-13 victory over the
Giants. The Bears should have won this game by three TDs.
UPDATE: For those streaming QBs, Trubisky actually has the best
matchup (on paper) for Week 3. He's facing the Falcons, who have
given up the most points to fantasy QBs over the first two weeks,
though the QBs were Russell Wilson and Dak Prescott – both
among the top 10 signal callers in the NFL. Trubisky does not
qualify for that company, but he’s an option.
CAR – Heading into Week 2 Davis (less than 1% owned)
wasn’t much of a fantasy option, but now we have an injury to
Christian McCaffrey that will have him missing multiple weeks
and could have enormous fallout. Davis logged just one carry as
the Panthers were already pretty far behind the Bucs, but he tallied
8-74-0 receiving and will be the top running back add heading
into a Week 3 road matchup versus the Chargers.
UPDATE: I’m starting to get a little concerned that folks
might be spending too much FAAB money on Davis because I’ve
listed him as the top RB waiver wire addition this week, so I’m
reiterating that we do not know just how Davis will be used outside
of the passing game in Week 3 and beyond. He did have some success
in Seattle in 2018, rushing for 514 yards and 4 TDs on 112 carries
(4.6 YPC), but he’s struggled finding running room in traditional
early down carries since then. Temper your expectations and remember
that CMC will probably be back in a few weeks.
Henderson, LAR – With Malcolm Brown
and Cam Akers out of the game, Henderson (40-45% owned) rushed
12 times for 81 yards and a TD, adding 2-40-0 receiving in the
Rams’ 37-19 win over the Eagles on Sunday. Akers was forced out
of the game with a rib injury, vaulting Henderson into RB3 territory
for a tough matchup with the Bills in Week 3.
UPDATE: Akers has been diagnosed with separated cartilage in
his ribs and is being called “day-to-day” but that
sounds more like “week-to-week” for a rookie RB. Brown
had surgery on his broken pinky finger and is expected to play
in Week 3, most likely in a limited role. Henderson isn’t
a major priority long-term, but he could be forced into a high
volume of touches if both these other Rams backs don’t get
much practice time and are having issues come Sunday.
NYG – I included Lewis in my Week 1 column under RBs
to consider when he was just 1% owned, so if you didn’t handcuff
him to Saquon Barkley (torn ACL), you’ll be scrambling along with
everyone else to pick him up. He’s fast and a solid pass-catching
back who will have the most value in PPR leagues.
UPDATE: As expected, Devonta Freeman is scheduled to visit with
the Giants today (Tuesday), and if he’s signed we could
see Lewis cast specifically in his usual role as a passing down
back. Still, the Giants will likely be faced with negative game
scripts for the time being, which means that he’s got plenty
of value, especially in PPR leagues. A Freeman signing would definitely
complicate the issue and create more of a committee situation
rather than a Lewis-Gallman timeshare.
Gallman, NYG – Lewis alone can’t
fill the void left by Barkley, so Gallman is fantasy relevant
one again (for now), and he’s done well when given opportunities.
We’ll also probably see another veteran back (Devonta
Freeman?) being added in the coming days to help bolster the
Gaskin, MIA – The Dolphins have
both Jordan Howard and Matt Breida, but Gaskin was the most electric
back on Sunday, rushing seven times for 46 yards and hauling in
6-36-0 on seven targets in the Dolphins’ 31-28 loss to the Bills
on Sunday. He’ll be worth a look in a Week 3 road matchup against
the Jaguars on Thursday night.
Wilson, SF – As the passing down back in the San
Fran offense, McKinnon (20% owned) will assume a few more touches
per game if Raheem Mostert (MCL sprain) misses time. With Tevin
Coleman (knee) also on the shelf Wilson is worthy of attention
and will likely get work on early downs.
UPDATE: Dynasty leaguers might also want to take a gander at
UDFA JaMychal Hasty, who impressed in the truncated training camp
and could be promoted from the practice squad for depth.
Brown, LAR – He tallied 47 rushing
yards on 11 carries and injured his finger during Sunday’s 37-19
win. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: Brown is expected to play in Week 3, though I’d
hazard to guess how many actual touches he’ll get fresh
off pinky surgery.
Hines, IND – Hines was nowhere to
be found on Sunday as Jonathan Taylor handled a bellcow type workload
in Week 2.
Snell, PIT – James Conner played,
and Snell ran just three times for 5 yards (and lost a fumble)
in Pittsburgh's 26-21 win over Denver Sunday. Back to irrelevance,
Barber, WAS – One carry this week.
This is why we hate Peyton Barber as a fantasy back and do not
roster, play or trust him.
Kelley, LAC – Kelley carried the
ball a team-high 23 times for 64 yards and hauled in two of three
targets for 49 receiving yards in Sunday’s 23-20 overtime loss
to Kansas City. He’s obviously not going away and could have some
monster performances in the right game scripts.
UPDATE: Lynn’s comments about the Herbert/Taylor situation
remind me that Justin Jackson (quad) is still waiting in the wings
for short-yardage and early-down/goal line touches when he’s
healthy. Something to remember if you’re thinking about
long-term RB issues.
NYJ – Gore had a rough time against his old team on Sunday,
rushing for 63 yards on 21 carries. He’s not the answer to the
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Cole, JAC – Cole has outperformed
D.J. Chark for two straight weeks now, catching 6-58-1 on seven
targets Sunday in the loss to Tennessee. Owned in just 1-2% of
fantasy leagues, he should be rostered in all 12-team leagues
going forward in this offense that’s passing a lot more (and getting
more creative) in 2020.
Smith, NO –UPDATE: On Monday
night, Smith (15-20% owned) seemed most suited (outside of Alvin
Kamara) to assume the high-volume workload the Saints need to
disperse among their WR corps. He hauled in 5-86-0 on seven targets
and is a bigger bodied WR with some speed who could impress in
the coming weeks. The Packers – who have been scoring almost
at will – might force the Saints to throw the ball a lot
in Week 3.
Reagor, PHI – The biggest takeaway
from Sunday was that Reagor (25% owned) ran 61 routes against
the Rams, 15 more than Week 1 against Washington. He also hauled
in all four of his targets for a 4-44-0 receiving line, and his
increasing playing time combined with his “deep threat” qualities
could mean ramped up (if uneven) fantasy production for the rookie.
Samuel, CAR – The CMC injury could
mean more targets for Samuel (40-45% owned) in the coming weeks.
The speedy WR had just 2-13-0 receiving but added four rushes
for 26 yards in the Panthers’31-17 loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday.
Pittman Jr., IND –UPDATE:
The Parris Campbell injury (PCL, out indefinitely) thrust Pittman
(15-20% owned), a rookie WR out of USC with size (6-4, 225) and
speed (4.52 40-YD), into a larger role against the Vikings (4-37-0
on six targets). He’s physical and has a huge catch radius
that will help in the red zone. He’s worth adding in 12-team
leagues for his TD upside alone.
Byrd, NE – Byrd was on the field
for 56 of a possible 64 snaps on offense in Sunday's 21-11 win
over the Dolphins, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reports. He totaled
6-72-0 on nine targets in Week 2.
Berrios, NYJ – Thrust into a high-volume
role after injuries to Jamison Crowder (inactive), Breshard Perriman
(ankle) and Chris Hogan (ribs), Berrios caught 6-59-1 on eight
targets on Sunday. If those guys are out in Week 3, we could see
Berrios lead the team in targets.
UPDATE: No hard news on Crowder’s balky hamstring, but
he was close to playing last week and could be back in the mix
in Week 3, complicating what could have been monster volume for
Gesicki, MIA – Gesicki is a TE in name only, as he
is deployed primarily from the slot. He had a monster game on
Sunday with 8-129-1 on 11 targets and has now seen over one-fifth
of Miami's targets through the first two weeks. He’s a top TE
play in Week 3 against a Jacksonville unit fresh off yielding
a career day to Jonnu Smith.
Smith, TEN – Speaking of Jonnu (4-84-2 on five targets
Sunday), I included both him and Gesicki in my Week 1 piece, and
I’ll add them again here since they’re still both under 50 percent
ownership on ESPN.
Lazard. GB – Lazard caught just
3-45-0 on five targets in the win over Detroit, and he’s looked
somewhat pedestrian compared Marquez Valdes-Scantling (more on
MVS later). Both he and MVS will be thrust into more targets next
week if Davante Adams is forced to miss time with his hamstring
UPDATE: Adams apparently wanted to re-enter Sunday’s game,
so the hammy issue could be a minor one. Expect the elite WR to
be back in action in Week 3 and Lazard to assume his usual role.
Gage, ATL – Gage caught 6-46-1 on
nine targets during Sunday's 40-39 loss to the Cowboys, and he
did it while Hayden Hurst had a fine day and Calvin Ridley had
two TD catches.
UPDATE: Julio Jones has ben playing through a hamstring issue
of his own, so we could see Gage maintain solid value over the
next few weeks as Julio gets what might be a less-than-normal
Valdes-Scantling, GB – MVS (15-20%
owned) caught three of seven targets for 64 yards in Sunday’s
42-21 win over the Lions, and his value is on the upswing.
Davis, TEN – Davis followed up a
transcendent Week 1 performance with 3-36-1 on five targets during
Sunday's 33-30 win against the Jaguars. He’s a WR3/4 with upside.
Shenault, JAC – I’m glad I rostered
Shenault in a couple of deeper leagues because he added five rushes
for 37 yards to his 3-35-0 line (four targets) in the loss to
Tennessee. The Jaguars have really expanded Shenault’s role as
a flex back/receiver, and he’s gaining fantasy value each week.
Washington, PIT – Washington had
just 3-22-0 on five targets, but there will be games where he’ll
make sense as a WR4/flex. For now, though, he’s okay to drop for
one of the big-ticket waiver wire additions.
Goedert, PHI – Goedert finished Sunday with 4-30-0
on eight targets and has now seen one more target than TE1 Zach
Ertz in each of the first two weeks. Both could be viable against
Cincinnati in Week 3.