Week 3 Waiver Wire

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Week 3 Waiver Wire

Here are this week’s top Waiver Wire players who are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues. Our favorite players are broken down in Top Targets and the best secondary options are in our Going Deeper sections. We’ll also list any players at the top of each position who are above the 50% threshold — or are household names — and are still widely available for those who might be in smaller leagues.

Be sure to check out our weekly Waiver Wire podcast and our Waiver Wire Livestream for more analysis. We’ll also have Streaming articles every Tuesday that focus on the top quarterbacks, tight ends, and defenses for the upcoming week(s).

Note: The initial Waiver Wire article writeup will be posted every Monday night, followed by in-depth updates Tuesday, and continued additions Wednesday.

Quarterbacks

Higher-owned Options

Jared Goff (LAR, 62%), Daniel Jones (NYG, 56%), Baker Mayfield (Cle, 48%)

Top Targets

Ryan Tannehill (Ten, 45%) — Tannehill has picked up right where he left off last season with two performances of 19+ FP in consecutive games to open the season. He completed 18/24 passes for 239 yards and four touchdowns while adding 4/12 rushing against the Jaguars in Week 2. The Titans could skew a little more toward the pass than they did last season since they have a more complete receiving corps if Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith continue to be viable secondary options behind A.J. Brown, who is currently out of the lineup with a knee injury and likely out Week 3, as he missed practice early in the week. Tannehill has a juicy matchup this week against the Vikings before his schedule turns more difficult in Weeks 4-5 (Pit, Buf). UPDATED: 9/23

Gardner Minshew (Jax, 25%) — Minshew delivered a near-flawless performance in the season opener in leading the Jaguars to a stunning upset over the preseason AFC South favorites. He backed it up by completing 30/45 passes for 339 yards, three touchdowns, and two INTs in a near-upset over the Titans on the road in Week 2. He’s now scored 20+ FP in his first two games, and all of a sudden they are loaded with pass targets with 10 different receivers catching a pass in Week 2. He’s certainly a viable QB2 going forward, especially since he’ll face a favorable schedule over the next four weeks (Mia, @Cin, @Hou, Det). He will NOT have #1 WR D.J. Chark Week 3, though. UPDATED: 9/24

Going Deeper

Teddy Bridgewater (Car, 18%) — Bridgewater is going to be slinging the rock plenty this season (10th in attempts through two weeks) with the Panthers projected to be one of the league’s worst teams. He uncharacteristically turned the ball over three times against the Buccaneers in Week 2 as he completed 33/42 passes for 367 yards and two INTs while also losing a fumble. Bridgewater has a difficult matchup against the Chargers this week before his schedule lightens up a bit (Ari, @Atl, Chi).

Justin Herbert (LAC, 3%) — Herbert made his first career start in surprising fashion after Tyrod Taylor after a pregame injection for a rib injury went wrong before their Week 2 matchup with the Chiefs. Herbert, the #6 overall pick in April, didn’t disappoint in his first start as he completed 22/33 passes for 311 yards, one TD, and one INT while adding 4/18/1 rushing in the overtime loss. The Chargers offense played much better with Herbert at the helm, and he should be the starting quarterback going forward, but we’ll see how HC Anthony Lynn decides to play it. Lynn said after Week 2 that he’s going to go with Taylor if he’s 100% ready to go, but Taylor is NOT 100% and Herbert will start Week 3. Herbert is a viable streaming option in a juicy matchup against the Panthers. UPDATED: 9/23

Ryan Fitzpatrick (Mia, 4%) — We’re week-to-week with Fitz right now since the Dolphins could insert Tua Tagovailoa into the starting lineup at any point. It won’t happen this week with the Dolphins playing in a short week against the Jaguars this week. Fitz bounced back from his three-INT performance in Week 1 by posting 328/2 receiving and 3/12 rushing against a tough Bills defense. Fitz is on the streaming radar this week in an exploitable matchup against the Jaguars if you’re in need of a one-week option.

Philip Rivers (Ind, 27%) — The Colts turned Rivers into a game manager in Week 2 as they dominated the Vikings on the ground with Jonathan Taylor. After throwing it 46 times in a loss to the Jaguars in Week 1, Rivers completed 19/25 passes for one TD and one INT in a dominant victory over Minnesota. Unfortunately, Rivers lost Parris Campbell to a knee injury in Week 2 to thin out his receiving corps. Rivers has some juicy matchups coming up (NYJ, @Chi, @Cle, Cin), but the Colts ideally want Rivers to throw it 30 or fewer times a game as they did in Week 2. Campbell is out indefinitely, but he’s at least not out for the season (at least yet). If rookie Michael Pittman can step up, that would help Rivers’ chances - but he has to get it going with TY Hilton and fast.

Derek Carr (LV, 18%) — Carr has an improved cast around him, and he was busy getting all of his receivers involved in Week 1, with his 22 completions going to nine different receivers. Unfortunately, it amounted to just 239 yards and one touchdown pass in a game in which the Raiders hung 34 points on the Panthers. But he was better in Week 2, also spreading the ball around to 11 different receivers, especially TE Darren Waller. He will need someone other than Waller to step up, but there is potential with this deep receiving corps, as he showed Week 2 with 282/3 passing. The Raiders have some tough matchups coming up in the upcoming weeks (@NE, vs. Buf) so Carr won’t be a great option even in two-QB leagues. But he’s looking good come Week 5 @KC. UPDATED 9/22

Mitchell Trubisky (Chi, 7%) — The Bears decided to stick with Trubisky as they’re starting QB this season, and he’s off to a 2-0 start with victories over the Lions and the Giants. Trubisky threw for multiple TDs for the second straight game in Week 2 as he completed 18/28 passes for 190 yards, two touchdowns, and two INTs against the Giants. Trubisky is tough to trust, especially since HC Matt Nagy could pull him at any point for Nick Foles, but he’s got some appeal on the low end with some intriguing matchups coming up (@Atl, Ind, TB, @Car), especially this week against the Falcons. At the very least, he has the great matchup in Week 3, but there is a downside because if he struggles against the Falcons, they will likely pull the plug. UPDATED 9/22

Jeff Driskel (Den, 0%) — Driskel will be Denver’s starting quarterback for at least the next two weeks against the Buccaneers and the Jets as Drew Lock recovers from a severe rotator cuff strain. Driskel averaged 20.7 FPG in three games filling in for Matthew Stafford last season as he averaged 7.3 carries per game for 50.3 rushing yards per game, and he wasn’t bad at all in Week 2. Lock is expected to be out at least two weeks.

Nick Mullens (SF, 0%) — Starting QB Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a high-ankle sprain in Week 2, which will likely knock him out of the lineup for 1-2 week. HC Kyle Shanahan didn’t rule him out Week 3 later on Monday, though. They are calling him week-to-week. Mullens came on in relief of Jimmy G in the second half, completing 8/11 passes for 71 yards and an INT against the Jets in Week 2. Mullens did average 8.3 YPA in eight games back in 2018, and the 49ers fielded trade inquiries for him this off-season. The fourth-year quarterback is in a bit of a tough spot with top receivers George Kittle (knee) and Deebo Samuel (foot, IR) currently nursing injuries, but he does have some juicy spots over the next three weeks (@NYG, Phi, Mia) if he’s the guy.

Running Backs

Higher-owned Options

Adrian Peterson (Det, 60%)

Top Targets

Mike Davis (Car, 1%) — Davis landed in the doghouse under former HC Ron Rivera’s coaching staff, but Davis has reemerged as the #2 option after the Panthers released Reggie Bonnafon before the start of the season. He could now have a massive role for the next month-plus after Christian McCaffrey suffered a high-ankle injury, which could keep out 4-6 weeks. Davis posted 8/74 receiving filling in for McCaffrey in Week 2 against the Buccaneers as he came on in the second half with the Panthers trailing by multiple scores. Davis may not take over all of Christian McCaffrey’s workload, but he would at least lead this backfield in work ahead of Trenton Cannon, who is an option in deeper formats. New HC Matt Rhule said Davis had one of the best training camps, and Rhule also said last week that he wanted to get Davis more playing time after CMC played 97% of the snaps in Week 1. Davis should be owned in every format for the next month as he has high-end RB2 potential while CMC is out of the lineup.

Devonta Freeman (FA, 10%) — Freeman visited the Eagles last week and his market could be heating up this week after a number of key running backs went down across the league, including Saquon Barkley (ACL). Freeman is scheduled to visit the Giants on Tuesday to potentially become part of a committee with Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman to replace Barkley’s massive hole. Freeman’s days of being a free agent may come to an end in the near future so it may be wise to stash Freeman now in case he lands in a spot where he can carve out a big role immediately. In fact, while it’s risky, we wrote Monday that we had to put him over Lewis and Gallman for the upside should he sign with the Giants, and he is expected to sign with the Giants, barring a last-minute snag or Covid-related issue. There is some risk, since they could employ an ugly RBBC, and some Giant beat reporters believe Lewis will remain the primary back, but Freeman does have an opportunity to get 13-15 opportunities and what should still be a decent offense. UPDATED 9/23

Myles Gaskin (Mia, 14%) — The Dolphins turned their two-man backfield with Jordan Howard and Matt Breida into a three-man committee with Myles Gaskin shockingly playing ahead of both Howard and Breida through the first two games of the season. He posted a backfield-best 7/46 rushing and 6/36 receiving against the Bills in Week 2, but Howard did vulture the goal-line touchdown. Gaskin is the top back in Miami after playing 63% of the snaps in Week 2, which is a bit stunning since they gave Howard $4.75 million guaranteed and they traded for Breida. Gaskin also couldn’t beat out Patrick Laird for significant snaps at the end of last season, either. Gaskin improved over the off-season and he generated training camp buzz, and he’s done nothing to lose the job through two weeks. Don’t expect the world from Gaskin in a three-man backfield, but there’s a chance the Dolphins could phase out Howard in the future since he hasn’t been effective in the early going.

Joshua Kelley (LAC, 39%) — We pushed Kelley up our summer rankings when we learned that the rookie had a real chance of playing ahead of Justin Jackson as the team’s top power back behind Austin Ekeler. Kelley hasn’t disappointed in the role after posting 23/64 rushing and adding 2/49 receiving on three targets against the Chiefs in Week 2 while playing alongside Ekeler. As long as he can hold off Jackson, Kelley has some standalone value — especially in non-PPR formats — since he has the potential for 10-12 carries with goal-line work next to Ekeler. Kelley’s needle is pointing up for the rest of the season, especially since HC Anthony Lynn is dead set on pounding the rock every week and he hand-picked Kelley as one of their draft picks in the 4th round.

Jerick McKinnon (SF, 11%) — McKinnon took the field in Week 1 for the first time since 2017, and it looks like he still has plenty of life left in his legs after missing the last two years to knee injuries. McKinnon broke off a 55-yard run and he scored his second touchdown of the season in Week 2 against the Jets. He’s now in a position to have a pretty sizable role after Raheem Mostert suffered a mild MCL sprain, which could keep him out for the next couple of games — HC Kyle Shanahan said Mostert is unlikely to play in Week 3. Tevin Coleman also left at the end of the game with a knee injury, which Shanahan said the team is concerned about and that he should miss “multiple weeks.” McKinnon was going to get more thrown onto his plate as he’s already proven that he can still play at a high level. Now he’s on the fast track to more touches in a generous matchup against the Giants in Week 3 and potentially for the next couple weeks. If McKinnon continues to play well, he could have a fantasy-relevant role even when Mostert does return to the lineup. If you’re looking for deeper waiver wire adds, Jeff Wilson and JaMycal Hasty will be the next backs up behind McKinnon while Mostert and/or Coleman are out of the lineup, and some 49er beat writers believe Wilson may actually lead the backfield in touches while Mostert is out. McKinnon, though, has more juice and will hold value all year if healthy. UPDATED: 9/23

Darrell Henderson (LAR, 30%) — Rookie Cam Akers left Week 2 early with a rib injury, which left the backfield work to be divided up between Henderson and Malcolm Brown. Henderson led the way with 12/81/1 rushing and 2/40 receiving on three targets against the Eagles as Brown also left early with a finger injury. Henderson looked far more explosive than Brown, who finished with 11/47 rushing after leading the backfield in work in the season opener. Henderson has some life after his strong Week 2 performance, but Sean McVay is going with the hot-hand approach unless one of these backs clearly distinguishes themselves above the pack. Henderson could be the cream that rises to the top if he has another strong performance or two, especially if Akers and/or Brown are unable to play or they’re limited this week (both are day-to-day as of 9/22). If Akers is out, Henderson could easily see the type of role he saw in Week 2, and Akers was unable to practice early in the week. UPDATED 9/23

Damien Harris (NE, 26%) — Add Harris this week if you want to get a jump start on the Week 4 waiver wire because the Patriots running game has been weak the first two games of 2020. Harris is on the injured reserve through Week 3 after he needed to have surgery on his pinky finger at the end of training camp. The second-year RB appeared ready to be the team’s top runner before his injury, and Sony Michel has done nothing to win the job during his absence with just 17/56 rushing (3.3 YPC) through the first two weeks. Now is the time to stash Harris in hopes that he regains his spot as the team’s lead runner in this crowded backfield. He won’t be a slam-dunk option even if he does win the gig since Cam Newton is the team’s primary goal-line runner, but at least he has some passing-game chops to help his fantasy value.

Chris Thompson (Jax, 22%) — The Jaguars figure to play in many negative game scripts this season as one of the league’s worst teams, and he came through in Week 2 with the Jaguars playing from behind. He posted 3/20/1 receiving on four targets and he added 2/7 rushing against the Titans while playing behind James Robinson. Thompson figures to be more involved in this passing attack going forward, and he might be worth an add in deeper PPR formats after he was dropped in quite a few leagues after Week 1. On the downside, Robinson isn’t a zero in the passing game and the Jags all of a sudden are throwing the ball to 8-10 different guys.

Dion Lewis (NYG, 4%) — The Giants did sign Devonta Freeman to give Daniel Jones a more dependable option in this backfield, so Lewis’ value is in limbo. Lewis hasn’t been effective since he left New England in 2017 so it’s tough to get too excited about him behind a shaky offensive line. Lewis could be in line for plenty of work but we can’t expect him to be anything more than a low-end RB2 if he does see the most work in this backfield going forward. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Joe Judge, a Bill Belichick disciple, use a committee approach to replace Barkley with a combination of Lewis, Wayne Gallman, and Freeman. UPDATED: 9/23

Going Deeper

Rex Burkhead (NE, 2%) — James White tragically lost his father and his mother was hospitalized in critical condition after a car crash in Florida on Sept. 20. Burkhead filled in for his grieving teammate, playing on 71% of the snaps and posting 4/47 receiving on six targets while adding just 6/2 rushing against the Seahawks. White isn’t guaranteed to play in Week 3 as he attends to his family, and Burkhead would once again play in the passing-back role if White doesn’t play against the Raiders.

Kerryon Johnson (Det, 38%) — The Lions are using an ugly three-man rotation in their backfield so it’s best to avoid this backfield if you can. Johnson started Week 2 and he scored on a goal-line carry on the opening drive against the Packers, but he managed just 8/32/1 rushing overall with Adrian Peterson getting seven carries and D’Andre Swift seeing five touches. Johnson did look better in Week 2, but he’s more of a player to stash right now in hopes that the Lions shorten their RB rotation by taking touches away from the ancient Peterson, but that doesn’t appear to be the horizon just yet.

Frank Gore (NYJ, 14%) — Le’Veon Bell dealt with hamstring tightness during training camp and it didn’t take long for the issue to come back in the regular season. The Jets placed Bell on the IR, which means he’ll miss at least through Week 4. Gore worked as the primary runner against the 49ers, turning 21 carries into just 63 yards. Gore is going to get plenty of touches while Bell is out of the lineup, but he offers little upside in an offense that’s going to struggle to score most weeks, including in Week 3 against the Colts. There is talk of working in backups LaMichael Perine and Kalen Ballage more starting this week, keep in mind. UPDATED 9/24

Boston Scott (Phi, 35%) — Scott moved back to a secondary role in this backfield in Week 2 with Miles Sanders making his 2020 debut after dealing with a hamstring injury the past month. Scott managed just 4/19 rushing and 3/24 receiving on three targets against the Rams. Scott is unlikely to see enough work each week to have enough standalone value to be a flex option so he’s more of a handcuff for Sanders right now.

Duke Johnson (Hou, 26%) — Duke left Week 1 in the third quarter with an ankle injury, and he missed Houston’s second game despite having 10 days to get healthy. Duke still figures to be the preferred passing back if he’s healthy, but David Johnson could steal a few third-down snaps if he continues to look spry. Dookie has lost some of his standalone appeal with David Johnson showing some bell-cow potential, but we’ll see if he can maintain it over a couple of weeks (Week 2 was not good for David). Duke should return in Week 3 after getting in limited practices last week.

Lamical Perine (NYJ, 3%) — Perine saw his first NFL action in Week 2 after a three-week layoff due to an ankle injury. HC Adam Gase elected to give Frank Gore 21 carries and Perine just three carries in their blowout loss to the 49ers. Le’Veon Bell is out through at least Week 4 with his hamstring injury, but we can’t trust HC Adam Gase to make good decisions with any of his personnel. Perine does have a three-down skill set and he has sneaky bell-cow potential, but he’s just a stash player for now since Bell and Gore are still ahead of him. There is talk of working in their younger backs more this week, however, and Perine is better than Kalen Ballage. UPDATED 9/24

Best Handcuff Stashes

Alexander Mattison (Min, 45%) — Mattison would take over the majority of work in the Vikings backfield with Mike Boone also mixing. Dalvin Cook missed two games to a shoulder injury last season after dealing with multiple hamstring injuries in 2018.

Chase Edmonds (Ari, 42%) — Edmonds is the top backup to Kenyan Drake, who has yet to put together a complete 16-game season as a true lead back. Edmonds exploded for 150 scrimmage yards and three TDs in the only start of his career against the Giants last season.

Tony Pollard (Dal, 36%) — Pollard ran for 455 yards on just 86 carries (5.3 YPC) as Ezekiel Elliott’s primary backup last season, and there’s a chance he could have more standalone value if he’s given a bigger role as a sophomore. Pollard would immediately be an RB1 if he’s thrust into a bell-cow role at any point this season.

Carlos Hyde (Sea, 18%) — Hyde is the guy to own for early-down work if Chris Carson misses time while Rashaad Penny continues to recover from his major knee injury. Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas would duke it out for passing-game work next to Hyde if Carson missed time.

Giovani Bernard (Cin, 5%) — If Joe Mixon goes down, Gio is one of the best handcuffs in all of fantasy football. Across Bernard's last four games without Mixon on the field, he averages 80% of the team's snaps, 13.0 carries, 5.3 targets, and 19.4 FPG. Those are hammer RB1 numbers.

Darrynton Evans (Ten, 4%) — The rookie Evans is the next man up behind King Henry, and he’ll work as a change-of-pace option as the lightning to Henry’s thunder this season.

Devontae Booker (LV, 0%) — The Raiders have built a large part of their offense around stud RB Josh Jacobs, and they also use Jalen Richard as a hurry-up and change-of-pace back, but for now, it will likely be Booker who steps in as the handcuff to Jacobs if Jacobs were to miss time.

Wide Receivers

Higher-owned Options

Robby Anderson (Car, 61%), Brandin Cooks (Hou, 59%), DeSean Jackson (Phi, 48%), Anthony Miller (Chi, 60%), Mike Williams (LAC, 53%)

Top Targets

Russell Gage (Atl, 1%) — Gage has a bigger role in this passing attack than initially anticipated this summer as he posted 16+ FP in his first two games to start the 2020 season. After hanging 100+ yards in the season opener, Gage kept the momentum going with 6/46/1 receiving on nine targets against the Cowboys in Week 2. He also should’ve had a long touchdown pass to Julio Jones on a gadget play but Julio dropped the perfect pass. The Falcons vacated plenty of production from Austin Hooper and Mohamed Sanu from last season so Gage has some staying power especially while Hayden Hurst gets on the same page with his new QB early in the season. It doesn’t hurt that the Falcons are going to be throwing a ton every week since their defense can’t slow down anybody right now.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling (GB, 36%) and Allen Lazard (GB, 48%) — Davante Adams is the clear top option in this passing attack, but third-year WRs Lazard and Valdes-Scantling are locked in as the top secondary options. With Adams going in and out of the lineup with hamstring and ankle issues in Week 2, MVS (3/64 receiving) and Lazard (3/45) led the Packers WRs in Green Bay’s blowout victory over the Lions. Lazard is the safer option while MVS will be the boom-or-bust option between these two WRs. They have a tough matchup against the Saints this week, but we need to monitor Adams’ status this week just in case he’s unable to play in Week 3, which is a possibility as of Wednesday night.

N’Keal Harry (NE, 32%) — Harry saw a promising 31.6% target share in Week 1, and he backed it up in Week 2 with a team-best 27.3% target share against the Seahawks. The second-year WR turned his 12 targets into 8/72 receiving. The Patriots have been getting him involved in each of the first two games with a variety of targets around the line of scrimmage with his aDOT sitting at 5.7 yards in the early going. The Patriots have next to nothing at receiver behind Julian Edelman, and the Patriots are hell-bent on getting the most out of their 2019 first-round pick in his second season. Harry has been inconsistent dating back to training camp, but he’s clearly going to get chances for targets in a shallow receiving corps.

Michael Pittman (Ind, 15%) — Parris Campbell went down with a PCL injury Week 2 that will keep out indefinitely, which should open the door for a bigger role for the rookie Pittman going forward. Pittman saw a team-best 24% target share against the Vikings, which he turned into 4/37 receiving on six targets. Our Greg Cosell compared Pittman’s size (6’4”, 220 pounds) to Mike Evans and his competitiveness to Michael Thomas. T.Y. Hilton has been the top receiver in Indy for the last seven seasons, but he’s off to a slow start with Philip Rivers and he has injury concerns going forward. Pittman should continue to improve as the season goes along and he has the potential to be a difference-maker in the near future if you’re looking for an upside pickup off the waiver wire.

Tre'quan Smith (NO, 15%) — Playing the Michael Thomas role, Smith really flashed in Week 2 and looked like a player who commanded the ball all over the field and not just a shot play guy. Playing a healthy 88% of the snaps, Smith converted 7 targets into 5/86, good for over 17 yards a catch. It appears the lightbulb has come on for Smith in year three, and it’s possible that he will hold rosterable value all year, since Emmanuel Sanders was a no-show in Week 2. UPDATED 9/22

K.J. Hamler (Den, 1%) — Hamler made his professional debut in Week 2 after missing the last month with a hamstring injury. The second-round pick finished with 3/48 receiving on seven targets and he added a nine-yard rush against the Steelers in Week 2. The Broncos lost Courtland Sutton for the season with a torn ACL, which is going to elevate Hamler into a bigger role. The second-round pick actually had the second-highest snap share (62%) among the Broncos WRs in his first NFL game, playing ahead of Jerry Jeudy (57%) and behind Tim Patrick (65%). Hamler will be playing with Jeff Driskel for at least the next two weeks as Drew Lock recovers from a severe rotator cuff strain. Hamler is a big play waiting to happen with his electric speed, and his team-high target share (17.9%) from Week 2 also gives us some hope that he could be a featured piece of this passing attack going forward. He’s ideally in the slot, but he can definitely play outside, so he could settle in as the clear #2 WR here.

Corey Davis (Ten, 42%) — Is Davis ready to pull a DeVante Parker as a first-round pick who breaks out in his fifth season? The former #5 overall pick easily paced this passing attack with 7/101 receiving against the Broncos in the season opener, and he backed it up 3/36/1 receiving on five targets against the Jaguars with A.J. Brown (knee) out of the lineup. We’ve seen Davis pop for some big games in the past, and we’re building some confidence in him after posting 12+ FP in consecutive games to start the season. Davis is in search of a big second contract and he’s certainly talented enough to remain a close #2 option behind Brown. He’ll get a juicy matchup against the Vikings this week and it looks like Brown will need at least another week to get back into the lineup. Adam Humphries is also on the radar in deeper PPR formats while Brown is out of the lineup as he has 10+ FP in his first two games. UPDATED 9/24

Laviska Shenault (Jax, 17%) — The Jaguars are rolling with D.J. Chark, Shenault, and Cole as their top-three WRs after making Dede Westbrook a healthy scratch in their first two games. Cole has scored touchdowns in each of his first two first two games while the rookie Shenault posted 3/45 receiving and 5/37 rushing in Week 2 against the Titans. The Jaguars are going with a youth movement by playing rookies Shenault and RB James Robinson plenty in the early going. Shenault is a worthwhile add since his role could continue to grow while Cole is an add in deeper leagues since he’s taking advantage of his opportunities through two weeks. For Week 3, the rookie should get more action with D.J. Chark out. UPDATED 9/24

Golden Tate (NYG, 36%) — Tate is widely available after he sat out Week 1 with a hamstring injury. He failed to do much in his first appearance in 2020 against the Bears, catching all five of his targets for 47 yards. Sterling Shepard left the game early with a turf toe injury, which will keep him out of the lineup for the next couple weeks. Tate is going to have a bigger role in the coming weeks while Shepard is out of the lineup, and Tate figures to be a steady WR4 option in PPR leagues going forward.

Going Deeper

Mecole Hardman (KC, 36%) and Demarcus Robinson (KC, 1%) — Hardman needs an injury in front of him to have a better chance of producing for fantasy, and he may have that chance this week after Sammy Watkins left Week 2 early with a head injury. Hardman managed just 2/30 receiving on three targets and he added a three-yard run against the Chargers. Robinson would also be in line for potentially more targets and playing time after posting 3/28 receiving on four targets. If Watkins is unable to play in Week 3, and it was revealed 9/24 he’s in the protocal, Hardman and Robinson could be plug-and-play options in a potential shootout with the Ravens.

Brandon Aiyuk (SF, 35%) — Aiyuk made his professional debut in Week 2 against the Jets, and he did little with just 2/21 receiving on three targets. The first-round prospect played in a limited role in his first game because of a training camp hamstring injury, but his role should grow going forward. He has some juicy matchups coming up against the Giants and Eagles and Deebo Samuel (foot) will miss at least through Week 3. Unfortunately, Aiyuk will have to play with Nick Mullens the next couple weeks while Jimmy Garoppolo recovers from a high-ankle injury.

Preston Williams (Mia, 38%) — Williams is off to a slow start in his return off of last season’s ACL surgery with just 3/67 receiving on 12 targets through two games. He did have two brutal matchups against the Patriots and the Bills to start the season so better results could be coming soon if his owners throw in the towel after two weeks.

Keelan Cole (Jac, 4%) — Cole looked like a pest in Week 1, but after getting it done again in Week 2, this may be for real. They are spreading the ball around to 9-10 different receivers, but he’s catching 93% of his passes so far from Gardner Minshew and he’s outproducing guys like Julio Jones, Robert Woods, and DJ Moore so far. He impressively has caught 11 of 12 targets for 105 yards and 2 TDs. For Week 3, he’s in our top-40 at WR with D.J. Chark out. UPDATED 9/24

Damiere Byrd (NE, 0%) – We may be the only site on the planet that actually gave Byrd love this preseason (Mr. Relevant, Hansen’s Draft Plan, Good Vibes/Bad Vibes), but here we are writing about him up for the WW article. Byrd played with Cam Newton in Carolina, and while he’s a journeyman, he’s their fastest and quick-twitchiest receiver, and he looked good in Week 2 playing 85% of the snaps and catching 6 of his 9 targets for a solid 72 yards. In deep or large leagues where catches are needed, he’s worth a look because his speed should get him on the field.

Chase Claypool (Pit, 5%) — Claypool has made a couple splash plays in his first two games as a pro playing with Ben Roethlisberger. He made the biggest play of Week 2 by hauling in a deep shot from Big Ben and racing to the house for an 84-yard touchdown against the Broncos. The second-round pick figures to be a boom-or-bust option going forward since he’s unlikely to see heavy volume most weeks, but he showed in Week 2 that he can do a lot for fantasy on limited targets.

Scotty Miller (TB, 40%) — Miller drew praise from QB Tom Brady and HC Bruce Arians during training camp, and he didn’t disappoint in his first game with the G.O.A.T. by posting 5/73 receiving in Week 1. Miller was a popular pickup before Week 2 with Chris Godwin (concussion) out of the lineup, but the second-year WR flopped with just 2/11 receiving on three targets against the Panthers. Miller is going to be a bit inconsistent playing with some studs in this passing attack, but we’ve seen Brady latch onto receivers he’s trusted in the past so Miller is worth a look in deeper PPR formats.

Randall Cobb (Hou, 6%) and Kenny Stills (Hou, 2%) — In a shocking development, Will Fuller is dealing with a hamstring injury once again. The Texans are making it sound like a minor issue but no hamstring injury is a minor issue when it comes to Fuller. His owners may want to handcuff him by adding either Cobb or Stills for some insurance this week, but the Texans do have a tough matchup against the Steelers in Week 3.

Darnell Mooney (Chi, 0%) — We’ve been telling readers about this kid all summer, and our Adam Caplan reported in his Insider column Sunday that he would play a lot. He’s carved a little role in the early going, and he caught the first touchdown of his career in Week 2 against the Giants — he finished with 3/36/1 receiving. The team is very high on him and they’ve been blown away with his speed and how quickly he’s picking things up. His upside is capped, but he will certainly be making some big plays here.

Tee Higgins (Cin, 3%) — It didn’t take long for the Bengals coaching staff to elevate Higgins to the #2 spot on the perimeter ahead of John Ross and behind A.J. Green. Higgins played on 65% of the snaps against the Browns, but he managed just 3/35 receiving on six targets. A.J. Green hasn’t looked like the same player he once was in the early going and it wouldn’t be shocking if they keep giving Higgins more opportunities to develop with Joe Burrow the rest of the season. The Bengals could also look to shop Green closer to the trade deadline. Higgins is likely to be a waiver wire target this season so you can get a head start and stash him now if you play in a league with deep benches.

Chris Hogan (NYJ, 0%) and Braxton Berrios (NYJ, 0%) — The Jets are a complete mess right now with Adam Gase running the show, including at WR with Jamison Crowder (hamstring) and Breshad Perriman (ankle) nursing injuries. Hogan and Berrios both hauled in six catches on eight targets against the 49ers in Week 3. Both Hogan and Berrios are in play this week in the deepest formats if Crowder and Perriman are out of the lineup against the Colts. Perriman has already been labeled as week-to-week and Crowder didn’t come close to playing in Week. However, Hogan also got hurt in Week 2 so we’ll see where he’s at later in the week. UPDATED 9/22

Tight Ends

Top Targets

Dalton Schultz (Dal, 1%) — Pour one out for Blake Jarwin (ACL, IR), who would’ve crushed as the starting TE in this potent Cowboys offense. Jarwin’s injury opened the door for third-year TE Dalton Schultz to step into the starting lineup, and he didn’t disappoint by posting 9/88/1 receiving on 10 targets against the Falcons. Schultz is going to be the fifth option in this passing attack most weeks behind Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb, and Ezekiel Elliott, but he should still see enough targets and the Cowboys should score more than enough points to make Schultz a mid-tier TE2 option.

Logan Thomas (Was, 32%) — Thomas received rave reviews from Washington’s training camp, and he carried it over to the regular season by scoring a touchdown and seeing a team-high eight targets in the season opener. He disappointed for anyone that added him off the waiver wire to stream in Week 2 as he averaged an ugly 2.9 YPT by posting 4/26 receiving on nine targets. It’s tough to get too excited about any of the receiving options behind Terry McLaurin in this limited passing offense, but Dwayne Haskins has quickly latched onto Thomas as his #2 receiver in this offense. The Football Team will be playing in more negative game scripts going forward so Thomas should have better results going forward despite his Week 2 dud.

Going Deeper

Jordan Akins (Hou, 2%) — We’ve had our eye on Akins since he started making splash plays daily during Texans’ training camp, and he’s carried it over to the regular season with consecutive games with 11+ FP to start 2020. Akins saw a promising 19.4% target share in Week 2 with Will Fuller nursing a hamstring injury, and he caught all seven of his targets for 55 yards. Akins potential will be capped some since Darren Fells has been one of Deshaun Watson’s favorite red-zone weapons with eight TDs in 2019-20. Akins’ role appears to be expanding, and Watson is looking for reliable weapons right now in this passing attack.

Drew Sample (Cin, 1%) — C.Z. Uzomah tore his Achilles in Week 2, which opened the door for second-year TE Sample. The 2019 52nd overall pick posted 7/45 receiving on nine targets with the Bengals playing catch up with the Brown for the entire second half. Sample is more known for his blocking, but he’s going to have the chance to see 5-7 targets per game going forward with Joe Burrow’s affinity for throwing in the middle of the field early in his career. He’s unlikely to do much with his targets since he’s not a spectacular athlete so he’ll be a PPR floor play.

Jordan Reed (SF, 7%) — With George Kittle (knee) out of the lineup in Week 2, Reed came through as a streaming option with 7/50/2 receiving on eight targets against the Jets. We’ll see about Kittle’s availability for Week 3, but Reed is certainly worth a look against the Giants this week if Kittle is unable to play again. Kittle did work in a limited fashion on 9/23, but they may hold Kittle out again due to the poor field in NJ (where they played last week and lost half their team). UPDATED: 9/23

Mo Alie-Cox (Ind, 1%) — Alie-Cox easily led the Colts in receiving in Week 2 with 5/111 on six targets against the Vikings. Jack Doyle missed Week 2 with an ankle injury while Trey Burton (IR) is out through at least Week 3 with a calf injury. If Doyle can’t play once again this week, Alie-Cox is on the streaming radar this week against the hapless Jets, who just allowed 49ers backup TE Jordan Reed to score two touchdowns. It looks like he will be the guy again this week with Doyle likely out. UPDATED: 9/23

Eric Ebron (Pit, 34%) — Ebron is off to a slow start with his new team, but Ben Roethlisberger got him a little more involved in his second game with the Steelers. Ebron finished with 3/43 receiving on five targets against the Broncos in Week 2 after posting just an 18-yard catch in the season opener. Ebron is behind at least Diontae Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster in this passing attack, and he’ll be competing most weeks with Chase Claypool and James Washington for secondary targets from Big Ben.

Jimmy Graham (Chi, 5%) — Our Adam Caplan told us this summer that the Bears felt like they could get more out of Graham this season after the Packers misused him as more of an inline player last season. Graham nearly just missed out on a two-touchdown day in Bears’ debut against the Lions, but he disappeared in Week 2 against the Giants with just an 18-yard catch on his only targets. Graham will be competing for the second-most targets in this passing attack most weeks with Anthony Miller — behind Allen Robinson — and he did score 10 TDs with the Seahawks in 2017 before he went to Green Bay in 2018-19. He also has a GREAT matchup this week against the Falcons. UPDATED: 9/23

Place Kickers

Higher-owned Options

Younghoe Koo (Atl, 68%) Zane Gonzalez (Ari, 69%)

Top Targets

Stephen Gostkowski (Ten, 8%) - A disastrous opening day ended with Gostkowski kicking a game-winning field goal. Gostkowski did have a missed extra point in Week 2 but he converted three extra points and had two field goals from 51 and 49 yards.

Mason Crosby (GB, 46%) - QB Aaron Rodgers has the offense on the move right out of the gate this year. A productive offense means points and points mean opportunities for Crosby. In two games, Crosby has nine extra points and four field goals with no misses thus far.

Going Deeper

Rodrigo Blankenship (Ind, 6%) - We projected Blankenship to kick numerous field goals in Week 2 and that is exactly what he did. We will temper expectations this week as the Colts face the Jets and Blankenship could have four or so extra points with limited field goal opportunities.

Randy Bullock (Cin, 2%) - Bullock injured his leg in Week 1 on a failed field goal attempt as time expired. Many fantasy owners backed away from him when the Bengals signed PK Austin Siebert who was cut by Cleveland this past week. Siebert was inactive in Week 2 and Bullock did not disappoint with three field goals and three extra points with no misses.

Defense/Special Teams

Higher-owned Options

Buccaneers (TB, 49%) — If by some chance this unit is still available in your leagues, stop reading this article and go put on a waiver claim. Through two weeks, Shaq Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul and Co. have 6 sacks, 2 INTs, and 2 fumble recoveries. They’ve held the Saints offense to 28 points, and did a number on Teddy Bridgewater and the Panthers. A top-10 unit last season, they’ve added playmaking rooke Antoine Winfield, Jr. on the backend, who notched his first sack and forced fumble on Sunday.

Their schedule is pretty dreamy going forward (@Den, LAC, @Chi), including some offenses depleted with injury, or depleted with Mitch Trubisky.

Top Targets

Colts (Ind, 40%) — After being slapped like a newborn baby by Minshew Magic and the Jaguars in Week One, it was the Colts D who did the slapping in Week Two. Minnesota mustered just 11 points, and Kirk Cousins took 3 sacks and threw 3 INTs. And despite the loss in Week One, Indy still managed 4 sacks in that game, confirming that adding DeForest Buckner next to Justin Houston is just not fair.

The Colts might have the best 2-game stretch coming up (NYJ, @Chi) before they play two Jekyll-and-Hyde offenses in Cincinnati and Cleveland.

Cardinals (Ari, 47%) — Don’t look now, but this Arizona D is pretty damned good. Actually, DO look now. As in look on your wires. Some better health and a sneaky offseason addition of DE Jordan Phillips (1 sack and 1 FF in Week Two) has held the 49ers offense to 20 points and the Washington offense to just 15 points. The Cards now have 7 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries in two weeks and play on the other side of a dangerous offense that may force opponents into mistakes. They have a nice three-game stretch coming up (Det, @Car, @NYJ) as well.

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