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.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (Mia, 7%) — 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 after Fitz shredded the Jaguars in a lopsided victory on Thursday Night Football in Week 3. He completed 18/20 passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns while adding 7/38/1 rushing for his second straight performance of 24+ FP. Fitz is once again on the streaming radar this week in an exploitable matchup against the Seahawks if you’re in need of a strong one-week option. The Seahawks are giving up the second-most FPG to QBs through three weeks (30.2), and Fitz has been smoking hot over his last six quarters dating back to Week 2, completing 82.2% of his passes and averaging 8.0 YPA.
Baker Mayfield (Cle, 44%) — Mayfield is just a streaming option at this point as he’s maxed out with 23 attempts in each of the last two weeks in victories. He completed 16/23 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns against the Football Team in Week 3. Mayfield has yet to reach 17+ FP in a game through three weeks, but he has a chance to come through this week against the Cowboys, who have given up nine passing TDs the last two weeks. Mayfield has some solid spots coming up the next four weeks (@Dal, Ind, @Pit, @Cin), but he needs a potent offense across from him to attempt enough passes to be fantasy relevant.
Daniel Jones (NYG, 43%) — We knew Jones could be hard-pressed to put up strong production in the first month of the season because of a brutal opening schedule. He’s come up small with just 420 passing yards and no touchdowns in matchups against the Bears and the 49ers in Weeks 2-3. It doesn’t help that he lost Saquon Barkley (ACL, IR) and Sterling Shepard (toe, IR) in Week 2, but Jones is still struggling to protect the rock with more turnovers (6) than touchdowns (2) in the early going. His OL is also struggling to protect him. Jones is a risky play as QB2 right now, but he has the chance to turn it around as his schedule gets much easier in the near future (@LAR, @Dal, Was, @Phi).
Kirk Cousins (Min, 26%) — Cousins is off to a shaky start this season but he now has two 21+ FP efforts sandwiched around 1.5 FP effort in Week 2. Cousins threw for just 113 yards and three INTs against the Colts in Week 2, but he bounced back with 251/3 passing with two INTs against the Titans in Week 3. Cousins is averaging just 26 pass attempts per game and he has five TD passes compared to six INTs through three weeks. At least Justin Jefferson showed some major potential in Week 3, and Cousins does have a juicy schedule (@Hou, @Sea, Atl, bye) if you’re brave enough to play him. Truth is, they may have no choice but to air it out 30+ times due to their poor defense, either by design or if not by necessity.
Justin Herbert (LAC, 21%) — Herbert is likely to start through at least Week 4 after Tyrod Taylor had his lung punctured during a pregame injection for a rib injury before Week 4. The rookie has surprisingly posted a pair of 300-yard passing games in his first two starts and he’s added 7/33/1 rushing against the Chiefs and the Panthers. HC Anthony Lynn has stated that the team will go back to Taylor when he’s ready to play, but Herbert’s Week 4 performance against a tough Buccaneers defense will likely be the deciding factor if Herbert will keep his job as the starter. He’s clearly a better option than the veteran Taylor, so we’d be floored if he was sent back to the bench, assuming he’s playing at least fairly well.
Nick Mullens (SF, 1%) — Starting QB Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a high-ankle sprain in Week 2, which could keep him out of the lineup for another week or two. Mullens completed 25/36 passes for 343 yards (9.5 YPA) and one TD in a victory over the Giants in Week 3. Mullens averaged 8.3 YPA in eight games back in 2018, and the 49ers fielded trade inquiries for him this off-season. The fourth-year quarterback should get his boy George Kittle (knee) back this week, and he does have some juicy spots over the next two weeks (Phi, Mia) if he’s the guy.
Teddy Bridgewater (Car, 17%) — Bridgewater is going to be slinging the rock plenty this season with the Panthers projected to be one of the league’s worst teams. The Panthers actually played from ahead against the Chargers in their Week 3 victory, which limited Bridgewater to 22/28 passing for 235 yards and one touchdown. But another issue is their poor run defense, which is essentially keeping their offense on the sideline. Bridgewater should get back to throwing it a little more in the coming weeks as the Panthers project to be underdogs in their next four contests (Ari, @Atl, Chi, @NO).
Nick Foles (Chi, 2%) — We heard that Mitch Trubisky’s leash was short heading into Week 3 despite Chicago’s 2-0 start to the season. Matt Nagy pulled the plug in the second half, and Foles promptly came into the game and threw three touchdowns in Chicago’s improbable comeback victory over the Falcons. The Bears will stick with Foles after their Week 3 victory, and he has some decent spots to consider him over the next month (Ind, TB, @Car, @LAR).
Derek Carr (LV, 19%) — Carr has an improved cast around him, and he’s posting better numbers so far this season with multiple TDs in his last two games. He completed 24/32 passes for 261 yards and two INTs, and he lost two fumbles in a blowout loss to the Patriots in Week 3. Carr has averaged 7.5 YPA or more in his first three starts of the season, but his tough stretch of matchups will continue over the next couple weeks (Buf, @KC, bye, TB).
Philip Rivers (Ind, 24%) — Rivers has turned into game manager the last two weeks with the Colts dominating both the Vikings and the Jets in Weeks 2-3. He completed 17/21 passes for 217 yards and one touchdown before giving way to Jacoby Brissett in the fourth quarter of their blowout victory. Rivers has some solid matchups coming up (@Chi, @Cle, Cin, bye), but the Colts ideally want Rivers to throw it 30 or fewer times a game as they’ve done the last two weeks, which limits Rivers’ upside for fantasy.
Myles Gaskin (Mia, 46%) — Please add Gaskin already if he’s still floating out on your waiver wire. He’s the main man in this backfield ahead of Matt Breida and Jordan Howard after playing 75% of the snaps and handling 27 touches in their Week 3 victory over the Jaguars — he totaled 22/66 rusing and 5/29 receiving. He’s losing goal-line work to Howard but at least he’s averaging 5.0 catches per game through three weeks. Gaskin has yet to score but he’s seeing enough work to consider as a high-end flex option in PPR formats.
Carlos Hyde (Sea, 18%) — Hyde is the guy to own for early-down work in Seattle if Chris Carson misses time as Rashaad Penny continues to recover from his major knee injury from last season. Carson sprained his knee at the very end of Week 3 and he never returned, which could mean Hyde would be the top runner in Seattle with juicy matchups against the Dolphins and the Vikings looming ahead. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported there’s a chance Carson could even play this week, but it would be a little shocking if the Seahawks rushed Carson back this week given his lengthy injury history. Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas would duke it out for passing-game work next to Hyde if Carson misses some time. Hyde has high-end RB2 potential in this potent Seattle offense for as long as Carson is out of the lineup.
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 has filled in for his grieving teammate the last two weeks, and Burkhead posted 6/49/2 rushing and 7/49/1 receiving on 10 targets in Week 3 against the Raiders. White isn’t guaranteed to play in Week 4 as he attends to his family, and Burkhead would once again play in the passing-back role if White doesn’t play in what could be a high-scoring affair against the Chiefs.
Jeff Wilson (SF, 22%) — Wilson is worth a look, especially in non-PPR formats, for as long as Raheem Mostert (knee) and Tevin Coleman (knee) are out of the lineup. Wilson saw the most carries in the 49ers backfield in Week 3, turning his 12 carries into just 15 rushing yards but he scored a rushing touchdown and he added 3/54/1 receiving against the Giants. We’ll see about Mostert’s availability for Week 4 against the Eagles — Coleman is on the IR until at least Week 6 — but Wilson is certainly worth a look as a plug-and-play option if Jerick McKinnon and Wilson are the top two options again. It should be noted that Wilson saw 10 of his 15 opportunities in the second half with the 49ers playing from well ahead while McKinnon saw 12 of his 18 opportunities when the game was close in the first half. McKinnon is still the top back while Mostert and Coleman are out, but the 49ers offense has had plenty of backfield production to go around the last year-plus.
Damien Harris (NE, 26%) — Harris will be eligible to come off the injured reserve this week 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 hasn’t done a whole lot to distance himself while Harris was out of the lineup. Harris should be added in hopes that he regains his spot as the team’s lead runner in this crowded backfield. Harris 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.
Anthony McFarland (Pit, 1%) — The rookie McFarland didn’t see a single touch in the first two games of the season, but he became the change-of-pace option behind James Conner in Week 3. The fourth-round pick finished with 6/42 rushing and 1/7 receiving on two targets against the Texans while Benny Snell finished with just 7/11 rushing. The Steelers would likely use a committee between McFarland, Snell, and Jaylen Samuels if Conner missed time, but McFarland has the most upside in the group and his role behind Conner could continue to grow after a strong first performance.
Cordarrelle Patterson (Chi, 7%) — Patterson is listed as a WR on some sites like Yahoo, but he could play a prominent role in this Chicago backfield going forward after Tarik Cohen tore his ACL in Week 3. Patterson finished with 4/13 rushing and he didn’t see a target in Chicago’s comeback victory over the Falcons. David Montgomery could see more of a bell-cow role if Cohen is done for the season, but Patterson should get more opportunities if the Bears elect not to bring in a free agent to supplement this backfield with just Ryan Nall behind the top two backs. Patterson is unlikely to be featured enough to become a fantasy starter, but he’s worth a speculative add just in case the Bears are worried about putting too much work on Montgomery’s plate.
Chris Thompson (Jax, 23%) — The Jaguars figure to play in many negative game scripts this season on one of the league’s worst teams. He posted a serviceable 5/35 receiving on six targets and he added 2/3 rushing in a blowout out loss to the Dolphins in Week 3. 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, top back James Robinson has performed well as a receiver and in pass pro, and the Jags all of a sudden are throwing the ball to 8-10 different guys.
Duke Johnson (Hou, 20%) — Duke left Week 1 in the third quarter with an ankle injury and he sat out Weeks 2-3 because of the injury. Duke still figures to be the preferred passing back if he’s healthy, but David Johnson could steal a few third-down snaps. David Johnson has come back to earth a bit after he looked great in Week 1 so Duke could have some standalone value in PPR leagues once he returns to the lineup.
JD McKissic (Was, 2%) — He’s a real pest when it comes to Antonio Gibson, but that doesn’t look to be changing in the near future. They like him in the passing game, and he’s also received some goal-line carries with 7-8 opportunities the first three weeks. He played 52% of the snaps in Week 3.
Best Handcuff Stashes
Alexander Mattison (Min, 40%) — 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, 37%) — 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.
Brian Hill (Atl, 2%) — Hill has emerged a bit ahead of Ito Smith as the #2 RB in this backfield behind Todd Gurley. The Falcons would likely use a committee between Hill and Smith if Gurley missed time, but Hill is the preferred handcuff for anyone looking to grab the backup to the mediocre Gurley. Hill played a lot in Week 3 with 33% of the snaps with 12 opportunities, so he might be more than a handcuff.
Tony Pollard (Dal, 27%) — 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.
Darrel Williams (KC, 15%) — Williams is the next man up behind rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and he has a small role next to the first-round pick. Williams would see most of the work if CEH missed time — Darwin Thompson would also mix in — and HC Andy Reid feels comfortable with Williams in any situation.
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.
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 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.
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.
Jamaal Williams (GB, 10%) — Second-round pick A.J. Dillon is a distant third option in this backfield behind Williams and starter Aaron Jones. Williams is the better all-around player at this stage of his career, and he would lead this backfield if Jones missed any time.
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.
Devine Ozigbo (Jax, 3%) — Ozigbo could return off the IR in Week 4 after missing the first three weeks of the season with a hamstring injury. James Robinson has earned the right to be the team’s workhorse back with his play in the early going, but Ozigbo would be the next man up since Chris Thompson would stick in his passing-back role.
Justin Jefferson (Min, 29%) — Jefferson looked like he was back at LSU playing with Joe Burrow in Week 3 as the first-round pick busted out for the first time in his young career. Jefferson saw a team-high nine targets against the Titans, turning them into 7/175/1 receiving, which included a 71-yard touchdown on a deep ball. Jefferson had just 5/70 receiving on six targets before Week 3, but the Vikings should have all the motivation in the world to heavily feature Jefferson going forward since Minnesota’s season is quickly going down the tubes. Adam Thielen has been a bit quiet the last two weeks, as well, so the #2 receiver role could have more fantasy value than anticipated.
Brandon Aiyuk (SF, 27%) — Aiyuk did little in his professional debut in Week 2 against the Jets, but he popped for a big performance against the Giants in Week 3. The first-round pick posted 5/70 receiving on eight targets and he added 3/31/1 rushing with HC Kyle Shanahan cooking up touches for him against the Giants. Aiyuk is going to have a lot more competition for targets and touches going forward with George Kittle (knee) likely back in Week 4 and with Deebo Samuel (foot) likely to return in Week 5. Still, he’s an upside prospect who should be owned in case Week 3 was a preview of what’s to come from the rookie going forward. He looked electric with the ball in his hands and Shanahan should look to make him a featured part of this offense going forward.
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 in Week 2 before the coaching staff made Ross a healthy scratch in Week 3. Higgins capitalized on his starting role by posting 5/40/2 receiving on nine targets (20% target share) against the Eagles, scoring on a pair of goal-line targets. A.J. Green hasn’t looked like the same player he once was in the early going, and the coaching staff is going to 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. We hope you stashed Higgins since he could have a big role in an offense that’s going to be throwing the rock a lot this season.
Scotty Miller (TB, 16%) — 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. He bounced back with Godwin back in the lineup in Week 3, posting a team-best 83 receiving yards on three catches and five targets against the Broncos. 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. Godwin also left Week 3 early with a hamstring injury — he missed the end of last season with a hamstring injury and is unlikely to play Week 4 — so Miller could have a big role against the Chargers and following that the Bears if Godwin is looking at a multi-week absence, which seems likely. UPDATED: 9/29
Greg Ward (Phi, 0%) — Carson Wentz turned to Ward for some help in Week 3 with Dallas Goedert (ankle) and DeSean Jackson (hamstring) both exiting early. Ward saw a team-high 11 targets (23% share) and he turned them into 8/72/1 receiving against the Bengals. Alshon Jeffery (Lisfranc) will be back in the mix soon so it’s tough to get too excited about Ward’s big Week 3 performance. He’s at least proven to be more reliable than some of the other options in the Eagles’ passing attack if he has a big role against the 49ers in Week 4. Iit looks like D-Jax’s hamstring issue isn’t serious, but Goedert will miss time, which means more 11 personnel for the Eagles, which is good news for Ward. For now, he’s a great option for those who need catches, and 10+ PPR points should be his floor as long as Goedert is out. UPDATED: 9/29
Laviska Shenault (Jax, 30%) and Keelan Cole (Jax, 44%) — 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. Chark actually couldn’t play in a short week with a chest injury, but Shenault and Cole disappointed owners who scrambled to the waiver wire to play these Jaguars WRs. Shenaul finished with just 5/33 receiving on six targets and he had just one carry for one yard against the Dolphins, while Cole posted 4/43 receiving on five targets. 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 getting opportunities in an offense that’s going to be playing from behind a bunch.
Preston Williams (Mia, 31%) — Williams is off to a slow start in his return off of last season’s ACL surgery with just 5/74 receiving on 14 targets through three games. Luckily, one of those catches went for a touchdown to bail out anyone who played him against the Jaguars in Week 3. It’s fine to drop Williams at this point if you’re looking for more production from a bench piece. He should have better days in the near future, but Williams isn’t a must-own player based on his slow start.
Cole Beasley (Buf, 9%) — Beasley is always a deeper option in PPR formats, and he’s back to putting up solid weekly production as the team’s slot WR. He’s posted 5+ catches and 70+ receiving yards in each of the last two weeks, and he’s now averaging 5.0/76.0 receiving per game on 6.7 targets per game. John Brown could be out of action after leaving Week 3 early with a calf injury so Beasley could see a little more action while Brown is out of the lineup. Keep in mind, this is a spread offense now that is throwing the ball thus far 38 times a game, and Josh Allen is having an MVP type season, so Beasley could keep this up.
Randall Cobb (Hou, 6%) — Cobb is starting to heat up with consecutive double-digit FP performance after a quiet debut with Deshaun Watson. The slot WR led the Texans with 4/95/1 receiving against the Steelers in Week 3, scoring on a 28-yard crossing route. He did see just a 15% target share against the Steelers, but his role is trending upward as he gets more games under his belt with Watson for those looking for PPR help in deeper formats. And it’s only a matter of time until one of the top wideouts misses time with an injury (Will Fuller already has).
K.J. Hamler (Den, 12%) — Hamler and this entire Broncos offense flopped in Week 3 with Jeff Driskel looking in over his head against the Buccaneers. The second-round pick Hamler finished with 3/30 receiving on five targets and he had a two-yard loss on his lone carry against the Bucs. Hamler is a big play waiting to happen with his electric speed, and he should be a featured piece of this passing attack going forward with Courtland Sutton (ACL, IR) done for the season. Unfortunately, expectations for this passing attack have to be lowered while Drew Lock (shoulder) is out of the lineup.
Chase Claypool (Pit, 14%) — Claypool has made a couple splash plays in his first couple 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. Claypool and James Washington could have bigger roles against the Titans in Week 4 if Diontae Johnson can’t play after suffering a concussion in Week 3. Claypool played ahead of Washington in Week 3 after seeing a team-high 76% of the snaps, and the rookie is best suited to take over as the X receiver if Johnson is unable to play this week.
Golden Tate (NYG, 39%) — The Giants passing attack has been dismal through the first three weeks of the season. Tate saw a team-high seven targets against the 49ers in Week 3, but he turned those targets into just 5/36 receiving. Sterling Shepard (toe) will at least be out the next two games to give Tate a better chance at production. 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 WR4/5 option in PPR leagues going forward.
Zach Pascal (Ind, 4%) — The Colts WR depth chart has been thinned out the last two weeks with Parris Campbell (knee) out indefinitely and with Michael Pittman (calf) looking at a month’s absence. Pascal took over as the team’s slot WR this week, running 67% of his routes inside, while Daurice Fountain stepped into the lineup in Pittman’s spot. Pascal had some fantasy relevance moments last season playing with Jacoby Brissett, scoring double-digit FP six times in an 11-game span last season. Pascal is going to play a lot over the next three weeks, but it’s tough to get too excited with Rivers averaging just 30.6 passes per game.
Tre'quan Smith (NO, 30%) — With Michael Thomas (ankle) out of the lineup, Smith flashed in Week 2 and he looked like a player who commanded the ball all over the field after previously being just a shot-play guy. He went back to a secondary role in Week 3 with Emmanuel Sanders finally showing some life as he posted just 4/42 receiving on six targets against the Packers. Thomas could return to the lineup in Week 4 against the Lions, which should relegate Smith to the bench in most fantasy formats.
Hunter Renfrow (LV, 10%) — Renfrow stepped up for Derek Carr in Week 3 with Henry Ruggs (knee) out of the lineup and with Darren Waller getting blanketed by the Patriots. The slot WR finished with 6/84/1 receiving against the Patriots and he had a second touchdown taken off the board just before halftime. Renfrow will likely go back to being a secondary option in this passing attack after seeing just five targets through the first two weeks of the season, but it’s not like Ruggs and Bryan Edwards are off to blistering starts through September, and they’re both iffy for Week 4. UPDATED: 9/29
Alshon Jeffery (Phi, 14%) — Jeffery appears to be targeting a Week 5 return to the lineup after returning to individual drills ahead of Week 3 off his off-season Lisfranc surgery. The Eagles’ passing attack could use any kind of help right now, but it’s yet to be seen if Jeffery will be anywhere close to the player that he once was. It’s fine to stash Jeffery just in case he has something left in the tank but just don’t expect the world from him.
Mecole Hardman (KC, 31%) — Hardman really needs an injury in front of him to have a better chance of producing for fantasy, and we did see Sammy Watkins play in Week 3, and he looked good. Hardman managed just 2/30 receiving on three targets and he added a three-yard run against the Chargers in Week 2, but he did ball out in Week 3 with 4/81/1 on 6 targets with a beautiful 49-yard TD, and he almost hauled in another long TD. Hardman is too volatile as a weekly option given his limited role, but he clearly has the potential to go off any given week. UPDATED: 9/29
Andy Isabella (Ari, 1%) — Isabella got elevated to a bigger role in this Arizona passing attack with Christian Kirk (groin) out of the lineup in Week 3, and the 2019 second-round pick didn’t disappoint. He caught all four of his targets against the Lions, turning them into 47 yards and two red-zone touchdowns. DeAndre Hopkins is the only receiver guaranteed to see meaningful targets in this Cardinals’ passing attack right now, but Isabella deserves a longer look from HC Kliff Kingsbury with Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald doing little behind Nuk.
Gabriel Davis (Buf, 0%) — We’ve been hearing great things about the rookie Davis since the summer, and he could be locked into a big role going for as long as John Brown is out of the lineup. Smokey came into Week 3 with a foot injury and he left early in the second half with a calf injury. Davis didn’t disappoint with the bigger role by catching all four of his targets for 81 yards against the Rams in Week 3. Davis is worth a look as a plug-and-play option against the Raiders if Brown can’t play this week.
Braxton Berrios (NYJ, 1%) — 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. Berrios has been the lone receiver to step up the last two weeks for Sam Darnold, posting 16+ FP against both the 49ers and the Colts. Berrios is in play this week if Crowder and Perriman are out of the lineup against the Broncos on Thursday Night Football, but don’t be fooled into thinking he’s good for 60 yards and a touchdown going forward like he has the last two weeks, especially since Crowder is likely back Week 4. UPDATED: 9/29
Olamide Zaccheaus (Atl, 0%) — His name is a mouthful but Zaccheaus could be forced into a big role this week if Julio Jones (hamstring) and Russell Gage (concussion) can’t play this week against the Packers. Zaccheaus finished second in receiving yards (41), targets (6), and catches (4) in the Falcons’ disappointing loss to the Bears in Week 3. Matt Ryan is averaging 42.7 pass attempts per game through three games so there’s plenty of production available if Julio and/or Gage can’t play this week.
Tim Patrick (Den, 0%) — They have always liked this guy in Denver, and in Week 3 he played 84% of the snaps and scored a TD with 4 targets and 4/43 receiving. You can’t expect much until Drew Lock returns, but Patrick has good size and solid talent, so he’s worth listing here for those in deep league.
Rob Gronkowski (TB, 57%)
Jimmy Graham (Chi, 8%) — 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 has already matched his three touchdowns from last season after posting 6/60/2 receiving on 10 targets against the Falcons in Week 3. He also immediately looked to be in better shape going forward with Nick Foles after the Bears benched Mitch Trubisky. Graham will be competing for the second-most targets in this passing attack most weeks with Anthony Miller — behind Allen Robinson — and Graham did score 10 TDs with the Seahawks in 2017 before he went to Green Bay in 2018-19. Foles has never been shy about targeting his TEs in the past so Graham has the chance to stay fantasy relevant with his new QB.
Eric Ebron (Pit, 27%) — Ebron has been trending upward the first three weeks of the season, which paid off with his first strong fantasy performance in black and gold in Week 3. Ebron saw a team-high seven targets (19% target share), which he turned into a team-best 5/52/1 receiving against the Texans, scoring on a fade pass from 10 yards out. 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. Diontae did leave Week 3 early with a concussion so Ebron could have a bigger role against the Titans in Week 4 if Johnson can’t play.
Dalton Schultz (Dal, 31%) — Blake Jarwin’s injury opened the door for third-year TE Schultz to step into the starting lineup, and he hasn’t disappointed by posting 13/146/1 receiving on 16 targets in his first two games without Jarwin. 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.
Greg Olsen (Sea, 22%) — Olsen is leading this Seahawks TE committee, which also has Will Dissly and Jacob Hollister involved. Olsen has now produced 11+ FP in Weeks 1 and 3, which are sandwiched around a catch-free Week 2 appearance. Russell Wilson is going to throw a ton of touchdown passes this season after setting an NFL record with 14 TD passes through the first three weeks of the season. Olsen is a distant #3 option behind D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, but grabbing pieces of this potent passing attack is a wise decision, especially if Olsen is just developing chemistry with Wilson.
Logan Thomas (Was, 33%) — Thomas has seen seven or more targets in each of Washington’s first three games, but his heavy usage hasn’t resulted in much production the last two weeks. After scoring in the season opener, Thomas had just 8/57 receiving on 16 targets (3.6 YPT) in Week 2-3. 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 as long as he continues to see heavy targets each week. In addition, they may pull the plug on Haskins at some point if he continues to struggle, which could help Thomas’ chances.
Robert Tonyan (GB, 1%) — While promising prospect Jace Sternberger (21% of the snaps Week 3) showed signs of life in Week 3 and they would love for him to step up, it’s been slow-going for Sternberger, who missed about two weeks due to Covid-19 in August. Aaron Rogers clearly trusts Tonyan (63% of the snaps Week 3), who caught all 5 of his targets in Week 3 for a solid line of 5/50/1.
Mo Alie-Cox (Ind, 9%) — Alie-Cox easily led the Colts in receiving in Week 2 with 5/111 on six targets against the Vikings. Even with Jack Doyle back in Week 3, Alie-Cox led the Colts with 3/50/1 receiving on three targets against the Jets. He out-snapped Doyle 36 to 32 in Week 3, but he disturbingly ran just seven routes so don’t get too excited about Alie-Cox going forward. Of course, Doyle didn’t even get a target in Week 3. This TE depth chart could also get a little more complicated if Trey Burton (calf, IR) is ready to return soon after a three-week stay on the injured reserve. For now, Alie-Cox is the one Colts tight end we’d consider playing while he’s playing well with Philip Rivers, but he’s bound to disappoint soon if he’s going to run a route on just 33.3% of Rivers’ dropbacks as he did in Week 3.
Stephen Gostkowski (Ten, 10%) - If you did not grab him following our advice here on waiver Wire last week, you better do so now as he will be taken this week. He is tied for the league lead with nine field goals made with four of them going from 50 yards or more and one from 40-49 yard range.
Rodrigo Blankenship (Ind, 27%) - Multiple field goals in Week 2 and three attempts in Week 3 make Blankenship a very appealing option that is still flying under the fantasy football radar. In Week 3, he made two of his three attempts from the 40-49 yard range while plucking a 41-yarder off the right upright.
Randy Bullock (Cin, 3%) - Bullock was listed here last week in the Going Deeper section. He racked up three more field goals made with one from 48 yards. The apparent injury suffered in Week 1 does not seem to be an injury at all. Still, we would like to see another solid performance from Bullock before raising him up to Top Targets.
Joey Slye (Car, 13%) - Slye had five field goals made in Week 3. Granted, none of them were from 32 yards or more. In addition, the Panthers are playing the Cardinals this week and could be playing from behind. Still, Slye is tied for the league lead in field goals made with nine total.
Rams (LAR, 55%) — The Rams D held both Dallas and Philadelphia to under 20 points before the dam burst last week, allowing 35 to the Bills. Any defense with Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey will be dangerous, but the Rams re-tooled their scheme and it’s working well against anyone not named Josh Allen. Daniel Jones is not Josh Allen. Jones and the broken Giants offense are averaging just 14.5 points per game, giving up 3.5 sacks, 1.5 INTs, and 0.5 fumbles lost, while the Rams D has 7 sacks, 3 INTs, and 2 fumble recoveries through three games. The Giants are the 3rd-best matchup for opposing DSTs, and are 11.5-point dogs. The Rams’ schedule after that isn’t bad, either (@Was, @SF, Chi, @Mia).
Cardinals (Ari, 43%) — Arizona’s defense has made a stunning turnaround from last year. This turnaround actually started toward the end of last season (highlighted by holding Russell Wilson and the Seahawks to just 13 points in Week 16), and continued to improve with the addition of pass-rushing DL Jordan Phillips, first-round LB/S Isaiah Simmons, and LB De’Vondre Campbell. This top-10 unit has 11 sacks and faces two top-10 teams in giving it up to opposing defenses over the next two weeks (@Car, @NYJ). The Panthers have surrendered 8 sacks, 2 INTs, and 2 lost fumbles, while the Jets are averaging just 15 points per game.
Texans (Hou, 3%) — The Texans opened their season with arguably the toughest schedule so far: @KC, Bal, @Pit. This week, things should get easier as they welcome the winless Vikings to Texas. Yes, Houston is also winless, but through that brutal first three weeks, J.J. Watt and Co. still managed 7 sacks, and now get the 3rd-best matchup for opposing defenses. Minnesota has given up 7 sacks, 6 INTs, 2 safeties, and lost a fumble. After that, they’ll face a Jaguars offense giving up 3 sacks and 1 INT per game.