Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 3

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To begin this article, I would like to extend our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to Nick Chubb following his devastating knee injury. The beginning of this NFL season has been remarkably challenging, with multiple players facing serious injuries. Our thoughts are with them all, and we hope for their swift recoveries.

The waiver wire is like a box of chocolates… you never know what you’re going to get. Although many often desire chocolates filled with caramel or peanut butter, biting into them without a glance at the descriptions can lead to an unexpected and less-than-appetizing encounter, akin to stumbling upon the forbidden orange cream flavor.

You might have snagged the coveted top waiver claim of the week, setting your sights on Puka Nacua, only to later learn about his ongoing struggle with an oblique injury. Fortunately, that initial fright turned out to be a massive overreaction. Alternatively, you could have opted for the alluring prospect of Kenneth Gainwell, only to witness D’Andre Swift flourish in Gainwell’s absence, raising the possibility of Swift taking over the role. Utilizing the waiver wire can occasionally leave you with a bitter taste, yet the potential for sweetness remains untapped until you take that first bite. Without further ado, allow me to unveil the most savory waiver wire options for Week 3.

Wide Receivers

Team Player Roster % Matchups
HOU Nico Collins 55% @JAX / PIT / @ATL
LAR Tutu Atwell 32% @CIN / @IND / PHI
DET Josh Reynolds 21% ATL / @GB / CAR
GB Jayden Reed 19% NO / DET / @LV
HOU Tank Dell 21% @JAX / PIT / @ATL
PIT Allen Robinson II 29% @LV / @HOU / BAL
KC Kadarius Toney 70% CHI / @NYJ / @MIN
GB Romeo Doubs 60% NO / DET / @LV
DEN Marvin Mims Jr. 21% @MIA / @CHI / NYJ
NO Rashid Shaheed 46% @GB / TB / @NE
BAL Rashod Bateman 51% IND / @CLE / @PIT
CLE Donovan Peoples-Jones 17% TEN / BAL / BYE
HOU Robert Woods 15% @JAX / PIT / @ATL
PIT Calvin Austin III 8% @LV / @HOU / BAL

Nico Collins, WR, Houston Texans We have been eagerly awaiting a breakout season from Nico Collins, and in Week 2, he delivered, showcasing the best game of his young career. Reeling in seven receptions out of nine targets, he tallied an impressive 146 yards and a touchdown in the Houston Texans‘ loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Collins has always exhibited the sought-after combination of size and athleticism for his position, and this season, he is visibly evolving into a more refined player. His growing connection with C.J. Stroud is a thrilling development to get excited about. Through the first two games of the season, Collins has efficiently converted 20 targets into 13 receptions, accumulating an impressive 226 receiving yards and a touchdown. As the Houston Texans gear up to face the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3, he is well-positioned to build on this impressive breakout campaign. Although the season is young, Collins is becoming a player that you can confidently slot into your starting lineups each week. Recommended FAAB: 5-15% 

Tutu Atwell, WR, Los Angeles Rams – Chances are, you missed out on securing Puka Nacua through waivers last week. However, hidden beneath Nacua’s formidable shadow has been the remarkable performance of Tutu Atwell. Last week, he matched Nacua’s receiving yardage total and followed up with an impressive display in Week 2, catching seven of nine targets for 77 yards. Over the first two games of the season, Atwell has totaled 196 receiving yards on 13 receptions. While he may not receive the praise of his counterpart, Atwell appears to be a subtle yet consistent weekly contributor at the position. He will likely keep offering value at the FLEX spot until Cooper Kupp makes his highly anticipated return to action. Recommended FAAB: 5-10% 

Josh Reynolds, WR, Detroit Lions – We cannot ignore Josh Reynolds any longer. Despite being largely overlooked in fantasy football drafts this season, Reynolds is having an exceptional start to the 2023 season. In Week 1, he impressed by catching four out of seven targets for 80 yards in a significant win against the Kansas City Chiefs. Following this strong performance, he outdid himself, securing five out of six targets for 66 yards and two touchdowns. Reynolds is solidifying his position as WR2 in Detroit and is set to capitalize on ample opportunities, complementing Amon-Ra St. Brown. He continues to present significant FLEX appeal and is increasingly demonstrating his potential as a reliable option in plus matchups. Recommended FAAB: 0-10%

Jayden Reed, WR, Green Bay Packers – Did someone call for a Jayden Reed breakout game? The talented rookie made a strong impression in only his second professional game, despite the team’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Reed’s performance was noteworthy, securing four receptions out of eight targets for a total of 37 yards and two touchdowns. Interestingly, this stat line closely resembles Romeo Doubs‘ performance last week, underscoring the unpredictability of the wide receiver position on a weekly basis. This development could intensify with Christian Watson‘s return on the horizon. Nonetheless, it is incredibly promising to witness the rookie’s early-career success and he is a name to continue to monitor. Recommended FAAB: 0-10% 

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Tank Dell, WR, Houston Texans You might have overlooked a notable breakout performance by rookie Tank Dell this past Sunday, and I assure you, this is not just a joke about his height. Dell truly made the most of his opportunities in Week 2, securing seven receptions on ten targets for an impressive 72 yards and a touchdown. Despite his stature, Dell showcased significant productivity during his collegiate career, making him someone worth keeping a close eye on as the season progresses. While the spotlight may currently be on the taller Nico Collins, it is essential not to underestimate the potential of this skilled rookie. True to his name, he seems to bring a powerful game despite his size limitations. Recommended FAAB: 0-10% 

Marvin Mims Jr., WR, Denver Broncos – After a modest NFL debut, Marvin Mims Jr. exploded onto the scene in Week 2, displaying his knack for making big plays. Despite only securing two catches, he amassed a staggering 113 receiving yards and a touchdown. He managed this level of production while only running five routes. Mims has the potential to seamlessly slot into the much-sought “Tyler Lockett role” for Russell Wilson, which he has yet to find in Denver. He additionally holds the distinction of being Sean Payton’s first draft pick with the Denver Broncos, hinting at a future of continued involvement in the offensive game plan. For now, he is a sneaky stash for your fantasy benches, possessing weekly boom/bust potential. Recommended FAAB: 0-10% 

Complete Waiver Wire Rankings with FAAB %

Running Backs

Team Player Roster % Matchups
LAR Kyren Williams 63% @CIN / @IND / PHI
CLE Jerome Ford 16% TEN / BAL / BYE
IND Zack Moss 55% @BAL / LAR / TEN
BAL Justice Hill 58% IND / @CLE / @PIT
BAL Gus Edwards 62% IND / @CLE / @PIT
CHI Roschon Johnson 51% @KC / DEN / @WAS
NYG Matt Breida 3% @SF / SEA / @MIA
PIT Jaylen Warren 46% @LV / @HOU / BAL
DET Craig Reynolds 0% ATL / @GB / CAR
MIA De’Von Achane 56% DEN / @BUF / NYG
MIA Salvon Ahmed 3% DEN / @BUF / NYG
TEN Tyjae Spears 26% @CLE / CIN / @IND
JAX Tank Bigsby 52% HOU / ATL / BUF
BUF Damien Harris 42% @WAS / MIA / JAX
BUF Latavius Murray 2% @WAS / MIA / JAX
CAR Chuba Hubbard 25% @SEA / MIN / @DET
TB Sean Tucker 11% PHI / @NO / BYE
DAL Rico Dowdle 3% @ARI / NE / @SF
MIN Ty Chandler 9% LAC / @CAR / KC

Kyren Williams, RB, Los Angeles Rams Kyren Williams made waves last week with a notable performance, tallying 52 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries in a remarkable victory against the Seattle Seahawks. Notably, he outperformed Cam “Ron” Akers and even surpassed him in snap count, being on the field for an impressive 65% of plays. To the surprise of everyone, Akers was a healthy scratch for Week 2’s matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. While the reasons behind Akers’ absence may not be clear, what is evident is the coaching staff’s preference and desire for Williams to be the team’s starting running back moving forward. Despite concerns about his challenging matchup, Williams demonstrated that those worries were a massive overreaction. He effectively penetrated the San Francisco defense, amassing 52 rushing yards on 15 carries and securing a touchdown. Additionally, he showcased his versatility by making six receptions on an impressive 10 targets, gaining 48 yards and scoring again. Now that Akers is no longer in the picture, it is clear that this is Kyren’s backfield, and he is poised to dominate. He unquestionably stands as the top waiver wire add of the week and should consistently deliver RB2 value with the potential for even more. Recommended FAAB: 50-100%

Jerome Ford, RB, Cleveland BrownsIt is truly gut-wrenching to have to write on this topic. Nick Chubb is not only one of the best runners of all-time, but also a personal favorite of mine. The void left by a player of his caliber is irreplaceable. However, amidst this unfortunate situation, an undeniable opportunity arises for second-year running back Jerome Ford. Ford has made a name for himself with his pass-catching abilities, and now is his chance to truly shine. In Week 2, Ford capitalized on his additional opportunities, rushing 15 times for an impressive 105 yards. On top of that, he exhibited versatility with three catches, totaling 25 yards and a touchdown. Looking forward to Week 3, the Cleveland Browns face the formidable Tennessee Titans’ defense. This unit is best known for its exceptional run defense, allowing a mere average of 65 rushing yards per game in the initial two weeks of the season. It is worth noting that the Browns might explore options in free agency to fortify the running back position. With that said, Jerome Ford is a priority add and the opportunity is now his to seize. Recommended FAAB: 50-100%

Zack Moss, RB, Indianapolis Colts – Often the butt of a joke, Zack Moss silenced his critics in a triumphant season debut in Week 2. Despite facing criticism regarding his skill, Moss defied expectations, showcasing his potential in the latter part of the previous season. Over the last four games of last season, he averaged an impressive 17.25 carries per game for 83.5 rushing yards. In his return from injury, Moss seized the moment, carrying the ball 18 times, resulting in 88 yards and a touchdown. Moreover, he exhibited versatility by catching all four of his targets for an additional 19 yards. Moss dominated the offensive snaps for the Colts, occupying the field for 55 out of 56 offensive snaps and monopolizing all running back opportunities for his team. Remarkably, he boasted the second-highest snap rate in Week 2 (98%), trailing only Christian McCaffrey. With Jonathan Taylor‘s return uncertain, Moss stands as a genuine source of RB2 value for the foreseeable future. If he flew under the radar in your league, prioritize adding him to your roster. Recommended FAAB: 20-50%

Justice Hill/ Gus Edwards, RBs, Baltimore Ravens In last week’s article, we highlighted Justice Hill and Gus Edwards as compelling waiver wire prospects following J.K. Dobbins‘ unfortunate injury. While Week 1 offered little clarity on the backfield situation, Sunday’s victory against the Cincinnati Bengals shed some light on the matter. Edwards, despite having one less carry than Hill in this game, emerged as the leading rusher, amassing an impressive 62 rushing yards on 10 carries and securing a touchdown. On the other hand, Hill rushed for 41 yards but showcased his receiving ability by catching all three of his targets for an additional 12 yards. It appears that the team will maintain a two-headed approach between Edwards and Hill, acknowledging that Lamar Jackson remains their most potent rushing option. Both players could serve as viable FLEX choices in pressing situations. Hill is likely to handle the bulk of the limited passing work in this offense, while Edwards stands a good chance of finding the end zone on a consistent basis. Regardless of preference, rostering both players is advisable, especially given the enticing matchup against the Indianapolis Colts on the horizon. Recommended FAAB: 20-50% / 5-15%

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Roschon Johnson, RB, Chicago Bears Amidst the Chicago Bears‘ struggles this season, rookie running back Roschon Johnson has emerged as a potential bright spot. Making his professional debut last week, he made an early impression with five carries for 20 yards and a touchdown. Particularly noteworthy was his performance in the passing game, where he caught six of seven targets, accumulating 35 yards. As Week 2 approached, the team opted for D’Onta Foreman to be a healthy scratch, presenting a clear opportunity for Johnson to garner more playing time alongside Khalil Herbert. Although he currently holds the backup role, he capitalized on his limited opportunities during the team’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In this game, he showcased his efficiency by rushing four times for 32 yards and catching both of his targets for an additional 10 receiving yards. While starting him might not be ideal at the moment, Johnson proves to be a compelling addition to your fantasy roster. He is on a trajectory to ascend the depth chart and is expected to see an increased workload as the season progresses. Recommended FAAB: 5-15%

Matt Breida, RB, New York Giants Week 2 brought an abundance of positive moments for the New York Giants. Following a scoreless offense in the initial game and a half of the season, the team made a remarkable comeback during the second half of Sunday’s game, clinching a victory against the Arizona Cardinals. While this victory was exhilarating, it came with the concern of potentially losing their star running back, Saquon Barkley, due to an ankle injury. Encouragingly, there have been optimistic updates regarding the severity of his injury. However, the Giants face a quick turnaround with a Week 3 showdown against the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night. Despite witnessing Kyren Williams excel against their defense, facing the 49ers remains one of the most daunting matchups in the game. In Saquon’s absence, the team may consider a committee approach, considering Breida’s limited production in recent seasons. Presently, Breida holds potential as a speculative addition and could step into a more prominent role if Saquon’s recovery faces any setbacks. Recommended FAAB: 5-15%

Craig Reynolds, RB, Detroit Lions – It has been a while since Craig Reynolds made waves in fantasy football circles. In 2021, he became a waiver wire sensation for a brief two-week stretch, amassing 195 rushing yards on 37 carries. However, since that short burst of relevance, Reynolds has seen limited opportunities and production for the Detroit Lions. When David Montgomery suffered his quad injury on Sunday, Reynolds failed to capitalize on his chances. Nevertheless, Montgomery’s expected absence could open up a more significant role for Reynolds. He stands a chance to bring a powerful presence as the “thunder” complementing Jahmyr Gibbs‘ “lightning” in the Detroit offense. While most are excited about what this injury could mean for Gibbs, it is crucial not to overlook Reynolds, especially in deeper leagues. Starting him next week is far from advisable, but he is definitely worth considering as a sneaky stash for now. Recommended FAAB: 0-10%

Complete Waiver Wire Rankings with FAAB %

Tight Ends

Team Player Roster % Matchups
NE Hunter Henry 48% @NYJ / @DAL / NO
DET Sam LaPorta 65% ATL / @GB / CAR
ARI Zach Ertz 17% DAL / @SF / CIN
DAL Jake Ferguson 29% @ARI / NE / @SF
GB Luke Musgrave 31% NO / DET / @LV

Hunter Henry, TE, New England Patriots Hunter Henry has quickly become a must-start option at the tight end position. Following finishing as the TE1 in Week 1, Henry continued to shine on Sunday Night Football against the Miami Dolphins, despite a heartbreaking loss. Securing six of seven targets, he amassed 52 yards and scored another touchdown. Impressively, he has now exceeded 50 receiving yards and found the end zone in each of the first two games this season. In the 2021 season, Henry tied for the second-highest number of touchdowns at the tight end position (9), trailing only Travis Kelce (10). With new OC Bill O’Brien at the helm, the offense has significantly improved, making Henry a featured asset. Mac Jones and the New England Patriots have notably increased their pass attempts per game, now averaging 48.0 compared to last season’s 31.8. With this surge in passing opportunities, expect Hunter Henry to consistently reap the benefits as the primary target. Feel assured in starting him every week, as he continues his scorching hot start to the season. Recommended FAAB: 0-10%

Zach Ertz, TE, Arizona Cardinals Do not underestimate the resilience of the seasoned Zach Ertz. He is determined to keep proving his doubters wrong in his eleventh professional season. Heading into the season, numerous factors suggested it might be wise to overlook Ertz for fantasy football. The primary concerns were his advancing age and injury issues during the preseason. Additionally, the anticipated emergence of Trey McBride in the offense and the quarterback change to Joshua Dobbs raised uncertainties. However, Ertz has showcased remarkable resilience in the face of these challenges during the first two weeks of the season. Across these initial games, the 32-year-old tight end has impressed, turning 18 targets into 12 catches for 77 yards. While the current state of the offense may limit his touchdown opportunities, his consistent target share warrants your attention. When considering options at the position, there are certainly worse choices, and Ertz is poised to provide a steady stream of fantasy points moving forward. Recommended FAAB: 0-5%

Sam LaPorta, TE, Detroit Lions In what is shaping up to be a historic year for rookie tight ends, Sam LaPorta is emerging as the clear frontrunner in this class. Currently, he leads all rookie tight ends in targets, receptions, and receiving yards. Stepping into the role vacated by T.J. Hockenson in this offense, LaPorta wasted no time establishing himself as a preferred target for Jared Goff. In the opening two games of the season, the rookie has hauled in ten receptions on eleven targets, amassing an impressive 102 receiving yards. While he has yet to find the end zone in his early professional career, it seems like only a matter of time before he produces in this category as well. With two favorable matchups against the Atlanta Falcons and the Green Bay Packers on deck, LaPorta’s trajectory suggests he will continue evolving into a dependable option for your fantasy teams. As he further develops his rapport with his new quarterback and team, expect his fantasy value to continue to rise. Recommended FAAB: 0-5%

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Complete Waiver Wire Rankings with FAAB %

Quarterbacks

Team Player Roster % Matchups
MIN Kirk Cousins 83% LAC / @CAR / KC
DET Jared Goff 70% ATL / @GB / CAR
GB Jordan Love 60% NO / DET / @LV
TB Baker Mayfield 19% PHI / @NO / BYE
IND Gardner Minshew 3% @BAL / LAR / TEN

Complete Waiver Wire Rankings

Weekly Waivers Episode of The Fantasy Footballers Podcast

Team DEF/ST

Team Roster % Matchups
Jacksonville Jaguars 16% HOU / ATL / BUF
Miami Dolphins 54% DEN / @BUF / NYG
Cleveland Browns 64% TEN / BAL / BYE
Seattle Seahawks 8% CAR / @NYG / BYE
Kansas City Chiefs 39% CHI / @NYJ / @MIN

Final Thoughts

It is easy to forget that we are only two weeks into the season. With that said, we have already witnessed numerous major injuries to star players. As a result, we have seen unexpected players rise to new levels of prominence in their place. Will these players prove to be consistent fantasy producers, or will they flicker and dim as the season progresses? One undeniable fact is that we lack all of the answers right now. The season is still young, with numerous matchups awaiting us. Stay grounded and maintain composure through the ebbs and flows of the season. Here’s to hoping you are able to claim the sweetest waiver wire pickups of the week!

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