Week 3 fantasy football waiver wire targets
Last week was filled with injuries and players under-performing, so I’ll spare you the intro and get straight to the top waiver wire targets and streaming plays for Week 3:
Main Waiver Wire Targets
Make sure they’re not available! John Brown, WR, BUF; John Ross, WR, CIN; D.K. Metcalf, WR, SEA; Malcolm Brown, RB, LAR; D.J. Chark, WR, JAX; James Washington, WR, PIT
With 5/125/1 and 5/62/1 receiving lines in Weeks 1-2, Terry McLaurin couldn’t have started the season any better. McLaurin’s output isn’t just rookie luck, either. McLaurin has run a pass route on 91 percent of Case Keenum’s dropbacks so far while Keenan Allen (54 percent) is the only other receiver in the NFL to see at least half of their team’s air yards through two games. Go get McLaurin where ever you can. Demarcus Robinson (6/172/2) and Mecole Hardman (4/61/1) both went off in Week 2 against the Raiders, and Hardman could have had an even bigger day had his 74-yard bomb touchdown not been called back due to penalty. Robinson played more snaps than Hardman last week, but both will serve as WR3 plays with huge spiked week potential for as long as Tyreek Hill (shoulder) is out. Raheem Mostert (47 percent) surprisingly out-snapped Matt Breida (29 percent) in Week 2, but both backs played extremely well in Cincinnati. Mostert totaled 151 scrimmage yards on his 16 touches while Breida racked up 132 total yards on 13 touches. Kyle Shanahan will continue to rotate his backs with Tevin Coleman (ankle) sidelined, but both Breida and Mostert are on the low-end RB2 radar with an upcoming home draw against the Steelers. I misdiagnosed the Texans backfield after Houston traded for Carlos Hyde late in the preseason. While Duke Johnson is extremely talented, it’s clear HC Bill O’Brien does not view him as a featured back. Through two games, Hyde has handled two-thirds of the RB carries and while Johnson has the passing down work on lock, Duke’s weekly performance may be tough to predict with Hyde dominating the rushing work for now. The Texans led for the majority of the game against the Jaguars in Week 2, and Hyde sharply out-snapped Johnson (61 percent to 39 percent).
Jaylen Samuels, RB, PIT — James Conner (knee) is apparently “fine” for Week 3, but his minor injury is just a reminder that Samuels is one of the only clear handcuffs in fantasy football. After Conner left the game against the Seahawks, Samuels handled 24-of-25 RB snaps. Benny Snell played one snap (per PFF).
Deebo Samuel, WR, SF — San Francisco’s receiver room is still in flux, especially since we had a Dante Pettis sighting in Week 2. Pettis played 35 snaps in Week 2 after literally playing just 2 snaps in the season debut. Still, Samuel has breakout appeal even though the 49ers have begun the season spreading out targets. Samuel has turned his 10 passing looks into 8/104/1 so far and is on the WR4 radar in Week 3 against a Steelers secondary that has given up production to a slew of receivers to begin the year (Lockett – 10/79; Metcalf – 3/61/1; Edelman – 6/83; Dorsett – 4/95/2; Gordon – 3/73/1).
Randall Cobb and Devin Smith, WRs, DAL — Michael Gallup (knee) is out multiple weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on Monday. Both Cobb and Smith are Week 3 adds with the open opportunity in place of Gallup, especially with two great matchups up next on the docket (vs. MIA and at NO). I’d prioritize Cobb over Smith in PPR leagues, but Smith is more than worth a few FAAB dollars because of his deep speed. Smith spent the last two years out of football after multiple ACL tears, but he still has the wheels that made him an early second round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Smith’s top speed of 20.1 MPH on his 51-yard TD was one of the 15 fastest recorded speeds of Week 2, per Next Gen Stats.
Frank Gore, RB, BUF — What is dead may never die. Devin Singletary is day-to-day with a hamstring pull, perhaps locking Gore into a large Week 3 workload against a Bengals defense that just gave up over 300 yards from scrimmage to 49ers backs. Singletary is too talented to keep off of the field long-term, but it’s clear the Bills want Gore involved on early-downs to start the season.
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, WR, PHI — Alshon Jeffery (calf) and DeSean Jackson (hamstring) are both banged up ahead of the Eagles Week 3 game against the Lions. Arcega-Whiteside was in on 74-of-80 snaps without Jeffery/Jackson on Sunday Night Football, and even though Arcega-Whiteside caught just one of his 4 targets for four yards against Atlanta, but that full-time usage will turn into production quickly if Jackson or Jeffery can’t suit up against Detroit.
Deep Waiver Wire Targets
Darwin Thompson, RB, KC — Both Damien Williams (knee) and LeSean McCoy (ankle) are banged up heading into Week 3, perhaps giving Thompson truthers a glimmer of hope. He’s worth stashing if you have a bench spot to burn.
Jeff Wilson, RB, SF — Wilson earned most of his Week 2 fantasy points in clean-up duty as Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert handled the majority of the 49ers carries when the game against the Bengals was still somewhat competitive. Still, Wilson is just one more 49er injury away from joining the weekly fantasy radar.
Other targets: Will Dissly, TE, SEA; Preston Williams, WR, MIA; Parris Campbell and Deon Cain, WR, IND
Luckily for those who are going to have to drop Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees, Week 3 looks like a strong week for streamers. This list is ranked in order of preference:
Josh Allen (vs. CIN) — Dating back to last year, Josh Allen has scored seven rushing touchdowns in his last 8 games while seeing over half of the Bills carries from inside the 10-yard line in this span. With an amazing fantasy floor just based on rushing alone, Allen is a high-upside QB1 play at home in Week 3 against a Bengals secondary that has given up the second-most yards per attempt (11.0) so far. Only the Dolphins (11.9 YPA allowed) have been worse.
Jameis Winston (vs. NYG) — It won’t make you feel comfortable, but Winston is firmly on the streaming radar in Week 3. The Giants just gave up a QB2 weekly performance to Dak Prescott in Week 1 while Josh Allen was QB7 against New York in Week 2. The Bucs’ are also back at home this week, where Winston has averaged 23.9 fantasy points per game over the last two years (versus 18.5 PPG on the road).
Matthew Stafford (at PHI) — The Eagles have given up 700 passing yards through the opening two games, second-most behind only Oakland (711). Carson Wentz and Co. should be able to keep up the scoring pace and force the Lions to keep throwing in Week 3 while Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones should feast against the Eagles boundary man coverage.
If you’re desperate: Jimmy Garoppolo (vs. PIT); Jacoby Brissett (vs. ATL)
Tight End Streamers
Unfortunately, the tight end streaming list is just brutal for Week 3. Greg Olsen should see his ownership re-spike (49 percent available on NFL.com) after putting up 6/110 in Week 2. Olsen has seen 9 targets in back-to-back games. Jordan Reed’s (concussion) status for Week 3 is still up in the air at press-time, but he’ll obviously be back on the low-end TE1 radar when he returns. Reed has been dumped in over 30 percent of NFL.com fantasy leagues since the season began. Jason Witten is the only true streamer play for Week 3, but we have to bank on a third-straight game of Witten hitting pay-dirt to really come through for fantasy. The good news is that the Cowboys play the lifeless Dolphins next.
Cowboys D/ST (vs. MIA) — This needs no explanation.
Packers D/ST (vs. DEN) — Green Bay’s much-improved defense should have a field day against Joe Flacco at home in Week 3. Flacco has needed Emmanuel Sanders to bail him out in back-to-back games and the Packers have the cornerback talent to slow Sanders down.
Seahawks D/ST (vs. NO) — On his 53 career throws with the Saints, Teddy Bridgewater has averaged just 5.3 yards per pass attempt, he’s completed 59 percent of those attempts, and absorbed four sacks. The Seahawks secondary isn’t as near as scary as it once was, but a road game in Seattle is a brutal spot for Bridgewater’s first start in place of Drew Brees (thumb).
If you’re desperate: Buccaneers D/ST (vs. NYG)