Week 3 Waiver Wire Pickups and Adds

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Just in case you thought Week 1 was something wonky in terms of chaos and injuries, Week 2 swiftly reminded us all that nothing is certain and to tell your loved ones that you care for them while you still have a team. Greg Olsen (foot), Rob Kelley (rib), Jordan Reed (shoulder), Corey Coleman (hand), Jordan Howard (shoulder), DeMarco Murray (hamstring), Rob Gronkowski (groin) were all hurt heading into Sunday night, when Jordy Nelson (quad) and Randall Cobb (shoulder) went down. Are you feeling it now, Mr. Krabs?

Below are my Week 3 waiver wire pickups, or free agents to consider adding to your fantasy football teams. I provide information on players that are owned in roughly 35% of Yahoo leagues or less, so that you can make an educated decision about who to add to your squad.

Be sure to also check out our positional waiver wire analysis columns, with in-depth analysis for all options heading into Week 3. Now let’s look around the league at many names who are worth mentioning as Week 3 approaches.

Editor's Note: For a limited time only, our Premium Tools - including DFS cheat sheets, expert lineups, and matchup ratings - are only $9.99 for the rest of the season! Sign Up Now!

 

Quarterbacks - Week 3 Waiver Wire

Trevor Siemian (QB, DEN) - 12% owned (2% FAAB)

Siemian looked comfortable taking longer shots down the field and has clearly grown from his timid, check-down type arm of last season. The guy boasts a stellar receiving duo and finally looks to be gelling with them despite DT not having a TD. No QB had torched the Cowboys like this in a long time, with Denver’s defense only helping things as Dallas couldn’t simply control the clock. Siemian should be scooped up for a juicy Week 3 matchup against the Bills in Week 3, with a solid Week 4 matchup against the Raiders in a potential shootout before Denver’s Week 5 bye.

Jay Cutler (QB, MIA) - 29% owned (0% FAAB)

Cutler didn’t look to be his usual “don’t really care” self early, abusing the easy crossing routes with Jarvis Landry often before he started to unwind in the second half. We saw him shoot off some deep strikes to DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills in the late game and Julius Thomas, while uninspiring, was also a nice short-route option. Cutler isn’t going to be the focal point of this offense most of the time, but I liked the timing that he showed with these receivers and he should get a chance to tear up the Jets next week before a Week 4 matchup with the Saints. Sensing a trend there?

Joe Flacco (QB, BAL) - 24% owned (0% FAAB)

Flacco was hindered by his back injury and a gamescript that required no action on his part in Week 1, but looked like his usual self in Week 2 against the Browns. Yes, it was the Browns, but it’s still important to see him looking healthy back there for those hunting for QB streamers in the future. Week 3 against the Jaguars isn’t the best target in what could be a gritty game, but don’t think that he’s a dud. Week 4 against the Steelers could blow up, ditto Week 5 versus the Raiders.

*Hopefully Sam Bradford (33% owned) heals quickly and comes back onto the streaming radar for a matchup with the Bucs in Week 3.

 

Running Backs - Week 3 Waiver Wire

Chris Carson (RB, SEA) - 38% owned (40% FAAB)

There is still the possibility that Week 2's workload was distributed as such to avoid overworking Thomas Rawls in his first game back in action, Carson ran very well behind an absolutely atrocious offensive line against the 49ers, racking up 93 yards on 20 carries and catching seven more in the air on a catch. 100 total yards is impressive no matter how you slice it, let alone his totaling 51 snaps to Rawls' 16 (and Eddie Lacy was a healthy scratch). C.J. Prosise is still trying to figure out how to remove his invisibility cloak as the entire team tries to find itself again, but this looks to be Carson's backfield. I don't condone throwing half of your FAAB wallet at him because of the O-Line woes, but I can see the argument if you're in dire straits and your gut is leading you that way. Week 3 against the Titans isn't the best, but Week 4 against the Colts could be a true coming-out party.

Chris Thompson (RB, WAS) - 29% owned (10% FAAB)

After scoring an impressive, tackle-breaking touchdown in Week 1 against the Eagles, Thompson torched the Rams for 77 ground yards and two touchdowns on just three carries alongside three catches for 29 additional yards. He ran extremely well when the ball was in his hands and with Jordan Reed hurting and Terrelle Pryor seemingly not on the same page with Kirk Cousins yet, Thompson looks quite shiny. Plus, Rob Kelley is dealing with a fractured rib and it’s pretty clear that Thompson is the trusted option here and should also be the beneficiary of gameflow in Week 3 against the Raiders at home. Of course, there’s also a lot to be said for...

Samaje Perine (RB, WAS) - 22% owned (10% FAAB)

The rookie totaled 67 yards on 21 carries (and caught a pass for zero yards) after Kelley went down, with those tote totals easily outdoing Thompson’s touches. That said, the yardage and results clearly taking a backseat to the pass-catcher’s, but Perine should still get the short-yardage and precious goal-line looks with Kelley out. With this opportunity potential, he could've notched 10 yards on 21 carries and we’d still like his prospects as a waiver-wire add.

Rex Burkhead (RB, NE) - 21% owned (1% FAAB)

I realize that Burkhead exited the game early with an injury, as nearly all of the Patriots did in Week 2, but one has to like his usage before the rib injury. He caught three passes for 41 yards on the Pats’ first drive alone, capping it off with his 19-yard TD. Burkhead then caught an 18-yard catch after lining up at wide receiver due to the lack of healthy folks at the position, which is what I want to hang my hat on moving forward. Picking up a hurt guy is a gamble, no doubt, but an offense like this with so many slots to fill make for a solid one.

 

Wide Receivers - Week 3 Waiver Wire

Allen Hurns (WR, JAX) - 26% owned (7% FAAB)

With Allen Robinson out for the season, Hurns looked like he was ready to completely disappoint us all after not registering a single catch until there were less than two minutes left in the third quarter against the Titans. Then, in classic Blake Bortles-era Jacksonville fashion, garbage time hit. Hurns ended up catching six-of-seven targets for 82 yards and a touchdown to make for tremendous value on the day. Marqise Lee also had a nice day, catching seven of his 12 targets for 76 yards, but Hurns remains the more volatile play with a higher ceiling. Week 3 against the Ravens will likely be ugly, but Weeks 4-7 against the Jets, Steelers, Rams and Colts could be fantastic.

Devin Funchess (WR, CAR) - 13% owned (6% FAAB)

After looking to be behind Russell Shepard in the WR rotation, Funchess stepped up with Greg Olsen out and caught four-of-seven targets for 68 yards in a game that Cam Newton was, well, off…to put it nicely. Funchess is a third-year receiver who hasn’t really gotten a chance to play often (the lack of playing time was understandable from a coaching point of view) but he could be a fantastic option with the Saints and Patriots coming up next on the schedule. He may not be Christian McCaffrey, but Funchess should be a key piece of soaking up Olsen’s vacated targets.

J.J. Nelson (WR, ARI) - 19% owned (4% FAAB)

Even though Carson Palmer could probably qualify for three separate AARP cards at this point, Nelson looked alive enough to overcome a fading QB and a terrible Colts secondary in Week 2 to the tune of 120 yards and a touchdown on five catches. This comes after he caught five balls for 43 yards and a score in Week 1 even with John Brown active, so things are looking up here for the exciting 25-year-old. I doubt Brown is back to 100% if he even ends up playing in Week 3 against Dallas, who showed their own excessive mortality on defense against the Broncos this week, making Nelson a nice WR3 add.

Rashard Higgins (WR, CLE) - 0% owned (2% FAAB)

Higgins was tapped from the practice squad on Saturday and stepped up in a major way with Corey Coleman out with a broken hand. Higgy Smalls saw 11 targets in all, catching seven of them for 95 yards in a strong PPR showing. Cleveland may not be the place for touchdowns (especially when facing Baltimore) but fantasy owners should happily target anyone who gets to face the Colts next (which he does). The Browns really don’t have many legs to lean on here so anyone who steps up in any fashion could catch “fire” on a team that will be passing from behind often.

Jermaine Kearse (WR, NYJ) - 6% owned (1% FAAB)

In the words of a certain Seinfeld star, “Please, a little respect, for I am Jermaine, Lord of the Idiots!” Okay, so it was Mr. Costanza, but the message sent here is that Kearse is pretty much a man among boys in this WR corps. His literal height helps him out in that regard, but his simply being “adequate” has put him on Josh McCown’s radar as the hot read and Robby Anderson has been a non-factor alongside Jeremy Kerley being a healthy scratch, so Kearse really does deserve some love here after catching two TDs and racking up 64 yards on four catches. The Jets will rarely be in a position to ease off the gas pedal, so Kearse should get a reasonable amount of targets on a weekly basis. Week 3 against Miami is no scary proposition, and Weeks 5-6 see him face the Browns and Patriots.

 

Tight Ends - Week 3 Waiver Wire

Benjamin Watson (TE, BAL) - 1% owned (1% FAAB)

After Baltimore only attempted 17 passes in a steamroller Week 1 victory during which Watson was targeted only once, he drew eight targets in Week 2 against the Browns. The 36-year-old isn’t going to surprise anyone or suddenly take several steps forward, but he caught all eight of those targets for 91 yards in a game where Baltimore actually had to balance their attack a bit. If he gets roughly 5-6 targets per game moving forward and some red zone love then he’s playable as a flex option in deeper formats.

Vernon Davis (TE, WAS) - 2% owned (1% FAAB for Reed owners)

It hasn’t taken long for Jordan Reed to start up the injuries this season, as the stud has an AC joint sprain in his shoulder on top of the foot injury. While Vernon Davis didn’t do anything spectacular and no plan of action is currently set moving forward for Washington, Davis makes for a nice add in an offense that just lost its starting running back and premier red zone target. Kirk Cousins can still sling it and Davis should have some serviceable matchups should Reed be held out. If Reed becomes just a decoy and still suits up, then forget trying to decipher this one for any value.

Ed Dickson (TE, CAR) - 0% owned (1% FAAB for Olsen owners)

While no one player can take on Greg Olsen’s workload or replicate his consistency, Dickson should step into the starting TE role for Cam Newton and the Panthers moving forward. As with Watson, Dickson isn’t going to suddenly become something he hasn’t been, but opportunity knocks. We’d peg him as a TE2 moving forward, but that’s viable for some of you. If nothing else, matchups against the Saints and Patriots defenses over the next two weeks makes for as kind an audition for your team as possible.

Dwayne Allen (TE, NE) - 8% owned (1% FAAB for Gronk owners)

Allen hasn’t done anything for New England through two games (three targets, zero catches) but would stand to be fantasy-relevant should Rob Gronkowski miss any time. He’s still much better served as a blocker but this Patriots team has seen nearly everyone capable of catching the football get hurt, and New England could coast by the end of the game against the Saints. Week 3 against Houston will likely make for another steamroller game, but just keep an eye on Gronk’s status.

 

Early Defensive Streaming Candidates

GB (v. CIN) - 37% owned, TB (v. MIN* if Bradford can’t go) - 26% owned, MIA (v. NYJ) - 4% owned.

 

More Waiver Wire Pickups and Analysis