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Week 3 Waiver Wire Pickups and Free Agent Adds – QB, RB, WR, and TE

Tutu Atwell - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

As important as drafting is, working the waiver wire may be the most important part of winning a fantasy football championship. By being active on the waiver wire, you may have already added Rams running back, Kyren Williams. These players can be used to upgrade your starting lineup, to improve your depth, or in a trade if you're able to acquire enough depth to make a two-for-one transaction for an upgrade to your starting lineup. Don't underestimate the moves you make between now and Sunday. Here, I'll be looking at all the best players fantasy managers should be considering adding to their roster this week. It's difficult to make this article relevant to all the different kinds of leagues out there. There are different league sizes, scoring settings, and roster requirements, which can make things difficult. As a general rule of thumb, I'll only be looking at players with a rostership percentage of 50% or lower, according to Yahoo! Some exceptions may be made for a player around 55%.

One thing I'll be adding this year is a category distinction for all players. This should help you figure out which players to add based on what your waiver wire goals are. Keep in mind that players can qualify for multiple distinctions. Those distinctions will be as follows:

  • BC: Breakout Candidate – This is a player who may not be startable yet, but has a good chance of breaking out and becoming a weekly starter at some point in the season. If you're not in need of a starter this week, these are the players you should be targeting off the waiver wire.
  • WS: Weekly Streamer – This is a player who is not a weekly starter or even someone you cannot drop, but rather they are someone you can target if the matchup is right or if you're desperate for a one-time starter. This is likely to be a quarterback or tight end.
  • DP: Depth Player – This is a player who reminds me of a quote from Bad Santa, "They can't all be winners, now can they?" Obviously, we'd all love to have breakout players, but it's also important to have quality depth players who can be started during bye weeks and be decent injury-replacement players. This is someone like JuJu Smith-Schuster.
  • DL: Deep League Add – This is for competitive 12-team leagues or larger.
  • IF: Injury Fill-In – This is a player who will be a weekly spot starter during the starter's absence due to injuries.
  • MA: Must Add – This is a player who due to any number of circumstances, now finds himself as a weekly fantasy starter and is someone fantasy managers should be adding to their teams.
  • UH: Upside Handcuff – This is reserved for our running backs who could become prominent players if the primary starter gets hurt.

Oftentimes, the best waiver wire weeks come in the first few weeks of the season. For instance, this past week we had Gus Edwards, Kyren Williams, Puka Nacua, and others. If you have any specific waiver wire questions, give me a follow on X @RobFFSlayer, and don’t be afraid to reach out. I’ll be completing the waiver wire column all year here at RotoBaller and I hope to help as many as possible to win your fantasy football league.

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Quarterbacks - Waiver Wire Options

Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals – 25% RosteredΒ 

The Cardinals have been surprisingly competitive through two weeks with Joshua Dobbs at quarterback. Arizona made Murray one of their team captains this season, an act that would seem to indicate he's likely to play this season. You'll find a few players who have a higher ceiling than Murray on your waiver wire.

We are currently playing fantasy football in the age of the quarterback. Years ago, the strategy of waiting on a quarterback was excellent because there were so few that were true difference-makers. Those days are gone. Quarterbacks are putting up video game numbers and they’ve never been as valuable as they are today. Murray is one of those quarterbacks.

It's no mystery why he wasn't drafted and remains a free agent in so many fantasy football leagues. He’s recovering from a torn ACL. He's currently on the PUP list but is eligible to return in Week 5. He may not run as much as he used to right away. As a waiver wire add, I’m not so much adding him for Week 5, but rather for Week 15. The previous tweet (what do we call them now?) showcased his weekly upside. Simply put, he’s been one of the best fantasy quarterbacks of all time on a PPG basis.

If your league has an IR, Murray needs to be there. He’s got top-five upside and is one of the few quarterbacks who can compete with the Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, and Lamar Jacksons of the world. He was named a team captain, solidifying the belief he'll return and play this season.

Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 14% Rostered (WS)

Don't look now, but Mayfield has quietly been quite good through two weeks. During the offseason, there was some chatter in fantasy circles that Mayfield may very well be this year's Geno Smith. He's this veteran quarterback who has largely been written off, but who has an excellent duo of receivers around him.

If you're expecting Smith from 2022, you're going to be disappointed. Through two weeks, he's giving off some Geno Smith-lite vibes, though. He had 16 points in Week 1 despite throwing for just 173 yards. He threw two touchdown passes to help salvage his day.

In Week 2, Mayfield was even more impressive. He completed over 76% of his passes, threw for over 315 yards, and had one score. More importantly, he's avoided turnovers and he has Tampa Bay 2-0, which will help ensure he maintains his starting role. He finished with 18.4 fantasy points this past weekend.

Tampa will face off against the Eagles in Week 3. While that was a terrible matchup last year, the Eagles have been torn up by Mac Jones and Kirk Cousins. These two quarterbacks have thrown for 680 yards, seven touchdowns, and just one interception. If you're in a pinch at quarterback, Mayfield is definitely on the streaming radar for Week 3.

Sam Howell, Washington Commanders – 20% Rostered (WS)

Despite being a fifth-round selection two years ago, Howell has played well through the first two weeks of the season. He scored over 15.2 points last thanks to a rushing touchdown and had 21.2 points after throwing for almost 300 yards and two touchdowns this past weekend.

While his 15 points in Week 1 may not be too exciting, he did have two turnovers, which resulted in -4.0 points. He hasn't rushed very much so far. He has just four carries, 24 yards, and one score. However, as a senior at North Carolina, he rushed 183 times for 828 yards and 11 touchdowns. There's untapped rushing potential here with Howell that could not only help maintain a quality floor but also increase his weekly ceiling.

The Washington offense looks much better this season. This shouldn't be surprising. They've added former Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and their skilled players are very talented. Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, Curtis Samuel, and Logan Thomas is a very talented group of pass-catchers, and second-year running back Brian Robinson Jr. has been impressive through two weeks.

Howell's a quality start in any Superflex league and is becoming one of the better streaming quarterbacks widely available on waivers. However, Washington's Week 3 matchup is against Buffalo, which is one of the more difficult defenses for opposing quarterbacks. Things get much easier in Week 4 against Philadelphia.

Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints – 40% Rostered (WS)

The Saints and Carr haven't played yet this week, but he completed almost 70% of his attempts in Week 1. He also threw for over 300 yards and one touchdown. Since he added very little on the ground and threw one interception, the outing was good for only 14.6 points.

But remember this was his first game with his new team. Much like Howell, Carr has an excellent group of pass-catchers with Chris Olave, Michael Thomas, Rashid Shaheed, and Juwan Johnson. Not only that, but the offense will have Alvin Kamara back in Week 4. Between Kamara and Jamaal Williams, the team should have a quality running game this season.

Carr will have a tough matchup in Week 3 against the Green Bay Packers, who have been very tough on signal-callers in the young season. New Orleans will have a better matchup in Week 4 against the Buccaneers, but that has historically been a tough matchup regardless of who the quarterbacks have been. Still, Carr has plenty of weapons at his disposal and that should be enough to make him a quality streamer when the matchup is right.

Others to consider: Mac Jones, New England Patriots – 23% Rostered, Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans – 7% Rostered, Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams – 35% Rostered, C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans – 9% Rostered, Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers – 31% Rostered,Β Desmond Ridder, Atlanta Falcons – 5% Rostered

 

Running Backs - Waiver Wire Options

Roschon Johnson, Chicago Bears – 38% Rostered (DL, UH, BC)

Johnson was widely viewed as a long-term play with Khalil Herbert as the starter and it would take Johnson the first half of the season to bridge the gap and eventually become the 1A. However, he led the backfield in snaps last week although most of that came in garbage time against the Packers.

His performance was encouraging. He finished with 20 rushing yards and a touchdown on five carries. He also chipped in with six receptions and 35 receiving yards. In a very good sign, Johnson was already the team's preferred third-down and pass-catching option out of the backfield. With the Bears looking like a team on its way to a good number of losses again this season, that's a very valuable role to have.

In Week 2, the team opted to make D'Onta Foreman a healthy scratch, another promising sign for Johnson. He finished with 22 snaps in the team's Week 2 loss to the Buccaneers. Herbert finished with just 31 snaps of his own, eight total touches with seven carries, three targets, and one reception.

Johnson had six total touches with four carries, two targets, and two receptions. Johnson was more efficient on the ground, finishing with 32 yards to Herbert's 35 on three more carries. Herbert is a third-year player who was drafted by the previous regime. Johnson on the other hand was selected in the 2023 NFL draft by the current GM and that likely will give him an advantage as the season rolls along, especially if the losses begin to pile up. He's not a starter as of right now, but he looks like he's on his way to eventually earning Flex value.

Justice Hill, Baltimore Ravens – 44% Rostered (DP)

In the team's first game without J.K. Dobbins, Hill led the way with 43 of the team's 75 snaps. Gus Edwards played on 32 of the snaps. Despite scoring two touchdowns last week, fantasy managers flocked to Edwards at the expense of Hill. Through one week, it looks as though that was the correct play long-term. For right now, Hill is still the team's 1A.

It's important to remember the last time Dobbins got hurt in 2021, there was a different offensive coordinator. Todd Monken has mentioned how important versatility and pass-catching is in the team's running backs, which is not Edwards' strong suit. This showed up in the number of routes each player ran. Hill had 23. Edwards had just 11. This resulted in three targets for Hill and zero for Edwards. Hill caught all three of his targets for 12 yards.

However, it was Edwards who found the end zone and was generally the more efficient runner. Edwards finished with 62 yards on 10 carries. Hill had 41 yards on 11 carries. It's important to note that while Edwards scored, Hill had three goal-line snaps to just the one for Edwards. Hill also played on more short-yardage situations, third-downs, and on the two-minute drill. Edwards may end up being the more valuable fantasy asset, but Hill's current role belongs on fantasy rosters.

Zack Moss, Indianapolis Colts – 53% Rostered (IF, UH)

In Moss's first action of the 2023 season, the Colts made him a complete workhorse. He played 56 of 57 snaps. He ran a route on 33 of 35 dropbacks and finished with four targets, four receptions, and 18 carries. He was very effective with his touches, finishing with 88 rushing yards, one rushing score, and 19 receiving yards. With rookie Evan Hull on IR and Deon Jackson completely demoted, Moss will be a clear, bell-cow running back until Jonathan Taylor returns.

It's beginning to look as though Taylor could very well be ready to return in Week 5. If that's the case, Moss would return to a backup role and would be nothing more than a handcuff. However, as long as Moss doesn't get hurt, he's guaranteed to be a volume-based starter for the next two weeks. If you're in desperate need of a running back starter, Moss should be on your radar. It's only a short-term fix, but right now, he's an excellent bet for 15+ touches.

Jaylen Warren, Pittsburgh Steelers – 40% Rostered (UH, DP)

It's unlikely Pittsburgh gets dominated as badly as they did this past weekend against the 49ers. Due to that, it's hard to know just how much of what happened this past weekend fantasy managers can actually take from. However, what we do know is that Warren was the more efficient runner than Najee Harris last season. He also started to take passing game work away from Harris last season, which is something that we saw carry over into Week 1.

Harris played just eight more snaps than Warren, but Warren out-targeted Harris six to two. This offense looked sharp in the preseason and it's fair to expect them to be much better as the season goes along. The 49ers have one of the best front sevens in the NFL and the Steelers are incorporating a few new offensive line starters this season, so it’s fair for their running game to have stalled.

There were reports that stated Harris was going to be the primary running back, but that's not what happened this past weekend. Fantasy managers saw a 1A and 1B situation, making Warren an appealing waiver wire add. He has the potential to become Pittsburgh's primary running back this year if Harris’ chronic inefficiency woes continue or worsen. At the very least, he's one of the best handcuffs in all of football.

Tank Bigsby, Jacksonville Jaguars – 39% Rostered (UH)

Bigsby's preseason and even Week 1 performance seems like a very long time ago. He received seven carries in Jacksonville's Week 1 win. This resulted in just 13 yards, but he was used on the goal line, which allowed him to find the end zone in his first NFL game. However, he also lost a fumble and dropped a pass that turned into an interception.

While he was very impressive during the preseason, his play during the first two weeks has left a lot to be desired. In Week 2, Bigsby saw his role diminish even further. He played on 18% of the snaps and didn't see a single target or carry.

D'Ernest Johnson, the team's No. 3 running back, saw one target and one carry. With the way Travis Etienne played last year, it was always going to be a very big ask to expect Bigsby to form a running back-by-committee, especially early. Realistically, that's unlikely to happen this season. However, he still is the best bet to see the most work should anything happen to Etienne.

Others to consider (Pure Handcuffs): Jeff Wilson Jr., Miami Dolphins – 25% Rostered (UH), Joshua Kelley, Los Angeles Chargers – 4% Rostered (DP, UH), Chuba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers – 19% Rostered (UH), Tyjae Spears, Tennessee Titans – 17% Rostered (UH), Jerome Ford, Cleveland Browns – 11% Rostered (UH), Sean Tucker, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 4% Rostered (DL, UH, BC)

 

Wide Receivers - Waiver Wire Options

Jayden Reed, Green Bay Packers – 10% Rostered (MA, BC)

In his first NFL game, Reed led all Green Bay receivers with 48 yards (TE Luke Musgrave had 50). Reed finished with five targets in Week 1, which was tied for the team lead. While he only caught two passes, Reed looked impressive. In Week 2, Reed finished with the second-most snaps and routes run among receivers.

He finished with 18 routes to Doubs' 22, but out-targeted Doubs, eight to four. In back-to-back weeks, Reed has finished with more receiving yards than Doubs, which is very important. The Packers' offense doesn't have enough volume and isn't productive enough to have more than two receivers be fantasy-relevant. Christian Watson is assumed to be the No. 1, which means Doubs vs. Reed could determine if and who the other fantasy-relevant receiver is.

In Week 2, Reed finished with four receptions, 37 yards, and two touchdowns. Doubs had just two receptions for 30 yards. Doubs is a former fourth-round pick from the 2022 NFL Draft, while Reed was a second-rounder. While Doubs has the experience, Reed very well could be the more talented player. Their draft capital, at the very least, insinuates that. It's possible Reed could become the Packers' primary No. 2 target. He's performed well in back-to-back weeks and is a quality add this week.

Tank Dell, Houston Texans – 5% Rostered (MA, BC)

Despite being just 5'8 and 165 pounds, Dell had a crazy productive collegiate career. He was selected in the second round and showed out in the preseason. His role was somewhat limited in Week 1, but he still earned four targets and finished with three receptions for 34 yards.

Prior to Week 2, the Texans put receiver Noah Brown on IR, which moved Dell into the starting lineup. This past weekend, Dell actually played more snaps and ran more routes than Nico Collins. In fact, Dell led all Texans in targets with 10. Collins and Woods each had nine.

Dell finished with seven receptions, 72 yards, and one touchdown. He also received one carry for 10 yards. It's fair to be concerned about his size, but all he's ever done is dominate while on the field. He did that in college. He showed glimpses of that during the preseason and in his first extended action in the NFL.

C.J. Stroud has been impressive through two starts and the nonexistent running game has resulted in Houston dropping back to pass at a very high rate. Dell is a breakout candidate and should be added in most leagues.

Jonathan Mingo, Carolina Panthers – 12% Rostered (BC)

Not surprisingly, the Panthers struggled a bit in Week 1. It was Bryce Young's first game in the NFL. Not only that, but they have a new a head coach and a brand-spanking new group of skill players in Miles Sanders, Adam Thielen, Hayden Hurst, and Mingo. While the production may not have been there, the opportunity Mingo saw was certainly encouraging.

He finished with five targets, which was third for the team. Marshall is a third-year player who has yet to do very much in the NFL. Thielen, Hurst, and D.J. Chark are on the tail end of their careers. It shouldn't be at all surprising if Mingo eventually becomes Young's primary target. He's not startable yet, but he's a potential breakout candidate in the second half of the season.

The Panthers play tonight, so we are working off of the results from Week 1. Considering his role last weekend, fantasy managers should want to add him to their roster. It'll take just one big week for him to jump over 50% rostership because of his high second-round draft capital. Young and Mingo are both rookies, but fantasy managers shouldn't be surprised if their connection grows as the season rolls along.

Rashid Shaheed, New Orleans Saints β€” 50% Rostered (DP)

Shaheed operated as the Saints' No. 3 receiver snaps-wise behind Chris Olave and Michael Thomas. However, that didn't stop him from making an impact in Week 1. He finished with six targets, five receptions, 89 yards, and a touchdown. He also received two carries for 11 yards. He brings a deep play component to the Saints' offense and has been insanely productive dating back to 2022.

Due to Olave, Thomas, Juwan Johnson, and eventually Alvin Kamara being in New Orleans, Shaheed might have some boom-or-bust to his fantasy game. Still, it's hard to ignore what he's done since the end of last season when his role expanded and he's continued that in Week 1. The Saints have not played yet this week. They'll be facing off against the Panthers tonight. Should he put together another good outing, Shaheed won't be eligible for this article next week.

Tutu Atwell, Los Angeles Rams – 25% Rostered (DP, IF)

While his teammate Puka Nacua is getting all the attention, Atwell has been very good in his own right. This past weekend, he played on 75 of the team's 80 snaps and ran the most routes among all Rams players with 59. He also earned nine targets out of 49 pass attempts, good enough for an 18.3% target share.

The role he has is very fantasy-friendly. He's a full-time player, but he's also been incredibly productive with it. Despite the difficult matchup against the 49ers, Atwell was still able to finish with seven receptions and 77 yards. He also received a carry that he took for five yards.

It's possible Atwell will be the odd man out when Cooper Kupp returns, but it's also possible it could be Nacua. Right now, Nacua is playing the Kupp role while Atwell is playing the Atwell role. How does this offense shift once Kupp comes back? Who knows, but we also aren't guaranteed that Kupp will be ready in Week 5 once he's eligible to come off the PUP. Atwell, at the very least, looks like a quality starter for the next two weeks and then we'll see. Until then, he should be added in most leagues.

Robert Woods, Houston Texans – 9% Rostered (DL, DP)

Fantasy managers need to take more of the Texans' passing game. Rookie quarterback, C.J. Stroud has been incredibly impressive through two weeks, and their inability to run the ball has led to a very pass-heavy approach in Houston. In Week 1, Woods finished with 10 targets, six receptions, and 57 yards.

In any PPR scoring, his 10 targets and six receptions should have put Woods on your radar. However, due to his age and highly disappointing season in Tennessee last year, fantasy managers were understandably skeptical to buy into Woods. However, now they do not have a choice.

He followed up his Week 1 performance with nine targets, six receptions, and 74 yards. That's back-to-back weeks with nine or more targets, six receptions, and at least 50 yards receiving. Woods is unlikely to finish as a WR2 and may never be a locked-in, weekly starter, but his stat lines through two weeks make him a quality bench player to have on your roster. His volume should give fantasy managers a nice floor for upcoming bye weeks or to cover all the injuries that are piling up.

Skyy Moore, Kansas City Chiefs – 49% Rostered (DP)

Fantasy managers should've been willing to give Moore another week after his Week 1 goose egg. That's because Travis Kelce missed Week 1 and he was a late addition to the injury report. This gave Andy Reid and the offense very little time to adjust their game plan.

The Chiefs do not have a clear No. 1 receiver on their roster and that includes Moore. That's what makes Kelce so important. Not surprisingly, even though Kelce didn't have his typical stat line, his sheer presence helped the entire flow and production of the offense. He finished Week 2 with four targets, which trailed Kadarius Toney and Justin Watson among the receivers. However, he was the most productive receiver, finishing with three receptions, 70 yards, and a touchdown.

On the downside, Moore saw his playing time decrease in Week 2. He played on just 58% of the team's snaps but ran the second-most routes (33) out of 45 dropbacks. His target share still leaves a ton to be desired.

Going into the season, fantasy managers were hoping for a second-year breakout. Even though there have only been two games played, a breakout season seems highly unlikely. At best, fantasy managers can expect a decent bench player who they can feel somewhat confident putting into their lineup during bye weeks and in the event that one of their starters gets hurt.

Romeo Doubs, Green Bay Packers – 51% Rostered (DP)

Despite Christian Watson missing the first two weeks of the season, Doubs has somewhat disappointed. In Week 1, it was reported that he'd be limited, but still managed to catch four of his five targets for 26 yards and two touchdowns. There were no such limitations in Week 2 and he still managed to earn just three targets. He finished with just two catches and 30 yards.

The bigger problem has been the play of rookie Jayden Reed, who has been more productive. After the up-and-down rookie season for Doubs and his fourth-round draft capital compared to Reed's second-round, there always seemed the possibility Reed could leapfrog Doubs on Love's target hierarchy. After just two weeks, it's hard to say if that's truly happened because we're dealing with a small sample size.

While Doubs led the way in Week 2 in terms of snaps played and routes run among the Packers' receivers, it was a bit of a receiver-by-committee approach. Doubs played on 38 of the team's 50 snaps and ran a route on 22 of Love's 28 dropbacks. While Doubs is a quality add, through two weeks he looks like more of a quality depth piece than a breakout candidate or someone who could potentially finish as a WR3. Fantasy managers should view Doubs as a depth player best suited for bye weeks or an injury replacement.

Quentin Johnston, Los Angeles Chargers – 43% Rostered (BC, UH)

Johnston only played 10 snaps this past weekend and has just two targets to show for it. Through two weeks, he has just five targets, three receptions, and 16 yards. If you're wondering why Johnston finds his name on the waiver wire list, it's quite simple.

He's a first-round rookie who was incredibly productive at TCU during his final season at college. He's a big, fast, and highly accomplished receiver who entered this past year's draft as an early-declare. These are the kinds of players fantasy managers should be betting on. Sometimes it takes a little time for rookies to break out. That could be the case for Johnston.

Johnston has operated as the WR4 for the Chargers behind Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Joshua Palmer. It shouldn't be at all surprising if Johnston eventually leapfrogs Palmer. In fact, that should be the expectation. It's also important to note that Williams rarely plays a full season and is prone to soft tissue injuries. Allen is on the wrong side of 30 and if either player misses time, Johnston would be a highly sought-after waiver wire addition.

You can say that about a lot of players, "if player A gets hurt, then player B would be in demand," but how many of those players are first-round rookies who would be walking into an elite situation catching passes from Justin Herbert? Adding Johnston may be difficult in leagues with short benches, but in leagues with seven or eight-man benches, I'd be okay with using one of those slots on Johnston's upside.

Kadarius Toney, Kansas City Chiefs – 49% Rostered (BC)

Week 1 was ugly for Toney. It was brutal with multiple drops. However, he missed most of training camp due to knee surgery, was a limited participant leading up to Week 1, and played very sparingly. Still, he ended up tied for the team lead with five targets and received a carry inside the 10-yard line.

All things considered, one could have seen the Week 1 game as a positive for Toney's outlook. All he needed to do was catch the ball. Unfortunately, Toney's role didn't grow a lot this past weekend. He played just 19 snaps out of the team's 67 and he ran just 15 routes out of 45 dropbacks. However, he had five targets, one carry, and finished with 38 yards.

There's an argument to say this is just who Toney is. He's a part-time player whom Andy Reid will try to scheme up 4-5 touches for per game. If that's the case, his fantasy value is minimal. That's certainly a possibility. In fact, throughout his NFL career, this has been pretty much who he has been.

However, if he's still working his way back and his role eventually grows, then Toney could be on the WR3 radar. It's impossible to know how this will go. The Chiefs thought enough of Toney to trade a third-round pick for him. Their other receivers in bigger roles have been somewhat disappointing. Could that eventually mean they give Toney more of a chance? That's also possible and if you have the depth to find out, it could be worth it.

Rashee Rice, Kansas City Chiefs – 36% Rostered (BC, DL)

Rice is going to continue showing up here until one of two things happens: 1) one of the receivers playing ahead of him does something good where we can stop considering Rice's role growing or 2) Rice's role grows because none of the other receivers are doing anything and either Rice excels and thus, his rostership gets too high or he fails and he just becomes part of the disappointing group of receivers the Chiefs currently employ. However, if starters Skyy Moore, Justin Watson, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling continue to struggle, it won't be long until Rice gets a shot to give Patrick Mahomes more consistency from their receivers.

DeVante Parker, New England Patriots – 2% Rostered (DL, DP)

Parker didn't play in Week 1 due to a knee injury and he ended up leaving Week 2, so fantasy managers will need to pay attention to his injury status throughout the week. However, after fellow teammate Kendrick Bourne had 11 targets in Week 1, Parker immediately stepped back into No. 1 receiver duties Sunday night against the Dolphins.

He finished with eight targets, six receptions, and 57 yards. The New England group of receivers is highly suspect, but it appears Parker and Bourne are the top two options. Mac Jones and the entire Patriots offense looks much better this season. Parker isn't going to be a weekly starter, but he has the look of a quality bench player for deeper leagues.

Josh Reynolds, Detroit Lions – 12% Rostered (DL, DP, IF)

That's back-to-back quality weeks from the Lions' No. 2 receiver. Many thought it would be Marvin Jones Jr. to hold down that spot, but through the first two weeks, it's clear that the job belongs to Reynolds. He had seven targets in Week 1 and six this week. He ran the most routes among any Detroit player this past week. He's playing a ton of snaps and is a full-time player on a really good offense. He finished with four receptions and 80 yards in Week 1. He followed that up with five receptions, 66 yards, and two touchdowns.

Not only is Reynolds playing really well, but Amon-Ra St. Brown seems to be a bit banged up at the moment. That hasn't affected ARSB yet as he went for over 100 yards this past weekend after finding the end zone in Week 1. Still, it's notable that ARSB doesn't seem to be 100%.

While many might assume second-year player Jameson Williams will take No. 2 receiver duties once he returns from his suspension, I don't think that's guaranteed. For starters, the Lions are competing for a playoff spot. They may not have the patience for Williams' rookie-like mistakes. Remember, he hardly played last season and now will have been away from the team for six weeks due to his suspension. Reynolds could have more long-term staying power than we believe right now.

Kendrick Bourne, New England Patriots – 45% Rostered (DL, DP)

While Bourne wasn't as effective in Week 2 as he was in Week 1, he was still heavily targeted in the New England offense. After having 11 targets in Week 1, Bourne followed that up with nine in Week 2. He operated as the primary deep ball threat for the Patriots offense and those deeper targets resulted in just four receptions for 29 yards.

Bourne is likely to be a boom-or-bust option because of the way he's utilized inside the Patriots' offense. His targets tend to be further downfield, which are more difficult completions. However, it's hard to ignore 20 targets over two weeks. In deeper leagues, Bourne looks like a decent bench option with bye weeks starting in just a few weeks.

Allen Robinson II, Pittsburgh Steelers – 16% Rostered & Calvin Austin III, Pittsburgh Steelers – 3% Rostered (DL, IF)

Diontae Johnson was ruled out of the game in Week 1 with a hamstring injury, which presented an opportunity for Robinson and Austin. They finished with five receptions for 64 yards and six receptions for 37 yards, respectively. They both finished with more receiving yards than George Pickens.

Robinson out-targeted Pickens by one. Austin only ran 28 routes whereas Robinson ran 46. If you're going to prioritize one of these receivers, it should be Robinson. Tight end Pat Freiermuth also left with an injury, which could weaken their pass-catching depth even more, theoretically increasing the opportunity for both players heading into Week 2. The Steelers face off against the Browns tonight. Reports have indicated Johnson will miss a couple of weeks, which gives Robinson the opportunity to be a heavily-targeted player.

Others to consider: Wan'Dale Robinson, New York Giants – 1% Rostered, Jameson Williams, Detroit Lions – 29% Rostered, Jalin Hyatt, New York Giants – 12% Rostered, Josh Downs, Indianapolis Colts – 1% Rostered, Marvin Mims Jr., Denver Broncos – 23% Rostered, Terrace Marshall Jr., Carolina Panthers – 1% Rostered, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kansas City Chiefs – 7% Rostered,

 

Tight Ends - Waiver Wire Options

Luke Musgrave, Green Bay Packers – 25% Rostered (BC, MA)

It's been a somewhat disappointing first two games for Musgrave, but fantasy managers shouldn't lose hope. There were plenty of opportunities in Week 1, including what should have been a walk-in touchdown, but the rook stumbled. He is absolutely locked into a full-time starting role. Despite the disappointing outcome in Week 2 with just two receptions and 25 yards, Musgrave once again had excellent utilization. He played on 44 of the team's 50 snaps and ran a route on 24 of Jordan Love's 28 dropbacks.

Unfortunately, through two weeks, Musgrave has just seven targets. That's despite Christian Watson missing both contests and Romeo Doubs being limited in Week 1. It may be difficult to keep the faith, but Love has looked really good through three weeks. It's important to remember that Musgrave is just a rookie. It's fair to expect a learning curve of sorts.

I know what you might be thinking, "rookie tight ends never produce." While that historically has been true, very few of them have been provided a full-time role like the one Musgrave finds himself in. In fact, very few veteran tight ends are playing such a high number of their team's snaps and running a route as often as Musgrave is. Because of this, fantasy managers need to keep the faith.

Zach Ertz, Arizona Cardinals – 10% Rostered (WS)

Going into the 2023 NFL season, many, including myself, thought the Cardinals would be a dumpster fire. I was especially hesitant about Ertz since he's 32 years old and coming off a torn ACL and MCL. However, through two weeks, he has 18 (!!!) targets.

Despite the fact he hasn't done a ton with the volume, we simply do not see this kind of volume at tight end. It's something we need to pay attention to. He had six receptions and just 21 yards in Week 1 despite having 10 targets. He was a bit more productive this weekend, finishing with six receptions and 56 yards on eight targets.

The Cardinals have been surprisingly competitive and it's possible Kyler Murray returns in Week 5, which will only help the offense and the scoring potential for Ertz and the entire offense. If you're struggling at tight end, while Ertz may not have a very high ceiling, his steady weekly volume will come with a solid floor.

Others to consider: Juwan Johnson, New Orleans Saints – 37% Rostered, Logan Thomas, Washington Commanders – 3% Rostered, Hayden Hurst, Carolina Panthers – 35% Rostered (WS), Irv Smith Jr., Cincinnati Bengals – 9% Rostered, Jake Ferguson, Dallas Cowboys β€” 38% Rostered, Mike Gesicki, New England Patriots – 5% Rostered



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