Fantasy: Waiver Wire - Week 3
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Every Monday during the season, theScore's Justin Boone runs down the recommended waiver-wire pickups.
Roster percentages are based on Yahoo leagues. Free Agent Budget (FAB) amounts are based on a $100 salary cap. Only players rostered in less than 50% of leagues are considered.
Matthew Stafford, Rams
A healthy Stafford has helped power the Rams' offense in the opening weeks, despite not having star wideout Cooper Kupp available.
Stafford threw for over 300 yards in each of the first two outings, even while facing the 49ers' daunting pass rush in Week 2.
With Sean McVay at the top of his game as a play-caller, Stafford should continue to sling it against a Bengals defense that doesn't have the same bite it once did.
Russell Wilson is just above the 50% rostered mark, but he should be considered a streamer this week if available.
Risky streaming options: Derek Carr at GB (40% rostered), Baker Mayfield vs. PHI (15% rostered), Sam Howell vs. BUF (20% rostered)
Risky streaming options (if starter is out): Gardner Minshew at BAL (1% rostered)
Desperation streaming options: Kenny Pickett at LV (31% rostered), Bryce Young at SEA (15% rostered), C.J. Stroud at JAX (9% rostered), Desmond Ridder at DET (5% rostered), Ryan Tannehill at CLE (7% rostered), Jimmy Garoppolo vs. PIT (16% rostered), Mac Jones at NYJ (23% rostered), Zach Wilson vs. NE (4% rostered), Josh Dobbs vs. DAL (2% rostered)
Desperation streaming options (if starter is out): Jake Browning vs. LAR (0% rostered)
Long-term stashes: Taylor Heinicke (0% rostered)
Injured-reserve stashes: Kyler Murray (24% rostered)
Jerome Ford, Browns
Nick Chubb suffered a knee injury that was so bad they elected not to show the replay during the broadcast. While we wait for a diagnosis, it's safe to assume he'll be out for an extended stretch and maybe the rest of the season.
Ford is the next man up and someone the Browns were high on throughout the offseason. He'll face a tough challenge the next two weeks with the Titans and Ravens on deck before Cleveland's bye.
The only thing preventing us from making this a max-bid scenario is the potential for the Browns to sign a veteran free agent like Leonard Fournette, Kenyan Drake, or Darrell Henderson. Kareem Hunt, who spent the previous four seasons in Cleveland, also remains on the market.
If the team doesn't add anyone, Ford would be in the low-end RB2 conversation. And if we don't hear reports about the Browns bringing anyone in Tuesday, then Ford would be worthy of a 75-100% bid on the wire.
Roschon Johnson, Bears
Johnson gets the nod as the top running back add because he's one of the few ball carriers who can take over the starting job on his team without an injury.
The fourth-round rookie has already passed D'Onta Foreman on the depth chart, turning the veteran into a healthy scratch in Week 2. Now he's in a timeshare with Khalil Herbert.
While playing 40% of the snaps through two games, Johnson has compiled 97 yards from scrimmage on 17 touches, including eight receptions and a touchdown.
You can consider Johnson a risky flex option at the moment, but he's better kept on your bench as an upside stash who could turn into a top-24 fantasy back if he overtakes Herbert.
Craig Reynolds, Lions
With David Montgomery expected to miss a few weeks with a quad injury, Reynolds finds himself in an intriguing position.
The Lions haven't shown a willingness to make explosive rookie Jahmyr Gibbs a workhorse, and when Montgomery went down, it was Reynolds who stepped into his role.
If Detroit doesn't sign a veteran free agent, Reynolds is positioned to be an RB3/flex - handling some of the hard carries between the tackles and potentially serving as the goal-line back.
Matt Breida/Eric Gray/Gary Brightwell, Giants
Saquon Barkley is going to be sidelined for three weeks with an ankle sprain, which is the only reason why we're highlighting his backups.
Breida hasn't been productive with his snaps in a while, Brightwell is more of special teamer, and rookie Eric Gray has yet to get an opportunity in the offense.
A matchup on a short week with the 49ers' defense is hardly the place to look for fantasy production from this group.
Breida is the most likely to lead the backfield in touches, but he's a desperation flex. Gray is worth a stash in deeper leagues, but just keep your expectations low. It's also possible the team will bring in a veteran free agent.
Zack Moss and Justice Hill are close to or above the 50% rostered mark but should be rostered in most leagues.
With all the injuries to starting running backs, free agents like Leonard Fournette (3% rostered), Kareem Hunt (11% rostered), Kenyan Drake (0% rostered), and Darrell Henderson (0% rostered) can be stashed in case they sign this week.
High-upside backups like Jaylen Warren (40% rostered), Tyjae Spears (17% rostered), Elijah Mitchell (47% rostered), Sean Tucker (4% rostered), Tank Bigsby (39% rostered), and Ty Chandler (5% rostered) should be rostered in most leagues.
Risky flex options: Chuba Hubbard at SEA (19% rostered)
Risky flex options (if healthy): Kendre Miller at GB (13% rostered)
Dart-throw flex options: Tony Jones Jr. at GB (0% rostered), Latavius Murray at WAS (1% rostered), Damien Harris at WAS (39% rostered), De'Von Achane vs. DEN (45% rostered), Devin Singletary at JAX (19% rostered), Rico Dowdle at ARI (1% rostered), Trayveon Williams vs. LAR (0% rostered), Deuce Vaughn at ARI (9% rostered)
Other backups to roster: Zamir White (5% rostered), Clyde Edwards-Helaire (14% rostered), D'Onta Foreman (18% rostered), Michael Carter (3% rostered)
Deep stashes: Pierre Strong Jr. (1% rostered), Ronnie Rivers (0% rostered), Jaleel McLaughlin (1% rostered), Jordan Mason (0% rostered), Elijah Dotson (0% rostered), Chris Rodriguez (0% rostered), Keaontay Ingram (1% rostered), Zonovan Knight (0% rostered)
Injured-reserve stashes: Jeff Wilson (25% rostered)
Josh Reynolds, Lions
We spotlighted Reynolds as a deep sleeper this summer after he posted strong numbers in the opening month of last season before getting injured.
The 28-year-old is at it again with four catches for 80 yards on seven targets in Week 1, followed by five receptions for 66 yards and two touchdowns on six targets in Week 2.
The Lions have a soft schedule over the next six weeks, making Reynolds a quality flex option during that stretch.
We'll have to reevaluate his status when Jameson Williams returns from his suspension in Week 7, but at this rate, Reynolds will continue to have a role in the offense the rest of the season.
Tutu Atwell, Rams
Despite being overshadowed by his teammate Puca Nacua's outrageous stat lines, Atwell has been almost as productive with six catches for 119 yards in the opener and seven grabs for 77 yards on Sunday.
His 17 targets through two games have him tied for 15th among receivers during that span.
With Matthew Stafford dealing, Atwell deserves a spot as a WR3/flex option in your lineup.
Tank Dell, Texans
After posting three receptions and 34 yards in his debut, Dell benefitted from veteran Noah Brown being placed on injured reserve before Week 2.
The result was a seven-catch, 72-yard, one-touchdown performance on 10 targets. It also could have been more as Dell came close to another score.
This might be the beginning of Dell taking a high-volume role in the Texans' offense. Just know that players his size (5'8, 165 lbs) don't have a great track record of long-term fantasy production.
For now, you can deploy him confidently in your flex spot.
Zay Jones, Rashid Shaheed, Romeo Doubs, and Rashod Bateman are close to or above the 50% rostered mark but should be rostered in most leagues.
Risky flex options: Jayden Reed vs. NO (10% rostered), Kadarius Toney vs. CHI (49% rostered), Skyy Moore vs. CHI (49% rostered), DeVante Parker at NYJ (2% rostered), Kendrick Bourne at NYJ (45% rostered), Robert Woods at JAX (9% rostered), Darius Slayton at SF (3% rostered), Isaiah Hodgins at SF (5% rostered)
Risky flex options (if healthy): Darnell Mooney at KC (42% rostered)
Dart-throw flex options: Jonathan Mingo at SEA (12% rostered), K.J. Osborn vs. LAC (9% rostered), D.J. Chark at SEA (12% rostered), Marvin Mims at MIA (23% rostered), Jalin Hyatt at SF (12% rostered), Curtis Samuel vs. BIF (10% rostered), Adam Thielen at SEA (39% rostered), Tyler Boyd vs. LAR (39% rostered), Josh Downs at BAL (2% rostered), Donovan Peoples-Jones vs. TEN (11% rostered), Allen Lazard vs. NE (37% rostered), Allen Robinson at LV (17% rostered), Chase Claypool at KC (2% rostered), Calvin Austin at LV (3% rostered), Michael Gallup at ARI (24% rostered)
Other receivers to roster: Rashee Rice (36% rostered), Jameson Williams (29% rostered)
Deep stashes: Trey Palmer (1% rostered), Michael Wilson (1% rostered), Cedric Tillman (0% rostered), Nelson Agholor (0% rostered)
Jake Ferguson, Cowboys
Ferguson hasn't exactly capitalized on his starting opportunity so far. His 11 targets through two weeks have turned into just 22 yards and a touchdown.
That should change against a Cardinals defense that allowed Logan Thomas (4-43) and Darren Waller (6-76) to finish as top-13 weekly tight-end scorers.
If you're looking for a streamer, Ferguson should be near the top of that list given the matchup.
Hunter Henry is just above the 50% rostered mark but should be rostered in most leagues.
Streamer options: Juwan Johnson at GB (37% rostered), Zach Ertz vs. DAL (10% rostered), Luke Musgrave vs. NO (25% rostered)
Streamer options (if healthy): Logan Thomas vs. BUF (3% rostered)
Risky streamer options: Taysom Hill at GB (9% rostered), Hayden Hurst at SEA (35% rostered), Gerald Everett at MIN (38% rostered), Kylen Granson at BAL (0% rostered), Cade Otton vs. PHI (2% rostered)
Dart-throw streamer options: Tyler Conklin vs. NE (4% rostered), Adam Trautman at MIA (4% rostered), Durham Smythe vs. DEN (1% rostered)
Deep stashes: Cole Turner (0% rostered)
Week 3 streamers
Favorable upcoming schedules: Chiefs DEF (39% rostered), Chargers DEF (8% rostered), Vikings DEF (4% rostered)