10 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Targets Heading Into Week 3
Week 2 was full of injuries (and a lot of them entering the week, even). We also saw depth chart surprises in the opening weekend that point to some priority waiver wire additions.
Here are some of the best additions you can make to your squads based on everything we know so far. (I'll stick to players rostered on 60% of Yahoo teams or fewer and also list some other viable pickups who may be available in shallower leagues or relevant only in deeper leagues).
Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
Roster Percentage: 51%
For the dynamic rookie Justin Fields, now could be the time to take over in Chicago.
While incumbent starter Andy Dalton appears to have avoided an ACL tear, it doesn't mean he's necessarily coming back soon, either. That's good news for the rookie, who took over in the second quarter and led the Bears to victory.
Now, there's going to be some growing pains here. Fields only tossed for 60 yards and an interception while posting a -0.70 Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back yesterday. But, he did bust out for 31 rushing yards, and with a week to prepare, he likely will see more reps at practice and become more comfortable in time.
There's another quarterback as well on many waivers, but Fields clearly has the rushing upside that is necessary for a stalwart fantasy quarterback.
Daniel Jones, New York Giants
Roster Percentage: 19%
The mercurial Jones comes with many warts from a fantasy perspective, but Jones posted 249 passing yards and 95 yards rushing against Washington, and he found the end zone twice. Those rushing yards are especially valuable at the quarterback position, even if Jones may not see many designed runs called.
Those totals also do not include a 58-yard rushing score called back in the second quarter for a holding penalty, and his next matchup against the Atlanta Falcons could be a fantasy goldmine. Danny Dimes can help right away, and he is on a majority of waiver wires.
James White, New England Patriots
Roster Percentage: 41%
Death. Taxes. James White continuing to be a fantasy football asset. It's just science, y'all.
While many eyes in the fantasy community pegged Damien Harris to be the lead back in New England, White continued to showcase his fantasy relevance, leading the Pats in targets, catches, and receiving yards from the running back position through Week 2.
In point-per-reception (PPR) formats, White is nearly a must-own. He now has 12 catches on 13 targets this season. He did rush 5 times for 20 yards and a score this week as well, so he does have some value as a runner. Especially for "RB zero" rosters, White is a tremendous add despite his limited ceiling.
Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys
Roster Percentage: 51%
It is far from time to jump ship from Zeke, but it's very clear that the Cowboys have plenty of intentions in utilizing both runners effectively. Tony Pollard carried the ball 13 times (three less than Elliott) for 109 yards and a score on Sunday, and he also added 3 catches for 31 yards.
Last week, Elliott saw 84% of snaps compared to 20% for Pollard. This week, those numbers inched down to Elliott at 72%, and Pollard at 35%. Pollard is not a replacement as much as a "handcuff plus", as both running backs are averaged above a 50% rushing success rate in Week 2, and therefore Elliott is not struggling.
Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons
Roster Percentage: 14%
As much as the Cowboys' situation is puzzling, the one involving the Atlanta Falcons is even muddier. Most assumed a clear lead role for Mike Davis in 2021 would be the case, but Cordarrelle Patterson is firmly in the mix .
The two touchdowns Patterson scored stick out plenty, but he just was involved plenty on his snaps overall. He rushed 7 times for 11 yards and a score, and he added 5 catches for 58 yards and another score. While his Week 1 may have seemed fluky, he is getting high leverage work. Patterson got both of Atlanta's red zone carries in Week 2.
Mike Davis does still have the lead role in Atlanta, for he out-touched Patterson 16 to 12 on the afternoon, but for an asset you can nab off the waiver wire, Patterson's not a bad option to consider.
KJ Osborn, Minnesota Vikings
Roster Percentage: 2%
There were some unbelievably entertaining games this week in the NFL, but perhaps none were more exciting than the offensive firework show we were treated to between the Minnesota Vikings and the Arizona Cardinals.
While teammate and second-year man Justin Jefferson along with veteran Adam Thielen are still the lead duo, K.J. Osborn showed he's ready to be a big part of the offense as well. His 6 targets were third on the team, and he racked up 91 yards and a score on the day.
It's fair to be a bit skeptical of Osborn's production given that the lion's share came on his 64-yard score, but he now leads the Vikings in total receiving through two games. At least until Irv Smith Jr. returns, keep him in mind, and especially this week as they travel to Seattle.
Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals
Roster Percentage: 33%
As noted in last week's piece, tying receivers to a Kyler Murray-led passing offense is generally a good idea. There's a lot of excellent pass-catchers in this offense with DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green, but Rondale Moore was not scared to get involved, either.
Moore only played on 46% of the team's snaps on Sunday, but he blasted his way to 7 catches (on 8 targets), 114 receiving yards, and a score. Those eight targets led the entire team. Facing the weak Jacksonville Jaguars, there's no reason to believe he won't be an integral part of the offense yet again despite his low snap count.
Freddie Swain, Seattle Seahawks
Roster Percentage: <1%
Alas, while Seattle fans are certainly disappointed with the outcome, one very interesting revelation for the squad was the play of Freddie Swain. The 23-year-old former @@floria-football member was wide open for a bomb which led to a touchdown. Amongst Russell Wilson's 31 attempts, Swain was third in targets with five behind Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf.
In Week 1, Swain only saw 43% of snaps and had a single target, but he played 75% of snaps as well in addition to the boost in targets. That also came in a largely negative game script where Seattle was content to run the ball. Swain may be emerging as the definitive third option in an efficient offense to target.
Henry Ruggs, Las Vegas Raiders
Roster Percentage: 35%
Ruggs had 12 targets on Sunday, and that tied him for the team lead in Week 2 with Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow. While there's no denying that Waller will command the majority of the attention, Ruggs certainly seems to be grabbing more volume -- which was expected out of the first-round pick all along.
Through two weeks, no one in the NFL has more passing yards than signal-caller Derek Carr; he is even 128 yards clear of Kyler Murray. While the Raiders were in the bottom third of pass-to-run ratio last year, they seem a bit more committed to throwing the ball in 2021 (37 passes to 25 rushes in Week 2).
Maxx Williams, Arizona Cardinals
Roster Percentage: <1%
Taking a spin on the ever-so-challenging tight end carousel (like rostering fantasy baseball closers), Maxx Williams had a Week 1 that was a bit of a head-scratcher. He was on the field for 80% of his snaps but nabbed only one target that was not hauled in. Considering his Week 2 match was with Minnesota, who allowed only two catches to tight ends in the season opener, there was no starting him on Sunday, right?
Not so fast, my friends.
In a shootout, Williams hauled in 7 catches on 7 targets he received, which was good for a whopping 94 receiving yards. While he didn't find the end zone, his 7 targets outpaced DeAndre Hopkins and only trailed the aforementioned Moore.
As another player tied to Murray at a frustrating position, Williams might be worth a speculative flier with a lower waiver priority this week.