2017 Fantasy Football: Week 3 Waiver Wire Pickups
As we dive into the Fantasy Football Week 3 Waiver Wire breakdown, I'm a bit conflicted. While all of these injuries are giving me plenty to write about, they're also painful to watch as a Fantasy owner and analyst. If the early running back landscape can teach us anything, it's that you need to build depth every year… and don't stop. There is no such thing as too much running back depth. If you happen to be a Jordan Howard and DeMarco Murray owner, you know exactly what I mean… and are likely ordering some blood pressure medication.
Week 3 Waiver Wire Pickups: QBs
Carson Wentz, PHI (67%) – Okay, I'm impressed. I didn't expect Wentz to play as well as he did since the Chiefs just held Tom Brady in check, and the game was in Kansas City. I'm not fully "all in" just yet, as we saw Wentz start hot last year and fade quickly, but with Alshon Jeffery in tow, Wentz has the potential to be this year's breakout quarterback.
Trevor Siemian, DEN (13%) – Many laughed when I said Siemian was the one that impressed me more in Week 1, as he played a highly intelligent game against a tough Chargers secondary. Who's laughing now? Siemian is playing the best ball of his career and taking what the defense gives him. Leave it to Mike McCoy to work his magic with another quarterback.
Jay Cutler, MIA (29%) – It wasn't amazing, but it was interception free. Cutler also completed 72.7 percent of his passes in his first Dolphins start, showing rapport with Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker that you'd normally see after several games. The Dolphins get the Jets in Week 3, and that's quite appealing.
DON'T: Alex Smith, KC – People are still hung up on Smith's Week 1 performance. However, 251 yards and one touchdown is more of the norm for Smith, keeping him from being Fantasy Football worthy. Smith has just 10 games with more than one touchdown the past two years with only one going for more (three). He also has seven games with zero touchdown passes and one career season with more than 20 total (23 in 2013).
Week 3 Waiver Wire Pickups: RBs
Javorius Allen, BAL (56%) – Allen won't be under 60-percent owned after Week 2. This is a two-parter of information here, as Allen is a must-add and looks to be the lead option for the Ravens now that Terrance West is dealing with an injury. However, Allen is also a great sell-high option. As long as West is able to play, he's still better for the tough yards and will command the work, especially at the goal line. Many are going to assume Allen is now a Top 15 running back, so if you snagged him already, sell and reap the benefit.
Chris Carson, SEA (40%) – We knew the Seahawks backfield would be a headache, and it appears that Carson is officially the running back of choice. Eddie Lacy was inactive, Thomas Rawls played poorly and C.J. Prosise is purely a passing game weapon. Even with a terrible offensive line, Carson is a high-priority add for the opportunity alone.
Chris Thompson, WSH (30%) and Samaje Perine, WSH (23%) – Thompson already was an underrated value in PPR leagues, and if Rob Kelley misses time, he can have Non-PPR value as a RB3. Additionally, Perine would gain RB3 value as well, given that he's the better option to lead the backfield given his power. Perine didn't look great against the Rams, but the volume alone suggests he's in for significant work if Kelley is sidelined. Oh, and make sure you don't add the Texans wide receiver, Thompson, by mistake.
FAB: 15-25% on Thompson, same on Perine if Kelley out, otherwise 10%
Chris Johnson, ARI (12%) – That didn't take long. CJK went from free agent, recently cut by the Cardinals, to lead option for the very same team. It's not enough to rush to the waiver wire and pick Johnson up, but he'll be the top running back for the Cardinals and potentially have RB3 value in Non-PPR.
D'Onta Foreman, HOU (7%) – This is a testament to the "For the Future" section. If you've been with me since the NFL Draft, you know that Foreman was and is pushing Lamar Miller for touches. At some point, we could see a 50-50 split given Miller's ineffectiveness with heavy workloads and short yardage situations. Foreman looked quite good on Thursday night. Stop waiting to add him.
FOR THE FUTURE: Matt Breida, SF (3%) – Carlos Hyde has looked terrific, but that's not a surprise. The surprise would be if he makes it through 16 games.
FOR THE FUTURE: Elijah McGuire, NYJ (0%) – Matt Forte and Bilal Powell (sadly) have done nothing so far. Similar to Tarik Cohen for the Bears, McGuire has the explosiveness to shake things up. Deeper leagues can stash McGuire in case the Jets want to become interesting… doubtful, I know.
DON'T: Rex Burkhead, NE (21%) – If you want to scream at the TV, pull your hair out and hate life, be my guest and pick up Burkhead. If you value your sanity, stay away from Patriots running backs… outside maybe Mike Gillislee in Non-PPR.
Week 3 Waiver Wire Pickups: WRs
Danny Amendola, NE (49%) – Even though he missed last week, I'd still pick up Amendola. While the Patriots receivers belong on an episode of MASH, Amendola impressed in Week 1, clearly filling Julian Edelman's void.
FAB: 15-20% (and yes, I realized my own phrasing after I wrote it, left it and showed my college humor by GIF-ing it)
Marqise Lee (34%) and Allen Hurns, JAX (26%) – How both of these receivers are under 40 percent is baffling to me. Allen Robinson isn't come back folks. Hurns was WR14 in 2015, and Lee has matured into a reliable, high-reception option.
FAB: 15-20% Lee and Hurns, higher end for Lee in PPR
J.J. Nelson, ARI (20%) – Back when I did 32 Bold Predictions in June, my original one for the Cardinals was that Nelson would be a WR3 and break out for the Cardinals. John Brown got healthy after that, but now he's not… again. Nelson showed us the potential he brings in Week 2 and that he's not just a "big-play receiver." As long as Brown is out, Nelson is a WR3.
Jermaine Kearse, NYJ (6%) – It's impressive how much of an impact Kearse is having after being with the Jets for just one week before the season and the fact that it's the Jets. Kearse is Fantasy's fifth best receiver – I know, right? – with 11/123/2 through two games. Honestly, the Jets might trade him away if he keeps playing so well.
Rashard Higgins, CLE (0%) – I was a big fan of Higgins coming out of college, but being from a smaller school, a poor combine and his inability to fight through heavy competition last year hampered on his potential. Well, Corey Coleman is out indefinitely, and Kenny Britt has seemingly checked out indefinitely. Higgins has the ability to line up anywhere, gets good separation and has quality hands. Yes, he's a must-add in my opinion and could be the Browns No. 1 receiver.
Tyler Lockett, SEA (40%) – Lockett would rank higher if not for 1) the Seahawks offensive line 2) Pete Carroll's fondness of rotating receivers and 3) Paul Richardson still lingering. That said, Lockett flashed a bit of that potential we hoped to see (well, all of you did) last year in Week 2. He's back on the radar.
Kendall Wright, CHI (15%) – Someone has to catch passes in Chicago. (Can we call those things from Mike Glennon that?)
Not surprisingly, Wright led the team in targets (10) and did catch seven for 69 yards. That's decent PPR value.
FAB: 5-10% Wright
Devin Funchess, CAR (13%) – Even if Kelvin Benjamin is no worse for wear after that tough hit, Funchess is worth grabbing in deeper leagues. Funchess is all too similar to Benjamin, which is a fast tight end or oversized wide receiver. Well, that works just fine in the red zone, and now Greg Olsen is out 6-8 weeks.
Mohamed Sanu, ATL (17%) – My favorite player nickname I've given! Sanu Snu!
Sanu had a solid 57/790/5 season in 2014 with the Bengals and was productive at times last year while not 100 percent for parts of the season. Sanu is the second best receiver for Matt Ryan and can have deeper value in PPR formats. The lack of touchdowns keep Sanu from being a must-add or great Non-PPR option.
FAB: 3-5% in PPR
Jaron Brown, ARI (2%) – This goes back to John Brown and the fact that the Cardinals normally have value spill over to their third receiver. This Brown is just a deep league option though.
FAB: 3-5% in Non-PPR
DON'T: Torrey Smith, PHI (8%) – Even when Smith was having his WR2 seasons in Baltimore, he was still maddeningly inconsistent. If you don't mind roulette odds with your receiver, then Smith is your guy. Otherwise, good luck predicting his good weeks.
FOR THE FUTURE: Will Fuller, HOU (3%) – Forget about him? Fuller is fast-tracking his recovery and is already on the practice field. No one is stepping up alongside DeAndre Hopkins, the Texans just cut Jaelen Strong and Fuller has some serious big-play upside. I prefer him to Smith.
FAB: 2-4% in Non-PPR
Week 3 Waiver Wire Pickups: TEs
Ben Watson, BAL (1%) – It's a rough week for tight ends with Rob Gronkowski, Jordan Reed, Jimmy Graham and Tyler Eifert banged up plus Greg Olsen out 6-8 weeks. Well, how about the team that continues to provide tight end value, even with most of those tight ends being afterthoughts? Watson led the Ravens in targets, receptions (caught all eight) and yards (91) in Week 2. As long as he's healthy, Watson has fringe TE1 potential and is worth getting excited about.
Zach Miller, CHI (5%) – The Bears receiving game is hurting to say the least, but Miller continues to be a good safety valve for Glennon… and will be for Mitchell Trubisky once he takes over. Miller had the second most targets and caught six for 42 yards. He's not a league-changer, but Miller is a great plug-in for needy owners.
Seth DeValve (0%) and David Njoku, CLE (7%) – While Njoku gets all of the hype, DeValve is simply leading the team in yards at 103. While I am a big fan of Higgins, the Browns need more than Britt and Higgins in the passing game, and both DeValve and Njoku can have value.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, NYJ (5%) – ASJ returns this week, and Josh McCown has shown a fondness for his tight ends in the past. The question with Seferian-Jenkins was never talent; it was off-field issues. He says everything is on track these days, which means ASJ could be another quality pickup for those need tight end help.
Jack Doyle, IND (64%) and Coby Fleener, NO (63%) – I'm listing Doyle and Fleener just in case they're still available in your league. Both players are TE1 options, while Doyle may have more long-term consistency with Willie Snead back next week for the Saints.
Buy Low, Sell High Options
DeMarco Murray (if can be patient through injury)
Jordan Howard (same as with Murray)
Lamar Miller (if still can)
Coby Fleener (see above, before Snead return)
Photo Credit: Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire