With two weeks in the books, it’s time to improve our rosters for Week 3 by using the waiver wire. Let’s take a look at the top waiver wire pickups to target for your fantasy football team.
Week 3 waiver wire pickups | Quarterbacks
Here are the quarterbacks to target on the Week 3 fantasy football waiver wire.
Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers (40% rostered on Fleaflicker)
Matt Rhule and Joe Brady must have performed an exorcism in the offseason because Sam Darnold is apparently no longer seeing ghosts. The QB13 in fantasy (19 points per game) has been solid this season, surpassing the expectations of many. Completing 68.5% of his passes, Darnold has posted 584 yards (11th in the NFL) with 3 TDs and 1 INT. He even rushed for a score in Week 1.
With a star-studded offense involving Christian McCaffrey, DJ Moore, Robby Anderson, and rookie Terrace Marshall Jr., Darnold is set to succeed in Week 3. They will take on the Houston Texans on Thursday Night Football. If you have a Panthers player, start them. No need to overthink it in Week 3.
Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders (61% rostered on Fleaflicker)
Yes, Derek Carr is technically above the 60% threshold. But every league is different, and odds are he is floating around in your waivers heading into Week 3.
Carr has been racking up the stats despite the Raiders remaining non-committal on his long-term standing with the organization. Carr has completed 62 of 93 passes for 817 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 1 interception through two games. His passing yards are not just No. 1 in the NFL, but nearly 130 yards ahead of second-place Kyler Murray (689).
It’s not like he’s done this against cupcake competition, either. Carr has torched two of the top defenses in the NFL in the Baltimore Ravens (No. 9 vs. QBs in 2020) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 2).
In Week 3, the Raiders take on the struggling Dolphins, who just allowed the Bills to put up 35 points. If Carr continues to put up similar production, he could be a weekly high-end QB1 as his WR corps of Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards continues to develop in Year 2.
Teddy Bridgewater, Denver Broncos (43% rostered on Fleaflicker)
Once again, Teddy Two-Gloves looked good on Sunday, completing 26-of-34 for 328 yards and 2 touchdowns in a win. The narrative around Bridgewater suggests he is a dink-and-dunk QB, and while he does take what the defense gives him, he still takes shots downfield.
In fact, no QB has attempted more throws 20+ yards downfield this season than Bridgwater. Not only is he fifth in intended air yards (668), but his average throw depth of 9.5 yards is second only to Trevor Lawrence (9.8), per Sports Info Solutions.
Bridgewater has finished as the QB15 and QB10, respectively, while averaging nearly 300 yards per game. He takes on the New York Jets in Week 3, making him as good of a waiver wire find as you can get in fantasy football.
There are quite a few RBs you should scour the waiver wire for in Week 3.
J.D. McKissic, Washington Football Team (60% rostered on Fleaflicker)
Much to the chagrin of Antonio Gibson managers, J.D. McKissic continues to be used not only in the passing game but also in the red zone. After a disappointing Week 1 performance, McKissic bounced back with 9 touches, 93 total yards, and a touchdown in Week 2. If Washington is trailing or in a two-minute drill, he is the RB on the field despite the talk of Gibson being more involved in the passing game.
McKissic was the RB leader in targets last season with 110, and he has weekly value in PPR formats. I don’t love the matchup in Week 3 against the Bills, who are No. 3 vs. RBs (9.15 points per game), but any success Washington’s RBs will have should come via the air. He is worth a waiver wire pickup based on his role in the offense.
James White, New England Patriots (58% rostered on Fleaflicker)
With all the attention on Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson, James White continues to find work. White rushed 5 times for 20 yards and one touchdown, including 6 receptions (6 targets) for 45 yards. White actually led the Patriots in targets, receptions, and receiving yards.
If you are in PPR format, White is worth rostering as a low-end RB3 against the Saints.
Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia Eagles (52% rostered on Fleaflicker)
If you weren’t sure after Week 1, it should now be obvious that Kenneth Gainwell has surpassed Boston Scott as the RB2 for the Eagles. Gainwell rushed 6 times for 14 yards and caught 2 of his 3 targets for 18 yards. Sure, the usage isn’t massive, but the rookie is the only other back outside of Miles Sanders to have seen a touch for Philadelphia this season. In fact, Gainwell has just 1 less target than Sanders (7). Averaging 9.5 points per game in PPR, Gainwell is the RB33 in fantasy.
Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons (25% rostered on Fleaflicker)
The Falcons have not been a good football team thus far, and the only bright spot has been Cordarrelle Patterson. Patterson rushed 7 times for 11 yards and a touchdown while adding another 58 yards and a score through the air in Week 2. With 19 touches in his first two games, Patterson posted 8.7 points in Week 1 and 23.9 points in Week 2 to push him to RB10 on the season.
In some formats, he has dual-position eligibility, which makes him even more valuable. In Week 3, Patterson gets the Giants, who are No. 25 vs. RBs (27.75 points per game).
Here are the wide receivers to target on the Week 3 fantasy football waiver wire.
Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals (47% rostered on Fleaflicker)
While he only played on 28 snaps, Rondale Moore was the target leader for the Cardinals with 8. He hauled in 7 of those for 114 yards, including a 77-yard touchdown where the defense apparently lost sight of him.
Moore is everything you want in a Kliff Kingsbury offense, and as long as Kyler Murray is dealing at an MVP level, Moore is a dangerous threat every time he steps on the field. I’m betting on lightning striking twice as the Cardinals take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3. Get ready for his roster percentage to skyrocket.
Tim Patrick, Denver Broncos (42% rostered on Fleaflicker)
Last week, we projected Tim Patrick would have a solid game with Jerry Jeudy out. He caught 3 of his 4 targets for 37 yards while finding the end zone, putting up 12.7 points (PPR). Patrick has now scored in back-to-back weeks. As we discussed with Bridgewater, Patrick has a great matchup in Week 3 vs. the Jaguars, who allow 40.3 points to wide receivers (19th). He needs to be rostered in all formats until Jeudy comes back and should be a waiver wire priority for fantasy football in Week 3.
K.J. Osborn, Minnesota Vikings (17% rostered on Fleaflicker)
We weren’t sure who would be the WR3 for the Vikings, but we have our answer in K.J. Osborn. Over two games, Osborn has racked up 12 receptions, 167 yards, and a touchdown on 15 targets. In Week 2, he hauled in 5 of 6 targets for 91 yards with a TD that came off a 64-yard bomb. The Vikings will need to put up points against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 3, giving Osborn sneaky flex appeal.
Jalen Reagor, Philadelphia Eagles (57% rostered on Fleaflicker)
While he only had 2 receptions on 5 targets for 5 yards in Week 2, Jalen Reagor also had a 36-yard TD called back. Had he actually scored, Reagor could have built on a solid Week 1 performance where he caught all 6 of his targets for 49 yards and a TD.
Jalen Hurts is a weekly must-start in fantasy and is proving that his arm talent deserves respect. Reagor is in a better situation this year than in 2020, not only due to a scheme change but also because he’s playing alongside DeVonta Smith. Reagor is quietly becoming a weekly starting candidate and — with one more week of similar production — will be in lineups as a flex play. Grab him off your waiver wire now before it’s too late.
Elijah Moore, New York Jets (55% rostered on Fleaflicker)
Elijah Moore is without question one of the highest-upside rookies in the NFL. We just weren’t sure when he would get his chance to make his mark on the New York offense. With Jamison Crowder out and Corey Davis being taken away by the New England defense, Moore was the lone bright spot in what was otherwise a forgettable day for the Jets’ passing attack.
Moore saw a team-high 8 targets in Week 2, recording 4 receptions for 47 yards. His development and chemistry with Zach Wilson were a bit delayed due to a preseason quad injury, but his Week 2 performance might springboard him up the WR pecking order. I would not be starting him quite yet, but Moore is a bench stash that could pay dividends down the road.
Week 3 waiver wire pickups | Tight Ends
Which tight end should you target on the waiver wire in Week 3?
Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns (64% rostered on Fleaflicker)
Sure, I’m going over the roster threshold here. But good luck trying to find usable fantasy talent at TE on your waiver wire. It’s brutal out there, so if I have to bend the rules a bit, so be it.
Odell Beckham Jr. is close to making his return, but there is no guarantee on his status. And even a “return” does not mean he will see a full workload. Also, the Browns placed Jarvis Landry on injured reserve on Tuesday [September 21], meaning Austin Hooper could garner more targets.
After a 3-target, 27-yard game in Week 1, Hooper saw an uptick in Week 2, recording catches on all 5 targets (team-high) for 40 yards. Believe it or not, that was enough to finish as the TE14, which says a lot about the lack of options at the position. It’s likely he sees an uptick in targets in Week 3 and could be a possible play for those streaming the position. For those who are, you are in my thoughts during this difficult time.
Maxx Williams, Arizona Cardinals (2% rostered on Fleaflicker)
Maxx Williams was an integral part of Arizona’s dominance in Week 2, catching all 7 of his targets for 94 yards against the Vikings. Even without finding the end zone, Williams finished as the TE4 in PPR with 16.4 fantasy points.
While I am not saying he will see 7 targets in Week 3, Williams has as good a shot as anyone on Arizona’s roster to succeed against the Jaguars, who are 24th in points allowed to TEs at 16.05 per game.
Dan Arnold, Carolina Panthers (17% rostered on Fleaflicker)
If they wear a Panthers jersey, you want them in Week 3. Carolina takes on Houston on Thursday Night Football, and the matchup could prove beneficial to Dan Arnold.
Arnold had a decent showing against the Saints on Sunday, securing 3 receptions for 55 yards. He’ll never be the focal point of Carolina’s offense, but he could find the end zone this week. The Texans are 29th in points allowed to TEs so far, allowing 20.85 fantasy points per game. Houston has allowed 177 yards and 1 TD on 18 receptions to tight ends, including James O’Shaughnessy, Hooper, David Njoku, and Harrison Bryant.