Week 3 Waiver Wire: Injuries Open Opportunities
The waiver wire will be busy yet again for Week 3. Injuries to big names such as Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, and Alshon Jeffery coupled with some other big performances will have owners scrambling to the wire to make claims. If you have the number one priority in your league, the decision on who to claim will likely be based on team needs.
The premise of this weekly article is to point out key players at every position who are readily available (less than 40% owned) in Yahoo! and ESPN leagues that you may be able to add to your roster for upside. Percent owned is shown in parentheses. Keep in mind, each fantasy team is unique, as are scoring and roster formats.
Think of this as a road map to your team’s success. Factor in whether or not your league uses PPR scoring, allows you to play two quarterbacks or other variables that impact your decisions to claim a player off of waiver. Let us get started.
Some big named and heavily owned starters suffered significant injuries in Week 2. There was also some other quarterback news that will shape the fantasy quarterback landscape over the next few weeks. Here is a quick rundown of who you may want to consider adding.
Ben Roethlisberger is officially done for the year. Enter Mason Rudolph (1% Yahoo!, .2% ESPN). The second-year pro from Oklahoma State finally gets his shot. Rudolph played well this preseason, going 28 for 43 (65.1%) with 361 yards and a 4 to 1 TD to INT ratio. The opportunities will be there for the rest of the season with Josh Dobbs being traded before the season started.
There is some intrigue here as he will have some good weapons at his disposal, including college teammate James Washington. Rudolph was stellar his senior year in Stillwater. Take a look at the numbers and you can see he has plenty of experience throwing the ball. Roll the dice that the quarterback of the future has arrived in Pittsburgh.
An injury to Drew Brees has given Teddy Bridgewater (1% Yahoo!, .2% ESPN) the shot he has been waiting for. Brees is expected to be out four to six weeks with a thumb injury. Patience has paid off for the former Minnesota Vikings starting quarterback. Bridgewater struggled in relief duty on Sunday but should fare better with a full week to prepare for Week 3. Against the Los Angeles Rams, the Louisville grad finished 17 for 30 with 165 yards and zero touchdowns or interceptions.
As a starter in 2014, the journeyman had four QB1 finishes in 13 starts. Bridgewater is certainly viable in 2 QB leagues and a back end starter for your bye week fill-ins. As with Rudolph, the weapons at the skill positions are better than most and should help him succeed. A look at his game logs from that season courtesy of FFStatistics gives you an idea of the type of upside he can bring to your fantasy squad.
Quarterback Honorable Mentions and Carryovers From Last Week
The Week 3 waiver wire report continues with the running back position. There were a couple of minor injuries and some curious usage that gets these players added to this column. Time to dig in.
James Conner suffered what is being called a minor knee injury. Jaylen Samuels (35% Yahoo!, 26.5% ESPN) would be the next man up was Conner to miss time. It is worth a shot to take a flier on Samuels anyways. He may end up carrying standalone value throughout the season. Using the splits tool from FFS, we see that the North Carolina State grad has excelled without Conner in the lineup. Granted a three-game sample is small, but the usage is encouraging nonetheless.
Both LeSean McCoy and Damien Williams were nicked up in Week 2. Darwin Thompson (18% Yahoo!, 18.7% ESPN) would immediately be in the RB2 or flex conversation if one or both of these backs miss any time. The rookie showed well in the preseason with 12 carries for 60 yards (5.0 YPC). Thompson also added 3 catches for another 38 yards and a touchdown.
The Utah State alumn played just one year in college but balled out for the Aggies in his lone season in Logan. The exciting prospect averaged 7.9 yards per touch and found pay dirt 16 times on just 176 touches. Grab him in case of the injury to McCoy or Williams cause them to miss games.
Running Back Honorable Mentions and Carryovers From Last Week
Frank Gore (8% Yahoo!, 16.4% ESPN), Justice Hill (23% Yahoo!, 14.7% ESPN), Jamaal Williams (7% Yahoo!, 10% ESPN), Raheem Mostert (17% Yahoo!, 11% ESPN)
We roll on with the Week 3 waiver wire feature with the wide receiver position. Some of the players mentioned here last week continued to show well and should still be considered if available in your league. Take a look to see if they are still available.
The second-year wideout (32% Yahoo!, 37.6% ESPN) bounced back from a goose egg in Week 1. Allison managed to get in the end zone in this one and caught 4 of 5 targets for 25 yards. In what is expected to be a bit of an up-tempo offense, Allision should really be owned. Health has been the concern with the Illinois grad. When healthy, he can put up nearly 2 points per opportunity according to the chart from FFStatistics.
The Sunday night game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons was being called a “body bag” game on Twitter. That seemed to be the case as Carson Wentz was down many of his top pass catchers. This created an opportunity for Agholor (15% Yahoo!, 4.6% ESPN). All the forgotten wideout did with that opportunity was score 24.7 PPR points.
All told the USC alumn caught 8 of 11 targets for 107 yards and a score. We have seen potential from him before and Alshon Jeffery may be out a week or two with a calf injury. Agholor did have some solid games in 2017, going over double-digit points in 8 of 16 games. If you are in need of a short-term receiver on your team, you could certainly do worse.
Wide Receiver Honorable Mentions and Carryovers From Last Week
We close the Week 3 waiver wire report with the Tight End position. There were some performances that stood out in Week 2. This is a position that may make or break rosters in 2019. With the spot in flux most weeks, it is important to scour for opportunities when they present themselves.
Russell Wilson may have a new favorite red-zone target. Dissly (3% Yahoo!, 2.2% ESPN) caught 2 touchdowns (12 and 14 yards) on 5 targets. The former Washington Husky also totaled 50 yards and 22 PPR points on the day. The promise was there last year before injuries shortened his season. On a per-game basis, Dissly was as good as some of the best tight ends in the league. If you are desperate at the position, you can take a flier on a potential up and coming touchdown machine.
Tight End Honorable Mentions
Jason Witten (15% Yahoo!, 18.6% ESPN), Tyler Eifert (9% Yahoo!, 12.7% ESPN)
The hope is that this article helps make your waiver wire decisions a little bit easier. Come back every Tuesday for the latest rendition of this series to help you build your fake team into a contender if you happened to miss on some draft picks. Injuries play a vital role in fantasy and one of the biggest advantages you can have is to be active on the wire every week.