Week two is in the books. That means it’s time for our Week 3 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Rankings to help you sort it out!
The inevitable and unpredictable happens in football. Championships are made by your weekly decisions and working the wire when necessary. We plan to help you navigate this process successfully in 2019, week in and week out. For those just tuning in for our TFA #WaiverWireFire, we aim to create a waiver wire article different than the typical.
Most times, fantasy owners find “top 5” or top overall waiver wire adds quite easily. The same names usually appear, making it seem like there are very few options for you. However, we provide a unique, in-depth ranking of the waiver adds for each position. This also includes breakdowns of particular players we want to highlight from our rankings to emphasize their importance or the reasons for their ranking.
Our rankings provide information for owners in deeper leagues and especially for those that are future-minded. For example, we start to discuss a top waiver candidate and raise them up the rankings with enough time for a smart owner to beat out their colleagues. Just to bring this to life, we ranked Malcolm Brown, Gio Bernard, and Tyrell Williams last week as bench stashes and we hope you added them! We want you to be one week ahead of everyone else, using our rankings/codings to identify potential streaming targets and stashes for upcoming weeks.
Below is as big of a list as you will find for players to target on waivers. The goal is to illuminate players that fantasy owners can pick up outside of the most obvious targets. We don’t all play in small leagues, so upping the ante and shedding light on players who would otherwise be ignored is optimal. Only players owned in less than 60% of leagues appear in our waiver wire rankings. We want to talk to you about players you can actually snag.
We included a color code below to help you get all you can from our rankings. The colors highlight what type of waiver add priority each player possesses. Without further ado, here are the Week 3 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Rankings!
Also, be sure to jump into our free slack channel to have all of of your redraft questions answered by our entire team.
Brief Injury Notes:
Before Week 2 even kicked off, sad Hunter Henry owners learned that he suffered a tibia plateau fracture to his left knee. A timetable of 4-6 weeks for return is possible, but it’s a wait and see game after Henry missed the entire 2018 season with a torn ACL. The Chargers remain hopeful that he’ll return this season. Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen, and Mike Williams will soak up the receptions in Henry’s absence.
Two big-name QBs went down with injury in Week 2, which is sure to cause some havoc for fantasy football owners. Drew Brees (thumb) exited the game with a torn ligament in his thumb. He is expected to miss at least six weeks, bringing Teddy B to the front of the stage for the Saints. Big Ben Rothlisberger exited the game with an elbow injury on Sunday. We now know that he needs surgery and is out for the season. Mason Rudolph took over in his stead and will lead the team to San Fran in Week 3. Will he have James Conner (knee) to help? That remains to be seen, but seems likely. Further testing on his knee is necessary, but the sentiment from the Steelers is that the injury shouldn’t result in Conner missing time.
Michael Gallup‘s 15-target start to the season ended abruptly on Sunday after he suffered a torn meniscus. He’ll need arthroscopic surgery and be out 2-4 weeks. Those that own fantasy assets on the Eagles or Falcons got an unexpected (and unwanted) magic show during Sunday Night Football. Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson disappeared quickly, never to be seen again. Jeffery and TE Dallas Goedert both left with calf injuries. DeSean Jackson reminded us why he’s a risk in the first place with another injury (groin). Their Week 3 availability is questionable across the board.
Both Kansas City running backs Damien Williams (knee) and LeSean McCoy (ankle) tallied injuries in KC’s win this week. The Chiefs do not believe McCoy’s injury is serious, but there isn’t an update on William’s status as of this writing. If either misses time, Darwin Thompson will likely play a larger role in the backfield.
Buffalo’s RB Devin Singletary left midway through the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury. He stayed on the sidelines with his helmet the rest of the quarter, suggesting that the injury might be minor. Singletary didn’t return to the game and we are awaiting an update. Fantasy owners experienced deja vu as Cardinal David Johnson left the game with a left wrist injury. Luckily, he returned shortly after and says he and the wrist are “good”.
Derrius Guice underwent surgery for his torn meniscus and Washington placed him on the injured reserve. He could return in eight weeks, but previous healthy-scratch Adrian Peterson takes over early-down work for the foreseeable future. After catching three for 49 yards, Tre’Quan Smith exited the Saints game with a leg injury (rolled up on). With the loss of Drew Brees, it might be difficult to trust any receiver outside of Michael Thomas, who Teddy B peppered with targets on Sunday.
Tight end Tyler Higbee left yesterday’s game with a lung/chest injury. He went to the hospital after spitting up blood, but it is unclear if he will miss any time.
Week 3 Waiver Wire Rankings
Green = Top Waiver Option (prioritize)
Red = Players to who are currently out/injured but returning, could represent an edge
Gold = Streaming Target (value for at least one week due to matchup, etc.)
Blue = Bench Stash (Potential Value if you have a bench spot available)
Purple = Deep League Stash (could develop value with key injuries or opportunity. Pick up and hold for now)
- Josh Allen vs CIN
- Matthew Stafford @ PHI
- Jimmy Garoppolo vs PIT
- Jameis Winston vs NYG
- Kirk Cousins vs OAK
- Mitch Trubisky at WSH
- Derek Carr @MIN
- Andy Dalton @ BUF
- Marcus Mariota @ JAX
- Mason Rudolph @ SF
- Jacoby Brissett vs ATL
- Teddy Bridgewater at SEA
- Gardner Minshew vs TEN
We’ve ranked QB Josh Allen as a high waiver priority add the last two weeks. The good news is that you might still have a shot at him, as he is only owned in 40% of leagues. Allen finished as Week 1’s #12 fantasy QB and Week 2 as the #8. This week, the Bills host the struggling Cincinnati Bengals. Cincinnati defense gave up five TDs and almost 500 passing yards so far this season to opposing QBs.
So far, the Bengals faced Russell Wilson and Jimmy Garoppolo who rushed for 16 yards between them. Josh Allen ran for 59 yards and two touchdowns in his first two games of the season. This only adds to Allen’s upside this week. Allen’s floor is high versus a non-intimidating Bengals defense. But, his rushing upside is an edge that many other QBs can’t offer. Though the Bills face tougher defenses in NE and TEN the next two weeks, after the bye, Allen faces Washington once and the tanking Miami Dolphins twice. Take advantage now.
This is all I’ll say about Matthew Stafford and Jimmy G, as we’ve written both of them up the last two weeks with Josh Allen. Consider their opponents. Both Pittsburgh AND Philadelphia allowed over 300 passing yards and three TDs to opposing QB in each of their first two games. The Steelers must travel to the west coast and are minus their starting QB. They JUST traded for Minkah Fitzpatrick, which could give their defense a boost. So, good to keep in mind regarding Jimmy.
That makes me lean more towards Stafford vs Philly. The Eagles just came off a difficult game and could be without their two starting WRs. They allowed 100+ yards and a TD to the WR1 of the opposing team both weeks. The defense will be on the field a good bit, wearing them down over time and making it easier for Stafford to take advantage. There will be running, but Stafford is still a high floor streaming option in Week 3.
I’m genuinely sorry if he rips our hearts out. But, I have to mention Jameis Winston as a streaming option versus the Giants. New York gave up the 2nd most fantasy points so far this season to opposing QBs and the most fantasy points to WRs. Keep in mind that Dak Prescott dropped 405 and 4 TDs on them in Week 1, so the numbers are skewed a bit. However, this is a softer matchup by far for Winston compared to the last two weeks.
Also, it should be noted that though the fantasy points only differed by three, Winston played MUCH BETTER in Week 2 than Week 1. He seemed somewhat conservative at first, but ended up with no INTs compared to three in game one. If he can find the middle ground and get his playmakers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin involved, he’ll be a fine streaming option in Week 3. The question is, can you stomach the risk of playing him after watching his floor?
He scares me too, but Mitch Trubisky faces a Washington team that gave up 582 passing yards and six TDs to QBs in Weeks 1-2. Now, I know that Mitch is no Carson Wentz or Dak Prescott. So, temper expectations. But it is a BIG downgrade from the Green Bay and Denver defensive units he saw so far. I think this week is his best shot to show what he can do this season, before facing Minnesota next week. Luckily, Chicago draws a dinged up Oakland secondary in Week 5 as well.
My “stashes” consist of all the back-up QBs that are now the starters. If you’re in a HUGE pinch or are in QB2/superflex leagues and lost Drew Brees, Big Ben, Sam Darnold, or Nick Foles, consider snagging these guys. Mason Rudolph did a decent job after Ben left the game on Sunday, so I’d stash him first. The Steelers play Cincinnati next week, so that’s a softer match up. I wasn’t impressed with Teddy Bridgewater, but am watching to see if he steps up this week. He faces a Seattle team that Rudolph was able to move the ball against in Week 2. I’ve liked Gardner Minshew’s style…and play. BUT, his schedule is pretty rough the next few weeks: TEN, DEN, and CAR.
- Jaylen Samuels
- Rashaad Penny
- Raheem Mostert
- Chris Thompson
- Carlos Hyde
- Frank Gore
- Justice Hill
- Justin Jackson
- Ito Smith
- TJ Yeldon
- Chase Edmonds
- Gio Bernard
- Rex Burkhead
- Alexander Mattison
- Gus Edwards
- Jeff Wilson
- Dion Lewis
- Benny Snell
- Jamaal Williams
- Damien Harris
- Ty Montgomery
- Dare Ogunbowale
- Darwin Thompson
- CJ Anderson
- Jordan Scarlett
James Conner’s knee injury is reported to be “not serious” and “manageable” but Jaylen Samuels needs to be more widely owned. There were talks in the preseason that the Steelers could use more of a committee approach and we saw that Week one, where Samuels saw just nine fewer snaps than Conner. After Conner exited Sunday’s game, Samuels saw 21 of 23 snaps. We’ve seen Samuels produce when given the chance, but we could also see more of Benny Snell. He ripped off a 23 yard run on his only touch last week. Samuels is clearly the guy to target, with Snell more of a deep league stash.
Rashaad Penny is a pretty simple one here: Penny plays on one of the run-heaviest teams in the league and Chris Carson can’t do all of it. In fact, Carson has a fumble in each of his first two games and had his fantasy success slightly propped up by his receiving usage. I don’t think Carson is at risk to completely lose his job as Seattle’s lead back, but it’s completely possible Penny closes the gap to make it more of a 1A/1B share.
While Penny probably isn’t available in the majority of your leagues, Raheem Mostert certainly is as his Yahoo ownership is at just 17%. Mostert got it done as both a runner and as a receiver, putting up 13-83 on the ground and 3-68-1 through the air. Matt Breida is the lead dog here, but Mostert is going to get touches with Tevin Coleman nursing a high ankle sprain.
Chris Thompson, while healthy, needs to be owned – particularly in PPR leagues. He currently leads Washington with 18 targets and will continue to be heavily involved as they play from behind. I wouldn’t go crazy spending all of my FAAB on Thompson, but he’s a solid flex play and has the ability to break a long one and win you a week.
Carlos Hyde and Frank Gore are two guys who just won’t go away. Hyde has actually looked serviceable and is out-touching Duke Johnson 31-19 and out-producing him with 175 yards to 121. Somehow, you could actually do worse than starting Hyde. Frank Gore, on the other hand, is looking at landing another lead back role with Devin Singletary dealing with a hamstring injury.
Gore was already dominating touches with Singletary in the picture, and now he just has to deal with TJ Yeldon. Yeldon was reportedly on the roster bubble this offseason and was practicing with the third-string. Yeldon offers some upside as a change of pace back, as Gore has only seen two targets out of the backfield.
Austin Ekeler may be getting all of the hype, but Justin Jackson has been holding his own in the Chargers backfield. Jackson’s 8.9 yards per rush attempt sit atop the NFL, and he has massive upside as an “If so-and-so goes down…” kind of play. At just 33% owned, Jackson is worth a look during your waiver run this week.
Speaking of “If so-and-so goes down…” plays, these guys need to be on your radars: Justice Hill, Ito Smith, Chase Edmonds, Gio Bernard, Alexander Mattison, and Rex Burkhead. We had scares this past week with Mark Ingram and David Johnson, while Dalvin Cook and Sony Michel don’t exactly have pristine injury records. We’ve seen Joe Mixon miss time both of his years in the pros and is already banged up just two weeks into the season. Some of these guys (Smith, Bernard, Burkhead) offer standalone value as well.
Looking a little further down the list, Ty Montgomery showed some burst in the Monday night game, and Le’Veon Bell has had his share of injuries. Let’s not forget that Montgomery was actually showing really well with the lead role in Green Bay.
The Darwin Thompson train is picking up some steam once again with injuries to both Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy. Neither seems to be too serious, but neither running back has looked amazing out there either. It’s quite possible Thompson starts getting more involved and chips away at both of their touch totals.
- Terry McLaurin
- DJ Chark Jr.
- DK Metcalf
- Demarcus Robinson
- Mecole Hardman
- Deebo Samuel
- Devin Smith
- Nelson Agholor
- Courtland Sutton
- Geronimo Allison
- Cole Beasley
- AJ Brown
- DeVante Parker
- Chris Conley
- Keke Coutee
- Albert Wilson
- Hunter Renfrow
- Trey Quinn
- Danny Amendola
- JJ Arcega-Whiteside
It’s time to feel OK about investing in the Washington Redskins. I know. But, Terry McLaurin needs to go over 60% owned this week. I understand the hesitancy about the offense and even this week’s opponent of course (Chicago). However, this guy is legit. He currently receives 20% of the overall target share and is second in targets to only Chris Thompson. In the red zone, McLaurin received 30% of the targets over the last two weeks. Sixteen targets total in two weeks–he’s involved. Chicago is a little tough this week but he gets juicy match ups versus NYG in Week 4 and MIA in Week 6.
As I write about yet another great add, it really hit me how deep of a wide receiver pool there is this season. DJ Chark Jr. finished #11 and #12 PPR fantasy WR in Weeks 1-2. He’s owned in 13% of yahoo leagues. Chark currently leads the team in targets and is Gardner Minshew’s preferred target (nine targets last week). This is likely due to chemistry developed over the summer when they practiced together. My only concern is his tough schedule over the next few weeks (TEN, DEN, CAR), but there’s no way he should be on waivers.
Second only to Tyler Lockett in targets on the Seattle Seahawks, DK Metcalf holds fantasy value in the coming weeks. Seattle faces New Orleans in Week 3. They just gave up over 200 yards receiving to the Rams WRs. Then, Metcalf draws Arizona in Week 4. His snap count percentage (89%) matched Tyler Lockett’s in Week 2, solidifying his presence on the field. Getting 6-7 targets a game from Russell Wilson and heading into those match ups, Metcalf is a great pick up.
Am I the only one that low key dislikes LeSean McCoy for the holding penalty that negated Mecole Hardman‘s SECOND touchdown? Even without that beautiful end zone catch, Hardman killed it. He caught four of six targets for 61 yards and a TD. Demarcus Robinson’s monster 6-172-2 performance looms large, but both players top the waiver rankings this week.
With Tyreek Hill out, Robinson saw a significant increase in snaps, going from 63% in Week 1 to a whopping 91% in Week 2. Though Hardman actually played around the same amount of snaps from week to week (78, 74%), he received six targets in Week 2 and showed incredible playmaking ability. Both Robinson and Hardman are considered must-adds in this high octane offense. I know all defenses won’t be a hurting Oakland secondary, but Patrick Mahomes takes care of business. Invest with confidence.
Though I’m pretty sad to see Michael Gallup’s 2019 momentum screech to an injury halt, Devin Smith is an exciting streaming option this week. Gallup will be out for 2-4 weeks with a torn meniscus, so Smith gets an opportunity to catch passes from the #2 overall fantasy QB. Head Coach Garrett confirmed that Smith’s involvement will increase. He caught 3/3 passes for 74 yards and a TD in Week 2. This week, the Cowboys travel to Miami to face one of the worst defenses in the league. Smith finished the #23 fantasy WR in PPR formats in Week 2 and is currently showing as 0% owned on Yahoo and ESPN. Yes, zero.
Since we don’t know the severity of either Alshon Jeffery (calf) or DeSean Jackson (groin)’s injuries, Nelson Agholor becomes a prime streaming option. I’m not saying you’re going to get another top six fantasy WR performance like Week 2, but he’s a speculative add at worst and a possible plug and play should either (or both) miss time. I like Agholor particularly this week vs Detroit. They struggled to contain fellow slot receiver Keenan Allen last week (8 catches for 98 yards), so should he get 6-8 targets, he could help owners limp through Week 3.
Hunter Renfrow is a guy I liked after watching Hard Knocks, so I was on the lookout for him in these opening weeks. No other Raider’s snap count increased as much as Hunter Renfrow’s in Week 2. According to FootballyGuys.com, it increased from 29% in Week 1 to 75% in Week 2. Now, the game script was in favor of passing and Derek Carr needed his security-blankets in slot receiver Renfrow and TE Darren Waller. So, we have to take that into account, but they also might be passing a lot this season.
Renfrow saw eight targets in Week 2 and caught four of them for 30 yards. Not huge numbers. But, this is why he’s a stash. He could become a very integral part of the offense especially if Carr needs quick passes for intermediate distance. The Raiders face Minnesota this week. Last week, they gave up 25 yards and a TD to Geronimo Allison (slot) and in Week 1, gave up five catches for 57 yards to Mohamed Sanu (slot). So, could have streaming value sooner rather than later in deeper leagues.
- Vernon Davis
- Trey Burton
- Chris Herndon
- Demetrius Harris
- Greg Olsen
- Noah Fant
- Will Dissly
- Kyle Rudolph
- Jason Witten
- Tyler Kroft
The tight end position in general is pretty crappy, and this waiver list doesn’t do anything to help that.
Greg Olsen is still getting looks in Carolina, even as he plays at less than 100%. With Cam Newton struggling to throw the ball, I wouldn’t be surprised to see target-friendly Olsen more involved going forward.
Noah Fant has seen four targets in each of the first two games. Frankly, that’s about the best we can hope for while looking for streaming options, and Fant certainly has the athleticism to break one.
The tight end position is so bad, you may want to consider stashing Chris Herndon ahead of his suspension being lifted. He’ll be available to return after week four, so just hold your nose and try to make it out alive until then.
Anthony Miller, Donte Moncrief, Dante Pettis
Thank you for joining us for the TFA #WaiverWireFire. We hope our Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Rankings help you start the fantasy football season successfully. Check back weekly for our waiver rankings and follow Kevin at @FantasyWrath13 and Jen at @TheOnlyJenSmith! The Fantasy Authority will have great DFS and redraft articles all season long, so check out our content! Don’t forget about our free slack community where you can interact with TFA writers and get advice and banter live!