Key NFL Injuries and Waiver Wire Week 3 Pickups
This week’s fantasy football waiver wire column honors the many injured players this weekend. It’s a sad day when so many great players have lasting injuries. Many silent prayers went up to ensure the safety of players. Besides the countless injuries to occur, the weekend was a highflying shootout that produced fantasy players lots of points. Let’s continue the trend by looking at the pickup of the week.
*All players in this article are available in over 50% of ESPN leagues.
WAIVER WIRE: QUARTERBACKS
Key Injuries: Jimmy Garoppolo (High Right Angle Sprain), Tyrod Taylor (Chest Issues), Drew Lock (Right Shoulder),
Gardner Minshew | Jacksonville Jaguars | Rostered 19.3%
After the performance from week 1, I expected a larger than 5 percent increase. Now after a near 30-point total (6 pt passing TD) game in week 2, I hope the percentage reflects his worth. For the third time his young career, Gardner Minshew earned over 300 yards from scrimmage and has now totaled 3 touchdowns in each game this season. There are those who believe the Jaguars will be selecting a top QB in next year’s draft, Gardner Minshew is not one of them. The Jaguars face off against the measly Miami defense in week 3, who has allowed an average of 30.09 fantasy points to quarterbacks (2nd in points against QBs). I implore you to pick him up.
Ryan Tannehill | Tennesse Titans | Rostered 34.4%
I don’t trust a quarterback in a system that actively takes the ball from the QB position. They would win only by rushing if it were possible. With that disclaimer set, Ryan Tannehill looks good. He gained four touchdowns on 239 yards that led to a victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, who was 10th in points against QBs. Now Tannehill faces Minnesota (11th in points against QBS) who allowed 28 points by the Colts. I expect Tannehill to be more efficient than Phillip Rivers and continue the attack in week 3.
Mitch Trubisky | Chicago Bears | Rostered 10.8%
Two weeks ago, Mitch Trubisky started the season with 242 yards and 3 touchdowns against the Detriot Lions. This upcoming week he faces the Atlanta Falcons who have given up an average of 35.79 fantasy points to quarterbacks. Granted, those games became shootouts against Dak Prescott and Russel Wilson, but I Matt Ryan to score big early, forcing a come from behind passing attack. You could do worse this week.
WAIVER WIRE: RUNNINGBACKS
Key Injuries: Saquon Barkley (Torn ACL), Christian McCaffery (Ankle; 4-6 weeks), Raheem Mostert (Knee), Tevin Coleman (Knee), James White (Bereavement), and Cam Akers (Ribs)
Mike Davis | Carolina Panthers | Rostered 0.8%
Mike Davis should handle the running back duties as Christian McCaffery is expected to miss 4 to 6 weeks with a high ankle sprain. Immediately sliding in, Davis caught all 8 targets for 74 yards this last week. Look for him to be more involved in the run game in week 3.
Devonta Freeman | Free-Agent | Rostered 7.9%
If you’re like me, you’ve been waiting on Freeman to sign somewhere…anywhere! It looks like his moment may come. Saquon leaves a huge hole to fill for the Giants, and reports show Freeman signing with the Giants Monday. Be on the lookout for more news. He should slide in immediately as a low-end RB2.
Jerrick McKinnon | San Fransico 49ers | Rostered 19.1%
In 2019, the 49ers ran the ball more times than any other than the Ravens. This year the 49ers have zero pass-catchers and their top two running backs, Mostert and Coleman, are out with injuries. I expect Jerrick Mckinnon to slide right in and perform. The 49ers take on the New York Giants, which just gave up 82 rushing yards, 45 receiving yards, and a touchdown to David Montgomery. Mckinnon is a must-start in Week 3.
WAIVER WIRE: WIDE-RECEIVERS
Key Injuries: Michael Thomas (high ankle – week to week), Davante Adams (Hamstring), Courtland Sutton (ACL), Parris Campbell (PCL), Sterling Shepard (Toe), AJ Brown (knee), Sammy Watkins (Concussion) and DeVante Parker (Hamstring – week to week)
Allen Lazard | Green Bay Packers | Rostered 34.7%
Aaron Rodgers is on a mission to prove to the front office that they messed up by drafting Jordan Love. Heavily involved weeks one and two, Lazard and MVS will take advantage if Adams misses time. Of the two players, I prefer Lazard, but either at the end of your bench is a good idea.
Mecole Hardman | Kansas City Chiefs | Rostered 42.2%
It’s a sad day when you talk up a player only to see him out the next week. The hope of course is he returns as healthy as ever, but since this is fantasy football, we’ll discuss the next man up. Mecole Hardman expects to handle the increased load left by Sammy Watkins. Any time you can get your hands on a talented player that plays with Mahomes, it’s a good idea.
WAIVER WIRE: TIGHT ENDS
Key Injuries: George Kittle (Knee – Day to Day), Blake Jarwin (ACL Rupture – Out for Year), Dawson Knox (Concussion)
Jonnu Smith | Tennesse Titans | Rostered 40.3%
The connection between Jonnu Smith and Ryan Tannehill is obvious. Smith is perfect for what the Titans want to do on offense, and he has the skill set to bust out huge plays. Smith caught a 63-yard pass early in the game and followed it up later two short receptions for touchdowns.
Mike Gesicki | Miami Dolphins | Rostered 47.7%
Gesicki figures to be an up and down streamer this year, but if last week proved anything, it’s that he has the talent to shine. Next week’s matchup against the Jaguars is one I’m looking to start him in, but week’s four (Seattle) and five (San Francisco) may not prove to be as fruitful. If you’re looking for a streamer for this week, it’s Mike Gesicki.
Jordan Reed | San Francisco 49ers | Rostered 5.6%
The combination of receiver depth and coaching scheme creates a beautiful habitat for Tight Ends in San Francisco. Reed garnered 7-of-8 targets for 50 yards and fought his way into the end zone twice. For as long as Kittle sits out, rest assured using Jordan Reed as a Tight End streamer.
Dalton Shultz | Dallas Cowboys | Rostered 1%
The passing attack for the Dallas Cowboys is unreal. Dak Prescott must finish as a top 3 quarterback or he is doing something wrong. The Cowboys have an embarrassment of riches, and it seems like Dalton Shultz could be one of them. It is only one week, but 9 catches for 88 yards and a touchdown is nothing to overlook.
LAST THOUGHTS ON THE WAIVER WIRE
Don’t overreact because of injuries. Your season is not over even if your star goes down. Don’t bail because of a bump in the road. Persevere through hardship and get better. Try new strategies. This is the time to be bold.
Best of luck to you. Come back next week for week 4 waiver wire suggestions. Lastly, check out our Start or Sit column for the week.
Follow Jeff Roberts on Twitter @FantasyRoberts for more.