Fantasy Waiver Wire Week 3: Handcuffs for Darrell Henderson, Dalvin Cook among top free agent pickups

Fantasy Waiver Wire Week 3: Handcuffs for Darrell Henderson, Dalvin Cook among top free agent pickups

You know it’s a boring pickup period when handcuff RBs who are still handcuffs (Tony Pollard, Cordarrelle Patterson) and mid-tier QBs (Derek Carr, Justin Fields, Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Darnold) are the most exciting names, but that’s what we’re working with for the top Week 3 fantasy waiver wire pickups and free agent adds. Sure, there are some legit WR breakouts (Rondale MooreSterling ShepardHenry Ruggs IIIQuintez Cephus) and potential new starting backs (Sony MichelAlexander Mattison), but for the most part, we’re dealing with free agents to target after waivers clear around 4-5 a.m. ET on Wednesday mornings in ESPN and Yahoo leagues.

These players and more populate our full free agent list. Again, it’s not the most exciting week, but there are some interesting bench pieces who can give you depth and possibly break out as the season goes on. We even have a few Week 3-specific streamers, including more than initially anticipated at QB and D/ST. There’s only one TE, but given the sorry state of that position this year, that’s not a surprise. You can find the streamer suggestions at the end of the list. Consult our Week 3 kicker rankings if you need a new kicker or just want to waste this precious gift called life by reading about fantasy kickers.

MORE WEEK 3: Top waiver pickups | Buy-low, sell-high

Unless we get some more injury information by Wednesday night, it doesn’t look like any of these players are worth high waiver claims. You can make a case for Fields if your QB situation is lacking, and Mattison would probably be worth the plunge if Dalvin Cook was expected to be out (he isn’t). Pollard and Patterson look good, but neither gets a full complement of carries, so they really only have so much value. Moore or Shepard might have the most overall upside, so if your WR situation is a mess, you can take a shot on them, but both are on teams with a lot of viable pass-catchers.

Ultimately, this looks like a week to sit out waivers if you have a high claim. Instead, try to grab some free agents. It’s still early enough that you should move up the waiver order relatively quickly if you use your claim now.

WEEK 3 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Top fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 3

Unless otherwise noted, only players owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues considered.

Sony Michel, RB, Rams. Darrell Henderson exited Week 2 because of a rib injury, and while the Rams are optimistic he can play against the Bucs in Week 3, it’s far from a lock. Michel took over as L.A.’s closer in Week 2 after Henderson got hurt, rushing 10 times for 46 yards. If Henderson can’t go next Sunday, Michel would be in line for 15-plus carries. That might not result in much against Tampa’s fierce run defense, but it at least puts Michel in play as a volume-based flex in standard leagues. Given Henderson’s injury history, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Michel had more value down the road.  

Alexander Mattison, RB, Vikings. Dalvin Cook had to be tended to on the field on more than one occasion last week, and with the Vikings saying after the game that their star RB has a “little ankle sprain,” it’s entirely possible Cook will be “questionable” leading into this week’s game against Seattle. If he’s out, Mattison would immediately have RB2 value. Even if Cook plays this week, his Week 2 issues serve as a reminder that Mattison should be owned in all formats. Cook missing a game seems more like a matter of “when,” not “if.”

WEEK 3 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Quintez Cephus, WR, Lions. With Tyrell Williams (concussion) out, Cephus operated as the Lions top wide receiver on Monday night, hauling in four-of-seven targets for 63 yards and a TD. He’s now scored and had at least six targets in both games this year. After TE T.J. Hockenson, the Lions have no defined pecking order at WR, so Cephus is as good of a candidate as anyone to be the top guy. If he is, he’ll have a decent amount of flex value given the deficits the Lions will likely be facing this year. He’s worth adding as a bench piece, as the Lions should be throwing a lot next week against the Ravens, too.

MORE WEEK 3: Top waiver pickups | Buy-low, sell-high

Rondale Moore, WR, Cardinals. Moore saw a team-high eight targets for 114 yards and a TD in Week 2, and it feels like the talented rookie is only scratching the surface. He’ll be a constant injury worry — and the Cardinals have a lot of mouths to feed — but he’s as explosive as anyone on the field. He can be started with confidence next week against the lowly Jaguars. 

Derek Carr, QB, Raiders. Carr might be the NFL MVP after two weeks after putting up back-to-back 300-yard performances against the Ravens and Steelers. Yes, the Ravens and Steelers. He’s dealing with a sore ankle that could have him “questionable” for Sunday’s game against Miami, but we expect him to be out there. If he is, he’ll have QB1 upside, and if he delivers another good game, it will be tough to keep him out of fantasy lineups.

For more waiver/free agent suggestions, including breakout RBs, such as Tony Pollard and Cordarrelle Patterson, and WRs, such as Sterling Shepard and Henry Ruggs III, check out our full Week 3 list.





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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.