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Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Pickups for Week 3

Heath explores the waiver wire.

Dallas Cowboys v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

When I’m thinking of who to add, I’m trying to consider the long-term. What is a player’s range of outcomes? What is realistic or probable? I’d rather add guys that have a shot to help me out in the short-term AND potentially in the long-term (i.e. your so-called “league-winning” plays). So here’s who I am targeting this week in fantasy football.

QUARTERBACK

Justin Fields, CHI (51% rostered) and Daniel Jones, NYG (19%)

Fields is the guy to add this week if he’s available. Andy Dalton (left knee) does NOT have a torn ACL from what the early tests show, but we’ve see this story unfold far too many times to ignore the tea leaves. Fields should be the man in Chicago sooner rather than later, and this knee injury could be the only opening we need. If Fields does take umm, the field, he’s a top 12 option in Week 3 against the Browns.

Daniel Jones is a superb consolation if you can’t add Fields—or if you need a more guaranteed source of points since we don’t yet know if Fields will start in Week 3. The Giants have lost their first two games, but wins and losses don’t matter in fantasy football. Jones is up to 122 yards rushing (and two rushing scores) in addition to the damage he has done via the air. On tap are the woeful Atlanta Falcons, too.

RUNNING BACK

Tony Pollard, DAL (54% rostered) and Cordarrelle Patterson, ATL (15%)

Pollard is legitimately pushing Ezekiel Elliott in Dallas. He now has a career 5.0 Y/A mark, compared to Zeke’s career 4.5 Y/A. And yes, Pollard has been the change of pace guy—i.e. his efficiency would probably take a hit with more volume—but at what point do we start considering his recent production? Pollard outgained Zeke in 2020 (4.3 Y/A to 4.0 Y/A) and was better as a receiver (6.9 Y/R to 6.5 Y/R). In Week 2, Pollard managed 100+ rushing yards and a score on only 13 carries, while Zeke had 16 carries. Yes, that’s only one game. But the larger body of work tells us that Dallas has TWO quality running backs. Sans the presence of Michael Gallup and the fact that Blake Jarwin is still progressing from an ACL tear, AND that Dak is recovering from a gruesome leg injury...it wouldn’t surprise me a bit to see Dallas lean more into a balanced rushing attack, making Pollard worthy of a flex spot at the least. And if something ever happens to Zeke, you’ve got that coveted “league-winning” upside.

Patterson is WR/RB eligible on Yahoo, which is super-fun. He’s also offering flex value right now, despite splitting time with Mike Davis. As a do-it-all option for a struggling Atlanta team that should need to pass plenty to keep up each week, I can easily talk myself into this continuing moving forward. He’s got 21 touches (14 carries, 7 receptions) in two games, as well a pair of scores. I’ll bite.

WIDE RECEIVER

Darnell Mooney, CHI (45% rostered) and Rondale Moore, ARI (34%)

In accordance with adding QB Justin Fields, I’m stashing Mooney wherever I can. He saw a healthy eight targets in Week 2 despite his team only airing the ball out 24 times. This followed seven targets in Week 1. He hasn’t amassed a ton of yardage or a score yet, but if I’m expecting an infusion of talent at the QB position and he’s already getting volume, I’m making the add right now before my leaguemates do.

If you need help for this week, though, Moore is the play. He only played 46% of snaps in Week 2, but he caught 7-of-8 balls for 114 yards and a score (after catching 4-of-5 for 68 yards in Week 1). I was silly enough to hope for an A.J. Green resurgence in Arizona this year. But the current numbers/performance point to Moore continuing to take over instead. Yes, Green wiggled free for a score this weekend, but that was against CB Bashaud Breeland, who hasn’t been good. Time will tell if that was matchup-oriented or the beginning of a Green resurgence. But either way, there’s enough fantasy goodness to go around here. Moore can have value regardless of Green’s status, and no matter what I would expect Moore’s presence on the field to continue to rise from this point onward.

TIGHT END

Austin Hooper, CLE (48% rostered) and Jared Cook, LAC (43%)

Week 2 was a stark reminder that tight ends are a crapshoot, if you were leaning into the likes of Cole Kmet (1 catch for 1 yard) or Juwan Johnson (1 catch for 23 yards) after breakout Week 1 performances. I’m intrigued by Austin Hooper (and even David Njoku as a low-end TE2) in Cleveland due to a lack of health by OBJ and Jarvis Landry. OBJ could be back for this week, but no matter what I think you have to consider Hooper as a stronger TE2 option than normal.

Jared Cook appears to have more long-term value than Hooper, as the primary tight end attached to Justin Herbert. He hasn’t done much with 13 targets through two weeks, but averaging 6-7 targets each week is pretty solid given the quality of target he’ll be drawing from Herbert. I think he’s safer than guys who are being rostered more, like Gerald Everett and Hunter Henry.

Who are YOU adding in fantasy football this week, ladies and gents?