Whole Nine Sports

Fantasy Waiver Wire Pickups – Week 3

Photo by: Reinhold Matay
AJ Audet
Follow AJ @AJAudet80
Follow Whole Nine Sports @WholeNineSports

There is nothing that can be said for Week 2 that will make sense of the amount of injuries that took place in one singular day. We saw a few of the bigger names in fantasy come off the field with no return date in sight, and that is not easy for anyone. As usual, my goal is to find you some studs on the waiver wire that will be plug and play options for any of your roster needs for week 3. Let’s do a brief review of our underwhelming Week 2 selections:

Gardner Minshew: 23.46

Nyheim Hines: 1.4

Kerryon Johnson DROP: 9.2

Scotty Miller: 3.2

Christian Kirk DROP: 8.0

Dallas Goedert: 7.0

Browns Defense: 3.0

Honestly, not the best week of selections. Gardner Minshew lived up to my projections, and he’s about to face four easy weeks of upcoming games, so continue to hold him moving forward. Goedert pulled in an average performance; still nothing to write home about, but his long-term potential is off the charts.  As for the rest, not great offensive showings and their lack of offensive targets lead to lower than projected scores. As for the Browns defense, I’m sorry, that was just sad, I did you dirty.

RULES: These picks will be for players that are UNDER 40% rostered (ESPN Rankings) in standard leagues. These selections will not only be starting caliber players but will also provide bench depth for the coming weeks. Reminder, these players will not always be for the respective week, we plan to look ahead a bit to beat the mass pickup as the player gains notoriety or favorable matchup. 

Photo by: Todd Olszewski

Quarterback: Ryan Tannehill- Tennessee
Titans (34.5% Rostered)

Ever since leaving Miami, Tannehill has been a completely different player. Tannehill had a dominant 2019 season once he took over helm in relief of Marcus Mariota. Tannehill ended the season with 2,472 yards, 22 touchdowns, and a completion percentage of 70.3% in only 12 games. He has started the 2020 season with the same momentum and looks as if he has the potential to have a career season. In Week 2, Tannehill went 18/24 for 239 yards and 4 touchdowns, which in most scoring formats equates to around 37 fantasy points. Through only two games, Tannehill is averaging 31 fantasy points per game and plays the Minnesota defense, which has been a sieve this season. Tannehill has remained constant in all starts since joining the Titans (Top 3 QB in 2019) and look for the play caller to remain the same this season. He has some good matchups in the docket playing Minnesota, Pittsburgh and Houston in the coming weeks.  

Photo by: Jason Behnken

Running Back: Mike Davis- Carolina
Panthers (0.8% Rostered)

This is a good news/bad news situation for the Carolina Panthers. Christian McCaffrey will be out somewhere between 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain, but McCaffrey will ONLY be out 4-6 weeks, which fares much better than another top 3 RB in Week 2. Coming into the season, Matt Rhule was raving over Mike Davis, referring to him as an explosive, dynamic back. Well, looks like we will finally see if that was the truth. With McCaffrey down 4-6 weeks, Davis will be the incumbent RB1 in a barren Panthers backfield. Moving forward, or until McCaffrey returns at least, Mike Davis will be a solid PPR option that can ATTEMPT to fill the void where McCaffrey owners will be hurting. Carolina has a somewhat difficult schedule moving forward facing a budding Cardinals defense and the unpredictable Falcons, but Davis will be force fed in a mobile offense, so expect some production coming his way.

Photo by: Vincent Carchietta

Running Back: Jerick McKinnon- San Francisco
49ers (19.1% Rostered)

Week 2 was riddled with injuries across the NFL, but I don’t think any organization was hit harder than the 49ers. Just on the offensive side of the ball, Mostert (MCL), Coleman (Knee), Garoppolo (Ankle), Kittle (MCL) and Deebo (Foot) are all either out or highly unlikely against a porous Giants defense in Week 3. With the threat of Garoppolo missing Week 3, Nick Mullens would take over, with little to no receiving options. In the first two weeks of the season, even with a somewhat healthy running game, McKinnon is still averaging 13 fantasy points as a solid PPR option. People seem to forget how explosive McKinnon was before missing two straight seasons with an ACL injury and a host of other issues in that same knee. The 49ers have a solid OLine that will be creating monster holes for (enter running back name here) which by default looks like it will be McKinnon. A favorable schedule will fare in his favor, so I expect a solid showing from the veteran back.

Photo by: Melissa Joice

Wide Receiver: Russell Gage- Atlanta
Falcons (27.8% Rostered)

All Falcons (choking) jokes aside, they have a solid vertical offense that Matt Ryan has been able to utilize to exploit opponents’ weaknesses. Julio has been dealing with a hamstring injury, which will leave Calvin Ridley in double coverage; thus, Gage will be a decent offensive option in the coming weeks (if Julio is in fact out). Through two games, with a healthy offense, Gage has seen 15/21 for 160 yards and 1 touchdown while being on the field for 76.5% of offensive snaps. Matt Ryan has been looking solid this year, and in a pass happy offense, with an average run game, the wide outs will see plenty of production. Gage is a solid flex play with a moderate floor, but his value is increased if Julio is in fact out due to his hamstring. If you have a vacant bench spot, consider grabbing Gage as an insurance policy for any of the offensive weapons in Atlanta.

Photo by: Mike DiNovo

Wide Receiver DROP: Anthony Miller- Chicago
Bears (48.2% Rostered)

I’m perplexed by the Chicago Bears offense; they have enough tight ends on the roster to form a small army, a stud wide receiver, and two running backs that are decent in the passing game. I think Matt Nagy forgets that you can only have 11 players on offense at a time, and some of them have to be lineman… With the number of offensive pieces in Chicago, it seems as if Miller is the odd man out. Miller has only seen 9 targets for 4 receptions and 76 yards on the season (all in Week 1). He is only seeing 41% of the offensive snaps, and has a lower snap percentage than that of Darnell Mooney and Javon Wims… In an offense with so many pass catching options, it seems as if Miller’s targets are going to be minimal. I expect the Bears offense to be a roller coaster of highs and lows this season, and I expect Miller to produce in similar fashion. While he may have some targets and production in him this year, he is all too volatile to keep on a fantasy bench where points are not promised.

Photo by: Kim Klement

Tight End DROP: Rob Gronkowski-
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (91.4% Rostered)

I am going to be a VERY unpopular man for this one, but the writing is on the wall for Gronk. Although when in New England, Gronk was a favorite of Brady’s, it has not translated well for the newcomer in Tampa Bay. After retiring before the 2019 season, and spending a year on beaches, in his own TV game show series, and in the WWE ring, Gronk has entered the 2020 season as the odd Tight End out in Tampa Bay. OJ Howard has been the clear TE one for Brady’s offense, and it has shown with Gronk having 4 targets in 2 games for only 2 receptions and 11 yards. OJ Howard has run 20% less offensive snaps than Gronkowski in the 2020 campaign, and has double the targets and catches… There are too many offensive weapons in Tampa Bay, and as good as Brady is, it is impossible for every weapon to be as relevant as the next. Expect OJ Howard to remain the TE1 throughout the season, and for Gronk to be borderline irrelevant like he has been through 2 weeks so far.

Photo by: Kyusung Gong

Streaming Defense of The Week: Los Angeles
Chargers (25.7% Rostered) vs. Carolina Panthers

The L.A. Chargers have had two polar opposite showings this year, but luckily the good game was against a bad offense, and vice versa. Going into Week 3 where they play the Carolina Panthers, who are missing a very important piece of their offense (CMC), L.A. will be a solid play for the potential of big points. Carolina will take sometimes to get rolling as they are going to be rebuilding their offense, so expect a strong Chargers D to capitalize on a weak offensive line and an offense that has troubles getting off the ground. With an OLine that ranks in the bottom 10 in the NFL, who has given up 6 sacks in the last two weeks, expect Bosa, Joseph, and Ingram to capitalize on their opportunities.

Let me know your thoughts! Reach out on twitter at @AJAudet80 for discussion on this week’s selections. Any questions on your fantasy lineups, trades, or additional waivers pickups, hit me on twitter for advice! I look forward to hearing from you.