Fantasy options to target on the waiver wire for Week 3

Looking for players to add this week? Jeff Ratcliffe has ideas no matter the position or league size.

| 9 months ago
(Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

(Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Fantasy options to target on the waiver wire for Week 3

The injury bug bit hard in Week 2, with several big name players exiting Sunday’s contests. It appears most of them avoided major injury, but fantasy owners lost Danny Woodhead for the season and will be without Adrian Peterson for an unknown amount of time.

Fortunately, there’s always opportunity on the waiver wire. We dig deep every week in our waiver wire advice. Below you’ll see recommendations for shallow, regular and deep leagues. Players are listed in order of priority and the suggested auction budget percentage is in parenthesis. Keep in mind that some leagues may be more aggressive or conservative in terms of bidding, so know your league tendencies. Regardless of the size of your league, it’s suggested that you work your way down the list and prioritize the top players in your waiver claims for this week. Percentages after names indicate amount of a free-agent budget I’d recommend spending.

Shallow leagues (8-10 teams)


1. Ryan Tannehill, Miami (5%) — There’s really only one quarterback who stands out as a possible add in shallow formats this week. Tannehill got off to an ugly start in Week 2, but ended up with a garbage-time-padded line of 389 yards and two scores. With DeVante Parker emerging, Tannehill has QB1 appeal, especially this week against the Browns.

Running back

1. Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota (30%) — Adrian Peterson tore his meniscus in Week 2, which vaults McKinnon into the lead back role. He has loads of upside, but how long he’ll be the starter is still up in the air, as Peterson’s timetable remains unclear. Either way, McKinnon makes for a fringe RB1 play as a starter. He’s one of the top adds of the week, and is a must-own in all formats.

2. Theo Riddick, Detroit (20%) — There’s a good chance he’s already owned, but Riddick is a priority pick up this week with Ameer Abdullah dealing with a foot injury. The Lions gave Riddick 11 carries in Week 2 to go along with four catches. His three-down ability in a potent offense gives Riddick RB2 fantasy appeal if Abdullah misses time.

3. Charles Sims, Tampa Bay (15%) — Here’s another injury situation that could have a major impact on the fantasy landscape. Bucs RB Doug Martin is dealing with a hamstring injury coming out of Sunday’s contest. While it isn’t as major as Peterson’s injury, Martin has the potential to miss time. That being said, it’s a tough matchup this week against the Rams, and there’s no guarantee Sims gets the bulk of the early-down work.

Wide receiver

1. DeVante Parker, Miami (35%) — Slowed by a preseason hamstring injury that cause him to miss Week 1, Parker exploded on Sunday with eight catches on 12 targets for 106 yards. He’s clearly moved past Kenny Stills on the target pecking order. He should be considered a high-ceiling WR3 going forward.

2. Tyrell Williams, San Diego (25%) — Travis Benjamin is likely to be owned in your league, but he gets priority over Williams if he isn’t. However, Williams looks to be cemented as the No. 2 wide receiver in San Diego after his strong Week 2 performance where he flashed his speed in a weaving catch-and-run touchdown. Williams is on the WR3 radar and gets a strong matchup this week.

3. Quincy Enunwa, NY Jets (15%) — Essentially the Jets’ tight end, Enunwa has been impressive to start the season. He’s behind Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall, but there’s still enough volume in the Jets’ offense to give Enunwa WR3 appeal in PPR formats.

Tight end

1. Dennis Pitta, Baltimore (20%) — Making an Ali-like comeback, Pitta exploded for 102 yards on nine catches in Week 2. He was a TE1 many moons ago, and has reemerged as a strong fantasy option this season. Consider him a high-floor TE1 going forward.

2. Martellus Bennett, New England (20%) — If he was dropped, Bennett is a priority add this week following a strong outing against the Dolphins where he put up 114 yards and a score. Jacoby Brissett under center hurts his value this week, but Bennett will retain strong value especially given Rob Gronkowski’s recent injury woes.

Regular leagues (12 teams)


1. Dak Prescott, Dallas (3%) — He has yet to throw a passing touchdown this season, but Prescott looked good and did find the end zone as a runner in Week 2. He’s a strong play this week against the Bears.

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| Director of Fantasy

Jeff Ratcliffe is the Director of Fantasy at Pro Football Focus. He produces all of our projections and is 2016's second-most-accurate ranker in the fantasy industry. Jeff also is the host of our show on SiriusXM fantasy sports radio and is one of the main hosts of our Fantasy Slant podcast.

  • Udjet

    Sims doesn’t play the Panthers this week, he plays the Rams. Mckinnon plays the Panthers.

  • evo34

    Very thorough list…much appreciated. One quibble: Burning 25% of FAAB on a guy “on the WR3 radar” [T. Williams] in an 8-10 team league seems rather excessive to me. He should be obtainable for far less — possibly even a min. bid in some leagues.

    Also, do you update this list later in the week (when more injury info. is known)?


    • Jeff Ratcliffe

      Your FAAB money will never be worth more than it is today. Therefore, it makes sense to spend up on guys like Williams. FAAB is for all leagues, but players are listed on where they’re likely to be available. Also, I say in the second paragraph to know your league bidding tendencies.

      • evo34

        Can’t really agree with FAAB money peaking in value in week 3. Season-ending RB injury rates are too high.

        • Natascot

          ^ This generally couldn’t be more true. FAAB money is much more valuable at end-of-season when you have money remaining to spend on the replacement RB who replaces a stud RB (think Rawls last year) while your opponents wasted all their FAAB on WRs too early in the year.

          However, in this instance Ratcliffe is correct. With the injuries to Keenan and Woodhead, Ty Williams is worth at least 25% of your FAAB. He will be a very high target WR the rest of the season.

          Just my $.02

        • Jeff Ratcliffe

          Not in the business of predicting injuries. Instead this is just a matter of what is most cost effective in terms of FAAB. The math is fairly simple, actually. If you spend a dollar and get 14 weeks out of a player, you get more bang for your buck than spending a dollar and getting 2 weeks out of a player at the end of the season. In the first example you’re spending 7 cents per week. In the second, your spending 50 cents per week.

          • evo34

            Injuries decide fantasy football championships every year, so…if you are in the business of helping people win (which I think you are), understanding the typical frequency and impact of injuries is critical.

            Missing from your math above is opportunity cost. Very few teams win it all as a result of the extra ~0.7 ppg they accrue via a WR3 acquisition (even if he becomes WR2 caliber), whereas quite a few teams do so because they have the most money in the bank when a RB1 becomes avail. mid-season. Doesn’t mean you should save all your money for that event, but it does mean marginal starters prob. aren’t worth your money unless you are truly desperate at the position and/or in a very deep league.

          • Jeff Ratcliffe

            Never said injuries don’t impact fantasy. The point is that injuries are extremely difficult to predict. Instead, we tend to focus on statistical production on the field.

            Also, would not recommend spending big FAAB bucks on low-end starters. Will continue to bang the drum for stockpiling high ceiling talent. This week, Parker, McKinnon, and Williams really fit that profile.

          • Natascot

            I think you both make good points, but evo is coming from the perspective that the regular season is just a prelude. If you make the playoffs only to lose in those playoffs to a team that saved their FAAB and used it on a stud late in the season (which happens almost every year, btw), then what good is it to spend big early in the season?

            I still think Tyrell Williams is worth the $ tho.

          • evo34

            You are in the business of predicting fantasy outcomes. Injuries have a huge impact on fantasy outcomes. Hence, like it or not, you are in the business of predicting injury rates and impacts.


    Drop Fleener for Pitta? Fleener is getting targets but doing absolutely nothing with them. Not sure what to do with him but he’s been an absolute hole in my lineup and its pretty frustrating.

    • Jeff Ratcliffe

      Wouldn’t drop Fleener given his target share, but would add Pitta.

  • Howard

    Jeff, what percent of FAAB would you spend on Howard in 12-team league? I’m assuming he missed the list because he played last night.

    • Jeff Ratcliffe

      Correct. I have him in the Booker range at about 5%.

  • JimmyJohns

    Hey Jeff, thanks for the article. I get that Agholor missed because of the game last night, but where would he slot in here. Thanks!

    • Jeff Ratcliffe

      Right in the Cruz range. Has a higher ceiling than Cruz, but is still a bit rough around the edges. Arrow definitely pointing up, though.

  • Joe

    Dwayne Washington or Jordan Howard? Or grab them both and drop Duke Johnson?

    • Jeff Ratcliffe

      Here’s my order – Johnson > Washington > Howard

      • Joe

        Thanks Jeff…I should have specified, but we get 1 point per carry and reception. Does that change your order?

    • Brooklyn Train

      I just dropped Duke Johnson and grabbed Howard. Duke can’t pass block and Crowell is playing well which limits Duke’s potential. It’s only a matter of time before Howard becomes a starting 3 down back. I’m betting sooner rather than later because of Langford’s terrible play. Bottom line is that Howard is the best stash in the league dismissing injuries.

  • Brady

    Hey Jeff – Thanks for the advice. Think you can help with this one? 16 person auction league, most teams carry two QB’s. My QB1 is Dak….and currently have Wentz as by backup. Last week someone dropped Tyrod Taylor and he is sitting on waivers. Do i drop Went and try to win a bid on Tyrod or do I stay with Wentz?? Thanks in advance!

    • Jeff Ratcliffe

      Taylor is really volatile right now, but you certainly do need some help at QB. I’m not crazy about picking up Taylor, and given the matchup, I’d start Prescott this week.

  • Chris

    Wilson or Tannehill for week 3 ?

  • Jimmy

    Who do I start at RB? 1 spot between McKinnon, Christine Michael, and Gio Bernard.

  • Gcd

    Have Rashad Jennings in two std leagues and considering dropping in both to pick up Kenneth Dixon. Yay or Nay?

    Current backs – league 1. Elliott, Murray, ware, d Washington (picked up to replace a Abdullah in both leagues), rashad Jennings

    League 2. McCoy, Crowell, Rawls, booker d Washington, rashad Jennings