Early season waiver wire pickups are extremely important in any fantasy football season, but with all of the injuries that swept throughout the league this weekend, I am sure that many of you are in dire need of players, especially if you picked somebody like Saquon Barkley with your second overall pick (yes, I did that).
But as you look over the players available on waivers, how do you pick the player that is going to help your team forget about that player that is out for the year? There is a reason that certain players are back-ups, so how can you tell which player just needed a shot to show his worth?
Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith, but we will look over the top waiver wire pickups for week 3.
Justin Herbert – Los Angeles Chargers
Herbert got his first taste of NFL action on Sunday when Tyrod Taylor went down with a chest injury suffered during pregame warm-ups. Going against the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs isn’t the ideal situation to break into the league, but Herbert played very well.
He threw for 311 yards and a touchdown, while rushing 4 times and adding another touchdown on the ground. He did have one interception, a poor decision throwing cross-body, but overall had a good game and even helped the Chargers take the Chiefs to overtime before losing on a Harrison Butker field goal.
Herbert is only taken in 4% of leagues, so he is probably available to pick up to bolster your team.
Gardner Minshew – Jacksonville Jaguars
After 2 straight fantasy games with over 20 points in traditional settings, it may be time to look at Minshew as a replacement for your quarterback who may not be performing well so far.
In this Sundays game against Tennessee, he threw for 339 yards, and 3 touchdowns for the second straight week. He did, however, throw two interceptions as well, but a match up this Thursday night against Miami will be his easiest game so far.
He is only on 33% of rosters, so pick him up!
Baker Mayfield – Cleveland Browns
His first two games were nothing to write home about, but with a game against the Washington Football Team coming up Sunday and ten days to prepare for them, Mayfield should be able to put together a solid game if you are in a pinch for a quarterback.
Available in 53% of leagues in Yahoo, he may not be a solution for the rest of the year, but is a great streaming option this week.
Jalen Reagor – Philadelphia Eagles
The first two weeks for the Philadelphia Eagles has been anything but good, losing to the Washington Football Team and the Los Angeles Rams, and an offense in disarray.
That being said, Reagor led all Eagles receivers in snaps on Sunday, and with the Cincinnati Bengals coming up this is the perfect get-right game for the team.
Only on 35% of rosters in Yahoo, this could be a big game for the young receiver.
N’Keal Harry – New England Patriots
Harry was an honorable mention last week, which you can read about here. After being targeted a team-high 12 times on Sunday night against the Seahawks, catching 8 of them, he should be on everybody’s radar.
With Cam Newton showing he can get the job done through the air as well as on the ground, Harry will no doubt put up good numbers throughout the season.
Still available in 72% of leagues, he is soon to be a must-add in fantasy leagues.
Laviska Shenault – Jacksonville Jaguars
The rookie wide receiver has had two solid weeks in his first two NFL games, catching 3 passes in each game while getting some action out of the backfield as well.
With a match up against the Miami Dolphins coming up Thursday night I would expect his number so continue to grow, and since he is only on 17% of Yahoo rosters, he should be available for you to pick up.
Jerick McKinnon – San Francisco 49ers
McKinnon is one of those players that will be getting a shot this weekend with the players ahead of him going down with injuries. With both Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman out for the foreseeable future, McKinnon’s usage will obviously go up.
He already score over 10 points in each of the first two games, scoring a touchdown in each one. He is only on 27% of rosters, so will be the top waiver wire add this week.
Mike Davis – Carolina Panthers
Davis will be replacing Christian McCaffrey, at least for the short term, as McCaffrey heals his ankle. He only had 1 rushing attempt after taking over for McCaffrey Sunday, but caught all 8 of his targets for 74 yards.
Obviously was not on many fantasy teams, he is available in 92% of Yahoo leagues.
Joshua Kelley – Los Angeles Chargers
Kelley is not replacing an injured back, but has been able to put up double digit fantasy point totals each of the first two weeks playing alongside Austin Ekeler.
In fact, he rushed for 23 times this past weekend, although only gained 64 yards, but did have 2 catches that he turned into 49 yards. Only owned in 40% of leagues, if your team was hit by injuries to the running back position this would be a good addition.
Mike Gesicki – Miami Dolphins
There were talks coming out of Miami during the offseason of Gesicki being able to compete with the upper echelon of tight ends, but he showed it in week 2 against the Buffalo Bills.
Catching 8 of his 11 targets, totaling 130 yards and a touchdown, Gesicki put the league on notice. Lining up all of the field, specifically in the slot, he is only on 68% of Yahoo rosters.
Jonnu Smith – Tennessee Titans
Smith’s first week he say 7 targets, catching 4 of them for 36 yards and a touchdown. Then he came out in week 2, turning another 4 receptions into 84 yards and 2 touchdowns.
If you need a tight end, pick up Jonnu Smith, only on 69% of rosters.
Logan Thomas – Washington Football Team
Thomas has not shown consistency yet, but that is going to be tough on a team that is in the middle of a rebuilding process. He has been getting targets though, with 8 in his first game and 9 in week 2.
Add in the fact that they are facing the Miami Dolphins this week, and he could put together the targets and the numbers in this one. Available in 68% of Yahoo leagues.
The Colts were rumored to be one of the top fantasy defenses coming into this year. But after a tough opening week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, they were dropped by a lot of fantasy owners.
Then in week 2 the Indianapolis Colts took care of Minnesota, getting 3 sacks, 3 interceptions and only letting up 11 points, getting 15 points in traditional leagues. Up next are the New York Jets, who are a complete mess, and the Colts are now available in 56% of leagues.
The Browns are a team that has talent all over the field on both sides of the ball, but has trouble living up to expectations. With the Washington Football Team up next, the Browns should be able to have a good game, great if you are streaming defenses.
Only rostered in 17% of Yahoo leagues, they should be available for you on the waivers.
Los Angeles Chargers
This team defense is only on 32% of rosters, and should jump up a little for this week. After slowing down the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, they have the Carolina Panthers up next.
Another team that has plenty of talent, especially on the defensive side, they could put up some really good numbers this week.
Hopefully your team avoided the injury bug this week, but if not then this will be a very important week for you. If you can find a player or two to be able to play week in and week out, you may still have a shot at fantasy championship glory. If you don’t… well there is always next year!.
Another player to keep an eye on is Devonte Freeman. He just signed with the New York Giants on a one-year deal, so if he is able to get the usage that Saquon Barkley did he may be able to save your season. However, one has to wonder why he was still available after all of this time.
How is your fantasy team looking? Who are you trying to get from waivers this week? Let me know in the comments below!