Through three weeks of the NFL season, most fantasy football players are taking stock of what they have, and what they need to do.
Some teams need a win next week or face near certain elimination already, while others might be looking for deeper prospects that could flourish during a playoff run. Either way, it’s important to keep working the waiver wire to put your team in the best position to succeed.
Last week, we recommended that fantasy owners pick up Calvin Ridley and Tyler Boyd for some additional depth at wide receiver. Those who listened were rewarded with a breakout performance from both, but if you missed out, there’s still time to snag them in many leagues.
Below we’ve collected 12 potential waiver-wire targets for fantasy players looking to bolster their rosters. Whether your team is in need of a backup quarterback, a bye-week fill in for later in the year, or a potential breakout player after a less than stellar draft, there are options at every position to help you improve your roster.
All ownership percentages come from ESPN, and scoring is based on a standard ESPN points per reception format.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns
ESPN fantasy ownership: 6.8%
Week 3 stats: 201 passing yards – 9.8 fantasy points
One thing to know: Making his NFL debut halfway through Cleveland’s Thursday night matchup against the Jets, Baker Mayfield immediately took over, leading the Browns to a comeback victory and winning the starting job in the process. He might not be an every-week fantasy starter, but for those in two-quarterback leagues or looking for someone to stash for an upcoming bye week, now is a good time to buy.
Javorius Allen, RB, Baltimore Ravens
ESPN fantasy ownership: 39.3%
Week 3 stats: Three receptions, 19 yards, two touchdowns – 17.6 fantasy points
One thing to know: Javorius Allen might not be the most highlight-reel pickup of the Week 4 waiver wire, but he’s averaging over 11 fantasy points per game and has scored a touchdown in every game so far. That trend can’t keep up forever, but it might be a hot streak worth riding for the time being.
Wendell Smallwood, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
ESPN fantasy ownership: 4.2%
Week 3 stats: 56 rushing yards, three receptions, 35 receiving yards, one touchdown – 15.1 fantasy points
One thing to know: With running backs Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles out with injury, the Eagles leaned on Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement to keep their ground game going. Smallwood did his part well, finding the end zone once and running effectively when given the ball. Philadelphia always spreads the ball around with its rushing attack, but Smallwood should present some value to fantasy owners until the team’s depth chart fills back out a bit.
Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons
ESPN fantasy ownership: 40.8%
Week 3 stats: Seven receptions, 146 receiving yards, three touchdowns – 40.5 fantasy points
One thing to know: We wrote up Calvin Ridley as one of our waiver-wire pickups in last week’s column, and to those of you who followed our advice, you’re welcome. For those who missed out, well, you’re in luck, as Ridley is still available in a majority of ESPN leagues. This will likely be your last chance to pick him up.
Tavon Austin, RB/WR, Dallas Cowboys
ESPN fantasy ownership: 7.5%
Week 3 stats: Three receptions, two receiving yards, one touchdown – 11 fantasy points
One thing to know: Tavon Austin now has touchdowns in two straight games, and is one of the few reliable weapons the Cowboys’ offence has outside of Ezekiel Elliott. His scoring comes in bursts, and there might be weeks when Austin fails to make a splash, but he’s shown a reliable target for quarterback Dak Prescott thus far. Adding to his value is that he qualifies in ESPN as both an RB and WR, essentially giving you an extra flex spot to use as you wish.
Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
ESPN fantasy ownership: 23.7%
Week 3 stats: Six receptions, 132 receiving yards, one touchdown – 25.7 fantasy points
One thing to know: Another player we told fantasy owners to pick up last week, Tyler Boyd once again had a stellar day for the Bengals as No. 1 wideout A.J. Green played limited snaps due to a groin injury. Boyd now has 46 fantasy points the past two weeks and could be looking at even more action depending on Green’s status moving forward.
Geronimo Allison, WR, Green Bay Packers
ESPN fantasy ownership: 34.3%
Week 3 stats: Two receptions, 76 receiving yards, one touchdown – 15.6 fantasy points
One thing to know: Geronimo Allison is the Packers’ go-to, deep-ball threat, and so far, Rodgers has put him in the end zone in two of their three games this season.
Jordy Nelson, WR, Oakland Raiders
ESPN fantasy ownership: 66.1%
Week 3 stats: Six receptions, 173 receiving yards, one touchdown – 23.3 fantasy points
One thing to know: Last week, Jordy Nelson was one of the most-dropped players in fantasy, with owners in 14% of ESPN leagues letting him go in favour of picking up another player. Those owners are kicking themselves now, as Nelson lit up the Dolphins for over 170 receiving. Nelson might remain a boom-or-bust player, but now that’s he shown some connection with quarterback Derek Carr, it’s easier to have faith he can produce.
Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks
ESPN fantasy ownership: 69.1%
Week 3 stats: Four receptions, 77 receiving yards, one touchdown – 18.2 fantasy points
One thing to know: Tyler Lockett is already owned in 70% of leagues, but if you miss out on some of the other potential pickups this week, it’s well worth double checking to see if he’s available. Lockett has consistently put up fantasy numbers despite being on a Seahawks offence that seems always to be scrambling.
Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
ESPN fantasy ownership: 33%
Week 3 stats: Four receptions, 81 receiving yards, two touchdowns – 24.1 fantasy points
One thing to know: With three touchdowns through three games, Mike Williams is yet another potentially undervalued wide receiver option for fantasy owners looking to reload.
Dallas Goedert, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
ESPN fantasy ownership: 1.9%
Week 3 stats: Seven receptions, 73 receiving yards, one touchdown – 20.3 fantasy points
One thing to know: While Dallas Goedert is still firmly behind Zach Ertz as the top tight end in the Eagles lineup, he still should see quite a bit of work given all the injuries on the Philadelphia offence. On Sunday Goedert was the top-scoring tight end in fantasy, and he should be a regular feature of the Eagles red zone packages.
Buffalo Bills Defence
ESPN fantasy ownership: 1.1%
Week 3 stats: One interception, two fumble recoveries, four sacks, six total points against – 16 fantasy points
One thing to know: The Bills’ defence was instrumental in Buffalo’s 27-6 dismantling of the Minnesota Vikings, and while next week’s trip to Green Bay might be a daunting matchup, they face Tennessee and Houston soon after in what should be favourable matchups.
Now check out which players are making the most money in 2018
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