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Early Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 3 (2020 Fantasy Football)

by Zachary Hanshew | @ZaktheMonster | Featured Writer
Sep 20, 2020

Dion Lewis should assume lead back duties for the Giants and will be a priority waiver wire add ahead of Week 3

Good evening, folks! We’ve made it through the bulk of Week 2 action, and it’s that most wonderful time of the evening once again. Sunday night gives fantasy owners time to reflect on the week’s triumphs or losses and take stock of their roster heading into the new week. It’s a time for reflection and a time to assess potential waiver wire options. Each week, I’ll be highlighting a handful of low-rostered options you should consider when making waiver wire claims. Each player’s upcoming three-game schedule will be noted, including strength of matchup. This is particularly helpful if you need a streaming option or a temporary replacement to get you through the tough times.

The theme of this week was injuries, as notable players had early exits throughout the day, including Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, Davante Adams, Raheem Mostert and Cam Akers among others. The impact of those injuries extends to the waiver wire, and with the status of so many big-name players uncertain moving forward, navigating the fantasy free-agent landscape is more important than ever ahead of Week 3. There are a ton of great adds this week, so what are we waiting for? Enough of the pleasantries, let’s talk football!

Note: Most players are less than 30% rostered in Yahoo leagues.

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Running Back

Dion Lewis (NYG): 5% rostered

WEEK 3 WEEK 4 WEEK 5
SF @LAR @DAL

__________

Saquon Barkley tore his ACL in Week 2, and his season is done. With that, the fantasy community is rocked, and the G-Men will have to fill in the gaps. That starts with Lewis. After Barkley went down, Lewis handled 14 touches, and as a pass-catching specialist, he should be heavily involved in the gameplan moving forward. There’s a chance Wayne Gallman assumes some of the vacated workload, but the money’s on Lewis to lead the backfield for now, and he’s a high-priority add this week.

Darrell Henderson (LAR): 30% rostered 

WEEK 3 WEEK 4 WEEK 5
@BUF NYG @WAS

__________

Cam Akers left the Rams’ game with the Eagles early due to a ribs injury, and Henderson had himself a day. The young back totaled 121 yards and a score on 14 total touches, seeing three more touches – and nearly 80 more yards – than Malcolm Brown. Brown’s role was already likely to be scaled back as the weeks went on, but with Henderson’s strong showing, the latter should be in store for more work sooner than later. He’s still only 30% rostered right now and should be scooped up wherever available.

Mike Davis (CAR): 1% rostered 

WEEK 3 WEEK 4 WEEK 5
@LAC ARI ATL

__________

Christian McCaffrey left Sunday’s matchup in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury and did not return. Davis promptly caught all eight of his targets for 74 yards and rushed once for one yard. McCaffrey is scheduled for an MRI on Monday, and if he’s forced to miss time*, Davis would be a big value moving forward, particularly in PPR leagues, as he’s already shown his ability to work as a receiving back. *Editor’s Note: McCaffrey is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain.

Myles Gaskin (MIA): 14% rostered

WEEK 3 WEEK 4 WEEK 5
@JAC SEA @SF

__________

Gaskin saw 13 touches for the second straight week and turned them into 82 yards, including six receptions. He tied with Matt Breida for team lead in carries, though Breida saw only one reception on two targets, while Jordan Howard managed five carries and no work in the passing game. It looks like Gaskin will be the guy in Miami, and his rostership should jump ahead of Week 3.

Jerick McKinnon (SF): 21% rostered

WEEK 3 WEEK 4 WEEK 5
@NYG PHI MIA

__________

Raheem Mostert left this one early with a knee injury, and Tevin Coleman finished the game with 12 rushing yards on 14 carries and 28 receiving yards on two receptions. Conversely, McKinnon managed a respectable 3/77/1 rushing line, including a nifty scamper to pick up a first down on 3rd-and-31. While Coleman may see more touches, he’s already 53% rostered, and McKinnon should see enough work to provide some flex value given his explosiveness and big-play abilities.

 Joshua Kelley (LAC): 39% rostered

WEEK 3 WEEK 4 WEEK 5
CAR @TB @NO

__________

He’s rostered in nearly 40% of Yahoo leagues, but I expect that number to jump significantly after Week 2. Kelley saw a big workload against the Chiefs, and while Austin Ekeler out-gained him, Kelley led the backfield in total touches. If he’s available in your league, make it a point to go and get him.

Wide Receiver

Marquez Valdes-Scantling (GB): 36% rostered

WEEK 3 WEEK 4 WEEK 5
@NO ATL BYE

__________

Davante Adams left this one early with a couple of injuries (including a hammy), though it’s believed that his injuries are not serious ahead of Week 3. Nevertheless, MVS has produced for two weeks in a row and deserves some attention with the possibility Adams is limited or forced to miss time. He went 3/64 on seven targets with Adams sidelined this week.

Keelan Cole (JAC): 2% rostered

WEEK 3 WEEK 4 WEEK 5
MIA @CIN @HOU

__________

Cole went 6/58/1 in the Week 2 loss and has now logged a healthy 11/105/2 line through two games while out-targeting D.J. Chark in the process. Under the leadership of Gardner Minshew, the Jags have played competitive football, and Cole has benefited from the competent passing game. It looks like he’ll be one of Minshew’s favorite targets, making him a great addition for those in need of help at the WR position.

Russell Gage (ATL): 21% rostered

WEEK 3 WEEK 4 WEEK 5
CHI @GB CAR

__________

Gage notched his first score of the 2020 season in this one, and if you’re not yet able to gauge his value (see what I did there?), he’s been dynamic thus far. He went 6/46/1 in Week 2, bringing his season total to 15/160/1 on a robust 21 targets. With Matt Ryan throwing the ball at will, Gage should see plenty of weekly looks, making him a trusty flex play who is dangerously under-rostered.

Michael Pittman (IND): 15% rostered

WEEK 3 WEEK 4 WEEK 5
NYJ @CHI @CLE

__________

Parris Campbell was carted off the field with a knee injury, though early reports suggest he avoided a torn ACL*. The severity of the injury is otherwise unknown, but he’s likely out for a couple of games at minimum. That should free up some targets for the big-bodied Pittman who could be a strong play against Gang Green’s no-show defense. *Editor’s Note: Campbell is out indefinitely with a PCL injury.

Adam Humphries (TEN): 2% rostered

WEEK 3 WEEK 4 WEEK 5
@MIN PIT BUF

__________

With A.J. Brown limited in Week 1 and out in Week 2, Humphries has drawn 13 targets, which he’s turned into an 11/95/1 line, including his Week 2 score. His upcoming matchups are juicy, and it’s unknown when Brown will return to the Titans’ lineup. Humphries is certainly worth an add, especially in PPR formats.

Quarterback

Gardner Minshew (JAC): 32% rostered

WEEK 3 WEEK 4 WEEK 5
MIA @CIN @HOU

__________

Minshew has played good football through two weeks of the season and nearly led his team to a Week 2 victory against the Titans, going for 339 yards, 3 TDs, and 2 INTs in the 33-30 loss. He gets a great matchup in Miami in Week 3, followed by two exploitable matchups in Cincinnati and Houston in Weeks 4 and 5.

Justin Herbert (LAC): 2% rostered

WEEK 3 WEEK 4 WEEK 5
CAR @TB @NO

__________

Herbert got the start in Week 2 for an injured Tyrod Taylor, and he performed admirably, throwing for over 300 yards while scoring TDs on the ground and through the air. The rookie delivered a strong game in his NFL debut and looks poised to hang onto the starting job even when Taylor is healthy. The Chargers have a great upcoming schedule, featuring matchups with the Jets, Dolphins, Jags, and Raiders from Weeks 6-9.

Tight End

Jordan Reed (SF): 7% rostered

WEEK 3 WEEK 4 WEEK 5
@NYG PHI MIA

__________

With George Kittle out, Reed delivered a vintage performance with a 7/50/2 receiving line. Kittle seems on track to return in Week 3, but Reed is well worth an add just in case the start tight end is forced to miss more time.

Mo Alie-Cox (IND): 1% rostered 

WEEK 3 WEEK 4 WEEK 5
NYJ @CHI @CLE

__________

With Jack Doyle out, MAC came up with a monster 5/111 performance to comfortably lead Indy in receiving yards while setting a new career-high in that category. It’s unknown if Doyle will be back for Week 3, but even if he is, Alie-Cox has likely earned some additional run after this showing and with Parris Campbell’s status up in the air. Alie-Cox’s upcoming schedule is favorable, too.

D/ST

Los Angeles Chargers: 30% rostered

WEEK 3 WEEK 4 WEEK 5
CAR @TB @NO

__________

Despite a tough out with Kansas City in Week 2, LAC D/ST has played solidly through two weeks of the season and gets a Panthers team that may be without Christian McCaffrey in Week 3.

Washington Football Team: 16% rostered

WEEK 3 WEEK 4 WEEK 5
@CLE BAL LAR

__________

Washington Football Team gets a favorable matchup in Week 3 against the turnover-prone Baker Mayfield, and the elite defensive line of WFT may be able to cause some issues for Cleveland. There aren’t too many great options left on the waiver wire with low ownership, so if you’re looking for a streamer here, WFT is worth an add.

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Zachary Hanshew is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Zachary, check out his archive and follow him @zakthemonster.

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