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Early Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 3 (2021 Fantasy Football)

by Brendan Tuma | @toomuchtuma | Featured Writer
Sep 19, 2021

Remember to reach out with questions on Twitter (@toomuchtuma) anytime.

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

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Running Back

J.D. McKissic (RB – WAS): 29% rostered
In Week 1, “JDM” saw just two touches. In hindsight, it seems like that was due to Washington not having many snaps in the two-minute offense. On Thursday night against the Giants, McKissic was utilized a lot more, and it’s largely because of his playing time in the hurry-up offense. JDM’s target share increased from 4.5% to 13.6% whereas Antonio Gibson‘s decreased from 23.8% to 4.8%. The roles in this offense are clear. Gibson is the guy on early downs, even through the air, but McKissic is the guy on third and long and in the two-minute offense. He’s limited to being a floor play in PPR, but that’s still worth rostering in most leagues.

Tony Jones Jr. (RB – NO): 24% rostered
There aren’t many exciting RB options this week, and Jones wasn’t particularly effective against Carolina. Then again, nobody on the Saints really played well. Jones ran just three times for eight yards, but he totaled 12 touches the week prior. He should remain rostered in deeper leagues.

Chuba Hubbard (RB – CAR): 16% rostered
The fourth-round rookie was inefficient in Week 2, rushing eight times for 10 yards. However, Christian McCaffrey briefly left Sunday’s contest due to cramping. This is just a reminder that Hubbard is the handcuff to roster should anything happen to CMC.

Cordarrelle Patterson (RB/WR – ATL): 13% rostered
We discussed “C-Patt’ in this space last week, but he’s back as a potential waiver option after catching 5-of-6 targets for 58 yards and a touchdown through the air. He added seven carries for 11 yards and a score on the ground, as well. Mike Davis out-touched him 16-12, but it was Patterson who received the money touches. Wayne Gallman was once again inactive, which means Patterson will be a serviceable bench stash moving forward.

Wide Receiver

Elijah Moore (WR – NYJ): 32% rostered
The Jets’ offense hasn’t looked particularly promising through two games, but Moore flashed his immense talent in Sunday’s loss to the Patriots, finishing with 47 yards on four catches. Let this serve as a reminder that the rookie has a thrilling college profile, headlined by the fact that he broke out as a 19-year-old sophomore in 2019. That season, he amassed 850 receiving yards. The next closest receiver had 192 yards. In 2020, Moore totaled 1,193 yards and the No. 2 finisher from his team had just 524. This is a great sign for his future NFL production. Remain patient if you roster him.

Rondale Moore (WR – ARI): 32% rostered
In arguably the most exciting game of the day, it was Moore who stole the show alongside Kyler Murray. The rookie wideout had a long touchdown en route to hauling in 7-of-7 targets for 114 yards and the aforementioned score. While he still isn’t playing as many snaps as the “top three” Arizona wideouts, his role increased from last week and he gets a lot of looks when on the field. Ever since the Cardinals drafted him, Moore has been considered a perfect fit for Kliff Kingsbury’s air raid.

Tim Patrick (WR – DEN): 22% rostered
As a 27-year-old who went undrafted entering the league, there likely isn’t a ton of upside with Patrick moving forward. However, he found the end zone for the second straight game in Week 2. He has also hauled in 7-of-8 targets thus far. A Week 3 date with the Jets is an appealing matchup.

Emmanuel Sanders (WR – BUF): 22% rostered
The 34-year-old entered Week 2 as a popular waiver wire recommendation by yours truly. That’s because last Sunday against the Steelers, Sanders played 79-of-85 snaps and ran a route on every one of Josh Allen‘s dropbacks. He was also in the slot 23 times. He wound up catching 4-of-8 targets for 52 yards.

In Week 2, Sanders finished second on the Bills in targets (5) and caught just two of them for 48 yards. However, per the tweet below, he nearly found the end zone. The missed connection should help keep the price to acquire him in check moving forward. We know Buffalo is going to throw, and throw often. I expect Sanders to be a usable FLEX option once the Bills start getting some softer matchups.

Terrace Marshall (WR – CAR): 18% rostered
The 21-year-old has been held to just three receptions in back to back games to begin his NFL career. He isn’t someone to trust in starting lineups just yet, but I remain bullish on Marshall’s value rest-of-season. He finished the preseason as PFF’s No. 1 graded rookie wideout and currently owns the “big slot” role in Carolina’s offense. We know the value of rookies increases as the season moves along. He’s an upside stash in any redraft league right now.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling (WR – GB): 14% rostered
“MVS” hasn’t played yet, but the underlying usage was promising enough in Week 1 to make him a recommended waiver wire pickup moving forward. The 26-year-old totaled just 17 yards on three receptions, but he drew eight targets against the Saints, which resulted in a 22% target share for an Aaron Rodgers-led passing offense. That type of usage is all it takes to be worth a bench stash in most fantasy leagues. It’ll be something to monitor on Monday night.

Tight End

There really aren’t any tight ends rostered in 30% of leagues or less who are worth adding this week.


Teddy Bridgewater (QB – DEN): 17% rostered
Entering Week 2, Bridgewater profiled as a serviceable “real life” quarterback without much fantasy appeal. However, he has now thrown four TDs through two games, completing a combined 54-of-70 passes (77%). Odds are against managers already needing a fill-in quarterback, but Bridgewater draws the lowly Jets in Week 3. It’s a strong matchup for Denver’s QB facilitator.

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Brendan Tuma is a featured writer at FantasyPros. To read more from Brendan, check out his archive and follow him @toomuchtuma.

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