Weekend Waiver Wire Stashes: Week 3 (2021 Fantasy Football)
Here are players to consider stashing ahead of this weekend’s slate of games.
Taylor Heinicke (WAS) at Falcons in Week 4
Heinicke looked sharp in his first start, completing 34 of 46 passes for 336 yards and two touchdowns to help the Football Team beat the Giants 30-29. In Week 4, Heinicke will be facing a Falcons defense that’s been firebombed by Jalen Hurts and Tom Brady, giving up eight TD passes so far. Opposing QBs have completed passes at a 71.8% clip against Atlanta and have a passer rating of 131.2. Heinicke has a star pass catcher in Terry McLaurin and some other use weapons, including Logan Thomas, Antonio Gibson, and J.D. McKissic. This is a really nice streaming spot for Heinicke.
Zach Wilson (NYJ) vs Titans in Week 4
The Titans have faced Kyler Murray and Russell Wilson in their first two games, so it’s no surprise that some of their defensive stats are ugly. But, wow, these are REAL ugly: 600 passing yards allowed, six TD passes allowed, 10.0 yards allowed per pass attempt, an opponent passer rating of 125.9. And it’s not as if the Titans were expected to have a good pass defense. This was always going to be a D we were going to target. Wilson had a decent performance against a good Carolina defense in Week 1, then crashed and burned against the Patriots in Week 2. By Week 4, he should be starting to feel more comfortable, and he’ll be playing in front of a home crowd.
Ty Johnson (NYJ) vs Titans in Week 4
Tevin Coleman has fallen by the wayside in the Jets’ RB collective, leaving Johnson and Michael Carter as the two primary backs. Johnson’s 49% snap share is the highest among the Jets’ RBs, and he had a team-high 12 carries for 50 yards against the Patriots in Week 2. Next week he’ll face a shaky Titans defense that’s given up three TD runs so far.
Giovani Bernard (TB) at Patriots in Week 4
Gio makes a nice stash for Week 4 and beyond. He’s been a third wheel so far behind Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones, but I think that’s mostly because he’s been gutting it out through a high-ankle sprain, which normally keeps players out 4-6 weeks. He’s the best pass catcher in the Buccaneers’ backfield by far, capable of serving as Tom Brady’s new version of James White. It’s possible Brady will need to use him in that capacity in a tough road matchup against Brady’s old team.
Elijah Moore (NYJ) vs Titans in Week 4
It’s kind of surprising that Moore is still available in so many leagues. He’s an exciting prospect who wowed training-camp onlookers and was getting a ton of buzz a month ago. But then he sustained a quad injury that may have contributed to a quiet Week 1 performance, and suddenly a lot of fantasy managers were dropping him. He caught 4 of 8 targets for 47 yards against the Patriots in Week 2, and his role is only going to get bigger. This is a great time to grab him, and a home game against a shaky Titans defense is a good spot in which to deploy him.
Quintez Cephus (DET) at Bears in Week 4
The Lions have one of the more ambiguous WR corps in the league, and Cephus has quickly asserted himself as one of Detroit’s best pass-catching options. He’s made some acrobatic catches and already has two touchdowns. Cephus has ordinary speed, but he has terrific hands and ball skills, and he’s good at defeating press coverage (which may be the hardest thing for young receivers to figure out at the NFL level). Next week he’ll face a Bears defense that has a suspect group of cornerbacks.
Dyami Brown (WAS) at Falcons in Week 4
Brown is one of my favorite stashes regardless of matchup, but a date with the flammable Falcons defense in Week 4 makes him all that much more appealing. Brown’s surface stats aren’t exciting (four catches for 32 yards), but the rookie has played 90% of Washington’s offensive stats and has 10 targets at an average depth of 12.6 yards per target. Brown averaged 20.0 yards per catch in his final college season at North Carolina and has the speed to make his weekly fantasy quota in one play.
Cole Kmet (CHI) vs. Lions in Week 4
Kmet has zoomed past Jimmy Graham on the depth chart to become the Bears’ lead tight end, and he’s been in on 73% of their offensive snaps. The Bears don’t have much at wide receiver after Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney, so Kmet should see consistent targets. He has an attractive home matchup in Week 4 against a Lions defense that’s giving up 9.5 points per game to opposing tight ends.
Tyler Conklin (MIN) vs. Browns in Week 4
Conklin’s numbers have been modest so far (six catches, 56 yards), but he’s played 75% of the Vikings’ offensive snaps and should be a mainstay in the Minnesota offense. As with Cole Kmet in Chicago, Conklin plays on a team that doesn’t have much depth at wide receiver, which might provide a target boost. The Browns are giving up 10.7 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends – though in fairness, Travis Kelce‘s big day against them in Week 1 skews the numbers a bit.
Cincinnati Bengals vs JAC in Week 4
Jacksonville’s offense is a good one to target with streaming defenses, at least until rookie QB Trevor Lawrence finds his footing for the Jaguars. The Bengals, meanwhile, have been surprisingly respectable on defense, doing a pretty good job of holding Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson in check in a Week 1 overtime win against the Vikings, then holding the Bears to 206 total yards and one offensive touchdown in Week 2. The Bengals are a sneaky-good Week 4 play.
Chicago Bears vs DET in Week 4
The Bears have limited opposing running games to one TD run and 3.3 yards per carry. Chicago has recorded six sacks and harassed Bengals QB Joe Burrow into interceptions on three straight second-half possessions in Week 2, one of which was returned for a touchdown. This is a better defense than we expected, and a home matchup against the hapless Lions in Week 4 makes the Bears an attractive streaming option.