The deeper we go into the season, the deeper we go into the waiver wire! Deep league adds require finesse, being early, and careful FAAB bidding. This week’s list offers some short-term cheap adds and some long-term investments.
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Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Targets for Deep Leagues
Josh Palmer (WR – LAC) | 2% rostered in Yahoo, 1% rostered in ESPN
Despite Quentin Johnston being the higher-rostered player, I prefer to target Josh Palmer in all formats. Mike Williams suffered a knee injury and we don’t know the extent of the injury yet. If Williams misses time, Palmer should be rostered in all league formats. In 2022, the Chargers lost Williams and Keenan Allen for extended periods throughout the season. Palmer stepped up, with multiple strong outings including an incredible performance against Kansas City of 8 receptions on 10 targets for 106 yards and 2 touchdowns. Palmer has operated as the WR3 this season – playing ahead of Johnston – and had 4 receptions on 7 targets for 66 yards and 1 touchdown in Week 3. Coming off a 400 passing yard performance, I expect another strong week from Justin Herbert and Palmer is a strong flex play if Williams is out.
Melvin Gordon (RB – BAL) | 0% rostered in Yahoo, 0% rostered in ESPN
Another week, another Baltimore Ravens running back lands on the waiver wire list. Justice Hill and Gus Edwards were set to lead the backfield with J.K. Dobbins lost for the season. Hill suffered a toe injury and Edwards is in concussion protocol. Melvin Gordon stepped up with 10 carries for 32 yards and 2 receptions for 23 yards, and he could be the Ravens’ RB1 if Edwards and Hill are out in Week 4. It’s 2023, but Melvin Gordon is back on the table! Unfortunately, the matchup is horrendous, so adding Gordon in shallow leagues just isn’t worth the trouble. But in deep leagues, Gordon offers a potential spot-start and won’t require a big FAAB bid. I don’t expect much in terms of yardage but Gordon has receiving upside and should offer a decent floor.
Calvin Austin (WR – PIT) | 2% rostered in Yahoo, 2% rostered in ESPN
Calvin Austin’s usage in the Pittsburgh offense has been intriguing thus far. He had a strong 6 reception performance to open the season, then his Week 2 production tailed off, but his snap count was strong and he saw 4 targets. In Week 3, Austin caught 2 of his 6 targets for 72 yards and 1 touchdown. While the Pittsburgh offense is still struggling with consistency, Pickett had a better performance and could benefit from softer upcoming matchups, particularly after the bye week. Austin should retain his role and is an interesting bench stash if Pickett can continue to develop as the season unfolds.
Nelson Agholor (WR – BAL) | 1% rostered in Yahoo, 1% rostered in ESPN
With Odell Beckham Jr. out, I expected Rashod Bateman to step up and operate as the WR2 for the Ravens. Instead, Bateman underwhelmed with just one reception and suffered a hamstring injury, opening the door for Nelson Agholor. His Week 3 performance wasn’t spectacular, but Agholor caught all 4 of his targets and in Week 2, he had 5 receptions and a touchdown. If Bateman’s hamstring is a multi-week injury and Odell continues to struggle with his ankle injury, Agholor is a viable flex option in deep leagues. Week 4 is a tough matchup, but Weeks 5 and 6 are very pass-friendly. Acquire Agholor for free now in case he can offer value in the easier matchups.
Jameis Winston (QB – NO) | 0% rostered in Yahoo, 0% rostered in ESPN
While there are better streaming options in single quarterback leagues, Jameis Winston is a must-add in superflex with Derek Carr suffering a shoulder injury. If Carr is out with a multi-week injury, the Saints’ upcoming schedule makes Winston a viable QB2 through their bye week. Their schedule includes Tampa Bay, New England, Houston, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Chicago, and Minnesota, which is overwhelmingly a pass-positive stretch.