2020 Waiver Wire - Week 3
We should have known after a relatively quiet week one injury report that we were destined for more pain. This past Sunday was a bloodbath in regards to signature players getting hurt for fantasy football GMs. And given the COVID offseason and lack of conditioning, we could be in for a rollercoaster of a year. I tried to advise that you all needed to be more fluid this season in your attempts to navigate the uncertainty especially in fantasy football, and thus, the waiver wire will be more important than ever. Maybe you need to bolster your wide receiver depth or replace an injured running back — either way, I‘ve got you covered. This is my Weekly Waiver Wire Whisper column in which I will give you my take on some stash/start worthy players that are rostered in 50% or less of Yahoo leagues. That is the cutoff, so please don’t slide all in my mentions on Twitter about how I could possibly leave off Mike Gesicki (68%), or Jared Goff (62%), or even Robby Anderson (62%) from this article.
Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams, Rostered in 33% of Yahoo leagues
Henderson finds himself atop my waiver list this week for many of the same reasons that Malcolm Brown was a hot add last week. Head coach Sean McVay stated all offseason he would use the hot hand approach with his three backs and through two week we have seen just that. After week one vs Dallas was a Malcolm Brown show, injuries to both Brown and rookie Cam Akers vaulted Henderson into the lead back role. Henderson flourished and carried the ball 12 times for 81 yards and a touchdown. He also added 2 catches for 40 yards on three targets and increased his week 1 snap percentage from 7% to 42% in week 2. I have Henderson at the top of this week’s add because I do believe, especially if Akers’ injury lingers, Henderson could have season long value this year and needs to be prioritized as such.
Mike Davis, Carolina Panthers, Rostered in 6% of Yahoo leagues
Among the slough of marquee injuries on Sunday was that of Christian McCafferey. CMC seemed to injure his ankle on his second score against the Buccaneers and now per Adam Schefter is slated to miss 4-6 weeks at the minimum. The injury caused the Panthers to lean on Mike Davis for the rest of this game and they will likely be forced to do so for the foreseeable future. Davis is the journeymen RB who has had stints playing for the Bears and Seahawks. As our very own Sami points out Davis was utilized in this game on minimum snaps almos to the exact volume that CMC had been in almost two games. Davis had 8 catches on 8 targets for 74 yards compared to CMC’s 7 catches on 9 targets for 67 yards. Make no mistake, when CMC makes his return he will resume his bell cow role in this offense, but for the time being Davis should be a productive fill-in for both the Panthers and you, if you pick him up.
Jerick McKinnon, San Francisco 49ers, Rostered in 24% of Yahoo leagues
Perhaps the game most devastated by the week two injury bug was the 49ers/Jets game in New York. The 49ers lost Nick Bosa, Jimmy G, Tevin Coleman, and Raheem Mostert for at least the game and likely more. It is being reported that Tevin Coleman will miss multiple weeks and Mostert is looking at a week 3 absence at the very least. Suddenly, after not playing for a couple years, Jerick McKinnon will get an opportunity to lead this backfield as they face a reeling Giants squad this week. Maybe McKinnon is a one week spot-start on your squad but if Mostert’s injury lingers or you could have a piece of one of the most productive backfields in the NFL on a team that is likely to lean on their backfield even more given the amount of injuries on their squad.
Joshua Kelley, Los Angeles Chargers, Rostered in 39% of Yahoo leagues
Kelley was a marquee name last week on this list given his redzone and goalline work for a run-centric Chargers team. He followed up an intriguing week one performance by leading the Chargers in carries with 23. He wasn’t the most effective with his attempts, only gaining 64 yards on those carries. Kelley was active in the passing game adding 49 yards on two catches off of three targets. The most encouraging takeaway was how good rookie QB Justin Herbert looked getting the start Sunday and how well he moved the offense against the Chiefs. Anthony Lynn has stated that if healthy Tyrod Taylor will lead the Chargers but it should be hard to go back to Tyrod given Herbert’s ability to move the offense but sometimes coaches don’t care about your fantasy football team. Kelley should continue to be stashed given the upside of playing the “Melvin Gordon” role in this offense especially if Herbert gets the start again.
Wayne Gallman, New York Giants, Rostered in 1% of Yahoo leagues
If CMC’s injury was the more noteworthy, Saquon Barkley’s was the most heartbreaking. Barkley tore his ACL on Sunday against the Bears ending his season and hindering the championship aspirations of many fantasy GMs in the process. Unfortunately, fantasy football does not afford us the proper time to mourn the loss of our great players. We must remain fluid and work to replace Saquon in our lineups. This leads us to Wayne Gallman who is likely to fill the role of the 1st and 2nd down grinder at the very least for New York. If the rumblings out of camp were true, the Giants have faith that Gallman can “carry the load.” Gallman does nothing to wow us but his projected volume can help you patch injury holes in your roster or keep you afloat until something better presents itself.
Myles Gaskin, Miami Dolphins, Rostered in 16% of Yahoo leagues
Last week I expressed concern about adding any Miami running back to your roster as the offense leaves much to be desired. But in the words of the Beatles, "I have to admit it's getting better." Gaskin now has 148 yards from scrimmage after two games, and while they may be scoreless, his 5.4 yards per carry are a rare bright spot on this Miami squad. Even though Gaskin hasn’t had very many red zone opportunities his 11 targets are the most amongst Miami backs. His role in the passing game makes him an interesting waiver ad this week given the amount of injuries in this wild 2020 season.
Jeff Wilson, San Francisco 49ers, Rostered in less than 1% of Yahoo leagues
As mentioned above the 49ers are ravaged with injuries and given their history of using multiple backs to run the offense Jeff Wilson should be added in deeper formats.
Dion Lewis, New York Giants, Rostered in 6% of Yahoo leagues
Dion Lewis or this week’s Jeff Wilson-lite will be involved in New York’s passing game but is likely to cede most work to Gallman. I would not advise with cutting ties with other stash-worthy candidates for Lewis but I understand the RB-thirst desperation occurring across fantasy leagues this week.
Frank Gore, New York Giants, Rostered in 14% of Yahoo leagues
This one is simple: Frank Gore is a starting running back and last week he had 21 carries against the 49ers. If you are desperate you target volume especially at running back. Looking to survive a Mostert or better yet a CMC injury? Gore could keep you competitive for the time being.
Darwin Thompson, Kansas City Chiefs, Rostered in less than 1% of Yahoo leagues
After Chiefs #2 RB Darrel Williams left Sunday’s game with an ankle, Darwin Thompson saw 5 carries and gained 21 yards. Thompson should be added in deeper formats as an injury to CEH would vault him into fantasy relevance.
Devonta Freeman, Free Agent, Rostered in 14% of Yahoo leagues
As of this writing Freeman had met with the Giants but has not signed a contract yet. He is worth an add given the ever-growing list of injuries to backfields so far this season.
Keelan Cole, Jacksonville Jaguars, Rostered in 4% of Yahoo leagues
Another repeat member of this waiver column, Keelan Cole had a fantastic week two as he scored yet again and now has 2 touchdowns in as many games. Cole is not even a one trick pony, he is second on the team in WR span percentage behind D.J. Chark but leads this team in targets with 12 through the first two weeks. Cole tops my WR list this week based on the fact that this Jags team is likely to be throwing in most games all season and Cole really seems to have a real connection with Minshew. I do believe that his teammate D.J. Chark is a buy low candidate, but there is a real chance that Cole could end up this team’s target leader this season.
Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons, Rostered in 22% of Yahoo leagues
Another game and another solid Russell Gage fantasy performance. Gage now has one less target than Calvin Ridley who leads the team with 22, and Gage’s score helped him post the overall WR22 numbers on the week. The fact is, Gage belongs to an offense led by Matt Ryan who has thrown the ball 90 times through two weeks. But when we dive into the distribution of targets in this Falcons offense, we see that Julio Jones is currently third in team targets behind Gage. While this distribution likely won't last, we can be confident that this team will continue to be pass happy in the weeks to come and Gage is becoming a solid FLEX option at WR.
Tre’Quan Smith, New Orleans Saints, Rostered in 14% of Yahoo leagues
Tre’Quan Smith is likely a rental given the fact that Michael Thomas’ ankle injury is a 2-4 week injury, but he had a very solid showing Monday as he caught 5 balls on 7 targets for 86 yards Monday night against the Raiders. Additionally, Smith deserves consideration given his HOF QB and HC combo.
Tim Patrick, Denver Broncos, Rostered in less than 1% of Yahoo leagues
This is my sneaky pick for the week. I know that, given Courtland Sutton’s season-ending injury, the talk of the town will be Jerry Jeudy, but give me Tim Patrick of waivers. He is a deep threat and could be the option this team needs as they try and stay in games on a weekly basis.
Cole Beasley, Buffalo Bills, Rostered in 7% of Yahoo leagues
Now, I don’t believe that Josh Allen will throw for 300+ yards every week and he won’t play the Jets or the Dolphins every week, but Cole Beasley was productive last week with 5 catches on 7 targets for 70 yards. It’s worth noting that Beasley was someone Allen targeted frequently last year and finished as WR35 on the year in 2019.
Adam Humphries, Tennessee Titans, Rostered in 2% of Yahoo leagues
After two weeks and an A.J. Brown bone bruise that could keep him out multiple weeks, Adam Humprhies has tied the team lead in targets with 13. If you play in a full point PPR and need WR depth look at Humprhies.
Mo Alie-Cox, Indianapolis Colts, Rostered in 1% of Yahoo leagues
Alie-Cox has flashed brilliance before playing in the days of Andrew Luck for the Colts, but he may have just had his breakout game this past Sunday against the Vikings. With Jack Doyle sidelined with an injury, Cox stepped in and dominated the Vikings secondary to the tune of 111 yards on 5 catches on 6 targets. Cox should be added given the fact that Parris Campbell and Doyle are out indefinitely.
Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys, Rostered in 2% of Yahoo leagues
Not Amari Cooper, not Michael Gallup, not CeeDee Lamb, and not even Ezekiel Elliiott led the Dallas Cowboys in targets on Sunday. That was Dalton Schultz who caught 9 passes on 10 targets for 88 yards and a touchdown. If we believed that Blake Jarwin was a TE breakout candidate we should be buying the production of Dalton Schultz in Dallas.
Jordan Reed, San Francisco 49ers, Rostered in 7% of Yahoo leagues
As long as Kittle is out Reed becomes a nice start but Adam Schefter is reporting the Niners believe Kittle will be back this week.
Jordan Akins, Houston Texans, Rostered in 2% of Yahoo leagues
I still believe trusting in either Houston Texans TE is a trap but through two weeks Akins has caught all 9 of his targets for 94 yards and a touchdown. Hopefully you are not this desperate at TE.
Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars, Rostered in 33% of Yahoo leagues
My love for Gardner Minshew is not a secret. I told Johnny this offseason that I believe he has what it takes to be top 8 at the position this year in fantasy (YouTube Episode). He now has 6 TDs in 2 games and has sneaky rushing upside on a team that projects to trail all season long. Go get you some, Minshew Mania!
Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans, Rostered in 46% of Yahoo leagues
Last year Tannehill set the league on fire after becoming the starter for the Titans. He was QB2 down the stretch in many leagues last year after taking over. Tannehill should be added as this team seems to be throwing a whole lot more than last season.