2020 Season: Week 3 Waiver Wire

(Photo Credit: Paul Brennan)

Charles Herrmann (@HermsNFL)
The Lateral Chief Editor


Malcolm McMillan (@McLateralFF)
The Lateral Writer


Did someone kill it last week only to be sitting in the free agent pool of your league? Did that sleeper you were so sure about turn out to be the third part of an RBBC, and now you cannot use him as a FLEX? Well, good news! You do not actually have to keep any of the players on your roster!

Okay, so that's not completely true. Sure, in most leagues you can, in fact, drop all the players you drafted and then replace them with new ones, but that would be dumb. What you can do though, is replace under-performing players and replace them with ones that you did not realize were going to have a significant role this season. You could also stream a player based on a match-up, but be careful, as the player you dropped is not necessarily someone you can get back.

Below you will find one player at each position that is available from Malcolm McMillan that is available in 50% or more of all Yahoo leagues and one player from Charles Herrmann at each position that is available in 50% or more of all ESPN leagues. Each name will be accompanied by a brief description of why you should add that player this week.

Week 3 Waiver Wire

Quarterback (QB)

NOTE: Both players are available in over 50% of leagues on both platforms

Yahoo: Ryan Tannehill (46% rostered)

Maybe it is because my granddad went to Texas (Hook 'em Horns!), maybe it is the fact that the Miami years were lackluster at best, but I have constantly slept on Tannehill. But no more! This version of Tannehill is a must for any roster, and he will not be so widely available after another excellent performance in Week 2.

Still not sold? Since arriving in Tennessee, Tannehill is 9-3, completing 70%+ of his passes, and has 28 passing TDs vs only 6 interceptions. He may not pass a ton, but when his average completion is going for 13 yards, the passing work is good enough to be effective. Even this year, with A.J. Brown ineffective or inactive and Tannehill's Y/C down to 10.4, he has still been good enough to be QB10 through two weeks. Add him if you need a QB without hesitation.


ESPN: Gardner Minshew II (19.5% rostered)

Minshew's next 4 games: MIA, @ CIN, @ HOU, DET

The lack of surrounding cast doesn't seem to matter or affect Minshew's ability to score. 49 of 64 for 512 yards with 6 TDs and 2 INTs is a quality output through two very different games with different game scripts, and what about that schedule going forward frightens you? The Jaguars should be involved in high scoring affairs for the next month given how bad they are as a whole and how bad their opponents (maybe Texans aside) are as well. Having a QB in a goat rodeo is always ballsy, but who better to trust than Minshew?


Running Back (RB)

NOTE: Devonta Freeman looks likely to sign with the Giants. He is our consensus top add. Also, both players are available in over 50% of leagues on both platforms

Yahoo: Joshua Kelley (39% rostered)

Could have gone with Darrell Henderson here, but the Los Angeles Rams are officially an RBBC, with a different leader each week. All three have value, but the consistency is a huge concern. So instead give me Joshua Kelley, who is quietly an RB2 at RB23 in PPR. Added bonus? Unlike Nyheim Hines, who followed up a stellar Week 1 with a dud of a Week 2, Kelley has scored double digits in both leagues, and has guaranteed handcuff value for Austin Ekeler. 

This is basically what a lot of fantasy managers were hoping for when the drafted Phillip Lindsay as ADP RB33, but instead of spending a draft pick on Lindsay, you can now get similar production out of Joshua Kelley for free on waivers. Since Lindsay is still likely out with turf toe, my guess is there are plenty of people who need to make this waiver move.


ESPN: Jerick McKinnon (19.1% rostered)

Sometimes ya gotta zag when others zig. Don't get me wrong, if you have a top 2-3 claim/own CMC or Barkley, go with Mike Davis and either of the Giants RBs ahead of McKinnon. But if you don't have a top claim or you're a conservative FAAB bidder, remember that the Niners laundry list of injuries from Week 2 include Raheem Mostert AND Tevin Coleman. Clarity on the status of the latter is going to be key here, but the next 3 games for the Niners are @ NYG, PHI, and MIA.

Assuming the pair of RBs ahead of him are out for a little bit, McKinnon is a lowkey sneaky waiver add and this reality is one of the most 2020 of all 2020 things. The caveat here is that Jeff Wilson exists and HC Kyle Shanahan hates making things easy for us, but I'm down for some McKinnon here.


Wide Receiver (WR)

NOTE: All players are available in over 50% of leagues on both platforms

Yahoo: Adam Humphries (2% rostered)

Chase Claypool? Love the guy, but outside one massive catch he had 4 receiving yards. Braxton Berrios? A) Cannot legally recommend a New York Jet as long as Adam Gase remains coach B) If Crowder comes back Berrios is likely worthless.

Adam Humphries though? Much like Joshua Kelley he has quietly held starting player value and consistency across both weeks (double digit points in PPR both weeks), and that was even with competition in Week 1 from A.J. Brown. With A.J. Brown still "week-to-week" with a bone bruise on his knee, Humphries should continue to connect with fellow waiver wire recommendation Ryan Tannehill. If Brown comes back, Humphries could easily still have FLEX value or be a solid stash for a potential Brown re-injury.


ESPN: Keelan Cole Sr. (1.9% rostered)/Russell Gage (20.2% rostered)

Apply the logic behind Minshew being a quality add to Cole and consider his track record of occasionally showing promise in the past (particularly at the end of his 2017 rookie campaign).

As for Gage, look back at the yearly PPR game logs for Mohamed Sanu on his Fantasy Data profile during his time in Atlanta. Sanu was sneaky good at times but always slept on in fantasy. The argument was always "wHaT aBoUt PlAyEr X aNd PlAyEr Y aHeAd Of HiM oN tHe DePtH cHaRt" but results show that the Falcons WR3's potential to be legit at times exists and we're seeing that manifest itself again with Gage. As long as OC Dirk Koetter is in town, 3 WRs have a shot at glory. Take a stab on Gage.


Tight End (TE)

NOTE: All Yahoo recommendations are also available in over 50% of ESPN leagues

Yahoo: Drew Sample (1% rostered)/Jordan Akins (2% rostered)/Mo Alie-Cox (1% rostered)/Jordan Reed (7% rostered)

Okay, so this is a slew of players, so I will hit some of these quickly. Jordan Reed is simply a streamer. With the issues with the field at MetLife and a great match-up against a bad New York Football Giants team, I just cannot see Kittle getting back in the mix for Week 3. But Schefty does, so proceed with caution. Mo Alie-Cox has serious value as long as Jack Doyle is out and Philip Rivers remains the TE whisperer, but unless he is so good Frank Reich cannot bench him, Doyle likely slides back into the rotation when healthy.

Now for the longer-term plays: Drew Sample and Jordan Akins. Sample looked good against the Browns in Week 2, as did his fellow TE C.J. Uzomah until Uzomah went down with an Achilles injury that ended his season. Combined, they had 25.7 points as Burrow through the ball over 60 times. If that volume continues Sample should be able to feast with little competition from the other TEs on the roster. Jordan Akins has less upside than Sample, but given the consistency (double digit PPR points both weeks), his floor is excellent at what is a volatile position outside the top options. Does not hurt that the Houston Texans WRs have been awful, with top receiver Will Fuller V coming in at WR47.


ESPN: Jonnu Smith (40.3% rostered)

Reference my blurb on Smith in the Week 2 recap piece, but if I am to expand on that, check this out and tell me he isn't legit. This week is likely your last shot to grab Jonnu if he's not rostered already. Don't miss out.


Defense/Special Teams (DST)

NOTE: Yahoo recommendation is also available in over 50% of ESPN leagues

Yahoo: Washington Football Team (16% rostered)

Despite an incredibly tough match-up against what has been a world-beating Arizona Cardinals offense, Riverboat Ron and the Fightin' Football Team's defense still managed to finish DST15 in Week 2. They have an excellent match-up against a Cleveland Browns team that barely beat the Bengals in Week 3, and with that front seven they still hold season-long value. The combination of streaming potential and season-long value makes them an easy recommendation.


ESPN: Tennessee Titans (35.5% rostered)

Speaking of the Titans, how about the Titans?

Pretty easy streamer play against the putrid-to-date Vikings for Week 3.


Kicker (K)

NOTE: Yahoo recommendation is also available in over 50% of ESPN leagues

Yahoo: Rodrigo Blankenship (5% rostered)

Blank the Tank, the sexiest man alive in Rec Specs, finished K3 in Week 2 and is K4 so far in 2020. With a Week 3 match-up at home against the terrible New York Jets, sign me up.


ESPN: Pick 'em

I go by Vegas over/under odds and pick a kicker based on the highest expected point totals when possible. As Week 3 odds are incomplete as of the writing of this piece, check in with me again on this in a few days when I make my boom/bust picks.



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