2021 Season: Diving Into Week 3 Waivers

(Photo Credit: Jeffrey Beall)

Herms (@HermsNFL)
The Lateral Chief Editor

Malcolm McMillan (@McLateralFF)
The Lateral Editor

Raise your hand if you lost to Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry or Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones this past week. It is okay. This is a safe space. Especially since, if you have not had one of these elite running backs on your roster, you have probably had some issues. There are several running backs currently languishing towards the bottom of the top-24 that most experts felt would be perfectly safe in your lineups. Najee Harris, Alvin Kamara and Jonathan Taylor are all scoring less than 13 PPR fantasy football points per game. That is a big problem if you are relying on those players. Not Dallas Cowboys quarterback scoring single digits bad, but still, it is not great.

Luckily there are still some solid options out there at all positions if you need to still upgrade your roster, and Herms and McLateral are here to tell you exactly which of those options need to make their way onto your team. Herms also has a wavier wire podcast that you can check out here. This week he had on Davis Peng (@PengsPicksFF) of Fantasy Six Pack, so that is definitely a must-listen.

Diving Into Week 3 Waivers


The Pool: Derek Carr, Daniel Jones, Taylor Heinicke

Herms Pick: Derek Carr (Las Vegas Raiders) [17% ESPN/26% Yahoo] Through two weeks of the 2021 NFL season, Carr finds himself at QB8 overall and two actual NFL wins to show for it. At the helm of a surprisingly potent passing attack, the Las Vegas Raiders signal-caller operating with arguably the best receiving TE in the game in Darren Waller and a plethora of WRs our guest Davis Peng (@PengsPicksFF) of Fantasy Six Pack discusses on The Lateral Show waiver wire episode for this week should continue to perform well assuming the health of his ankle. Give Carr your consideration for the week.

McLateral Pick: Daniel Jones (New York Giants) [11% ESPN/19% Yahoo]

Derek Carr is good. He is also injured, so unfortunately I cannot recommend him here. If you are willing to take the risk though, go for it. I also cannot recommend Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke, but for different reasons. Heinicke looked good in his first start of the season and was my pick at this position last week. Unfortunately, he gets the Buffalo Bills defense that has been the toughest fantasy football matchup for quarterbacks in 2021.

So instead, go add New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, a sentence I never thought I would type. But the data so far this season has shown he has top-12 potential and the tape has not looked bad either. Plus, rushing ability is so important at the quarterback position in fantasy football. Jones is currently third at the position in both rushing attempts and rushing yards, which is a big reason he sits at QB4 through two weeks. Plus, this week he gets the Atlanta Falcons. That is an excellent matchup.

The Obvious Adds: Kirk Cousins (Minnesota Vikings) [25% ESPN/66% Yahoo], Teddy Bridgewater [14% ESPN/17% Yahoo]

Running Back (PPR)

The Pool: Cordarelle Patterson (Atlanta Falcons), J.D. McKissic Washington Football Team), Duke Johnson (San Francisco 49ers), Lamar Miller (San Francisco 49ers), Kerryon Johnson (San Francisco 49ers)
Herms Pick: Cordarelle Patterson (Atlanta Falcons) [8% ESPN/14% Yahoo] A long-time special teams superstar, it appears as though Patterson has found himself in an intriguing red zone role running behind RB Mike Davis in the Falcons offense. To date, Patterson is the RB10 overall in PPR scoring and as a fun bonus carries dual eligibility at WR on certain fantasy platforms. Take a shot on the Swiss Army knife in Atlanta.

McLateral Pick: J.D. McKissic (Washington Football Team) [42% ESPN/29% Yahoo]

For the record, I also think you should pick Cordarelle Patterson, who has similar usage to McKissic but is more consistent and he produces more with the work he is given. He also has a dual designation of RB/WR in some leagues that is incredibly valuable. But the goal is to give you options, and J.D. McKissic is an excellent consolation prize if you cannot get Patterson. In Week 2, McKissic got six targets and a handful of carries, including some goal-line work. Much like with Philadelphia Eagles running back Kenneth Gainwell, who was my recommendation last week, that particular usage can be valuable for fantasy football managers looking for an RB2/RB3. Even if the snaps are limited.

The Obvious Adds: Tony Pollard (Dallas Cowboys) [39% ESPN/53% Yahoo], Kenneth Gainwell (Philadelphia Eagles) [28% ESPN/36% Yahoo]

Wide Receiver (PPR)

The Pool: Rondale Moore (Arizona Cardinals), Freddie Swain (Seattle Seahawks), K.J. Osborn (Minnesota Vikings), Emmanuel Sanders (Buffalo Bills)

Herms Pick: Rondale Moore (Arizona Cardinals) [19% ESPN/33% Yahoo] I briefly spoke about Moore in this column last week and hey, nothing has changed for the worse. The Cardinals' offense seems potent and both he and the aforementioned WR Christian Kirk should be considered as fantasy-viable options.

McLateral Pick: K.J. Osborn (Minnesota Vikings) [1% ESPN/2% Yahoo]

Ever like a player so much that you swear you have talked about them before, but then it turns out you have not? Well, turns out I actually have not had the opportunity to write about Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn yet, so let us get into it.

Opportunity is really the keyword here, as Osborn has been making the most of his. Osborn has seen 59% or more snaps in both games so far this season and is the clear third target for Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. This role would have typically been given to the tight end, but head coach Mike Zimmer or Cousins (maybe both?) clearly does not trust the current tight ends they have, and so Osborn is getting to shine. Until he has a dud, expect him to hold onto what has been a valuable role. Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Rondale Moore also has a valuable role, but it often starts close to the line of scrimmage.

The Obvious Adds: Darnell Mooney (Chicago Bears) [49% ESPN/45% Yahoo], Zach Pascal (Indianapolis Colts) [14% ESPN/15% Yahoo], Tim Patrick (Denver Broncos) [13% ESPN/22% Yahoo], Cordarelle Patterson (Atlanta Falcons) [8% ESPN/14% Yahoo]

Tight End (PPR)

The Pool: Pat Freiermuth (Pittsburgh Steelers), Maxx Williams (Arizona Cardinals), Jack Doyle (Indianapolis Colts), Foster Moreau (Las Vegas Raiders), Dawson Knox (Buffalo Bills)
Herms Pick: None Candidly, I do not believe any of these players warrant serious consideration outside of deep leagues.

McLateral Pick: Pat Freiermuth (Pittsburgh Steelers) [4% ESPN/7% Yahoo]

None of these options are great. However, Pittsburgh Steelers' tight end Pat Freiermuth has an enticing combination of factors that make him the player to add from what is currently available at the position. First, the Steelers did spend their second-round pick on him. This shows not only a desire to invest in the position but a desire to invest in him as a prospect specifically. Second, Freiermuth saw an increase in targets and target share last week, eclipsing fellow tight end Eric Ebron. Finally, this is a team that produced a top-10 tight end last year (Weeks 1-16). Freiermuth may be a more long-term investment, rather than someone who provides an immediate return, but he is the clear tight end to pick up from this group.

The Obvious Add: None

Defense/Special Teams

The Pool: Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants

Herms Pick: Carolina Panthers DST [13% ESPN/20% Yahoo] I will cheat and take the obvious pick. I shied away from the bunch ahead of Sunday's action against New Orleans in this piece and have lived to regret doing so. The Panthers face the Houston Texans and rookie QB Davis Mills on Thursday. That's the move. McLateral Pick: New York Giants [9% ESPN/7% Yahoo]

Originally, this was the Chicago Bears, but after looking at the schedule, the Bears' impressive performance against the Cincinnati Bengals is unlikely to be repeated against the Cleveland Browns in Week 3. However, there is a team with a favorable matchup that is widely available on waivers in most leagues. The New York Giants get the Atlanta Falcons in Week 3. The same Falcons team that the Philadelphia Eagles finished as DST4 against, and definitely the same Falcons team that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished as DST2 against. The Giants are not the same caliber defense as either of those teams, and the secondary has been easy to exploit. However, if you need a DST to stream this week, the Giants are it.

The Obvious Add: Arizona Cardinals [30% ESPN/51% Yahoo], Carolina Panthers [13% ESPN/20% Yahoo]

The Pool: Nick Folk, Daniel Carlson, Graham Gano, Brandon McManus

Herms Pick: Daniel Carlson (Las Vegas Raiders) [18% ESPN/31% Yahoo] *copy homework mode*
McLateral Pick: Daniel Carlson (Las Vegas Raiders) [18% ESPN/31%Yahoo]

It was tempting to include nothing here or change the answer just to mess with Herms, but that would be a disservice to both you, the reader, and to Herms. Especially since he is right to pick Daniel Carlson here. Currently the top kicker in fantasy football, the Las Vegas Raiders kicker has finished in the top four each week this season. He has yet to miss a kick, is trusted to make 50+ yarders by head coach Jon Gruden, and is in a bit of a no-lose situation on this surprisingly good Raiders team. If Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is out this week, then Carlson could have increased opportunity in a sputtering offense. If Carr is healthy, Carlson could have increased opportunity as a surprisingly effective Raiders offense gets into the red zone frequently against the Miami Dolphins. Again, it is kind of a no-lose situation.

The Obvious Add: Dustin Hopkins (Washington Football Team) [4% ESPN/7%Yahoo]

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