Wow, what a Week 3. Mike Evans broke the slate, Freddie Kitchens remained confused, and the Detroit Lions pulled off an upset over the Philadelphia Eagles. While scoring was definitely up from Week 2, there weren’t a ton of major injuries that will trickle down to waiver wire decisions.
With that in mind, most of the following recommended waiver moves will be speculative adds based on promising workloads through the first three weeks. Few, if any, need to immediately be inserted into your lineup, but they could be useful in weeks to come if you’ve a spare spot on your bench…
Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants
The Danny Dimes era is finally upon us. Nicknames aside, it was a glorious first NFL start for Daniel Jones, as he led the New York Giants to a comeback victory, throwing for 9.33 yards per attempt and outscoring Patrick Mahomes in fantasy points this week. In fact, pending Monday night’s outcome, Jones finished as the number-two scoring quarterback on the week. Not bad for his first NFL start.
Jones specifically maintains fantasy value thanks to his legs. He ran for 17 touchdowns in college, then ran for 28 yards and two more ground scores on Sunday. His matchup was an easy one, but next week Jones gets the lowly Washington Redskins at home. Washington’s pass defence ranks eighth-worst in the NFL per Net Expected Points (NEP) metric. Jones is already a legitimate top-15 option in a juicy Week 4 matchup.
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
It’s never sexy to trot out Andy Dalton as your quarterback, but you could do worse if you need a streaming option in Week 4.
Dalton checks in just outside the top ten QBs to date this year. Dalton’s rise to QB1 status through three weeks has been steady: he’s scored between 18-20 fantasy points in each of the first three weeks.
With new head coach Zac Taylor in the fold, Cincy is passing at the league’s third-highest clip. Thanks to the breakout of John Ross, Tyler Eifert’s surprising health, and the steady presences of Joe Mixon and Tyler Boyd, Dalton actually has a solid array of weapons.
The Red Rocket will get to face the Pittsburgh Steelers next week, and the Steelers’ pass defence currently ranks sixth-worst in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play. The ceiling isn’t crazy, but Dalton should again be on the QB1/2 borderline in Week 4.
Wayne Gallman, RB, New York Giants
Sadly, lost in the shuffle of Danny Dimes’ brilliant debut was the injury to Saquon Barkley. Barkley suffered an ankle injury that will require an MRI, and he was seen on crutches during the game. Not great, Bob. According to ESPN, it’s looking like a high ankle sprain, which is likely to keep him out a minimum of six weeks.
That makes Wayne Gallman this week’s number one waiver add. Gallman caught 34 passes as a rookie and is capable of playing on all three downs, so he should slide into the same role Barkley was playing. Obviously, the talent contrast is as stark as they get, but we’re much more concerned about opportunity in fantasy football. As the likely feature back in a suddenly exciting offence, Gallman is an easy pickup this week and immediate flex play.
Darrel Williams, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
With Damien Williams out, Darrel Williams soaked up 14 touches on Sunday and produced an impressive 109 yards. In fact, with LeSean McCoy re-tweaking his ankle in the fourth quarter, head coach Andy Reid used Williams to help ice the game on a screen pass.
Given the murky injury situation in the backfield, Williams is an obvious stash. At worst he’s a handcuff, but if both Damien Williams and McCoy are out in Week 4, he’s a plug-and-play RB2.
C.J. Prosise, RB, Seattle Seahawks
With Chris Carson losing his third fumble of the season and Rashaad Penny sidelined with a hamstring injury, C.J. Prosise ended up out-snapping Carson 45-37, per Rotoworld. Prosise parlayed his expanded workload into nine touches, five of which came through the air.
A converted wide receiver, Prosise ran a 4.48 forty with a 90th-percentile speed score coming out of college. With Carson potentially in the dog house, and Penny nursing a mysterious hamstring injury, Prosise is deserving of a speculative add.
Phillip Dorsett, WR, New England Patriots
Without getting into specifics, Antonio Brown is no longer a member of the New England Patriots. His absence entrenches Phillip Dorsett into three-receiver sets. Dorsett played 84% of the snaps in Week 1 with Brown not in the lineup.
Dorsett caught six of seven targets for 53 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, with an additional 12-yard run to boot. He’s clearly in Tom Brady’s circle of trust and is a starting member of this offence, which warrants bench consideration right off the bat.
But with Julian Edelman suffering a rib injury Sunday, per ESPN, it’s likely Dorsett’s target share grows if Edelman is forced to miss any time. That makes him worth an immediate add.
DJ Chark Jr, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
With the moustachioed, gun-slinging Gardner Minshew in town, the Jacksonville Jaguars suddenly looks like a fun offence to watch. Minshew only threw 30 passes on Thursday night as Jacksonville dictated the pace of the game, but it’s reasonable to assume more attempts going forward in games the Jags can’t control the script. D.J. Chark saw five of those targets, converting four of them for 76 yards and a score.
That marks a touchdown in every game this season for Chark, as Minshew continues to look for him down the field and in the end zone. While that could mean a low floor going forward, Chark is already an every week boom/bust WR3, evidenced by ranking top-30 in air yards so far this year. He should be owned everywhere.
Preston Williams, WR, Miami Dolphins
A love of the NFL draft community, rookie wide receiver Preston Williams has looked solid through three career games, scoring between 8-10 points every week in half-PPR formats. What’s notable about Week 3, however, is the 12 targets he saw with Josh Rosen making his first start of the season.
While the Miami Dolphins are obviously a dumpster fire, this team should be forced to throw a ton. And the offence looked marginally better (read: they scored points) on Sunday despite a tough road matchup, so the hope is that Rosen’s presence can at least make a receiver fantasy-relevant. Williams is worth a stash to see if that comes true. It’s worth noting Williams ranks 18th in air yards this year.
Will Dissly, TE, Seattle Seahawks
This one is pretty simple. Will Dissly is the primary pass-catching tight end for an offence run by Russell Wilson. Dissly has now caught five touchdowns in seven NFL appearances and appears fully back from his 2018 knee injury.
Just as impressive as his touchdown-scoring prowess are his target counts of five and seven in his two healthy starts so far this year. That’s a 14% target share, good enough to keep him on the TE1/2 border every week moving forward.
Dissly is a legitimate top-10 option against the Arizona Cardinals’ league-worst tight end defence in Week 4.
Houston Texans Defense
There aren’t a ton of great streaming options for Week 4, but Houston definitely qualifies.
It’s too early to know the spread for this game, but it’s likely the Houston Texans are at least four-point home favourites against the Carolina Panthers. That alone makes them a solid streaming option as we always want to chase home favourites for defensive streamers. Leading at home forces the other team to throw more, which is what leads to sacks, interceptions, and fumbles — the lifeblood of fantasy defence points.
The Houston D/ST has recorded nine sacks over the past two weeks, and even the lowly Arizona D/ST managed two against the Panthers. Kyle Allen impressed in Week 3, but that was against a bottom-half pass defence, and he’s still a second-year UDFA on the road making his third career start. Houston should have a safe floor with ceiling for much more if they’re able to build a nice lead.