In hindsight, the Week 2 waiver wire looks like it could be the best of the season. Most, if not all, of the players I listed last week were key contributors, or are in a position to be, in your lineups. That doesn’t mean the waiver wire can’t benefit your team from here on out. There are still 12 regular season weeks of fantasy football still to play! It’s still a useful tool to improve and should be taken a bit more seriously so you don’t miss out on impactful players.
You may be dealing with injuries, bye weeks, or just need to cycle out players from your bench. Whatever the case may be, the waiver wire is there to help. There’s not always a need to put in a claim for players each week, but if you do, make it count. Below, we’ll look at players at each position, who are on 50% or less of most fantasy football rosters, that could be considered on the Week 3 waiver wire.
Week 3 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire By Position
Jerome Ford, Cleveland Browns
I’m sad to write that running back Nick Chubb is done for the 2023 season after suffering a gruesome knee injury on Monday Night Football in Week 2. His injury is a reminder of why having your best running back’s handcuff is so important. It’s also worthwhile to have the handcuffs of players not on your roster stashed on your bench, as well.
Jerome Ford rushed 15 times for 106 yards in Chubb’s absence adding another three receptions for 25 yards and a touchdown. He scored said touchdown immediately after Chubb was carted off, even adding another two points on a successful conversion following the score. Ford ripped off a 69-yard on the second play of the second half for the Browns, as well. He’s the clear pickup of the week on the Week 3 waiver wire. Use your top claim and spend whatever Free Agent Auction Budget (FAAB) money you have on him. His backup is now Pierre Strong who punched in a one-yard touchdown but likely plays significantly fewer snaps than Ford.
Two Must-Adds If Available (But Don’t Get Your Hopes Up):
If Los Angeles Rams running back Kyren Williams is somehow available on your league’s waiver wire, he must be picked up, as well. Prior to the Rams’ Week 2 game, running back Cam Akers was announced as inactive and apparently on the trade block. Williams went on to score two touchdowns for the second straight week. He also played 74 of the team’s 77 offensive snaps. Not only is he a key waiver wire pickup, but he’s a must-start moving forward in all league formats.
Additionally, take a look to see if someone dropped Los Angeles Chargers running back Joshua Kelley. After finding himself as a priority add on the Week 2 waiver wire, Kelley scored just 3.9 points on 13 carries. That will sour some fantasy football managers. The Chargers had just 21 rush attempts to 41 pass attempts. Kelley logged 61% of the team’s carries on 79% of snaps amongst running backs. We don’t know when Austin Ekeler will be back or how effective he will be. Kelley should still be on rosters and, depending on the matchup, in your starting lineup.
Roschon Johnson, Chicago Bears
The Bears offensive is downright dreadful to watch right now. Picking up Roschon Johnson on the waiver wire is with hopes that they start clicking soon. After leading Chicago running backs in Week 1 snaps, Johnson took a step back behind Khalil Herbert in Week 2. Still, D’Onta Foreman was a healthy scratch. Johnson is going to continue to see significant playing time. For now, though, 17 touches through two games doesn’t make him a must-start. The talent is there though for future use. For now, he’s a matchup-based flex option.
Tyjae Spears, Tennessee Titans
Another rookie running back that took a step back is Tyjae Spears. After playing more snaps than Derrick Henry in Week 1, Spears found himself 22 snaps behind King Henry in their Week 2 home opener. Still, Spears turned his 10 touches into 55 yards. Notably, his eight carries yielded 49 rushing yards good for a 6.125 yards per carry average. Spears is worth adding on the waiver wire as Henry’s handcuff for now with a chance his role grows as the season progresses.
Matt Brieda, New York Giants
The Giants have a quick turnaround and play on Thursday night in Week 3. After amounting an incredible Week 2 comeback, it came with the loss of Saquon Barkley to an ankle sprain late in the game. There’s no fracture and it’s not the dreaded high ankle sprain. However, Barkley is almost guaranteed to miss Week 3. Matt Brieda is by no means a must-start against the 49ers in San Francisco. If Barkley is to miss more time, though, Brieda could have some success back at home against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 4.
Craig Reynolds, Detroit Lions
It’s going to be “a couple of weeks” for running back David Montgomery to return from a Week 2 quad injury. That’s from his mouth directly so it’s worth taking note of. This hopefully means 12th overall pick Jahmyr Gibbs is on the verge of a big breakout. However, following Montgomery’s exit from the game, Reynolds saw four opportunities on three drives to that of five from Gibbs. Again, ahead of a home matchup against the Atlanta Falcons, I imagine there will be an emphasis on working Gibbs more into the game plan. Gibbs has played 21% and 48% of the offensive snaps thus far. I expect an uptick, but Craig Reynolds will definitely work in some touches. He’s worth adding to rosters while Montgomery is out.
Other Running Backs to Consider
Justice Hill and Gus Edwards both remain worthy waiver wire additions. Guessing which one is worth a start in your fantasy leagues each week won’t be easy. As of now, they’re both high-floor flex options in a run-first Baltimore Ravens offense. Hill holds more value in PPR formats after playing the most running back snaps and seeing 14 touches, three of which were receptions. Hill also has seven red zone rush attempts, including three inside the five-yard line this season. Unfortunately, Edwards is the one who punched in a one-yard score in Week 2. Go figure.
Jeff Wilson Jr. remains on the Injured Reserve but could play a key role in his return to the Miami Dolphins’ backfield. Raheem Mostert has been nothing short of spectacular thus far for them. He has 158 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 28 carries through two games. Behind him, though, Salvon Ahmed and De’Von Achane have combined for just 11 touches through two games, as well. Wilson is worth a stash, especially if you have an open IR spot, for a hopeful Week 5 return to the 2-0 Dolphins.
Tutu Atwell, Los Angeles Rams
First of all, if rookie Puka Nacua is out there on your league’s waiver wire, then he is your top add. If you don’t know who he is by now, then you don’t deserve to add him. Nacua has 35 total targets in his first two games. Yes, 35.
Otherwise, the Rams wide receiver you want looks to be Tutu Atwell. After seeing less playing time than Van Jefferson in Week 1, Atwell saw more snaps than him in Week 2. More importantly, Atwell has drawn 17 targets to Jefferson’s nine through the first two games. He’s turned them into 13 catches for 196 scoreless yards. Simply put, if Nacua wasn’t having such a historical start to this season, we would be talking about Tutu Atwell a lot more. Who knows how this group shakes out if and when Cooper Kupp returns? For now, though, if you need wide receiver help, Atwell should be a priority addition to your roster before Week 3.
Josh Reynolds, Detroit Lions
There is some added concern about Amon-Ra St. Brown’s exit from their Week 2 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. While the Lions are calling it “cramping”, some suggest St. Brown could be dealing with a turf toe issue. That’s not season-ending, and may not even be a threat to his availability, but it’s definitely worth monitoring.
St. Brown’s status also bumps Josh Reynolds up the Week 3 waiver wire rankings for wide receivers. I think he has more long-term value than the aforementioned Tutu Atwell. Reynolds has 13 targets through two games, even with St. Brown drawing 16 of his own. Reynolds has hauled in nine of his targets for 146 yards and a team-high two receiving touchdowns. Furthermore, he’s played just 13 total snaps less than St. Brown, as well, making him the clear second receiver on this roster. Even if Amon-Ra St. Brown can go in Week 3, Reynolds is worth the add off of the waiver wire with the ability to start in some leagues.
Kendrick Bourne, New England Patriots
Bourne is back on the waiver wire list because he either wasn’t picked up last week or was dropped Sunday night or Monday. Sure, his four catches for 26 yards aren’t as exciting as the 6/64/2 stat line from Week 1. However, Bourne still drew nine targets in Week 2 which led all Patriots. Quarterback Mac Jones now has 96 pass attempts through two games. That leads the league. He’s worth adding to your bench at least for the volume alone.
Rookie Wide Receivers of Note
Jayden Reed on the Green Bay Packers brings the most stability to the table if targeting a rookie wide receiver on the Week 3 waiver wire. He has 25% of the team target share through the first two games. His second game was even better than his first. He led all Packers in targets (8) hauling in half of them for 37 yards and two touchdowns.
Jalin Hyatt of the New York Giants and Marvin Mims of the Denver Broncos each hauled in two catches for big yardage in Week 2. Hyatt logged 89 yards, 58 of which came on the first play of a second-half comeback. Meanwhile, Mims scored on a 60-yard moonball from Russell Wilson on his way to a 113-yard day. They’re both deeper league adds, if at all, with hopes of seeing more game action soon.
Other Wide Receivers to Consider
Rashid Shaheed remains Derek Carr’s preferred deep-threat option in the New Orleans Saints’ passing attack. As a result, Shaheed continues to rack up points with big plays. In the Saints’ first two games, Shaheed has one 40+ yard reception in each. He’s caught nine of his 10 targets and scored 10 or more fantasy points in each game. Shaheed will remain a boom-or-bust flex play with a low floor but a fine ceiling.
Robert Woods is playing behind Nico Collins right now among Houston Texans wide receivers. That’s in snaps, targets, receptions, yards and touchdowns. However, Woods only has one less target, reception, touchdown, and 75 yards less than Collins. He’s still averaging 12.55 points per game which is a serviceable starter in most formats. Woods isn’t going to get a ton of attention on the waiver wire, but is worth adding as a streamer, and should all season.
Hunter Henry, New England Patriots
After back-to-back weeks with a touchdown, Hunter Henry runs into his toughest defensive matchup yet with the New York Jets. The Jets have allowed 11 receptions for 56 yards to four total tight ends so far this season. It’s worth noting though, that Cowboys tight ends, Jake Ferguson and Luke Schoonmaker both found the end zone last week, though. Regardless, Hunter Henry is tied for second in Patriots targets on a high-volume passing offense. You can probably still trust him if you need to in Week 3.
Zach Ertz, Arizona Cardinals
Through two games, Ertz has 18 total targets! After tearing his ACL in Week 10 of last season, he’s played 72% of the team’s 2023 offensive snaps already. I would love to see Ertz traded to a contender as he’s nearly 33 years old. Until then, and even then, Ertz remains a high-volume TE 1 option. He’s averaging six receptions per game, providing an excellent floor in PPR leagues at a position where that’s hard to come by.
Cade Otton, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If you’re desperate for any sort of production from the tight end position, adding Otton on the waiver wire ahead of Week 3 is a desperation play with upside. The Philadelphia Eagles defense has allowed the most receptions (17), touchdowns (3), and second-most yards (171) to tight ends through two games. It won’t look pretty plugging Otton into your lineup, but he has a good chance to find the end zone in Week 3. He does have nine targets through the first two weeks.
Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints
In the year 2023, I didn’t think I would be suggesting Taysom Hill yet again as a waiver wire addition. However, you can plug him into your tight end position, but he gets most of his reps at quarterback. His reps at quarterback are usually spent running the ball. So you’re essentially adding a touchdown-dependent flex running back into your lineup but at tight end. He’s a dice roll of a play week-to-week, but worth mentioning for rushing upside especially if running back Jamaal Williams is to miss time with a hamstring injury.
Rookie Tight Ends
Sam LaPorta, Dalton Kincaid, and Luke Musgrave all played 71% of their team’s offensive snaps in Week 3. LaPorta and Musgrave both played 82% or more. I think all three are worth streaming depending on their matchups. If I were to play the game “Start, Bench, Cut” with these three, I’m starting LaPorta, benching Kincaid, and cutting Musgrave. LaPorta is fresh off of an 11.3-point Week 2 performance with a solid role on the Detroit Lions. He’s tied for third in team targets thus far, as well. LaPorta is about to face an Atlanta Falcons defense that allowed the most points to the position in 2022. They’ve also allowed seven receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown to the position so far in 2023.
Jared Goff, Detroit Lions
In his last 13 home games, Jared Goff is averaging 22.13 points per game. He gets a home bout with the Atlanta Falcons in Week 3. Especially given the injury to running back David Montgomery, the Lions may look to shift to a pass-heavier approach until further notice. Even if Amon-Ra St. Brown is dealing with a toe injury, Goff has proven he can make do with the unlikeliest of receiving options. Josh Reynolds, Sam LaPorta and Kalif Raymond combined for 12 receptions, 175 yards, and three touchdowns in Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks.
Other Quarterbacks to Consider
Jordan Love is off to a fantastic start in his first year as the full season starter for the Green Bay Packers. His six passing touchdowns are tied with Kirk Cousins for the league lead. It’s worth noting, though, that Love hasn’t thrown an interception thus far. He gets a tough matchup with a stingy New Orleans Saints defense in Week 3. They haven’t allowed a passing touchdown yet, but do have three total interceptions. The silver lining for Love is that he and the Pack are at home.
Baker Mayfield is ballin’ through the first two weeks. I don’t think anyone saw this coming. Up next is a home matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles. They’ve allowed the most passing touchdowns (7) and second-most passing yards (680) to quarterbacks so far. With weapons like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and others, Baker should continue to find success through the air. He’s worth the waiver wire add if you’re streaming in Week 3 already.
Matthew Stafford looks about five years younger so far through two weeks of the 2023 season. He’s only averaging 15.25 points per game, but the Los Angeles Rams have scored 53 points in their first two games. Four of their five offensive touchdowns belong to the ground game. Luckily, the Cincinnati Bengals have allowed the fourth-most points per game to quarterbacks thus far. That’s in part due to allowing a ton of rushing production to both Deshaun Watson and Lamar Jackson, but it’s a good matchup for Stafford if you need a one-week fill-in at the position.