After months of waiting, the NFL and fantasy football are in full swing, and with two weeks in the books, managers now adjust and tweak their lineups based on what we’ve seen. Working the waiver wire is the best way to better your team and find a weekly advantage. To aid in that, here are some of the top waiver wire claims to make for Week 3 of the fantasy football season.
Top waiver wire pickups in Week 3 | Quarterbacks
Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers vs DEN (1% rostered)
No need to overthink this one. Jimmy Garoppolo has to be a waiver wire claim in Week 2 as he takes over for Trey Lance. The 49ers put out a statement on Monday saying Lance’s devastating injury will require surgery to repair two injuries to his ankle, a fibula fracture, and damage to some ligaments, ending his season before it ever had a chance to begin.
Garoppolo came in and stepped up in the moment and did precisely what the 49ers expected, completing 13 of his 21 pass attempts for 154 yards and one touchdown. Additionally, Jimmy G had four carries for five yards and a rushing touchdown, bringing his total to 16.6 PPR points, placing him as the QB12 (pre-MNF) ahead of Joe Burrow.
In his 37 active games between 2019 and 2021, Garoppolo averaged 17.4 PPR and 240 yards a game. It’s an offense loaded with talent on both sides of the ball, and if anything, they’ll get a boost with Garoppolo under center. In Superflex and 2QB leagues, he’s the top waiver wire claim for Week 3.
Jared Goff, Detroit Lions at MIN (6.8% rostered)
Before I get into Jared Goff, look to see if Carson Wentz is available. After back-to-back 300-yard games and top-five finishes, he should be snagged if available (56% rostered). The same goes for Tua Tagovailoa (64%), but if not, Goff is a solid consolation prize.
Goff took advantage of a soft matchup against Washington, who ranked 28th in DVOA last year, throwing for 256 yards with four touchdowns on 20 of 34 passing on Sunday (QB5 before Monday Night Football).
In two weeks, Goff has six touchdowns to just one interception, and in Week 3, they should be in a high-scoring affair with the new-look Minnesota Vikings. I like Goff as a mid-QB2, and if you lost Lance and missed on Garoppolo, Goff should be a priority on the Week 3 waiver wire.
Top waiver wire pickups in Week 3 | Running backs
Jordan Mason, San Francisco 49ers at DEN (2.1% rostered)
This has nothing to do with what Jordan Mason has done. In fact, he’s done absolutely nothing in the regular season through two games. But he has a heck of an opportunity in front of him. Lance was not the only injury on Sunday as the 49ers’ rookie RB Tyrion Davis-Price suffered a high ankle sprain after recording 14 carries.
Elijah Mitchell is already out for 6-8 weeks, leaving Mason and Jeff Wilson Jr. as the only options left. The 49ers like Mason. They like him enough that he beat out 2021 third-round pick Trey Sermon for the final spot on the 53-man roster.
With Jimmy G now under center, fewer rushing attempts are being taken from the RBs. Even if you don’t start him this week against Denver, Mason is worth grabbing off the Week 3 waiver wire in leagues with enough roster depth.
Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins vs. BUF (51.7% rostered)
While the QBs stole the show, Raheem Mostert gave fantasy managers something to chew on as they re-evaluate the Miami depth chart. Mostert recorded a team-high 11 carries for 51 yards in their shootout win. He also caught all three of his targets for 28 yards. After watching Edmonds take the early downs in Week 1, that flipped in Week 2, with Mostert leading 29 to 17, suggesting a change took place in Miami.
Odds are this is a committee moving forward. With that said, any running back with a path to double-digit carries plus a few targets should be rostered. The matchup this week against Buffalo is brutal, but in the end, Mostert is worth grabbing off the Week 3 waiver wire even if you don’t use him.
Darrel Williams, Arizona Cardinals vs. LAR (3.6% rostered)
Currently, we do not know the status of James Conner’s ankle and if he will be available for Week 3. In fairness, Conner has been a disappointment after finishing second in touchdowns (18) a year ago. But if you wish to be proactive, Darrel Williams would be the waiver wire target for Week 3.
Williams was busy in Conner’s absence, rushing eight times for 59 yards (7.4 ypc) with a touchdown while adding two receptions and three yards on two targets. Eno Benjamin was in a split with Williams (37 snaps and 12 opportunities), but Williams saw the high-leverage opportunities, recording 100% of the goal-line snaps. Given Conner’s track record when it comes to staying healthy, Williams is a worthwhile insurance policy.
Brian Robinson, Washington Commanders vs. PHI (35.5% rostered)
Can someone tell me how Brian Robinson dropped 3.5% over the last week when we had a video come out of him training and reports surfaced suggesting a Week 5 return? These are nothing but wins. Plus, in 95% of leagues, you don’t even have to drop a player because Robinson can be added off the waiver wire straight to your IR spot.
There is zero risk involved with adding Robinson off the waiver wire. We saw how good he looked in the preseason, and who knows, he might have actually been the RB1 like many were believing after seeing his usage. Stop playing chicken with your league-mates, and get him on your roster now.
Top waiver wire pickups in Week 3 | Wide receivers
Russell Gage, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. GB (55.1% rostered)
Things are very wrong in Tampa Bay, and the passing game is a prime culprit. Things will not get easier in Week 3 as Mike Evans will miss the game after being suspended by the NFL for his altercation with Marshon Lattimore. Chris Godwin (hamstring) missed last week as did Julio Jones (knee). All of a sudden, Gage might be Tom Brady’s top option against the Packers.
Gage was on the field for just 23 plays in Week 1, catching both of his targets for 13 yards. In Week 2, while nursing a hamstring injury of his own, he secured five of six targets for 28 yards. It’s like when the lights come on at the bar when it’s closing time. You don’t have to fit all the criteria. You just have to be there. The 26-year-old could be in line for a significant workload in Week 3, making it worth grabbing now and watching the situation unfold in the coming days.
Greg Dortch, Arizona Cardinals vs. LAR (2.8% rostered)
To do something once is a fluke. Turn heads twice, and now it’s a pattern. Can Greg Dortch make it a hat trick in Week 3? A relative unknown by all but the most die-hard Cardinals fans, Dortch reeled in all four targets for 55 yards with a touchdown on Sunday. Through two weeks, Dortch currently is the WR22 in PPR scoring (14.4 PPR/game) while sitting T-27th in targets (13), T-15th in receptions (10), and 32nd in yards (118).
Rondale Moore is being reported to miss roughly a month with his hamstring injury. Plus, DeAndre Hopkins can’t return until Week 7 due to his suspension. Add in A.J. Green, who appeared to tweak his leg on a two-point conversion, and Dortch is the No. 2 target alongside Marquise Brown.
Sterling Shepard, New York Giants vs. DAL (10.2% rostered)
When healthy, Sterling Shepard was the Giants’ best receiver last year. Now two games into the 2022 season, after rehabbing a torn Achilles, Shepard looks to once again sit on top of the depth chart. After scoring a touchdown in Week 1, Shepard played on 90% of the snaps against the Panthers. Running 37 routes, Shepard has a team-high 10 targets, recording six receptions for 34 yards.
With Kenny Golladay playing on just two snaps and Kadarius Toney a no-show (zero yards on three targets), Shepard is the only Giants WR fantasy managers can consider starting. Heck, in some leagues, he might be the only one worth rostering. While I wouldn’t do it personally, Shepard is worth a look off the Week 3 waiver wire, but he does need to find the end zone more to reach his ceiling.
Others to consider but miss the cut-off:
- Garrett Wilson, New York Jets (69.8%)
- Curtis Samuel, Washington Commanders (67.6%)
- Jahan Dotson, Washington Commanders (60.7%)
- Treylon Burks, Tennessee Titans (58.8%)
- Jakobi Meyers, New England Patriots (64.6%)
Top waiver wire pickups in Week 3 | Tight ends
Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars at LAC (11.6% rostered)
Helping to defeat the Colts for the eighth time in a row at home, Evan Engram caught seven of eight targets for 46 yards on Sunday. That’s double the volume he saw in Week 1, and even without a score, enough to land him the TE9 spot on the week.
Doug Pederson loves his tight ends, and in the second week of action, the offense is looking more cohesive, and quite frankly, fun to watch. Trevor Lawrence has a No. 1 in Christian Kirk, but if Engram can become the player we have hoped he could be, all of a sudden, we could have the much-anticipated breakout on our hands. Scoring will be a problem, but volume can help to offset it.
Engram could become a regular in the high-end TE2 debate and even low-end TE1 in the right matchup if trends continue. If you’re streaming the position or have the depth, adding Engram off the wavier wire in Week 3 could be a massive addition down the line.
Logan Thomas, Washington Commanders vs. PHI (19.5% rostered)
This will be a game that goes under the radar, but it shouldn’t, as Logan Thomas was impressive on Sunday. Despite all three receivers playing on a minimum of 66 snaps, 46 routes, and combining for 19 targets, Thomas found the end zone for the first time this season, hauling in three of his five targets for 37 yards.
That might not seem like a big deal, but Thomas played in only six games last year due to hamstring and knee injuries. He was coming into the year with a ton of momentum after a 110-target season in 2020 as a former QB turned TE. Thomas does need to see more than a 12.9% target share to be reliable, but the signs are there for fantasy managers to take a shot on the post-hype sleeper off the waiver wire in Week 3.
Hayden Hurst, Cincinnati Bengals at NYJ (23.3% rostered)
For the second-straight game, Hayden Hurst saw a healthy amount of targets (7), finishing just behind Tee Higgins (10) and Ja’Marr Chase (9). Hurst wasn’t the most efficient, recording 24 yards (4.8 ypc) on five receptions.
That gave Hurst 15 targets in the first two weeks, which is tied for sixth in the league. The matchup in Week 3 is intriguing against a Jets defense that ranked 26th in fantasy points allowed to the position. He’ll be a solid TE2 this week.