Week 3 of the fantasy football season is coming up this weekend and we learned a lot of interesting things. Ryan Fitzpatrick is causing hysteria in fantasy circles with his mind-blowing performances against the Saints and the Eagles.
Finally, the injuries to numerous fantasy starters are making owners scramble to the waiver wire to fill their needs for numerous positions. Devonta Freeman, Doug Baldwin, Joe Mixon, Marcus Mariota, and Marquise Goodwin are all key players on the injury news report. With information from this article, you can put together the best plan for attacking the waiver wire in your league.
***All stats and percentages are based upon the ESPN 10-Team PPR Format***
Week 3 Waiver Wire Wonders
Quarterback: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Believe in the Fitz-Magic! Most people were writing off Fitzpatrick for having a one-week anomaly of a game against the Saints in week one. He repeated that performance against the Eagles and now is the time to believe in him. Fitzpatrick will play the Steelers in week 3, who just surrendered 42 points and 449 yards to the Chiefs. This is another great opportunity for Fitzpatrick to roll in and put up some big numbers against a reeling defense. There is no telling whether he will be the starter once Jameis Winston returns from his suspension in week 4, but for the time being, he needs to be in your starting lineup.
Percent Owned: 31.7%
Running Back: Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Mixon is going to be on the sidelines for two to three weeks. This means that Bernard should reap the rewards during his absence. When Mixon was not on the field against the Ravens, Bernard and the rush offense didn’t skip a beat. Pick up Bernard before someone else does because for the next few weeks he will be a starter every week. Bernard is versatile, just like Mixon, and he will be able to run all the plays the Bengals wanted to run with Mixon in the backfield. He may not be as dynamic as Mixon is in the offense, but he will be reliable on a weekly basis.
Percent Owned: 39.5%
Wide Receivers: Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers offense is going to be explosive this year and Williams can be a focal point for sure. Of course, the offense will run through Melvin Gordon and Keenan Allen first, but Williams will command some touches. The former number seven overall pick in 2017, Williams will look to usurp the number two position from Tyrell Williams. He has the ability and he put together a solid preseason which can lead to more attention from Rivers and the passing offense. He may not be a reliable starter just yet, but he is someone to add sooner than later. Buy low on the fantasy stock that is Williams and then reap the dividends in the near future.
Percent Owned: 35.3%
Tight Ends: Jesse James, Pittsburgh Steelers
James is a tight end that is going overlooked in a majority of fantasy leagues and it is surprising. James may not be the big name guy that comes to mind when thinking about fantasy tight ends, but he has become more reliable in the offense. The biggest thing that he has been able to do is develop trust with quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. If you can gain you quarterback’s trust, you will get involved in the offense. He may have to deal with fellow tight end, Vance McDonald, but he will remain the top tight end in the Steelers offense. McDonald brings a speed element to the tight end position, but James has more reliable hands and will be involved a lot more in the passing game. James is right on the fringe of being a reliable starter and it’s best to jump on this bandwagon before it slows to a stop.
Percent Owned: 3.3%
Kickers: Dan Bailey, Minnesota Vikings
Sometimes the kicker can mean the difference between earning a victory by a slim margin or suffering a loss by a few points. The Vikings understood the pain of losing a game they should have won with poor kicking. They took swift action and signed the veteran kicker, Bailey to their roster. The Vikings have a good offense and this will provide Bailey with a lot of opportunities to score points either by field goals or by extra points. Bailey is the second most accurate kicker in league history (Justin Tucker is first) and this can help Minnesota finish drives with points, instead of taking points off the board. The number of opportunities and the accuracy makes Bailey a sure-fire add if you need a better kicker for your starting roster.
Percent Owned: 3%
Defenses: Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears defense was a top-10 defense at the close of 2017. With the new addition of Khalil Mack to this defense, they have a chance to become a top-5 fantasy defense at the end of 2018. Based on what we saw against the Packers and the Seahawks, Mack is a one-man wrecking crew. This inspires the rest of the defense to have the same mentality and they also play at a high-level. Now, they did suffer a second-half collapse against the Packers in week 1, but that is something that may not happen again for a long time. After this Seattle match-up, the Bears play the following opponents: Arizona Cardinals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, and New York Jets. This spells big fantasy production for the Bears and it’s best to pick them up before everyone else is wise to how elite this defense can be.
Percent Owned: 58.7%
Others for consideration: New York Jets (25.4%); Dallas Cowboys (11%); Miami Dolphins (18.9%)