Week 3 Waiver Wire Top Pickups & Adds: Derek Carr In The Drivers Seat
As if Week 1 did not have enough chaos, Week 2 supplied even more injuries, upsets, and nonsense! It feels like half of the Pittsburgh Steelers defense, including T.J. Watt, have groin injuries. Numerous quarterbacks suffered varying injuries in Week 2, which can completely shift some teams’ playoff pictures. The Las Vegas Raiders already look like a playoff-contending team, while the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets are struggling significantly. If you play fantasy football, you probably have an injured player (or multiple) and are looking for a free agent scoop that could help you continue to compete. Take a look at our fantasy football rankings & projections to help get you through to next week.
Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings
Average % Rostered: 24.5%, FAAB: 2%
Kirk Cousins has gotten sacked numerous times and rushed countless times in 2021, despite only playing two games. Somehow, this has not impacted his fantasy output in the least. Cousins has no fumbles or interceptions despite two abysmal performances from the Vikings’ offensive line. While scoring big fantasy numbers against the Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals, two subpar defenses overall are nothing to call home about; we have at least seen that he can hit his targets and avoid turnovers. Cousins is averaging just shy of 300 passing yards and 2.5 touchdowns per game.
Derek Carr – Las Vegas Raiders
Average % Rostered: 16.5%, FAAB: 5%
It is likely that most people, including myself, thought the Raiders’ Week 1 home victory over the Baltimore Ravens was a fluke. However, they left little doubt in their second game when they went on the road and defeated a Pittsburgh team that just beat the Buffalo Bills on the road the previous game! In each bout so far, Derek Carr has looked spectacular. He has always had the skill and talent but never seemed to have the resources or coaching necessary to produce at a high level. Perhaps head coach Jon Gruden has unlocked Carr’s “next level,” as he is throwing for over 400 yards per game thus far against two very worthy opponents. Imagine what could happen when he faces teams with weaker secondaries. Carr looks like the real deal this year, and if he is still available as a free agent in your league, it makes sense to pick him up now, especially if your team is banged up at that position.
Tony Pollard – Dallas Cowboys
Average % Rostered: 38.6%, FAAB: 12%
From the Cowboys’ first game to their second game, Pollard has seen a substantial increase in workload, and rightfully so, as he has produced some massive numbers. This week, Pollard rushed 13 times for 109 yards and one touchdown. He also reeled in three catches for 31 yards to add on to his busy day. Interestingly enough, it seemed Pollard was the most significant recipient of Gallup’s shares since his injury. Pollard is a big-time playmaker, and if he is available in any of your leagues, I highly suggest scooping him.
Cordarrelle Patterson – Atlanta Falcons
Average % Rostered: 7.7%, FAAB: 1%
For the second straight week, this list will feature Cordarrelle Patterson. Patterson has a lot of upside as a flex play in deeper leagues because he can score in various ways. He got a rushing touchdown in Week 2 but also secured plenty of targets. That kind of scoring diversification should allow him more consistency than in previous years. In a frustrating Falcons offense, Patterson has continued to produce.
Rondale Moore – Arizona Cardinals
Average % Rostered: 19.3%, FAAB: 10%
Rookie wide receiver outputs can vary and are, in general, highly volatile. What has been made apparent through two weeks is that Rondale Moore will be a fabulous flex option in deeper leagues for the remainder of the year. Deandre Hopkins will get so much attention this year that Rondale Moore, Christian Kirk, and A.J. Green will be the beneficiaries of a substantial amount of targets. I see Rondale Moore as a player with WR2 upside for the rest of the season solely because Kyler Murray looks like a potential MVP candidate. Moore’s speed should find him open plenty. This is especially the case when considering Murray’s playmaking and play-extending ability.
Michael Pittman Jr – Indianapolis Colts
Average % Rostered: 63.7%, FAAB: 15%
This might be cheating, but I am counting it since he is available in three of my fantasy leagues. Pittman had an underwhelming Week 1 but was the go-to target for Wentz in Week 2 against the Los Angeles Rams, who have one of the best defenses in the league. He reeled in eight of his 12 targets for 123 yards this week. Pittman has high-end WR2 upside for the remainder of the season as long as Wentz is under center, so it is worth going after him if he is somehow available in your leagues.
K.J. Osborn – Minnesota Vikings
Average % Rostered: 1.1%, FAAB: <1%
It is hard to imagine a player who is the fourth option in an offense as a valuable addition to a fantasy roster; however, Osborn has already put together two strong weeks this year. There is a ton of pressure on Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson from opposing secondaries, allowing Osborn to get open more. He could be a flex option in deeper leagues and has terrific upside in the case of an unfortunate injury to one of Minnesota’s core skill players.
Jack Doyle – Indianapolis Colts
Average % Rostered: 0.7%, FAAB: <1%
Jack Doyle turned in a solid Week 2 performance catching five of his eight targets for 64 yards. Doyle bounced back strong after an underwhelming first game and found an obvious connection with quarterback Carson Wentz. Unfortunately, Wentz injured his ankle late in the fourth quarter this week, and it is difficult to determine whether he will play next week or not. Even if Wentz does not play, Doyle should still see plenty of targets. Backup quarterback Jacob Eason will probably want to dump down to Doyle as much as possible when he is under pressure.
Maxx Williams – Arizona Cardinals
Average % Rostered: 0.1%, FAAB: <1%
This is a complete flier pick. Maxx Williams had a monstrous second game, hauling in all seven of his targets for 94 yards. Williams is the best tight-end that the Cardinals have, and therefore, could see volume for that reason. There are concerns because of the number of capable receivers on the Cardinals; however, he showed excellent chemistry with Murray and instilled trust by bringing in every target that came his way.