Several handcuffs for injured starting running backs highlight our “waiver wire pickups” article this week, including Chuba Hubbard and Peyton Barber. There is plenty of value on the waiver wire after this week, and there will be plenty of decisions to make that could impact your season, so check out the list and figure out which positions and players make the most sense for your squad. Also, head over to our fantasy football rankings & projections pages to help you evaluate your fantasy outlook further!
Sam Darnold – Carolina Panthers
Average % Rostered: 9%, FAAB: 5%
Sam Darnold had another solid week, putting up 304 passing yards and rushing for two touchdowns. He is averaging just shy of 300 passing yards per game and only has one interception through three games. Darnold could be a low-end QB1 option, so if your QB is not executing quite how you want, then scoop Darnold! Fantasy managers, especially in leagues where interceptions are valued as a deduction, love it when their quarterbacks protect the ball.
Derek Carr – Las Vegas Raiders
Average % Rostered: 50%, FAAB: 8%
If Derek Carr is somehow still available in your league, you need to scoop him now. It does not matter if it is a six-man league or a huge league with many people you don’t even know. He could end up being in MVP contention, and you will not want to leave him for someone else to grab. Carr has thrown for over 1,200 yards and six touchdowns in an offense that nobody thought would be very good through three games.
Chuba Hubbard – Carolina Panthers
Average % Rostered: 11.3%, FAAB: 3%
If you remembered Mike Davis last season, then you know how valuable the handcuff running back behind Christian McCaffrey can be for a fantasy football team. Davis has done far less this year in Atlanta. Still, Carolina’s offense is so revolved around McCaffrey that it is easier to plug another back in his place and make slight adjustments than to completely revamp the offense for a few weeks until he returns. Hubbard should be a valuable RB2 in the weeks that McCaffrey misses.
Peyton Barber – Las Vegas Raiders
Average % Rostered: 11.3%, FAAB: 2%
If Josh Jacobs were to return less than 100% and miss more time or potentially reinjure himself, then Peyton Barber’s value would spike substantially. Head coach Jon Gruden is probably Peyton Barber’s biggest fan, and he had a breakout game in Week 3 that saw him rushing for over 100 yards. As long as Jacobs is not on the field, Barber holds value.
Kendrick Bourne – New England Patriots
Average % Rostered: 0.4%, FAAB: 2%
The New England wide receivers have been wildly volatile in their production through the first three games of the NFL season. Bourne had a huge week snagging six receptions for 96 yards and one touchdown. This could be a turning point for Bourne as he established himself and showed good chemistry with Mac Jones. If Jones throws more and more as the season goes on, Bourne could eventually turn into a reliable WR3 for your team.
Hunter Renfrow – Las Vegas Raiders
Average % Rostered: 11.3%, FAAB: 6%
Hunter Renfrow has shown exceptional consistency through the first three games of this season, putting up six receptions twice and five receptions once. His receiving yards have stayed consistent between 57 and 77 yards, and he got one touchdown in Week 3 as well. Renfrow has a lot of value as a WR3/Flex player in the future in this Raiders offense. Carr will be throwing the ball a ton this year, and with Darren Waller getting most of the attention from opposing defenses, Renfrow will often find himself open.
Christian Kirk – Arizona Cardinals
Average % Rostered: 22.4%, FAAB: 10%
Kirk finally has the year that people have been expecting for a while. He has had three strong games to start the season, and it should continue through the rest of the year. Currently, Kirk is averaging five receptions for just shy of 80 yards per game and has two touchdowns in three games. In an Arizona offense that projects as one of the most dynamic in the league for the rest of the year, Kirk holds low-end WR2, high-end WR3 value.
Dawson Knox – Buffalo Bills
Average % Rostered: 4.4%, FAAB: 2%
Knox could be a valuable asset for a fantasy football roster with an injury at tight-end, or if you think you need a decent backup. Buffalo’s offense has looked terrific, save Week 1, and that could find him becoming a more reliable target in that offense.
Tyler Conklin – Minnesota Vikings
Average % Rostered: 2.6%, FAAB: 2%
The percentage of your budget that you should allocate to Conklin depends entirely on what your tight-end situation looks like right now. If you have an unreliable or injured tight-end, then you should spend a little more; otherwise, do not break the bank on Conklin. He had a terrific week, but he remains the fourth option in the passing game, and once Cook returns, he will see even less volume. Evaluate your roster and see if adding him makes sense because he is a low-risk, high-reward free agent.