It's been a whirlwind of an NFL season so far, meaning your fantasy football lineups look different from what they were after your drafts. With Week 3 in the books, it's time to evaluate the waiver wire, make your claims, and improve your roster.
For context, the players we recommend are available in less than 50% of Yahoo! leagues.
Let's check it out.
CJ Stroud, Houston Texans (20% Rostered): Yes, he plays for the Texans, but he's dropped back to pass 140 times this season, which is second behind only Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. He's tied for third in the league in attempts and is fourth in passing yards at 906. Oh yeah—he also has no interceptions the season. He's throwing constantly, which has amounted to back-to-back 20-point performances. Before the bye week, the Texans play Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and New Orleans. Expect Stroud to keep throwing and racking up the fantasy points.
Andy Dalton, Carolina Panthers (2% Rostered): If Bryce Young doesn't suit up and you need a streaming option for Week 4, Dalton could be your man. The Panthers host the Swiss cheese Vikings defense in Week 4, and Dalton is coming off a 360+ passing yard and two touchdown performance against the Seattle Seahawks on the road.
Other Names to Consider: Sam Howell, Gardner Minshew (streaming option if Anthony Richardson is out).
De'Vone Achane, Miami Dolphins (42% Rostered): On many benches this week, after having just one carry on the season heading into this one, Achane and the entire Dolphins offense erupted for 70 points. Achane had 22 touches for 233 yards, four touchdowns, and added four receptions. From a fantasy waiver perspective, the only bummer is that lead running back Raheem Mostert had a phenomenal day, scoring four touchdowns. Still, Achane will get more than enough looks now ahead of Salvon Ahmed and Jeff Wilson Jr. If you're in an FAAB league, be ready to dump it all to get Achane.
Ezekiel Elliott, New England Patriots (43% Rostered): This season, it's been clear that the Patriots, especially after Week 3, want to continue working Elliott into the lineup. In a win against the New York Jets, Elliott had 16 carries for 80 yards and caught a pass for seven. To this point, he's registered 28 carries to Rhamondre Stevenson's 46, and, believe it or not, Elliott is averaging 4.4 yards per carry while Stevenson is at 2.9. Elliott also has a touchdown and has four 10+ yard runs compared to just one from Stevenson. We could see a situation where Elliott gets many valuable carries while Stevenson handles receiving work. Next, the Patriots are on the road to take on Elliott's former team, the Dallas Cowboys.
Kendre Miller, New Orleans Saints (33% Rostered): He logged just nine carries in Week 3, but it was his first game back. He had only 34 rushing yards, and while fellow running back Alvin Kamara is coming back, we've seen it throughout the Saints history with Kamara as a back that another runner has fantasy value. Without quarterback Derek Carr in the lineup for a bit due to an AC joint injury, we could see Miller and Kamara get more work, with Miller getting some extra as Kamara works his way to being in "game shape." He's still a valuable addition, even if he didn't perform up to the standards we thought in Week 3.
Keaton Mitchell, Baltimore Ravens (1% Rostered): J.K. Dobbins went down with an Achilles injury in Week 1, Justice Hill missed Week 3 with a foot injury, and now Gus Edwards has a concussion. Mitchell is still on the injured reserve for another week, but it's worth it if you can pick him up and stash him. This backfield is already dealing with injuries, and Mitchell could be a solution.
Other Names to Consider: Roschon Johnson, Matt Breida, Tyjae Spears.
Tank Dell, Houston Texans (33% Rostered): With Stroud throwing it all over the yard, no one is seemingly benefitting more than former Houston Cougars wide receiver Tank Dell. Seeing four targets in Week 1, that has ramped up since. In Week 2, he saw ten targets and caught seven of them for 72 yards and a score. Then, in Week 3, on the road, he broke out big time. He caught five of them on seven targets for 145 yards and a score. Interestingly, he runs fewer routes than Nico Collins, Dalton Schultz, and Robert Woods, but he's firmly in the lineup in three wide receiver sets. He'll likely be taking over as the player opposite Collins, with Woods working the slot, too.
Adam Thielen, Carolina Panthers (48% Rostered): He might be the veteran on the roster, but he leads the team in targets (25), receptions (20), yards (211), and touchdowns (two). Regarding snaps where a route is run, Thielen is the leading receiver by 36 snaps. The next closest is rookie Terrace Marshall Jr., but this Panthers passing attack cannot support a second wide receiver. Look for Thielen to be a consistent PPR league option weekly.
Romeo Doubs, Green Bay Packers (42% Rostered): Christian Watson is likely back in the lineup this week or perhaps in Week 5 since Week 4 for the Packers is a short week, but Doubs will remain on the field ahead of Jayden Reed and Dontayvion Wicks. On the field, he runs a route 93.3% of the time, leading the team in targets (19) and receiving touchdowns (three).
Quentin Johnston and Josh Palmer, Los Angeles Chargers (33% Rostered; 5% Rostered): Mike Williams went down with an ACL tear in Week 3 and will miss the season. Now, we're scrambling to the waiver wire to get his replacement. We've seen Palmer perform over the years, and he's much more involved in the offense right now than Johnston. Palmer has eight catches on 11 targets this season for 83 yards and a touchdown, while Johnston has five catches on eight targets for 26 yards. The one positive for Johnston this season this season is that he's running routes when he's out on the field. He has just 38 receiving snaps, though, which is less than both tight ends on the Chargers roster, Joshua Kelley, Palmer, Williams, and Keenan Allen. Both are worth an add, with Palmer having more immediate value and Johnston perhaps breaking out later.
Other Names to Consider: Rashid Shaheed, Jameson Williams, Marvin Mims, Jayden Reed.
Luke Musgrave, Green Bay Packers (19% Rostered): Of all the tight ends available in 50% of leagues or less, Musgrave is the only one worth adding, really, this week. He leads the Packers in passing down snaps, has 15 targets, and is tied for the team lead in receptions. At 124 yards, he averages 11.3 yards per reception, and 54 of his 124 yards come after the catch. He's certainly a weapon, and Watson returning to the lineup could hurt his target share, but it could also help open up seam routes and other opportunities for him.
Other Names to Consider: Zach Ertz
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