2021 NFL Fantasy Football Week 3 Waiver Wire Pickups

 NFL Week 3 Fantasy Football waiver wire and injury help is here! 


RUNNING BACKS (RB): Tony Pollard, Cordarrelle Patterson, James White, J.D. McKissic 

WIDE RECEIVERS (WR): Rondale Moore, Tim Patrick, Michael Pittman, Zach Pascal

TIGHT ENDS (TE): Maxx Williams, Jared Cook

QUARTERBACKS (QB): Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Kirk Cousins, Daniel Jones

DEFENSE / SPECIAL TEAMS (D/ST): Carolina Panthers (at Texans), Las Vegas Raiders (vs Dolphins)

RUNNING BACKS (RB):

Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas Cowboys (currently owned in 38.6% of all ESPN leagues):
Zeke is still the Cowboys’ lead back, but Pollard was efficient with his limited usage.  Pollard got just 6 total touches in week 1.  However, he turned on the jets in week 2 and took 13 totes for 109 yards and a touchdown.  He also brought in all 3 of his targets for 31 yards.  Pollard is a bit of a boom or bust play in some leagues, but he could be called upon to spell Zeke toward the end of some games as Dallas’ schedule gets easier this season.  Although he’s too inconsistent to start, he warrants rostering.  

Cordarrelle Patterson, RB, Atlanta Falcons (currently owned in 8% of all ESPN leagues):
Offensive coordinator Arthur Smith has been known to  adjust his offense to the talents of his weapons.  So far, it’s been tough for the Falcons to get anything going offensively, especially on the ground.  Mike Davis and Cordarrelle Patterson have struggled through 2 weeks so Smith has thrown the ball a bit more on dump offs and quick passes as an extension of the run game.  Patterson is still a big-bodied playmaker whether he’s taking handoffs or catching the ball.  His box score against the Buccaneers was inflated by 2 touchdowns, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that he brought in 5 of his 6 targets for a touchdown and added another score and 11 yards on the ground. He’ll have the Giants and Jets with Washington in between heading into a week 6 bye.  Like Pollard, Patterson is a boom or bust player, but he’s worth rostering and his arrow is pointing upward.  His receiving ability makes him more valuable in PPR formats. 

James White, RB, New England Patriots (currently owned in 55.7% of all ESPN leagues):
White could become Mac Jones’ new best friend.  White has been the pass catching back for New England for a long time.  He offers knowledge of the offense, consistency, and a nice mental safety blanket for a young signal caller.  His box scores have struggled the past few seasons because he was part of a muddled mix of Michel, Harris, Burkhead, Bolden, and others.  However, the Patriots’ backfield is down to just Harris and White with rookie Rhamondre Stevenson serving as the backup and goal line basher at the moment.  White has brought in 12 of his 13 targets for 94 yards through the first 2 weeks.  He’ll try to build on his success against a couple of tough matchups against the Buccaneers and Saints, but he has some decent matchups against the Texans, Cowboys and Jets as the Patriots head into the middle of the season.  He could get even more targets until a viable, consistent receiving option emerges for Mac Jones.  

J.D. McKissic, RB, Washington Football Team (currently owned in 48% of all ESPN leagues):
McKissic was busy this week trying to help his young quarterback Taylor Heinicke stay productive.  Heinicke’s services have been called upon again with Fitzmagic going on IR.  So far Curtis Samuel hasn’t been healthy and rookie Dyami Brown has been a non-factor.  That leaves McLaurin, right end Logan Thomas, Gibson and McKissic as Heinicke’s weapons.  McKissic brought in 5 of his 6 targets for 83 yards and added another 4 rushes for 10 yards and a touchdown.  He could be heavily depended on to continue catching passes out of the backfield as an extension of the run game moving forward and should be rostered in all PPR leagues. 

WIDE RECEIVERS (WR):

Rondale Moore, WR, Arizona Cardinals (currently owned in 19.2% of all ESPN leagues):
Moore has proven himself to be an explosive, elusive home run threat every time he touches the ball.  He posted a modest 4 catches for 68 yards on 5 targets in week 1, but he exploded for 7 catches for 114 yards and a touchdown last week against the Vikings that included a 77 yard bomb in busted coverage which he took to the house.  There was plenty of hype about him throughout training camp and most defensive coordinators have to game plan for Hopkins, Kirk, and maybe AJ Green.  There’s a chance that Moore’s stat lines could regress to the mean especially against tough defenses like the Rams, 49ers and Browns, but he has one more tasty matchup against the Jaguars this week.  His ability to catch short passes in traffic, make moves in the open field, and get on the same page as Kyler are paramount to his success in Kingsbury’s system.  For more on Moore, check out our wide receivers rookies and redshirts entry here

Tim Patrick, WR, Denver Broncos (currently owned in 12.8% of all ESPN leagues):
As mentioned last week, Courtland Sutton can’t catch all of the passes.  Tim Patrick has stepped up as a second receiving option for Bridgewater and the Broncos and has a touchdown in both games to start the season.  However, he’s been targeted just 8 times in 2 games which means he doesn’t have many play-making opportunities.  He’s a bit of a touchdown-dependent fantasy option that will only be relevant until Jerry Jeudy comes back.  Until then, he has some good matchups against the Jets, Steelers, and Raiders for 3 of his next 4 games.  He’s probably the best receiving option on the team after Sutton and Fant.  

Michael Pittman, WR, Indianapolis Colts (currently owned in 63.4% of all ESPN leagues):
Pittman posted a monstrous 8 catches for 123 yards on 12 targets.  Although he failed to reach the endzone last week against a tough Rams defense, he’s really the only true receiving threat the Colts have with an inconsistent Zach Pascal and an oft-injured Parris Campbell.  Things get even tougher in the coming weeks since the Colts might be without their veteran signal caller Carson Wentz for weeks after both of his ankles were rolled up on by Aaron Donald during a sack. 

Darius Slayton, WR, New York Giants (currently owned in 3.4% of all ESPN leagues):
In case anyone forgot, Darius Slayton is the reliable receiver Jones likes to throw to.  He’s been targeted 13 times through the first 2 weeks and he’s probably the only wideout who’s been consistently healthy.  A week 2 performance when he contributed 3 catches for 54 yards and a touchdown against a formidable Washington defense helped remind former fantasy owners who he is.  His workload should continue to increase as teammates like Shepard and Engram succumb to injuries as the season wears on.  He’s available in the vast majority of leagues, but he’s obviously more valuable in ppr leagues.  He has the Falcons this week so he should be a solid streaming option at the very least. 

TIGHT ENDS (TE):

Maxx Williams, TE, Arizona Cardinals (currently owned in 0.1% of all ESPN leagues): 
Good, consistent tight ends are tough to find in this league.  With that said, Maxx Williams is on this list because he was heavily targeted as Kyler scrambled for his life.  There’s nothing more helpful than a big, reliable target that can be counted on to move the chains.  He caught all 7 of his 7 targets for 94 yards against the Vikings last week after posting a goose egg in week 1.  If this is the start of a budding rapport with his young quarterback Kyler Murray, Williams would be worth rostering and taking a wait and see approach.  He’ll face the Jaguars this week before running the defensive gauntlet of the Rams, 49ers and Browns.  The best part is he’s available in basically all ESPN leagues.  

Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis Colts (currently owned in 0.7% of all ESPN leagues):
Somebody has to catch the ball in Indy and it looks like Doyle could step up.  Doyle was targeted 8 times and brought in 5 of them for 64 yards.  With so many of the Colts’ receiving options either inconsistent or sidelined due to injury, Doyle could see his workload continue to increase until some of his teammates return.  Doyle is worth stashing and taking a wait and see approach.  

QUARTERBACKS (QB): 

Sam Darnold, QB, Carolina Panthers (currently owned in 5.8% of all ESPN leagues):
Darnold has shown an ability to grasp Matt Rhule’s offense and move the ball up and down the field efficiently.  He’s also shown chemistry with wideouts DJ Moore and Robby Anderson and he can always dump the ball off to the best in the league, Christian McCaffery.  Darnold faces a Texans secondary that’s arguably the worst in the league this week, and he still has some soft matchups that include the Cowboys, Vikings, Giants and Falcons.  Darnold is worth rostering and starting.  

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Denver Broncos (currently owned in 14.6% of all ESPN leagues):
Teddy B has been careful and efficient with the ball which is sometimes what fantasy managers need.  He doesn’t try to do too much or be a hero.  Instead, he’s a consistent performer who should deliver anywhere from 275 to 325 yards and a couple of touchdowns on any given week.  He’s also been known to use his legs to pick up yards and move the chains.  He’ll have a Jets defense that’s struggled to stay off the field which means Bridgewater could toss plenty of dimes in the second half of the game after the Jets’ defense has been worn down.  

Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings (currently owned in 24.5% of all ESPN leagues): 
Cousins has done a great job of taking care of the ball this season.  He’s averaged nearly 300 passing yards and 2.5 touchdowns per game while committing no turnovers.  Like Teddy Bridgewater, Cousins is a rather pedestrian option that will post a decent stat line every week.  He has a couple of chances to post decent box scores with the Seahawks, Browns, Lions and Panthers all on the docket heading into a week 7 bye.  

Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants (currently owned in 10.7% of all ESPN leagues):
Daniel Jones faces a Falcons defensive unit that’s struggled to defend anything, really.  Jones turned in one of his better fantasy performances last Thursday night by doing damage on the ground.  He threw for just 249 yards and a touchdown, but he added 9 rushes for 95 yards and a touchdown.  Most importantly he didn’t turn the ball over to a talented Washington defense.  He also has plenty of weapons and targets including one Saquon Barkley who he can dump the ball off to at any time.  Jones is worth starting this week, especially in 2 QB leagues. 

DEFENSE / SPECIAL TEAMS (D/ST):  

STREAMING OPTIONS

Carolina Panthers (currently owned in % of all ESPN leagues):
Davis Mills starts for a Texans offense that lost Tyrod Taylor to an injury that could keep him out multiple weeks.  The Panthers will travel to Houston to try to shut down the young signal caller before he can gain an traction.  JC Horn and an underrated Panthers defensive unit have held the Jets and Saints to 14 points or less and have forced 3 turnovers so far.  Carolina’s defense can start with confidence this week. 

Las Vegas Raiders (currently owned in 1% of all ESPN leagues):
The ‘Fins took a big hit last week at quarterback when Tua had to get carted off the field with broken ribs.  Ngakoue and company held a potentially explosive Steelers offense to just 17 points and picked off Big Ben once.  Jacoby Brissett is a downgrade from Tua and the Raiders’ defense is finally starting to find its footing.  They’re a solid streaming option this week. 

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