Week one of the 2021 NFL season is in the books. You did your research, dotted your i’s, and crossed your t’s, yet you still managed to get everything wrong. Top five pick on Derrick Henry? More like BOTTOM FIVE IN THE STANDINGS! MVP Aaron Rodgers put up a stat line reminiscent of the NVP Mitchell Trubisky. And all you can think to yourself is that your fantasy roster is in shambles.
Fear not, my ferocious fantasy warriors, because I’m about to drop some hard truths on you. You don’t win fantasy leagues at the draft, you win fantasy football leagues on the waiver wire. This week, I’m going to provide you with the best options available. If I don’t mention someone whom you think I should be talking about, just know there are many reasons why I overlooked them. Maybe they are rostered in most leagues. Maybe they are so bad I don’t even consider them. Or, maybe it’s because your opinions cannot be trusted. After all, you are here. So let us examine your best week two waiver wire pickups for your championship run…
Week Three Waiver Wire Quarterbacks
Justin Fields, Chicago Bears (49% rostered)
Andy Dalton may have just lost his job after getting hurt against the Bengals. The Bears have stated that they will play Andy if he is healthy, but putting a bruised Andy Dalton against the Cleveland Browns pass rush in week three only means that Fields will be playing in a quarter anyway. Which means this is your last chance to get on the Justin Fields bandwagon. Am I a Chicago Bears homer? Of course, I am, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong. Fields only threw for 60 passing yards in week two, but he had another 60 yards in dropped passes, including a touchdown that went through Allen Robinson’s hand. The reason you want Fields is that he can throw with accuracy, while still giving you those coveted rushing yards that turn fantasy quarterbacks into fantasy league winners. Just remember that if I am wrong, I did warn you I am a Bears fan, so what do I know about evaluating quarterbacks not named Moses Moreno.
Derek Carr, Oakland Las Vegas Raiders ( 22% rostered)
Isn’t it about time we should the AFC West-leading quarterback Derek Carr a little respect? Through the first two weeks of the season, Carr has two top-ten finishes as a fantasy quarterback. In week two, Carr had 382 passing yards and 2 touchdowns and he did a lot of it while playing hurt. While Carr isn’t the most exciting play, he has been reliable and it looks like he isn’t going to miss any time. Derek Carr might be the safest quarterback bet on the waiver wire.
Daniel Jones, New York Giants ( 13% rostered)
It almost hurts me to say this, but if you need quarterback help, you might want to look at Daniel Jones. In week one, Jones was the QB14. In week two, he was the QB4. I know what you are thinking. Isn’t Daniel Jones terrible at playing quarterback? Yes. Yes, he is. But I am going to invoke the Blake Bortles rule. You don’t have to be a good NFL quarterback to be a good fantasy football quarterback. Jones plays on a trash team that will be constantly playing from behind. Jones will also be rushing a lot. Through two games, Jones is the third-leading rusher among quarterbacks, just behind Lamar Jackson and Jalen Hurts. And with the offensive line the Giants are trotting out, you can bet he will be running a lot this season. While I wouldn’t burn a waiver on Jones, I would wait for him to clear waivers and throw him on my bench if I was uncomfortable with my current quarterback situation.
Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers (11% rostered)
Two weeks into Sam Darnold’s career with the Carolina Panthers and the thought running through everyone’s mind is “Maybe Adam Gase was the problem?” Sam Darnold looks much improved and he is young enough that we can still lie to ourselves that he might end up good. He won’t be, but in week two, he did have 305 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. However, he did all of that against a New Orleans defense missing half of its starters. Darnold is a guy to keep an eye on for the future, but he is not quite worth rostering yet.
Week Three Waiver Wire Running Backs
Tony Polland, Dallas Cowboys (47% rostered)
In week two, Tony Pollard had himself one heck of a game, with 140 all-purpose yards and 1 touchdown. Pollard outperformed Ezekiel Elliott. A lot of people want to pretend this means something, but it does not. Ezekiel Elliott was still an RB1 in week two. He just didn’t have the stat line Pollard had. What Zeke did have was 71% of the team’s offensive snaps, compared to Pollard’s 34%. This is not to say that Pollard shouldn’t be your number one waiver wire play for week two. He absolutely should be. Just temper your expectations. Pollard’s value is his third-down work and his potential for an expanded role if Zeke gets hurt.
Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons (12% rostered)
Through two weeks into the NFL season, Cordarrelle Patterson has seen 33% of the snaps at running back in Atlanta. In week one, he had 9 touches. In week two, he had 13 touches, along with 69 (nice) all-purpose yards and 2 touchdowns. There is small evidence that Patterson is seeing his role expand in Atlanta. This would make a lot of sense for the Falcons to do. Patterson is an athletic player, brings a lot of versatility to an offense, and is not Mike Davis. I like betting on talent, and Patterson is way more talented than Mike Davis, so he is a lottery play that offers a lot more upside than Mike Davis. However, it is important to remember that if he is able to take the starting job from Davis, he is still a running back on the Atlanta Falcons, which severely limits his room to grow.
James White, New England Patriots (49% rostered)
While not the most exciting running back play, James White is reliable. In week two, White had 6 catches, 65 all-purpose yards, and 1 touchdown. White also led all the New England running backs in snap count, staying on the field for 50% of the teams’ snaps. The issue with White is that he is going to be very boom or bust because of the way Belichick uses his running backs. However, there is no denying that James White will always be valuable in PPR leagues.
J.D. McKissic, Washington Whataretheycalled (36% rostered)
If you like James White, can I interest you in a newer model? We call it the McKissic. In week two, the McKissic had 93 all-purpose yards on 5 catches. He even had a touchdown to go with it. With Antonio Gibson being a questionable blocker and Taylor Heinicke being a questionable everything, McKissic is going to see a lot more usage on third downs, where Heinicke can play to his strengths of not being able to read the field and dumping the ball off. If you need running back help, McKissic should provide a nice floor based on receptions, with the occasional game where he blows up.
Week Three Waiver Wire Wide Receivers
Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals (27% rostered)
If you’ve listened to me talk, you know that Rondale Moore is a guy I’ve been telling you to keep an eye on. Last week, I told you to fade Christian Kirk because Rondale Moore was coming for his job. In week two, Moore had 7 catches for 114 yards and 1 touchdown. More importantly, he looked incredible getting those points. Rondale Moore is the most talented receiver not named DeAndre Hopkins on the Arizona Cardinals. Just as important, he is currently on the number three passing offense and number two scoring offense in the NFL. Rondale Moore has all the makings of a league winner. If he is available, get him because he won’t be on the waiver wire for long.
K.J. Osborn, Minnesota Vikings (2% rostered)
K.J Osborn is an interesting player to me. I‘ve already scooped him up in every dynasty league I could grab him. The question is whether he will be able to sustain his current success this season. As of this moment, K.J. Osborn is the WR22 on the season. He is tied for 30th in targets among all wide receivers, so it isn’t like his numbers have been flukey. He has had sustained success over the past two weeks. The issue for me is whether the Minnesota Vikings offense will be able to support him, along with Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson, AND Dalvin Cook. It doesn’t seem like he should be able to. All I’ll say is go with your heart on this one. There are good arguments for both sides because in two games he passes the eye test.
Jamison Crowder, New York Jets (22% rostered)
Crowder has been inactive the first two weeks of the season, so you may be wondering why he is on this list. It’s simple. Through two weeks on the NFL season, Braxton Berrios is tied for 15th in targets in the NFL. Berrios is only playing the slot because Crowder hasn’t been available. And Jamison Crowder is one of the best slot receivers in football. There is a huge potential for return on Crowder and you can probably wait for waivers to clear to grab him.
Week Three Waiver Wire Tight Ends
Maxx Williams, Arizona Cardinals (0% rostered)
In week two, Maxx Williams had 7 targets for 7 catches and 94 yards. Williams has no competition at tight end in Arizona. The only real problem with him is that he is a tight end. Don’t waste a waiver on a guy who, while clearly the best tight end on the waiver wire, still isn’t a good fantasy football player.