Rookie wide receivers are balling out in Week 3, with players like the Minnesota Vikings' Justin Jefferson, Cincinnati Bengals' Tee Higgins and San Francisco 49ers' Brandon Aiyuk all playing well in the early slate of Sunday games.
Below, we'll break down some of the top potential wideouts you can add on waivers this week.
Have yourself a game, rook.
Jefferson was relatively subdued in his first two games, with a total of five catches for 70 yards on just six targets. But he broke out in a huge way Sunday, with seven catches for 175 yards and a score on nine targets.
Those are obviously numbers that Jefferson isn't going to post every week. But the duo of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs long held fantasy relevance together filling different roles—Thielen as the elite possession receiver and reception machine, Diggs as the deep-ball threat. So there's room for Jefferson to emerge as a dangerous playmaker in Minnesota.
He'll be a popular waiver target this week. He's earned that after Sunday. Just know you are probably adding a player with flex upside at best. Rookie receivers are generally pretty inconsistent, and Jefferson could be feast or famine. Still, he's worth rostering.
You should be less bullish on adding Higgins this week. Almost all of his value came from two short touchdown catches Sunday. Yes, he had five receptions for 40 yards on nine targets. But the Bengals will still likely have players like Tyler Boyd and possibly A.J. Green ahead of him in the passing game pecking order (though Green hasn't been very good this season, a situation worth monitoring).
Perhaps Higgins will establish himself as a major red-zone threat and touchdown machine or surpass Green. But there are better waiver options this week.
One of those better options is Aiyuk, for two reasons:
- 1. The Niners plan to involve him in multiple ways, which bolsters his value. On Sunday, he posted five receptions for 70 yards but also had three carries for 31 yards and a score.
- 2. The Niners are dealing with a ton of injuries on offense and don't have that many playmakers at wide receiver to begin with. That makes Aiyuk an important player.
Jefferson's upside is probably higher in Minnesota's offense—San Francisco is best served utilizing a run-heavy attack—but Aiyuk has flex upside. He's another player worth rostering.
The Houston Texans wideout isn't as sexy a selection as Jefferson or Aiyuk, but in the past two weeks he's had nine receptions for 154 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets. The Texans aren't exactly brimming with top-end talent at wide receiver, with players like Cobb, Brandin Cooks and Will Fuller V all vying to be Deshaun Watson's first option.
Fuller appears to have the most upside of that group, but Cobb could be carving out a solid niche for himself. At the moment, it's probably still best to consider him a WR4, but if you are really hurting at wideout and can't snag Jefferson or Aiyuk, Cobb isn't the worst option.
Both DeSean Jackson and Dallas Goedert left Sunday's game with injuries, while rookie Jalen Reagor is out as well. That could make slot receiver Greg Ward very important for the struggling Eagles and Carson Wentz.
Ward played well Sunday, reeling in a touchdown reception while regularly looking like Wentz's only reliable wide receiver. If players like Jackson and Goedert have long-term injuries, Ward could be looking at a major target share in the upcoming weeks and could figure into the flex conversation. There's real upside here.