Fantasy Football Week 3 Waiver Wire: Cordarrelle Patterson Has Finally Arrived
Two weeks into the 2021 NFL season, injuries are already starting to mount around the league. That means many fantasy football managers are scrambling to find replacements to keep their team afloat.
The quarterback position was hit particularly hard in Week 2, as Tua Tagovailoa, Carson Wentz, Andy Dalton and Tyrod Taylor all left their respective games early and did not return. Wide receivers weren't immune, either, with Jarvis Landry and Diontae Johnson limping off the field Sunday.
Running backs stayed relatively healthy outside the NFC West, but fantasy managers with Darnell Henderson Jr. or any members of the injury-ravaged San Francisco 49ers backfield on their rosters need to keep an eye out for updates.
Even managers who have yet to lose any key pieces would still be wise to play the waiver wire and make upgrades to the end of their bench. You can prevent your opponents from acquiring quality contributors by adding them to your roster instead.
With that in mind, here are the best waiver wire pickups for Week 3. The players suggested are rostered in no more than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues as of Monday morning.
QB Daniel Jones, New York Giants (19 Percent Rostered)
Dual-threat quarterbacks tend to dominate in fantasy football, as they pile up points with both their arm and legs. Many of the league's best mobile signal-callers came off the board early in fantasy drafts this year, but one is likely still available in yours.
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is emerging as a bona fide weapon for fantasy managers. He has already piled up 516 yards and two touchdowns through the air while chipping in another 122 yards and a pair of scores on the ground.
Through two weeks, Jones ranks fifth fantasy points among quarterbacks. Kyler Murray, Lamar Jackson and Jones are the only three quarterbacks with a pair of rushing TDs so far, while Jones' 122 rushing yards trails only Jalen Hurts and Jackson for most in the league from a QB.
Although Jones' passing numbers aren't spectacular, he has yet to throw an interception after being plagued by turnovers for the last two years. He should only improve in that regard as he builds rapport with free-agent acquisition Kenny Golladay and rookie Kadarius Toney, both of whom have already expressed displeasure with their roles in the New York offense.
The Giants' defense gave up 827 yards and 57 points to the Denver Broncos and Washington Football Team, which suggests Jones will have to air it out to keep his team competitive. He appear poised for another big fantasy performance in Week 3 against the Atlanta Falcons' pitiful defense.
FAB Bid: ~2%
RB J.D. McKissic, Washington Football Team (29 Percent Rostered)
In the Washington Football Team's Week 1 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, J.D. McKissic finished with one carry and zero receptions. His role expanded in their wild Week 2 win over the New York Giants on Thursday, though.
McKissic finished with five receptions on six targets for 83 yards and had four carries for 10 yards and a touchdown. His snap count also jumped from 20 to 31, largely due to the WFT's increased usage of the hurry-up offense.
Through two weeks, McKissic has the exact same number of points in points-per-reception formats (21.1) as backfield mate Antonio Gibson. While he hasn't been asked to run much—he has only five carries compared to Gibson's 33—he has gotten the job done when Washington calls his number.
The 28-year-old is at his most dynamic as a pass-catcher. Since Gibson has turned his seven targets into only five catches for 22 yards, Washington may start relying on McKissic more in passing situations.
McKissic was a decent fantasy option last season—his first with Washington—after totaling 954 yards from scrimmage and three scores. He should only improve on those numbers during his second year with the club.
If yoy're in a deeper league or hurting for help at running back, McKissic could be a worthwhile play in Week 3 against the Bills. He deserves a bench spot in most formats as Gibson's handcuff, as his volume would likely skyrocket if Gibson misses any time this year.
FAB Bid: ~5%
RB James White, New England Patriots (42 Percent Rostered)
Since coming into the NFL in 2014, James White has arguably been the New England Patriots' most reliable fantasy weapon outside of former quarterback Tom Brady.
It's been notoriously difficult to predict which skill-position players will have a big game under head coach Bill Belichick, but White has been a steady option as a third-down back, especially in points-per-reception formats. That doesn't seem to be changing with rookie quarterback Mac Jones under center.
Going into Week 3, the 29-year-old has already recorded 12 receptions on 13 targets for 94 yards. He's being utilized as a runner as well, picking up 32 yards and a touchdown on nine totes.
White isn't likely to put up top-tier fantasy production in many games, but there also won't be many where he fails to reels in enough receptions or generate enough yardage to be a total bust.
White's floor makes him an ideal flex play on a weekly basis in PPR leagues and a respectable option for those dealing with injuries in standard formats. He'll get his next chance to produce in Week 3 against the New Orleans Saints.
FAB Bid: ~7.5%
WR Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals (33 Percent Rostered)
The rookie caught four passes on five targets for 68 yards in his NFL debut against the Tennessee Titans in Week 1. He built on that Sunday by going off for 114 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions against the Minnesota Vikings.
Moore, DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk and A.J. Green all had at least three catches and 40 receiving yards against Minnesota, and both Hopkins and Green also scored touchdowns. Tight end Maxx Williams and running back Chase Edmonds were heavily involved in the passing attack as well, but that still didn't deter Moore from having a strong fantasy outing.
Moore played only 20 snaps in Week 1 and 28 snaps on Sunday, a relatively low number compared to Hopkins (59) or Green (51). Despite his impressive production so far, he is far from guaranteed to play his way into a larger role this season.
Moore will have some down weeks due to the number of mouths to feed within the Cardinals offense. However, he's a threat to rip off a home run play whenever he gets the ball—93 of his yards came after the catch in Week 2, according to Pro Football Focus—which makes him a WR3 with huge upside.
FAB Bid: ~10%
RB/WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons (13% Rostered)
In his ninth NFL season, Cordarrelle Patterson is finally emerging as a viable fantasy football weapon.
The speedster has been hyped as a potential breakout star in the past, but he never played a consistent enough role to be worthy of starting week in and week out. Now that he's with the Atlanta Falcons, that appears to be changing.
Under new head coach Arthur Smith, Atlanta is maximizing Patterson's strengths by deploying him out of the backfield as a No. 2 RB capable of burning defenses in a variety of ways.
Patterson was most effective as a rusher in the opener, turning seven carries into 54 yards, but he did the majority of his damage as a pass-catcher in Week 2. He hauled in five of his six targets for 58 yards and a score against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Falcons couldn't get much going on the ground against the defending Super Bowl champs, but it was Patterson, not starting running back Mike Davis, who punched in their lone rushing score Sunday.
It will be hard to find an excuse not to take a flier on Patterson ahead of a soft Week 3 matchup with the New York Giants. With 32.6 points, Patterson is now No. 10 among running backs in PPR scoring, and managers who are loaded at the RB position can find a spot for Patterson due to his dual eligibility at WR.
Regardless of where you or the Falcons line Patterson up, he's in line to produce big numbers.
FAB Bid: ~15%
TE Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills (Six Percent Rostered)
Finding production at tight end can be a trying endeavor. There are only a handful of reliable options, almost all of whom were selected early in drafts.
The top-five scorers at TE are the usual suspects. Travis Kelce, Rob Gronkowski, Darren Waller and T.J. Hockenson have unsurprisingly done well, while Noah Fant has picked up where he left off and has justified his middle-round ADP.
The No. 11 fantasy TE may still be available in your league, but don't count on him remaining a free agent for long. Buffalo's Dawson Knox is emerging as a top option after turning in a second straight quality performance Sunday.
Knox's two-catch, 17-yard, one-touchdown showing brings his season totals up to six catches for 58 yards and a score. That isn't mind-blowing production, but it's more than enough to warrant a waiver claim from TE-desperate managers.
Knox seems to have earned quarterback Josh Allen's trust. The signal-caller looked for Knox in the red zone this week, connecting with the tight end on an impressive eight-yard touchdown shortly after the second half began.
Fantasy managers may be wary of Knox after he was plagued by drops early in his career. The 24-year-old had a brutal 20 percent drop rate as a rookie in 2019, but he moved that number down to 9.1 percent last season and has yet to drop a pass in 2021.
If Knox continues that trend, he'll likely earn a bigger slice of the Bills' offensive pie and plenty of red-zone looks going forward.
FAB Bid: ~5%
Snaps count data courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com
Fantasy point information courtesy of FantasyPros.com
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