Waiver Wire Week 3: Justin Fields, Rondale Moore Highlight Pickups to Know

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistSeptember 20, 2021

Waiver Wire Week 3: Justin Fields, Rondale Moore Highlight Pickups to Know

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    David Banks/Associated Press

    Justin Fields could become the fourth quarterback chosen in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft to start a game when Week 3 rolls around. 

    The No. 11 overall pick entered the Chicago Bears' win over the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half after Andy Dalton went down with a knee injury.

    Dalton's injury status has not been officially confirmed, but he did appear to suffer a blow that could keep him off the gridiron for Week 3 and beyond.

    The prospect of Fields starting in Chicago's next game should excite fantasy football players who have been tentative to roster the Ohio State product. 

    Fields will not immediately jump into the top tier of quarterbacks, but he could be a serviceable option off the waiver wire if he takes advantage of the players around him.

    Kyler Murray is in that top tier of fantasy quarterbacks, and his newest weapon at wide receiver should be considered as a pickup.

    Rondale Moore connected with Murray on a 77-yard touchdown play against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. That play could be a sign of things to come for the rookie out of Purdue. 

Justin Fields, QB, Chicago

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    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Fields had an average outing at Soldier Field in place of the injured Dalton on Sunday.

    The rookie quarterback had 60 passing yards and 31 rushing yards. He also threw an interception.

    Chicago's offensive game plan was installed with Dalton in mind and that may have put some limitations on what Fields could do on Sunday.

    Additionally, Cincinnati's defense played well with six quarterback hits, six tackles for loss and three sacks. 

    If Fields is the starting quarterback in Week 3, the playbook should be open for him to work with David Montgomery, Allen Robinson II, Darnell Mooney and others. 

    According to ESPN.com's Jeff Dickerson, Bears head coach Matt Nagy did not believe Dalton suffered a serious ACL tear. 

    "I'm not going to get into that," Nagy said.

    The severity of Dalton's injury should be revealed in the next 24-48 hours. Fields could be worth the pickup even if Dalton is down for a short amount of time. 

    There is a scenario in which Dalton is out for a few weeks, Fields plays well and the rookie takes over the job on a permanent basis. 

    Chicago faces a difficult road trip in Week 3 against the Cleveland Browns. The Week 4 home matchup with the Detroit Lions should be the game as Fields' potential breakout. 

    If Fields starts and plays well in Cleveland, the rush to pick him up off the waiver wire will be larger. It is worth selecting him now as a No. 2 quarterback. If he shows signs of progress within the Bears offense, he could be a solid second option in fantasy leagues for the rest of the season. 

Rondale Moore, WR, Arizona

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Rondale Moore has quickly become a favorite target of Kyler Murray. 

    In two games, the rookie wideout has 11 receptions on 13 targets for 182 yards and a touchdown. 

    Moore has more receptions and yards than Arizona's No. 1 wide receiver, DeAndre Hopkins, in that short span. 

    At some point, Hopkins will take over the top spot on the Arizona stat chart, but it is interesting to compare Moore's production with A.J. Green

    Moore, Hopkins and Christian Kirk are the clear top three wideouts in Kliff Kingsbury's offense right now. Green has five receptions for 12 yards. 

    Moore's dynamic speed should make him one of Murray's top targets all season long. Sunday's 77-yard touchdown pass was an example of how Moore can break free from defenses while Murray is scrambling in the pocket. 

    The Purdue product is worth a look on the waiver wire now because of the consistent targets he earned over two weeks. 

    Moore should be a solid No. 3 wide receiver or flex option for the time being. That should be his fantasy status for the entire season since Hopkins will dominate the production in some games. 

Cordarrelle Patterson, RB, Atlanta

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    Mark LoMoglio/Associated Press

    Perhaps the most surprising fantasy development in the first two weeks involves the Atlanta Falcons running backs. 

    Mike Davis went into the season as the No. 1 running back on the depth chart, but Cordarrelle Patterson has received plenty of action out of the backfield. 

    Patterson has 14 carries for 65 yards and a score. He ranks third in receiving yards on the team with 71 yards off seven receptions. 

    The most important stat from a fantasy perspective is Patterson's two touchdowns, one on the ground and one through the air, and zero from Davis. 

    Patterson is doing some of the same things we expected Davis to do and he has the end-zone production to go with it. 

    If Atlanta continues to split the touches, Patterson might turn into a viable backup in fantasy circles. 

    The intrigue around Patterson comes with Atlanta's weak schedule in the next three weeks. The Falcons play the New York Giants, Washington Football Team and New York Jets.

    If Atlanta's offense opens up more in those games, Patterson could see an increase in production and find himself in the end zone more.

    We understand any hesitancy with picking up the No. 2 running back on a struggling team, but Patterson could be a nice find off the waiver wire for a few weeks.