The fantasy football waiver wire is packed with interesting add candidates this week as we are still early in the season. Remember as we get deeper in the year, the pickings get slimmer so it’s usually best to look to add now (if you have a need, don’t force a move). Two potential league winners have emerged (maybe a third if you think a rookie can overtake a timeshare) and there are several wide receievers who can fill in your flex if you’re in a pinch.
Our hits last week include: Latavius Murray, Sterling Shepard, Christian Kirk, Tim Patrick, Rondale Moore, Zach Pascal – these players all scored or saw significant playing time.
Here are the players you should be considering during your weekly waiver wire run in fantasy football based on at least 60% availability. I also include adds for those in deeper league formats. If you have any questions or need any fantasy football waiver wire advice, feel free to hit me on Twitter @101chalk.
Tony Pollard – Dallas Cowboys
61% availability on ESPN
47% availability on Yahoo
Pollard barely makes the list with 61% availability on ESPN so you need to scoop him up if he’s on the wire. Pollard is a must-add, top of the list, in another tier so I’m surprised he’s this widely available for being a player with his utility and upside.
Previously known as a handcuff with league-winning potential, Pollard is starting to look like a weekly fantasy football flex option even if Zeke stays healthy – reminiscent of a Nyheim Hines type contributor on fantasy teams. The 16 touch, 140 yard outing against a stout Chargers defense might be his best week this season but he’s a must-add in all formats (bump in PPR). Break the bank.
Alexander Mattison – Minnesota Vikings
71% availability on ESPN
68% availability on Yahoo
Another priority add who has league-winning potential, Mattison makes an appearance as Vikings stud Dalvin Cook got banged up on several plays this past Sunday. The Vikings have started the season 0-2 and it’s likely Cook will push to play through his ankle sprain. In the event that Cook sits in Week 3, Mattison would be in line for enough touches to make him a borderline RB1. Whether Cook plays or not, the Vikings quickly falling out of playoff contention could lead to Minnesota taking some load off its cornerstone back given his lengthy injury history.
Michael Carter – New York Jets
96% availability on ESPN
92% availability on Yahoo
Carter makes the list after rushing 11 times for 59 yards and catching two of three targets for 29 yards this past week. The rookie is still in an even time split with Ty Johnson (with Tevin Coleman) mixing in, but it is clear Carter is making inroads with the coaching staff with his performances in games and practices. This backfield will remain a committee throughout the season but Carter has enough upside in PPR formats to warrant a bench spot for the time being. Who knows what happens if he breaks out in the next couple of weeks and forces Saleh’s hand?
Cordarrelle Patterson – Atlanta Falcons
92% availability on ESPN
86% availability on Yahoo
Depending on the fantasy football platform you play on, Patterson is designated as a running back (ESPN) or wide receiver (CBS). It doesn’t matter because you’re rostering him regardless although I would fade him slightly if he can only be played as a wide receiver. On Sleeper, Patterson sports RB/WR appeal, which gives him a nice bump (I’m a big fan of dual designations). Patterson is running and catching the ball for Atlanta while Mike Davis is disappointing fantasy managers. His versatility continues to give him opportunities to touch the ball (12 times in Week 2), particularly near the goal line. I’d consider Patterson a low-end flex in PPR leagues until further notice.
Devonta Freeman – Baltimore Ravens
95% availability on ESPN
92% availability on Yahoo
The Ravens backfield remains a headache (for those who don’t have Ty’Son Williams on their rosters). On Sunday night, we saw Baltimore split the running back work between Williams and Murray although the former got the majority of touches. The veteran Freeman mixed in with a few carries of his own but nothing exciting. This makes Freeman is a touchdown-dependent desperation play right now, but also a bench stash. There is clear potential for Freeman to see considerable volume if there are any injuries ahead of him in a rushing attack that is like no other. From what we’ve seen this year in Baltimore, it’s an unfortunate reality that anything can happen.
Demetric Felton – Cleveland Browns
100% availability on ESPN and Yahoo
For deeper fantasy football leagues, Felton is another dual-threat who sports different designations depending on where you play. Generally listed as an RB on most platforms, Felton has sneaky RB/WR appeal on Yahoo. With the Browns wide receiver corps getting decimated, the team is looking for playmakers. Enter Felton, a scat back, who can play on offense as a running back or wide receiver as well as return kicks. If it is confirmed that Landry will miss (significant) time, Felton is worth a (free) add to the end of your bench.
Rondale Moore – Arizona Cardinals
80% availability on ESPN
66% availability on Yahoo
As Moore gets more assimilated to the NFL game, he will continue to improve and that’s a scary proposition for opposing defenses.
That’s the blurb on Rondale Moore from last week and nothing has changed. The dynamic rookie is still widely available on the waiver wire but it’s too late to get him on the low. This is the predicament. After a Week 2 breakout, Moore will be one of the most popular adds this week and people will be spending up to land him. But be slightly wary as the rookie wide receiver only saw 46% of the team’s offensive snaps. I’m adding Moore but not breaking the bank.
Zach Pascal – Indianapolis Colts
86% availability on ESPN
85% availability on Yahoo
Pascal is another wide receiver who isn’t new to waiver wire columns after a breakout performance.
Is there an echo? Pascal followed up his Week 1 breakout with 5 receptions, 64 yards, and another touchdown against one of the best defenses in the league. The downer is that Carson Wentz left the game in the 4th quarter with an ankle injury which would be a buzzkill for Pascal’s outlook going forward. If you can sneak him onto your bench after waivers clear, you’ve won.
K.J. Osborn – Minnesota Vikings
99% availability on ESPN
98% availability on Yahoo
Osborn flashed big-play ability with his Week 2 performance against the Cardinals and I think K.J. Osborn is an interesting young player who can be a WR4/5 play in deeper fantasy football leagues. However, I won’t spend nearly as much as most. With Cook injured and Osborn’s breakout, Minnesota will likely run three-receiver sets more often, but I prefer Pascal who will likely cost around the same as (or less than) Osborn.
Rashard Higgins – Cleveland Browns
70% availability on ESPN
67% availability on Yahoo
It’s time to get excited about Hollywood Higgins (again). The veteran wide receiver will be a popular add as Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham are set to miss time. Higgins played 70% of the team’s offensive snaps in Week 2 and will likely see that if Landry or Beckham miss the next game against Chicago. Baker and Higgins have a history of making splash plays over their years together in Cleveland and Donovan Peoples-Jones is working his way right into the doghouse. DPJ was getting the offseason hype but fumbling away his only touch in Week 2 doesn’t help his short term outlook.
Pat Freiermuth – Pittsburgh Steelers
95% availability on ESPN
93% availability on Yahoo
It looks like Freiermuth is getting more involved in the Steelers offensive attack – going from a single target in his NFL debut to four this week. The rookie tight end posted a modest 36 yards on 4 catches but he may already be passing up Eric Ebron on the depth chart which would give him, at worst, streamer appeal. He’s also a candidate for a solution for the season if you’re in need.
Dan Arnold – Carolina Panthers
99% availability on ESPN
96% availability on Yahoo
Dan Arnold is a play for deeper leagues but could provide streamer value in standard-size leagues. Panthers QB Sam Darnold is no longer seeing ghosts and he’s been slinging it in Carolina over the first couple of weeks. Darnold showed love to his tight ends back in New York so Arnold could be a touchdown-dependent stream play. If anything, add him to your watch list and see if you can use him when the bye weeks hit.
For more fantasy football waiver wire advice, make sure to check out The Undroppables.