Waiver Wire Report – Week 3

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Our weekly fantasy football waiver wire report provides you with valuable insight on who you should be targeting in your leagues. Josh Lieberman breaks down his top 10 list of NFL players with fewer than 30% ownership in Yahoo fantasy leagues. 

Well, it was certainly another wild weekend in the NFL, and here’s hoping your roster wasn’t hit too hard by injuries in week two. There are many early round fantasy draft selections that have gotten off to slow starts, leaving owners scrambling this week to replace the lost value on their investments. While I always caution owners to not overreact and drop quality players off to slow starts, you still need to recognize the talent on your waiver wire that could prove capable of carrying your team while your stars shake off the rust.

Here are the top adds of the week:

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#1) Evan Engram (TE – NYG) – With a stellar MNF effort, Engram will easily be the most sought after TE on the waiver wire. If you are a Greg Olsen owner, this should be your top target for a replacement. He has it all – size, speed, yards after catch abilities, etc. He was already on the field for 85% of the Giants’ offensive snaps heading into Monday night, so his usage need not be questioned. Expect him to be well over 30% owned by next week. Depending on your TE depth, you should be allocating at least 25% of your bid dollars here. Forget what you heard about rookie TE’s, as it does not seem to apply here.

#2) Paul Richardson (WR – SEA) – He’s remained usable in both games this year, despite the Seahawks looking somewhat pathetic on offense. He has seen only one fewer target than running mate, Doug Baldwin, so there is definitely a solid rapport developing between him and Wilson. Ownership is eerily low right now, but I would expect that to change a fair bit between now and next week. I really like the player, so I will not hesitate to place him in the rankings next week if he’s not given the love he deserves AGAIN. With a 13 yard per grab average, he is a deep threat that is capable of putting up some big numbers for your fantasy team. 20-25% of your FAAB is a reasonable expenditure to make this week.

#3) Jermaine Kearse (WR – NYJ) – There is always something to be said for owning a WR1 or WR2 on your roster, even if that player suits up for the NY Jets. Guaranteed snaps and targets on a team that will be passing a ton this season cannot be overlooked. His ownership is low, as it should be before this waiver run, but don’t be surprised if he is scooped up in many deeper roster leagues this week. A 10-15% bid should be able to secure his rights in most leagues.

#4) Chris Thompson (RB – WAS) – Don’t expect a repeat of his week two performance anytime soon, but you cannot argue with 12 targets in two games. Jay Gruden loves the kid, clearly, and while he’s not going to be a weekly starter for you, his value in PPR formats make him a solid flex and matchup play. Thompson had over 100 total yards in Week 2. He is inching towards 30% ownership, so this could be your last week to take a stab at him. A 30-35% bid in FAAB is very reasonable to throw out there.

#5) Allen Hurns (WR – JAX) – Making his second consecutive appearance on the waiver wire report, though last week was in a shared position with M.Lee, Hurns showed this past week that he could provide some decent value to your fantasy team. Seven targets and a score, has Hurns approaching must add territory in most PPR and deep roster formats. 20-25% should be the maximum spend for his talents.

#6) J.J. Nelson (WR – ARZ) – With John Brown unlikely to play in Week 3, Nelson will get at least one more week to shine as the WR2 in Arizona. And shine, he did, in week 2. With 13 targets through two games and a 16 yards per reception average, he makes for a nice addition to your fantasy roster. There is no guarantee that Brown takes his spot back, either, as Nelson has clearly impressed with his play thus far. Given the popularity of the team he plays for, I would think a bid approaching 25-30% would be necessary this week.

#7) Austin Seferian-Jenkins (TE – NYJ) – Shhhhhhh! I am not convinced that too many owners realize that ASJ still plays in the NFL, let alone that he makes his return from suspension in Week 3. Could be because he plays for the Jets, but I feel he is still flying under the radar, and should be owned in nearly all formats given the lack of depth at TE right now. He is at 3% owned right now, so you might be able to sneak a <5% bid on him this week and grab yourself a solid TE2, with TE1 upside. He was said to be the Jets top player in camp, so expect some solid contributions. Ok, fair enough, saying he was their top player does not hold much value but, trust me, he’ll be good for you.

#8) Devin Funchess (WR – CAR) – Welcome to the NFL, Mr. Funchess! A highly regarded prospect heading into the 2015 draft, injuries have mostly limited his on-field contributions. However, he appeared to seize an opportunity when Olsen went down on Sunday, receiving seven targets on the day. A true flyer add here, you will likely want to keep him on your bench for at least one more week before deciding if he can earn his way into your lineup. Either way, a solid depth add with lots of targets up for grabs now in Carolina. 10-15% should be your max offer for Devin this week.

#9) Rashard Higgins (WR – CLE) – He would be a few spots higher if he played for another team other than the Browns. However, as we learned earlier, high volume players on terrible teams are worth owning. He had seven receptions on 11 targets in his first extended action of his career. While not considered the greatest athlete to step on the football field (see his brutal SPARQ ratings for reference), his 3600 yards and 31 touchdowns in three years at Colorado State at least indicates that he can be a productive player in the right environment. Worth a shot to add, especially with Corey Coleman now out for 6-8 weeks. Just don’t spend more than 10-15% of your dollars to grab him.

#10) Giovani Bernard (RB – CIN) – I just find it strange to see Gio with less than 30% ownership. The Bengals offense has been brutal, no doubt about that, but there is simply too much talent there to assume that it won’t get better for their offensive stars. Perhaps their new OC, Bill Lazor, can help ignite something that clearly hasn’t been there in the opening two weeks. While Joe Mixon will be the primary fantasy producer, Bernard should be able to carve out a role as pass catcher, something that should provide worthy value in PPR formats. I feel he should be rostered in most leagues, except on super small roster sizes. A 10% bid might be all you need to do to acquire him right now. Small price to pay for a potentially decent payoff.

Honorable Mentions: D’Onta Foreman (RB – HOU), Mohamed Sanu (WR – ATL), Kenny Stills (WR – MIA), Samaje Perine (RB – WAS)