Fantasy Football Waiver Wire, Week 3: Expert Advice on Garrett Wilson, Jahan Dotson, More
Nick Cammett/Getty Images. Pictured: Garrett Wilson.
No matter how deep your league is, Week 2 offered plenty of injuries or potential breakout performances to make sure your waiver wire has intriguing names on it.
Our three expert fantasy football analysts break down five names you’ll be either bidding on or considering whether you should use your top claim to get.
Sean Koerner: Garoppolo produces very little fantasy value with his legs and the 49ers can opt for run-heavy game plans at times. He’s nothing more than a low-end QB2 who can offer some spiked weeks in the right matchup.
However, with Jimmy G taking over for Trey Lance under center for the rest of the season it raises the value of Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle due to the overall passing volume of the 49ers offense likely going up.
Samantha Previte: Garoppolo is the best and obvious replacement for managers who lost Trey Lance, who suffered a season-ending right ankle fracture during the second drive of the 49ers’ win over the Seahawks.
Garoppolo completed 13 of 21 attempts for 154 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions, and tacked on four rushing attempts for five yards and a touchdown. The 30-year-old was the QB18 last season with 15 starts; he had his best season in 2019 during San Francisco’s Super Bowl run, in which he finished as the QB14.
He is currently the QB12 for Week 2 with two games left to play. Garoppolo should be a QB2 with fringe QB1 upside in the right matchups.
Chris Raybon: Jimmy G. is a better real-life QB than fantasy QB. He averaged just 29.4 pass attempts per game last season.
Garoppolo will be a startable QB2 in the right matchups, but he is unlikely to enter the QB1 streamer discussion often.
Sean Koerner: In Week 1, Wilson nearly split time with Braxton Berrios and only ran a route on 56% dropbacks. It was only a matter of time until Wilson was able to separate himself from Berrios and that’s exactly what happened in week 2, with Wilson erupting for a 8/102/2 game on 14 targets.
Not only has he distanced himself from Braxton Berrios, but he is now pushing Elijah Moore to be the most valuable Jets WR in fantasy. I have Wilson pushing low-end WR3 value in my initial Week 3 ranks, and he will likely only go up from there.
Samantha Previte: Wilson is making a legitimate case to be the WR1, both in the 2022 rookie class and the Jets’ offense.
His solid, four-catch, 52-yard Week 1 was completely eclipsed by a monster Week 2 performance in the Jets’ shocking victory over the Browns. He led the team in all receiving categories and tallied eight catches on 14 targets for 102 yards and two touchdowns. The former Buckeye is currently the WR5 in half-PPR scoring entering Monday.
Wilson should be rostered in every league and is worth a premium bid for those playing in FAAB waiver systems.
Chris Raybon: Wilson is a high-priority add. He’s already a high-end WR3 with WR2 upside. Wilson saw his route participation improve from 56% in Week 1 to 75% in Week 2 – the same as Corey Davis and behind only Elijah Moore (92%).
Wilson – not Moore – has looked like the Jets’ best WR this season. The numbers back it up, as Wilson has drawn 22 targets while no one else on the team has drawn more than 13 and would be leading the team in receiving yards (154) if not for Corey Davis (160) getting free on a blown coverage for a 66-yard TD last week. Wilson also leads the league with eight red-zone targets.
Sean Koerner: Dotson posted another solid line in Week 2 going for 4/59/1 and now ranks 12th in 0.5-PPR points on the season for WRs. The most encouraging sign is his playing time, as he ran a route on 100% of Carson Wentz’s dropbacks.
The talented rookie should be able to post WR3 numbers going forward with his underlying usage. However, I would get used to his low-end WR1 numbers to date, Wentz won’t be throwing for 300+ yards and 3+ TDs every week, nor will the Commanders be facing the Jaguars or Lions every week.
Dotson faces his first tough test this week against the Eagles, against whom I view him as a mid/low-end WR3.
Samantha Previte: Dotson had yet another fantastic fantasy day, which suggests his Week 1 explosion should not be written off as a fluke.
The 2022 first-round pick caught four of five targets for 59 yards and a touchdown in Washington’s Week 2 loss and he is currently the WR16 heading into Monday.
He was once again out-targeted by Curtis Samuel (seven catches on nine targets for 78 yards and a touchdown) and saw fewer looks than Terry McLaurin (four catches on eight targets for 75 yards). Samuel and McLaurin are both widely rostered (70% and 98%) and Dotson is making a case that he should be as well.
The Commanders have a nice schedule coming up, which could vault Dotson into week-to-week flex consideration.
Chris Raybon: Dotson should be rostered in all formats, but he’s a lower-priority add compared to Wilson.
Dotson upped his route participation rate from 89% in Week 1 to 100% in Week 2. He’s still only been targeted on nine of his 93 routes (10%), but Terry McLaurin hasn’t been much better at 10-for-89 (11%).
Carson Wentz is having trouble getting the ball outside, but Dotson’s target rate should grow as the season progresses. For now, he is a boom-bust, TD-dependent low-end WR3.
Cardinals Running Backs
Sean Koerner: Eno Benjamin opened the season as the Cardinals No. 2 back, but if James Conner was to miss time, this is going to be a pretty even RBBC committee between him and Darrell Williams.
Based on their usage once Conner left the game, it appears Williams has the upper hand, with a routes run rate of 42% compared to Benjamin’s 35%. Plus, Williams was in on all eight snaps around the goal line and converted his lone goal-line rush attempt into a 1-yard TD.
I would give the slight edge to Williams but would not invest too heavily in this backfield right now because 1) It’s going to be close to a 50/50 split, and 2) It’s unclear yet if Conner will miss any time due to his ankle injury.
Samantha Previte: Williams and Benjamin were used significantly after starting running back James Conner exited Arizona’s 29-23 overtime win over the Raiders with an ankle injury.
Williams led the team in rushing with eight carries, 59 yards and a touchdown and also reeled in two of three targets for three yards, while Benjamin recorded eight carries for 31 yards and three catches on four targets for 20 yards. The two entered Monday Night Football as the RB11 and RB32 in half-PPR scoring.
Williams and Benjamin would likely form a committee should Conner miss time, though Williams would be my preferred pickup of the two.
Chris Raybon: In Week 1, Eno Benjamin played 34% of the snaps and got seven touches while Darrel Williams didn’t play an offensive snap. In Week 2, Williams played 46% of the snaps and got 10 touches while Benjamin played 43% of the snaps and got 11 touches.
Should James Conner (ankle) miss time, this backfield’s usage looks like it will take a hot-hand approach. I would give the slight edge to the younger, more dynamic Benjamin, but it’s unlikely he gets anything more than a 60-40 split in his favor.
Rookie Keaontay Ingram, who has been a healthy scratch through two weeks, could also factor in. The same is true of ace special-teamer Jonathan Ward.
Sean Koerner: Higbee should be viewed as a top-10 TE, at least in the short term. He’s seeing elite underlying usage, with a 87% route run rate and 23.7% target per route run rate through the Rams’ first games.
The tight end position has been extremely volatile when it comes to the players ranked in the TE5-15 range, and Higbee has established himself as one of the safer options.
Chris Raybon: Higbee is a must add for any manager in need of a TE.
Higbee has run a route on 87% of Matthew Stafford’s dropbacks and is second on the team in targets (18), catches (12) and receiving yards (110). Most defenses are reluctant to blitz Stafford, which ensures the Rams will see a lot of zone coverage and allows Higbee to rack up easy catches underneath.