Lookahead Waiver Wire Targets: Pick Up Garrett Wilson, Rachaad White, More Before Week 3
Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: Garrett Wilson
We've put a bow on Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season — now it's time to gaze into the crystal ball and see which players we should target on the waiver wire now for a big payoff later.
Week 3 Early Waiver Wire Targets
Russell Gage, WR, Buccaneers (40% rostered)
Russell Gage was one of my favorite offseason sleepers before Chris Godwin’s timeline to return was moved up and the team added veteran wideout Julio Jones. He could easily capitalize on the potential absences of Godwin (hamstring), Jones (knee), and Mike Evans (calf) this week — all non-participants in practice on Thursday. Gage could have value past this week given the injury propensity of this depth chart.
Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson, WR, Packers (30% and 12%)
The Packers scoring seven points was not on my Week 1 bingo card. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers looked out of sorts, understandably so missing two of his linemen and wideout Allen Lazard. Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson didn't look great either, as the pair finished as the WR54 and WR63 in half PPR, respectively, and were undoubtedly dropped by some impatient managers.
Rodgers will bounce back, and at least one of Doubs and Watson will benefit — though I cannot say for certain which one at this time. Either one is worth a speculative add in hopes they can distinguish themselves as the No. 2 behind Lazard.
Garrett Wilson and Corey Davis, WR, Jets (20% and 13%)
Garrett Wilson and Corey Davis both looked solid in a tough opener against the Ravens' defense. Wilson caught four of eight targets for 52 yards and Davis reeled in six of 10 targets for 77 yards.
My preferred add of the two is Wilson, as I expect him to separate himself and eventually become the WR1 in this offense. The former Buckeye looked fantastic in his rookie debut and is going to be a fantasy superstar in time. He should not be available in 80 percent of leagues.
Tyrion Davis-Price and Jordan Mason, RB, 49ers (6% and 5%)
Lots of FAAB dollars were spent on Jeff Wilson Jr., who, theoretically, should take on a larger role in the 49ers' offense with Elijah Mitchell on injured reserve for two months. I am probably lower on Wilson than consensus, however, and the only San Francisco "running back" I'd feel great about starting this week is Deebo Samuel.
That said, I think there's a good chance head coach Kyle Shanahan could roll with some kind of committee. Davis-Price was a healthy scratch in Week 1 and Mason, who was a preseason standout, did not play an offensive snap and was only utilized on special teams. One (or both) will likely be called on to step up in Mitchell's absence. Either one is worth a speculative add in deeper leagues if you have the bench space.
Rachaad White, RB, Buccaneers (36%)
Leonard Fournette dominated the Buccaneers' backfield in the Sunday night snoozefest against the Cowboys. He is dealing with a hamstring injury, however, which means his backup, Rachaad White, should be rostered everywhere.
White tallied a mere six carries for 14 yards and caught both of his targets for seven yards in his rookie debut. He could be the beneficiary of an expanded role if Fournette misses time — or is limited in any way — and he should be rostered in way more than 36 percent of leagues.
Logan Thomas, TE, Commanders (10%)
Logan Thomas fell off the fantasy radar after a disappointing 2021 season derailed by injuries. He appeared in six games and recorded 18 catches for 196 yards and three touchdowns.
However, he was the TE10 on a per-game basis in half PPR, and he could be a valuable asset to a Washington passing attack that may not be as bad as expected with Carson Wentz at the helm. Thomas is a nice depth add for George Kittle managers looking to stream, or for managers with underperforming tight ends like Mike Gesicki or Cole Kmet.
Jaylen Warren, RB, Steelers (18%)
Jaylen Warren was a popular waiver add this past week amid uncertainty about star running back Najee Harris' health. Harris is dealing with ankle and foot injuries, some of which have plagued him since the preseason. He is set to play this week, but he could see a smaller workload than usual. At any rate, Warren is worth an add if you have the roster space given Harris' health could be a question mark all season long.