Lookahead Waiver Wire Targets: Pick Up Byron Pringle and Ben Roethlisberger In Week 3 For Future Payoff
Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Byron Pringle
Week 2 of the 2021 NFL season is in the books and one of our lookahead targets from last week has already hit. Tim Patrick found the end zone for the second straight week, yet is still operating in the shadows of Courtland Sutton.
Just the way we like it.
The fantasy football season heads into Week 3, with waivers coming up on Wednesday. Winning your fantasy title requires more than just week-to-week planning, you need be a visionary. You need to continue to look ahead.
Here are my lookahead waiver claims for Week 3.
Week 3 Early Waiver Wire Targets
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers
Now is the time to buy on Big Ben.
The Steelers suffered a shocking 26-17 loss to the Raiders at home, and Roethlisberger has failed to move the offense consistently. He is the current QB26 and available in over 65% of Yahoo! leagues.
Pittsburgh has a favorable upcoming schedule for Roethlisberger, including home games against Cincinnati and Seattle, with a trip to Green Bay in between to face the porous Packers defense. Pittsburgh always plays better as the weather turns cold, with the Steelers welcoming Chicago, Detroit and Tennessee all after November.
With Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, JuJu Smith-Schuster and a great pass-catching running back in Najee Harris, Roethlisberger has all the weapons necessary to have a great second half of the fantasy season. He may not be mobile, but Roethlisberger definitely has some four-touchdown games left in his tank.
Jeff Wilson, RB, 49ers
Don’t forget about Jeff Wilson. With Raheem Mostert out for the season, JaMycal Hasty dealing with a high-ankle sprain and Trey Sermon concussed, the San Francisco backfield depth chart is as uncertain as ever. The 25-year-old Wilson has 15 touchdowns over the past two years and should return from meniscus surgery mid-season.
With only sixth-round pick Elijah Mitchell and newly-acquired Trenton Cannon in the backfield, Wilson is set up for a major role when he returns. We are not far removed from Wilson being a very productive option in an ideal fantasy RB offense.
Jeff Wilson Jr. with his second TD of the half!@49ers take a 23-3 lead.
— NFL (@NFL) October 25, 2020
Wilson found fantasy relevance competing with Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman, and the current depth chart provides less competition. Stash Wilson now for a big payoff later in the season.
J.J. Taylor, RB, Patriots
Damien Harris regained his hold on the New England backfield after his untimely fourth-quarter fumble in Week 1 against Miami. The third-year Alabama-product tallied 62 yards and a touchdown in the Patriots 25-6 win over the Jets. But as we know with a Bill Belichick coached team, Harris’ starting role is just another fumble away from being lost.
Rookie Rhamondre Stevenson was a healthy scratch against the Jets, allowing J.J. Taylor to see an opportunity. At 5-foot-6, 185 lbs, Taylor profiles similarly to former New England back Dion Lewis. If Harris struggles again, Taylor could be in line for increased volume. He would also serve as the 1-to-1 replacement for satellite back James White in case of an injury.
Taylor is worth monitoring as it is impossible to predict the New England backfield with any degree of certainty. Harris is clearly the lead back, for now.
K.J. Osborn, WR, Vikings
At some point fantasy owners will recognize what K.J. Osborn is doing. The 2020 fifth-round pick from Miami led Minnesota with 91 receiving yards against Arizona, and currently leads all Vikings pass catchers with 167 yards on the season. The attention on Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen continues to roll favorable coverage (or none at all) to Osborn.
Someone forgot about KJ Osborn – huge TD.pic.twitter.com/co1onZuCoF
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) September 19, 2021
Currently rostered in just 5% of Yahoo! leagues, fantasy owners seem to be oblivious to Osborn’s production. The Year 2 wideout has clearly cut into Jefferson’s production and doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. With three consecutive home games against Seattle, Cleveland and Detroit, Osborn could be on the cusp of a breakout season
Byron Pringle, WR, Chiefs
My love for Byron Pringle will never die, especially after this beautiful 40-yard catch and run touchdown against Baltimore.
🚨 BYRON PRINGLE TOUCHDOWN 🚨pic.twitter.com/itPUduiyYH
— Sidelines – Kansas State (@SSN_KState) September 20, 2021
With 4.46 speed at 6-foot-1, 205 lbs, Pringle can definitely serve as a useful fantasy asset later in the season. If Tyreek Hill or Mecole Hardman were to miss any time, Pringle would immediately benefit. There is no better spot in fantasy than being tethered to Patrick Mahomes, and Pringle is a great bench stash for wide receiver-needy teams.
Anthony Schwartz, WR, Browns
There is no more ambiguous receiving depth chart than in Cleveland. With Odell Beckham Jr. still struggling to return from ACL surgery, the Browns’ leading receiver in their 31-21 win over Houston was running back Demetric Felton.
Schwartz was a third-round pick out of Auburn with legit 4.32 speed. He impressed with three receptions and 69 yards in the opening game against Kansas City, and could quickly ascend a shallow depth chart with a few big performances. His playing time was cut after a failed passing route led to an interception and subsequent injury to quarterback Baker Mayfield on a tackle.
Schwartz is the perfect buy-low seasonal receiving option in fantasy. If he fails to produce? Cut him. But if he pops, savvy fantasy owners could have a solid WR3 option the rest of the season.
Dyami Brown, WR, Washington
Brown has started to pop as a legitimate receiving option in the Washington passing attack. He saw an increase in targets, receptions and receiving yards in Week 2. Brown has third-round draft capital and above average speed and burst — plus he is competing in a shallow depth chart behind Terry McLaurin as the WR2 for Washington.
GET UP DYAMI BROWN 🔥@UNCFootball
— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 17, 2021
Taylor Heinicke is adjusting to the starting quarterback role, and veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick is now on the injured reserve with a hip injury. This uncertainty provides an opportunity for Brown to establish himself before Fitzpatrick’s return in six to eight weeks.
One of the keys to a long-term waiver pickup is potential upside. Brown has the talent, opportunity and offense to have a second-half Travis Fulgham-like impact in 2021.
Dan Arnold, TE, Panthers
We are always looking for a solid tight end waiver pickup, and my suggestion is Carolina’s Dan Arnold. After a disappointing Week 1 (two receptions, six receiving yards), Arnold produced three receptions and 55 receiving yards in Carolina’s 26-7 victory over New Orleans.
At 6-foot-5, Arnold brings a 90th percentile or better measurable in Burst, Agility and Catch Radius, per PlayerProfiler. He is lost in the wide receiver trio of D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson and rookie Terrace Marshall. However, at a very weak tight end fantasy position, Arnold could be trending in the right direction toward fantasy relevance.