It seems to appear that we can’t go a week in this NFL season without a significant injury stinging a premier player, and Week 3 was certainly no different. With Saquon Barkley now among the ailing injured (as he was seen on the sidelines in crutches in a walking boot) following Sunday’s high ankle sprain in Tampa, we find ourselves once again scavenging the fantasy football waiver wire.
On the cusp of our first set of bye week teams entering Week 4, we’ve also clearly got a slew of injuries to have to work around with a few new names at some positions while others we’ve touched on previously yet have somehow remained under 55 percent ownership in Yahoo Fantasy leagues.
While we’re reaching the quarter-season mark between this week and next (Week 5), there are now players whom you’ll begin looking at on your rosters who you’ve been loyal to but they’re not paying off yet. At the same time as I’ll advocate for your patience in these draft picks you’ve defended until now, I’ll also advise you to really begin weighing how much these players are worth to you in the grand scheme of things (I can’t really name any here since the dynamic of every roster in every league is different).
If there’s something of value to your team specifically floating out on the waiver wire, by all means drop something that’s of lesser value to gain it. But don’t just go hair-trigger on wasting your waiver claims (if limited claims are applicable to your league) just for the sake of getting something you don’t necessarily need. Everything costs something, whether it come in the form of a player on your roster given up or losing a waiver claim/position.
D.J. Chark, WR (JAC, 41% Owned)
With the consistent productivity that’s been beyond evident thus far, it’s hard to believe that D.J. Chark is still relatively available in a majority of Yahoo leagues. While he doesn’t garner the majority of targets for the Jaguars (aside from a team-high, 9, in Week 2), Chark has made the receptions where they count.
Featured in a minimum of 70% of snaps thus far in each game, he’s also managed to score a touchdown in each outing as well, along with an average of 17.5 fantasy points per game (in half-point PPR format). Porn ‘Stache Minshew likes to throw to Chark in the red zone, and clearly will heavily be in the mix on offense each week.
Chark is definitely worth adding (and in many cases, starting) on your rosters if you have the room to parse with.
Wayne Gallman Jr, RB (NYG, 4% Owned)
It’s not always about the glamour of the vessel, but the journey that gets you where you need to be. While that’s certainly not a coined phrase beyond shit that I just made up, I would tend to believe that it’s somewhat truthful of the argument in any non-Saquon draftor finding the gumption to pickup (and start) Wayne Gallman.
His career stat line is far from pretty, as he’s fumbled five times in only 164 carries over two seasons (2017, 18) and just two touchdowns. However, this Giants team now has a new breath of life in its lungs, and Gallman may very well reap the goal line benefits of that increasingly over the near future.
Depending on the severity of Saquon’s ankle injury, Gallman will be due for majority of carries by default and should be treated as such.
Mecole Hardman, WR (KC, 49% Owned)
Much like that of D.J. Chark, it’s crazy to think that players with such high ceilings and consistent production can go under-owned. Apparently this stands to be the case with Mecole Hardman, who should be owned in all standard-sized leagues with ease.
Along with Demarcus Robinson, Hardman has been becoming a stellar fill-in in absence of Tyreek Hill. In Week 3 against the Ravens, Hardman erupted for 97 receiving yards and a touchdown, coming in on two receptions from five targets (making them count apparently). With Hill being sidelined for the next several weeks, it’s been a bit of an unexpected shift from Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce doing all the scoring (despite still both leading the team in total targets).
Hardman is owned in every league that I’m involved in, and that’s been the case from a couple weeks now. Yet somehow, this guy’s still under 55% owned in all leagues, which would indicate there are some advantages to be had out there. Get on it.
Jordan Akins, TE (HOU, 0% Owned)
While he’s not the only target at the position on the waiver wire availability radar this week, Jordan Akins happens to stand out to me as the most promising for the long-term fantasy need, as it appears Deshaun Watson has begun establishing a rapport with his second-year tight end.
Connecting for his first two career touchdowns on five targets for three receptions and 73 receiving yards, Akins is proving to be an important part of this Texans offense as a pass-blocker as well, which will keep him on the field for more snaps down the stretch in terms of his reliability in multiple facets.
After a lackluster rookie year performance-wise, Akins is looking to become a staple receiving threat for this Texans offense and a safety dump-off for Watson. If you’re in need at the tight end position, I would definitely not look past Jordan Akins despite the small sample size for his performance.
Daniel Jones, QB (NYG, 16% Owned)
Alright gang, this may just be the real deal we’re looking at here. After the benching of Eli Manning earlier last week following his dreadful recent outings, Daniel Jones came out and proved why Gettleman reached up in the Draft for the young standout out of Duke.
Coming into Tampa to pull out a game-winning touchdown drive (on his own feet into the end zone, mind you), Daniel Jones torched the Buccaneers for four total touchdowns (two passing, two rushing), along with 336 yards through the air on 23/36 completions and no interceptions. He’s looking like he can do it all (especially all the things Eli could never do with his legs), and the future of the New York Football Giants after that convincing victory on the road in a comeback fashion nonetheless.
If you need a quarterback and you’re combing through the waiver wires, look no further. The preseason was no deception in this regard, and I believe we’re looking at one of the future faces of the league.
Ronald Jones, RB (TB, 25% Owned)
Alright, I know that this isn’t the most promising suggestion on paper considering the split circumstances in the Tampa backfield. But considering the likely available players available at the position in your league, it may be the case that Ronald Jones is the best available option in yours (along with the case of many others’).
Under the coaching of Byron Leftwich and Bruce Arians, this two-headed system the Bucs are running out is mildly reminiscent of the one they’re running in Denver, in that there is no rhyme nor reason as to which down or which type of down either back (in this case, Jones and Peyton Barber) will be featured in, whether it be rushing or passing. However, Jones has proven to be the more dominant of the two and provides much more of a ceiling in terms of big-boom ability (albeit sparingly).
In the hard-fought nail-biter loss to the New York Giants (which the offense looked spectacular in), Jones equated to the lead ball-carrier with 14 attempts for 80 yards rushing (to Barber’s 13 carries for 48) and trailed Barber by only one reception (one, to Barber’s two). With a waiver wire [always] thin on running backs, Ronald Jones should be among the next in line of public availability worthy of your claims.