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Waiver Wired
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Rondale Moore, Cordarrelle Patterson highlight Week 3 waivers

by John Daigle
Updated On: September 21, 2021, 10:13 pm ET

 Welcome to the Week 3 edition of Waiver Wired for the 2021 season. After a polarizing run that saw Elijah Mitchell added for nearly every FAAB dollar available, this week’s waiver period is a terrific time to shuffle the end of rosters and get all your ducks in row. As you’ll soon find out, this week isn’t one we should be looking to battle in if our leaguemates are seeking revenge from the last wave of players.

As a refresher, The Drop List consists of players who are rostered in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues and are no longer must-have assets, recommended additions are available in over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the Watch List contains in-depth notes on fringe waiver adds, and Deep Cuts includes player notes on those rostered in five percent or fewer of Yahoo leagues.


The Drop List

QB: Jameis Winston, Baker Mayfield

RB: Ronald Jones

WR: Michael Gallup, Jerry Jeudy

TE: Mike Gesicki 

With only 42 pass attempts on a league-low 106 plays run through Week 2, managers should feel more than comfortable shedding Winston for any of the prioritized quarterbacks below...There are no hard rules to rostering RoJo. The only mistake anyone ever makes is believing Bruce Arians when he calls Jones the starter. Having been out-touched 29-11 behind Leonard Fournette through two games, Jones is obviously nothing more than a contingency player who could get reps if Fournette were injured...Dallas' target tree has expanded beyond our wildest dreams, featuring eight different players for at least four catches through two weeks. That logically limits Gallup's spike-week potential at the end of benches even if/when he's able to return from his ankle injury. I'd much rather have the flexible roster spot given how crucial it is early in the fantasy season. Same goes for Jeudy, who will undoubtedly cause a start/sit headache even when he's eligible to return from his high-ankle sprain...Gesicki's snaps (64%) and target share (13.6%) were up from the regular season opener, but that was in a game without Will Fuller and Jacoby Brissett featured under center. I would move on from Gesicki for Cole Kmet (see below) wherever applicable.


Overall Top 5

1. Rondale Moore
2. Alexander Mattison
3. James White
4. Cordarrelle Patterson
5. Tim Patrick

High-Stakes Top 5

1. Cordarrelle Patterson
2. Van Jefferson
3. Quintez Cephus
4. K.J. Osborn
5. Peyton Barber

For those looking to roster the best available player(s) regardless of position, the rankings above take into account every factor from the positional lists minus players’ actual positions for both recreational and high-stakes (FFPC, NFFC, etc.) formats, the latter which have far fewer viable players available with every passing week. These are listed in the precise order I would prioritize waiver claims in those leagues ahead of Week 3. Adjust accordingly for what you need on your roster — touches, high-upside bench stashes, targets, one-week spot-starters, etc.


Contingency Top 10

1. Chuba Hubbard
2. Alexander Mattison
3. Kenneth Gainwell
4. Damien Williams
5. Jermar Jefferson
6. Tony Jones
7. Samaje Perine
8. Darrel Williams
9. Alex Collins
10. Justin Jackson

For those looking to stash the best available backup(s) with minimum standalone value, the rankings above were designed to help prioritize direct backups in the event a player in front of them were absent. These are listed in the precise order I would stash them ahead of Week 3. Presumed targets, touches, environment, remaining schedule, etc. are included in the process.



1. Daniel Jones
2. Sam Darnold
3. Teddy Bridgewater

Running Backs

Sony Michel rostered in 67 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 RB add if available.
Tony Pollard rostered in 54 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 2 RB add if available

1. Alexander Mattison
2. James White
3. Cordarrelle Patterson
4. J.D. McKissic
5. Chuba Hubbard
6. Kerryon Johnson
7. Peyton Barber

Wide Receivers

Marquise Brown rostered in 66 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 WR add if available.
Sterling Shepard rostered in 57 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 3 WR add behind Rondale Moore if available.

1. Rondale Moore
2. Tim Patrick
3. Van Jefferson
4. Quintez Cephus
5. K.J. Osborn

Tight Ends

1. Cole Kmet
2. Jared Cook
3. Pat Freiermuth

Defense/Special Teams

1. Carolina Panthers
2. Las Vegas Raiders
3. Atlanta Falcons
4. Tennessee Titans


1. Matt Prater
2. Graham Gano
3. Brandon McManus
4. Zane Gonzalez




1. Daniel Jones, Giants — Rostered in 20 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 1-2% FAAB Bid)

Jason Garrett is at least trying to be progressive, scheming a league-average rate of play-action (27.2%) while getting Jones out into the open field for a career-high 7.5 scrambles per game (including the team’s only carry inside the five-yard line). Even if Jones manages to fall short of his 12.1 points being added on the ground weekly, Atlanta’s defense is just one of two units permitting 32 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks through the air. We should expect a (sloppy) shootout from both sides, propelling Jones as one of the week’s best streamers.

2. Sam Darnold, Panthers — Rostered in 15 percent of Yahoo leagues (1-2%)

The game plan for Darnold is simple: either dump it to Christian McCaffrey, which he’s done on 13-of-73 throws, find D.J. Moore in the intermediate level of the field, or lob a coin-toss to Robby Anderson (21-yard depth of target) over the top. It’s a plan he’s leveraged for 19 fantasy points per game from under center so far, which should only continue opposite Houston’s seventh-lowest pressure rate through Week 2.

3. Teddy Bridgewater, Broncos — Rostered in 17 percent of Yahoo Leagues (1-2%)

Perhaps it can be attributed to his soft opponents (Giants, Jacksonville) through two games, but Bridgewater is quietly tied with Josh Allen and Trevor Lawrence for the league lead in attempts 20-plus yards downfield (13). The Jets have only allowed a single passing touchdown to Sam Darnold and Mac Jones thus far, but Bridgewater’s aggressiveness could eclipse that number in a single game. He at the very least offers a high floor given the matchup.

Watch List: Coach Jon Gruden labeled Derek Car (ankle) "questionable" for Sunday, otherwise he'd be listed among the priority options above given his 24.1 fantasy points per game through two weeks. The Raiders are also (somehow) ranked second in pass play rate in neutral game script...Trey Lance is a player we need to be ahead of on waivers, especially after Jimmy Garoppolo failed to register a 1st down in the first quarter and led an offense that totaled just 24 rushing yards in the first half of Sunday's win. If looking to stash a player, I would still choose Lance over Justin Fields given the 49ers' softer schedule, hodling the line and masking Lance's backup role with another starter until the rookie is given the nod. Fields (wherever available) is obviously the choice if you need a starting quarterback immediately.



1. Alexander Mattison, Vikings — Rostered in 33 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 10-12% FAAB Bid)

Dalvin Cook is reportedly battling “a little ankle sprain” after walking gingerly toward the sideline, heavily taping his right ankle, and returning for two more laborious handoffs before eventually being replaced by Mattison on the team’s final drive. Unfortunately, managers will likely be forced to fight for the latter off waivers before word of Cook’s outlook comes down the pike. While Mattison is the top plug-and-play pickup for lineups in need of a running back, he can be glossed over for those listed below for rosters that already have those slots filled. If healthy, Cook’s bump in the road should at least serve as a reminder of his lengthy injury history, forcing a sprinkle for Mattison at the end of the day just in case.

Recommendation: Should be stashed in 10-team leagues



2. James White, Patriots – Rostered in 42 percent of Yahoo leagues (35%)

White’s average of 10.5 touches resembles his usage from 2019 when he finished 11th among running backs in fantasy points per game. His 18.9% target share also trails only Alvin Kamara’s (23.1%) and Christian McCaffrey’s (20.7%) at their respective position. Not only should White be universally rostered in PPR leagues, he’s clearly a better option than some fringe starters — Kareem Hunt, Kenyan Drake, James Robinson — being deployed ahead of him. Prioritize White over Mattison if Cook appears healthy ahead of Sunday.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team PPR leagues

3. Cordarrelle Patterson, Falcons – Rostered in 15 percent of Yahoo leagues (5-8%)

With few viable weapons to turn to, coach Arthur Smith increased Patterson’s usage in Week 2, calling his name for 43% of Atlanta’s backfield touches (12-of-28) — up from 33% in their opener — a 13% target share (5% the week prior), and all three of the team’s backfield opportunities (two carries, one target) inside the 10. More importantly, Patterson offers multi-position eligibility as a hybrid RB/WR on Yahoo, providing comfort in a pinch whether your roster suffers a last-minute scratch, injury, or lost bid off waivers. White offers a significantly higher ceiling given his aforementioned role but Patterson’s week-to-week floor will undoubtedly come in handy during byes.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

4. J.D. McKissic, Washington – Rostered in 29 percent of Yahoo leagues (5-8%)

McKissic has cemented his role in Washington’s two-minute drill, additionally playing every long down-and-distance snap as the team’s pass-catching back. This isn’t breaking news since it’s exactly how he was utilized last year, but it does keep him relevant in those situations for as long as Jaret Patterson continues riding the pine (rather than sponging the two touches he did in Week 1). McKissic will continue to offer a floor similar to Thursday’s performance if his 13.6% target share from Taylor Heinicke (and 4.5% for Antonio Gibson) is a sign of things to come.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team PPR leagues

5. Kerryon Johnson, 49ers - Rostered in 0 percent of Yahoo leagues (1%)

With Elijah Mitchell’s (shoulder), Trey Sermon’s (concussion), and JaMycal Hasty’s (ankle) statuses up in the air, Johnson is potentially eyeing a role alongside Trenton Cannon as San Francisco’s only available backs; there’s legitimately no other reason he’s on this list. If Mitchell begins trending towards playing, I would nix the idea of allotting FAAB for Johnson altogether. He's the stronger option over Jacques Patrick since the latter couldn't even make it beyond Cincinnati's final wave of preseason cuts.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues if Elijah Mitchell and Trey Sermon are ruled out

6. Chuba Hubbard, Panthers – Rostered in 16 percent of Yahoo leagues (10-12%)

Christian McCaffrey’s second-half cramping (and IV) allowed Hubbard to mix in for eight touches, providing evidence that he’s the backup to claim as a bell-cow if the former were to go down. For the immediate future, note that the Panthers reportedly have “no concern” for McCaffrey’s availability Thursday night.

Recommendation: Should be stashed in 12-team leagues

7. Peyton Barber, Raiders – Rostered in 9 percent of Yahoo leagues (1%)

Gruden wasn't kidding when he discussed Sunday being "an opportunity for Barber," giving the sloth a team-high 13 carries (out of 20) for a predictable 2.4 yards per rush. Having averaged 2.7 YPC over the last two seasons, Barber's outlook isn't rocket science: if he doesn't fart and fall down inside the one-yard line, he isn't bringing a single thing into your fantasy lineup. Think Carlos Hyde but worse.

Recommendation: Can be rostered if you hate your team in deeper leagues

Watch List: When asked about Tevin Coleman's decreased seven snaps against the Patriots, coach Robert Saleh said "Michael Carter was really running his tail off" and "Ty Johnson was running his butt off, too" as the "system has always been about giving it to the hot hand." Carter and Johnson split routes from the backfield with 15 apiece, at least giving those two an out if Zach Wilson ever learned to checkdown. All are still hard pills to swallow since New York's o-line, which has allowed the league's second-highest pressure rate, seems destined to tank this offense for the rest of the year...Everyone frustrated (and rightfully so) about Clyde Edwards-Helaire's production must've missed Darrel Williams' -3 rushing yards from Sunday. 'The Mentor' is the player to roster if CEH were to lose touches, but that scenario seems unlikely given the lack of talent behind him...Consider Tony Jones nothing more than a contingency option moving forward since this offense, running the league's fewest amount of plays through two weeks, is doing its best to drown Alvin Kamara's value, let alone Kamara's backup...Unlike Week 1 when Larry Rountree out-snapped Justin Jackson 22-11, it was Jackson who out-touched Rountree 5-2 as Austin Ekeler's backup in Week 2. This situation projects as more of a committee if Ekeler were ever absent.

Deep Cuts: You can sprinkle on Jake Funk for the same reasons you tried to win JaMycal Hasty or Jeff Wilson last week: he's only one injury away from the Rams having no choice but to use him...With Elijah Mitchell's (shoulder) and Trey Sermon's (concussion) statuses up in the air, the 49ers could be forced to lean on some combination of Trenton Cannon, Kerryon Johnson, and Jacques Patrick, the latter two who remain on the team's practice squad, against Green Bay. All are lost causes if Mitchell, who received 19 touches on Sunday, is cleared to play. Jeff Wilson should be picked up regardless in deeper leagues since he's now just 4-6 weeks away from returning...As expected, Alex Collins was active in place of Rashaad Penny (calf) against Tennessee. If Chris Carson were injured, odds are Collins would be entrusted as the team's workhorse, as he was last year for a team-high in touches in Week 10.



1. Rondale Moore, Cardinals – Rostered in 34 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 75% FAAB Bid)

It’s actually offensive that Moore is still available in 66 percent of Yahoo leagues. Even in being treated as Arizona’s No. 4 wideout, logging just 46% of the team’s offensive snaps on Sunday, Moore accrued a team-high 22.2% target share over DeAndre Hopkins (4, 11.1%) and suddenly leads the team in targets (13) on fewer routes (38) than TE Maxx Williams (46). Whether it’s his safety-blanket 4.1-yard depth of target or ability to break loose for a 77-yard score, Moore should only continue earning a larger role as a weekly WR3/4 for fantasy with every passing game.

Recommendation: Should have been rostered all along in 10-team leagues



2. Tim Patrick, Broncos – Rostered in 22 percent of Yahoo leagues (3-5%)

In Denver’s first game without Jerry Jeudy (ankle), Patrick actually led the entire team — Courtland Sutton included — in routes run (33), out-snapping K.J. Hamler 51-49. Although he hasn’t exceeded 50 receiving yards in eight consecutive games, Patrick’s intermediate 7.8-yard depth of target and 12 fantasy points in back-to-back games lend him the higher floor over K.J. Hamler as the Broncos’ short-term No. 2 wideout.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

3. Van Jefferson, Rams – Rostered in 7 percent of Yahoo leagues (3-5%)

Fresh off a career-high 92% snap rate against the Colts, Jefferson has clearly secured the role that was thought to be DeSean Jackson’s all to himself. Jefferson’s 10% target share (three per game) leaves a lot to be desired, but the fact Los Angeles’ o-line has kept Matthew Stafford upright for the league’s lowest pressure rate at least lends him the time needed to find Jefferson streaking downfield. He should be viewed as an unpredictable boom-or-bust option a la Marquez Valdes-Scantling that can be plugged in to chase points whenever necessary.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

4. Quintez Cephus, Lions – Rostered in 7 percent of Yahoo leagues (3-5%)

There’s no telling whether Cephus’ role sticks once Tyrell Williams (concussion) returns, or what Detroit’s offense becomes once they’re faced with an actual challenge. But what we do know is that no wideout for the Lions has earned more targets (12) than Cephus since he replacEd Williams in Week 1, falling one short of Hockenson’s total (13) over the last five quarters. Cephus also encouragingly leads the team in end zone targets (3) — hence his two receiving scores — through two games.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

5. K.J. Osborn, Vikings – Rostered in 3 percent of Yahoo leagues (3-5%)

Irv Smith’s season-long absence has forced coach Mike Zimmer’s disgruntled hand, seeing Minnesota’s offense shift from the league’s lowest rate of 11 personnel in 2020 to passing from three-wide sets on 88% of their plays this year. That’s allowed Osborn to run a route on 81% of Kirk Cousins’ dropbacks, surprisingly leading the team in receiving yards (167) through two games. With a friendly schedule on deck — Seahawks, Browns, Lions, Panthers, and Cowboys — there will be more than enough opportunities to FLEX Osborn as long as Minnesota's secondary proves to be as thin as last year’s.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

Watch List: Henry Ruggs' six targets per game and 13.4% share are vastly different from his averages (3.3 targets, 10.2% share) last year. He's a far better addition than Bryan Edwards if chasing Derek Carr's primary downfield option since Ruggs has also accrued 21% of Las Vegas' air yards...Elijah Moore has been on the field for 82% of New York's snaps and run a route on 83% of Zach Wilson's dropbacks but only has 5/44 receiving (on 12 targets) to show for it. Odds are he morphs into a viable bye-week filler rather than breakout star given the Jets' inability to protect Wilson behind the league's second-highest pressure rate allowed...Marquez Valdes-Scantling's box score from Monday (egg) would have been commendable had Aaron Rodgers found him for even one of the three routes he ran himself wide-open for downfield. Even so, MVS's 14.8% target share and 22-yard depth of target against the Lions paint him as the same boom-or-bust flier he was last year...Terrace Marshall's nine targets, matching Robby Anderson for third on the team, are less rewarding than the latter's since it's Anderson who has averaged a 21 aDOT with a team-high 189 air yards through two games. Unstartable to date, Marshall should continue to be stashed in deeper leagues just in case either D.J. Moore or Anderson miss time...Emmanuel Sanders accrued an 18.1% target share on 32 routes (on Josh Allen's 36 dropbacks) against Miami but could only muster 2/48 receiving on said usage. Even as Buffalo's de facto No. 2 option, managers should continue avoiding 32-year-old Sanders for Cole Beasley (17 targets through Week 2) wherever possible...Dyami Brown has been on the field for 90% of Washington's snaps, most recently seeing an increased 13% target share from Taylor Heinicke. The idea is to keep the rookie stashed just in case his opportunity grows since he's the team's only player capable of deflating the secondary over Terry McLaurin. It's a moot point if Adam Humphries and J.D. McKissic stay as much, if not more involved than Brown moving forward...K.J. Hamler did in fact replace Jerry Jeudy (ankle) in the slot for a team-high 66% of his routes (and the third-most routes on the team) on Sunday but only registered three targets all afternoon. With an 18-yard depth of target making a majority of his opportunities uncatchable, Hamler obviously needs to garner a double-digit target share to be considered a weekly threat in deeper leagues. I'm willing to hold him for at least one more game to see how his usage pans out against the Jets.

Deep Leagues: Although Cedrick Wilson registered a lowly 7.4% target share in place of Michael Gallup against the Chargers, he's an important piece to add/keep behind Amari Cooper (rib) for any managers taking Cooper's status down to the wire on Monday night. Wilson can always be pivoted to if Cooper is surprisingly ruled out...As Sharp Football's Rich Hribar notedDonovan Peoples-Jones is this year's leader in the clubhouse for the Chris Hogan Cardio Award, accruing two targets on 48 routes run in place of Odell Beckham. With the latter trending towards returning against Chicago, DPJ's on-the-field usage can stay glued to waiver wires for the foreseeable future.



1. Cole Kmet, Bears — Rostered in 39 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 5-8% FAAB Bid)

Kmet’s zero in the box score from Sunday is easy to overlook since he’s out-snapped Jimmy Graham 98-36 through two games. Having run a route on 67% of Andy Dalton’s and Justin Fields’ dropbacks in that time, adding Kmet now is simply a bet on the latter excelling under center as early as this week — something Dalton failed to do dating back to the preseason. Fortunately, managers won’t have to bid the suggested 5-8% since so many will be thrown off Kmet’s scent after his Week 2 letdown.

2. Jared Cook, Chargers — Rostered in 43 percent of Yahoo leagues (2-4%)

Cook would be more coveted had his (caught) touchdown at the goal line not been reversed, especially after he lapped Donald Parham in routes run (34-12) for the second consecutive game. With the Chargers averaging 76 plays per game, we should still trust the volume to be there for Cook in an uptempo matchup against Kansas City’s defense.

3. Pat Freiermuth, Steelers — Rostered in 7 percent of Yahoo leagues (1-2%)

It could have been due to Eric Ebron’s lingering hamstring injury throughout the week, but note that Freiermuth did run 18 routes to Ebron’s 12 against Las Vegas. It’s possible this position sees an increase in targets from Ben Roethlisberger pending Diontae Johnson’s (leg) status.

Watch List: It only took two weeks for everyone to remember that the tight end position (outside of Travis Kelce) is the final circle of hell, leading to Dawson Knox as one of the week's best streamers since he was on the field for 83% of Buffalo's snaps in Week 2. Fingers crossed his 9% target share increases even a little bit...Only the Browns have targeted their tight ends more than Teddy Bridgewater through two games, keeping Albert Okwuegbunam in play in with 3.5 targets per game.

Deep Leagues: All roads without James O'Shaughnessy (high-ankle sprain) may lead to fifth-round rookie Luke Farrell, but Jacob Hollister, a player who has at least had success at any level of football in years past, could be active as the team's pass-catching tight end over him. Just something to monitor ahead of Week 3 since O'Shaughnessy is eyeing an elongated absence.



1. Carolina Panthers – Rostered in 20 percent of Yahoo leagues

Carolina has benefitted from a soft schedule thus far, registering the second-highest pressure rate (25%) and a league-high 10 sacks against Zach Wilson and Jameis Winston, and Thursday’s contest against Davis Mills is no different. They’re a top-five option somehow available on waivers.

2. Las Vegas Raiders – Rostered in 2 percent of Yahoo leagues

Miami’s o-line has permitted league-highs in pressures (34) and quarterback hurries (30) through two games. In short, Jacoby Brissett’s 4.2 yards per attempt in mop-up duty last week is not something we should shy away from.

3. Atlanta Falcons – Rostered in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues

The stoppable force meets the movable object as Atlanta’s front-seven clashes with the Giants’ swiss-cheese pass-pro this week. We can count on sacks no matter the outcome since Daniel Jones has already swallowed six of them (and a career 3.5 per game) through two contests.

4. Tennessee Titans – Rostered in 3 percent of Yahoo leagues

A true test of whether Tennessee’s defense can stop anyone given that Jacob Eason will likely be under center. We should take our chances since the sophomore threw a pick on just five pass attempts in Week 2.

Watch List: Nathan Peterman has averaged an interception for every 11 pass attempts throughout his career, sliding Miami’s defense to No. 2 overall if Derek Carr is ruled out.



Only a fool wouldn’t pass the ball to Michael Jordan in his prime, so it only makes sense that I pull each week’s kicker streamers from Denny Carter’s column and #adjust them accordingly. For in-depth analysis, you can read his entire piece here:

1. Matt Prater, Cardinals - Rostered in 39 percent of Yahoo leagues

2. Graham Gano, Giants - Rostered in 4 percent of Yahoo leagues

3. Brandon McManus, Broncos - Rostered in 21 percent of Yahoo leagues

4. Zane Gonzalez, Panthers - Rostered in 0 percent of Yahoo leagues


John Daigle

John Daigle is an Emmy and FSWA award winner who has been covering the NFL and fantasy football for over a decade, working with NBC Sports EDGE for almost four years. He enjoys watching golf and Jon Moxley, not necessarily in that order. You can follow him on Twitter @notJDaigle.