Fantasy Football Week 3 Rankings: Biggest questions on the waiver wire, injuries, who to drop, and more

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I’ve never seen anything quite like the injury situation around the NFL in Week 2, and I’ve been doing this Fantasy football thing for a decade now. Injuries happen every week, but we lost at least 10 potential Fantasy contributors in one week, including the top two picks in most drafts in Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley. That’s going to make this week’s waiver wire one of the busiest ever as everyone scrambles to find replacements, and it’s going to make figuring out who to start and sit an even bigger headache than usual.

It’s a ton to keep up with, and it’s hard enough to keep up with everything that’s going on around 16 games when there aren’t this many injuries, which is why I like to reach out to the Fantasy Football Today team to guide me. Every week on Tuesday morning, we do a survey on some of the biggest storylines and rankings dilemmas of the week. Here’s what we’re expecting for Week 3, beginning with a look at the waiver-wire options and what to expect from the Panthers and Giants without their stars.  

Who is your top waiver-wire target for Week 3?

  • Jamey: It has to be Mike Davis since he should step into the starting role for the Panthers with Christian McCaffrey (ankle) out. You have to like that he got eight catches in Week 2, and he has 20-touch potential. I like Darrell Henderson a lot, but we don’t know how long Malcolm Brown (finger) and Cam Akers (ribs) could be out. If they’re back in Week 3, the Rams backfield will again be crowded.
  • Dave: Because I don’t have a ton of confidence in Wayne Gallman as a season-saving running back, particularly on a Giants team that struggled to create rushing lanes for Saquon Barkley, I’ll tab Davis as the best short-term running back on waivers. Henderson is a close second.  
  • Heath: It’s Henderson. No, Davis. No, definitely Henderson. Probably. I lean Henderson due to his upside and potential to be useful for the rest of the season. But just barely.
  • Adam: Davis seems like the RB with the clearest path to touches. If it’s not Davis, I’m looking at Henderson pending some Rams injury news. 
  • Chris: I think the consensus is going to be Davis, who figures to see a lot of work over the next month or so. Davis is no McCaffrey, obviously, but he locked up the backup job pretty quickly in training camp, and figures to see plenty of work in both the passing and running game. I think Davis could be a top-15 back in McCaffrey’s absence.

What are your expectations for Saquon Barkley and Christian McCaffrey’s replacements?

  • Jamey: See above on Davis. As for the Giants, I hope they sign Devonta Freeman, because I have little faith in Dion Lewis and Gallman. Of the two, I’ll take Lewis based on his expected role in the passing game.
  • Dave: Gallman will work rushing downs and Lewis will fill in on passing downs. That split might actually make Lewis kind of interesting in full PPR, but it’s just an assumption of how they’ll be used. The Panthers only have Trenton Cannon on their active roster right now to help Davis out, so the hunch is Davis will handle a ton of snaps. I think Davis could work his way into the top-24 running back discussion in PPR for however long McCaffrey is out.
  • Heath: I’d rather have Davis than any Giants, unless Freeman becomes a Giant. Davis could be a borderline top-25 running back with upside if he doesn’t have to share. Lewis could be a PPR flex.
  • Adam: For the Giants, I think Gallman could be a flex assuming he is getting the majority of the carries. I’m not so interested in Lewis, and of course there are free agent RBs like Freeman and Lamar Miller looming. And for Carolina, Davis is probably a low-end RB2 or flex for now. He needs to be rostered and potentially started if you are weak at RB.
  • Chris: Figuring out what to expect from the Giants backfield is a much tougher question. First of all, Gallman was a healthy scratch in Week 2, but could very well be the starter in Week 2 over Lewis. Plus, the Giants are reportedly bringing Freeman in for a tryout and could sign him. I’ll make it easy for you: In all likelihood, none of the there will be much more than a fringe starting option until one of them proves it.

Which player helped himself most long term in Week 2?

  • Jamey: Cam Newton. He’s back as a top-five quarterback if he can stay healthy. I said that prior to the season, and you’ve now seen the upside through two games. Let’s just hope he doesn’t get hurt.
  • Dave: I was probably the last person on the planet who didn’t buy into Newton as a must-start Fantasy quarterback. I can’t help but be impressed by how well he threw the ball on Sunday. If he’s going to keep doing that and be the Patriots‘ goal-line solution, then how can you not be excited to get him in your lineup?
  • Heath: I’ll say Henderson. Yes, Akers and Brown were injured, but Henderson shined. He has good pedigree, and if Akers misses another week or two Henderson may just become a feature back.
  • Adam: Chris Carson is the man in the Seattle backfield and there never should have been any doubt. And as a nice added bonus, Carson has three TD catches this season! He had three career TD catches entering 2019!
  • Chris: It has to be Leonard Fournette, who benefited from a Ronald Jones fumble — technically a Tom Brady fumble, but not in Bruce Arians’ eyes — for a big breakout game. Is he guaranteed to be the starter moving forward in Tampa Bay? Not necessarily. But it feels like Arians is looking for any reason to give the job to Fournette, and he may have found it.

Which player hurt himself most long term in Week 2?

  • Jamey: If you haven’t cut Rob Gronkowski yet, now’s the time. It’s highly doubtful he’s ever going to be a consistent Fantasy option for Bruce Arians.
  • Dave: I can’t feel confident in starting Jarvis Landry moving forward. The Browns run game is clearly a priority and Odell Beckham has his role as the top target in the offense. Honestly, what’s left for Landry that Fantasy managers can feel good about?
  • Heath: Jones is the obvious answer right? We were just waiting for something like this and Fournette didn’t waste the opportunity.
  • Adam: I’m done with Gronkowski. The end.
  • Chris: I’m going to go with Preston Williams, who was unable to take advantage of DeVante Parker‘s injury in Week 1 and struggled again in Week 2, including a dropped touchdown in the Dolphins failed comeback effort. He deserves some time to get his feet under him as he comes back from his ACL injury, but that doesn’t mean you need to hang on to him while he does. Parker is the No. 1 option here, and that isn’t changing anytime soon, it looks like. 

Who are three players you are starting in Week 3 who weren’t drafted as starters? 

  • Jamey: Joshua Kelley, James Robinson and Diontae Johnson. Kelley, one of my favorite sleepers, is getting a lot of work in tandem with Austin Ekeler. Robinson has emerged as a standout running back for the Jaguars. And Johnson leads the Steelers in targets through two games.
  • Dave: You mean besides Newton? Johnson, Robinson, and Kelley
  • Heath: Minshew, Henderson, Johnson
  • Adam: Minshew deserves a look against Miami, particularly with Byron Jones hurt. I can’t get away from Johnson, and I like CeeDee Lamb in what should be another high scoring game against Seattle. 
  • Chris: Kelley, Russell Gage, Gardner Minshew. Kelley looked like a lotto ticket that you might have to wait on back in draft season, but through two weeks, he’s tied with Ekeler for the fifth-most carries in the NFL. He looks like a legitimate No. 2 Fantasy RB for Week 3 against the Panthers. 

Who are three players you drafted in the first half of drafts who you are dropping?

  • Jamey: I didn’t draft any of these guys in the leagues I’m playing out, but three players you should drop are Gronkowski, Tevin Coleman and Austin Hooper. See above on Gronkowski, and Coleman is easy to move on from now that he’s hurt. Hooper has struggled through two games and doesn’t look like someone who will be a consistent stat producer.
  • Dave: I’m pretty patient, so I’m not dropping anyone I took with one of my first eight picks who’s not done for the year. Maybe the only exception is Jordan Howard.  
  • Heath: Matt Breida, Howard, Christian Kirk.
  • Adam: Barkley! Also Evan Engram, Carson Wentz and Kerryon Johnson (even with the TD) are worth considering.
  • Chris: Gronkowski, Emmanuel Sanders, Breida. We could throw Austin Hooper in there with Gronkowski, too. There are just too many interesting tight ends out there, most notably Mike Gesicki, who is a must-add after his massive Week 2 breakout. But I would also drop either for Mo Alie-Cox, Jordan Reed, or Jonnu Smith for Week 3. 

Who is your top streaming QB, TE, and DST?

  • Jamey: Minshew is the free space at quarterback, and you should be adding Dalton Schultz in all leagues. He’s more than just a streamer as the starting tight end for the Cowboys. And I’ll go back to the Colts DST with the matchup against the Jets.
  • Dave: Minshew, Gesicki, Colts. 
  • Heath: Minshew, Gesicki, Chargers.
  • Adam: Minshew, Schultz, Colts.
  • Chris: Minshew, Mo Alie-Cox — if Gesicki isn’t available — and the Buccaneers. If the Bucs aren’t available, then the Colts or Chargers. 

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