By RahimAli Merchant
This is the first week in which we as fantasy owners have to think about the bye week. This will leave us looking for players to add and fill our roster with the positions we need. Not only is it the bye weeks that we need to look out for, but also the replacement of an injured player like San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garappolo.
The injury to Garappolo should open up a spot on your team for either a backup or starting QB. If you happen to have no backup, then the fantasy waiver wire is where you should look. Also, don’t forget that QBs Cam Newton and Alex Smith will be on a bye and need to be replaced for at least one week.
There’s only so many QBs who can give you 20+ on a weekly basis, and some of them may still be on the waivers. Let’s see who you might be able to pick up from the fantasy waiver wire this week.
- Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars, 77.5 percent availability
- Case Keenum, Denver Broncos, 82.6 percent availability
- Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins, 92.2 percent availability
- Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals, 71.4 percent availability
- Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns, 93.2 percent availability
Bortles exploded on the Patriots defense before struggling against the Titans, but they look to continue his pace as the team continues to play great football and remain atop the conference. Keenum and the Broncos offense looked uncomfortable after their loss to the Ravens, but they have a quick turnaround against division foe, Kansas City Chiefs, who look to go 4-0 with the explosive offense. Tannehill missed all of last season with an injury, but has been racking up the numbers thus far. Tannehill and the Dolphins take on the Patriots this week, but it may be another good week to start Tannehill if you can grab him.
Dalton is another guy who you may think about starting this week. Despite the loss against the Panthers, Dalton still had an okay week. With the Falcons secondary missing action, now would be the best time to start Dalton and the Bengals receivers. Pick him up off the fantasy waiver wire if you have the chance. Or you can believe in Mayfield after just a small sample size. Mayfield came on against the Jets and led the Browns to their first win in 635 days. With Mayfield as the starter, the Browns offense is expected to be very productive. Even if you’re not impressed yet, still stash him on your bench for that trade later in the season.
- Javorius “Buck” Allen, Baltimore Ravens, 61.4 percent availability
- Sony Michel, New England Patriots, 36 percent availability
- Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers, 45.5 percent availability
- Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers, 48.1 percent availability
- Corey Clement, Philadelphia Eagles, 42.6 percent availability
I’m still surprised at how many leagues Allen is available in. He’s had a touchdown in each game he’s played, including two last week against the Broncos. He is a great flex player in all leagues, especially PPR. Michel is still trying to get himself that big play we’re used to seeing from him at UGA, but it’s coming. He led the Patriots in rushing during their week 3 loss against the Lions, and he could very well do it again, I mean let’s be honest, he’s taking over the Dion Lewis role. Ekeler is another one of those guys who surprises me on his availability in most leagues. I mean yeah, Melvin Gordon is the lead back and is hot right now, but Rivers loves passing it to his RBs. Make sure to grab him off the fantasy waiver wire while he’s still available.
Jones is like Michel, just trying to get his game going with the team. The Packers have three RBs on the fantasy radar, but neither has had a break out game yet. Jones is expected to be that guy, so if available pick him up and watch. Clement is part of another interesting RB situation, but production goes as the offense goes. With or without Jay Ajayi, Clement will get some looks, mostly on passing downs. He is also sharing the backup role with Smallwood, so I would keep an eye on the status of Ajayi and the availability of both Clement and Smallwood as the week goes on.
- Antonio Callaway, Cleveland Browns, 83.2 percent availability
- Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons, 59.6 percent availability
- Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers, 66.6 percent availability
- Geronimo Allison, Green Bay Packers, 65.7 percent availability
- Albert Wilson, Miami Dolphins, 97.5 percent availability
Callaway is one of the players expected to shine with Mayfield at QB. He is also the second WR on the team’s depth chart, which only means there will be plenty of opportunities. Callaway should be added off the fantasy waiver wire as the team heads to Oakland, and he could be a great addition. Ridley, oh Ridley, do I even need to tell you about this? Just look at the highlights from the Falcons-Saints game and tell me who caught the most touchdowns by any team in that game. Yes, Ridley. The rookie from Alabama got three TDs in the Falcons loss against the Saints, and he is quickly emerging as one of QB Matt Ryan’s favorite targets. If Julio ain’t getting TDs, somebody has to, so why not Ridley?
Williams had a great game also. He didn’t get three TDs, but he did get two. He and the RBs were the only offense the Chargers were getting on the Rams, but this week’s opponent is no Rams, it’s the 49ers. It may be another big game for Williams. Allison is becoming more of an offensive threat for QB Aaron Rodgers. Until the running game can get figured out, Allison should get more targets. Let’s hope the Packers have better luck against Buffalo than the Vikings. Wilson is another player to watch for the Dolphins. While Stills is the No. 1 option, the Dolphins are still searching for that second option. With a lack of running game and Parker not a factor, Wilson could continue to have himself a nice season. Let’s not forget he could throw TDs too, so watch out for this guy during the season.
- Eric Ebron, Indianapolis Colts, 49 percent availability
- Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons, 75.3 percent availability
- O. J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 37.9 percent availability
- Jesse James, Pittsburgh Steelers, 67.4 percent availability
- Will Dissly, Seattle Seahawks, 53.5 percent availability
Although none of the guys on this list had huge games, they’re still some of the most available TEs on the fantasy waiver wire. This was the first week Ebron didn’t get a TD, but the matchup was a problem, as the whole Colts offense struggled against the Eagles. We hope to see Ebron have a continuous role as the primary TE with Doyle out and also the second option behind Hilton. Before you drop him, give him time to feel the TE spot on your roster. Hooper got the yards and a two-point conversion, but no TDs. All those TDs went to Ridley remember? It’s going to be interesting to see how the offense runs with Freeman likely returning to action after missing two games. Hooper, like Ridley, should be another major target for the Falcons as they may end up in a lot of shoot outs this season.
Howard is a hit or miss, depending on who the Buccaneers start at QB. If its Fitzmagic, continue to add Howard off the fantasy waiver wire in all leagues. In a standard PPR league, he is available with every catch he makes. With the Buccaneers having to play the Bears, Howard could get a lot of receptions. James didn’t do much of anything in the Monday night win for the Steelers, but he is still ahead of McDonald as the primary TE. As the Steelers continue to play without Bell, Big Ben focuses on the TEs, and James should be an add from the fantasy waiver wire to your roster as a backup TE.
Dissly had a quiet week 3, but the Seahawks found a way to run for 100+ yards with Chris Carson and get the receivers involved for once as they pick up their first win of the season. Now let’s watch as the momentum changes and Dissly continues to get the red zone looks and the Seahawks look to turn their season around with back-to-back wins. This week’s opponent is the Cardinals, so it may be more of the Seahawks defense setting themselves up, but still don’t give up on Dissly yet.
Good luck to all the fantasy football players. Hope you can put together the best lineup to win your matchup this week!