Waiver Wire Watch: Week 3 Targets
Week 2 brings us more data and a little less insanity than Week 1. We get to learn if some surprise players are one-hit wonders or potential breakouts in the making. And sadly, more injuries. This week’s edition of the Waiver Wire Watch isn’t quite as large as last week’s but be sure to check back as the week progresses, as we’ll be adding players as needed. For instance, we didn’t get clarity on Derrius Guice’s injury until midway through last week. Working the waiver wire is an all-week process, and we strive to make this an all-week article to give you the best chance at success.
Before we get into the meat of the article, there are a few house-keeping items to clear up. Recommendations are based on a PPR-scoring, four-point passing touchdown, 12-team league, with ownership percentages coming from Yahoo. I try to mention when a player is a better streaming play (short-term/one-week starter) versus a long-term addition. Free-agent acquisition budget (FAAB) suggestions are based on a $100 season-long budget. Lastly, the great John Paulsen will edit this article every week and adjust rankings and prices if necessary. Essentially, you’re getting two minds collaborating on this piece instead of one, so lucky you.
Now, with that out of the way, here are some players to target heading into Week 2.
2. Josh Allen
Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts, 12% owned ($5)
For the second week in a row, Brissett played well against a stout defense, this time tossing three touchdowns to help the Colts beat the Titans. He hasn’t set the world on fire statistically, failing to throw for more than 200 yards in a game yet, but he’s been relatively safe with the football and an average of over 16 fantasy points per game isn’t terrible. He has a juicy schedule in the coming weeks, with matchups against the Raiders, Chiefs, and Texans, three teams with vulnerable secondaries. If your team had been relying on Drew Brees or Ben Roethlisberger, Brissett could be a strong fill-in depending on the severity of the injuries suffered by those veterans.
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills, 40% owned ($4)
Allen cleaned up his turnovers in Week 2 (he had zero after committing four in Week 1), and his fantasy output soared as a result (15.96 to 22.20). Allen has thrown for 250-plus yards and a touchdown in each game, with one rushing touchdown in each as well. Next up for Allen is a cake matchup against a Bengals defense that has been shredded through two weeks. Most recently, Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers marched up and down the field with ease, while Garoppolo threw for 297 yards and three touchdowns. Allen’s rushing usage (the team is designing him goal-line power runs) gives him a nice floor, while the matchup raises his ceiling even higher.
Mason Rudolph, Pittsburgh Steelers, 0% owned ($1)
Ben Roethlisberger left in the second quarter with an elbow injury. He needs surgery and will miss the rest of the season. Rudolph performed admirably in the second half, throwing two touchdown passes and completing 12-of-19 passes for 112 yards. In the preseason, he completed 28-of-43 passes for 368 yards 8.6 YPA), four touchdowns and one interception. As the Steelers' starter, Rudolph could become a decent streaming or 2QB option. He gets a tough draw in Week 3 as he has to travel to face the 49ers, one of three teams this year to have more interceptions (four) than passing touchdowns allowed (three). It might be best to wait and see how Rudolph performs with a full week of starter practice reps before rushing to add him off waivers, especially with players like Brissett and Allen still available in so many leagues.
Teddy Bridgewater, New Orleans Saints, 1% owned ($1)
Drew Brees left Sunday's game against the Rams early, and will miss 6-8 games once he has surgery to his thumb. His injury thrusts Bridgewater into the spotlight. The results were less than stellar. Bridgewater also started Week 17 last year when the Saints rested their starters, and across these most recent two games, he's completed 31-of-52 passes for 285 yards, 5.44 ypa, with one touchdown and one interception. In the preseason, he completed 43-of-70 passes for 400 yards, two touchdowns and one pick. In his last full season as the Vikings' starter, Bridgewater completed 65.3% of his passes with a 14-to-9 touchdown-to-interception ratio and a 7.22 YPA. He also rushed for 192 yards and three touchdowns, finishing as the No. 23 fantasy quarterback and making the Pro Bowl in 2015. Assuming he's named the starter, Bridgewater faces the Seahawks next week, a team that has been beaten through the air this year. (Andy Dalton threw for over 400 yards against them in Week 1, and Rudolph looked solid in relief of Big Ben as mentioned above.)
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