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Fantasy Football: 5 waiver-wire targets before Week 3

2RWGWCN Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) looks for an open receiver from the pocket during an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Peter Joneleit)

Tutu Atwell is small but mighty: Though Atwell isn’t getting the kind of hype that teammate Puka Nacua is seeing, he’s quietly performed well with the opportunities he’s been given.

Detroit Lions RB Craig Reynolds may see more work: After David Montgomery went down with an injury in Week 2, Reynolds played just three fewer snaps than Gibbs and saw 100% of carries on first and second down.

Taysom Hill remains the ultimate TE cheat code: While the Saints deal with a hamstring injury to Jamaal Williams and another week’s suspension for Alvin Kamara, Hill could be in line for opportunities in the run game.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Amidst a slew of brutal injuries in Week 2, fantasy managers might be finding themselves in a pinch for a spot start. Here are five players to consider adding from the waiver wire heading if you’re in a pinch due to injury as a potential flex play heading into Week 3.

WR:CB Matchup Chart

QB Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

As many reasons as there are to be skeptical of what we’ve seen from now-Buccaneers QB Baker Mayfield so far this season, none of those actually stem from his performance. In fact, Mayfield’s played as well as he ever has through the first two weeks of the seasons. His 81.0 PFF passing grade ranks third among quarterbacks, credited with just a single turnover-worthy play on 68 attempts through the season. What about his upside? Well, he’s got it too, as Mayfield is tied for the sixth-most completions of 20 or more yards on the season thanks in part to a dominant connection with WR Mike Evans early on. 

The Eagles secondary, though loaded with talent, is a bit banged up, having just placed CB Avonte Maddox on injured reserve and James Bradberry in the concussion protocol, giving Mayfield a prime opportunity to take advantage. So far this season, the Eagles have allowed the second-most passing yards and a league-high seven passing touchdowns. With this matchup, those in a pinch at QB could do worse than Mayfield, at home, given the injuries in the secondary.

Available in 87% of ESPN leagues and 82% of Yahoo! Leagues.

RB Craig Reynolds, Detroit Lions

To the dismay of Jahmyr Gibbs managers, Lions running back David Montgomery has held onto a significant role in the backfield as Gibbs acclimates to the game. While his role as a receiver continued to expand in Week 2, commanding nine targets on the day, his usage as a rusher remains limited, as he totaled just 14 carries in the first two weeks of the season. Unfortunately for Detroit, Montgomery suffered a thigh injury that’s likely to sideline him for the coming week

After Montgomery’s departure, Reynolds and Gibbs played 10 and 13 snaps each, respectively through the fourth quarter and overtime. Reynolds received three carries to Gibbs’ one (though he was less efficient with the opportunities), including 100% of the carries on first and second down. Though Gibbs should see an uptick in opportunity with Montgomery’s injury, don’t be surprised if Reynolds sees 12-plus carries to send him into flex-worthy territory for Week 3.

Available in 91% of ESPN leagues and 98% of Yahoo! Leagues.


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