Tank Dell and Tutu Atwell make their cases as members of the 11 early waiver wire pickups in week 3.
Waiver Wire Pickups
Tyjae Spears – 19%
Running Back – Tennessee Titans
Drafted in the 3rd round of the 2023 NFL draft, nobody really expected a lot of Tennessee Titan rookie Tyjae Spears while Derrick Henry remained on the roster. To much surprise, in week 1, Spears actually out-snapped Henry 34-30. We don’t have week two snap counts yet, but he was once again utilized.
He isn’t going to take over Henry’s work, but for teams that are shallow at running back and are looking at guys that could potentially earn more reps or have a huge roll if the starter goes down, Spears fits that bill as a speculative add in week 3.
Season Stats: 11 attempts, 76 yards, 6 targets, 3 receptions for 7 yards. 11.3 fantasy points.
Matt Breida – 1%
Running Back – New York Giants
Another speculative waiver wire pickups, Matt Breida seems to be the guy in line for work if Saquon Barkley is held out after spraining his ankle. We do not know the severity at this time, but Breida is basically the only other running back to get work so far. This is absolutely no guarantee as the Giants may go full RBBC in Barkley’s absence, but the upside is worth a shot if you have a roster spot for Breida.
Season Stats: 3 attempts, 14 yards, 1 reception, -3 yards. 2.1 fantasy points.
Baker Mayfield – 14%
Quarterback – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Not sure if anybody would’ve guessed this, but Baker Mayfield is averaging 17.2 fantasy points per game while leading the Buccanneers to a 2-0 record after many deemed them in the running for the #1 overall pick in the 2024 draft.
He will likely have to throw a ton against the Philadelphia Eagles in week 3, who have been thrown on a whopping 98 times in two games by Mac Jones and Kirk Cousins. They completed 66 passes (67%) for 680 yards and 7 touchdowns.
If you are struggling at QB heading into week 3, Baker Mayfield may be the volume play you need.
Season Stats: 47/68, 69.1%, 490 yards, 3 touchdowns, 14 attempts, 28 yards. 34.4 fantasy points.
Jayden Reed – 14%
Wide Receiver – Green Bay Packers
In his first two NFL games, Jayden Reed has been looked at often by quarterback Jordan Love. He broke out in week two with a 8 target, 4 reception game that featured 37 yards and two touchdowns.
Right now it is not entirely known how the wide receiver tree is going to break down for the Packers. Second-year receivers Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs have been banged up with the latter yet to play. Reed’s involvement is promising as the Packers spent 2nd round draft capital on him in 2023 and it is not impossible for him to end up a 1B to Watson’s 1A.
Season Stats: 13 targets, 6 receptions, 85 yards, 2 touchdowns. 26.3 fantasy points.
Tank Dell – 10%
Wide Receiver – Houston Texans
It looks like the Texans are going to be throwing a ton in 2023. C.J. Stroud has already attempted 91 passes through two games, which means there are plenty of targets to go around. Dell was a preseason darling and started week 1 off with a decent 4 targets for 34 yards. The coaches told us heading into week two that he would be more involved and that happened.
He would break onto the scene with 10 targets, 7 receptions, 72 yards, and a touchdown. That was good for 20.2 fantasy points.
The youth movement is on full display in Houston and Tank Dell looks to be seizing that opportunity.
Season Stats: 14 targets, 10 receptions, 106 yards, 1 TD. 26.6 fantasy points.
Juwan Johnson – 33%
Tight End – New Orleans Saints
Johnson did not have a huge week 1, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t worth being one of your waiver wire pickups heading into week 3. He has yet to play his week 2 game, but as an athletic tight end that is likely to get 5-7 targets per week, with touchdown upside as a redzone threat, you could do worse if you are struggling at tight end.
Season Stats: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 36 yards. 6.6 fantasy points.
Zach Ertz – 24%
Tight End – Arizona Cardinals
Volume, volume, volume. That is what we are getting out of Ertz early in 2023 and why he is my personal favorite of the waiver wire pickups at tight end. In week 2 he was targeted 8 times and had 6 receptions for 56 yards. We know the Cardinals will be throwing all season. Ertz will be a big part of that, unless…
He is traded at the trade deadline. That has upside in itself as he likely moves to a team that has more touchdown upside. He looks insulated for targets no matter what the scenario is and at such a volatile position, that is valuable for fantasy managers in PPR leagues.
Season Stats: 18 targets, 12 receptions, 77 yards. 19.7 fantasy points.
Roschon Johnson – 40%
Running Back – Chicago Bears
It only took one game for Roschon Johnson to convince Bears brass to scratch veteran free agent D’Onta Foreman in week 2. Then, for some reason, the Bears ran the ball all of 11 times between him and Khalil Herbert. This keeps the door open for being Johnson to remain one of the best waiver wire pickups in week 3, as he is only rostered in an average of 40% of leagues between ESPN, Yahoo!, and Sleeper.
He is the best all-around back in Chicago and will be a fantasy darling once the usage ticks up.
Season Stats: 9 attempts, 52 yards, 1 touchdown, 9 targets, 8 receptions, 45 yards. 23.7 fantasy points.
Josh Reynolds – 12%
Wide Receiver – Detroit Lions
Safety nets on good offenses are coveted in fantasy football. That is exactly what Josh Reynolds has been for Jared Goff in Detroit so far in 2023. He had a huge week 2 with 6 targets, 5 receptions, for 66 yards, and two touchdowns.
He isn’t a sexy name, but he showed that he has upside as a WR2 with 6-8 targets in most weeks, and multiple touchdown upside.
Season Stats: 13 targets, 9 receptions, 146 yards, 2 touchdowns. 35.6 fantasy points.
Tutu Atwell – 29%
Wide Receiver – Los Angeles Rams
He is currently being overshadowed by teammate Puka Nacua, but as amazing as he has been, Tutu is due his credit as well. Nobody expected this, but after a 9-target, 7-reception game with 77 yards in week 2, it seems that the production is here to stay.
That is until Cooper Kupp returns. The problem is that nobody has any clue at this time when that will be. He hasn’t found the endzone yet, but with this volume, it is due to happen soon.
Tutu is the must-add wide receiver of the week in my opinion.
Season Stats: 17 targets, 13 receptions, 195 yards. 33.1 fantasy points.
Zack Moss – 46%
Running Back – Indianapolis Colts
We told you to add him last week, so it may be a little bit harder heading into week 3 after he burst onto the scene in week 2. After missing the opener due to injury, we were forced to watch Deon Jackson rush 13 times for 14 yards. It was clear that they needed Moss to return.
He did just that and burst onto the scene with a total of 22 touches on his way to over 100 scrimmage yards. Until Jonathan Taylor returns, look for Moss to get the volume we dream of from waiver wire pickups.
Season Stats: 18 attempts, 88 yards, 1 touchdown, 4 targets, 4 receptions, 19 yards. 20.7 fantasy points.
11 Early Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 3
I appreciate you checking out the article! If you want to tell me I missed someone or added someone to the list that you think sucks, make sure to head over to Twitter (I am not calling it X) and let me know!