Don’t look now but it’s already Week 3 of the NFL season. Every week DFF scours the box-scores and waiver wires to find you some waiver wire gems. Some of these players are plug and plays, while others are more of long-term adds. We’ll try to cast a wide enough net so that you can add these players in either dynasty or even redraft leagues. Be sure to check out all of our in-season content right here as well because it takes more than just waiver wire additions to win a championship!
Rashard Higgins – Not sure if you heard but Josh Gordon is on his way out of Cleveland. He may already be gone by the time you read this. Because it’s impossible for Jarvis Landry to catch every pass thrown the Browns will need to throw to someone else on their roster. David Njoku and Antonio Callaway are not on your waiver wire. If either of them is you need to stop reading this and pick them up immediately. Rashard Higgins is floating around on many a waiver wire. A decidedly underwhelming athlete (5th percentile Sparq-x athlete), Higgins was an impressive producer in college. His breakout age and dominator rating in college were both above the 88th percentile.
When provided an opportunity at the pro level Higgins has produced.
When targeted at least 4 (excluding week 2 of the 2018 season) times per game Higgins averages 8.09 points per game. Higgins is also moderately efficient when he sees 4 or more targets in a game, averaging 1.52 fantasy points per target, which would have been within the top 50 in 2017. Sunday saw Higgins tie Jarvis Landry for a team-high in receptions (5) as well as tying Landry and David Njoku for the most targets (7) while scoring 9.7 fantasy points for the week.
Corey Grant – The Jags finally used him!!! For as long as I can remember whoever has been the Head Coach of the Jaguars has talked about the need to utilize Grant more, and then gone on to not do so week after week. Not this week. This week Grant was finally able to get some run. Grant had 13 rushing yards on 4 attempts, but that’s not where his true value lies. Grant is a receiving weapon and was targeted 7 times on Sunday. He converted 6 of those targets into receptions and 56 yards on Sunday.
T.J. Yeldon was the starter in place of Leonard Fournette this week, but he was nearly outproduced by Grant, and he was outscored in fantasy by Grant. Yeldon put up 71 total yards on 12 touches, while Grant put up 69 yards on 10 touches. In PPR leagues Grant gave you 12.9 fantasy points while Yeldon only yielded 9.1 fantasy points on the day. Sunday’s absence was the 4th game out of a possible 18 games that Fournette has missed. He’ll miss more games. Grant could hold value as a plug and play anytime either Fournette or Yeldon miss time, and he has the ability to pass the Yeldon on the depth chart.
Ito Smith – Devonta Freeman is expected to miss as many as the next two weeks after undergoing knee surgery this week. With Freeman out Tevin Coleman slides into the starting running back role for the Falcons and Smith slides into the Tevin Coleman-lite role. Against the Panthers Smith rushed 9 times for 46 yards and added a reception for an additional 8 yards. If anything were to happen to Coleman or Freeman struggles to heal then Smith will have a role all season. Even if he can bring you value for a few weeks this season next season is really when his value should peak. Freeman is signed to a huge contract, one which the Falcons can’t get out of any time soon. Coleman will be an unrestricted free agent, and all signs point to Smith taking over his role in 2019.
Aaron Jones – With Aaron Jones suspended the first two weeks of the 2018 season Jamaal Williams had a chance to secure the RB1 role on the Packers. In those two games, Williams rushed 31 times for 106 yards, for a paltry 3.41 yards per carry. Williams has also “chipped” in with 3 receptions on 6 targets while scoring 0 touchdowns. Suffice it to say Williams has not done a great job in attempting to lock down the starting RB role. Aaron Jones is a superior athlete to Williams and produced at a more prolific rate in college compared to Williams. Last season Jones was able to produce two RB1 weeks in the span of 4 games prior to being injured and losing time to Williams. Jones bested Williams in yards per touch, yards per carry, breakaway rate, yards created, juke rate and yards created per carry in 2017, among many other statistics. Jones is simply the better running back and will take the lead back role over in short order.
Jake Butt – Jake Butt is fully back from the torn ACL he suffered his senior season at the Orange Bowl. Through the first two weeks of the season, Butt is on pace for 80 targets which would have been the 12th most at the tight end position in 2017. Coincidentally (or not), he would have finished behind his current quarterback’s former tight end, Kyle Rudolph. Butt’s 6 targets against the Raiders Sunday tied him for second on the team, and he finished the day with four receptions and 48 yards. Before tearing up his knee Butt was firmly in the discussion as one of the top tight ends to be drafted in the 2017 draft, so his talent was never in doubt. Now healthy Butt may sneak into TE1 territory this season.
Keelan Cole is somehow only owned in 48% of Yahoo leagues. That’s good enough for me to make him my WR pickup of the week. Cole made what is likely to be the best catch of 2018. He also was Jacksonville’s leading receiver in yardage and receptions finishing with 7 catches for 116 yards and a TD. If you remember, Cole was shaping up as a fantasy WR2 at the end of 2017. Where Cole finished with receiving yardage lines of 99, 186 and 108. He’s not always going to have massive games thanks to a crowded receiver corps. But he’s got more than enough talent to emerge as the WR1 in this pass-happy offense.
With Mixon on the shelf for a couple weeks, I’ll happily add Giovani Bernard to my rosters. Obviously, the Bengals are downplaying the procedure that he’s having on knee, but I think it’s very likely that he misses more than a couple weeks. Regardless, even if Bernard is a stopgap, he’s going to be a quality pickup whether you own Mixon or not. Bernard will likely operate as a bellcow for the next week or two, as he’s proficient on the ground and in the passing game. He’ll be a near-lock for double digit fantasy points in PPR leagues, and should see a solid 65-yard floor even in two tougher matchups in weeks 3 and 4.
Austin Hooper had himself a great game in week 2 against the Panthers. He finally found the endzone, which is what’s been keeping him off streaming and waiver wires through his young career. Days like this aren’t going happen a majority of the time, and I would hate to find myself in a situation where I HAVE to trust Hooper. But he’s got some appeal against the Saints and Bengals over the next two weeks as he acts as a redzone weapon for a high-octane Falcons offence.