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Waiver Wire Week 3: James White, Cordarrelle Patterson, Rondale Moore

5 X-Factors for Super Bowl LIII: James White

James White continues to have value in PPR formats

After Week 2, fantasy football managers might start becoming a little worried, depending on who they drafted. Ezekiel Elliott and Saquon Barkley were drafted as RB1s, but aren’t performing as such. Those that drafted Odell Beckham Jr. haven’t seen him play yet this year. Brandon Aiyuk has been a disappointment for two straight weeks. And that doesn’t even cover the injuries. Fantasy managers need to keep an eye on their league’s waiver wire to make sure that they are able to start their best lineup possible each week.


Justin Fields, Chicago Bears (51 percent rostered)

Typically only players that are less than 50 percent rostered are included in this column, but the other options at quarterback (Derek Carr, Ben Roethlisberger, Tua Tagavailoa) aren’t highly recommended waiver wire adds (although Carr is off to a terrific start). Rather, Fields will be taking over for Andy Dalton sooner rather than later (depending on his knee injury) and he has the potential to jump in as a QB1. When he filled in at the end of Week 2, he didn’t throw the ball well, but he looked good running it. The numbers will come, and fantasy managers should claim him while they can still get him cheap.

Daniel Jones, New York Giants (19 percent rostered)

Jones may not be a guy that makes the rest of your league jealous when you pick him up or start him, but he has put up solid fantasy numbers the past two weeks. The reason mostly is because of his ability to run the ball. He was the leading rusher for the team in Week 2 with 95 yards and a touchdown. In Week 1 he had 27 rushing yards and a touchdown. He’s only thrown one interception each week as well. The Giants face the Falcons in Week 3 and Jones is a QB2 option.

Running Backs

James White, New England Patriots (42 percent rostered)

Oddly enough, White was the Patriots' leading receiver in Week 2. He had six targets (tied for team lead) for six receptions (most) and 45 yards (most). He also added 20 rushing yards and a touchdown. The Patriots' offense doesn’t look like it used to, but White is a player that should be rostered in PPR formats. He seems to be the guy that Mac Jones can just dump the ball off to, which is great for PPR leagues.

Michael Carter, New York Jets (50 percent rostered)

Carter is owned in half of leagues, so he may not be available in yours. However, if he is, consider picking him up. The Jets have struggled on offense, but Carter has improved from Week 1. His NFL debut was a bit rocky (although the bigger problem is there are too many running backs for the Jets), but in Week 2 he looked good. He had 11 carries for 59 yards and added two receptions for 29 yards. It seems promising, but his usage does need to increase for him to be an every-week starter. Fantasy managers should grab him while he’s cheap.

Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings (33 percent rostered)

When Dalvin Cook limped off the field in the fourth quarter of Week 2, fantasy managers should have taken that to be a wake-up call: be sure Mattison is on your roster. Cook is dealing with an ankle sprain. It doesn’t seem to be serious, but fantasy managers know that sometimes a “slight” injury can limit their studs. In any case, Mattison is a must-own for all Cook owners. For non-Cook owners, he is someone to look at on the waiver wire as he may see more playing time in Week 3.

Wide Receivers

Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons (15 percent rostered)

The Falcons' running game has been struggling this year. Mike Davis was supposed to be the bell-cow back and he has yet to top 50 rushing yards in either game. Meanwhile, Patterson has been given seven carries in each game and rushed for 54 yards in Week 1 and 11 yards and a touchdown in Week 2. He’s added receiving yards as well (2/13/0 in Week 1 and 5/58/1 in Week 2). The problem with Patterson is that he’s going to be a gadget player, but he’s one that can score touchdowns, especially with Davis struggling.

Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals (34 percent rostered)

In Week 1, Moore had four receptions for 68 yards while Christian Kirk tried to remain relevant. In Week 2, Moore had seven receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown. A lot of those yards were on his 77-yard touchdown on a play made possible by Kyler Murray's ability to scramble, but that just shows what the rookie can do. He is slowly earning a bigger role as he proves himself. As the season goes on, look for Moore to overtake Kirk’s targets and become fantasy relevant.

Henry Ruggs III, Las Vegas Raiders (35 percent rostered)

Ruggs is only rostered in about a third of leagues, but he should be owned in more. Keep an eye on Derek Carr’s status heading into Week 3, because if Carr is out, Ruggs should not be started. However, it is clear that Carr and Ruggs do have a connection. Ruggs had five receptions for 113 yards and a touchdown in Week 2. He tied with Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow for the most targets on the team (seven). He had five targets in Week 1 as well and should be on everyone's radar.

Tight Ends

Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears (39 percent rostered)

Kmet looked great in Week 1, where he had seven targets. However, in Week 2, he only had one target (which resulted in one reception for zero yards). As the Bears are still figuring out their offense, it will be hard to trust Kmet. However, he has the potential to be a TE1 as the season goes on. The Bears are looking for someone to be a go-to player, and that could be Kmet.

Jared Cook, Los Angeles Chargers (43 percent rostered)

Cook had a touchdown taken off the board, otherwise his Week 2 stat line would look a lot better. He ended the day with three receptions for 28 yards. In Week 1, he had five receptions for 56 yards. Cook isn’t going to be a great fantasy option each week, but he should be solid. Justin Herbert will look for him, and if Cook can find the end zone, he vaults to TE1 status.

Defense/Special Teams (DST)

Carolina Panthers (20 percent rostered)

The Panthers DST are hands down, the best streaming DST pick-up of the week. They face the Houston Texans, who will be without Tyrod Taylor. The Texans didn’t have the makings of a good team to start with, and now their quarterback is Davis Mills. Mills was drafted in the third round this year and will his first NFL start in Week 3. Fire up the Panthers DST.

— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.