Jerick McKinnon and Other Week 3 Waiver Wire Targets

by Christopher Buonagura · Waiver Wire

Week 2 of the NFL season presented disaster for many players, with the league experiencing a sleuth of injuries. The waiver wire this week is set for plenty of action and many erratic FAAB decisions. Save yourself from buyer’s remorse and let PlayerProfiler’s analytics guide you through this week’s add/drops.

(note: ownership percentages taken from Yahoo)

Running Backs

Jerick Mckinnon, 49ers (26%)

Jerick McKinnon is the obvious plug-and-play RB1 option for Week 3 with both Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman injured. Though his athleticism may have been compromised by his 2018 ACL tear, he was already working with a baseline of “most athletic RB in the entire PlayerProfiler database.”

Jerick McKinnon Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

McKinnon is the best healthy pass-catcher on the 49ers going into a Week 3 tilt against the Giants. He is a strong play for an RB-needy team. If you didn’t acquire him last week, you need to bid aggressively on his league-winning profile in the event that he leapfrogs both Mostert and Coleman to become the lead dog in this backfield.

Mike Davis, Carolina (8%)

Mike Davis is the RB1 for Carolina for the time being while Christian McCaffrey is out with a high ankle sprain. He may be overlooked during this week’s waiver process because we haven’t seen him in a while, but don’t make that mistake.

Mike Davis Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

The value from this Carolina backfield has always come from pass-catching and creating yards after the catch. Davis had an 11.0-percent (80th-percentile among qualified running backs) College Target Share. In 2018, his last full season, he had an 81.0-percent (No. 9) Catch Rate with 1.50 (No. 22) Yards Created Per Touch. Obviously these numbers are not elite, but they are serviceable in the face of massive volume. Davis is a plug-and-play free square RB2 while he’s starting.

Devonta Freeman, Giants (15%)

Devonta Freeman has signed with the New York Giants in the wake of Saquon Barkley’s season-ending ACL tear. Though he may not start in Week 3 against the 49ers, his rest-of-season volume looks solid and he’s ready to be a Flex play out of the gate. He is certainly worth an add, though don’t spend more on him than you would on Jerick McKinnon. He’s set to see less valuable touches than Dion Lewis in the same backfield.

Dion Lewis, Giants (7%)

Dion Lewis‘ talent is not in question. Many fantasy players recall his past successes with the Patriots and Titans as an above average satellite back. He is certainly worth a roster spot as the primary pass-catcher out of the backfield for the Giants.

Dion Lewis Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Lewis is a Flex play, but his 2.0 yards per carry in Week 2 could pave the way for a Devonta Freeman early down role. Bid smartly here, nothing too aggressive.

Wayne Gallman, Giants (1%)

Wayne Gallman is the Giants RB to own in half PPR and standard leagues. At least that would be the case if Devonta Freeman weren’t signed today.

Wayne Gallman Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Pass on Gallman for now, but add him in deeper leagues. This Saquon Barkley injury may pave the way for him to become more involved in the offense. Freeman is no epitome of health, and RB2 volume may surface for Gallman down the line.

Darrell Henderson, Rams (34%)

Darrell Henderson showed more spark than teammate Malcolm Brown after Cam Akers went down with a rib injury in Week 2. Take advantage of those who are still convinced that Brown’s Week 1 performance wasn’t a mirage and swoop in to nab the higher-upside player.

With Akers likely out one more game, pick up Henderson now before he carves out a bigger role in an improved Rams offense.

Myles Gaskin, Dolphins (16%)

Myles Gaskin‘s 16 carries and 11 receptions over two weeks cannot be ignored any longer. He has a clear role in Miami and can blossom into an every week starter.

Miles Gaskin Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

With “bellcow back” in his range of outcomes, Gaskin is worth a cheaper waiver bid than you’ll need to acquire some of these other players.

Jeff Wilson, 49ers (0%)

Jeff Wilson did see goal-line work when called upon in 2019. The injuries have piled up in San Francisco and he may become a viable Flex play. Throw a zero dollar bid on Wilson at the back end of all your teams. He is a great consolation prize if you miss on one of the aforementioned players.

Additional RB stashes ($0 bids)

-Stash Reggie Bonnafon in case he ends up working his way into Carolina’s backup role.

-Stash JaMycal Hasty, who has stuck around as an undrafted free agent and is one more injury away from a clearly defined role in this 49ers offense

-Finally, don’t forget about Damien Harris, who has a chance to come off IR in time to return for Week 4.

Wide Receiver

Tre’Quan Smith, Saints (15%)

Tre’Quan Smith was the clear alpha among Saints pass-catchers in Michael Thomas‘ absence on Monday Night against the Raiders.

Smith has Flex appeal until Thomas recovers from his high-ankle sprain. Even then, there’s no telling whether he’ll return to his usual target-hogging form (editors note: we don’t call this injury the “high-ankle fucked” for nothing). Again, we’ve given you several chances to stash him and he should already be rostered. This is your last chance.

N,Keal Harry, Patriots (28%)

While fantasy gamers should be focusing more of their attention on the RBs and Tre’Quan Smith (editors note: IT’S HAPPENING!!!), teams hurting at WR after the Week 2 injury apocalypse are free to focus their energy on N’Keal Harry. Though a former first-round draft pick who has drawn 18 targets in two games and is operating as Cam Newton‘s new Kelvin Benjamin (in a good way) should already be on your radar.

Golden Tate, Giants (36%)

With Saquon Barkley out for the year and Sterling Shepard dealing with the dreaded turf toe, Golden Tate is in a good spot to take advantage of a schedule that will slowly ease up as he works his way back into pre-hamstring injury form.

Russell Gage, Falcons (23%)

What more does Russell Gage needs to do for people to put him in their Flex spots? Back-to-back nine-target games and 21 receptions through two weeks is impressive. It’s that simple.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Packers (36%)

Marquez Valdes-Scantling has operated as the clear number two receiver in Green Bay for two weeks running now. Sorry, Allen Lazard. It’s time to pick up MVS.

Keelan Cole, Jaguars (5%)

Keelan Cole has carved out a solid 10-point floor through two weeks in 2020. With 12 targets and 11 receptions for 105 yards and two touchdowns, Cole is currently the WR17 in PPR leagues.

Though the touchdowns won’t persist, Cole has a more stable role than Laviska Shenault (sorry, Shenault enthusiasts) and is startable against the Dolphins on Thursday night for desperate enough squads.

Randall Cobb, Texans (6%)

Randall Cobb doubled his target total from Week 1 after Will Fuller was declared limited with a hamstring injury. He is a definite Flex option if Fuller misses Week 3. This is a rough week overall for receiver, so don’t spend more than a dollar on Cobb unless desperate enough.

K.J. Hamler, Broncos (1%)

K.J. Hamler is a talented deep threat with nothing standing in the way of starting snaps. Jerry Jeudy has been banged up and Courtland Sutton is on IR. Noah Fant will be the primary benefactor of theses injuries, but Hamler is certainly in play given his speed. He’s a rookie wide receiver and expectations need tempering, but stash him now before the inevitable blow-up game.

Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers (35%)

Brandon Aiyuk is back in the lineup and there is no competition for meaningful targets coming out of the San Francisco receiving corps. He is but one of many 49er’s players with opportunity for increased snaps going into Week 3 given all the injuries. Though, again, he’s a rookie wide receiver and expectations need tempering.

Michael Pittman, Colts (15%)

Michael Pittman and Zach Pascal are both candidates for more snaps after Parris Campbell went down indefinitely with a PCL injury. Pittman was a second round pick and has definite upside if given opportunity. Though, one more time, he’s a rookie wide receiver and expectations need tempering.

Additional WR stashes ($0 bids)

-Given the banged up state of the Jets, Chris Hogan is worth stashing until Denzel Mims returns from IR. Mims can be stashed in deeper leagues while Hogan will make for a decent start while Breshad Perriman (week-to-week) is out. Though Jamison Crowder‘s looming return means you don’t have to use more than a $0 bid on Hogan.

-The Rams are quietly much improved offensively from last season, and Van Jefferson should creep past Josh Reynolds for the WR3 role if he can continue to out-perform him on fewer snaps

Zach Pascal has been efficient and productive when called upon. With Parris Campbell‘s PCL injury sidelining him indefinitely, we’re calling upon him again.

-After drawing 14 targets in two games, and scoring 14-plus PPR fantasy points without a touchdown in Week 2, Isaiah Ford deserves back-of-bench consideration in advance of Thursday’s game against the Jaguars.

Tight Ends

Dalton Schultz, Cowboys (3%)

Dalton Schultz thrived in Blake Jarwin‘s role during Dallas’ Week 2 win against Atlanta. Nine receptions on ten targets for 88 yards in inspiring enough to start Schultz moving forward.

Check out Dalton Schultz on PlayerProfiler’s Updated Seasonal Rankings and Projections:

After surprisingly leading all Cowboys pass-catchers with 10 targets against the Falcons, Schultz became this week’s free square waiver wire TE pickup.

Mo Alie-Cox, Colts (1%)

Mo Alie-Cox is worth a flier for TE-needy teams. He has a lucrative role with Jack Doyle sidelined. His Week 2 receiving line of 6-5-111 is exactly what we want from a starting tight end.

Mo Alie-Cox Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Given Parris Campbell‘s injury, and with Trey Burton still being parked on IR, Alie-Cox should have a usable role for fantasy purposes even after Doyle returns.

Jordan Reed, 49ers (7%)

Jordan Reed went off in Week 2. This 49ers team is decimated with injuries. Reed is a weekly starter while George Kittle is on the sideline and possibly after. Don’t rule out the team wanting to protect Kittle from the dreaded MetLife Stadium turf and keeping him out one more week. In which case, it’s wheels up for Reed against his old friends in the New York Giants.


Colts (43%)

The Colts as a team threw up a huge dud in Eeek 1. This defense re-emerged in Eeek 2 as a viable weekly starter with many plus matchups on the schedule. Go get ’em.


This is a solid week to pay up for Jerick McKinnon, Dion Lewis, Darrell Henderson and Tre’Quan Smith. There are plenty of options though, so be careful with your FAAB. If needing to replace Saquon Barkley, now is the time to spend up for that replacement.