The Waiver Wire is here!
By: Rishi Patel
Welcome back to this new NFL column where I will be sending my advice about which fantasy players you should pluck off your waiver wire each week during this NFL season.
During each NFL season, there are usually sleepers that emerge who you should pick up off the waiver wire due to various reasons, such as better performances than expected, injuries, etc. It’s important to make good use of the waiver wire as players from here could sometimes be good depth and even a starter for your team in critical stretches. Let’s look at some players you should consider for this week:
Derek Carr, QB, Las Vegas Raiders
Have the Raiders possibly turned a new leaf? The normally mediocre team has started off 2021 with a bang, knocking out AFC North heavyweights Baltimore and Pittsburgh in back-to-back weeks. Spearheading this surge is QB Derek Carr, who has looked rejuvenated and potent in the first two games. He has now thrown for 435 and 382 yards, which is incredible. If Carr can keep this up, he’s certainly in the conversation to be an every-week starter. Grab him while you can.
Sam Darnold, QB, Carolina Panthers
Like Carr, the normally mediocre Sam Darnold has started off 2021 well with his new club in Carolina. The 24-year-old has tossed for 279 and 305 yards in two games while also throwing three touchdowns to one pick. The team’s next six matchups are against average or below-average defenses, meaning Darnold is a solid addition to your team and even a potential streamer to use, potentially beginning on Thursday night against Houston.
Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Denver Broncos
Like Sam Darnold, Teddy B has started off 2021 on a new team as well and has been firing on all cylinders. He has 264 and 328 yards in two games along with four touchdowns and no picks. Bridgewater is worth stashing as a backup on your team and may be worth streaming during favorable matchups.
Cordarrelle Patterson, RB, Atlanta Falcons
Patterson is technically classified as a back even though he’s played receiver at one point in his NFL career too. In his first season with the Falcons, the 30-year-old has shined in both the receiving and rushing game. In Week 1, he rushed for 54 yards, and he posted 58 receiving yards in Week 2, which displays his versatility. Patterson has performed well enough to earn a spot on your bench going forward.
Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas Cowboys
It seems like Cowboys backup RB Tony Pollard has shined more than starter Ezekiel Elliott this season. Nothing is more evident of this than Week 2 when he took 13 carries for 109 yards and a score. While it will still be difficult to trust Pollard on a weekly basis because he’s not the starter, it’s worth stashing him on your bench.
Ty’Son Williams, RB, Baltimore Ravens
After losing multiple backs to injuries prior to the start of the season, the Ravens were in a jam and signed a collection of veterans to their squad like Le’Veon Bell, Latavius Murray, and Devonta Freeman, all standouts just a few years ago.
Well, none of them are standing out in 2021 for Baltimore as it’s first-year player Ty’Son Williams who is doing so. In two games, Williams has nine carries for 65 yards and 13 carries for 77 yards. While Lamar Jackson was technically the team’s leading rusher in both those games, it was Williams who had the most yards of any RB. Therefore, it may be worthwhile stashing him as he is beginning to show he has a role on this squad as a potential RB1.
Michael Pittman Jr., WR, Indianapolis Colts
With T.Y. Hilton out to begin the season, Pittman was expected to make a leap in his second year. He put up a dud in Week 1 (29 yards) but rebounded for an incredible eight receptions for 123 yards on 12 targets. That’s the Pittman many wanted to see. If he plays like this, he can certainly be a fantasy starter. Though the ankle injury to Carson Wentz could dampen the QB play for Indy, Pittman’s volume could keep him fantasy-relevant. As a result, he’s worth adding.
Quez Watkins, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
2020 sixth-round pick Quez Watkins made some noise in Week 2 as he racked up 117 yards on just two receptions. While he’s not DeVonta Smith or Jalen Reagor, this young Eagles squad could always use more elite receivers. Though a one-week sample size isn’t enough, Watkins did enough to turn heads and merit a spot on your bench.
Rondale Moore, WR, Arizona Cardinals
The 21-year-old rookie did fairly well in his NFL debut Week 1 with four receptions for 68 yards but he did even better in Week 2 with seven receptions for 114 yards and a score. The Cardinals don’t have a solid pass-catching option behind DeAndre Hopkins as Christian Kirk has been average at best and A.J. Green is a veteran on the decline. Thus, Moore can insert himself into the WR2 role if he keeps this up. He’s certainly worth adding in fantasy as a bench piece and even a potential flex play soon if he shows consistency.
K.J. Osborn, WR, Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings need a solid third receiver behind Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson and 24-year-old K.J. Osborn has seemingly risen to the challenge. The 2020 fifth-round pick now has seven receptions for 76 yards and five receptions for 91 yards in two games. If he can keep this up, he would be worth a weekly flex play.