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Fantasy Football Insider: Top Waiver-Wire Pickups For Week 3

Scott Engel is in his eighth season of providing Fantasy Football coverage for Seahawks.com. An inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association’s Hall of Fame, he is in his 23rd year as a Fantasy analyst and professional. You can now find more of his work and weekly rankings on RotoBaller.com and hear him every Saturday night on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio.

There were several key injuries in Week 2 of Fantasy Football that are going to send owners aggressively scrambling to the waiver wire this week. Last week’s claim goals were more trying to jump on upside, whereas now a lot of Fantasy Football players will be making pickups or spending a considerable portion of their Free Agent Acquisition Budget to fill needs.

The biggest news obviously comes at QB, as Drew Brees, drafted as a starter in most leagues, could miss significant time with an injury to his right thumb. It won’t be easy to replace him on the waiver wire in some cases. Ben Roethlisberger will undergo season-ending elbow surgery, and he was not drafted as a starter in a good chunk of leagues. If you need to replace either of them, though, we not only give you possible waiver replacements, but also some bonus trade targets in case you are not quite satisfied with what you find in free agency. You may not have to give up a top player from another position to land the recommended players to deal for, but you should still get winning production from them.

Waiver claim options are listed in order of preference and are based on NFL.com ownership percentages but widely applicable to other formats.

Quarterbacks

Josh Allen, Buffalo (26.7 percent owned on NFL.com): Dual threat QBs always offer potential promise of outstanding Fantasy production at times, and Allen has already thrown for two touchdowns and ran for two more this season. He is a regular rushing threat who is not shy about throwing downfield, especially with an improved receiving corps that features speedy playmaker John Brown.

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati (8.0 percent owned): He has thrown for 729 yards and four TDs in his first two games, as new head coach Zac Taylor has pumped some extra energy into the offense. The Bengals looked very competitive in Week 1 against the Seahawks and Dalton padded his numbers playing from behind in Week 2. In either type of game-script scenario, he seems capable of providing quality Fantasy totals more consistently this season.

Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis (4.3 percent owned): He has thrown five TD passes in two games, with three in Week 2. Brissett was one of the best backup QBs in the NFL and was elevated to a starter this season. He may prove to be a useful Fantasy plugger. He has a very good offensive line that gives him time to throw and a deep crew of playmakers. He is certainly an adequate option.

TRADE TARGETS: Many Fantasy players who drafted Russell Wilson may have two quality QBs on their roster and you can grab from their surplus and land him. He has been a Top 9 Fantasy QB every season of his career and is a very safe option. … Philip Rivers is coming off a down outing and is annually underrated. … Kyler Murray has delivered two 300-yard outings to start his career and was drafted very late by many of his current owners. They may be willing to deal him, as he could be a Fantasy backup on his current roster. … Jimmy Garoppolo threw for nearly 300 yards and three TDs in Week 2 and also may currently be a backup Fantasy QB on another team.

Running Backs

Jaylen Samuels, Pittsburgh (35.5 percent owned): If you were a smart James Conner owner, you drafted Samuels as a handcuff. But judging by the ownership percentage, not everyone made the correct roster call and many left him on the free agent list. Conner suffered a knee injury in the home opener loss to the Seahawks, and if he misses any time, Samuels could be plugged in as an instant Fantasy starter. He is versatile and started three games in Conner’s place last season, rushing for 142 yards against New England.

Darwin Thompson, Kansas City (5.7 percent owned): Damien Williams left Sunday’s win at Oakland with a knee injury, putting the rookie back on the Fantasy radar. He was a preseason star and a popular later round draft choice until the Chiefs acquired LeSean McCoy. He could add some extra life to the Kansas City backfield if he gets time to play, and could possibly be more than a short-term solution.

Frank Gore, Buffalo (9.4 percent owned): Exciting rookie Devin Singletary suffered a hamstring injury in Sunday’s win over the Giants, and Gore rushed for 68 yards on 19 carries and a TD. He did not register a rushing TD last year, so that was refreshing to see. He should be freed up to be the pure lead RB for the Bills if Singletary misses any time, and the ageless one should get flex consideration.

Wide Receivers

Demarcus Robinson, Kansas City (1.0 percent owned): When Tyreek Hill was injured in Week 1, many owners scooped up rookie Mecole Hardman as a replacement. Hardman did catch a bomb for a score against Oakland, but Robinson was the clear star of the day receiving wise, catching six passes for 172 yards and two TDs. Any WR asked to step forward in the Kansas City passing game is a hot addition, and unless you have the top waiver claim in your league this week, you likely won’t land Robinson. If you use a FAAB budget and need WR help, be prepared to use at least 45 percent of your budget on Robinson.

Deebo Samuel, San Francisco (2.5 percent owned): The rookie caught five passes for 87 yards and a TD in a romp at Cincinnati, where Samuel demonstrated his terrific abilities to gain extra yards after the catch, and can nail down top WR status on a team that needs someone to emerge as a featured playmaker.

Randall Cobb, Cowboys (17.7 percent owned): Michael Gallup is out two to four weeks with a knee injury. That pushes the former Packer into a prominent role in a Dallas offense thriving under Dak Prescott right now.

Preston Williams, Miami (0.5 percent owned): He is a good depth add for upcoming bye weeks. The undrafted rookie made some noise in the preseason, and scored in Week 1. He totaled 62 receiving yards in Week 2. Williams may actually rise to be the Dolphins’ best Fantasy wideout, and the team will be playing catch-up often, so he will have the opportunities to build his totals more in the weeks ahead.

Tight End

Will Dissly, Seahawks (0.7 percent owned): He caught five passes for 50 yards and two TDs in the win at Pittsburgh. Dissly flashed playmaking ability early in his rookie season and is starting to demonstrate more Fantasy appeal. Wilson appears to have increasing confidence in Dissly when he looks to make a play in the end-zone area. He could become a frequent scoring target this year.

Seahawks Fantasy Mailbag

For answers to your Fantasy questions early every week, fill out the bottom of this form on Sunday nights or early Mondays for priority consideration. You can also tag me and @Seahawks on Twitter.

Dan Leichtenschlag asks: I drafted Drew Brees and have no backup. I can add Jimmy Garoppolo, Marcus Mariota, Case Keenum, and Gardner Minshew among others. How would you order those?

Engel: As I indicated above, Garoppolo is a trade target if he was drafted, so he would be my prime target. Keenum would actually be second, as he has posted quality totals so far in two games and Washington may continue to throw often. Those are really the only two I could feel comfortable adding, otherwise you have to make a trade.

Greg Emory asks: In a PPR league I tried to be ahead of the curve and added Mecole Hardman. Should I be rostering Demarcus Robinson instead?

Engel: If you can roster both, I would do so. Both WRs are involved in the NFL’s best passing game, and either one could outperform the other in any given week. If you could only own one, though, I would lean to Robinson, as he appeared to be slightly preferred by Patrick Mahomes against Oakland.

Omar Lozano asks: I have Cam Newton as my only QB. Should I be worried and make a trade or stick with him? Allen, Dalton and Keenum are also available as free agents.

Engel: As I indicated in this column, Allen should be a primary add if you need QB help. Move him in as your starter and keep Newton as your QB2. Newton is not running as much as he used to, and Allen fits that bill more nowadays. I would not release Newton, though, so cut the last RB or WR on your bench.

For more from Scott Engel, get the RotoBaller.com 2019 Fantasy Football Package, which includes his lineup rankings and regular weekly columns. Enter code “Seahawks” at checkout for a discount.

Game action photos from the Seattle Seahawks' Week 2 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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