Preemptive Strike: Week 3
This past week was like a swift kick below the belt for fantasy managers as some fantasy studs went down with injuries. We had Nick Chubb go down with a serious season-ending knee injury, as well as Saquon Barkley and Brandon Aiyuk got injured and are now out for a few weeks just to name a few. That is why it is imperative to always be working the waiver wire.
If you were not able to find some replacements on the waiver wire I will have some options for you to add on this week's Preemptive Strike. Also, keep in mind that bye weeks are coming in two weeks, so look ahead. Now here are some players that you may want to add or stash depending on your roster size prior to Week 3's games to be ahead of your league mates and next week's waiver wire run.
Check to see if these quarterbacks are available to add first: Jordan Love 68% Rostered and Russell Wilson 54% Rostered.
Matthew Stafford, QB Rams 47% Rostered
This season Matthew Stafford is trying to make a run for Comeback Player of the Year. After missing most of last season with concussion issues Stafford has been on a roll with the offense with the help of rookie Puka Nacua and TuTu Atwell. He has thrown for consecutive 300-plus yards games and plays the Colts next week who allow the 10th most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season.
Sam Howell, QB Commanders 21% Rostered
This week Sam Howell will have his hands full with a showdown with the Buffalo Bills. If you are looking ahead to Week 4 Howell will tangle with the Eagles who are allowing the most fantasy points to quarterbacks so far this season.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Buccaneers 19% Rostered
A player who has steadily dug himself out of the grave that his career was in has got to be Baker Mayfield. After the last couple of seasons from bouncing around to different teams last season, it looks like he has found a home in Tampa Bay. With the help of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, Mayfield has literally resurrected his career with two consecutive 20-plus fantasy points performances. If you need a quarterback for this week with the injuries to Anthony Richardson and Bryce Young, stream Mayfield since he has a juicy match-up versus the Eagles this week. In Week 4 the veteran quarterback has a tough game against the Saints, but if you are in a deeper league he may be an option to add.
C.J. Stroud, QB Texans 16% Rostered
In deeper leagues, you may want to look at adding C.J. Stroud. Last week he had his first breakout game with 384 yards passing and two touchdowns. All of his weapons are starting to develop chemistry with him and he will have to play from behind in most games this season. Next week will be no different with a possible game script of playing from behind and having to throw to try and catch the Steelers.
Kyler Murray, QB Cardinals 26% Rostered
Kyler Murray is currently on the PUP list and is out for at least the first four games of the season. Add him now and stash him on your IR spot until he returns and thank me later.
Check to see if these running backs are available to add first: Kenneth Gainwell 57% Rostered, Zach Charbonnet 54% Rostered, and Jaylen Warren 51% Rostered.
Roschon Johnson, RB Bears 45% Rostered
Roschon Johnson has already officially claimed the second spot on the depth chart. He had minimal usage last week with four carries for 32 yards and one reception for 10 yards. Johnson may be called upon for more receiving work this week with the Bears battling the Chiefs at Kansas City. Try to add him now before next week’s waiver wire rush. Johnson has a decent match-up next week with the Broncos who are in the middle of the pack in defending running backs.
De’Von Achane, RB Dolphins 36% Rostered
Right now De’Von Achane is the number two back in this hot Miami offense. Salvon Ahmed is listed as doubtful for this week’s home opener versus the Broncos. With Ahmed trending to be out for the contest, Achane will get some extra touches this week and be a possible hot commodity off waivers for Week 4. Add Achane to be ahead of your league mates.
Tyjae Spears, RB Titans 22% Rostered
Tyjae Spears continues to see his role in the offense grow. He went from four total touches to 10 touches this past week. Spears rushed eight times for 49 yards and added a couple of receptions. If you have the space try to add and hold Spears if you can. Should Derrick Henry get injured Spears would be an RB2 for fantasy managers.
Kendre Miller, RB Saints 27% Rostered
With Jamaal Williams likely out this week and Alvin Kamara serving the final game of his suspension, the table is set for Kendre Miller to make his highly anticipated debut. Miller has been out for the first two games of the season and has gone through full practices this week. He will have an opportunity to make a huge impression on fantasy managers in Week 3. If he plays to his potential he will be in high demand come waiver wire time next week. Beat the rush and add him now.
Keaton Mitchell, RB Ravens 1% Rostered
This recommendation is more of an add-and-stash in the deepest of leagues and dynasty leagues. With all the injuries that the Ravens have been dealing with the one running back that I’ve been trying to add in all my deeper leagues is Keaton Mitchell. Mitchell is a rookie who beat out Melvin Gordon III for the final running back spot on the team but suffered an injury and had to go on IR. Mitchell may return after Week 4 and might be implemented into the offense sooner rather than later. If you have an empty IR spot add Mitchell and stash him there as he can hopefully pay huge dividends later this season.
Running Backs to add and stash in deeper league formats: Tank Bigsby 30% Rostered, Jeff Wilson Jr. 26% Rostered, Chubba Hubbard 26% Rostred, Duece Vaughn 8% Rostered, Sean Tucker 3% Rostered, Craig Reynolds 2% Rostered, Zach Evans 1% Rostered, and Jaleel McLaughlin 1% Rostered.
Check to see if these wide receivers are available to add first: Jakobi Meyers 68% Rostered, Brandin Cooks 62% Rostered, Treylon Burks 57% Rostered, Josh Reynolds 53% Rostered, Tutu Atwell 52%, Skyy Moore 52% Rostered, and Rashid Shaheed 50% Rostered.
Tank Dell, WR Texans 26% Rostered
The Texans put on display the new Tank they have at their disposal. After just receiving four targets in Week 1, Tank Dell got targeted an astonishing 10 times last week versus the Colts. After trailing early in the game Dell turned those targets into seven receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown. Nico Collins is the WR1 in this offense but Stroud will continue to look at Dell’s direction going forward. Dell should be rostered in all 12-team leagues.
Marvin Mims Jr., WR Broncos 26% Rostered
Another rookie who made a splash in Week 2, was Marvin Mims Jr. He was only targeted twice but boy did he wow fantasy managers. Mims took those two receptions for 113 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed twice for 10 yards. The target share is not where it needs yet, but if he continues to make big plays like this, Mims should gradually get more looks going forward. He could be added in deeper 12-team leagues.
Jayden Reed, WR Packers 18% Rostered
Christian Watson remains nursing his hamstring injury, which left the door wide open to start the season for anyone to take advantage and make plays. Rookie Jayden Reed is the man who stepped forward and now it will be hard to put him back in the bottle. In Week 2 Reed was targeted eight times and was able to bring in four receptions for 37 yards and two touchdowns. Reed has proven enough to stay involved in the offense even when Watson returns. This may be your last chance to add him for free.
Jameson Williams, WR Lions 29% Rostered
If Jameson Williams is still swimming in your waiver pool, it is time to add him to your rosters. His six-game suspension is coming to an end soon, so add him now while you can.
Check to see if these tight ends are available to add first: Hunter Henry 73% Rostered, and Cole Kmet 61% Rostered.
Chigoziem Okonkwo, TE Titans 49% Rostered
After a flat game in Week 1, Chigoziem Okonkwo made strides in Week 2. Even though he suffered a rib injury he played through the pain and four receptions for 35 yards. This week he will be shut down by the stingy Browns defense that is the third toughest versus tight ends this season. If you are picking up Okonkwo you are looking ahead to the contest with the Bengals in Week 4, who are allowing the fourth most fantasy points to tight ends this season.
Jake Ferguson, TE Cowboys 40% Rostered
If you require a tight end this weekend in any league format Jake Ferguson may be your answer. Ferguson has a fantastic match-up this week against the Cardinals. The Cowboys will use the tight end position and Ferguson is the one that is leading in the snap share for the moment.
Zach Ertz, TE Cardinals 36% Rostered
Zach Ertz is basically Josh Dobbs's number-one receiving option. Ertz is leading the team in targets and that should continue. The veteran tight end is averaging nine targets a game and should be rostered in 10-team PPR leagues.
Denver Broncos Defense face the Chicago Bears in Week 4 who are having some turnover issues this season.
Seattle Seahawks Defense goes up against the New York Giants who are allowing the most fantasy points to opposing defenses.
What players are you picking up before this week's game? If you would like to further discuss this you can reach me on X at @smooth1074.