Sept. 26 (UPI) — After two weeks of inconsistent scoring around the NFL, Week 3 consisted of full scoreboards.
NFL teams scored 606 points in Week 1, with the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a bye. Teams scored 643 points in Week 2. This week, NFL teams scored 799 points.
Squads are starting to settle in offensively and find their playmakers. While this week doesn’t seem like a huge waiver-wire pickup week, there are still some solid options you should snag for insurance and also some breakout candidates.
Here are my top players to add and top players to drop heading into Week 4.
QB | Jared Goff, Deshaun Watson; RB | Wendell Smallwood, Branden Oliver, D’Onta Foreman; WR | Devin Funchess, Sterling Shepard, Robby Anderson; TE | David Njoku; D/ST | Jacksonville Jaguars; K | Cody Parkey
QB | Blake Bortles; RB | Alvin Kamara, Duke Johnson; WR | Paul Richardson, Rishard Matthews; TE | Marcedes Lewis; D/ST | Cincinnati Bengals
QB | Cam Newton; RB | Darren Sproles, Jeremy Hill; WR | Kenny Golladay; TE | Hunter Henry
Rookie Deshaun Watson looks like a reasonable replacement-level quarterback this season. He threw multiple touchdown passes for the first time in his career in Sunday’s tight contest against the New England Patriots. He also has 108 rushing yards and a score in his last two games. Watson also threw for a career-high 301 yards and completed 66.7 percent of his passes in Sunday’s loss. Watson could even be used in good matchups for your fantasy squad if you are struggling at quarterback. He has great receiving options and will likely be forced to throw a ton this season. The Houston Texans don’t have a terrible schedule in the next three weeks, with two of their matchups against the Tennessee Titans and Cleveland Browns.
Unfortunately running back Darren Sproles is out for the season after breaking his arm and tearing his ACL on one play during the Philadelphia Eagles’win against the New York Giants. That opens up a passing-down role in the backfield. Look for Wendell Smallwood to get plenty of chances to take over and spell LeGarrette Blount. Smallwood also showcased his rushing ability on Sunday, carrying 12 times for 71 yards. He is a lottery ticket that would look great on your bench if you have room.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Branden Oliver could also see increased work moving forward due to an injury in his backfield. Last week, Melvin Gordon reportedly developed a minor bone bruise on his knee. He still turned 17 carries into 79 yards and a score. But Oliver earned 12 touches in Week 3, meaning that his role could be something you can lean on a bit later on. If Gordon’s injury lingers, Oliver could turn into a huge play off of your bench. If you have Gordon on your team, Oliver is a must-add as a handcuff.
Another injury means another candidate for increased fantasy football production. Carolina Panthers wide receiver Devin Funchess could be in line for more looks from quarterback Cam Newton after Kelvin Benjamin left Sunday’s game in the first quarter due to a knee injury. Although he appears to have avoided a season-ending injury, he could be in jeopardy of missing Week 4. That would put Funchess in the driver’s seat as Newton’s best option Sunday in a road matchup against the New England Patriots. While Funchess might not be a great season-long play, he should have immediate value in a game where the Panthers will likely be forced to throw while playing from behind.
Cleveland Browns rookie tight end David Njoku has now scored in two consecutive games after reeling in another score Sunday in a loss to the Indianapolis Colts. He now has seven catches for 59 yards and a score in his first three starts. Look for his role in this offense to increase as the season moves along, putting him in the conversation as a streaming option in good matchups in deep leagues where you have to start a tight end. The 6 foot 4, 246 pound target will likely be leaned on again in Week 4 against the Cincinnati Bengals.