Fantasy football Week 3 waiver wire pickups: Finding injury subs

The parade of injuries to high-profile players over the NFL this weekend was shocking. From a fantasy football perspective, this will be the most competitive dash to the waiver wire in recent memory.

Consensus top fantasy draft picks Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley are sidelined, as are other numerous key contributors at quarterback, wide receiver, running back, and on defence. While it’s impossible to fully replace some of these superstars, I’ll do my best to provide insight on some of the best possible options.

Below are my top waiver wire pickups at multiple positions. As always, ask me any fantasy football questions on Twitter @AndyMc81 using #AskAndy.

Mike Davis, RB, Carolina Panthers
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It’s main-event time for Mike Davis, who’s primarily been a spare part in the backfields of the four different NFL teams he’s suited up for. Fantasy legend Christian McCaffrey will be recovering from an ankle ailment for at least a month, which thrusts Davis into a starter’s role.

The 27-year-old will undoubtedly be the most added player off of waivers. I feel Davis’s pass-catching abilities make him most appealing in PPR. However, back in 2018 with Seattle he did average 4.6 yards per carry and accumulated four touchdowns on the ground. And no matter what, Davis will be an integral part of the Panthers offence.

Devonta Freeman, RB, Free Agent
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Currently teamless, Devonta Freeman has to find a landing spot sometime soon, doesn’t he? The former Pro Bowler most recently visited with the New York Giants after Saquon Barkley’s injury as well as the Jaguars and Eagles.

While the 28-year-old Freeman is a true dual-threat RB, his stats have steadily decreased since 2016. However, with fresh legs and something to prove, he could still be a valuable fantasy piece. It might take a couple of weeks to get up to speed, but wouldn’t you rather Freeman as the front man in New York than Wayne Gallman or Dion Lewis?

I’d recommend grabbing the ex-Atlanta Falcon now and hoping he gets signed soon.

Indianapolis Colts, DST
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Don’t overlook a smart defensive addition to your roster with all the hype around injured stars. The Colts DST is a perfect streaming option for Sunday as they battle the hilariously bad Jets. Indianapolis embarrassed the Vikings this past weekend as the ‘D’ delivered three interceptions, a trio of sacks, and totalled 15.0 FPTs.

If Indy did that to Minnesota, imagine the possibilities with the visitors from New York.

Jerick McKinnon, RB, San Francisco 49ers
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The running back logjam in San Francisco loosened up with the news that both Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman will miss at least this upcoming game, and likely more. Interestingly enough, Jerick McKinnon was doing just fine from a fantasy production side before that.

Most valuable in PPR formats, McKinnon has rewarded owners with 25.1 and 18.7 FPTs over the first two weeks. He’s clearly carved out a reliable role in Kyle Shanahan’s offence.

Getting hurt is always a concern for the Georgia Southern alumni since he did miss all of 2018 and 2019 due to injury. But while McKinnon is healthy, don’t be shy about submitting an aggressive claim and getting him into your lineup.

Jeff Wilson Jr. is the other RB currently listed on the 49ers depth chart and may become a nice consolation prize if you miss out on McKinnon.

Ryan Tannehill, QB, Tennessee Titans
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Ryan Tannehill has once again proven fantasy football doubters wrong about his value in Tennessee’s run-first attack. After Sunday’s slate of games, “The Tanne-Thrill” is QB10 on the 2020 campaign with a TD-to-INT ratio of six-to-zero and averaging 23.06 FPTs.

Not even missing top receiver A.J. Brown slowed down the veteran signal-caller as Jonnu Smith and Corey Davis have stepped up. A depleted Minnesota defence is up next and there’s no reason to think that he will slow down. Tannehill is off to a better fantasy start than Lamar Jackson, Matthew Stafford, Deshaun Watson and Ben Roethlisberger.

Mo Alie-Cox, TE, Indianapolis Colts
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I already wrote about snagging Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz in my sleepers rundown on Saturday (hopefully you listened to me!), so to keep things fresh I’m headed to the midwest for a different TE.

Mo Alie-Cox’s five receptions for 111 yards is the kind of tight end output we were expecting for the Colts now that Phil Rivers is around. Poor Jack Doyle missed out with a banged-up ankle and is considered week to week. This means Alie-Cox will lead that position group, and could feast again versus a Swiss-cheese Jets defence. The former VCU basketball standout’s fantasy stock also gets an extra boost since wide receiver Parris Campbell is expected to miss significant time from a PCL issue.

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