Fantasy football Week 3: Time to grab Jerome Ford on waiver wire

Fantasy managers had another roller-coaster ride in Week 2. Only three running backs with a first-round ADP (Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey and Bijan Robinson) are ranked in the top 12 in fantasy points scored. Instead, it was running backs who were drafted in the middle rounds or later that had breakout performances, including D’Andre Swift, Kenneth Walker III, James Conner, Raheem Mostert, Kyren Williams, Rachaad White and Zack Moss.

Barkley suffered an ankle sprain in Giants’ win over the Arizona Cardinals that will keep him out three weeks, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. On Monday night, Nick Chubb suffered a significant knee injury and will be out for the rest of the season.

Fantasy managers should target Matt Breida (rostered in 1.1% of ESPN leagues) and Jerome Ford (9.1%) on the waiver wire. Breida is the front-runner to lead the Giants’ backfield committee, with Gary Brightwell (0.2%) factoring into the mix, while Ford made an immediate impact following Chubb’s injury against the Steelers. The Browns are a run-heavy team with a strong offensive line, so Ford should inherit a high percentage of the backfield work even if the team signs a free agent. He is firmly on the RB2 radar.

Here are some other RB options to consider:

Zack Moss, Indianapolis Colts (32.1%): Deon Jackson’s poor performance in Week 1 provided Moss with a golden opportunity to take over the Colts’ backfield in Week 2. Moss accomplished the task, playing nearly all the snaps and finishing with 22 touches and 20.7 fantasy points. Jonathan Taylor is still on IR and is in the midst of a contract dispute with the Colts, so it’s possible he won’t play at all this season. Moss can be viewed as an RB2 for Week 3 against the Baltimore Ravens.

Gus Edwards (32%) and Justice Hill (30.1%), Baltimore Ravens: It was expected that Edwards and Hill would split snaps for the Ravens in Week 2. Hill was used primarily as a pass-catcher out of the backfield and had 14 touches and 8.3 fantasy points. Meanwhile, Edwards had 10 rushing attempts and 12.2 fantasy points. While Melvin Gordon III wasn’t included in the rotation, it’s difficult to trust Edwards or Hill as anything more than a flex option.

Craig Reynolds, Detroit Lions (0.6%): David Montgomery was carted off the field in the Lions’ Week 2 loss with a quad injury. Head coach Dan Campbell announced Monday that Montgomery is “day-to-day,” and it’s likely that Jahmyr Gibbs will see more work if he is out. However, Reynolds played more snaps in Week 2 than expected. While Reynolds may not inherit all of Montgomery’s workload (17-plus touches in two straight games), he should get enough volume to be considered as a flex option for Week 3.

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Tony Jones Jr., New Orleans Saints (0.1%): Jones Jr. was called up from the Saints’ practice squad last week and forced to play a prominent role on Monday night after Jamal Williams went down with a hamstring injury. He finished the game against the Panthers with 12 touches and 15.4 fantasy points. With Alvin Kamara suspended for one more game and Williams and Kendre Miller’s availability uncertain, Jones Jr. could be on the flex radar for Week 3.

Wide receivers

Tutu Atwell, Los Angeles Rams (31.7%): While Puka Nacua has garnered a lot of attention in fantasy football this season, Atwell leads the league in routes through two weeks. He has accumulated 17 targets over his first two games this year and scored 15-plus fantasy points both weeks. He will continue to play a role in the Rams’ offense even when Cooper Kupp returns.

Romeo Doubs (35%) and Jayden Reed (13.9%), Green Bay Packers: Doubs had only three targets and 5 fantasy points Sunday, after seeing five targets and scoring 18.6 fantasy points in Week 1. He is still dealing with a hamstring injury and hasn’t played many snaps, but deserves a spot on your bench or as a flex option in lineups. Reed leads the Packers in targets through two games, but his production is unlikely to continue once Christian Watson returns and Doubs is healthier. Expect Reed to still play a role and flourish with plenty of opportunities in the middle of the field.

Josh Reynolds, Detroit Lions (4.7%): Reynolds continues to fill the vertical void for the Lions this season. He finished with seven targets and 12 fantasy points in Week 1 and the receiver and had six targets and 23.6 fantasy points Sunday. Reynolds draws another favorable matchup against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 3.

Tank Dell, Houston Texans (3.8%): Dell had a breakout performance for the Texans on Sunday with 10 targets, seven receptions for 72 receiving yards and a touchdown. Dell played nearly 80% of the offensive snaps and ran the second-most routes on the team. He should not be overlooked on the wire, as he projects to be a key member of the Texans offense this season.

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Quick hits

Jonathan Mingo (14.7%) is playing behind Adam Thielen and DJ Chark, who both have extensive injury histories. Mingo played a high number of snaps and ran a lot of routes in Week 1.

Rashid Shaheed (25.0%) scored 19 fantasy points and had an average depth of target of 16.5 yards in Week 1. He will face an exploitable Panthers secondary Monday night. Michael Thomas’ injury history makes Shaheed worth stashing.

DeVante Parker (3.9%) led the Patriots wide receivers in snaps and routes run in Week 2 against the Dolphins. He finished with eight targets and 11.7 fantasy points and could be useful in deeper formats.

K.J. Osborn (9.3%) played more snaps and ran more routes than Jordan Addison last Thursday night against the Eagles. Statistics suggest Osborn is the Vikings No. 2 receiver behind Justin Jefferson while Addison is No. 3.

Marvin Mims Jr. (7.2%) is worth stashing on your bench, despite seeing only four targets through the first two games. Mims could be a difference-maker for fantasy managers late in the season.

Quarterbacks

Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers (39.6%): Love has scored 20 or more fantasy points in each of the Packers’ first two games. Green Bay already has an offensive line that ranks among the top 10 in pass block win rate and its offense could be even better once everyone is healthy. Love can be viewed as a high end QB2 this week at Lambeau Field against the Saints.

Sam Howell, Washington Commanders (9.4%): Howell is looking more like the Commanders’ quarterback of the future with each passing week. He totaled 21.2 fantasy points Sunday and was phenomenal going through his progressions, keeping his eyes downfield and making a number of precision passes against the Broncos. With playmakers like Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, and Brian Robinson Jr, Howell is positioned for success in Washington. He is a solid QB2 in superflex formats for Week 3.

C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans (7.4%): Stroud continues to look a viable quarterback for the Texans, finishing Week 2 with an impressive 21.4 fantasy points. Stroud’s 384 passing yards were the second-most by a quarterback age 21 or older since the merger, trailing only Matthew Stafford (422) in 2009. However, it’s imperative that the Texans fix their offensive line problems. Stroud completed 22 of 28 passes for 287 passing yards when not pressured, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. He projects as an intriguing QB2 option in superflex formats for Week 3 against the Jaguars.

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Quick hits

Derek Carr (26.7%) plays the Panthers on Monday night, but the veteran quarterback threw for 305 passing yards against the Titans in Week 1. He is well positioned to have a monster game against Carolina’s depleted secondary and is firmly on the QB2 radar.

Desmond Ridder (2.3%) finished Week 2 with 32 pass attempts and 21.3 fantasy points against the Packers. The Falcons will continue to lean heavily on the running game, but Ridder finds himself on the QB2 radar for Week 3, facing a Lions defense that allowed gave up 328 passing yards to the Seahawks last Sunday.

Tight ends

Sam LaPorta, Detroit Lions (49.5%): LaPorta is quickly becoming Jared Goff’s safety net. He has caught 10 of 11 targets for 102 yards this season and has great field awareness for a rookie tight end. LaPorta is one of five tight ends with five-plus receptions in each of the first two games. You should add LaPorta if you need help at the position.

Zach Ertz, Arizona Cardinals (47.3%): Ertz continues to provide fantasy managers with solid performances. He has seen eight or more targets in each of the past two games and continues to run a high number of routes. While Ertz faces a tough Cowboys defense in Week 3, he still has the trust of Joshua Dobbs and can be viewed as a low end TE1.

Hunter Henry, New England Patriots (34.6%): Henry continues to thrive with the Patriots as a reliable target for Mac Jones. He has collected six or more targets and scored 16 or more fantasy points in each of past two games. Henry is an intriguing fantasy tight end option and appears to be a crucial component of Bill O’Brien’s offensive scheme.

Quick hits

Luke Musgrave (17.5%) didn’t have the breakout performance fantasy managers hoped for Sunday, but he’s still playing a high percentage of snaps for the Packers.

Add Cade Otton (1.1%) to your watch list (or add him in deeper formats). He led the Buccaneers tight ends in snaps and routes run Sunday while seeing six targets and scoring 10.1 fantasy points.

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