The key to winning your fantasy football league is not how well you draft, but the players you add off waivers. This is extremely important because securing hidden talent could replace those late-round selections, even mid-rounders, that aren’t having the best season. Here at NFS, we provide the best picks for players you should grab off waivers now before it is too late. As always, both opportunity and performance are taken into consideration for these players. All players listed are rostered below 40 percent on ESPN. Learn to think like a NERD!
Chuba Hubbard, RB, Carolina Panthers
WIth Christian McCaffery going with another injury that will likely keep him out for a few weeks, Chuba Hubbard immediately enters as the new feature back for the Carolina Panthers. A fourth-round rookie, there’s little chance that Hubbard could fill the role as productive as McCaffery. But let’s not count him out, he was a Heisman Candidate at Oklahoma State and finished his final full season in 2019 with around 2300 scrimmage yards and 21 touchdowns. He will have plenty of opportunities to blow the doors open while CMC recovers. He should be an immediate pickup in fantasy.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Baltimore Ravens
Watching the Kansas City Chiefs now, Sammy Watkins’s absence is clearly hurting the team since he left in free agency. He’s a reliable clean route runner who can catch at all three levels of the field. His production has been very strong in Baltimore after signing there. He’s received 25 targets through three games and finished with an average of four catches in those games. He’s totalled 96, 44, and 68 yards in all three games so far. His numbers aren’t booming, but he’s consistent and reliable. It is only a matter of time before he has an explosive game. PLus with Hollywood Brown dropping two touchdowns, the offense could be calling on Watkins more.
Tim Patrick, WR, Denver Broncos
After Jerry Jeudy went down with a high ankle sprain, all Denver wide receivers were solid pickups because it was unclear who would be the new favorite in that offense. Well, it seems that question has been answered and it is Tim Patrick. Patrick has a big game last week, and that could be seen more commonly. Patrick finished with five catches for 98 yards. He’s continued to nearly match targets with Courtland Sutton proving his worth for a bigger role in the offense. Between him and Sutton, they’ll create a great duo for Teddy Bridgewater going forward. Patrick should be a favored pick-up this week and beyond.
Kendrick Bourne, WR, New England Patriots
With no true number one receiver in the New England Patriots offense, they’ve continued to share targets until one emerges. Kendrick Bourne led the team last week in targets, moving him up to third in targets and second in receiving yards in this offense. Bourne also finished with six catches, 98 yards, and a touchdown of offense last week. He was basically irrelevant the prior two weeks, so his consistency going forward could be shaky. For now, he’s looking like a more favorable target for Belichick and Mac Jones. Bourne is worth taking a flier with the possibility for a good season-long investment.
Tyler Conkin, TE, Minnesota Vikings
After Irv Smith Jr. went down with a season-long injury, Tyler Conklin was next on the depth to fill a key tight end role in the Minnesota Vikings offense. Not much came from him in the first two weeks as they integrated him more into the first-team offense and pass-catching role. But Week 3 was big for Conklin, he finished number one out of all tight ends producing 70 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions. Will Conklin always receive this many targets with Adam Thielen, Dalvin Cook, and Justin Jefferson? That’s yet to be seen. But this big game and playing in a high-tempo offense are positive signs for Tyler Conkin going forward as a productive fantasy tight end.