2021 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 3: Top Pickups & Best Adds for Week 3

Last Updated: Jul 14, 2023

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Another week of football is in the books. Unfortunately, this time, there were plenty more injuries. These are the things you want to pay close attention to, as they often have important fantasy implications.

We need to react quickly without overreacting. I’ll help you decide which fantasy football waiver wire pickups you should be making that could benefit your fantasy teams now, later in the season, or just for the upcoming Week 3.

Note: Free-Agent Acquisition Budget dollar bid prices for Week 3 based on a season-long budget of $100. Adjust your percentage and scale accordingly for your league’s unique FAAB allotment and your remaining FAAB dollars.

(Roster % is based on Yahoo! Fantasy leagues information.)

2021 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 3: Top Pickups

Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas Cowboys (52% rostered)

Tony Pollard‘s fantasy value spiked after Zeke Elliott struggled in Week 1. Even with Elliott playing well, Pollard will certainly be a fixture in the Cowboys’ offense going forward, especially given his Week 2 performance.

After compiling just 7 touches and 43 total yards in Week 1, Pollard went off in Week 2, finishing with 13 rushes for 109 yards and a touchdown.

Pollard was effective through the air as well, nabbing 3 receptions for 31 receiving yards. It’s become clear that Dak Prescott and the Cowboys’ offensive attack doesn’t change with Pollard on the field.

He’s looked explosive with every touch. Pollard is involved in the ground and receiving game. His ability to make big chunk plays makes him a great flex option for your fantasy squads.

  • Tony Pollard Week 3 FAAB Bid: $20

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Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants (57% rostered)

Sterling Shepard changed his number to No. 3 this season, but that’s not the only reason why he looks like a completely different player.

Shepard had a great Week 1 and many dismissed it, chalking it up to the absence of Kenny Golladay. Well, Golladay was on the field in Week 2, and Shepard still saw double-digit targets.

He looks to be a reliable target for Daniel Jones thus far, and there’s no reason to expect him to slow down. Shepard has 16 receptions on 19 targets for 207 yards and a touchdown through his first two weeks.

If Shepard is on your waiver wire, you need to add him immediately. He’ll be a safe WR3 on your roster with some favorable upside.

  • Sterling Shepard Week 3 FAAB Bid: $15

Henry Ruggs III, WR, Las Vegas Raiders (34% rostered)

At this point, if you have an opportunity to roster one of Derek Carr’s wide receivers, you have to take advantage of it. Carr has 817 passing yards and 4 touchdown passes in the first two weeks of the season.

Henry Ruggs caught just 2 passes for 46 yards in Week 1 but came through big for the Raiders in Week 2, hauling in 5 of his 7 targets for 113 yards and a touchdown. He displayed his big-play ability with a 61-yard touchdown reception late in the 4th quarter against the Steelers.

Whenever a player comes through with a play like that, you can be sure his quarterback will continue to look his way moving forward. Ruggs already has 12 targets through the first two weeks of the year.

  • Henry Ruggs III Week 3 FAAB Bid: $14

Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants (19% rostered)

Daniel Jones is undervalued from a fantasy football perspective. A safe running floor from the quarterback position is coveted in the fantasy world, and Jones has legit wheels.

He’s completed 44 passes on the season and has a pair of touchdowns through the air. Jones has been a safe option in the passing game the first two weeks with no interceptions thrown.

Where Jones gives you true fantasy value, however, has been on the ground. He’s rushed 15 times for 122 yards and 2 rushing touchdowns in his first two games of 2021.

Jones appears to be finding his confidence in his feet. As long as he continues to utilize that side of his game, you are going to want his safe floor on your fantasy teams.

  • Daniel Jones Week 3 FAAB Bid: $12
Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants

Daniel Jones is a top Week 3 fantasy football waiver wire pickup after an impressive Week 2 performance against the Washington Football Team. (Image: USA TODAY)

2021 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 3: Best Players To Stash

Alexander Mattison, RB, Minnesota Vikings (32% rostered)

Alexander Mattison is my favorite backup running back in the league. Any time he sees the field, he looks the part of a workhorse back. Unfortunately, he will continue to be a backup as long as Dalvin Cook is healthy.

Cook had himself a day against the Cardinals in Week 2, rushing 22 times for 131 yards. All those carries took a toll, however, as it was revealed after the game that Cook suffered an ankle sprain.

This is something to monitor this week and weeks to come. Regardless, Mattison should be rostered for his potential upside as early as Week 3 if Cook is unable to play or further injures his ankle.

  • Alexander Mattison Week 3 FAAB Bid: $11

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR/RB, Atlanta Falcons (14% rostered)

Cordarrelle Patterson’s involvement in Week 1 was not a fluke, as he was even more involved in Week 2. Through two weeks, Patterson has 14 rushes for 65 yards and a touchdown. Due to his hybrid role, he’s also been involved in the passing game, hauling in 7 receptions on 8 targets for 71 yards and a touchdown.

Fantasy football is fluid, so you must be willing to take chances in the hopes that something will pay off. Patterson isn’t your typical fantasy asset, but he’s been effective for Atlanta in the first two weeks and is someone you can play at either running back or wide receiver on some platforms.

He offers flexibility with upside — a win-win. Take a chance on Patterson now before he becomes a staple for Matt Ryan and the Falcons.

  • Cordarrelle Patterson Week 3 FAAB Bid: $9

Freddie Swain, WR, Seattle Seahawks (0% rostered)

Freddie Swain may have just earned himself more target share from Russell Wilson after an impressive Week 2 performance in which he caught all 5 of his targets for 95 yards and a touchdown.

While Swain’s obviously not surpassing Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf in Seattle’s offense, you can bet he’ll be involved in high-scoring games. Swain proved he can be a reliable target with big-play ability, as he has the second-longest reception on the team (68 yards) this year behind Lockett’s 69-yard reception.

Swain could be just a one-week-wonder and someone you drop from your fantasy squads in a few weeks, but if he continues to be involved you’ll be glad you acquired him this early (and cheaply).

  • Freddie Swain Week 3 FAAB Bid: $4

2021 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 3: One-Week Streamer Plays

Sam Darnold, QB, Carolina Panthers (15% rostered)

Don’t be surprised to see a quarterback’s name in the “one-week streamer” section of this article going forward, as many people will draft a later-round quarterback and stream on a weekly basis depending on matchups.

Sam Darnold has been a serviceable option at quarterback through the first two weeks. He is top-12 in passing yards with 584 while completing over 68% of his passes and notching 4 touchdowns. He’s protected the ball as well, throwing just one interception on 73 pass attempts.

His Week 3 matchup is a favorable one, for the Houston Texans have surrendered 545 passing yards and 5 touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks this year. If you’re looking for a QB to stream this week and possibly hold on to, Darnold is your guy.

  • Sam Darnold Week 3 FAAB Bid: $4

For more fantasy football advice, check out our NFL Week 3 Fantasy Football Sleepers! And before you turn the page from Week 2, check out our Run It Back series on Instagram:



Nate Hamilton

Nate Hamilton is a regular contributor to the fantasy football industry. He has produced content for some of the top fantasy football sites including FantasyPros, The Fantasy Footballers, Fantasy Data, FantraxHQ, and currently The Game Day! He is a co-author of Amazon's #1 Best Selling "The Fantasy Football Black Book" with Joe Pisapia. Nate is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA).

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