Finding The Top Week 3 Fantasy Football Pickups With Predictive Analytics: Jerome Ford, Zack Moss, Josh Reynolds
Let's take a look at fantasy football's most popular waiver wire options heading into Week 3! We can use the Predictive Analytics tool in the FantasySP Fantasy Assistant to help identify the top candidates. This tool predicts the Expected Waiver Interest (EWI) for every player, plus predicts their new rostership level following this week's waiver moves. Here are its current predictions for this week:
Top Predicted Week 3 Fantasy Football Adds
RB Jerome Ford, Cleveland Browns
Unsurprisingly the top name on the list, with an incredible 99% EWI, is Jerome Ford. Following Nick Chubb's brutal injury on Monday Night Football, Ford took over as the Browns' clear lead back and was productive, finishing with 106 yards on 16 rushing attempts, plus three catches on four targets for 25 yards and a TD.
There is a reason for concern, as Browns Head Coach Kevin Stefanski did mention that the Browns will be adding to their running back group following Chubb's injury. However, given Ford's performance (and the available options), I think it's more likely the Browns will add depth pieces than make a big move to acquire someone who could leapfrog Ford on the depth chart. Assuming we don't see any indication that that is going to happen, Ford is the obvious top waiver pickup this week as the lead back behind one of the league's best offensive lines.
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RB Zack Moss, Indianapolis Colts
Not only did Moss take the lead role in his first game of the season for the Colts, it wasn't even close. He played 98% of the Colts' offensive snaps and touched the ball 22 times, with 18 carries and four receptions; no other back touched the ball even once. However, there are two key factors that keep Moss from being an absolute top-tier pickup right next to Ford. For one, the Colts won't play the Texans every week, and they might not have 22 RB touches to go around, even if Moss continues to claim every single one (which is unlikely in this day and age).
Second, and more importantly, Jonathan Taylor is still a Colt, and recent rumblings out of Indianapolis seem more optimistic that he might actually suit up for them at some point this season. He has been spotted at the Colts' practice facility working out, and is reportedly ready to pass his physical in order to come off the PUP list already. While he can't do that until Week 5, that is coming up very soon, and the chance, however slim, that Moss is just a three-week rental makes blowing your FAAB budget on him a risky proposition. With that said, he's still certainly worth adding and can be started in Week 3, just temper your expectations on him as a season-long play.
WR Josh Reynolds, Detroit Lions
Reynolds is the top WR in EWI this week, with a respectable 38%. Currently rostered in just 14% of leagues, Reynolds exploded this week with five catches for 66 yards and two TDs, a solid follow-up to his four-catch, 80-yard Week 1 performance. With 12 targets through two games, Reynolds is the Lions' top target behind Amon-Ra St. Brown and is certainly worth adding if you need help at WR. He has a good connection with former Rams teammate Jared Goff and Lions' OC Ben Johnson is one of the best in the business.
However, Reynolds wouldn't be my top WR target on waivers this week. For one, his ceiling is lacking in an offense with an established target hog in ARSB, plus other weapons in Marvin Jones, Sam LaPorta, and Jahmyr Gibbs. And while some of this week's other top wavier pickups like Nico Collins, Tank Dell, and Jayden Reed are young players with unknown potential, we pretty much know what Reynolds is. He's a talented NFL WR but isn't going to be more than a WR3 or flex play. Plus, Jameson Williams' return from suspension is looming, which could easily cut into his playing time and targets. Add Reynolds if you need a flex option in a deep league, but in shallower leagues I prefer to swing for the fences with a more high-upside WR option.
- Kyren Williams is third in EWI behind Moss and Ford and is an obvious add if he's still available in your league. I'd put him right with Ford as a top-priority pickup, as he absolutely dominated the Rams' backfield in Week 2 with Cam Akers out of the picture.
- Giants RB Matt Breida has a 34% EWI as he should be the RB1 in New York following Saquon Barkley's injury, but don't get too excited. This offense hasn't been very impressive, and Breida figures to see a much smaller workload, and be less efficient with it, than Barkley did. There's also reportedly even a chance Barkley doesn't miss any time at all; while I find that unlikely given the Giants are scheduled to play on Thursday night, it's not a good sign for Breida's long-term prospects.
- A trio of Houston WRs in Nico Collins, Tank Dell, and Robert Woods each rank above 25% EWI following a week in which all three saw at least nine targets. All three are viable options, although we should expect some regression from this passing offense as a whole: C.J. Stroud is currently averaging an unsustainable 45.5 attempts per game.
- Free agent RB Kareem Hunt has cracked the top 10 in EWI, likely due to managers hoping he will return to Cleveland following Chubb's injury. I think that's unlikely and, unless we hear otherwise before waivers run, think he can be left as a free agent in fantasy leagues, just like he has been by the NFL. Even if he were signed somewhere, Hunt's efficiency fell off a cliff in 2022 and he is not the player he once was.