- Yes, Baker Mayfield is worth picking up in fantasy. Here are two other targets before Week 4.
When the Browns beat the Jets on Thursday night, their first win in nearly two calendar years, we probably should have known Week 3 wasn’t going to be a regular NFL week. The Bills pulled off the biggest upset, based on the pregame betting line, in 23 years. The Jaguars and Texans, who were favored by 9.5 and six points, respectively, both lost at home. Jimmy Garoppolo suffered what the 49ers fear is a season-ending knee injury. And there are still two games remaining.
This will be an active week on the waiver wire, with byes beginning in Week 4. We’ll get to a full look at the wire on Monday. Before then, however, check on the availability of these three players in your leagues. They’re sure to be among the most popular players on the wire this week.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Browns
Who else could possibly lead the waiver wire? One week ago, Mayfield was the highest-profile backup in the league, waiting for his opportunity to take over. Now, the entire city of Cleveland looks on him as a savior after he led the Browns to a dramatic come-from-behind win, the team’s first victory since December 24, 2016. Hue Jackson isn’t officially committing to Mayfield as his starter just yet, but we all know who will be under center when the Browns visit the Raiders in Oakland next week.
Mayfield isn’t just the new man in Cleveland. He’s also firmly on the fantasy radar after his impressive debut. Mayfield instantly changed the Browns’ offense, unlocking all the latent potential in the offense that was dormant with Tyrod Taylor at the helm. Jarvis Landry caught eight passes for 103 yards, including one on a gutsy seam throw from Mayfield that set up a touchdown. The run game came to life, with Carlos Hyde rushing for 98 yards and two scores on 23 carries. Mayfield was at the center of it all, completing 17 of 23 passes for 201 yards and 8.74 yards per attempt, leading three touchdown drives. At the very least, Mayfield is part of the huge group of quarterbacks on the stream radar every week, and he’ll be worth starting against the Raiders in Week 4. At best, he’ll be in the starting mix in most weeks.
Calvin Ridley, WR, Falcons
Matt Ryan threw five touchdowns in Atlanta’s 43-37 loss to New Orleans on Sunday, and somehow none of them were to Julio Jones. Three of them, however, went to Ridley, who became the first rookie receiver with a three-touchdown game since Odell Beckham achieved the feat in 2014. After a catchless NFL debut, Ridley has 11 catches for 210 yards and four scores in the last two weeks.
Beyond that, Atlanta’s offense has found a groove the last two weeks. The red-zone issues that plagued the team all last year were present in its Week 1 loss to the Eagles, but things have turned around in the last two games, Matt Ryan lit up the Panthers and Saints, throwing for a combined 646 yards, 10.25 YPA, and seven touchdowns against one interception. What’s more, the Falcons have scored touchdowns on all eight of their trips to the red zone in the last two weeks, including three of Ridley’s four scores. With Ridley clearly taking on a major role in the offense, and the Falcons starting to find the efficiency and explosiveness it enjoyed two years ago, the rookie out of Alabama needs to be owned in all competitive leagues.
Tyler Boyd, WR, Bengals
Boyd delivered for the second straight week, catching six of his seven targets for 132 yards and a touchdown. He likely picked up a few extra targets with A.J. Green missing most of the second half because of a groin injury, but Boyd did all of his damage on merit and he scored the touchdown with Green still in the game. Boyd has followed a script similar to Ridley, turning it on the last two weeks after a quiet Week 1. He has 12 catches on 21 targets for 223 yards and two touchdowns in his last two games, solidifying himself as the No. 2 pass-catcher in Cincinnati. A second-round pick from 2016, Boyd is starting to realize the promise he had coming out of Pittsburgh. Like Ridely, he should be owned in all competitive leagues.