John Brown, Jesse James among last-minute fantasy football pickups for Week 3

Howard, James among best available TEs in fantasy (1:02)

Matthew Berry weighs in on which tight ends would be best to pick up in waivers this week, including Steelers' Jesse James and Bucs' O.J. Howard. (1:02)

NOTE: This column has been updated to take players from Thursday night's Jets-Browns game out (WR Antonio Callaway, Browns D/ST, DT Larry Ogunjobi).

Each week of the NFL campaign we sift through the deeper options at each position with an eye on identifying streaming fantasy commodities with valuable matchups to consider.

Even during these early weeks of the season, you might require replacement options for injured or suspended players or if you are merely dealing with depth issues. We have some choice names to consider for those seeking widely available options at each position.


Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (available in 92.7 percent of ESPN leagues)

Deep on the waiver wire at quarterback, you aren't going to find anything you can trust on a weekly basis, but seeing Tannehill display the type of mobility he featured on Sunday against the New York Jets might just be the closest thing. It's easy to forget, that in 2014, Tannehill was the eighth-highest-scoring fantasy quarterback, a feat that he attained in part because of the 311 rushing yards he managed that season. Tannehill's weapons this season leave a lot to be desired, but facing the Oakland Raiders makes him the most startable of quarterbacks who are owned in less than 20 percent of ESPN leagues.

Don't expect miracles in the matchup. The Raiders haven't allowed either of their opposing quarterbacks to break 233 yards passing. However, there's not much of a risk in Tannehill losing points due to turnovers, as Oakland has just one interception. Seeing slower-footed Case Keenum carry three times for 16 yards against the Raiders in Week 2, including a 1-yard score, is also encouraging. Look for Tannehill to eclipse 200 passing yards, with another 20 on the ground, which means if he can manage a couple of scores, he'll crack the top 15 at the position this week. --Daube

Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (91.9 percent available)

It hasn't always been pretty, but Flacco has been producing QB1-caliber fantasy results during his past eight regular-season starts; he's averaged 17.3 fantasy points since Week 12 of last season (tied with Jared Goff at QB13 in this span). The Broncos, meanwhile, have ceded 17.97 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season. While the sample is small, it appears the Baltimore passing offense has some untapped fantasy value to consider at home this week. --McCormick

Running back

Marcus Murphy, Buffalo Bills (98.5 percent available)

Our trusted colleague, Adam Schefter, reported yesterday that Bills starting running back LeSean McCoy is dealing with cracked rib cartilage and could potentially miss one game. If he is indeed out -- and that's no sure thing, because he has apparently played through this type of injury before -- Murphy is the Buffalo back you want to start. While some may think Chris Ivory would be the bell cow, Ivory has just five carries for 10 yards so far this season, compared to Murphy's nine rushes for 37 yards. Unfortunately, the Bills are playing the Minnesota Vikings, so Murphy will have his work cut out for him. That being said, the Vikings have allowed 188 rushing yards this season. Considering they've played the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers, each of whom was without their projected top back in Aaron Jones and Jerick McKinnon, respectively. Look for Murphy to gain at least 65 yards on the ground if McCoy does indeed sit this one out, making him a suitable streaming option. --Daube

Javorius Allen, Baltimore Ravens (62.9 percent available)

Denver has been solid in defending opposing backfields (10th-fewest fantasy points allowed) on the young season, but a strong precedent for passing usage supports a stable floor for Allen in PPR formats. The loss of Kenneth Dixon to injured reserve only serves to increase Allen's snap and touch count in the weeks ahead. Much like Flacco, Allen isn't exactly an exciting selection, but he is quietly well-positioned to produce flex-worthy results given rewarding red zone and receiving roles. --McCormick

Wide receiver

John Brown, Baltimore Ravens (53.4 percent available)

With no intention of building a full Baltimore stack, "Smokey" earns a nomination thanks to leading the Ravens in air yardage and end zone targets on the young season. Even if Michael Crabtree leads the team in targets, Brown is on pace to consume a much more valuable blend of vertical and red zone attention. The Broncos have been middle-of-the-pack in defending opposing receivers this season, while it takes only one big play for Brown to meet cost from the WR3 or flex spot this Sunday. --McCormick

Tight end

Jesse James, Pittsburgh Steelers (70.9 percent available)

James isn't just a streaming option, he's a must-add in all formats. Ben Roethlisberger appears to be utilizing James like Heath Miller was employed years ago. Miller was a borderline top-10 TE for most of his career and James ranks second in fantasy points and receiving yardage among tight ends through the first two weeks of the season. Of course, playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week won't hurt his streaming prospects, as they've allowed three different tight ends to have at least four receptions through two weeks, including Zach Ertz's 11 receptions for 94 yards this past Sunday. Look for James to have at least four catches, which makes him a must-start at the tight end position. --Daube

Ricky Seals-Jones, Arizona Cardinals (89.9 percent available)

One of the better athletes at the position, Seals-Jones might finally tap into his impressive upside this season if his stellar usage pattern persists. "RSJ" has been targeted six times in each game and is playing a healthy number of snaps. There is clearly some hazard in trusting a player with a short receiving résumé, but I'm willing to assume such risks given an underappreciated mix of opportunity and talent. --McCormick

Defense/Special teams

Cincinnati Bengals (92.7 percent available) at Panthers

A road dog isn't always an ideal target for a streaming D/ST, but I'll make the exception here given that the Bengals claim a solid pass defense (6.4 yards per dropback allowed) and top defensive line, while the Panthers are 18th in points per drive on offense. It also helps that the spread is close and the point total modest for this trip to Charlotte. --McCormick

Individual defensive players


Darius Leonard, Indianapolis Colts (29.9 percent available)

If you are into things like 18 tackles and getting to the quarterback, then Leonard might be your guy. After enjoying an amazing line on the road against the Redskins, Leonard heads up to South Philly with potential to deliver yet another surprising LB1 performance. --McCormick

Defensive back

Kavon Frazier, Dallas Cowboys (94.3 percent available)

Not only does Frazier lead the Dallas defense in snaps through two weeks, he's also recorded a sack and tallied two pass breakups and eight solo tackles in the process. As an every-down playmaker for the Cowboys, Frazier is quickly becoming a bankable fantasy starter for those who wisely waited on defensive back in drafts. --McCormick