The quickest way to fall behind in a fantasy football league is to become complacent and rely on the team you drafted, neglecting the all-important waiver wire. As managers make numerous waiver claims for Week 3, should Los Angeles Chargers WR Joshua Palmer be a priority addition off the waiver wire for your fantasy team?
Joshua Palmer cashes in late for fantasy managers in Week 2
It wasn’t pretty, but it got the job done. No, I’m not describing what I see in the mirror every morning but what Los Angeles Chargers WR Joshua Palmer did in Week 2 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
With Keenan Allen (hamstring) out for the week, Palmer stood in a great spot for increased reps as the primary No. 2 alongside Mike Williams. Palmer didn’t have the big night many were expecting, but his production was enough to help your fantasy team. The second-year wideout corralled four of eight targets from Justin Herbert for 30 yards and a much-needed touchdown with just over a minute left in the game.
It could have been a much better night, as some of the incompletions were simply due to poor throws from Herbet, and there was a DPI thrown in for good measure. If a few of those targets went Palmer’s way, we would be looking at this result in an entirely different light.
There were positives, though. For one, Palmer is clearly ahead of Jalen Guyton as the No. 3 wide receiver when both Allen and Williams are healthy. In Week 1, Palmer saw 24 snaps in the first half when the Chargers had a fully healthy WR corps. In Week 2, he saw the third-highest snap share of his career (90%) while having 96% route participation and a 19% target share.
While Williams doubled Palmer in air yards (52% to 26%), there is a clear answer as to who the next man up is in this offense if someone misses time, and that’s Palmer.
Monitor Chargers injuries ahead of Week 3
Luckily for the Chargers, the team has a long break after playing on Thursday Night Football. Justin Herbert played his guts out in the fourth quarter despite clearly being in pain after suffering a brutal shot to the ribs. Herbert could hardly throw the ball away, yet managed one of the most impressive throws you’ll ever see a barely-standing quarterback make to DeAndre Carter.
According to reports, Herbert is dealing with a cartilage issue in his ribs, something that is extremely painful to manage on game day. With that said, it is an injury that technically can be played through.
Chargers fantasy options should be downgraded heavily if backup Chase Daniels has to play. Even if Herbert does play, the possibility of him being limited or knocked out of the game after a hard hit are risk factors to take into account.
We have to monitor Allen’s status as well. The Chargers played it cautiously last week, but it appears the team is not overly concerned about his long-term availability. We could see Allen back on the field in Week 3. If so, Palmer would see his fantasy upside drop.
Palmer should be a popular fantasy waiver wire claim in Week 3
Palmer was on the short-list of waiver wire pickups last week and should remain so, as he is only rostered in 40.7% of leagues. Honestly, I’m surprised his rostered percentage only went up roughly 5% last week despite Allen being ruled out well in advance of game time.
The situation is more uncertain this week, but Palmer remains a worthwhile addition off the waiver wire based on his upside and the role we know he possesses in a high-powered Chargers offense.
Palmer has a solid matchup this week as well. The Jaguars are 20th in points allowed to the position so far this season and are tied for the second-most touchdowns allowed to WRs (4) despite having played the Washington Commanders in Week 1 and an Indianapolis Colts team that didn’t have Michael Pittman Jr. or Alec Pierce in Week 2.
He’s not a must-start, but Palmer has the talent and upside to be worth an addition off the waiver wire in Week 3. If things break right, he could consistently put up low-end WR3 numbers with the ceiling for more. At worst, he makes your bench stronger for the rest of the year.