Sunday wasn't the best day in NFL history for Fantasy-relevant waiver wire pickups, but there is one must-add wide receiver available in 25% of CBS Fantasy leagues who needs to be the No. 1 priority everywhere he is available: Cowboys receiver Michael Gallup.
Gallup returned after missing just two games due to a procedure on his knee, and looked no worse for the wear. He wasn't the star for the Cowboys against the Packers — it's hard to outshine 11 catches for 226 yards, which is what Amari Cooper did Sunday — but Gallup shined in his own right, hauling in seven of 14 passes thrown his way for 113 yards and a touchdown. That he did it against a Packers' pass defense that had been the second-stingiest in the NFL to opposing wide receivers only makes it more impressive.
Through three games, Gallup now has 339 yards, putting him less than 170 yards from matching his output for his entire rookie season. That he has managed to do it while Cooper has continued his emergence as a true No. 1 receiver is all the more notable. There was a time when a Dak Prescott-led offense could barely support one Fantasy relevant wide receiver; for the first half of last season, we would have been thrilled with one Fantasy relevant wide receiver. However, with new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore's offense opening things up for Prescott, it's not unreasonable to think both Cooper and Gallup can continue to thrive.
And this may not just be a one-game overreaction: Gallup drew rave reviews for his performance in training camp, was a third-round pick just a year ago, and started to come on toward the end of last season, too. In fact, in his last seven games, including the playoffs, Gallup has 34 catches for 579 yards, and three touchdowns. Play that out over a 16-game pace, and you've got a solid No. 2 Fantasy wide receiver, at least.
That kind of player typically isn't available on the wire in the middle of the season, but in ESPN leagues, Gallup is on the wire in 31.8% of leagues, along with those 25% of CBS Fantasy leagues. Add it up, and there are thousands upon thousands of leagues where Gallup is just sitting there, for free. He could be this year's Tyler Boyd, so make sure you go grab him if he's out there.
If he's not, here are some other options to consider as he look ahead to Week 6:
Early Waiver Targets
Keke Coutee WR
HOU Houston • #16
Age: 23 • Experience: 3 yrs.
You'd be forgiven for not noticing anyone else in the Texans offense after the game Will Fuller just had, but Coutee's return to Fantasy relevance might have especially flown under the radar. He caught three of four passes for 72 yards, putting him third on the team in each category. The Texans want to run the ball early and often, but we've also seen Deshaun Watson be efficient enough to support three Fantasy viable options in the passing game before. With Kenny Stills dealing with a hamstring injury, this could be Coutee's opportunity to break back into the rotation.
JAC Jacksonville • #12
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
D.J. Chark pretty clearly seems to be Gardner Minshew's top option in the passing game, but Westbrook has begun to turn his season around. After having just 79 yards through the first three games of the season, he has 148 over the last two, including seven catches for 82 yards on 11 targets Sunday. Westbrook has 26 targets over the last three games, too, and if that kind of workload continues, he's going to be Fantasy relevant, especially with Minshew continuing to transform from a gimmick to something resembling a legitimate NFL quarterback.
Jon Hilliman RB
NYG N.Y. Giants • #28
Age: 24 • Experience: 1 year
Saquon Barkley is pushing to get back in time for Week 6, but that matchup against the Patriots is set for Thursday, so there just may not be enough time. If he can't get back, it looks like Hilliman could be staring at a starting opportunity, after Wayne Gallman left Sunday's game with a concussion. Hilliman, an undrafted free agent from Rutgers, has neither pedigree nor college production to fall back on, so don't expect much from him. However, Giants running backs seem to come up with 15-20 touches every week no matter who they are, so he'll be a Fantasy relevant option if Barkley's ankle does keep him out one more week.
CAR Carolina • #11
Age: 27 • Experience: 5 yrs.
To say things haven't gone the way the Jets planned it so far is an almost laughable understatement. That'll happen when your starting quarterback gets mono after Week 1 and misses three games and counting. However, Darnold was close enough to playing this week that he took most of the first-team reps in practice, so it's not inconceivable that he could return in Week 6. Crowder had 14 catches in the only game Darnold played this season, while Anderson was a popular mid-round breakout candidate who showed star potential late last season. Things have gone off the rails, but if Darnold is back next week, there is still time to right the ship.
LAR L.A. Rams • #81
Age: 26 • Experience: 4 yrs.
You might have forgotten because Everett played all the way back on Thursday, but he had a pretty massive performance. Even with Tyler Higbee back in the fold, Everett was dominant, hauling in seven of 11 passes for 136 yards, giving him 12 catches for 180 yards and a touchdown over the last two games. We'll see if that kind of usage continues — historically, Higbee and Everett have split work too evenly for either to be Fantasy relevant, though they did combine for 57 catches, 612 yards, and five touchdowns last season. With the running game not working as well as in the past, there could be more opportunities for a someone like Everett to break into the Rams' circle of trust.
NYG N.Y. Giants • #86
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Slayton made his NFL debut with three catches for 82 yards in Week 3, and has been increasing his workload ever since. He led the team with 62 yards on four catches, including a pretty touchdown while matched up against Vikings star corner Xavier Rhodes. Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram (10 and 11 targets) were still the top options, while Daniel Jones looked Golden Tate's way six times as well, but Slayton has been impressive enough early in his career to consider putting out a waiver claim for him. There is a youth movement afoot in New York, and he figured to be a bigger part of the team's plans than Tate, at least.