Waiver Wire: Week 4

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To say that week 3 in the NFL was crazy may be a bit of an understatement. There were plenty of fantasy breakouts, surprising duds, upsets and blowouts that most of us didn’t see coming. Throughout the chaos however, we were fortunate enough to not lose too many players to injury, meaning another quiet week on the waiver wire. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as it’s still early in the season and you’d always rather wait 3-4 weeks before given up on someone you drafted or spent part of your auction budget on. Still, we did potentially see the end of a career for the great Darren Sproles who somehow tore his ACL and broke his arm on the same play. Just downright brutal. His potential replacement is one of just four must add fantasy options in this weeks Waiver Wire.

NOTE: Players mentioned will be owned in 40% or less of ESPN leagues. MUST ADD will be a recommended add in all leagues. MAYBE ADD is for those in 12 team leagues or deeper. DEEP ADD is for those in 14+ team leagues. 

QUARTERBACKS

Eli Manning (New York Giants) –17.3% OWNED – MAYBE ADD

Eli’s huge game yesterday just shows the type of value he can have when he has his whole supporting cast around him healthy. It was good to see him take a step in the right direction, throwing for 366 yards and distributing them quite evenly among 4 targets. He’s still more of a match up play, but it was good to see that this offense is still going to be tough to defend through the air.

Tyrod Taylor (Buffalo Bills) – 10.6% OWNED – MAYBE ADD

After struggling week 2, Taylor was an efficient game manager against the Broncos on Sunday, posting a very respectable line against that defensive juggernaut. He only managed 12 yards on the ground which is unlike him but at least he didn’t turn the ball over. He has a favorable string of match ups ahead of him in which he will be asked to do a lot, making him a good QB2 or bye week fill in the next month or so.

Deshaun Watson (Houston Texans) – 11.4% OWNED – MAYBE ADD

Coming out of college, one of the big draws to Watson was his ability to perform in big games/clutch situations. That showed Sunday as he did all he could to win the Texans a game on the road in New England as 14 point underdogs. Most importantly, he proved he can move the ball efficiently with his arm and isn’t just some gimmicky mobile QB. He will have ups and downs this year, but can be played in certain match ups.

RUNNING BACKS

Wendall Smallwood (Philadelphia Eagles) – 2.4% OWNED – MUST ADD

The Eagles suddenly find themselves really thin at the RB position, after losing both Darren Sproles and Donnell Pumphrey within a week. Legarrette Blount is a one trick pony, only to be utilized in early down and short yardage/goal line opportunities so that leaves Smallwood to get the rest of the RB work. He should see all the passing down work, and should probably see 15+ touches a week. He’s a must add in PPR formats as well as standard 12 team leagues. Corey Clement also makes for an intriguing deep league or dynasty add as the 3rd back on the depth chart.

Alvin Kamara (New Orleans Saints) – 11.3% OWNED – MUST ADD

Kamara is still only owned in 10.7% of ESPN which is even more shocking considering ESPN’s default setting this year is a PPR format. He continues to be used often in the passing game and looks like a more effective runner at this point than Adrian PetersonHe’s a legitimate talent in a great offense, making him a ddefinite add in all PPR leagues, and in 12 team standards as well. 

Jamaal Charles (Denver Broncos) – 22.2% OWNED – MAYBE ADD

Charles keeps continuing to look better and better as the season moves along, and now has totaled 142 yards on 28 carries. Charles has looked awesome and the Broncos coaching staff certainly agrees after given Charles more carries than C.J. Anderson this week. It’s still likely that the two continue to split carries but he may have earned himself a bigger piece of the timeshare pie going forward. He could also be a borderline RB1 if Anderson were to ever get injured.

D’Onta Foreman (Houston Texans) – 5.1% OWNED – MAYBE ADD

It’s becoming more and more clear each week that Foreman is the best back in Houston right now. Lamar Miller hasn’t shown any type of explosiveness this season and doesn’t run with the power Foreman does. The poor o-line play hurts whomever is given the ball, but there should still be room for fantasy value here behind their talented defense and improving passing game. Don’t be surprised to see Foreman take over lead back duties by mid-season with Miller becoming the change of pace back he really is.

Orleans Darkwa (New York Giants) – 0.3% OWNED – MAYBE ADD

If it weren’t for his injury history and terrible o-line play, Darkwa would be a borderline must add. He is clearly the teams most effective early down running back and the offense could certainly benefit from some semblance of a running game to take some pressure of Eli and passing attack. It sounds like the back injury he suffered on Sunday is minor, so he could be a sneaky good add in 12+ teamers.

Alex Collins (Baltimore Ravens) – 0.2% OWNED – MAYBE ADD

Collins has racked up some nice yardage totals now in back to back weeks, albeit both games were blowouts by the time he saw most of his carries. He is still trending in the right direction and could work his way into some early down work with Terrance West banged up and struggling and Buck Allen more of a change of pace/passing down back. It’s still tough to recommend someone who will likely be locked into a 3 way committee at the position.

Samaje Perine (Washington Redskins) – 13.9% OWNED – DEEP ADD

Perine hasn’t been very good the past 2 weeks when given valuable opportunities, turning 40 carries into only 116 yards. Rob Kelley should be able to go this week, making Perine, who is banged up himself (hand), just a deep stash at this point.

Branden Oliver (San Diego Chargers) – 0.3% OWNED – DEEP ADD

It looks like Melvin Gordon escaped Sundays game with only a scare, as he was removed with just a bone bruise on his knee. Since it doesn’t seem like Gordon will miss anytime, Oliver is best left as a deep league stash/handcuff, especially given how ineffective he was Sunday.

Elijah McGuire (New York Jets) – 0.1% OWNED – DEEP ADD

McGuire continues to mix in with Bilal Powell and Matt Forte (who left the game with a toe injury) but could see more snaps for the rebuilding Jets the further we get into the season. He has a respectable 63 yards on 13 carries so far, although he did lose a fumble on Sunday which could hurt his chances to see increased touches anytime soon.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Marqise Lee (Jacksonville Jaguars) – 33.5% OWNED – MUST ADD

Lee did all his damage in the first half of Sunday’s blowout win, turning 4 catches into 65 yards. He certainly seems to be Blake Bortles favorite option in the passing game, and with Bortles looking surprisingly competent Sunday and it looks like the Jaguars passing game should at least be able to support Lee as a WR3/Flex play on a weekly basis.

Sterling Shepard (New York Giants) – 32.3% OWNED – MUST ADD

Shepard showed off his big play ability on Sunday, taking a slant route 77 yards for a TD. He will likely be up and down this season with the offense still not a sure thing despite the solid week and there being 4-5 mouths to feed in it, but he should be a flex play in certain match ups. If I were to guess, I’d say he winds up with the second most targets on the team, but Brandon Marshall did show some signs of life this weekend so that is still up in the air.

Devin Funchess (Carolina Panthers) – 11.2% OWNED – MAYBE ADD

Despite a mediocre stat line Sunday, Funchess still saw 10 targets and with Greg Olsen out and Kelvin Benjamin banged up, could very well wind up seeing 8+ targets a game the next few weeks. He still needs better QB play from Cam Newton and he himself needs to be more efficient in order for him to be a trustworthy fantasy option. He’s probably a better add for those in PPR leagues, as he doesn’t do much down the field.

Geronimo Allison (Green Bay Packers) – 0.5% OWNED – MAYBE ADD

Allison was used as the Packers 3rd wideout on Sunday with Randall Cobb injured, leading to a big game (6 for 122). Cobb’s injury isn’t too serious, but it may keep him out this Thursday night, meaning Allison could have at least one more valuable game in him. Even still, Rodgers typically produces 3 valuable fantasy receivers, so Allison wouldn’t be he worst receiver to stash in case one of the big 3 suffer a serious injury.

Allen Hurns (Jacksonville Jaguars) – 11.4% OWNED – MAYBE ADD

Hurns continues to be the second option in the passing game at best, but he is also a favorite of Blake Bortles in the red zone. It may be tough for the Jaguars to sustain two fantasy relevant receivers each week, so Hurns is better off as a match up play or a flex option in deeper leagues. He is still not a bad option to stash on your bench anyway, with just the oft injured Marqise Lee ahead of him.

Jermaine Kearse (New York Jets) – 34.4% OWNED – MAYBE ADD

Kearse faded back to mediocrity this week, which was mostly expected, and saw 3 less targets than Robby Anderson. It’s very possible the two of them will alternate the bulk of the target share week to week, making it really hard to trust either of them

Robby Anderson (New York Jets) – 1.7 % OWNED – DEEP ADD

Anderson finally had a big game, posting 95 yards most of which was from a 69 yard TD on a deep ball from Josh McCown. A favorite sleeper pick heading into the season, this could potentially be the game to get him going now. He is still not someone to trust just yet, but his big play ability makes him worth a look in deep leagues.

Paul Richardson (Seattle Seahawks) – 3% OWNED – DEEP ADD

3 weeks into the season and Richardson has yet to give up any ground on the #2 receiver job to Tyler Lockett. Richardson saw 4 more targets in this game, but he did wind up with the same amount of catches as Lockett, with that number being just 2 (they both had 30 yards as well). The higher target total is still nice to see and Richardson has also now scored in back to back games which is certainly nice to see.

Josh Doctson (Washington Redskins) – 33.4% OWNED – DEEP ADD

Doctson finally got himself on the stat sheet, and did so with a highlight reel TD catch on 52 yard deep ball from Kirk Cousins. It was his only catch of the game, but the big play should earn him more trust from his QB and some more playing time.

Travis Benjamin (San Diego Chargers) – 1.2% OWNED – DEEP ADD

With Hunter Henry being used almost strictly as a blocker for some reason, Benjamin was able to see more targets in the passing game as the 3rd receiver in most sets. He ended up with 105 yards on 5 catches, and showed that his speed/talent combo can make him fantasy relevant again if given the opportunity. However he’s only a tentative add at the moment until he can prove he can do it consistently.

TIGHT END

Charles Clay (Buffalo Bills) – 8.2% OWNED – MAYBE ADD 

Clay won’t be posting 100 yard games anytime soon, but he continues to serve as Tyrod Taylors security blanket and favorite target. He is only a must add in PPR leagues, and still, will probably need to find the end zone to have TE1 value on a weekly basis. He’s still best as a streamer/bye week filler.

Ben Watson (Baltimore Ravens) – 3% OWNED – MAYBE ADD

In a game where the Ravens passing attack was basically non-existent, Watson was still able to salvage his fantasy day with a late TD. It’s going the be tough to trust him if Joe Flacco and the offensive line don’t improve, but still figures to be a big part of the passing game as Flacco’s 2nd or 3rd option.

Evan Engram (New York Giants) – 18% OWNED – MAYBE ADD

Engram has been as consistent as they come over the first 3 weeks, posting either 4-5 catches and 44-49 yards in each game. Theres obviously a limited ceiling in this offense for him, but he still makes for a decent bye week fill in and in weeks when he finds the end zone, could finish as a top 10 tight end.

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Rick Graham

Currently reside in Foxboro, MA so you can guess where my loyalties lie. Seasoned fantasy football vet who craves for the return of the true feature back. I also contribute over at PitcherList.com.

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