After several featured veteran players out-performed their projections and pulled through as streamers in Week 2, Week 3 was set to be the moment when everyone got in before it was too late on the likes of breakout candidates like Michael Carter, Rondale Moore, and/or Cole Kmet. The problem was, those rookies or second-year (Kmet) prospects performed like many in their shoes have in the past; they display mouth-watering skills at points throughout the early season, see a week where their opportunities spike, and maybe they hit on a touchdown, then follow that up with a total drop in usage or performance. The lack of consistency is one of the most frustrating things with younger players, but it is not uncommon if a player fails to reach their true ceiling within their first three campaigns. Some young players do not break out until the second half, some do not break out at all.
I would love to hit on every single recommendation I make in these articles and lead everyone (myself included) to fantasy glory, but there is never one perfect solution to finding impact streamers. In the end, I feel it is best to shoot your shot on whichever type of streamer fits your team’s needs: boring but reliable depth players with safe floors, volatile but high-ceiling lottery tickets, and young players who others have given up on after a slow start. Since every fantasy team is different, you will be seeing a mix of all those varieties this season, with Week 4 featuring an eclectic mix of start and stash candidates.
* Players marked with an asterisk below can also be found in the priority waiver wire adds article referenced at the end. If anyone featured below is at risk of not playing or is relegated to a bench role late in the week, I will do my best to keep you all updated on Twitter (@BrandonMillerFB). All players below are under 65%-rostered as of 09/29/21.
Sony Michel (RB, Los Angeles Rams)
Michel’s ceiling for Week 4 will largely be determined by the availability of regular lead back Darrell Henderson Jr, who sat last week with a rib injury while Michel logged 20 carries for 67 yards along with three catches for 12 yards. If Henderson is full-go, I would revert to one of the other options below, but if he is ruled out or expected to be limited, Michel is a solid floor play in standard and half-PPR leagues. The Rams’ upcoming clash with the Cardinals has the makings of a shootout, so even if both backs split time, you could roll the dice on Michel to find the end zone on one of L.A.’s scoring opportunities.
Ronald Jones II (RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
The fact that Jones is now widely available as a streamer under 65%-rostered is telling of the type of season he has been having so far. With Leonard Fournette and Giovani Bernard occupying essentially all of the workloads in the passing game among Bucs’ RBs, Jones has been left to whatever carries become available (just 15 total carries through three weeks). Frankly, there are several other options I would put in front of Jones this week (slot him behind Tony Pollard below), but Bruce Arians have a penchant for riding the hot hand at RB and this offense should continue to churn out red zone opportunities. Although this is not exactly a ringing endorsement for Jones this week, he can be added for basically free right now and was seen as a potential difference-maker coming into the season. New England is top-five against opposing WRs in fantasy points allowed, so the Bucs may try to impose their will in the run game more than usual.
Other names to consider (in order): Zack Moss (68% ESPN, top add if available), Michael Carter, Tony Pollard (64% ESPN), Latavius Murray, J.D. McKissic, Mark Ingram, Peyton Barber, Kenneth Gainwell, Ty Johnson, AJ Dillon, Giovani Bernard, Malcolm Brown, Carlos Hyde, David Johnson, Royce Freeman, Tony Jones Jr, Damien Williams, J.J. Taylor.
* Tim Patrick (WR, Denver Broncos)
With Jerry Jeudy (IR) and K.J. Hamler (season-ending ACL injury) on the shelf, Patrick is now left to split targets with Courtland Sutton and Noah Fant in a series of matchups against middle-of-the-road pass defenses. Patrick has 10+ fantasy points in each of the Broncos’ games this year (one TD or 98 yards) and should continue to be an unexciting, but serviceable option as a WR3/WR4 for the foreseeable future. He is available in over 2/3 of leagues as a solid depth option who can help you get through any injury woes or potential upcoming bye week struggles.
Hunter Renfrow (WR, Las Vegas Raiders)
I would take any of the names below (up to Christian Kirk) over Renfrow this week, but if you are looking for a reliable depth WR in leagues that award points per reception, Renfrow is someone to monitor. You could best characterize him as a bench stash, bye-week fill-in, or deep-league add for now, but he has a good rapport with Derek Carr and his 6.5 average yards-after-catch per reception is 9th among all WRs. This is not the type of add/ stream that will wow any of your league mates, but if you are simply searching for a solid points floor of around 10 PPR points, you could do much worse than Renfroe.
Other names to consider (in order): Jakobi Meyers, Rondale Moore, Cole Beasley (60% Yahoo), Henry Ruggs III (53% Yahoo), Emmanuel Sanders, Jaylen Waddle (66% Yahoo), Christian Kirk, Darnell Mooney, Jalen Reagor, Laviska Shenault (59% Yahoo), DeVante Parker, Bryan Edwards, Nelson Agholor, Will Fuller V (63% Yahoo), Marquez Callaway, Darius Slayton, Zach Pascal, Mecole Hardman, Elijah Moore, Terrace Marshall Jr, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Sammy Watkins, Gabriel Davis, Quintez Cephus, DeSean Jackson, K.J. Osborn, Dyami Brown.
Dawson Knox (TE, Buffalo Bills)
Knox checks a number of the boxes you look for in a prospective TE streamer: plays in a good offense that visits the red zone often has the athleticism to run after the catch or make plays in the red zone and has a high catch percentage (10-of-12 targets, 83.33%). If you are playing the weekly game of TE roulette and want to aim for something long-term, my favorites below would be Cook or Schultz, but I think Knox may gradually see his role grow if he continues to make plays when called upon. The Bills’ receiving options are plentiful, so I would hesitate to tout Knox as a priority add, but he has the skills to ascend if others around him fall off or succumb to injuries.
Other names to consider (in order): Jared Cook, Mike Gesicki (63% Yahoo, 68% ESPN), Tyler Conklin, Hunter Henry, Dalton Schultz, Austin Hooper, Jonnu Smith (53% Yahoo), Gerald Everett, Jack Doyle, Evan Engram, Zach Ertz, Blake Jarwin, Cole Kmet, Maxx Williams, Adam Trautman, Anthony Firkser, Pat Freiermuth.
Accountability is everything, so here’s a quick look back at last week’s recommendations
Latavius Murray (RB, Baltimore Ravens): There was not much to take away from Week 3 other than it was a disappointing performance where the mostly neutral game script did not lead to increased carries against the Lions, as expected. Murray did still lead all Ravens RBs in carries (seven for 28 yards), so there is still a role there, but it will be hard for him to reach Flex-level value regularly unless he can get somewhere around 13+ carries or find the end zone.
Michael Carter (RB, New York Jets): The Jets scored zero points on Sunday, which means there were not a ton of fantasy points to go around. I still think Carter is worth hanging onto as the most talented runner-receiver out of the backfield, but it might take a few weeks until he finds his footing as a regular that fantasy managers can trust as a Flex/RB3. You still have to be encouraged by his share of the backfield in Week 3 (nine carries for 24 yards vs just three carries for Ty Johnson), so my advice would be to hang tight for now while we see how this young group starts to come together.
Rondale Moore (WR, Arizona Cardinals): One of the potential drawbacks mentioned last week came true as the Cardinals’ supporting cast absorbed 32 total targets while Moore hauled in just two for one yard and one rush for three yards. If any fantasy managers in your league spite-drop Moore after this dud, I think you should happily scoop him up plug him into your lineup when a home-run play is needed. He is too talented to have many weeks like this past one, even if they are not all the caliber of his Week 2 breakout.
Sammy Watkins (WR, Baltimore Ravens): Honestly, on an otherwise ugly offensive day for a lot of fantasy regulars in the Baltimore-Detroit game, Watkins put up a respectable performance with four catches for 68 yards on a team-leading seven targets (tied with Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews). He will likely remain the third option among Ravens pass-catchers until Rashod Batemon is officially back from injury and should have performances like this more often than not as long as the targets/ playing time is there.
Cole Kmet (TE, Chicago Bears): I do not think it would be beneficial to besmirch the name of Cole Kmet after a week where the entire Chicago offense looked rough, but he is an easy cut until the Bears’ QB, whoever it may be, shows any signs of delivering to the TE on a more regular basis.
Make sure to check out AJ Passman’s priority waiver wire adds article every Tuesday for more insights on who you should be submitting claims for heading into each Wednesday. Good luck in Week 4!
(Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)