Waiver Wire Week 4: Players to Add Under 50% Rostered

Before you ask, no, you don't need Rex Burkhead, but there are plenty of other interesting targets on the wire this week.

Whew, we finally have a chill week. No need to spend all night making FAAB bids and waiver claims, there are no new potential RB1s or anything like that this week. However, there are a lot of interesting stash plays, so this is a great week to shake things up on your bench and make sure you’ve got those high-upside guys as well as reliable flex plays should you need them, and there are quite a few of those on the wire this week. Along with this article, we have a weekly podcast going over the waiver wire, hosted by Frank Costanzo and Ryan Heath, that you should be sure to check out as well.

There’s still no reason to bust out the big FAAB bucks yet. There haven’t been any major shakeups, and you always have to be careful early in the season anyway. One of my league-mates dropped 57% of his FAAB budget on Devonta Freeman, and that did not get off to a good start. As I said earlier, this week is more about shaping your bench with the proper high-upside guys and keeping an eye ahead to the bye weeks and your needs there. We still have one more week with a full slate of games, but after that you’ll need to think about your depth, so better to get out in front of it now.

 

Running Backs

 

Myles Gaskin, Miami Dolphins (47% rostership on Yahoo/46% on ESPN)

 

Week after week, Myles Gaskin has climbed up this list, and this should absolutely be his last week on it. He fully took hold of this backfield, and while Jordan Howard is still sniping goal-line work and Matt Breida won’t completely go away, it’s clear that Gaskin is the go-to-guy. He now has 54 combined carries and targets, compared to Breida’s 17 and Howard’s 16 (and only 2 targets between them). The yardage still isn’t quite there, and he’s needed his receptions to be relevant in PPR leagues, but the opportunity is there and it’s only a matter of time until he finds the end zone. Gaskin should be a flex-worthy candidate for the foreseeable future.

FAAB Budget: 8-10%

 

Jeff Wilson Jr., San Francisco 49ers (23%/15%)
JaMycal Hasty, San Francisco 49ers (1%/1%)

 

While the yards per carry was certainly worrisome for Jeff Wilson Jr., the good news is he got just about 50% of the volume in the backfield, and that will likely remain the case until Raheem Mostert or Tevin Coleman come back. Coleman was placed on the IR, so he won’t be back until late October at the earliest, and there’s no official word on Mostert yet, but the 49ers shouldn’t need him to beat the Eagles this week and I expect that they will ease him back. Jerick McKinnon isn’t a bell-cow, so Wilson will continue to get lots of opportunities here, and there’s plenty of scoring to go around in this 49ers backfield. JaMycal Hasty is a stash pickup, but he becomes extremely valuable if there are more health issues in San Francisco.

FAAB Budget: 8-10% on Wilson, 1% on Hasty

 

Carlos Hyde, Seattle Seahawks (19%/10%)

 

Carlos Hyde would have been atop this list Sunday evening, but we’ve since found out that Chris Carson’s injury isn’t too severe, and there’s even a chance he could play this week. However, anything can happen when it comes to injuries, and the Seahawks will likely give Hyde more work the next week or two regardless to make sure not to overwork Carson. But if there are setbacks with his injury, or it ends up being more severe than initially thought, Hyde could become a very valuable running back in the league’s top offense.

FAAB Budget: 5-8%, if the injury is indeed more serious then 12-15%

 

Wide Receivers

 

Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings (31% rostership on Yahoo/34% on ESPN)

 

After an abysmal Week 2 for this Vikings offense, it was clear that they were going to need someone to step up in a big way, and Justin Jefferson did just that in Week 3. He received 9 targets, triple his outputs in both Weeks 1 and 2, and the most encouraging sign was that these targets came from all over the field. The Titans defense is pretty stout, so it’s not just a case of taking advantage of a bad defense. I’m not sure what to expect from Jefferson moving forward, especially since it means relying on Kirk Cousins and I don’t really want to have to do that, but Jefferson showed enough in Week 3 that he should at least be stashed everywhere.

FAAB Budget: 6-8%

 

Allen Lazard, Green Bay Packers (49%/39%)

 

I was high on Allen Lazard coming into this season, and with Aaron Rodgers on his “As you can see, I am not dead” tour, I feel even better about Lazard moving forward. The two clearly developed a rapport last year, and while obviously Davante Adams will soak up all the volume when he’s back, and we can’t ignore deep-threat Marquez Valdes-Scantling, I still think Rodgers can support Lazard moving forward. He’s been targeted all over the field, and he was clearly Rodgers’ main target with Adams gone. If Adams has to miss another game, it doesn’t get any better for Lazard than this Week 4 matchup against the Falcons.

FAAB Budget: 6-8%

 

Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers (28%/17%)

 

With lead WR Deebo Samuel out due to a Jones fracture in his foot, Brandon Aiyuhad a chance to become an integral part of this offense, and he delivered in Week 3, even with Nick Mullens under center. There’s still no clear information as to when Samuel or George Kittle will be back, so Aiyuk may be the top target in this passing game for another week. Jones fractures also have a high risk of reinjury, so there’s no guarantee that once Samuel is back that he will be here for the rest of the season. Aiyuk is a stash at this point, but he’s got high upside if things break his way.

FAAB Budget: 2-3%

 

Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals (5%/7%)

 

John Ross III was a healthy scratch on Sunday, meaning Higgins has officially moved ahead of him in the depth chart and should be entrenched as the starting third wide receiver on this Bengals team. AJ Green has not been able to be productive despite massive volume, and Joe Burrow may start looking elsewhere like he did on Sunday when he threw to Higgins 9 times. The Bengals are going to be playing from behind a lot and are clearly not afraid to throw it, and Higgins is a big athletic receiver who complements Tyler Boyd well. Given his size, he also should factor in a lot in red zone plays, giving him a decent chance at scoring a touchdown each week. Higgins is a fun upside play but he’s also someone you may cut in a few weeks, so act accordingly.

 

FAAB Budget: 2-3%

 

Greg Ward, Philadelphia Eagles (1%/0.3%)
Cole Beasley, Buffalo Bills (10%/10%)

 

I bunched these two guys together because they are pretty much on here for the same reason. Both should be seeing plenty of volume as a slot receiver due to injury (the Eagles have lost Jalen ReagorDallas Goedert, and likely Desean Jackson, and the Bills might be missing John Brown), and could be high-floor flex plays, especially as we start to enter the bye weeks next week. They both have cause for concern, with the Eagles having to face three of the top defenses in the 49ers, Steelers, and Ravens the next three weeks, but there are more mouths to feed in Buffalo. I personally would be targeting Beasley if I needed some help at WR, but Ward is worth a look too.

FAAB Budget: 1% or wait till waivers run and pick up for free

 

Tight Ends

 

Jimmy Graham, Chicago Bears (9% rostership on Yahoo/13% on ESPN)

 

After his big Week 3 performance, Jimmy Graham is actually tied for the league lead in TE touchdowns with 3, and that’s exactly what he’s going to need to continue to stay relevant. Nick Foles is used to going to his tight ends a lot, as he and Zach Ertz did quite well together in Philadelphia, but Graham is a few years older and a lot of steps slower than he used to be. I’ve put Graham on this list as he’s undoubtedly going to be the top tight end added this week, but he’s really touchdown-dependent and this is a Bears team that does not want to get into high scoring games. Will he have more games with a touchdown? Of course, but you don’t want to deal with all the weeks in between.

FAAB Budget: $0 (free after waivers run)

 

Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers (1%/0.2%)

 

Tonyan saw the second-most volume on Sunday, pulling down five receptions on five targets, and it looks like Rodgers is really going to continue to sling the ball this year. Volume was always our concern with him, and if the volume is there, then Tonyan is the tight end who will have the most to gain from it. This is absolutely a deep league pick up, or at best a stash, but he’s absolutely someone worth keeping an eye on.

FAAB Budget: $0 (free after waivers run)

 

Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys (31%/21%)
Mo Alie-Cox, Indianapolis Colts (10%/9%)

 

Last week I talked about both of these guys after they got a solid amount of volume, and while their volume did drop quite a bit here in Week 3, there was still plenty to be optimistic about. The Cowboys are going to be throwing the ball a lot this year, and they always get their TEs involved in the red zone. As for Alie-Cox, he only had 3 targets this week, but the Colts were in control all game long and Philip Rivers was spreading the love. We know when push comes to shove Rivers like to look for his tight ends, and Alie-Cox has proven two games in a row that he can be a dynamic playmaker with the ball in his hands. Of his 50 yards on the day, 29 of them came after the catch. I still think there are better tight ends out there, but if you have someone like Kittle or want to bench Evan Engram, these are definitely some of the best streaming tight ends out there.

FAAB Budget: 0% (free after waivers run)

 

Quarterback

 

Nick Foles, Chicago Bears (3%/0.9%)

 

It didn’t take long for the Bears to bench Mitch Trubisky, and it took an even shorter amount of time for Foles to remind everyone what he can do under center. He scored 18 points this week in just one half of football, and while he won’t be passing as much as the full-time starter, I still expect Foles to be able to make more of this offense than Trubisky did. If you find yourself needing a QB, Foles probably has the most upside of any QB on the wire right now.

FAAB Budget: 1-2%, I’m not spending on QB

 

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins (7%/6%)

 

Fitzpatrick has put together two solid starts in a row, combining for a 73% completion rate, 488 yards, and 4 touchdowns to no interceptions, and one of those games came against a tough Buffalo defense. Miami will likely be losing more games than they are winning, so Fitzpatrick will need to be throwing to keep them in the game, and they have a beautiful matchup this week against Seattle, a team that has allowed over 30 points in all of their games this season. This is obviously not a long term solution at QB, but he’s got the job for now and he’s doing well with it thus far.

 

FAAB Budget: $0 (free after waivers run)

 

 

Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire

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