Week 3 in the NFL season wasn’t quite the injury-fest we saw in Week 2, but there were plenty of performances worthy of looking at on the waiver wire. We also have the start of bye weeks coming next week, so it’s never going to be too early to look at replacements. That’s what we’re here to do with the NFL Week 4 Waiver Wire and keeping an eye towards the next few weeks as well!
*Note* The ownership referenced will be based on Yahoo and if this needs updated after Monday Night Football, it certainly will be before your waivers run.
After an opening game against the Patriots, The Beard has been in full effect for the Dolphins. Fitzpatrick has thrown for four touchdowns to zero interceptions the past two games, while racking up 488 yards. Really, that could be much higher but they beat the Jaguars handily on Thursday night and Fitzpatrick wasn’t needed. It didn’t hurt that he rushed for a score and 38 yards that game, but now comes the fun matchup against the Seahawks.
Not only should we expect Russell Wilson and his passing game to score boatloads of points (37 points per game, second in the NFL), the Seattle defense is atrocious defending the pass. They have given up the second-most passing yards through three games in history at 1,492. Seattle has lost safety Marquise Blair to injury, missed corners Quinton Dunbar and Neiko Thorpe last week and safety Jamal Adams left with a groin injury. Fitzpatrick has kept rookie Tua Tagovailoa out of action so far and should do it for at least another week. San Francisco is up for Week 5, and isn’t the most daunting matchup anymore.
The strength of schedule might not be the easiest for Foles coming up. He does draw the Colts, Buccaneers and Panthers in the next three weeks but he’s working with some talent and is the confirmed starter for Week 4. He pulled out an improbable win for the Bears against the Falcons (who are cursed but it’s still a Bears W). Foles wasn’t super accurate with just a 16/29 performance, but the three touchdowns sure helped. If only looking at one week, Fitzpatrick gets the nod. However, Foles could potentially be the better long-term choice as he could just take this job outright. A cast including Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller and I guess Jimmy Graham could be worse.
Kirk Cousins, Vikings – Houston in Week 4 is average, but Seattle in Week 5 is not. He’ll have to throw and Aaron Rodgers is on a bye that week. Cousins is a dynamite streamer to grab now if Rodgers is your quarterback.
The backfield for the 49ers is very difficult to make sense of at the moment. Here’s what we know – Tevin Coleman is on IR, so he’s out at least two more weeks. Jerick McKinnon did leave in the fourth quarter Sunday (the dominating score for the 49ers has to be noted). We could see Raheem Mostert back for this week, but that’s likely not going to be known before Wednesday waivers run.
I would still be chasing Wilson because he’s at worst the RB3 in this backfield in Week 4. Even just this past week, Wilson had five red zone attempts. Only McKinnon with seven has more, so his role is fairly defined. The upcoming schedule isn’t sparkling with the Eagles and Rams but he does have a Miami matchup sandwiched in-between. If I can get a double-digit touch back with red zone upside in a Kyle Shanahan offense, I’m doing it every time.
It’s a fairly thin week in NFL Week 4 Wavier Wire for the running back position. There’s two others that you could pick up, but they have some serious flaws. Let’s hit on them before diving into Gaskin.
Rex Burkhead, Patriots – Some might chase after his monster game, but predicting his work when James White comes back is near impossible.
Carlos Hyde, Seahawks – Chris Carson dodged a serious knee injury and could play this week. Additionally, the Seattle offense has flipped the switch to #LetRussCook and are now running the ball under 25 times a game.
I’m not spending a waiver spot or very much FAAB on either of those two, but Gaskin is moderately interesting. He holds the attempt lead at 38 to 16 for Jordan Howard and 15 for Matt Breida. He’s even slightly edged Howard for red zone attempts at 10 and has a 16.8% target share. The schedule does him no favors with Seattle, San Francisco and Denver as the next three but he’s getting a ton of work. The Broncos matchup got a little easier as this was written. Defensive lineman Jurrell Casey is out for Denver with a torn biceps. Gaskins’ workload is harder to ignore with each passing week.
A lot of folks are likely to have Justin Jefferson as their top pickup in the NFL Week 4 Waiver Wire. We’ll get to him in a minute, but I strongly believe Higgins could have the better rest of season and will almost certainly have more opportunities. Higgins ran 45 routes on 52 Joe Burrow drop backs on Sunday, most on the team. He’s already tied for third in targets behind only A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd, with a 19.3% air yard share.
Higgins is also tied for the red zone target lead at 4 with Drew Sample, along with three end zone targets. With Green really scuffling, Higgins could emerge as a Burrow favorite and was the 33rd overall pick in this year’s draft. Only Dallas has more pass attempts through three weeks, so the volume should be there even with Boyd and Green in the offense.
After two weeks of moderate fantasy irrelevance, Jefferson went nuclear on the Titans for a 7/175/1 line. He is vastly talented and appears to now be the clear number two behind Adam Thielen. That is something he boasts over Higgins. Jefferson ran 29 routes Sunday, three fewer than Thielen. What continues to worry me deeply is the volume in this offense.
Cousins has yet to throw more than 27 passes in any of the three games, and that included two of them were he should have been throwing quite a bit. Only Baltimore averages fewer pass attempts, and I have a feeling Minnesota is dead last after Monday Night Football. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jefferson has the larger short-term impact with Seattle and Atlanta before his bye week, but Higgins has the better long-term upside in my view. The standings might dictate your priority here.
Oh look, another rookie receiver! Aiyuk had the start of his season derailed by a hamstring injury so this was the first game we saw him really get his full usage. He had a rushing score and five receptions on eight targets, which led the team in Week 3. Any wide receiver that is going to flirt with double digit touches should always interest us, but there’s a pretty good reason Aiyuk is third in my view.
The main reason could be back as soon as this week in George Kittle. Not only has he missed two weeks, but Jordan Reed left this past week as well. Aiyuk pretty much had to get touches this week. Reportedly, Deebo Samuel is also just a week away from returning as well. That’s much more of a guess with a foot injury that required surgery. Still, Aiyuk’s role could fluctuate coming up. Be aware of that when spending FAAB to roster him.
Philly can just not keep anyone healthy on offense these past few seasons. Tight end Dallas Goedert is expected to miss time and that’s a huge loss. Receivers DeSean Jackson left Week 3 with an injury, Alshon Jeffery has been inactive for three weeks and Jalen Reagor is likely out until after the bye. Enter Greg Ward, who accounted for 11 targets this past week. In fact, Ward is only five targets off the team lead. He’s tied for the most red zone targets (only two, but still). The aDOT is nothing to get exciting about at 5.3 but in a PPR league, Ward can be a flex asset moving forward. The schedule is tougher than we’d like moving forward, but Philly might well be bare bones yet again.
Allen Lazard, Packers – He went bonkers on Sunday night. My only concern would be does he keep even a fraction of that up when Davante Adams gets back? Likely no, so the other receivers are higher priority for me with the exception of maybe Ward.
Andy Isabella, Cardinals – He paid off in a big way with two touchdowns in Week 3 but only ran 26 of 65 snaps. That sets him up for a floor of legitimately zero. You’d need to be in a deep league to take the chance.
This isn’t necessarily just chasing the big game from Graham. Do I believe he’s trustworthy? Not particularly, with a game of just one reception for 18 yards under his belt. However, the volume is actually quite good. He sits 11th among tight ends for targets and leads the entire position for red zone and end zone targets. That’s prior to Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews playing, but neither seem a threat to the red zone/end zone marks.
Graham is playing just about 70% of the snaps so far and has over a 16% target share. The air yards aren’t there with just 77 total but he’s making up for that with the touchdown upside. With a at least somewhat competent quarterback, Graham could have more big games in the future.
Eric Ebron, Steelers – He finally had a good fantasy game, but it did happen to come with Diontae Johnson just playing 19 snaps before injury. I’m far from sold on that.
Mo Alie-Cox, Colts – He had a fantasy relevant game with Jack Doyle in the lineup, but this offense is the fourth-slowest in pace and in the bottom eight in passing attempts per game.
Dalton Schultz, Cowboys – He’s done well for two weeks but fighting with Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb for touches and touchdowns isn’t a winning formula long-term.
NFL Week 4 Waiver Wire is not a good week to stream a defense. However, the Jets going against a Denver team on a short week makes some sense. The Broncos played a mix of Jeff Driskel and Brett Rypien at quarterback Sunday. Despite the score, the Jets defense didn’t play that poorly in Week 3. Of the 36 points, 14 came on pick-sixes from the Colts defense. They’ve generated six sacks when not facing an elite offensive line and have some relative upside on a short week.
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