Can you believe we’re already hitting the quarter-mark of the NFL season? Trying to cover off injuries for your fantasy football team remains the theme this week, and of course searching out those hidden gems to slot into a lineup.
Below are my top waiver wire pickups at multiple positions for Week 4. As always, ask me any fantasy questions on Twitter @AndyMc81 using #AskAndy.
Justin Jefferson, WR, Vikings
Yahoo! League Ownership: 31%
I loved the first-round draft pick of Justin Jefferson by the Vikings this past April, but thought it would take him a bit longer to bust loose. The rookie’s ahead of schedule, exploding for seven receptions, 175 yards and a TD in the loss to Tennessee.
To me, he’s more of a long-term waiver add with juicy matchups against the Seahawks and Falcons coming up following a more difficult test against the Houston secondary on Sunday. We know Minnesota’s passing-game script can be inconsistent, but Jefferson should continue to see single coverage as opposing defences focus on WR1 Adam Thielen. As I always say, opportunity equals success in fantasy football so scoop up the Louisiana native while you can.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Dolphins
Yahoo! League Ownership: 7%
The ultimate roll of the dice — Ryan Fitzpatrick as a streaming fantasy quarterback. We’ve been down this road many times before, folks, and it seems that the “Fitzmagic” can vanish as quickly as it appears. Well, I’m waving the wand this week, so let’s go!
Facing the high-scoring visiting Seahawks will force the Dolphins to the air and hopefully lead to a banner day for Fitzpatrick. For one thing, Seattle is giving up the most fantasy points to QBs. What’s more, the 37-year-old Harvard graduate can also provide some bonus FPTs with his legs as we saw when he ran in for a score last Thursday.
You and I both know that streaming Fitzpatrick is a boom-or-bust proposition. But if you’re in need of quarterback help or looking for a contrarian play in DFS, at least this matchup offers a ton of potential.
Carlos Hyde, RB, Seahawks
Yahoo! League Ownership: 19%
The waiver wire choices at running back are razor thin entering Week 4. That’s why Carlos Hyde tops my list as Seattle gets ready to face the Dolphins likely without lead RB Chris Carson.
My concern comes in touches between Hyde and third-stringer Travis Homer, who is the better receiver out of the backfield. While not explosive, Hyde is a thicker and more violent rusher who should get the nod on goal-line carries.
It’ll be important to track Carson’s practice participation throughout the week to see his status versus Miami. If he does dress, then I would fade on all Seahawk running backs.
Robert Tonyan, TE, Packers
Yahoo! League Ownership: 1%
If you are desperate for tight end, at least you know that Green Bay’s Robert Tonyan is available. Owned in just 1% of Yahoo! leagues, Tonyan’s emerged from a crowded position group as the only real playmaking option for Aaron Rodgers.
The third-year pro has a touchdown in each of the last two games, saw his targets rise to five this past Sunday, and delivered back-to-back double-digit FPTs in PPR.
The obvious question is what happens when Davante Adams is back fully healthy, but I believe the 6’5” Indiana State alum is worth a flier against a reeling Falcons team that’s allowed the second-most fantasy points to tight ends.
Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Jaguars
Yahoo! League Ownership: 29%
This is the perfect time to buy low on Laviska Shenault Jr. after the Jaguars were embarrassed last Thursday night. There’s huge bounce-back opportunity for Jacksonville’s offence facing a lacklustre Bengals D, and Jags offensive coordinator Jay Gruden continues to look for more ways to get the ball to their dynamic rookie. Shenault has lined up as a wide receiver, running back and even out of the wildcat so far in this young season.
It will be interesting to see how this versatile weapon is unleashed. Cincinnati’s overall tackling is horrendous, they possess the 31st-ranked rushing defence, and yet have given up the second-fewest fantasy points to WRs. Shenault could be a tremendous asset to the Jags this weekend if he’s deployed creatively.