Fantasy football is incredible. In fact, it’s the best game ever invented. But, like the summer and it’s sunshine brings in the mosquitoes. Football brings injuries. And, while many of us are concerned for the player who goes down, we immediately think to how it will impact our fantasy rosters.
A single injury can turn a fantasy football season upside down.
Last season, we saw an injury, to the first draft pick in almost every fantasy draft, Christian McCaffrey. Many teams who had him went from championship favorites, to just hoping to make the playoffs.
While you’ve probably heard the saying “you can’t win a championship at the draft”, that’s true, because actively seeking the best waiver adds week-to-week is where championships are truly won. This week we saw injuries to big name players like McCaffrey, AJ Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Sterling Shepard, and James White. While none will likely be out long, or even at all, the void they leave has to be filled by someone. And it’s up to us to find that someone.
The team, over at FantasyPros, and I will be keeping tabs on all their progress or setbacks throughout the week. But just as important, who will see an increase in opportunity. In the meantime, let’s improve those rosters with the best Week 4 waiver wire adds!
If it’s your first time reading, I go through all my leagues looking for the best available players and share them with you in hopes they are the missing pieces to your championship roster.
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals: Not a lot of volume, but a whole lot of production. That was the story Sunday, for the former LSU standout, as he threw three touchdowns on just 18 attempts. He will now face the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday, followed by two games against team’s ranked 24th or worst against the pass— Green Bay and Detroit. This is stretch you don’t want to miss out on.
Taylor Heinicke, Washington Football Team: Heinicke put up 27 fantasy point, in most leagues, against a top 5 Bills’ defense. It wasn’t always pretty, but it worked. Now heading to Atlanta he becomes one of the top streams of the week. Three of his next four opponents are ranked 27th or worse against the pass—Atlanta, Green Bay and Kansas City. If you have a quarterback you aren’t overly happy with, along with an extra bench spot, Heinicke could be one to take a chance on.
Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers: Darnold has been solid, currently the QB11 after finishing as the QB5 in Week 3, he’s getting progressively better each week. He was forced to use his legs more frequently in goal-to-go situations with McCaffrey out. If that were to continue it could pay nice dividends for fantasy managers who pick him up.
Honorable Mention: Derek Carr- His next four games will be against opposing defenses all ranked in the top 11, which kept him off this list but the upside is there for the long-haul.
Chuba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers: Hubbard is a fourth-round rookie who had an outstanding career at Oklahoma State where he rushed for over 2,000 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns in 2019. Had he produced similar to that in 2020 (covid season) he would have likely been drafted among the top backs. But what’s done is done, he will now get a chance to showcase his talents at the highest level. McCaffrey pulled his hamstring Thursday night. Following the injury Hubbard saw 11 carries and five targets, while operating as the team’s RB1, ahead of former Broncos running back Royce Freeman. While McCaffrey won’t be placed on IR, meaning he could return in less than three weeks, Hubbard is still this week’s top-add. Based on the expected volume alone he offers and solid floor with great upside, making him a top 20 play Week 4 against Dallas.
James Conner, Arizona Cardinals: After two weeks of failing to go over 5.3 fantasy points in a game, many fantasy managers wrote Conner off. If he now sits on waivers in your league, he’s someone you should consider adding. Though very touchdown dependent, he has still seen at least nine touches a game and offers incredible upside in the scenario Chase Edmonds were to go down.
Malcolm Brown, Miami Dolphins: Seven carries is nothing to write home about, yet that’s exactly what I’m doing. But in a Tua-less offense I expect them to lean on the run. While Myles Gaskin is likely rostered in your league, I’m certain Brown is not. And, while I wouldn’t say he’s as talented as James Conner above, the situation is similar. He’s a hard-to-trust touchdown dependent back as of now, but worth the stash in case of Gaskin injury.
Peyton Barber, Las Vegas Raiders: With Josh Jacobs recovering from an ankle injury, Oakland turned to Barber (not Kenyan Drake) as their No. 1 back. In Week 3, Barber carried 23 times for 111 yards and a touchdown. Not to go unnoticed, Barber also saw five targets. While the rushing volume figures to be there until Jacobs returns, his addition in the passing game solidifies his floor making him a must-add in all leagues.
Honorable Mention: Royce Freeman- The backfield workload seemed to be leaning heavily towards Hubbard, but if Freeman clears waivers and becomes a free agent, he’s worth stashing if you have the room.
Robby Anderson, Carolina Panthers: A lot like James Conner, fantasy managers know the talent, but the production has forced them to drop him. It’s no secret that DJ Moore has become Darnold’s No.1 target, but if you have the bench space, and Anderson was dropped in your league, I’m asking that you pick him up and give him just a few more weeks to see if the chemistry will spark. If not, give up then, but it’s been just three games… Sometimes fantasy is a game of patience.
Emmanuel Sanders, Buffalo Bills: Here’s an insider tip for you: If Josh Allen is throwing them passes, add them. Kidding, but really. While Stefon Diggs will always be Allen’s No.1, Sanders, the leading receiver from New Orleans last year, continues to show he still has something left. So while Sanders may not be the one or even the two in Buffalo, this offense is one of the best, and if any offense can keep three receivers fantasy relevant the Bills’ are a good one to bet on. With bye-weeks coming Sanders could be a key depth piece.
DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins: Even without Tua at the helm and Fuller back, Parker was targeted seven times. He will now face back-to-back defenses ranked 26th or worse against the pass— Indianapolis and Tampa Bay. For teams that went robust running back in the draft, Parker could have some flex appeal thanks to the match-ups, otherwise he is just another solid depth piece.
Hunter Renfrow, Las Vegas Raiders: Oakland’s offense is rolling. And, with that, Mr. Renfrow has been kept fairly busy. He has five or more receptions and at least 57 receiving yards in every game so far this season. That’s over 10 fantasy points a game, so while not earth shattering—solid. He’s worth the add.
AJ Green, Arizona Cardinals: For the last two weeks this article has featured Chirstian Kirk and Rondale Moore. Now that fantasy managers have listened and they are mostly rostered, it’s AJ Green who makes his debut here. Green had his best fantasy game in a long time, mostly benefiting from Hopkins being less than a 100 percent. In deeper leagues, I’m all for stashing him. In other leagues, I recommend monitoring Hopkins status throughout the week. If he looks less than 100 percent and Green is on the wire, pick him up for free.
Honorable Mention: Marquez Valdes-Scantling, DeSean Jackson, Anthony Miller and for deeper leagues Kalif Raymond.
Tyler Conklin, Minnesota Vikings: With Smith on IR, Conklin caught seven passes for 70 yards and a touchdown. He could be more than just a weekly streamer. But a plug-and-play for the remainder of the season for those looking to solidify their tight end position.
Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins: There he is, after back-to-back weeks of little to no production, Gesicki is back. He appeared out of no where catching 10-of-12 targets for 86 yards. He’s a great add, with great talent. It also helps to see how much Brissett appears to like him as a target. Just temper expectation, for fantasy, as Gesicki is known for having high highs and low lows.
Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys: This will be most of your league mates first option at the tight end position. Rightfully so, he caught two touchdowns on six receptions Monday night. But to me, this offense still has too many mouths to feed for six receptions to become the new normal. Therefore, I’ll put a bid in for him, but likely won’t win it. He’s a great stream week-to-week for those betting on strictly upside at the position.
Honorable Mention: Hunter Henry, Dawson Knox, Austin Hooper and Zach Ertz.
New Orleans Saints: After shutting down New England. Allowing just 13 points, two sacks and three interceptions the Saints returned back to Week 1 form with everyone back and healthy. I’m not being biased; the Saints are truly one of the best defenses in the league. That goes for fantasy, as well.
Tennessee Titans: The Titans gave up just one touchdown to the Colts Sunday. They will now face the struggling Jets’ offense. They are one of the top streams of the week.
Honorable Mention: Bengals, Colts, Dolphins, Packers and Rams.
Daniel Carlson, Oakland Raiders: If the offense continues to the roll like this, Carlson could be mentioned among the best fantasy kickers. He’s a must-add and start for whoever has him.
Ryan Succop, Tampa Bay Bucs: Not the best start to the season for Succop. However, when you’re chasing kickers look for the high-octane offense. Brady and the Bucs, surely have one and likely won’t be held in check like they were Sunday. He offers a solid floor with a lot of potential extra points.
Honorable Mention: Greg Zuerlein and Greg Joseph.
That’s it, appreciate you reading, I hope these help you win some championship. Also, want to say thanks to my beautiful wife, Jessica for her love and support in anything I do. As always, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @ElvinRyan_FF with any fantasy questions you may have.