Week 3 didn’t have the abundance on injuries that we saw in the first two weeks. The Bears have lost Tarik Cohen (knee) for the season, Chris Carson may miss a game or two because a sprained knee, Chris Godwin has a bum hamstring, and Dallas Goedert (ankle) figures to miss a few weeks as, well. Because of the lack of serious injuries, we don’t have many “must-add” Week 4 waiver wire pickups. That doesn’t mean I’m mailing this one in, but there’s no need to go crazy with FAAB spending this week, as there are no potential free agents with the talent of Darrell Henderson, nor the opportunity of Mike Davis .
As we’ll do every week this season, let’s break down the top pickups and project how much of your FAAB budget you should bid on them.
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Week 4 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire QB pickups
Nick Foles (CHI). Foles came in and took over for Mitchell Trubisky in the second half of Sunday’s game against Atlanta, and he didn’t disappoint. He completed 16-of-29 pass attempts for 188 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception. He instantly worked on developing chemistry with Chicago’s more reliable targets, like Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller, and Jimmy Graham. It’s not official, but you have to assume that Foles is now the starting quarterback in Chicago. Trubisky led the team to a 2-0 start, but he looked atrocious before Foles took over, and it was Foles who ultimately turned the momentum in Chicago’s favor. Foles is a must-add in two-Quarterback/Superflex leagues and is a good add in deeper leagues, as well. Projected FAAB Bid: 10-15%
Ryan Fitzpatrick (MIA). Fitzpatrick’s production will oscillate like nothing we’ve seen before, and it’s possible he’s a bit of a ticking time bomb before the Dolphins want to see what they have in Tua Tagovailoa. But over the past two weeks he has five touchdowns, zero interceptions, and has completed 73 percent of his pass attempts. Next week, Miami will host Seattle, and if we’ve taken anything away from Seattle’s games, it’s that their defense allows points. Whether it’s garbage time or a competitive game, Fitzpatrick should have another solid week. Proj. FAAB Bid: 5-6%
Jalen Hurts (PHI). Maybe I’m trying to get cute and get a little ahead of the curve here, but Carson Wentz has been awful through three games and the Eagles sit at 0-2-1. Wentz has thrown two interceptions in each of the team’s three contests. His fantasy value has only been salvaged a little bit because of the two rushing touchdowns he’s had the past two weeks. He has a rough schedule coming up against San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore. If the struggles continue, at what point do the Eagles make a change and see what they may have with Hurts? Proj. FAAB Bid: 0-1% (but would very much prefer to stash him for free after waivers process).
Week 4 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire RB pickups
Myles Gaskin (MIA). While Darrell Henderson and Mike Davis provided the bigger returns from the waiver wire last week, Gaskin might have been the best value in terms of FAAB bids. You may have gotten him for half of what other people paid for the other players. Gaskin easily looks like the lead running back in Miami. He had 26 total touches through the first two games and had 27 total touches Thursday night against the Jaguars. He averaged just 3.0 yards per carry, but he now has 15 catches through three games. The schedule gets slightly more difficult, but not enough to where we couldn’t use him in the flex. Proj. FAAB Bid: 20-25%
Adrian Peterson (DET). I was doing my absolute best to not waste space (or FAAB) on a 35-year-old running back behind a suspect offensive line, but then Peterson went out on Sunday and had 14 carries just in the first half. He has actually looked pretty good running the ball, and he’s getting a lion’s share of the workload. That’s incredibly frustrating if you’re a Kerryon Johnson or D’Andre Swift owner. Peterson is a better grab in standard formats because he just hasn’t seen many looks in the passing game. Running back depth is valuable, and while the variety from last week is gone, Peterson if still worth rostering as a stash. Proj. FAAB Bid: 12%
Carlos Hyde (SEA). The knee injury to Chris Carson doesn’t sound too serious. However, it is a sprain, so we’ll have to watch this closely. It’s too early to tell if Carson will play in Week 4, but Hyde deserves some attention if he’s on waivers. Keep in mind he ran behind a bad offensive line last year in Houston and still churned out 1,070 yards and six touchdowns. We haven’t seen too much of him so far in 2020 with Seattle, but based off the potential workload in the short-term, he could be worth adding if you missed Darrell Henderson or Mike Davis last week. Proj. FAAB Bid: 12%
Jeff Wilson Jr. (SF). Wilson Jr. is your prototypical touchdown vulture. He snipes goal-line carries even when Raheem Mostert (knee) and Tevin Coleman (knee) are healthy, and he found the end zone twice on Sunday even with Jerick McKinnon playing more. Their workload was a little more “even” than most projected. Wilson also brought in all three of his targets for 54 yards and a touchdown through the air. With Coleman on IR, and Mostert’s status still up-in-the-air for next week, Wilson’s workload should hold true for a home game against the Eagles next week. If anything, it may increase since McKinnon did leave Sunday’s game in the fourth quarter with an injury (anybody surprised?) I’m recommending a modest FAAB bid, but of course you can spend more if you really need the help at running back. Proj. FAAB Bid: 10%
Cordarrelle Patterson (CHI). I expect Patterson to get a bump with Tarik Cohen (knee) getting hurt. It’s also expected that David Montgomery will see more work than he’s already getting. Patterson has at least four carries in each of the team’s first three games. The downside is that he hasn’t done much with them. He has the rare distinction of RB/WR eligibility on ESPN and possibly a few other leagues, as well. The workload may get a bump, but it’s not as much of a guarantee. Proj. FAAB Bid: 5%
Patriots RBs. It really depends on where you fall on the spectrum. If you’re looking at just the box score from Sunday, you might look at Rex Burkhead’s three touchdowns and seven receptions and prioritize him. But J.J. Taylor led the team in carries, and don’t forget Damien Harris (hand) is eligible to come off IR this week. Also, James White has been a healthy inactive while he is away from the team for a personal tragedy. So, while it was nice to see some guys have a big day, this is still a puzzle inside an enigma. An argument could be made for Burkhead in PPR formats, but his value takes a hit once White returns. Taylor had some nice looking runs, but what happens when Harris starts getting work? It’s just too crowded in New England’s backfield. Take everything from Sunday with a grain of salt. Keep in mind Cam Newton didn’t have a great game, and there will be more opportunities down the road where he’s taking carries away from the backfield. Proj. FAAB Bid on any New England RB: 12% Max (if you’re seeking depth, you should prioritize Burkhead for now, but you will be frustrated and second-guessing yourself constantly with any of these guys.)
Week 4 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire WR pickups
Allen Lazard (GB) It was the Lazard Show on Sunday night with Davante Adams (hamstring) ruled out, and he didn’t disappoint. He caught six-of-eight targets for 146 yards and a touchdown. The trends will shift back & forth between Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling as far as who is the No. 2 receiver in this offense. This is kind of why rest-of-season rankings are useless in fantasy football. With injuries and the lack of consistency on a week-to-week basis, they’re both going to have good weeks going forward. If Adams is forced to miss more time, then Lazard (like MVS) is in play as a WR3/flex, especially next week against Atlanta. Proj. FAAB Bid: 12-14%
Justin Jefferson (MIN). Jefferson has the makings of the hot young commodity on waivers who you’ll pay up for only to disappoint you next week. But at least Minnesota has Houston, Seattle, and Atlanta on tap, and those could be shootouts. Coming into Week 3 he had just six total targets, but he caught seven-of-nine targets on Sunday for 175 yards and a touchdown. Next to Tyler Lockett and Allen Robinson, he had arguably the biggest day from a wide receiver. He’s a great guy to grab now and maybe flip for a RB2. The immediate schedule looks nice for him to build up his stock, but he has a tough playoff schedule against Tampa Bay, Chicago, and New Orleans with two of those games on the road. And let’s not forget he still has to put up with Kirk Cousins distributing the ball. Proj. FAAB Bid: 12%
Brandon Aiyuk (SF). The 49ers are in need of playmakers, and they got a glimpse of what Aiyuk can do in Week 3 when he caught five-of-eight targets for 70 yards. Granted, this was a game with no George Kittle (knee), Raheem Mostert (knee), Deebo Samuel (foot), or Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle), but at least Nick Mullins looked his way plenty of times. Aiyuk also had three carries and a rushing touchdown. Obviously, we can’t expect that every week, and it is worth noting that Samuel is aiming to make his debut in Week 5. Still, there are still plenty of opportunities out there for Aiyuk to contribute. Proj. FAAB Bid: 8-10%
Greg Ward (PHI). I’m not incredibly excited about Ward. We saw what he could do when given the opportunity last year, and he came through big for Philadelphia on Sunday. With so many pass-catching options for Philadelphia dealing with an array of injuries, Ward saw 11 targets, catching eight for 72 yards and a touchdown. Carson Wentz doesn’t have too many people he can throw it to at the moment aside from Zach Ertz. Dallas Goedert (ankle), DeSean Jackson (hamstring), and Jalen Reagor (hand) are all dealing with injuries that could sideline them. Of course, you have to consider that the quarterback play for Philadelphia has been disappointing, as well, and the pass protection is in terrible shape, again due to injuries. Don’t trust consistent volume each week, but he should get more snaps on offense. Proj. FAAB Bid: 7-8%
Tee Higgins (CIN). There’s clearly a trend here with rookie wide receivers breaking out this week. Higgins was actually second on the Bengals in targets Sunday afternoon, ahead of A.J. Green, and Drew Sample (who I honestly expected much more than one target for). Higgins caught five-of-nine targets, but two of them were for touchdowns. He was the first pick of the second round in April’s draft ahead of Michael Pittman, Laviska Shenault (who I’ve written up ad nausea), and KJ Hamler. There’s a solid pedigree with this guy, but he may fall back to third or fourth in targets next week. Be disciplined with your bid. Proj. FAAB Bid: 5-7%
Week 4 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire TE pickups
Jimmy Graham (CHI). Graham saw just eight targets through the first two games with Mitchell Trubisky, but on Sunday he saw 10 and caught touchdown passes from Trubisky and Nick Foles. He was surprisingly second in targets behind just Allen Robinson, who had a phenomenal day. Graham now has three touchdowns through three games. It feels like a bit of a blast from the past. Only spend a little extra on him if you really need help at the position, but he just might be a candidate for a nice amount of red-zone work going forward. Proj. FAAB Bid: 8%
Logan Thomas (WSH). The production hasn’t been amazing, but it deserve some perspective. The quarterback play for Washington has been awful. Terry McLaurin is getting by, but he’s an elite talent. Thomas could very well be a great talent, and keep in mind, he’s seen 24 targets through three games. He’s established himself with an okay floor of four catches in each game. The yardage and touchdowns have been difficult to come by, but they are trying to get him going. Next week’s opponent, Baltimore, has struggled against TEs this year, and in two weeks, Washington has a home game against the Rams, who just allowed three touchdowns to Tyler Kroft. Be a little patient, there is potential here. Proj. FAAB Bid: 7-8%
Mo Alie-Cox (IND). The targets haven’t been abundant, but he’s been efficient and made the most of them. As a streamer, he’s been very serviceable the last couple weeks. With just 11 total targets on the year, he’s caught 10 for 181 yards and a touchdown. He’s hit double-digit fantasy points in PPR formats the last couple weeks, as well. Jack Doyle has returned, but Alie-Cox has still been a more reliable target for Philip Rivers. Proj. FAAB Bid: 5-6%
Week 4 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire D/ST pickups
Defenses are really difficult to target this week. Here are a couple teams to monitor, but definitely observe the free agent/waiver pool on Wednesday and see if any “good” D/STs were dropped. Both of the units mentioned here are worth no more than minimum bids.
Arizona Cardinals. It’s a road game on the East Coast, but this is still a D/ST worth streaming. The Panthers offensive line still isn’t great, and Christian McCaffrey (ankle) is still out. Teddy Bridgewater isn’t connecting with D.J. Moore, so this is a matchup we can target and maybe hope for six or seven points. I like the potential for the Cardinals to get a few sacks, as well. We could see some points get put up in this one. Maybe we get a few turnovers from Bridgewater as well. This is a deep-league D/ST to stream with some DFS potential, as well.
Houston Texans. I don’t love that it’s come to this, but there are some things I like about this matchup. For starters, the Vikings defense is awful. So, the Texans offense should be on the field more to dominate time of possession. That’s a category Minnesota has been murdered in through three weeks. They ran just 96 total offensive plays through two games. They did explode last week, but Minnesota has turned the ball over eight times so far this season. Earl Thomas might sign with Houston, as well, so maybe they can get him up to speed and on the field for Sunday’s game. He has to go through the COVID protocols so that isn’t a guarantee necessarily.