Best fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 4
Despite strong performances last week, some of these players still didn't earn roster spots in most fantasy football leagues, but another noteworthy outing, you should give them a second look. Wide receivers like Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns had decent games, and tight ends like Ben Watson and David Njoku scored touchdowns put up good numbers for the second straight week. But even if you aren't feeling those players again, handcuff RBs Branden Oliver, Wendell Smallwood, and Jamaal Charles shouldn't be ignored.
There were only a handful of "true" breakout performances this week, with Sterling Shepard, Marcedes Lewis and Kenny Britt leading the way and earning some waiver wire love, as well.
WEEK 4 RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
We've put together the top players you should consider for a roster spot, be it on waivers or in free agency, in our Week 4 waiver wire list.
Wendall Smallwood, RB, Eagles
Smallwood should have been on your radar after LeGarrette Blount's benching in Week 2, and he should be on your team after Darren Sproles hurt his wrist in Week 3. To be fair, Blount was back in the mix against the Giants, running 12 times for 67 yards and a TD, but Smallwood equaled him in carries and had four more yards. And even though Smallwood only had one catch on two targets, he's much more likely to be involved in the passing game than Blount. Corey Clement, who scored in Week 3, is also going to get touches as a runner and receiver, but Smallwood has a little more upside right now.
Branden Oliver, RB, Chargers
Melvin Gordon entered Sunday's game against Kansas City with a nagging knee injury, and he apparently aggravated it before halftime, as Oliver took over running back duties for most of the second half. The diminutive scat back only managed 36 total yards on 12 touches -- and most important, Gordon did briefly return to the game -- but Gordon's knee injury could be more than a one-week thing, so Oliver could be a factor going forward.
Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants
Shepard is doing what many thought Brandon Marshall would do in New York. He's getting a good amount of targets (10 in Week 3), including some around the goal line. He's also capable of making big plays, as shown by his 133 yards against the Eagles. Shepard has now gotten at least eight targets in two of the first three games, and the return of a healthy Odell Beckham Jr. might actually help him in terms of softer coverage.
Jamaal Charles, RB, Broncos
There were no indications that C.J. Anderson suffered a serious injury against the Bills, but Charles wound up receiving one more carry (9 to 8) and totaled 20 more rushing yards and a TD. Anderson was great in the first two games, so it seems unlikely he's losing his job or even about to fall into a timeshare with Charles, but it would be foolish to ignore the Week 3 stats. At the very least, Charles is a must-have handcuff.
Paul Richardson, WR, Seahawks
With Doug Baldwin suffering a groin injury late in Week 3's game against, Richardson stepped up and caught a garbage-time touchdown. Richardson didn't do much otherwise (30 yards), but he did get seven targets and would likely slot in as Seattle's top target if Baldwin misses time.
Kenny Britt, WR, Browns
Last week it was Rashard Higgins; this week, it's Kenny Britt. Is it even worth rostering a Browns' receiver? Maybe not, but there are plenty of targets available, and as we saw in Week 3 from Britt, good games are possible (54 yards, TD, 10 targets). Higgins, who had 95 yards in Week 2, disappointed with just 10 yards against the Colts, but he still received a respectable six targets, so he's not off the radar yet. But the momentum has swung back to Britt, at least for this week.
Chris Johnson, RB, Cardinals
Johnson dominated carries in the Cardinals backfield in Week 3, and even though he didn't do much with them, he's still worth an add given his volume.
Allen Hurns, WR, Jaguars
For some reason, Hurns is still unowned in over 50 perent of Yahoo leagues, but he continues to produce, catching another touchdown (this time not in garbage time) in Week 3. Marqise Lee could very well see more targets than Hurns most games, but Hurns has put up big numbers before and deserves to be rostered as a potential WR3 virtually every week.
Marqise Lee, WR, Jaguars
Lee led the Jaguars in targets (7) in Week 3, catching five balls for 65 yards. He likely would have had more if the game hadn't turned into a laugher so early. Lee has seen 19 targets the past two weeks and looks fully lover his preseason ankle injury. He shouldn't be unowned in over half of Yahoo leagues.
Devin Funchess, WR, Panthers
Another receiver possibly bites the dust for the Panthers. First, it was TE Greg Olsen in Week 2, and then Kelvin Benjamin (knee) went down awkwardly on a tackle in Week 3. If Benjamin misses any time, that leaves Funchess, Curtis Samuel and Russell Shepard as Carolina's three best WRs. Funchess ended the day with 10 targets, catching four for 58 yards. We like Funchess as the No. 1 WR target for Newton.
Charles Clay, TE, Bills
After Week 3, Clay is now among the top eight TEs for most fantasy points scored this year. He's caught two touchdowns in three weeks, and excluding the screen passes and check-down passes to LeSean McCoy, Clay leads the team in receptions. If Clay is still a free agent (7.1 percent on ESPN; 20 percent on Yahoo), he should be considered as a waiver wire pickup or at the very least a free agent pickup.
Vernon Davis, TE, Redskins
Davis stepped in for Jordan Reed (chest, toe) and caught five passes for 58 yards and a TD on Sunday night. If Reed remains out -- or, more likely, gets hurt again after returning -- Davis has a lot of potential value.
Marcedes Lewis, TE, Jaguars
Is Lewis a one-week wonder? Possibly, but it's tough to ignore his 65-yard, three-TD effort in Week 3 against the Ravens. Lewis has rarely been consistent in the past, but with the Jets on tap in Week 4, he might be worth a start for a second straight week.
Ben Watson, TE, Ravens
Yes, it was garbage time, but Watson hauled in a touchdown in Week 3. That's not the reason he's worth your attention, though. Baltimore traditionally throws often to its TEs (as we saw in Week 2 when Watson had eight targets), and it seems clear that the veteran TE is healthy. With how depleted the TE position is this year, Watson is a potential starter virtually every week thanks to his volume of targets.
Jermaine Kearse, WR, Jets
After leading the Jets in targets, receptions and receiving yards in Week 1 and 2, Kearse only pulled in three catches for 42 yards in the Jets first win of the season in Week 3. Still, he's clearly in the mix as the Jets No. 1 receiver, giving him some value. He has a tough matchup vs. the Jacksonville defense next, but he's worth a look if you need WR depth.
David Njoku, TE, Browns
For the second straight week, a touchdown saved the day for Njoku. He had four targets, but he only caught two for 12 yards with a touchdown. Njoku seems to be a major red-zone target for the Browns, so he's a TE you can play based on the matchup. His next opponent, the Bengals, gave up a touchdown to Packers TE Lance Kendricks, so Njoku could make it three straight weeks with a score.
Evan Engram, TE, Giants
With Odell Beckham's fully healthy return in Week 3, Engram faded a little bit. He was still targeted seven times, catching five passes for 45 yards. Engram still has fantasy value, and depending on the matchup, he's always a candidate for a possible touchdown.
Bruce Ellington, WR, Texans
Will Fuller V gets injured, Jaelen Strong was released, Braxton Miller is struggling, and out of the ashes rises Bruce Ellington as the second WR for the Texans. Ellington had the second-most targets in Week 3 with seven (DeAndre Hopkins had eight), hauling in four passes for 54 yards and a touchdown. It's unclear how reliable the No. 2 WR on the Texans can be, but he could be worth a roster spot if Deshaun Watson keeps putting up 300-yard days.
Brandon Coleman, WR, Saints
With the absence of Willie Snead, Coleman posted back-to-back TD games. It was the lone target of the day for Coleman, but he also caught four of six targets for 82 yards and a touchdown in Week 2. Snead returns from his suspension this week when the Saints play in London, but the 6-6 Coleman might've carved out a niche as a red-zone threat for the Saints.
Elijah McGuire, RB, Jets
Is it Matt Forte, is it Bilal Powell, or is it Elijah McGuire who has the most fantasy value out of the Jets backfield? Powell had the most carries and a touchdown run, but McGuire produced only three fewer rushing yards on half the carries Powell had. Powell is likely still holding the key to the No. 1 spot, but keep a watchful eye on McGuire.
D'Onta Foreman, RB, Texans
On the ground, Foreman didn't do too much, taking eight touches (only six fewer than Lamar Miller) for 25 yards. He made his biggest impact in the air, catching two passes for 31 and 34 yards, respectively. It doesn't appear that Foreman will overtake Miller as the No. 1 back anytime soon, but he's a solid handcuff who could see a fair share of reps in any given game.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Jets
Seferian-Jenkins, much like the rest of the Jets team, hasn't done much to have much value, but he can be a possible streaming TE this coming week. The Jaguars defense is top five in FPPG to opposing TEs, and the lone touchdown score they gave up this week was to Ravens TE Ben Watson. Seferian-Jenkins tied for the team lead with six targets in Week 3, so he may get some looks in Week 4.
Seth Roberts, WR, Raiders
Roberts would be in line for more targets in Michael Crabtree's chest injury is serious. Already a frequent red-zone target of Derek Carr, Roberts could have WR3 value if he gets an extended look in the starting lineup.
Geronimo Allison, WR, Packers
Allison might not have much of a role when Randall Cobb (chest) returns, but it's unclear if that will be next week or longer than that. Allison's Week 3 performance was largely dependent on a big play in overtime, but given Cobb's status and Jordy Nelson's injury history, Allison might be worth a stash.
Robby Anderson, WR, Jets
Anderson was the projected No. 1 WR for the Jets, but he's been outplayed by Jermaine Kearse in the first two weeks. In Week 3, Anderson broke out for three catches for 95 yards and a touchdown. He tied Austin Seferian-Jenkins for the team lead in targets with six. He's not necessarily worth a waiver wire pick, but if he's still available during the free agent period, he's worth a roster spot.
Mack Brown, RB, Redskins
Rob Kelley (ribs) missed Week 3, and backup Samaje Perine (hand) exited early, which would mean Brown would be next man up if both miss Week 4.
Rashard Higgins, WR, Browns
After Higgins burst onto the scene in Week 2, many thought he was the clear No. 1 receiver, but Kenny Britt took the lead in targets, receptions and receiving yards in Week 3. Higgins still had a respectable six targets, but he only caught two of them for 10 yards. It's still too early to say Britt has taken over No. 1 WR duties, so Higgins should continue to have fantasy value.
Jacksonville has been up-and-down on defense this year, but with two good performances to one bad, fantasy owners should be willing to take the risk with them against the low-powered Jets in Week 4.
Cincinnati put up big points against the Packers on the road in Week 3, so it's more than fair to have high hopes for them in Week 4 at Cleveland.
Does the Rams offense really have it all figured out? Obviously it's better than in the past, but a road game in Dallas could lead to plenty of mistakes.
Green Bay was a popular stream in Week 3 against the Bengals and ultimately disappointed. But getting the Bears on a short week in Lambeau Field should yield better results.
Detroit has been one of the best fantasy defenses this season, and while you can't count on a touchdown every game, it seems clear the Lions have a knack for making big plays. Case Keenum and the Vikings looked good in Week 3, but the Lions are still on the radar as a potential stream.
Tennessee has been fine this year, but they're likely bouncing around on your waiver wire. A matchup against the Texans in Week 4 is pretty favorable, making the Titans a prime streaming option.