Every NFL Sunday brings with it a unique set of circumstances. Sometimes there are a bunch of injuries, leading to a seemingly endless supply of potential waiver moves. Other times, there are minimal injuries and even fewer interesting breakouts. It’s not difficult to figure out what type of Sunday just passed after a quick glance at our top Week 4 fantasy waiver wire pickups and free agent adds. Of course, the biggest fantasy football news (and potential pickup) happened earlier in the week when Christian McCaffrey injured his hamstring, opening the door for handcuff Chuba Hubbard to take over. But heading into the two remaining prime-time games on Sunday, we haven’t added a lot of substance to the waiver wire. Zack Moss and Peyton Barber made some waves among RBs, while Hunter Renfrow, Emmanuel Sanders, DeSean Jackson, Tyler Conklin, and Kendrick Bourne seemingly broke out among pass-catchers. Overall, though, it’s looking much more like a “free agent” week than a “waivers” week.
Even with that said, there are always potential depth pieces to add. Our full free agent list has several more interesting WRs, and TEs (Tim Patrick, James Washington, Pat Freiermuth, Evan Engram, Collin Johnson, A.J. Green, Christian Kirk), all of whom could continue to see upticks in targets because of injuries. Unfortunately, these guys don’t profile as roster saviors by any means. They might be Week 4 saviors, though, and playing things a week at a time is never a bad move in fantasy. That’s why we also have plenty of Week 4-specific streaming suggestions at QB, TE, and D/ST, which can be found at the end of this list.
Hubbard is definitely worth a top waiver claim, though it’s possible McCaffrey is only out a week or two. Still, after we saw CMC miss 13 games because of three different injuries last year (and has now added a fourth different ailment), there’s no reason to think this will be the only time he misses. Invest in Hubbard now (and keep an eye on Royce Freeman). Other than that, though, it’s tough to spend big on a wide receiver. Moss seems like the only other guy worth a waiver claim, and he’s probably not worth a top-five claim given the ambiguity that we know will continue in the Bills backfield.
Top fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 4
Unless otherwise noted, only players owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues considered.
With Christian McCaffrey (hamstring) likely to miss at least the next game or two, Hubbard suddenly becomes a potential RB2. It took him a while to get going after replacing McCaffrey on Thursday, but he did well as Carolina’s closer, finishing with 52 rushing yards on 11 carries and adding another 27 receiving yards on three catches (five targets). As we saw last year when Mike Davis filled in for McCaffrey, the Panthers won’t change their offense much even with a backup RB in the lineup. They’ll still throw often to Hubbard, so he should have plenty of value in both standard and PPR leagues. Royce Freeman will also be involved, but expect Hubbard to handle the bulk of the touches against the Cowboys next week and possibly the Eagles the week after. — Matt Lutovsky
The Bills’ offense is officially back, and Moss is benefitting greatly. Against Washington, Moss got 13 touches (three catches) for 77 yards and a receiving touchdown. He’s 53-percent owned in Yahoo fantasy leagues, so he may be unavailable to you. If not, now’s your chance to grab a piece of this offense before it’s too late. Moss faces Houston in Week 4, so he’ll immediately warrant starter consideration. — Jackson Sparks
Stefon Diggs is going to be a constant, but there will be a different No. 2receiver in Buffalo every week. It was Sanders’ turn in Week 3, as he caught fivepasses on sixtargets for 94 yards and two TDs. Sanders saw 14 targets in the first two weeks, so even though he caught just six for 100 yards, he seemed due to break out eventually. Can he be consistent? He’s playing a slightly higher snap share than Cole Beasley and a significantly higher one than Gabriel Davis, so that’s a plus. He’s also clearly talented and in sync with Josh Allen, so that bodes well for him, too. Overall, he’s worth owning and in play as a WR3 most weeks. — ML
This offseason, a dying question was “Is Henry Ruggs III or Bryan Edwards the No. 1 WR in the Raiders’ offense?” What if the answer to that question is Renfrow? He led all Las Vegas wideouts in receptions (5) against Miami and scored a touchdown. He’s easily been the most dependable wideout for them. Vegas plays the Chargers in Week 4, which could turn out to be a pass-happy game all around. — JS
Kirk was productive for a third straight week, catching seven-of-eight targets for 104 yards. One week, it will be Rondale Moore’s time to shine, then the next it will be Kirk time. Both should be rostered, especially with DeAndre Hopkins’ injury concerns. Week 4 against the Rams should be a shootout, so the Cards’ possess many fantasy-viable options. — JS
Patrick caught all five of his targets 98 yards and produced a solid fantasy outing without a touchdown. We’ve seen his first two weeks be touchdown-dependent, so this was a good sign moving forward. As each week moves by, Jerry Jeudy (ankle) is closer to returning, but we can still squeeze a little bit more value out of Patrick. It’s unclear whether or not Baltimore has a good passing defense, and that’s who Patrick will play in Week 4. — JS
Darnold was once again effective in Week 3, passing for over 300 yards and rushing for two touchdowns. His competition has been bad, but it will continue to be bad as he’ll face Dallas, Philadelphia, Minnesota, New York (Giants), and Atlanta in his next five games. He’s more than just a streamer at this point, especially now that he’ll have to do more with Christian McCaffrey (hamstring) hurt. — JS
Carr once again passed for well over 300 yards vs. Miami and built on his lead NFL lead in passing yards. The Raiders’ skill-player are stepping up, so this offense should continue to flourish. He’ll play the Chargers in Week 4, and that could be a shootout. –JS
Conklin looks like he could finally break out as the lead tight end in Minnesota. He caught seven-of-eight targets for 70 yards and a touchdown against Seattle. There’s a chance it’ll be either him or K.J. Osborn that eats next to Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, but not both at the same time. At a position starved for production, Conklin’s game is hopefully an indication for the future. He’ll play the Browns in Week 4 before taking on Detroit in Week 5. — JS
The Raiders are evidently committed to feeding Barber while Josh Jacobs (toe, ankle) is inactive. He easily surpassed 20 touches, 100 total yards, and found the end zone in Week 3, and the Raiders’ offense looks like the real deal. Perhaps remarkably, he’s getting the same usage Josh Jacobs would. Obviously, when Jacobs returns — which could be next week — Barber will have next to no value, be we have to think he’s going to continue to be a factor until then. –JS
Chances are, this was just a random D-Jax blowup week, but given how sharp the Rams’ offense has looked, he’s worth mentioning. The oft-injured speedster caught three-of-five targets for 120 yards and a TD against the Bucs, showing he still has monster upside any given week. Cooper Kupp is clearly Matthew Stafford’s favorite target, but with Robert Woods struggling to get going and Van Jefferson not breaking out, Jackson is worth having around as a boom-or-bust streamer, especially the next two weeks in what could be shootouts against Arizona and Seattle. — ML
PPR phenom Cole Beasley is back. In Week 3, he drew 13 targets, catching 11 of them for 98 yards. What more can you ask for in PPR leagues? We’ve told you to grab Beasley, and this might be the last week it’s possible in most leagues. — JS
Callaway hasn’t been as productive as anyone would hope, but he did finally score a touchdown in Week 3 vs. New England. He hauled in four-of-five targets for 41 yards as a part of his best day this season. He still shouldn’t be viewed as much more than a flex option heading into a Week 4 matchup with the Giants, but there’s upside here as New Orleans’ “No. 1 receiver.” — JS
Bourne caught six-of-eight targets for 96 yards in a touchdown against the Saints. This WR room is wide open, but Agholor, Meyers, and Bourne have all had their fair share of success. This is a group that is worth monitoring moving forward, but Bourne will be the hot name this week. However, Tampa Bay figures to be a tough matchup in Week 4 even though New England will have to throw a lot in that one. — JS
Green was written off prior to this season, but he’s been productive in the high-flying Cardinals’ offense. In Week 3, he caught five-of-six targets for 112 yards. He clearly still possesses big-play potential, so he’s especially attractive in standard leagues. With DeAndre Hopkins (ribs) limited by injury, Green almost serves as a handcuff WR. He’ll play the Rams in Week 4. Hopefully, Hopkins will play so Green doesn’t draw Jalen Ramsey — JS
The Jets’ offense is terrible. There’s no nicer way to put it. However, Carter is gaining more steam in that backfield and was clearly ahead of Ty Johnson in the absence of Tevin Coleman in Week 3. None of the Jets’ RBs are all that attractive, but Carter is trending toward being the top dog as he heads into a matchup with the Titans in Week 4. — JS
Chuba Hubbard is the the top back in Christian McCaffrey’s absense with a hamstring injury, but Freeman will likely get usage, too. In Week 3 after CMC went out, Freeman got six touches and produced 25 yards. Hubbard got 14 touches, but we don’t see him dominating that backfield like CMC does. If Hubbard struggles, there’s a path to more touches for Freeman. Carolina has a favorable matchup with Dallas in Week 4. — JS
Ruggs continues to be a respectable option in the Raiders’ passing attack. He’s getting a ton of deep shots downfield and drew seven targets vs. Miami. He caught four of them for 78 yards and was wide open for a deep touchdown before Derek Carr missed him in stride. He looks to be a boom-or-bust option, but one with a very high ceiling. If he continues performances like this one, he might even have a decent floor. He’ll take on the Chargers in Week 4 in what could be a shootout. — JS
Johnson took advantage of hamstring injuries of Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton to lead Giants wide receivers in receptions (5)and targets (7) in Week 4. With Kenny Golladay (hip) also dealing with injury issues, Johnson has a real chance of being the No. 1 wide receiver in the near future. That might not mean a ton in standard leagues, but it should give him a solid PPR floor. Watch for injury updates this week and consider grabbing Johnson as a free agent if Shepard and Slayton are expected to miss time. Matchups against New Orleans and Dallas the next two weeks aren’t overly intimidating.– ML
JuJu Smith-Schuster (ribs) and Diontae Johnson (knee) are banged up, so by default, James Washington would move to the No. 2 WR in the Steelers’ offense if they miss time. He drew five targets in Week 3, and Big Ben attempted 58 passes. There is a ton of volume here, but it’s a low-depth-of-target passing attack, so Washington is more appealing in PPR — JS
Miller was targeted six times in Week 3, catching four passes for 20 yards and a touchdown. While this is a pedestrian passing attack in Houston, Miller has the talent to emerge as the No. 2 WR next to Brandin Cooks. A Week 4 game against the Bills awaits, so while you aren’t starting him right away, he’s worth watching moving forward. — JS
Raymond caught six passes (10 targets) for 68 yards in Week 3. While we don’t want to rely on any Lions’ WRs, we have to take note of his performance. There’s still no clear-cut No. 1 WR in Detroit, so we’ll see if he can carry the momentum moving forward in a Week 4 matchup with the Bears. — JS
We’ll update Reagor after the Monday night game.
We’ll update Watkins after the Monday night game.
Bridgewater was once again efficient in Week 3, but he just didn’t get the touchdowns to make it a great fantasy performance. He was 19 for 25 with 235 yards. It remains to be seen how good the Ravens defense is, as they’ve delivered mixed results, but that is the matchup that awaits Bridgewater in Week 4. –JS
In the week where Jones was a popular streamer, he wasn’t as productive as we’d hoped. Didn’t we all see this coming? Anyway, he still had a decent performance, thanks to his 39 rushing yards. Even if a day with zero touchdowns, he scored 16.54 points. That seems like the floor here. He’ll play the Saints in Week 4, before a possible nice matchup with Dallas in Week 5. — JS
We’ll update Lance after the Sunday night game.
We liked Freiermuth’s chances heading into Week 3, and he caught three-of-five targets for 22 yards and a touchdown — a respectable line for a streamer tight end. With JuJu Smith-Schuster (ribs) and Diontae Johnson (knee) banged up, there will be plenty of opportunity for him. He’s passed up Eric Ebron as the top tight end in Pittsburgh. — JS
Engram disappointed in his season debut (two catches, 21 yards, six targets), but with injuries striking the GIants WR corps (Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard left the game early because of hamstring ailments, Kenny Golladay was questionable because of a hip issue entering the game), Engram should see a steady stream of targets. At TE, that’s about all you can ask for this year, so he’s at least worth having on your team even if he seems destined to disappoint. The Giants will face the Saints next week and the Cowboys the week after.– ML
Arnold isn’t going to be a spectacular play, but he’s in consideration for streamers in Week 4 @ Dallas. In Week 3, he caught two for four targets for 23 yards. However, he was open a lot more than his box score numbers would suggest. With Christian McCaffrey (hamstring) out, there will surely be more targets on the table in the short to intermediate paassing game. Carolina should have to pass to keep up with the Cowboys. — JS
The Saints’ defense made Mac Jones’ life difficult in Week 3, as it blocked a punt and scored a touchdown on a pick-six. We like the Saints chances against Daniel Jones and the Giants in Week 4. — JS
The Dolphins’ offense has looked putrid with Jacoby Brissett at the helm, and the Colts’ D/STshould take advantage in Week 4. — JS
Carson Wentz is hobbled with two ankle injuries, and the Colts’ are 0-3 with very little success on the offensive side of the ball. Miami scored on a pick-six vs. Las Vegas and continues to be an opportunist defense., so consider streaming it in Week 4 against Indy.– JS
The jury is still out on how good the Packers’ defense is, but we know the Pittsburgh offense is bad. The line can’t block, Big Ben can barely move, and a new WR is dropping every week. Green Bay will at least have a high floor because of sacks and a few takeaways in Week 4. — ML
You can’t go wrong streaming a defense against the Jaguars, especially on a short week. The Bengals have shown an ability to get pressure, and if they do, Trevor Lawrence will make some mistakes. — ML
Detroit’s offense has very little talent at the skill positions, and we always look to play defenses against Jared Goff. Look for Khalil Mack and co. to disrupt anything the Lions’ try to do in Week 4. — JS
The Giants defense finally showed a few signs of life in Week 3, racking up three sacks and a takeaway while holding the Falcons to 17 points. The Saints offense is still a work in progress, and Jameis Winston is no stranger to bad INTs. Because so many drafted D/STs have bad matchups in Week 4, the Giants are in play as a possible streamer. — ML
The Titans defense doesn’t have much going for it, but the Jets are as favorable of a matchup as you’ll find for a fantasy defense. It’s a tough week for some of the top D/STs, so consider streaming Tennessee if you’re in a bind. — ML
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