Waiver Wire Week 4
This is the Waiver Wire Week 4. Last week, this article crushed it. My number one ranked add was Tank Dell. He exploded for 145 yards receiving and a TD. Dell is the No. 1 add again this week. Jerome Ford found the end zone twice this week. Luke Musgrave had a season-high in catches.
Adding a player off of waivers and having them produce big for you is one of the low-key best feelings in fantasy. This week, we are looking to do it again. Keep churning the back end of your roster. You never know when that well-thought-out faab bid will result in an Achane or Dell-like performance.
Next week will be the first of many weeks where we need to use that awful B word. Yes, the Bye Weeks are coming. The season is moving along, and we need to plan accordingly.
Note: All players listed are available in 25% of Yahoo leagues or more. The only exceptions are marked as Shallow League Adds.
BYE WEEK PREPARATION
C.J. Stroud | Houston (20%)
Stroud is the top QB addition this week on the wire. Last week, I had him in this article but did not have him in my overall top 10. That was a huge mistake. Stroud looks like the real deal. Over his past two games, he has passed for 664 yards and four TDs, while not throwing a single interception despite 77 pass attempts. I compared Stroud to Kirk Cousins this past summer, but this early play has Stroud reminding me of Joe Burrow. If you have QB issues, aggressively add Stroud.
Baker Mayfield | Tampa Bay (23%)
Mayfield has yet to play on Monday Night Football against Philadelphia at the time I am writing this article. This is what I said about the rejuvenated Mayfield in last week’s Waiver Wire column:
“I did not think I would be writing about Baker Mayfield as a Week 3 sleeper, but here we are. Mayfield has had a terrific start to the season. He has led Tampa Bay to a 2-0 record. Mayfield passed for two TDs in Week 1 and followed it up with a 317-yard performance in Week 2. This was the first time Mayfield had passed for 300+ yards since 2021. One intriguing aspect of Mayfield’s usage is not reflected in the box score- his rushing attempts. Through two games played, Mayfield has 14 rushing attempts. Philadelphia is a tough matchup, but they have issues in the secondary.”
Andy Dalton | Carolina (2%)
If Bryce Young misses another game, I prefer Dalton to the streamers below him. Dalton was terrific in Seattle, with 361 passing yards and two TDs.
Carolina has two fantasy-friendly matchups with Minnesota and Detroit coming up, followed by a garbage time special against the Dolphins. If you need a one-week play, Dalton is it.
Gardner Minshew | Indianapolis (2%)
Minshew Magic has now won two games in relief for Anthony Richardson. If Richardson cannot go, Minshew is again in consideration for Supeflex managers in a winnable matchup against The Rams.
Jameis Winston | New Orleans (0%)
Winston in a revenge game against Tampa Bay? Sign me up. Derek Carr suffered a shoulder injury, and the extent of it is unknown. Winston makes for a fun one-week (or more) streamer. Add the chance to face the team that selected him No. 1 overall in the NFL draft, and we have a fun revenge game narrative. It does not hurt that Winston will have Chris Olave, Michael Thomas, Rashid Shaheed, and Alvin Kamara at his disposal.
Shallow League Add: Kendre Miller | New Orleans (34%)
Miller had a quiet but promising debut. He had nine carries for 34 yards and added a reception. Look for his role to continue to grow. Treat him as a top-notch handcuff behind Alvin Kamara. If Kamara were to miss time, Miller could be a very valuable player for you to have on your bench.
Shallow League Add: Justice Hill | Baltimore (36%)
Hill missed Week 3 with a foot injury but could return for Week 4. Gus Edwards suffered a concussion and will likely miss this week. If Hill returns, look for him to lead Baltimore RBs in touches in a challenging road game in Cleveland.
Tyjae Spears | Tennessee (24%)
Is Tyjae Spears/Derrick Henry the sequel to Jaylen Warren/Najee Harris, which was the sequel to Tony Pollard/Ezekiel Elliott, which was the sequel to Austin Ekeler/Melvin Gordon? Maybe. Henry is averaging 3.2 yards per carry. Spears has outsnapped him in two games so far. The rookie had four targets on Sunday and caught all four.
Jeff Wilson | Miami (25%)
We want as many pieces of this offense as possible on our benches. I would expect Wilson to play third fiddle to the red-hot duo, but last season, Wilson had a great deal of fantasy success in both San Francisco and Miami.
Shallow League Ad: Matt Breida | New York Giants (30%)
This one is NOT exciting to write about and starting him would be even less exciting. Still, Breida should have another opportunity this week against Seattle. Breida was fortunate to find the end zone last week against San Francisco. Don’t go wasting a lot of faab on this one.
Rico Dowdle | Dallas (3%)
Dowdle had his best game as a pro (46 combined yards, three catches, and a TD) in Dallas’ loss to Arizona. Dowdle is the handcuff to Tony Pollard. If Pollard were to go down, Dowdle would be an every-week RB2. Prioritize him if you have room on your roster for a lottery ticket.
Sean Tucker | Tampa Bay (4%)
Tucker is the handcuff in Tampa Bay. The rookie will see an even larger role moving forward now that Chase Edmonds is headed to the IR. Rachaad White has seen a large workload and is the clear top back in Tampa. Treat Tucker as a contingency-based value who would see a prominent role if White were to miss time.
Jaleel McGlaughlin Denver (1%)
Zach Evans | LA Rams (1%)
Cam Akers is now a Minnesota Viking. Evans has a clear path to the No. 2 role behind Kyren Williams. Ronnie Rivers is ahead of him now, but I fully expect Evans to overtake him as early as Monday Night in Cincinnati (Editor’s Note: this article is written before Monday Night Football). Evans, the Rams seventh round draft pick, rushed for 1,999 yards at TCU and Ole Miss. He is a talented player and just needs the opportunity to show it.
Melvin Gordon | Baltimore (1%)
It is 2023, and I am writing about Melvin Gordon in a Waiver Wire article. Gordon made his debut as a Baltimore Raven on Sunday, rushing 10 times and catching two passes for a combined 55 yards. Gordon looked a lot like the same player who struggled last season in Denver before being traded.
He is a compiler at best. If Hill is out, Gordon should start against Cleveland. Only overpay for this one if you are Ant-Man and have some Pym Particles to go back and collect Infinity Stones so you can get the Melvin Gordon from five years ago.
Keaton Mitchell | Baltimore (1%)
Shhh. Keep this one quiet. Mitchell comes off the IR soon and may be the most explosive back in Baltimore. He is only 5-8 and weighs less than 190 pounds, but he can fly. Mitchell ran a 4.37 40 at the NFL combine. Roster him now and stash him.
Trey Sermon | Indianapolis (1%)
Sermon had a promising debut and looks to have a small role behind Zack Moss. He was outsnapped 64-18 but immediately played ahead of Jake Funk. Sermon finished with five rushing attempts and saw two targets. This has been a star-crossed path for Sermon in his NFL career. He busted in San Francisco as a failed third-round pick and had a short, uneventful stint in Philadelphia. This has been a weird season, and Trey Sermon finding his way into our lineups at some point would be par for the course.
Shallow League Ad: Tank Dell | Houston (32%)
I tried to warn you last week and had him as our No. 1 Waiver Wire Addition. Did the other Waiver Wire columns you read have him there? Victory lap ended. I promise. Dell smashed on Sunday, catching five passes for 145 yards and a TD. He did this one week after catching seven passes for 72 yards and a TD. He is an every-week high-end WR3 with upside moving forward. I would spend 50-percent on him and not look back (which may not get it done). Dell is the best third-round WR selection since Terry McLaurin and Diontae Johnson in 2019.
Shallow League Ad: Marvin Mims | Denver (27%)
Marvin Mims is electric. The Broncos were destroyed in a 70-20 loss to Miami. They have issues galore to work out, but one thing that is not an issue for them is Mims. Mims had his highest target total of the season with five, and he caught three for 73 yards. He also added 121 yards on kick returns, including a TD. Mims has an ascending role in the Denver offense.
Shallow League Ad: Quentin Johnston | LA Chargers (32%)
Johnston is rostered in many leagues. Drafters have hesitated to move on from him despite his minimal playing time. Their patience (or apathy?) will be rewarded, as Mike Williams has been lost for the season with a knee injury. Josh Palmer will have a larger role, but there is a reason LA selected Johnston.
Joshua Palmer | LA Chargers (4%)
Palmer will be cast in an increased role for the second straight season. Last year, Palmer caught 72 passes and had 769 receiving yards. Those numbers are attainable this season as well. Palmer played every two wide set when Mike Williams went down, while Johnston only mixed in on 11 personnel.
Snap wise, Palmer was ahead of Johnston 40-16. Palmer will be a weekly WR3/4 and have flex consideration. He is an immediate contributor to your fantasy team, albeit one with a capped upside.
Josh Downs | Indianapolis (2%)
Downs flashed during the first two games of the season (seven catches on 12 targets), but had his coming-out party this past Sunday in Baltimore. The third-round pick drew 12 targets and caught eight of them for 57 receiving yards. Downs was a mega producer at UNC and should have a dependable weekly floor moving forward. With so many promising WRs available in multiple leagues this week, Downs could be an affordable option that pays dividends. Be aggressive in acquiring him.
D.J. Chark | Carolina (10%)
What a season debut for Chark. Chark caught four passes for 86 yards and a TD- a gorgeous 47-yarder. Jonathan Mingo suffered a concussion on Sunday, and Chark should see an even larger role in a fantasy-friendly matchup against Minnesota. The veteran WR and Adam Thielen should be part of a highly consolidated target tree.
Rashee Rice | Kansas City (26%)
Rice had a season-high seven targets, five catches, and 59 yards as Kansas City demolished Chicago. The rookie nearly had his second TD catch of the season, but it was overturned. His trajectory is pointed up. Rice could be a locked-in starter for us in the second half of the season as he builds a larger rapport with Patrick Mahomes.
Jayden Reed | Green Bay (21%)
This is getting old. I write about Reed in every article, yet he is still available in 84% of Yahoo leagues. Reed added another seven targets as Green Bay returned to beat New Orleans 18-17. Reed had a season-high 63 receiving yards. Christian Watson will be back soon (I think), and the target dispersal with Reed and Romeo Doubs will be up in the air. The other argument is Watson makes the entire offensive pie grow larger. Any way you cut it, Reed should be rostered.
Shallow League Add Jameson Williams (29%)
Williams’ return is nearing. He comes off of suspension in Week 7. If you have room to roster him, and he is available, consider doing so if your roster can support a 0 over the next three weeks. Keep an eye out for managers who also cut him during bye weeks.
Michael Gallup | Dallas (18%)
Gallup had his best game of the season, hauling in six catches for 92 yards. Gallup’s yardage total was the highest he has had since 2021. It gives him momentum heading into a tricky matchup against New England.
Calvin Austin | Pittsburgh (2%)
Austin tied a season-high with six targets and caught two. One went for a 72-yard TD grab.
Austin is seeing a lot of playing time since Diontae Johnson went down with an injury. The Pittsburgh staff may do some self-scouting and get the speedster more involved moving forward.
Darius Slayton | New York Giants (3%)
Deep leaguers only. Slayton has had five targets or more in three straight games. Seattle was shredded by Thielen and Chark this past weekend, and this matchup feels like a potential breakout game for Slayton. The Giants are starving for consistent playmakers.
Luke Musgrave | Green Bay (18%)
Musgrave being available in 18% of leagues is personally insulting to me. In all seriousness, it is very surprising that fantasy managers are not jumping at the opportunity to add an every-down player like Musgrave. He is an elite athlete in an ascending role. On Sunday, he posted season highs in targets (eight) and catches (six). His day could have been even better, as Jordan Love missed him down the seam. Musgrave led Green Bay in receptions. What more do fantasy managers want? Add him if he is available.
Cade Otton | Tampa Bay (2%)
Otton’s Monday Night Matchup against Philadelphia has not been played at the time of writing this article. Here is what I said last week:
“Otton has one of the highest snap shares of any TE in football (97% against Chicago) and is coming off of a promising performance (6 catches,41 yards). But the appeal in using Otton lies in the matchup. Philadelphia has allowed 15 catches and three TD receptions to TEs in their first two games this season. Last year, the Eagles were incredibly generous to TEs, with 12 TE performances allowed. This feels like an Otton game.”
Logan Thomas | Washington (4%)
Cole Turner | Washington (0%)
Thomas missed Sunday’s game with a concussion, and Turner made the most of his opportunity. Turner led all Commanders with seven targets and caught four for 35 yards. Both players should be on the TE watch list.
Donald Parham | Los Angeles Chargers (1%)
We do not want to pay for last week’s TDs, but Parham is in a near split with Gerald Everett (31%). Everett out-snapped Parham 38-34, but Parham’s two TD performance cannot be ignored. The Chargers could also be in 12 personnel more after the loss of Williams. Monitor Parham, or make him a 0-1% add to see where this goes. FFPC managers take note.
Julian Hill | Miami (0%)
FFPC Managers should monitor Hill. The UDFA played 57 snaps, compared to only 21 for Durham Smythe. Routes run-wise, Hill led Smythe 21-7. Both stats are promising. I had written about Smythe in a few articles due to his impressive usage. Hill has ultimately passed him by.
Overall Top 10
1- Tank Dell WR Houston
2- Marvin Mims WR Denver
3- Tyjae Spears RB Tennessee
4- CJ Stroud QB Houston
5- Joshua Palmer WR LA Chargers
6- DJ Chark WR Carolina
7- Luke Musgrave TE Green Bay
8- Rashee Rice WR Kansas City
9- Jayden Reed WR Green Bay
10- Jameson Williams WR Detroit (STASH)