Fantasy football: top 10 waiver wire Week 4 pickups

BY foxsports • June 30, 2017

No matter how the first three weeks of the season have gone, there are players who can give your team a boost. To see who you should target, check out these top 10 waiver wire week 4 pickups including options at each of the key fantasy football positions.

Detroit Lions running back Dwayne Washington (36) is one of my top 10 options from the waiver wire week 4 pickups. Here, he gets by Green Bay Packers defensive end Dean Lowry (94) during the second quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The fantasy football season is just three weeks old, but it is always time to hit the waiver wire looking for an upgrade. If you’ve been forced to hit the waiver wire week 4 due to injury or just looking to upgrade someone who is struggling, there are definitely plenty of options who are available in most leagues.

    In this weekly post, we focus on the top ten options who are available in more than half of ESPN leagues. Players like Jerick McKinnon, Christine Michael, Charles Sims, Tyrell Williams and Matt Ryan have all been in this feature in past weeks, but they aren’t in my top option for waiver wire week 4 since the ownership percentage is already too high. There are a new crop of options to look at this week, and you can find my top ten targets on the following slides.

    Every Tuesday you can find my top 10 waiver wire pickups right here on FanSided. Each week, I’ll make sure to include players at each of the main fantasy football positions–quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, and team defense. The players are listed in the general order that I would target them, but be sure to take into account your league’s roster requirements and your team’s strength and weaknesses. I’ve included each player’s ownership percentage at the top of their page. If you’re in deeper leagues or are looking for more options, check out the final slide of this post where I’ve listed some extra other options from the waiver wire week 4.

    If you have any specific questions about your team or other players who may be available, you are welcome to drop them in the comment section at the bottom of the page or give me a shout out on Twitter. To keep up with all our fantasy football coverage, also make sure to drop a bookmark on our fantasy football hub and follow us on Twitter @FansidedFantasy. I do my best to answer all questions to our Twitter feed, and you’ll even get a chance for your tweets to appear in one of our future posts.

    With those pregame festivities aside, let’s get rolling with my top 10 pickups from the waiver wire week 4.

    Sep 1, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard (24) runs the ball during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Bears won 21-7. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

    Jordan Howard-RB-Chicago Bears (15.5%)

    Throughout the preseason and first three weeks of the regular season, I’ve been intrigued by the upside Bears’ rookie running back Jordan Howard has to offer. He was stuck behind Jeremy Langford and Ka’Deem Carey at the start of the season, but he had shown that he had higher upside and more explosive potential. After injuries have sidelined both Carey and Langford the last two weeks, Howard is set for a breakout few weeks as he takes over as the primary back in Chicago.

    If you can get any player who is available in over 50% of ESPN leagues, Howard would be my first pick off the waiver wire week 4. He looked very good in spots on Sunday and totaled a very nice 92 total yards against the Cowboys after taking over after Langford’s injury. By the end of the game, Howard had 45 yards on nine carries and added 47 yards on four catches. He didn’t get into the end zone, but he showed he can be involved in the offense while Brian Hoyer is running things in Jay Cutler’s absence.

    Langford was in a walking boot after the game and Adam Schefter is reporting that he will miss 4-6 weeks with a sever high ankle sprain. While Langford is out, Howard gets some great matchups against the Lions, Colts, and Jaguars the next three weeks. If you missed out on all the RB craziness last week, Howard is my top pickup from the waiver wire week 4, although there are a few other good RB options as well.

    Aug 12, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Detroit Lions running back Dwayne Washington (36) returns a kick-off ninety-six yards for a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Detroit Lions won 30-17. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

    Dwayne Washington-RB-Detroit Lions (20.4%)

    Another running back on the waiver wire week 4 who has a lot of upside is a member of Howard’s AFC North rivals the Lions–Dwayne Washington. The Lions went to a committee after they lost Ameer Abdullah to IR, and the back that you can still get a piece of on the waiver wire is rookie Dwayne Washington.

    Washington’s final numbers from Sunday weren’t mind-blowing as he totaled 38 yards on his ten rushes and -3 yards on his only reception. However, he looked better than the numbers indicate and looked like the much better rushing play than receiving-focused Theo Riddick.

    The Lions spent most of Sunday playing catch-up after falling behind big to the Packers, so they abandoned the run for most of the second half. This week, the situation should be different as they face Jordan Howard and the Bears. Chicago’s run defense has been horrible so far this season, so Washington should be able to produce if he is given more of an early-down role.

    I prefer Howard over Washington since he has a more secure grasp on the starting job, but both are very solid RB pickups from the waiver wire week 4 and should be owned in all formats.

    Aug 26, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (11) works out prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Terrelle Pryor-WR-Cleveland Browns (27.8%)

    Terrell Pryor redefined the “offensive flex” position this week providing fantasy points for his owners just about every way possible.  had Pryor in my WR Sleepers for week 3 and jokingly commented that he could be the team’s best QB as well. The Browns were paying attention to those calling for Pryor to play QB and actually used him under center in their game against the Dolphins which they somewhat surprisingly were able to take into overtime. They weren’t able to get the win, but Pryor had an impressive day while playing multiple positions.

    Pryor played both quarterback and receiver while adding in 21 rushing yards as well. He caught eight passes for 144 yards and completed three-of-five passes for 35 yards. Pryor rushed for a touchdown and was clearly the focus of Cleveland’s creative offense which was dealing with the loss of RG3 and his backup Josh McCown in the first two weeks of the season.

    Heading into Week 4, Pryor will be a hot name on the waiver wire week 4, and he’s definitely worth a look for at least one more week. The Browns head to Washington this week as they play their last games without Josh Gordon. Gordon will return Week 5 which will definitely drop Pryor’s receiver chances. However, coach Hue Jackson definitely will continue to use the versatile playmaker as the Browns continue to search for their first win of the season.

    Sep 25, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Orleans Darkwa (26) celebrates with offensive tackle Ereck Flowers (74) and guard Bobby Hart (68) after scoring a touchdown against the Washington Redskins during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

    Orleans Darkwa-RB-New York Giants (5.0%)

    Things are looking up for Orleans Darkwa who could be about to step into a huge workload for the Giants. In the last two weeks, New York has lost Rashad Jennings and Shane Vereen leaving a ton of work available for Darkwa to claim. Jennings is trying to play through a sprained thumb but he was unavailable this week. There is some “optimism” that Jennings will be back, but even if he is Darkwa could get some work since Vereen is done for the season after a triceps injury.

    Even If Jennings plays hurt, Darkwa makes a solid play as a grind-it-out ball-control option for the G-men. He totaled a solid 53 yards on his ten carries in Week 3 against Washington and punched it into the end zone for his first score of the season.

    Darkwa doesn’t have the sky-high upside that Howard and Washington offer, but he does have a great opportunity ahead. If you can’t get either of those two options, Darkwa makes a solid pickup off the waiver wire week 4 and can be a nice depth addition given his potential for touchdowns. Another reason I have him on this list behind Howard and Washington is that he has a brutal schedule ahead with the Vikings, Packers, Raves, and Rams before a Week 8 bye.

    Sep 25, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Thomas Davis (58) dives for the tackle on Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph (82) during the second half at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

    Kyle Rudolph-Minnesota Vikings (40.6%)

    Rudolph was my top tight end pickup in last week’s waiver wire post and he’s back for another week before his ownership percentage disqualifies him. Rudolph is definitely the way to go at TE is you can still grab him in your league.

    In the past two weeks, Rudolph has shown a great rapport with Sam Bradford. He has caught a touchdown in each of the last two games and came very close to having a second score on Sunday. He finished the game as the Vikings’ most targeted pass-catcher hauling in seven passes for 70 yards. He has a total of 14 catches this year for 166 yards and his two touchdowns.

    Moving forward, Rudolph and Stefon Diggs will try and help the offense make enough plays to get by while relying heavily on their elite unit. The 3-0 Vikings are home the next two weeks to face the Giants and Texans before their Week 6 bye. As long as Bradford is able to stay healthy, Rudolph shapes up to be a top-ten tight end option.

    Sep 25, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver Jamison Crowder (80) carries the ball to score a touchdown during the third quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

    Jamison Crowder-WR-Washington (11.1%)

    Washington’s offense comes and goes, but one consistent piece so far this season has been former-Duke Blue Devil Jamison Crowder. Crowder is an often-overlooked but usually-productive option for Kirk Cousins in Washington. He has found his way into the end zone each of the last two weeks and is definitely deserving of a roster spot in PPR leagues.

    On Sunday, Crowder had his season-low in catches with just four, but he set his season-high in yards with 78. He caught a key touchdown in the team’s win on the road in New York which may have saved their season (at least temporarily).

    Crowder get enough looks in the Washington attack to be a fill-in starter as bye weeks approach. He and Captain Kirk are back home this week to face the Browns before taking on the Ravens and Eagles the next two weeks. While he may not be a deep-ball specialist like his teammate DeSean Jackson, he gets plenty of targets and can be one of the better fantasy football sleepers to pick up if you are looking for long-term consistency.

    As far as receiver on the waiver wire week 4, Pryor offers much more sizzle, but he could fade into the background once Josh Gordon is back. Crowder is a more conservative pickup given his established role, but I’d claim Pryor over him in most cases.

    Sep 25, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) throws the ball in the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

    Joe Flacco-Baltimore Ravens (23.8%)

    No one has taken much notice, but the Ravens are 3-0. They have only beaten the Bills, Browns, and Jaguars, and they haven’t even done that very convincingly. Joe Flacco has led the team to its 3-0 start with some inconsistent but decent quarterback play.

    He has thrown three touchdowns to go with four interceptions while also adding a rushing score. He has averaged over 250 yards a game as well. While those number are very middle-of-the-road, the reason that I’m a “wacko for Flacco” this week is that he has an awesome matchup against the Raiders secondary.

    Oakland has given up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing QB’s in the NFL even after facing a mostly-ineffective Marcus Mariota last week. The Raiders have give up the most passing yards in the NFL with 1,033 passing yards against, so Flacco would be able to put together a good game at home against the silver-and-black. With Aaron Rodgers and Carson Wentz on a bye, if you need a one-week fill-in at QB, Flacco would be on top of my list based mostly on matchup.

    Sep 25, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley (11) dives for more yards in the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

    Cole Beasley-WR-Dallas Cowboys (14.5%)

    The Cowboys continue to look good with Dak Prescott under center and won convincingly on Sunday Night Football rolling over the Bears. Prescott’s favorite option all season long for short, underneath routes has been Cole Beasley. Beasley’s targets have been frequent enough to make him an option off the waiver wire week 4 especially with a good matchup this week and Dez Bryant’s status in question.

    Beas;ey led the team in  targets in Week 3 hauling in all seven passes thrown his way. He finished with 73 yards giving him at least 65 yards in each game this season while piling up a total of 20 catches. Beasley did get rocked early in the game and got a bit of a break as the contest went on, but he should be back and ready to roll in Week 4.

    The WR the Cowboys have less of a clear read on at this point is no. 1 option Dez Bryant. Bryant had an MRI on his knee on Monday, but the results have been made public yet. He definitely “tweaked” his knee, but it remains to be seen if he will miss any time. If Dez is out or limited, it could mean even more targets for Beasley as he heads into a tasty matchup against the 49ers this week. He’s definitely a streaming or DFS consideration especially in PPR formats.

    Sep 25, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Wendell Smallwood (28) reacts after a touchdown run against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

    Wendell Smallwood-RB-Philadelphia Eagles (1.5%)

    The Eagles have gotten off to a hot start which not many people saw coming. While Carson Wentz and their defense have been outstanding, Philadelphia has also gotten good production throughout their running game including the emergence this week of rookie Wendell Smallwood.

    In their huge week 3 win over Pittsburgh, Philadelphia went away from Ryan Mathews early in the first quarter. Mathews was dealing with an injury, but it’s unclear whether that was why he didn’t return after taking two carries for -5 yards.

    Even though he entered the game as the team’s fourth RB on the depth chart, Smallwood ended up leading the team in carries and rushing yards. Lots of Smallwood’s work came after the game was pretty much decided, but he did manage to total 79 yards and a touchdown on 17 impressive carries. He could be an interesting option gong forward if you can afford to snatch and stash off the waiver wire week 4.

    Remember, the Eagles have a bye week this week, but when they return watch how they divide the workload with Mathews, Smallwood, Kenjon Barner, and Darren Sproles all showing they can make plays in certain situations. Smallwood was buried on the depth chart, but he made things interesting with a big week 3.

    Sep 25, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey (20) celebrates after a play with defensive end Dante Fowler (56) and strong safety Johnathan Cyprien (37) in the second quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

    Jacksonville Jaguars D/ST (5.8%)

    The streaming defense market is a very thin one on the waiver wire week 4. Many of the teams to target play defenses that are already extremely owned, and there are several defenses hovering in to 50-70% owned range which makes them ineligible for this post.

    My favorite of the available options is actually the Jaguars who looked pretty solid last week against the Ravens. They ended up as the no. 7 defense in standard scoring and forced three turnovers. One of those turnovers was on a fumble by Devin Hester and two were Joe Flacco interceptions. Paul Posluszny led the team with ten solo tackles and a dozen total tackles. They picked up a pair of sacks by Malik Jackson and Yannick Ngakoue and finished with three tackles for loss.

    The Jags are still 0-3, but their defense looked much better than it had against the Packers or Chargers the first two weeks of the season. This week, the Jags will take on the Colts who have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing D/ST units. Each of the last two weeks, Indy has allowed a defensive touchdown while turning the ball over multiple times. They also have allowed multiple sacks every game this season. Since the Jags are at home against their division rivals, I think their defense will turn in a good enough game to make them the best of a bad bunch of streaming options this week.

    Sep 25, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate (84) catches the ball for a touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Other Waiver Wire Week 4 targets

    These options are also available in over 50% of ESPN and make good pickups as well. They’re listed in the general order that I would target them if the top 10 aren’t available in your league.

    QB:Trevor Siemian-Denver Broncos, Dak Prescott-Dallas Cowboys, Carson Wentz-Philadelphia Eagles (bye this week), Sam Bradford-Minnesota Vikings,

    RB: Kenyan Drake-Miami Dolphins, Cameron Artis-Payne-Carolina Panthers, James White-New England Patriots, DeAndre Washington-Oakland Raiders

    WR: Terrance Williams-Dallas Cowboys, Robert Woods-Buffalo Bills, Quincy Enunwa-New York Jets, Adam Humphries-Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kenny Stills-Miami Dolphins, Kenny Britt-Los Angeles Rams

    TE: Cameron Brate-Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Zach Miller-Chicago Bears, Jacob Tamme-Atlanta Falcons, Jack Doyle-Indianapolis Colts, Garrett Celek-San Francisco 49ers

    D/ST:  Cowboys D/ST, Washington  D/ST,  Browns D/ST

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