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Waiver Wire Rankings: Expert Pickups for Week 4

The experts all agree that Taliaferro is week 4's top waiver add.

The experts all agree that Taliaferro is week 4’s top waiver add.


With another NFL weekend in the books, it’s time to focus our energy back on the waiver wire. Injuries are mounting and bye weeks are officially looming. It’s a combo that will cause even the most confident fantasy owner to patrol the waiver wire for depth.


As always, we’re here to help with our waiver wire rankings. Our featured experts have once again ranked this week’s top readily available players (rest of season value). Read on to view the pundits’ consensus advice as well as their top D/ST rentals for week 4.


Get Start/Sit & Waiver Wire Advice

Featured Pros

Justin Boone (The Score)

Jon Collins (Fantasy Sports LR)

Ryan Rufe (RotoBaller)

Michael Pichan (Fantasy Alarm)

Adam Pfeifer (Project Roto)

Matthew Hill (Fantasy Team Advice)


Waiver Wire Rankings (STD Scoring)


 Player  Position  Team Consensus Rank Best Rank Worst Rank
 Lorenzo Taliaferro  RB  BAL  1.0  1  1
 Travis Kelce  TE  KC  4.5  3  9
 Owen Daniels  TE  BAL  5.0  2  13
 Jordan Matthews  WR  PHI  5.2  2  7
 Andrew Hawkins  WR  CLE  6.0  3  11
 Brian Quick  WR  STL  6.7  4  11
 Jerick McKinnon  RB  MIN  6.7  3  13
 Alfred Blue  RB  HOU  7.2  5  10
 Isaiah Crowell  RB  CLE  8.0  2  12
 John Brown  WR  ARI  8.3  3  10
 Marvin Jones  WR  CIN  11.2  9  17
 Allen Robinson  WR  JAC  12.8  12  14
 Larry Donnell  TE  NYG  13.0  7  18
 Niles Paul  TE  WAS  13.0  5  16
 Mohamed Sanu  WR  CIN  14.5  13  17
 Malcom Floyd  WR  SD  15.2  10  17
 Miles Austin  WR  CLE  15.5  15  16
 Eddie Royal  WR  SD  17.3  14  18

Week 4 Waiver Wire Advice

Each expert was asked to share advice about a target or two they like this week along with any other waiver wire suggestions they have. Here’s what the experts had to say.


Q1: Give us your thoughts on a waiver wire target (or two) you especially like as a pickup.


Matthew Hill – Fantasy Team Advice

While the potential for a three-way time share exists, so does the potential for Lorenzo Taliaferro to become the Ravens new lead back. It is this potential that makes Taliaferro the add of the week. After Sunday’s strong effort (rushing line of 18/91/1), the powerful Taliaferro (6’0, 226 pounds) should have at least earned a sizable percentage of carries, including goal line work, going forward.


Justin Boone – The Score

In Week 3, Lorenzo Taliaferro looked like the best running back the Ravens have put on the field this season. His only problem going forward will be playing time. Hopefully when Bernard Pierce gets back in the lineup, this doesn’t turn into a three-headed timeshare, something fantasy owners have seen all too much of this year. Isaiah Crowell could find himself in a similar situation in Cleveland.


Chip Kelly’s offense can play tricks on fantasy owners, and while Jordan Matthews has a lot of talent, his numbers will be inconsistent this year. Barring an injury to Jeremy Maclin or Riley Cooper, he remains a spot-starter. Matthews has upside, but if you are looking for a more reliable WR3, pick up Andrew Hawkins or Brian Quick, who have each produced three straight quality fantasy outings to start the season.


Jon Collins – Fantasy Sports LR

As expected, the Philadelphia Eagles are spending a lot of time in three receiver sets and rookie WR Jordan Matthews is making good on the playing time. Sure, he hadn’t registered on your fantasy radar through two weeks and it’s easy to get excited about a guy after a two score performance, but what you saw this weekend was Nick Foles placing great trust in Matthews – throwing at him in all situations, and into tight windows. The first year wideout went 8-8 on his targets and may be becoming the second option on an offense that appears destined for numerous shootouts this season.


Tailbacks Jerrick McKinnon and Lorenzo Taliaferro remain reserve backs, despite the latter’s strong outing this week, but as we saw with Taliaferro they are just an injury away from significant playing time and as such you want to have them on your roster over some of the more under-appealing, low-ceiling receivers available.

Ryan Rufe – RotoBaller

Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins may only stand 5’7″ tall, but his play over the first three weeks of the season has stood out like a giant. The diminutive Hawkins has 21 catches for 244 yards and he continues to be the most frequently targeted weapon in the Cleveland offense. While many expected Jordan Cameron to be “that guy” in the absence of Josh Gordon, Hawkins is is the one who is averaging 11 targets per game. He hasn’t found pay dirt yet, but his expected volume should play in Standard leagues as well as PPR formats, where Hawkins is most valuable.


Adam Pfeifer – Project Roto

I really like Owen Daniels. It’s a shame that Dennis Pitta’s season is in jeopardy, but Daniels was already involved in this offense, and now he’ll be the number one tight end in a very familiar Gary Kubiak offense (one that he spent his entire career in before signing with the Ravens). I also love Jordan Matthews, who had his breakout game on Sunday. The Eagles have already been talking about getting him involved more, and with Riley Cooper struggling, it’s not crazy to think the rookie can take the number two receiver job soon.


Michael Pichan – Fantasy Alarm

These rankings are with standard league scoring in mind so that increases the value of any running back(s) who project to be highly involved in their team’s offense going forward (L. Tailaferro and I. Crowell) and/or are the current handcuff to a back who currently owns the job (A. Blue). Even if you are stacked at the position getting your hands on as many running backs as you can afford to roster is key as they tend to be the “golden ticket” in the open market of trading, and as you have already begun to notice here each week the number of receiving options listed tend to highly outnumber the running backs that hold decent value. Honestly, is there much difference (outside of J. Matthews and J. Brown) between Andrew Hawkins and Malcolm Floyd or any of the tight ends listed above? Not really, so stash a running back first and foremost when it comes to standard league formats. Cardinals WR John Brown gets the slight edge over Eagles WR Jordan Matthews as he has fewer, higher-caliber teammates to contend with for (red zone) targets.



Q2: For owners looking to rent a D/ST in week 4, what readily available option should they target first?


Justin Boone – The Score

Even if Blake Bortles breathes life into the Jaguars offense, the Chargers D/ST will be an excellent start this week. San Diego is more than just a one-week streamer as well. Their next month of games are a gift from the schedule makers. Following the matchup with Jacksonville, the Chargers host the Jets, then travel to Oakland to face the Raiders, before returning home against the Chiefs.


Ryan Rufe – RotoBaller

Fantasy owners who are looking to rent a D/ST in week 4 should look no further than the San Diego Chargers. I picked this unit up in a few leagues last week when I noticed their attractive schedule from weeks 4-7 (Jac, NYJ, @Oak, KC). The Chargers limited the Bills to just 10 points in their week 3 win, and they could easily win the next four games — three of which are at home — against offenses that are ranked in the bottom-half of the NFL. San Diego won’t top the leaderboard in sacks, interceptions or turnovers this season, but they’re definitely worth considering as a streaming option or Bye week fill-in, especially during the next four weeks.


Jon Collins – Fantasy Sports LR

For Week 4, I’m targeting the San Diego Chargers DST. They’ve been steady through three weeks, and while the team isn’t producing a lot of turnovers they are keeping opponents off the board. Jacksonville’s offense showed life under Blake Bortles in Week 3, but they also showed a propensity for turnovers that you’d expect with a rookie QB in his first live action playing from behind. Bortles managed to take just one sack behind Jacksonville’s poor offensive line in the second half yesterday, but San Diego may find ways to get to him throughout the course of the game. The surest bet for a handful of sacks and a couple of turnovers make the Chargers my Week 4 DST to add.

Matthew Hill – Fantasy Team Advice

Blake Bortles will be making his first career start on the road against a surprisingly strong San Diego Chargers defense that has surrendered less than 293 yards of total offense in back-to-back games. The Jaguars complete lack of a ground game should allow San Diego to concentrate on rattling the rookie, making the Chargers defense a tremendous option for this week. Not only that, San Diego has excellent matchups coming up with the Jets and Raiders on tap for weeks five and six, making the defense a viable option beyond this week.


Michael Pichan – Fantasy Alarm

If the Detroit Lions can hold Aaron Rodgers and the potent Green Bay Packers offensive attack in check, as they did in week three, then they should be more than capable of hanging onto their current top five fantasy D/ST ranking in their week four matchup against an offensively challenged New York Jets team that will be coming off a short week of rest having played this past Monday night



Thanks to this week’s Featured Pros for sharing their advice! You can check out more picks from the pundits as their weekly rankings are unveiled soon.

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