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Waiver Wire Rankings: Expert Pickups for Week 4

Sep 29, 2015

Karlos Williams found the end zone again in Week 3 making him the top waiver option

Karlos Williams found the end zone again in Week 3 making him the top waiver option

Dion Lewis was at it again on Sunday and if you were fortunate enough to scoop up Devonta Freeman for your weekend tilts, you probably had a pretty solid day. Unfortunately, not everyone was lucky enough to get a good pickup off the waiver wire. That’s okay though, as the end of Week 3 brings new injuries as well as players who appear to be more than just one week wonders.

After all, who knew Travis Benjamin would be tied for the second most receiving touchdowns (4) at this point in the season? If you’re looking to improve your team or simply keep your league-mates down in the standings, we’ve asked our featured experts to rank the top waiver options that are readily available. To take it a step further, we’ve also asked them to tell us why they like a certain player or two more than the other options.

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Featured Pros

R.J. WhiteCBS Sports
Jon CollinsFantasy Sports LR
Zach WilkensRotoBaller
Addison WittFantasy Team Advice
Alex MiglioFootballguys

Waiver Wire Rankings (Standard Scoring)

Player Position Team Consensus Rank Best Rank Worst Rank Yahoo
Ownership %
Karlos Williams RB BUF 1.4 1 2 24%
Rishard Matthews WR MIA 3.2 1 5 32%
Marvin Jones WR CIN 4.6 3 6 20%
Lance Dunbar RB DAL 4.6 3 6 17%
Leonard Hankerson WR ATL 6.6 4 18 12%
Thomas Rawls RB SEA 6.6 2 9 2%
Dorial Green-Beckham WR TEN 7 5 17 17%
Rueben Randle WR NYG 9.6 6 11 28%
Allen Hurns WR JAC 9.6 7 13 10%
Cecil Shorts WR HOU 10.8 7 14 10%
Ted Ginn Jr. WR CAR 12.2 8 17 9%
Kenny Britt WR STL 13 8 15 7%
Bilal Powell RB NYJ 13.2 9 19 16%
Antonio Andrews RB TEN 13.4 7 18 1%
Fred Jackson RB SEA 13.8 4 18 12%
Charles Clay TE BUF 14 10 17 17%
Nate Washington WR HOU 15.2 12 19 9%
Coby Fleener TE IND 15.2 12 19 19%
Alfred Blue RB HOU 16 13 19 23%
Gary Barnidge TE CLE 20 20 20 0%

Week 4 Waiver Wire Advice

Each expert was asked to share the reasoning behind their waiver rankings. 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.

R.J. WhiteCBS Sports
Karlos Williams has been a beast in Buffalo. Despite seeing fewer carries than starter LeSean McCoy, he’s the team leader in rushing yards, more than doubling McCoy’s per-carry average. His success doesn’t come as a total shock, as he posted the best Speed Score at the combine this year (also in the top five were early breakouts David Johnson and Matt Jones). Even with McCoy’s big contract, Williams just cannot be kept on the sidelines if he continues to produce at an elite level.

Jon CollinsFantasy Sports LR
Dorial Green-Beckham is my top waiver claim this week. At this stage of the season I’m looking toward the long term, and while DGB may not be best positioned to make a week four impact, he’s trending like a player who could have staying power. We’ve seen enough from Marcus Mariota to suggest that his stats can produce two useful receivers in most weeks, and we’ve seen enough from Harry Douglas to suggest that receiver isn’t him. He’s drawn 14 targets over the last two weeks and has produced just 4 receptions with them, while the rookie has used his size to secure two touchdowns in one on one matchups and has been seen running free mid-field in limited action. It may take time, but the 7 targets per week that Douglas has earned over his last two outings could be headed Green-Beckham’s way before long.

Addison WittFantasy Team Advice
Leonard Hankerson is a guy I want on my roster. He spent the first 4 years of his career catching passes from Rex Grossman and RG3. Matt Ryan is a significant upgrade, and Hankerson smells blood with Roddy White inching closer to the retirement home (Roddy will be 34 years old in 35 days). If Julio Jones keeps up his dominance, opposing defenses could revolve their game plan around minimizing his production, leaving more room to run for Hankerson. Roddy has played 121 snaps the past two games, and has caught 0 passes to Hankerson’s 9 receptions for 122 yards and 1 TD. The 3-0 Falcons are firing on all cylinders, and have a very favorable upcoming schedule: HOU, WAS, @NO, @TEN, TB, @SF.

Zach WilkensRotoBaller
I am pretty impressed with what Rishard Matthews has done so far. The most important thing is that he is seeing an increase in targets every single week. I do believe DeVante Parker continues to get more involved as well, but the way Matthews has played, it looks like he is here to stay. I also like Marvin Jones a lot. Andy Dalton looks more like his 2013 self than last year and Jones (along with Eifert) is a big reason for that. A.J. Green is the top guy without a doubt, but in most matchups, there will be room for Jones to provide you solid WR3/flex numbers as well.

Alex MiglioFootballguys
One guy I like who has gotten a ton of targets over the past couple of weeks is Cecil Shorts. He hasn’t turned those into big fantasy days, but volume is an important component in fantasy scoring. Similar things could be said of Rishard Matthews, who did turn a bunch of targets into a huge game last week, though much of that was in garbage time.

Q2: For anyone in need of a QB, what readily available player (owned in less than 30% of Yahoo leagues) should they target?

R.J. WhiteCBS Sports
I’d go ahead and grab Jay Cutler if I had another option for Week 4, which he’s likely to miss. When healthy, he has been a quality fantasy option; despite last year’s awful season for the Bears, he still delivered 3,812 passing yards and 28 touchdowns through the air. Plus, this version of the Bears figures to allow plenty of garbage-time production in the second halves of games with the team down big. By the end of the year, we’ll look back and see that Cutler was a solid fantasy option for most of the season.

Jon CollinsFantasy Sports LR
Derek Carr looks like a great option for Week 4. I’m a bit intimidated by the fact that Oakland will now play their second straight game far from home, but they’ll do so against an underwhelming Bears D with an offense that punted on every possession in Seattle. Oakland’s offense stumbled in the opener, but it looks like a different beast with an effective Latavius Murray running the ball, and Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree proving to be significant improvements at WR (as expected). With two straight 300 yard passing efforts, Carr should see plenty of short fields in Week 4 with an opportunity to improve upon his solid 242 yard/1.67 TD averages to date.

Addison WittFantasy Team Advice
While Derek Carr is my favorite of the low-owned QB options, I’ll touch on the next guy in line I’m targeting: “Famous” Jameis Winston (25% owned). Through 3 weeks, Winston is averaging 15 standard fantasy PPG and 226 passing yards per game. The loss of Austin Seferian-Jenkins for a month or so hurts, but the return of 2014’s #10 fantasy WR, Mike Evans, outweighs that loss. The Bucs run game has been underwhelming (3.5 YPC on 69 carries, 0 TDs), forcing the team to stick to the pass. The strongest variable in my decision to target Jameis is their favorable upcoming schedule: CAR, JAC, @WAS, @ATL, NYG, DAL. The more games Winston gets under his belt, the more comfortable he will become. Confidence and swagger has never been an issue for Jameis.

Zach WilkensRotoBaller
I would target Alex Smith. Sure he struggled heavily against Denver in Week 2, but the Broncos have an elite defense. He was a very good play in Week 1 and I still think that is more of the expectation going forward. His weapons are too good (Kelce, Charles, Maclin) for him not to put up a solid number of points weekly.

Alex MiglioFootballguys
You mean besides Michael Vick, who inherits the best offense he has ever played in? He may be getting a bit long in the tooth, but we saw he could still deal during the preseason. He probably won’t be getting as many fantasy points on the ground, but Vick steps into a very nice situation for once.

Thanks to the experts for ranking their top waiver pickups for Week 4. For more advice from them, please follow them on Twitter.

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