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Week 4 Waiver Wire Mistakes to Avoid (2020 Fantasy Football)

Sep 29, 2020

Target long-term options like Jefferson over one week wonders.

The infirmary list is getting bigger – and so is the number of fantasy football managers frustrated with their rosters.

We saw several other marquee names go down with injuries in Week 3, leaving managers scrambling to fill holes for the second week in a row. But while the waiver wire might look like a cold drink of water on a hot summer’s day, our experts caution against making foolish decisions in their latest edition of Waiver Wire Mistakes to Avoid:

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Q1. What one waiver wire mistake should fantasy football players avoid in Week 4?

I have two thoughts on the waiver wire this week based on outcomes from Week 3.

First, Chris Carson is set to miss 1-2 weeks with a minor knee sprain. Based on that information alone, you might be thinking to yourself, “I’m going to rush to the waiver wire and put a large bid on his backup, Carlos Hyde!” Let’s take a step back and think about this one though. Unless you are 0-3 and going to start Hyde this week, you should avoid overspending on a stopgap option, especially if he won’t be in your starting lineup. Let someone else overspend on a backup running back on what has proven to be a pass-heavy Seahawks attack.

Second, do not put a bid in on Cowboys WR Cedrick Wilson. Sure, he put up 107 yards and two touchdowns in Week 4, but Dak Prescott threw the ball an incredible 57 times. That won’t happen on a weekly basis, and Wilson is still firmly entrenched as the team’s 4th wide receiver on the depth chart behind Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb. While he made the most of his 29% snap share, this performance is more than likely going to be his best of the season. Let someone else waste their precious FAAB on a wide receiver who may never see more than a handful of snaps in each game moving forward.
– Adam Koffler (@AdamKoffler)

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If your league’s waiver wire operates on a FAB system, don’t deplete your budget to pick up a guy you don’t really need or wouldn’t start right away.

In my home league of unloveable drunks, I saw Darrel Henderson get scooped up for $42 FAB dollars just so he could score 22 points on some guy’s bench in Week 3. Why? How? Say what you want about matchups, but listen: If you’re bidding hard on a player, he’s probably coming off a hot week or some such promising performance, right? But you can’t get in on any of that action if you don’t ride the streak right away.

What’s the point of spending your FAB dollars on a free agent if you’re just going to wait and see what he does? You’re supposed to do that research (or go with your gut) before you make a move, not after. There’s nothing worse than wasting a boat load of dough on a guy you just end up cutting three or four weeks later. It’s a losing strategy and it could cost you dearly down the road.

If you’re going to make a big splash on a hot free agent commodity, make it count! Don’t waste a ton of your budget on a player you wouldn’t immediately enter into your starting lineup.
– Jim Columbo (@WideRightNBlue)

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I won’t keep pounding the same “don’t overreact” or “slow and steady” mantras this week.

Ahead of Week 4, my best advice to offer is don’t overlook the QB position. My top pickups this week are Jeff Wilson, Tee Higgins and Justin Jefferson, but there are several quarterbacks you need to have on your radar. Nick Foles has shown what he can do when inserted into the starting lineup, and there’s no reason he won’t be Chicago’s starter for the rest of the season. He’s a great long-term solution for those in need of help at the position.

Looking for a short-term add? He’s on the waiver wire, too. Kirk Cousins faces Houston, Seattle and Atlanta over the next three weeks and should be a QB1 streamer for those tasty matchups – You like that?!? I know I do. Want to take a chance on a rookie? Say no more, as Justin Herbert should be available on your waiver wire. After throwing for over 300 yards in his first two starts, he’s got a beautiful schedule from Weeks 5-9: NO, NYJ, MIA, JAC, LV.

Finally, do you need help for just this week and want to look cool in front of all your league mates? Yep, you guessed it. That guy’s available on your waiver wire too. The Dolphins face Seattle’s barely-there pass defense in Week 4, and it’s possible we get a little bit of FitzMagic in a tremendous spot start. Ryan Fitzpatrick is your man if you’re looking for a widely available and high-end streamer this week.

You should always be looking to add quality backs and wideouts off the waiver wire, but this week, don’t make the mistake of forgetting about the quarterback.
– Zak Hanshew (@Zakthemonster)

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My advice for this week is to not sell your soul for a stop-gap. It’s easy to get excited by a breakout performance from a player, but some breakouts are just due to teams’ temporary holes.

For example, Mike Davis looks like a great waiver add over Devonta Freeman right now, but Davis won’t have any fantasy relevance after McCaffrey returns. If you invested almost all of your FAAB in Davis, sure, he might help you win a few games now, but he probably won’t help you much late in the season. I’m saying this because we’ve got a number of popular pickups who are just stop-gaps this week.

I wrote waiver-wire profiles about Brandon Aiyuk and Greg Ward, and while I’m excited about both of them in the short term, neither of them have tons of long-term upside. Before placing a bid or a waiver claim, you should always ask yourself how long you’ll be able to use that player. Short-term upside is always great, but don’t sink your season by investing too much capital in a stop-gap option.
– Isaiah Sirois (@is_sirois)

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Early in the season, it’s crucial to beat the drum of thinking long-term with your waiver adds still.

A perfect example is between two players I wrote about this week, Jeff Wilson Jr. and Justin Jefferson. Wilson has a tiny window of immediate opportunity. Even if your team is desperately thin at RB and you need someone to play this week, you would still be better off in the long run taking a higher claim or dropping more FAAB budget on Jefferson, who holds a high ceiling of value for the remainder of the season.

If there aren’t immediate fits for your roster on the wire this week that offer multi-week value, you can’t force it, and it’s not worth wasting money on a one-week rental. You would be better off stockpiling at another position and exploring the trade market aggressively.

Wait for waivers to clear and take a chance on a free streaming option that will offer similar boom/bust appeal for free.
– John Ferguson (@FantasyFerguson)

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