Early Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 4 (2021 Fantasy Football)
Remember to reach out with questions on Twitter (@toomuchtuma) anytime.
Note: Most players are less than 30% rostered in Yahoo leagues.
Chuba Hubbard (RB – CAR): 25% rostered
Megastar fantasy RB Christian McCaffrey (hamstring) is going to miss “a few weeks”, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. This opens the door for 2021 fourth-rounder Chuba Hubbard, who ran 11 times for 52 yards in relief of CMC on Thursday night. Hubbard also added three receptions for an additional 27 yards through the air (on five targets). Fantasy managers obviously shouldn’t expect him to replicate CMC’s every-down role, nor should we anticipate McCaffrey’s playmaking ability, but this recommendation is as simple as it comes. Fantasy football remains a volume-driven game, and Hubbard is about to see the bulk of the Panthers’ RB touches for at least a few weeks.
Note that Royce Freeman totaled six touches for 25 yards in Week 2. He’s currently 1% rostered and might be worth adding in deeper leagues too.
Tony Jones Jr. (RB – NO): 18% rostered
The 23-year-old was once again quiet in Week 3 against the Patriots, rushing twice for 12 yards while catching 2-of-2 passes for an additional 10. We can now confidently say that his 12 Week 1 touches were caused by the Saints’ blowout victory over the Packers. Still, as we saw with Hubbard, all it takes is an injury to the lead guy for a backup to flirt with RB2 status. Jones is a handcuff option to considering rostering for managers with an open bench spot.
Emmanuel Sanders (WR – BUF): 25% rostered
Sanders was the cover boy for last week’s piece, and I’d expect him to soon eclipse the 30% threshold following Sunday’s 5-94-2 line against the Washington Football Team. The 34-year-old continues to run a high percentage of routes on one of the most pass-heavy teams in the NFL. Buffalo’s offense won’t be this explosive every week, but Sanders’ services will likely come in handy once bye weeks start piling up.
In leagues where he's available, I think Emmanuel Sanders is pretty underrated entering Week 2
In Week 1 he played 79-of-85 snaps while running a route on all of Josh Allen's drop backs
Was in the slot 23 times
We know the Bills are going to throw
— Brendan Tuma (@toomuchtuma) September 19, 2021
Elijah Moore (WR – NYJ): 28% rostered
It’s admittedly tough to recommend a Jets player following another brutal showing in Week 3 against the Broncos. Still, Moore’s prospect profile was elite coming out of college and he has flashed in his limited opportunities thus far. Marshall (more on him below) is probably the better stash given the offensive environments for each rookie. Moore finished Week 3 with three catches, six targets, and 22 yards. He draws the Titans in Week 4.
Terrace Marshall (WR – CAR): 14% rostered
We know the value of rookies increases throughout the season, and Marshall’s opportunities are already trending in the right direction. He played a season-high 61.6% of the snaps in Thursday’s Week 3 win over the Texans. Additionally, Robby Anderson‘s snaps have seen a steady decrease. Marshall can’t be trusted as a fantasy starter just yet, but this is a situation to get in on early.
Van Jefferson (WR – LAR): 6% rostered
The second-year wideout ran a route on 100% of Matthew Stafford‘s drop backs in Week 2, but he took a backseat to DeSean Jackson on Sunday against the Bucs. D-Jax’s performance (high-variance routes with limited usage) is exactly the type of waiver wire add we want to avoid. Jefferson’s role should be more secure moving forward, though Jackson’s usage is something to monitor. The Cardinals await the Rams in Week 4.
Dawson Knox (TE – BUF): 9% rostered
This recommendation is pretty uninspired, but the tight end waiver wire market is once again shaping up to be a wasteland. Knox has scored touchdowns in consecutive games and the Bills continue to throw at one of the highest rates in the league.
Sam Darnold (QB – CAR): 21% rostered
This week’s recommendations are full of Panthers, but it’s hard to deny how well they’re playing, regardless of the competition they’ve faced thus far. Enter Darnold, who threw for over 250 passing yards just once in 2020. However, he has accomplished the feat in all three games he has played this season, including 300+ yard performances the past two weeks. Darnold already has three rushing touchdowns this season and draws a potential high-scoring matchup against in Dallas in Week 4. He’s moving up the QB2 ranks.