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Waiver Wire Rankings and FAB Advice: Week 4 (2021 Fantasy Football)

Sep 27, 2021

Here’s a look at our waiver wire rankings, along with feedback from our experts, Dan Harris, Kyle Yates, Joe Pisapia, and Pat Fitzmaurice.

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Week 4 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Rankings

Waiver Wire Rankings powered by FantasyProsECR ™ – Expert Consensus Rankings


Q1. Who is your top waiver wire option of the week, and why?

It has to be Chuba Hubbard, even with the news that Christian McCaffrey‘s hamstring injury is “less than a Grade 1” strain. After McCaffrey’s injuries last year, the Panthers are almost certainly going to be as careful with him as possible, and we saw what Mike Davis – someone with little track record – did in the Panthers offense last season. The biggest issue for Hubbard was that it wasn’t clear if Carolina would simply turn everything over to him as they did Davis, considering Hubbard is a rookie. But once McCaffrey went out on Thursday night, Hubbard played on the vast majority of snaps, and was productive, particularly in the passing game. We have to assume that he’d see a similar workload if CMC is out again, and by default, he would fall into RB2 production. Anyone with that potential – even in the short term – is a priority add, as we saw with Alexander Mattison.
– Dan Harris (@danharris80)

The answer here has to be Chuba Hubbard, right? With the news that Christian McCaffrey is going to be sidelined for the next few weeks, Hubbard is the next man up in Carolina. However, I do want to pump the brakes here a little bit and say that we shouldn’t expect anywhere close to the level of production that CMC was providing fantasy managers when he was on the field. With scouting Hubbard at Oklahoma State, I can tell you that his receiving ability isn’t anywhere close to McCaffrey’s and he’s unlikely to see a significant workload as a receiver out of the backfield. With that being said, he’s going to have plenty of volume on the ground which will put him into the top-20 conversation at the RB position every week moving forward. He’s definitely worth adding, but we just need to remember the type of player he is and that he’s not going to instantly step in and replace CMC’s fantasy production.
– Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL)

Considering Chuba Hubbard is now the starting RB for the Panthers for the foreseeable future, he’s worth a hefty investment of FAB, and a premium for Christian McCaffrey-led teams. 30-35% of your remaining budget is recommended. Backup Mike Davis excelled last season in this offense under the same scenario, so Hubbard’s fantasy upside is a high-end RB2 for the next few weeks the way Sam Darnold is running things in 2021.
– Joe Pisapia (@JoePisapia17)

It has to be Chuba Hubbard. With Christian McCaffrey destined to miss some time with a hamstring injury, this is the chance to acquire a guy who’s most likely going to be a lead back for a month or more. That should mean at least low-end RB2 value for Hubbard in the coming weeks and potentially much greater value than that. Hubbard is worth an aggressive bid.
– Pat Fitzmaurice (@Fitz_FF)

Q2. Which high-end waiver wire option for Week 4 was the most difficult to rank?

Marquez Callaway. On the one hand, he led the Saints receivers in targets, receptions, and yards on Sunday against the Patriots, while also scoring a touchdown. On the other, his “big” day was four catches for 41 yards. That makes just seven catches for 63 yards on the season. We don’t know Tre’Quan Smith‘s timetable for a return even though he is eligible now and eventually Michael Thomas will be back. So even the most optimistic scenario leaves Callaway as probably the third best option (behind Thomas and Alvin Kamara) in an offense that ideally does not rely on Jameis Winston throwing the ball much. But if you are the number one wide receiver in a Sean Payton offense, which Callaway may still be for a few weeks if Smith isn’t ready to return just yet, then you have to be worth a pickup. There’s just so much uncertainty with Callaway’s role, it’s impossible to feel confident ranking him.

– Dan Harris (@danharris80)

Tyler Conklin was difficult for me to rank this week. He’s an athletic TE that has the potential to continue performing the way he did in week three, but we also saw KJ Osborn take a step back in the offense after seeing a lot of work in previous weeks. The ball is going to go to Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson first, but then it’s a battle for who steps up next between Conklin and Osborn. I’m not entirely confident that Conklin’s going to be a rock-solid start moving forward, but based on other options at the TE position that are under-performing, it’s probably best to at least take a shot on him and see what happens.
– Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL)

Emmanuel Sanders had an incredible Week 3 performance but hauled in just 6 of his 14 targets over the previous two weeks. It feels like his Sunday was a “one-off” and dangerous to chase aggressively with FAB.
– Joe Pisapia (@JoePisapia17)

Jakobi Meyers. How do you value a player who’s the clear alpha receiver for his team but is allergic to the end zone and plays in a low-octane passing offense? There’s value to what Meyers offers, especially in PPR leagues, but I’m not sure what sort of price to put on it.
– Pat Fitzmaurice (@Fitz_FF)

Q3. For managers renting a D/ST in Week 4, what readily available option (under 40%) should they target?

The answer is almost always “whatever team is facing the Jets,” and that remains true this week with the Titans. To be clear, the Tennessee defense has done nothing this year, with just one turnover and seven sacks. But the Jets’ offense is in shambles and the offensive line is a sieve. The Titans shouldn’t allow many points and should pile up the sacks, making them a top option this week.

– Dan Harris (@danharris80)

The Chicago Bears’ defense has been up and down so far this season, but they have the playmakers to be able to shut down this Detroit Lions offense. I’m not expecting a top-5 week from them, but Jared Goff has historically performed very poorly against this defense and he could turn the ball over a couple of times in this one.
– Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL)

The Titans’ defense is NOT impressive. However, the way the Jets offense is going they could look like the ’85 Bears this upcoming week. Zach Wilson is having trouble seeing his receivers downfield thanks to constant pressure. All of that is leading to turnovers, which is leading towards low totals. The Titans can absolutely be streamed with confidence this week.
– Joe Pisapia (@JoePisapia17)

The Titans. It doesn’t matter that Tennessee doesn’t have a very good defense. The Titans are playing the Jets, and that’s an offense we want to target with streaming defenses as much as possible.
– Pat Fitzmaurice (@Fitz_FF)


Notable Week 4 Waiver Wire FAB Recommendations (in %)


Q4. Which Week 4 waiver wire option carries the biggest risk of being a waste of FAB dollars?

Even though he's my top pickup, it's got to be Chuba Hubbard. It will take significant FAB dollars to land him, and if McCaffrey misses only one week, then Hubbard certainly won't return value. That's a risk that fantasy managers HAVE to take, though. But it comes with risk.

- Dan Harris (@danharris80)

As mentioned in Q2, Tyler Conklin has the potential to turn into a solid fantasy asset for managers in 2021. However, there's also the possibility that next week, Osborn sees seven targets, and Conklin only sees two or three. I'm not spending big to acquire him, but I am looking to add him to my team if I have a need at the TE position.
- Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL)

Nick Westbrook-Ikhine popped up and made an impact in the void of AJ Brown's injury and Julio Jones's absence. However, his Week 4 value is dependent on Brown being out again (likely). But also keep in mind, Julio Jones should be the go-to guy, hence Mike Vrabel protecting him on the sideline during a game they had in hand.
- Joe Pisapia (@JoePisapia17)

Peyton Barber has a great deal of potential Week 4 value against a Chargers defense that's had trouble stopping the run. But if Josh Jacobs returns from toe/ankle injuries, Barber's value evaporates. And the Raiders play on Monday night, so Jacobs' status might be unclear before the start of Sunday's games.
- Pat Fitzmaurice (@Fitz_FF)

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