Fantasy Football Week 4 Usage Report: Waiver Wire & Trade Advice
High-end fantasy football performances and weekly finishes are fueled by high numbers of routes run and high-value targets and touches. The majority of top scorers from Week 4 saw healthy doses of red-zone targets, air yards, deep targets and goal-line carries.
Targeting players who run a high percentage of routes is also a good approach for identifying breakout candidates, beatable player props, DFS targets and players to prioritize in the week 5 fantasy football rankings and rest of season rankings.
This weekly report will look at recent rates of routes run per dropback along with players who commanded a high rate of high-value opportunities compared to larger samples to find sleeper running backs, wide receivers and tight ends who are garnering more or fewer opportunities in the passing game heading into week 5 and for the remainder of the 2022 season.
- Week 5 Waiver Wire Advice
- Fantasy Trade Advice: Buy & Sell
- Week 5 Waiver Wire Rankings
- Week 4 Injuries, Rapid Reactions & Top Performers
|Player||Routes||% of routes run per dropback||Targets||Target Share||Target Rate Per Route Run|
|Marvin Jones Jr.||26||96%||1||4%||4%|
|Equanimeous St. Brown||33||94%||3||15%||9%|
|Michael Pittman Jr.||38||93%||6||17%||16%|
|Richie James Jr.||11||50%||3||20%||27%|
Diontae Johnson was targeted just twice by Kenny Pickett in the second half. Conversely, rookie George Pickens was targeted four times for 71 receiving yards. Considering both guys are on the field for the majority of the team’s offensive passing plays, don’t be surprised to see Johnson’s target grip loosen to Pickens’ benefit with a new QB under center. Not to mention, Pickens earned a 48% air yards share in Week 4, seeing four targets of 20-plus yards. He ranks second to only Chris Olave in deep targets this season. Buy the Georgia rookie.
Buy Garrett Wilson. The Jets WR finished second in targets and route participation in Zach Wilson‘s first start of the 2022 season. Only Corey Davis saw more targets (7), but Wilson ran more routes. Leverage Davis’ TD score and Wilson’s two-catch game to buy low on the talented rookie.
Hasn’t been great for Gabe Davis since he returned from his ankle injury two weeks ago. He’s been running a route on nearly every one of Josh Allen‘s dropbacks but has done little to nothing in the production department. One catch on 3 targets in Week 4 after a 3-catch outing in Week 3. However, it was reported that he reaggravated his ankle injury and the Bills did not have other healthy WRs during the rainy game. Both Jamison Crowder and Isaiah McKenzie left with injuries. Crowder is going to miss a lot of time with a broken ankle. I’d be a buyer of Davis now, with hopes that he gets healthier. Because his role is just too good in a high-powered offense. And it’s not like anybody is stepping up – aside from Devin Singletary – and seizing a high target share behind Stefon Diggs.
Time to sell high on Brandin Cooks. The Texans WR was solid in Week 4, catching all 7 of his targets for 57 yards and one touchdown. But, his status as the clear-cut Texans’ No. 1 WR is waning. After a dominant performance in Week 1, Cooks owns just a 23% target share – 37th amongst all players. Also, he is trailing teammate Nico Collins in both air yards share and receiving yards (133 versus 181). With Davis Mills playing like arguably the league’s worst quarterback – dead last in passing EPA – get out while you still can.
RED-ZONE TARGETS, AIR YARDS AND DEEP TARGETS
|Player||Air Yards Share||Air Yards||Deep Targets||Deep Catches||Red-Zone Targets||Red-Zone TDs|
Rashod Bateman led the Ravens in targets (6), before leaving with a midfoot injury. He ran a route on just 53% of dropbacks. In relief, Devin Duvernay (68% route participation), Demarcus Robinson (58% route participation) and Isaiah Likely (52% route participation) saw expanded roles. Duvernay led the way with 5 targets.
Without Michael Thomas available, Marquez Callaway ascended into the WR1 usage role for the Saints. He ran a route on 97% of dropbacks finishing second on the team in targets. Jarvis Landry had just two catches on two targets with a 2-point conversion. Concerning without Thomas active. He didn’t seem to be limited due to injury, as he ran a route on 70% of dropbacks.
Dotson only played 59% of the snaps in Week 4 after suffering a hamstring injury. He is expected to miss 1-2 weeks, but we have seen these hamstring injuries linger. Dotson’s absence figures to consolidate targets around Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel. Samuel has led the team in targets every game this season, so McLaurin is the major benefactor. He has just a 16% target share this season. Also bodes well for tight end Logan Thomas.
Christian Watson also saw three targets and had a rushing TD, but was buried in usage. Draft capital pushed aside, it’s hard to envision Watson leapfrogging Doubs as the No. 2 WR unless there is an injury.
It’s over for Allen Robinson. He ran a route on 98% of Matthew Stafford’s 56 dropbacks Monday night and caught just 2 passes for 7 yards on 6 targets. Cooper Kupp (40% target share, 100% route rate) and Tyler Higbee (29% target share, 84% route rate) dominated the receiving production for the Rams. A-Rob had one target in the first half of Monday night’s game. He owns a 13% target share through the first month of the season.
- Last season, Tee Higgins earned a higher target rate per route run than Ja’Marr Chase. It’s the same story this season. Higgins’ 22.4% target rate per route run is nearly identical to Chase’s this season (22.2%). Over the last three weeks, both guys are healthy, Higgins has a higher target share (25% versus 24%), air yards share (38% versus 35%) and higher points per game average (19.6 versus 11.9). Both guys should be viewed as fantasy WR1s. And Chase should be bought on the cheap if managers are concerned he is firmly the WR2 on the offense. His 100% route participation and standing as the WR2 in expected fantasy points say otherwise.
- Andy Dalton started at QB, but Chris Olave‘s status as the WR1 did not change. He led the team in targets (7) for the third straight week and scored. Since Week 2, the rookie is averaging just under 100 receiving yards per game, 200-plus air yards per game and a 30% target share.
- Drake London ranks No. 1 in the NFL in target share (35%) as a 21-year-old rookie. Fantasy football doesn’t have to be hard. Buy.
- WRs that saw multiple deep targets that failed to haul them include Chase Claypool (3), Terry McLaurin (3), Rondale Moore (2) and Romeo Doubs (2).
- WRs that saw multiple red-zone targets that did not score in Week 4 include Terry McLaurin, Mike Williams, Devin Duvernay and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
- Buy Garrett Wilson. The Jets WR finished second in targets and route participation in Zach Wilson‘s first start of the 2022 season. Only Corey Davis saw more targets (7), but Wilson ran more routes. Leverage Davis’ TD score and Wilson’s two-catch game to buy low on the talented rookie. 22% target share this season.
- Sell Elijah Moore. First game with Wilson at QB and Moore finished fifth in targets (4). Woof. Just a 14% target share despite leading the team in routes run.
- Buy low on Gabe Davis. 98% route participation in a high-powered offense.
- First game back for Michael Gallup: 83% route participation. Plug-in play WR option ahead of a juicy Rams matchup if Dak Prescott is under center.
- Don’t worry about Josh Palmers’ low route participation. He got banged up with an ankle injury mid-game. He’s still the No. 3 wideout ahead of DeAndre Carter.
- Rondale Moore appeared fully healthy in Week 4, playing 86% of the snaps while running a route on 94% of dropbacks. He regulated Greg Dortch back to the bench. Moore earned 5 targets and a 10.4 aDOT in his season debut.
- It’s over for D.J. Moore. He finally got the target volume (11) but finished with just 6 catches for 50 yards. That’s the boom game we all waited for. Sigh.
- Deebo Samuel led the 49ers in target share (28%) in Week 4. The next 3 49ers pass-catchers each earned a 16% target share — Brandon Aiyuk, Jauan Jennings and George Kittle.
Aiyuk ran a route on 100% of team dropbacks, followed by Samuel (96%) and George Kittle (93%).
|Player||Routes||% of routes run per dropback||Targets||Target Share||Target Rate Per Route Run|
|Kenneth Walker III||8||25%||1||3%||13%|
|Melvin Gordon III||5||16%||1||4%||20%|
It’s happening. Breece Hall (19 vs 11) dominated the touches over Michael Carter in Week 4. He posted 17 carries versus Carter’s 9. Including the game-winning TD. Then consider his season-high 66% snap share and 63% route participation – we are COOKING with gas, people. If someone in your league is still snoozing on Hall’s newfound bell-cow role, you need to BUY.
Devin Singletary led the Buffalo backfield (15 touches). 80% opportunity share, 88% snap share. Zack Moss had 3 mostly coming on the drive after Singletary fumbled. And James Cook had zero (1 target). But most importantly, Singletary was relied on in the passing game again…with four catches for 47 yards on 5 targets while running a route on 79% of dropbacks. He’s not doing much on the ground, but fantasy managers should be all over the receiving usage he’s seeing in the Bills’ offense. Nobody is threatening his workload.
Derrick Henry doing more in the receiving game for a second straight week. 5-plus targets again with 114 rushing yards on 22 carries (1 TD). Also added 3 catches for 33 yards. Feel confident saying that after two straight weeks of high-profile receiver usage – and Treylon Burks being hurt – I think Henry catching 2-3 balls per week will be the expectation moving forward. 25% target share over the last two weeks on a 50% target rate per route run!
Melvin Gordon fumbled on his first touch late in the second quarter, his fourth fumble of the season. He would have 2 more carries all game despite Javonte Williams tearing his ACL in the third quarter. He will miss the rest of the season. Mike Boone was the next man up, not Gordon after Williams exited. Boone had three carries but also was targeted thrice and ran the most RB routes. Boone is a must-add off waivers before Week 5 as a dark horse to be the 1A in the two-man backfield.
The Buccaneers RBs totaled just 6 carries on Sunday night, with Tom Brady attempting 52 passes in full-on comeback mode. Leonard Fournette (3 carries for -3 yards) has been super inefficient as a rusher all season, but did enough as a receiver – 7 catches for 57 yards and a receiving TD on 7 targets – did salvage his fantasy outing. However, TB involved Rachaad White more than the previous 3 weeks. He scored from the 1-yard line and caught 5 passes for 50 yards while running a route on 32% of dropbacks. With the rookie’s role continuing to grow, I’d be looking to sell high on Fournette.
With Alvin Kamara and Tony Jones Jr. ruled out early Sunday morning, Latavius Murray got his first crack at playing time this season. Murray led the backfield in carries (11) to Mark Ingram‘s 10, while the duo split snaps close to 50/50. Ingram led the backfield with 3 targets, but Murray rushed for more yards (57 versus 30). He also earned the lone RB goal-line carry at the 1-yard line. But, it’s worth noting that Ingram missed time during this game dealing with injury, so I’d hardly project Murray as the clear-cut Kamara hand-cuff rest of season. When he was on the Saints he needed an injury to both Kamara and Ingram – as we saw in Week 4 – to hold fantasy value. And I say “when” because as of Monday night, Murray was signed to the Broncos practice squad. Like Mike Boone, Murray has current ties to the Denver Broncos’ regime as he signed with the Vikings during GM George Paton’s tenure from 2017-2018.
RB Opportunity Share | Week 4
Goal-line carries (Any carry inside the 10-yard line)
|Player||Carries||Touches||Opportunities||Goal-Line Carries||Goal-line TDs||Overall Opportunity Share|
|Kenneth Walker III||8||9||9||1||0||35%|
|Melvin Gordon III||3||3||4||0||0||19%|
Dameon Pierce continues to bully carries in the Texans’ backfield. He had 14 carries for 131 yards in Week 4. He had ALL the rushing attempts, highlighted by a 75-yard TD score. But oh baby, that’s just the surface. The former Florida Gator earned 6 targets and 6 receptions, while running more routes than Rex Burkhead. Second in targets and catches behind only Brandin Cooks. It’s receiving usage we haven’t seen yet from the rookie. His role is growing by the week…
Joe Mixon (RB – CIN): The Bengals RB led Thursday night with a whopping 24 carries and 4 catches. Good for a 90% opportunity share. The efficiency leaves a lot to be desired – or their lack of at 2.5 yards per carry, dead last in the NFL in rushing EPA – but usage is what fantasy managers dream about. He totaled 7 carries inside the 10-yard line in Week 4 alone as the current NFL leader in that category through the first four weeks of the season.
Josh Jacobs (RB – LV): Feed Josh. Week 4 was a monster day for Jacobs who rushed for 144 yards on 28 carries. But the best part about his day was his role in the pass game. He rolled over his receiving usage from Week 3. He caught 5 balls on 6 targets while running a route on 62% of dropbacks. With receiving usage and back-to-back weeks with a top-3 elite opportunity share – 92% in Week 4 – Jacobs has the chance to finish the season as fantasy RB1. Zamir White had just two carries and Brandon Bolden one target in Week 4.
Dalvin Cook (RB – MIN): Dalvin Cook didn’t seem limited by his shoulder injury. 22 touches for 86 yards in London, but Alexander Mattison got the TD on just four touches. Woof. Still, his 85% opportunity share is a top-8 mark for a running back, so I’d be looking to buy low after he missed out on the TD score. The Bears’ run defense – last in yards allowed per game – provides the perfect bounce-back spot.
Najee Harris (RB – PIT): Despite an 82% opportunity share in Week 4, Harris saw zero targets all game. With an absolutely brutal schedule upcoming for Pittsburgh against Buffalo, Tampa Bay, Miami, Philadelphia, Cincy and New Orleans…the time is now to get out from underneath Harris. His bulletproof role from last season isn’t the same.
Cordarelle Patterson (RB – ATL): Cordarelle Patterson came in extremely banged up with a knee injury. As a result, he saw just 9 carries and was again a zero in the passing game. Zero targets. To add literal insult to injury, Patterson suffered further damage to his knee, forcing the team to put him on IR. He’s out the next four weeks. Without him in Week 4, Tyler Allgeier and Caleb Huntley each saw 10 carries. Allgeier ripped off a 42-yard run and averaged 8.4 yards per carry. He’s a must-add off the Week 5 waiver wire.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB – KC): Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s reign continues. Except in Week 4, he totaled more than 12 touches. The KC running back commanded 20 touches for 94 yards on the ground plus one catch for 2 yards. He benefited majorly from a positive game script and scored two more TDs. However, Isaiah Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon each earned a carry inside the 10-yard line. And the seventh-round rookie looked spry running the ball, totaling 11 carries for 63 yards. Keep Pacheco stashed on all benches.
- Miami has a Chase Edmonds problem. Instead of using their prized free agent acquisition, they are opting for 30-year-old journeyman Raheem Mostert as the RB1 in the offense. Edmonds played just 28% of the snaps on Thursday night to Mostert’s 72% snap share. Mostert was running 67% of the routes and dominating touches 17 to 7. Edmonds has been able to survive off RZ touches converting to TDs the last two weeks, but that won’t last on such low volume. Sell high.
- Najee Harris was not targeted once in Week 4 despite running a route on 48% of offensive dropbacks.
- Buy Breece Hall. 66% snap share (season-high) in Week 4. Fully taking over pass-catching duties with 6 targets. He’s closing in on becoming an explosive three-down workhorse.
- J.K. Dobbins led the backfield with 17 touches for 63 yards (50% snap share) and two scores (4 carries inside the 10-yard line). The Ravens RB getting goal-line touches is super key for his fantasy success. And he’s been low-key used as a receiver, with 6 targets in the past two games. Expect the usage to climb with Justice Hill suffering a hamstring injury.
- Sell low on Antonio Gibson. Washington showed us an ugly 3-headed committee in Week 4. Gibson – 16 touches, Jonathan Williams? – 5 touches, JD McKissic – 11 touches. Brian Robinson‘s return spells potential doom for AG.
- Add Tyler Allgeier. He should see an expanded role with the injury to C-Patt even if he splits carries with Caleb Huntley. The rookie dominated the receiving usage, running a route on 40% of dropbacks. Huntley ran one route.
- Sell high on Austin Ekeler. He finished Week 4 with 13 carries for just 60 yards against the league’s worst run defense, but scored 3 touchdowns! However, he combined for just three more carries than Sony Michel and Joshua Kelley combined (10). And he was under a 60% snap share, right in line with his season-long average. Sell high. Keenan Allen coming back isn’t going to increase his target share.
- Sell high on Rashaad Penny. The dude shredded the league’s worst run defense. Next up are the New Orleans Saints. Perfect time to sell high on an injury-prone Penny with Kenneth Walker vying to eat into Penny’s workload as the season progresses.
- Buy James Robinson: He and Travis Etienne Jr. split carries in Week 4, eight a piece. But ETN saw the lone target and ran more routes (9 versus 14). However, don’t let one disastrous week from Robinson with a horrible game script let you overlook the fact that he is playing the Chicago Bears in Week 5. The defense that has allowed the most rushing yards per game (183.3).
- RBs that saw multiple carries inside the 10-yard line that did not score in Week 4 include Jonathan Taylor (2), Raheem Mostert (2), James Conner (2), Kareem Hunt (2) and Nick Chubb (2).
- 90% opportunity share for Jeff Wilson Jr. on Monday Night Football. Compiled 18 carries for 74 yards and a rushing TD. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk was second in backfield touches (2). Deebo Samuel also had just two carries. Wilson ran a route on just 33% of dropbacks and was not targeted.
- For the second straight week, Darrell Henderson (31, 55%) ran more routes than Cam Akers (14, 25%). Henderson also out-targeted Akers 4-to-1 and out-snapped him 59% to 38%. Neither did anything on the ground versus an elite 49ers run defense. Akers had one more carry (8 vs 7), but rushed for just 13 yards (1.6 yards per carry).
|Player||Routes||% of routes run per dropback||Targets||Target Share||Target Rate Per Route Run|
|Irv Smith Jr.||26||63%||4||11%||15%|
Hayden Hurst’s routes came back to life in Week 4 (71%) after falling off in Week 3, because he was dealing with an injury. With 10 days of rest to fully push the injury aside, Hurst remains a reliable tight end streamer that can be plugged into almost any matchup off the waiver wire for TE-needy roster.
The Muth is going to get loose with Kenny Pickett presumably taking over as the Steelers starting quarterback. He saw a 36% target share in Week 4 after a down Week 3, and half of his targets (8 total) came in the second half from his rookie QB. He tied rookie George Pickens for the most targets in Pickett’s debut.
David Njoku season LIVES ON. Seven targets. 5 catches for 73 yards. Ran a route on 87% of dropbacks. With this consistent usage over the past two weeks, Njoku is an every-week tight end play. YLTSI.
Logan Thomas ran a route on 73% of Carson Wentz‘s dropbacks, while playing a 74% snap share. Both season-high marks. He is starting to get healthy and the playing time reflects it. Grab him now with Dotson slated to miss the next few weeks.
Don’t get too carried away adding Mo Alie-Cox off waivers. The 70% snap share, 63% route participation, 17% target share and 2 TDs are great no doubt. As is 85 receiving yards. But last week it was Jelani Woods with the two scores. It’s encouraging no doubt that Alie-Cox delivered with more playing time, but I’d like to see if the trend continues.
RED-ZONE TARGETS, AIR YARDS AND DEEP TARGETS
|Player||Air Yards Share||Air Yards||Deep Catches||Deep Targets||Red-Zone Targets||Red-Zone TDs|
|Irv Smith Jr.||10%||25||0||1||0||0|
- Rookie tight end Daniel Bellinger was the Giants leading receiver with 23 yards on 3 targets (20% target share). Yikes. Stay away from this passing game. Because despite Bellinger’s targets, Tanner Hudson ran more routes. Yuck.
- Cameron Brate saw 8 targets in Week 4, but left the game with a head injury. In his place, rookie Cade Otton earned four targets while running a route on 55% of dropbacks. Otton seems like the most likely candidate to see an expanded role if Brate misses, but Kyle Rudolph was inactive in Week 4.
- Irv Smith Jr.‘s route participation continues to hover in the sub-65% range, making him a fringy play every week with a meh target behind other pass-catchers in the Vikings offense. Caught just 3 passes for 23 yards in Week 4. Keep tabs on Adam Thielen‘s ankle that seemed to be bothering in Week 4. That could be the break ISJ needs for the target floodgates to open.
- Albert Okwuegbunam can be dropped. He played just 2% of the team’s snaps in Week 4 and saw zero targets. It’s a shame because in his place, Broncos tight end Eric Saubert ran a route on 87% of Russell Wilson‘s dropbacks. This isn’t the case to add Saubert, but instead sneakily add rookie Greg Dulcich. He should be back from IR in Week 5 and could take over primary pass-catching duties.
- Buy low on Dalton Schultz. The Cowboys TE reclaimed his pre-injury usage in Week 4 running a route on 79% of dropbacks while playing 90% of the snaps. However, he struggled with Cooper Rush at quarterback again, as he has done in every single game Rush has started for Dallas the past two seasons. But with Dak Prescott coming back, there’s hope Schultz can become more involved. He’s dirt cheap and might even be dropped to waivers.
- TEs that saw multiple red-zone targets that did not score in Week 4 include Mark Andrews and Darren Waller.
- Tyler Conklin‘s top-tier usage stayed the same with Zach Wilson under center but he only saw five targets with the Jets throwing fewer than 50 times. However with projected negative game scripts as far as the eye can see amid a brutal upcoming schedule, he will remain a fringe top-15 option based on usage alone with room to grow should the Jets throw more.
- Dawson Knox saw his route participation increase in Week 4 and that led to 6 targets. With injuries to the Buffalo WRs, Knox is obtaining more chances for production. 21% target rate per route run this past week.
- Seahawks TE Will Dissly saw more targets (4) than Noah Fant (1) in Week 4. He also ran more routes and played a higher snap share (735 versus 59%). Drop Fant.
- Gerald Everett maintained his status as every week TE start: 6 targets, 5 catches for 61 yards and 1 TD on consistent route participation (63%).
- Hunter Henry will likely be flirting with a 100% snap share if Jonnu Smith‘s injury is serious. Understandably he has done nothing all year, but a Smith injury should provide the kick start to a tight end that has a huge history of fantasy production.
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