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Through The Wire - Week 4

By Antonio D'Arcangelis | 9/28/20; Updated 9/30/20 |

Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business, but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious selections to help your team from week to week while you strive to collect fantasy wins, reach your league playoffs, and win the elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp. While I’m a big proponent of making trades to bolster your roster, the waiver wire can be an almost limitless resource when it comes to discovering fantasy value in strange places. Each week, I’ll highlight some of the popular (and not-so-popular) players who can help your squad and may still be available in your league. I’ll also provide a brief update on the players I covered the previous week.

Feedback is always welcome, appreciated and encouraged. I’ll get to as many e-mails as I can.

Nick Foles


Jared Goff, LAR – Goff isn’t always the most appealing fantasy QB because he has bad days and doesn’t typically soar to an enormous fantasy ceiling in favorable matchups, but he’s owned in just 35-50% of leagues heading into a matchup with the Giants. In Week 3, Goff completed 23 of 32 passes for 321-2-1, adding a two-point conversion and a rushing TD – solid numbers all-around.

Nick Foles, CHI – The Bears job seems to be his now, since he wrested the reins from Trubisky in a second half comeback victory over the Falcons. In just one half of work, Foles completed 16 of 29 passes for 188-3-1. The Bears may not make a formal announcement on the starter for a couple days, but Foles is worth a prospective add in deeper leagues.

Kirk Cousins, MIN – UPDATE: I’m including Cousins because bye weeks are starting soon and some of you will need a solid QB for Weeks 5 and 6 – when the Vikings get to play the Seahawks and Falcons, teams that have yielded big points to opposing QBs. Captain Kirk is the ultimate risk-reward play because he does have complete fantasy meltdowns occasionally, but he’s got some excellent weapons and he’s been efficient this season. That should be good enough to warrant consideration in the upcoming favorable matchups.

Other QBs to consider: Joe Burrow, Baker Mayfield, Matthew Stafford


Ryan Fitzpatrick, MIA – Fitzpatrick (5-10% owned) notched a win over the Jaguars on Thursday with just 160-2-0 passing but added 38 rushing yards and another score. He’s still got some magic in that throwing arm and looks forward to a favorable fantasy matchup against the Seahawks in Week 4.

Justin Herbert, LAC – Herbert completed 35 of 49 passes for 330-1-1 in the 21-16 loss Sunday to the Panthers and lost a costly fumble early that the team never fully recovered from. The rookie QB (and Chargers fans) had a scare when he was briefly knocked out of the game after taking a shot to the ribs, but he returned to the game not long after. The early word is that Herbert will start again in Week 4 with Tyrod Taylor still recovering from a punctured lung.

Ryan Tannehill, TEN – Tannehill came back down to earth in Week 4, throwing for 321-0-1 and dashing the hopes of fantasy owners who started him. He’ll face the Steelers in Week 4.

Gardner Minshew II, JAC – Minshew wasn’t very sharp on TNF, completing 30 of 42 passes for 275-0-1 and losing a fumble. The Bengals are on deck in Week 4.

Running Backs

Carlos Hyde, SEA – Chris Carson was injured late in the Cowboys game, so Hyde took over and rushed 4 times for 12 yards. If Carson misses time, Hyde would be a great waiver wire addition with Seattle facing two favorable matchups in the next two games before their bye – the Dolphins and Vikings. He’s a priority add even if Carson is questionable.

Rex Burkhead, NO – I don’t know when James White will return to football after the family tragedy that’s kept him out the last two games, but Rex Burkhead (20-25% owned) needs to be added in all formats. He rushed six times for 49 yards and two TDs in the Patriots’ Week 3 win over the Raiders, adding 7-49-1 on 10 targets.

Latavius Murray, NO – Owned in just 50-55% of leagues, Latavius Murray may not be as flashy as Alvin Kamara or have half the upside, but he’s getting plenty of carries with Michael Thomas out and tallied 12 rushes for 58 yards in Week 3 against the Packers. His ownership should be higher, and he’s always a threat to vulture a TD or two.

Nyheim Hines, IND – Hines didn’t yield the entire workload to Jonathan Taylor this past week, rushing seven times for 21 yards and hauling in 4-of-5 targets for 50 yards and a TD in win over the Jets. The versatile back looks to be a viable RB3/flex option for PPR leagues in Week 4.

La’Mical Perine, NYJ – Perine is the most explosive back the Jets have, and he got some touches on Sunday – rushing seven times for 24 yards and adding two catches for negative in the loss to the Colts. He’s a speculative add with some upside if Adam Gase gets fired.

Other RBs to consider: Brian Hill, Adrian Peterson, Sony Michel, Anthony McFarland Jr.


Mike Davis, CAR – Davis assumed the CMC role and had a solid day, rushing 13 times for 46 yards and adding 8-45-1 on nine targets. He’s a must-play RB2 with RB1 upside next week facing an Arizona Cardinals team that presents a favorable matchup to opposing RBs.

Darrell Henderson, LAR – As expected, Henderson had the biggest workload on Sunday, rushing 20 times for 114 yards and a TD in the Rams’ Week 3 loss to the Bills. He’s now owned in about 75% of leagues.

UPDATE: Sean McVay really likes what he sees with Henderson, and so do the experts at PFF. He’s going to start in Week 4 and makes for an excellent RB2 play.

Dion Lewis/Wayne Gallman, NYG – Both of these guys were awful because the Giants are awful, and there’s really no way to predict if one will take the lead in the coming weeks. Most of the Giants offense will come through the passing game during negative game scripts, and Devonta Freeman may be used more in the coming weeks. It’s a situation to avoid.

Myles Gaskin, MIA – Gaskin had another big fantasy day ion TNF, rushing 22 times for 66 yards and adding 5-29-0 receiving. Jordan Howard will vulture some TDs as the goal line back, but Gaskin is a viable RB3/FLEX option for next week’s matchup with the Seahawks.

Jerick McKinnon/Jeff Wilson, SF – Both of these Niners’ RBs ate well on Sunday, with McKinnon rushing 14 times for 38 yards and a TD (3-39-0 receiving) and Wilson carrying the rock 12 times for 15 yards and a TD – adding 3-54-1 in the 49ers’ rollicking 36-9 win over the Giants. McKinnon will probably be a decent RB3 play at home against the Eagles even if Raheem Mostert returns, and Wilson still has value if he’s out.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Allen Lazard, GB – Lazard (35-50% owned) finally had his big day with 6-146-1 on eight in Sunday night’s 37-30 win over the Saints. If Davante Adams remains out next week, Lazard will be a WR2 with upside against the terrible Falcons secondary.

Brandon Aiyuk, SF – Aiyuk was on my radar as the season started, and he had his coming out party on Sunday, hauling in 5-70-1 and adding 31 rushing yards and a highlight-reel score on just three carries. The rookie is owned in about 15-20% of leagues, seems to have great rapport with Nick Mullens, and could really flourish in the Kyle Shanahan offense. He’s a must-own in 12-team leagues, and while he may struggle occasionally, the burst and playmaking ability he showed in his second game portend a special future in the league.

Justin Jefferson, MIN – I had Jefferson (30-35% owned) listed in my WRs to consider last week, but he now he gets better billing after a 7-175-1 (nine targets) performance in Week 3 against the Titans. His big day was highlighted by a 71-yard TD on a play-action pass that will have fantasy owners looking to pry him from the wire this week. Giddy-up!

Greg Ward, PHI – Ward, who is universally available in fantasy, caught eight of a team-high 11 targets on Sunday, finishing with 72 receiving yards and a TD during the frustrating 23-23 tie with the Bengals. Alshon Jeffery (foot) and Jalen Reagor (thumb) were both inactive and DeSean Jackson (hamstring) left the game early, so we could see an increased workload the next few weeks. Just temper your expectations.

Tee Higgins, CIN – It looks like Burrow has found his favorite red zone target, as Higgins (5-10% owned) hauled in 5-40-2 on nine targets in the aforementioned tie game. Higgins and Burrow will now team up to face a Jaguars defense that just made Ryan Fitzpatrick look like a HOFer.

Mecole Hardman, KC – UPDATE: Hardman (35-40 % owned) has incredible speed and elusiveness – both of which were on display Monday night on his 49-yard TD score before halftime. He ended up with 4-81-1 on six targets in the 34-20 win over the Ravens and is trending up as the Chiefs offense is really clicking. He’s a fine add in 12-team leagues and has huge upside to go along with some risk – as the Chiefs have a ton of offensive weapons.

Andy Isabella, ARI – Maybe it’s time to give Andy his due. With Christian Kirk out, I thought Larry Fitzgerald was a better fantasy play, abut I forgot about this guy. The speedy second-year WR (who’s available in nearly all leagues) caught all four of his targets for 47 yards and two scores during Sunday’s 26-23 loss to Detroit. He’s made a case for an addition in deeper leagues.

TE Rob Gronkowski, TB –
UPDATE: It took a couple weeks for him to get acclimated, but Gronkowski finally got loose in Week 3 and hauled in six of seven targets (both leading the team) for 48 yards in the win over the Broncos on Sunday. He might not be available in deeper leagues, but he’s available in about one-third of fantasy leagues heading into Week 4. With Chris Godwin out for multiple weeks, Gronk could be a big part of the Bucs passing game between the 20s and in the red zone.

TE Jimmy Graham, CHI –
Owned in just 15-20% of leagues, Graham didn’t have too many owners benefiting from his monster fantasy day Sunday, when he caught six passes for 60 yards and two TDs (10 targets) in Chicago’s comeback 30-26 win over the Falcons on Sunday. We know that Foles likes his TEs, so Graham’s upside just got a huge boost. He should be owned in all 12-team leagues moving forward.

TE Mo Alie-Cox, IND – UPDATE: With Parris Campbell out at least through the Colts Week 7 bye, rookie WR Michael Pittman recovering form surgery to repair “compartment leg syndrome” (which sounds awful), and Jack Doyle obviously not 100 percent – or just not clicking with Philip Rivers – big Mo has been a monster. The athletic former NCAA hoops star is owned in about 5-10 % of fantasy leagues and should be available on the wire.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: Hunter Renfrow, Cole Beasley, Cedrick Wilson, Zach Pascal, James Washington, Kalif Raymond, TE Robert Tonyan, TE Tyler Kroft


Keelan Cole, JAC – Cole took a while to get going but finished with 4-43-0 on five targets on Thursday. He remains a fringe fantasy WR4 with some upside in certain matchups.

Tre’Quan Smith, NO – In the absence of Thomas, Smith has now finished second to Kamara in targets for two straight weeks, hauling in 4-42-0 in the Saints’ Sunday night loss. His fantasy relevance is waning.

Jalen Reagor, PHI – Thumb surgery has him out for the next few games, buy he should be back sometime after the IR stint. He’s safe to drop in redrafts.

Curtis Samuel, CAR – Samuel caught all of his targets for 4-45-0, but this was the Mike Davis show. Stay tuned.

Michael Pittman Jr., IND – Pittman was actually forced out of Sunday’s game against the Jets with an ankle injury, but was later able to return to the contest, finishing with 3-26-0 on four targets.

UPDATE: Pittman is dealing with a leg injury and might be out until around Week 8. Bad news for this rookie wideout.

Damiere Byrd, NE – Byrd had 3-27-0 on Sunday and the other wide receivers were healthy. I got a little too excited about him as a longshot DFS punt play.

Braxton Berrios, NYJ – All of the Jets receivers are basically hurt, but Berrios played and caught all four of his targets for a team-high 64 yards and a TD (the Jets’ only one) in Sunday’s drubbing. He may be the only Jets player worth owning right now, and that may not last.

TE Mike Gesicki, MIA – I loved him heading into Week 3, and Gesicki saved his fantasy day with a 15-yard TD catch – the only reception made of the three targets he saw.

TE Jonnu Smith, TEN – Smith had another solid game, finishing with 5-61-0 on eight targets in Week 3. He’s a must-own TE in 10- and 12-team leagues.