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
Bridgewater, CAR – One of the NFL’s
class acts, Bridgewater (5-10% owned) is finally building a fantasy
resume of significance in 2020. The former Vikings QB and Saints
backup went 26-for-37 with 276-2-1, adding six carries for 32 yards
and a rushing TD during Sunday's 31-21 win against Arizona. His
next matchup is a great one – facing the Falcons in Week 5.
Wentz, PHI – Wentz (55-65% owned)
did what he could with his shoddy offensive line and completed
18 of 28 pass attempts for 193-1-1, adding seven rushes for 37
yards and another TD on Sunday night. If the line gets better,
he could be a huge fantasy asset from Weeks 8-12 (excluding the
Week 9 bye), when he has favorable matchups and could have a full
complement of healthy WRs.
Minshew, JAC – Uncle Rico got off
to a bad start with an INT on the opening drive, but he settled
in, completing 27 of 40 passes for 351-2-1 in Sunday's 33-25 loss
to the Bengals.
Goff, LAR – Goff fizzled in a big
spot on Sunday with just 200-1-0 in Sunday's boring (until the
fight at the end) 17-9 win over the Giants. He’s been efficient,
which doesn’t help much in fantasy, but a Week 5 date with a Washington
defense (one that's allowed multiple passing TDs in three of four
games so far in 2020) could be just what he needs.
CHI – Foles completed 26 of 42 passes (not great) for
249-1-1 in the 19-11 loss to the Colts on Sunday. This just isn’t
a great Bears team and the matchups (for fantasy QBs) don’t get
much easier the next few weeks.
Cousins, MIN – Cousins went 16-for-22
passing with 260-1-0 in Sunday's 31-23 win against the Texans.
But as we pointed out in last week’s column, he was included in
the writeups because he’s got awesome the matchups the next two
weeks (@SEA, ATL).
Hunt / D’Ernest
Johnson, CLE – Hunt (60-70% owned) toted the rock
11 times for 71 yards and two TDs during Sunday’s 49-38 win over
the Cowboys after Nick Chubb (knee) left the game in the first
half and did not return. D'Ernest Johnson (universally available)
also stepped up, leading the Browns with 95 rushing yards on 13
carries. Both Hunt (in the passing game) and Johnson should get
RB3 touches next Sunday against the Colts.
UPDATE: Chubb has an MCL injury,
will be placed on IR and will miss several weeks. Both Hunt and
Johnson should be fine fantasy assets for the next few weeks.
Gibson, WAS – Gibson wasn’t the
most popular guy after a couple of bad weeks, but he carried the
ball 13 times for 46 yards and a TD in Week 4 against Baltimore,
adding 4-82-0 receiving on five targets. He’s got some solid matchups
coming up (LAR, @NYG, DAL).
Kelley, LAC – Austin Ekeler (hamstring)
went down early and Kelley (55-60 percent owned) rushed nine times
for just 7 yards, hauling in all three targets for 26 yards in
the loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday. Kelley also lost a fumble,
but he could be in line for a huge workload in Week 5 vs. the
Saints if Ekeler remains sidelined.
Harris, NE –UPDATE:
Harris (20-25% owned) was activated from IR prior to Monday night’s
game, responding with 100 rushing yards on 17 carries –
a new season-high mark for Pats RBs. He’s a plug-n-play
replacement for Sony Michel (IR), but likely won’t have
too much involvement in the passing game, which is dominated by
James White and Rex Burkhead. Still, Harris should be added in
12-team leagues and will be the recipient of plenty of early-down
and goal line touches – a viable RB3/4 in most formats.
Bonnafon, CAR – Mike Davis is the
back to own in Carolina with CMC out, but Bonnafon (0-1% owned)
rushed 10 times for 53 yards and caught both of his targets for
18 yards and a TD in Sunday's 31-21 win over the Cardinals. He’ll
be involved in the offense in Week 5 @ATL.
Edmonds, ARI – Edmonds (25-30% owned)
did most of his damage in the passing game with 5-24-1 on six
targets, but he could be in line for a big workload in Week 5
with Kenyan Drake nursing a chest injury. Drake, who had 13 carries
for 35 yards and wasn't targeted during Sunday's 31-21 loss at
Carolina, left the game in the fourth quarter and didn't return.
Williams, GB –UPDATE:
As good as Aaron Jones is in a feature role, the Packers used
a lot of Williams in both the red zone and between the 20s on
Monday night. While Williams (20-25% owned) was largely unsuccessful
with the traditional carries he logged (eight rushes for 10 yards),
he caught all eight of his targets for 95 yards and appears to
be a viable RB3/flex moving forward in PPR formats and deeper
Hyde, SEA – Hyde was inactive Sunday
with a shoulder injury and Chris Carson was back.
Burkhead, NE –UPDATE:
Burkhead rushed 11 times for 45 yards and brought in his only
target for five yards in the Patriots’ 26-10 loss to the
Chiefs on Monday night. Belichick still sees his backfield as
a fluid group, so even with the activation of Harris in the Michel
role, Burkhead will see 8-12 touches per game moving forward and
occasionally get the “hot hand” treatment when the
offense is clicking.
Murray, NO – Murray had a monster
day on Sunday, rushing 14 times for 64 yards and two TDs while
adding 1-19-0 receiving yards in Sunday's 35-29 win over Detroit.
He should be owned in all formats.
Hines, IND – Hines carried the ball
nine times for 24 yards in Week 4 against the Bears, adding three
receptions for eight yards. In games when the Colts face negative
game scripts he’ll be more useful.
Perine, NYJ – Perine should be getting
more chances after he rushed five times for 15 yards and wasn't
targeted in the passing game on Thursday night. These Jets have
nothing to lose and really need to start giving him a shot.
UPDATE: The Jets waived Kalen
Ballage, so if Bell struggles in the bell cow role, we could see
more Perine mixed in.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
DEN – Patrick had a breakout game with Brett Rypien under
center, hauling in 6-113-1 on seven targets in the Broncos' 37-28
win over the Jets on Thursday. He’s owned in fewer than 1 percent
of fantasy leagues.
Tonyan, GB –UPDATE:
Last week, I included Tonyan (10-15% owned) in my “WR/TEs
to consider,” although commenters were itching for a full
write-up. Well, the Allen Lazard injury (and lack of viable Green
Bay WRs) thrust him into the spotlight on MNF, where he was a
wrecking crew against the Falcons. He caught all six of his targets
for 98 yards and three TDs, looking a lot like George Kittle –
the stud TE he spent much of the offseason working on his game
with. It seems to have paid off, as we can comfortably slot Tonyan
into TE1 conversation after this huge night.
Miller, TB – Miller (10-15% owned)
fought through hip and groin injuries on Sunday to haul in 5-83-1
on seven targets from Tom Brady. The speedy WR could be seeing
consistent targets over the next few games with Chris Godwin expected
out and O.J. Howard (Achilles) hitting the IR.
Hooper, CLE – Hooper (40-45% owned) had 5-34-1 on
seven targets Sunday and the Browns passing game looked pretty
solid against the woeful Cowboys secondary. He faces a much tougher
matchup against the Colts in Week 5, but it’s a step forward for
the former Falcons TE.
Byrd, NE –UPDATE:
Byrd caught 5-80-0 on 10 targets in New England’s Week 4
loss to the Chiefs but has been involved enough in this offense
the past few weeks that he’s a viable bench/bye-week fill-in
at WR3. He’s a talented WR who can get open and break some
Pascal, IND – Pascal has been serving
as the Colts’ deep threat WR, and while the Bears defense isn’t
terrible, he did haul in 3-58-0 on eight targets in Week 4. He’ll
continue to get opportunities with the Colts limited corps of
Lazard, GB –UPDATE:
Lazard has been placed on IR with an abdomen injury and is expected
to miss about a month to six weeks of action after undergoing
core-muscle surgery this week. We’ll see more opportunities
for Tonyan and WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (50-60% owned) in the
Aiyuk, SF – Aiyuk continues to impress.
He hauled in just two receptions (five targets) for 18 yards on
Sunday night, but had an awesome 38-yard TD run in the loss to
the Eagles. He’s a must-own WR4 in 12-team leagues, and I know
he’ll have a few more big games this season.
Jefferson, MIN – Jefferson had 4-103-0
on five targets during Sunday's 31-23 win against the Texans and
gets a favorable matchup in Week 5 when the Vikings face a Seattle
defense that’s giving up more than 400 passing yards per game.
PHI – Ward caught just four of seven targets for 38 yards
in Sunday's 25-20 win over San Francisco, but Wentz missed him
on a couple of easy throws that he rushed, so Ward’s stats should
have been better.
CIN – Higgins caught 4-77-0 on seven targets, adding
a 13-yard rush in Sunday’s 33-25 win over the Jaguars. He’s an
integral part of the Cincy offense.
Hardman, KC –UPDATE:
Hardman caught all four of his targets for 27 yards and a TD in
the Chiefs’ over the Patriots on Monday night. He’s
a big-play speedster who can disappear but makes sense in deep
leagues and dynasty formats for his explosiveness and ability
to step up if Tyreek Hill goes down.
Isabella, ARI – Christian Kirk was
back in action, so Andy was pretty quiet on Sunday with just two
catches for 3 yards (three targets).
Gronkowski, TB – Gronkowski was a huge bust on Sunday
with just one 29-yard reception on three targets on Sunday. The
Howard injury should increase Gronk’s targets, but it’s obvious
he’s no longer a Pro Bowl-caliber TE.
Graham, CHI – Graham caught four passes for 33 yards
in Chicago's 19-11 defeat to the Colts on Sunday and should be
a fine TE2 moving forward.
Alie-Cox, IND – The big red zone target had just
one catch on two targets, but it was for a 13-yard TD. He’ll be
a better play if Jack Doyle misses any more time this season and
looks like a boom-or-bust, TD-dependent TE.