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Through The Wire - Week 4

By Antonio D'Arcangelis | 9/28/21 |

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.


Kirk Cousins, MIN – We told you he’d be doing this in my Week 1 column, and despite the inevitable solid performances like he gave us this week in the win over the Seahawks (323-3-0 on 30-for-38 passing), he’s just 30-35% owned heading into a big Week 4 home game against the Browns. It’s almost amusing that people won’t take the plunge but will take a shot on a guy like Justin Fields.

Sam Darnold, CAR – Darnold is just 10% owned heading into a favorable Week 4 matchup with the Cowboys and could be in for another big yardage total like he had on TNF (304-0-0). While Darnold didn’t throw for any TDs on Thursday, he did add 11 rushing yards and two TDs on the ground and makes for a fine QB2 option.

Matt Ryan, ATL – Ryan (30-35% owned) completed 27 of 36 passes for 243-2-0 in Sunday’s 17-14 win over the Giants, adding a lost fumble. The veteran signal caller has an opportunity to post QB2 numbers in a Week 4 matchup against a Washington defense that surrendered four passing touchdowns to Josh Allen on Sunday.

Other QBs to consider: Teddy Bridgewater (25-30%), Jimmy Garoppolo (5%)


Daniel Jones, NYG – Jones posted weak overall numbers Sunday (266-0-0) and accounted for zero TDs in the loss to the Falcons. He rushed eight times for 39 yards and a successful two-point conversion but is dealing with several injuries in his WR corps.

Justin Fields, CHI – I’m glad I didn’t recommend Fields this past week because he stunk, completing just six of his 20 passes for 68 yards and adding just three carries for 12 yards while being sacked nine times. He also underwent a precautionary X-ray on his right throwing hand after the loss and is just not a fantasy option right now even if he’s the starter against the Lions.

Taylor Heinicke, WAS – Heinicke struggled on Sunday, completing just 14 of 24 passes for 212-2-2 in the loss to the Bills. He rushed eight times for 21 yards and another TD, however, and should be able to handle the Falcons and post serviceable QB2 numbers in Week 4.

Chuba Hubbard

Running Backs

Chuba Hubbard, CAR – With the injury to Christian McCaffrey, Hubbard has jumped up the Panthers' depth chart as the clear backfield beneficiary, rushing for 52 yards on Thursday night and hauling in three of five targets for 27 yards. Royce Freeman handled change-of-pace carries and had 25 total yards on six touches. Hubbard is the clear RB add this week and is rostered in about 10-15% of leagues.

Zack Moss, BUF – Moss (still available in 35-40% of leagues) continues to play the Tony Pollard role in Buffalo, rushing 13 times for 60 yards and hauling in all three targets for 31 yards and another touchdown on Sunday. The second-year back out-touched Devin Singletary in Week 3 and could be in for another big workload in a Week 4 matchup against the Texans.

Other RBs to consider: James Conner (70%), Alexander Mattison (65-70%), Cordarrelle Patterson (60%), Giovani Bernard (10-15%), Peyton Barber (10-15%), Brandon Bolden (0-1%), Royce Freeman (0-1%)


Tony Pollard, DAL – UPDATE: Now about 60-65% owned, Pollard saw lots of work in the first half on MNF and finished the game with 11 rushes for 60 yards. He also caught his lone target for five yards and remains good for 10-15 touches per game – and a worthwhile flex play in 12-team leagues.

Phillip Lindsay, HOU – Lindsay rushed seven times for just 5 yards on Thursday and somehow led the backfield both in carries and as useless. He’s off my radar.

Kenneth Gainwell, PHI – UPDATE: Gainwell only had one carry on Monday night, adding 3-32-0 receiving (four targets) on the final drives in garbage time after not touching the ball at all until the second half. The Eagles game plan was an arbitrarily bad one, so better game scripts should result in more opportunities for the rookie moving forward.

J.D. McKissic, WAS – McKissic took three carries for 23 yards and caught both of his targets for 15 yards in the blowout loss to Buffalo, but both he and Antonio Gibson should see plenty of chances against the Falcons in Week 4.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Emmanuel Sanders, BUF – Sanders (20-25% owned) is emerging as a solid fantasy producer. He had 5-94-2 on Sunday and could build on that standout performance in a Week 4 home matchup against the Texans.

Hunter Renfrow, LV – It’s probably time to add Renfrow (10-15% owned), who had another solid game working out of the slot for Las Vegas (5-77-1 on six targets) in Sunday’s 31-28 overtime win over the Dolphins.

Kendrick Bourne, NE – Bourne had six receptions on eight targets for 96 yards and a TD in Sunday’ 28-13 loss to the Saints, and is almost universally available. He could be worth an addition in deeper PPR leagues.

Josh Gordon, KC – UPDATE: The 30-year-old Gordon has been added to the Chiefs practice squad and is probably a few weeks away from any kind of fantasy relevance, since he’s going to have to get up to speed. The embattled but talented wideout most recently played for Seattle near the conclusion of the 2019 season but was recently reinstated by the league. He’s a deep league speculative add at best.

DeSean Jackson, LAR – Jackson had one of his patented deep ball games, recording just three receptions on five targets but going for 120 yards and a TD in the Week 3 win over Tampa Bay. He didn’t do much in the first two weeks and will find it difficult to see consistent targets moving forward due to the stacked receiving corps in Los Angeles, but it's clear that he’s still got something in the tank.

Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, TEN – The young WR caught all four of his targets for 53 yards and a TD but lost a crucial fumble in Sunday’s 25-16 win over the Colts. Westbrook-Ikhine saw an expanded role after A.J. Brown left the game early with a hamstring injury, and would figure to benefit from more snaps if Brown of Julio Jones were forced to miss additional time.

TE Tyler Conklin, MIN – Conklin is just 3% owned and caught 7-70-1 on eight targets in the win over the Seahawks. He’s now on the TE2 radar and gets an exploitable matchup against the Browns in Week 4.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: Jakobi Meyers (60%), A.J. Green (25%), Bryan Edwards (10-15%), TE Dawson Knox (5%), TE Dalton Schultz (2-5%), Olamide Zaccheaus (1%), Kalif Raymond (1%), Collin Johnson (0-1%)


Michael Pittman Jr., IND – Pittman was coming off a career-best 8-123-0 outing but remained involved despite the double-ankle disaster that as Carson Wentz, hauling in 6-68-0 on a team-high 12 targets in the loss to the Titans. He has a tougher matchup against the Dolphins and CB Xavien Howard in Week 4.

Rondale Moore, ARI – Two catches for 1 yard on two targets. Not how he was supposed to follow up his breakout game.

K.J. Osborn, MIN – Osborn had just 2-26-0 on two targets against Seattle as Conklin and Mattison assumed larger roles this week.

Tim Patrick, DEN – Patrick hauled in all five of his targets for 98 yards in the Week 3 win over the Jets and could see more targets coming his way in a Week 4 matchup against Baltimore. With KJ Hamler injured as well, Patrick could have a big day.

UPDATE: Hamler is out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL, so Patrick is a priority this week off the wire.

Quintez Cephus, DET –
Cephus secured his only target for eight yards during the loss to the Ravens but should get more chances in the next couple of weeks. He’s a deep league play and DFS punt at best.

Quez Watkins, PHI – UPDATE: Watkins was targeted just twice on Monday night but hauled in both catches for a total of 46 yards, including an athletic play on a 41-yard throw from Jalen Hurts that showed he probably should have seen more targets before the game was out of hand.