Here are the best Week 4 waiver wire pickups for NFL fantasy football.
— Quarterbacks, assuming Trevor Siemian, Andy Dalton and Carson Palmer aren’t available…
Deshaun Watson – Think about this. Watson came within seconds of beating Nick Saban and Bill Belichick coached teams in two of this last starts. Even though Houston fell short against New England, the rookie came up large 301 passing yards and two touchdowns. Next up is a Titans defense allowing the third most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. For those thinking stash, Watson has another promising start against the Browns in Week 6.
Others: Jared Goff (Rams) at Cowboys, Blake Bortles (Jaguars) at Jets
Be concerned: Cam Newton lost tight end Greg Olsen in Week 2 and might not have top receiver Kelvin Benjamin at New England in Week 4. The Patriots haven’t been very impressive defensively, but Newton isn’t exactly dominating. With limited weapons, owners should consider other options and view Newton as a low-end QB2.
— Running backs
Wendell Smallwood – The pre-draft sleeper only had seven carries thru Week 2, but went 12 for 71 against the Giants after Darren Sproles suffered knee and arm injuries. Even if LeGarrette Blount handles goal line duties, note that Smallwood played more snaps in Week 3. Either way, he’s the best bet to replace Sproles and that’s not nothing.
Jamaal Charles – This recommendation is about the name, but the production. C.J. Anderson is the clear lead option in Denver. After three games, Charles is carving out a nice role
Branden Oliver – Melvin Gordon owners probably didn’t view any San Diego backup as a clear handcuff. That ended Sunday when Oliver stepped in while Gordon dealt with a knee injury. While the pain doesn’t sound significant, Oliver could be in play for some work and perhaps plenty of it if Gordon sits against the Eagles.
Others: Chris Johnson (Cardinals) vs. 49ers, Jamaal Williams (Packers) vs. Bears
— Wide receivers
Kenny Britt – The free agent addition finally looked like a No.1 option for the Brown with 54 yards and a touchdown on three catches with 10 targets against the Browns. Cleveland’s passing game won’t be a steady source for points, but there could be plenty of throws in the second half of the Week 4 matchup against a desperate Cincinnati team.
Josh Doctson – This recommendation is a combination of Doctson’s impressive 52-yards touchdown Sunday night and the early season struggles for Terrelle Pryor. Even though Doctson has just the one reception this season and limited playing experience on the NFL level, he might be Washington’s most talented outside receiver. The package of size, speed and legitimate hops makes Doctson a strong stash, though probably a tad risky for a Week 4 starts at the Chiefs on Monday night.
Sterling Shepard – We were waiting for the Giants passing attack to join the 2017 season. They did Sunday and Shepard did work (7-133-1) playing alongside Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshall. His weekly numbers might fluctuate with those other receivers and tight end Evan Engram receiving ample targets. Then again, Shepard is arguably the second best receiver of the bunch. They’ll all get a chance to shine against a Tampa Bay secondary that had no luck against Minnesota’s wide outs in Week 3.
Others: Paul Richardson, Robert Woods, Geronimo Allison
— Tight ends
Cameron Brate – The New York Giants haven’t stopped a starting tight end this season. They’ve also allowed a touchdown in all three games. Enter Brate, who found the end zone in Week 3. Don’t force Brate into your lineup considering his limited targets to date, but he’s the type of talent that can take advantage of the situation.
Vernon Davis – Father time certainly lost the battle with this veteran. Filling in for the injured Jordan Reed, Davis looked all kinds of spry in the Week 3 win over Oakland, both as a route-runner and with the ball in his hands. Reed (chest) might play this week. If not, Davis is worthy of a start.
Others: Evan Engram (Giants) vs. Bucs
Streamers: Jaguars at Jets, Bengals at Browns