Fantasy football waiver wire: Target Calvin Ridley in Week 4


Fantasy football waiver wire: Target Calvin Ridley in Week 4

It was a bad week for injuries in fantasy football. 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's season appears to be over after a knee injury, while top options like Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (groin) and Giants tight end Evan Engram (knee) left their respective games with injuries.

Then again, it's never a good week for fantasy football injuries. Thus, it's always important to stay on top of the waiver wire, and keep your team ready in the inevitable event that injuries strike. To that end, here's who you should target going into Week 4. 

Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins QB (Owned in 7.8 percent of ESPN leagues)

Tannehill continued to improve in Week 3. He threw for 289 yards and three touchdown passes, and added 26 more yards on the ground. He faces a tough task in New England against the Patriots in Week 4, but there's hope for the Dolphins signal-caller.

While Tannehill is winless in five starts at New England, the Patriots have been porous against opposing fantasy QBs this season. Plus, the Texas A&M product has thrown for over 300 yards in each of his last three starts in Foxboro. Give Tannehill a look, especially if you need Jimmy Garoppolo insurance. 

Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons WR (40.8 percent of ESPN leagues)

Let's get this out of the way: It's unlikely the rookie will haul in seven catches for nearly 150 yards, plus three touchdowns, every week from now on. But, the No. 26 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft has arrived as a legitimate fantasy option. 

He was targeted eight times on Sunday, surpassing Julio Jones as Matt Ryan's favorite target against the Saints. Ridley will have a favorable matchup, too, against a Bengals defense that has given up two receiving touchdowns each week. There will be downs, but the potential for ups like his monster performance Sunday make Ridley a must-target.

Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals WR (23.7 percent of ESPN leagues)

Boyd caught a touchdown for the second straight game in Week 3, and crossed the 100-yard threshold for the first time in 2018. He was targeted seven times, tying for fourth on the team. That doesn't sound like a lot, but Boyd is likely in line for mroe looks. 

With Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis unsure if A.J. Green (groin) will play in Week 4, Boyd could become Andy Dalton's most-targeted wide receiver. He's got plenty of big-play ability, too, so you should make the third-year pro a priority on the waiver wire this week.

Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers WR (33 percent of ESPN leagues) 

Williams caught four passes for 81 yards and two touchdowns against the Rams Sunday, leading the Chargers in targets (seven) just one week after he was only targeted twice. But, Williams has now caught touchdowns in back-to-back games, and has scored double-digit points in standard PPR leagues every week. 

Even if the 23-year-old can't reach the ceiling of his Week 3 breakout, he still has a decent floor. Williams will have a good opportunity to keep it up in Week 4 against a 49ers defense that's given up at least 300 passing yards each of the last two weeks.

Ohio State captain tells Cardinals he would take Nick Bosa with No. 1 pick


Ohio State captain tells Cardinals he would take Nick Bosa with No. 1 pick

MOBILE, Ala. -- During a meeting with the Arizona Cardinals this week at the Senior Bowl, Ohio State receiver Terry McLaurin was asked to play the role of NFL general manager.

The Cardinals have the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft. McLaurin, a two-time Ohio State captain, said the Cardinals asked for his insight about defensive end Nick Bosa, a former teammate.

“And they asked, ‘Would you take Nick Bosa?' And I said, ‘Yes, for the No. 1 overall pick.’”

The 49ers own the No. 2 overall pick. If Bosa gets past the Cardinals, the 49ers would be a strong candidate to select Bosa to upgrade their biggest need of an edge rusher.

[RELATED: 49ers' staff wishes Josh Allen was at the Senior Bowl]

Bosa sustained a core muscle injury on Sept. 15 and underwent surgery two weeks later that was expected to involve a 12-week rehabilitation. On Oct. 17, Ohio State announced Bosa had withdrawn from school to concentrate on his rehabilitation for the draft.

“To be honest, I understood,” McLaurin said Wednesday at the Senior Bowl. “He has a life-changing opportunity. And while we missed him and we wish we could’ve had him, we understood. People couldn’t appreciate how serious his injury was.

“Even if he would’ve been able to come back, it may not have been until the Big Ten championship game. And he wouldn’t have been 100-percent healthy. So for him to put himself in that situation, not healthy, a 50-percent Nick Bosa is not good enough. We need 100 percent. We understood. We didn’t take any offense to it. But we did miss him.”

Bosa recorded four sacks in the three games in which he appeared this season as a junior. During his sophomore year at Ohio State, Bosa registered 8.5 sacks to enter the season as the favorite to be chosen with the No. 1 overall pick. His injury is not expected to have much impact on his draft status.

McLaurin, who spoke at length with Bosa when Ohio State traveled to Southern California for the Rose Bowl, described him as a “great teammate.”

“He’s always pushing the younger guys,” McLaurin said of Bosa. “He’s a very high competitor. Sometimes our coaches have to pull him back because of how hard he goes. He’s probably one of the best players I’ve ever played with.”

49ers hopeful Kris Kocurek can unleash Solomon Thomas in crucial third year


49ers hopeful Kris Kocurek can unleash Solomon Thomas in crucial third year

MOBILE, Ala. -- 49ers defesive coordinator Robert Saleh knows a big question for San Francisco's defense heading into 2019 is how they plan to use defensive lineman Solomon Thomas. Saleh explained new coach Kris Kocurek is going to have a lot of influence in that decision. 

“Kris Kocurek is studying him,” Saleh said, “and we’re going to sit down. I want his thoughts unbiased so I’m not going to put anything out there right now. He knows what we did last year. He knows where our thoughts are initially. We’re going to have him study it.” 

Kocurek was a coach that became available with the staff changes in Miami. Both coach Kyle Shanahan and Saleh said that it wasn’t anything against former defensive line coach Jeff Zgonina, as there was no plan to make a change. It was simply an opportunity they needed to take advantage of

“We all want to see what he says and how he views him,” Saleh said. “From there as an organization, we’ll do what’s best for the organization and put Solly in the best position to be successful.”

Thomas will be entering his third season, which Saleh says is a very important one for players. It’s a chance for them to be able to show that they can decipher what an offense is going to do, fast enough to be able to make plays. 

“You know the standard,” Saleh said. ‘You know the defense. You know what’s being asked of you. Can you recognize offenses fast enough now to be able to trigger and do things at a higher level? Usually a third year is a great year for players to play.

“I’ve been out here, I’ve seen the split, I’ve seen this release before. How quickly can you recognize it so now you can go make plays? It’s going to be a big year in terms of offensive identification for these guys to really showcase how good they’ve gotten.” 

Thomas has been steadily making progress after missing much of the offseason his rookie year, which stunted his growth. He played in all 16 games in 2018, registering 31 total tackles (24 solo), three for a loss. 

While Thomas only recorded one sack, he was a consistent disruption in the middle of the line. This was particularly notable in the 49ers' win over the Seahawks in Week 13 when he drew two holding calls late in the game that helped secure the victory. 

There has been a lot of pressure on Thomas to be a game-changing player after being selected as the third overall pick in 2017. The defensive coaching staff has struggled to figure out where he can be the most productive. They had originally played him on the outside, even though he was very productive on the inside at Stanford. 

The 49ers are hopeful Kocurek’s fresh set of eyes will help put Thomas in a better position to heighten his productivity and improve the team's struggling pass rush.