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After last week’s injury-riddled Sunday, fantasy football rosters stayed mostly intact in Week 3 (though there are still some injury fill-ins worth considering as free agent adds this week). That’s ultimately good news, but it makes our list of top Week 4 fantasy waiver wire pickups look a little thinner. Fortunately, several rookie WRs, including Justin JeffersonTee Higgins, and Brandon Aiyuk, broke out and teased fantasy owners with future stardom. Quite a few veterans, such as Rex BurkheadGreg Ward, and Jeff Wilson Jr., also stepped up and might be worth considering picking up this week, though it’s unlikely any will require actual waiver claims (save for Carlos Hyde, pending the severity of Chris Carson’s late-game knee injury). Sorry — not every week features the consensus top-two preseason picks suffering serious injuries. 

Our full free agent list has a bunch of potential pickups, though most fall into the “stash” category as we get closer to the bye weeks. Guys like Hunter Renfrow, James Washington, Andy Isabella, and Cordarrelle Patterson could have some value because of injuries to guys in front of them. Others, like Myles GaskinLogan Thomas, Mo Alie-Cox, and Corey Davis, keep seeing a steady amount of work even if they aren’t necessarily putting up huge stats. It’s all about opportunities in fantasy, so pay attention to more than just the yards and touchdowns. We also have some potential D/ST streamers at the end of this list because we feel much more confident about favorable/unfavorable matchups. 

MORE WEEK 4: RB Handcuff Chart

Unless you’re really desperate for a receiver or low-ceiling RB like Hyde, Gaskin or Adrian Peterson, this doesn’t look like the week to use a high waiver claim. Some of these WRs look legit, if inconsistent, but they’re not worth top-five claims. It’s not a bad idea for owners with low claims to snatch these guys up before they hit the free agent market, but you don’t want to fall too far down the list because you know more serious injuries are coming this year. Hyde is the one exception if Carson is slated to miss multiple weeks. — Matt Lutovsky

Unless otherwise noted, only players owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues considered.

  • Jefferson was a non-factor through the first two games (five receptions, six targets, 70 yards), but he broke out in a big way in Week 3, catching seven-of-nine targets for 175 yards and a score. A favorable matchup against the Titans and a 71-yard TD helped him have such a big day, but he’s capable of being an every-week starter if he gets regular targets. The Vikings haven’t utilized their TEs this year, and as long as that keeps happening, Jefferson will have the opportunity for targets. He’s well worth stashing ahead of the bye weeks. —Matt Lutovsky

  • The Dolphins utilized Gaskin early and often against the Jaguars on Thursday Night Football. He finished with 22 carries for 66 yards and five catches for 29 yards. Aside from Jordan Howard stealing very short-yardage touchdowns, Gaskin seems to be the main man in this backfield ahead of Howard and Matt Brieda. The Seahawks don’t have a great run defense, so if Gaskin continues to see touches, he’ll be worth using in a fantasy flex spot in Week 4, at minimum. –Billy Heyen

  • Aiyuk didn’t do much in his Week 2 debut (two catches, three targets, 21 yards, no carries), but his versatility was on full display in Week 3. The talented rookie caught five-of-nine targets for 70 yards and added 31 rushing yards and a score on three carries against the Giants. Deebo Samuel (foot) is expected to be out until Week 5, so Aiyuk will have another chance to establish himself as a trustworthy contributor in Week 4. Grab him now. —ML

  • With A.J. Green looking like a shell of himself (despite getting frequent targets) and John Ross III being a healthy inactive in Week 3, a receiver other than Tyler Boyd figures to step up for the pass-happy Bengals. Higgins was that guy in Week 3, catching five-of-nine targets for 40 yards and two TDs. Higgins had six targets in Week 2, so he’s trending upward. At 6-4, 216 pounds, Higgins can do damage all over the field, making him well worth a bench spot. —ML

  • Chris Carson exitedlate in Seattle’s win over Dallas and was seen limping on the sideline due to an apparent knee injury. We’ll certainly find out more about the severity throughout the week, but Hyde should be on everyone’s radar as a top claim if Carson is expected to miss any time. Travis Homer would also be a potential PPR flex if Carson is out against Miami. —ML

  • Ward found the end zone in Week 3 on one of his eight catches (11 targets). The converted quarterback has worked well out of the slot for the Eagles since he took on a bigger role late last season, and he did see seven targets in Week 1 before a quiet Week 2. He’s worth considering in PPR leagues as a player with a decent weekly floor, especially against an injury-depleted 49ers defense in Week 4. DeSean Jackson (hamstring) and Dallas Goedert (ankle) suffered injuries in Week 3, so that could raise Ward’s ceiling. –BH

  • Jerick McKinnon was the primary back for the 49er in Week 3, but Wilson saw just about equal work to the shifty back. Wilson saw 12 carries, and while he only logged 15 yards, he did score on the ground. He also caught all three of his targets for 54 yards and another score. Kyle Shanahan loves to mix up his backs, so as long as Raheem Mostert (knee) is out, Wilson will be a solid flex play bordering on RB2 in a couple of good upcoming matchups against the Eagles and Dolphins.— Jacob Camenker

  • Reports continue to indicate that the bone bruise in A.J. Brown’s knee could keep him out of action longer. That means Davis retains his spot as the temporary No. 1 WR in Tennessee for a bit longer. That didn’t lead to huge fantasy production in Week 2 (though he did score), but he did log five catches for 69 yards on Sunday against the Vikings. Davis is still a former top-10 pick playing with one of the league’s most underrated QBs, a combination that should work out more often than not. –BH

  • The Packers have one of the best passing attacks in the NFL helmed by Aaron Rodgers and they are taking on the Falcons and their turly awful secondary in Week 4. Lazard should have a chance to put up big numbers especially with top Packers receiver, Davante Adams, battling a hamstring injury.— JC

  • Stop us if you’ve heard this before: The Packers have one of the best passing attacks in the NFL helmed by Aaron Rodgers and they are taking on the Falcons and their truly awful secondary in Week 4. Marquez Valdes-Scantling should have a chance to put up big numbers especially with top Packers receiver, Davante Adams, battling a hamstring injury.– JC

  • With Henry Ruggs (knee) out, Renfrow stepped up. He saw a team-high nine targets (no other player saw more than four) and caught six of them for 84 yards and a TD (and was a few inches short of a second TD). Garbage time helped him pad those stats, but he should be added based on his potential PPR prowess. –JC

  • After John Brown exited against the Rams with a calf injury, Beasley emerged as Josh Allen’s favorite target. He led the team in targets with seven, catches with six, and he logged 100 yards even on the day. If Brown misses time, Beasley should be a WR3 and could be a very strong play in PPR against a porous Raiders defense in Week 4. –JC

  • Three-TD games will always draw fantasy attention, but it’s important to note that James White (personal) and Damien Harris (hand) will likely return to the Patriots backfield next week. Because of that, Burkhead might be a one-week wonder who’s not worth owning, but clearly he has big upside if one or both of White and Harris remain out. White is the key, as Burkhead soaks up a lot of his passing-down snaps that White usually gets (as shown by his seven catches on 10 yargets), but considering White isn’t injured, it’s fair to expect him back soon. —ML

  • Harris (hand) has officially spent three weeks on IR, and the Patriots could activate him soon. If he is active, the second-year back and former third-round pick could work his way into a rotation that could use a potential bell-cow back. Harris could qualify, so scoop him up based on his ceiling even if his floor is low. –JC

  • Gore is still getting volume as the Jets’ lead rusher. He handled 15 carries against the Colts despite the Jets trailing for a majority of the game. He’s not a sexy pic up, but he does have TD upside as he’ll handle most of the red-zone carries for at least one more week. —JC

  • The Lions backfield is going to be unpredictable because Matt Patricia likes to keep opponents guessing, but Peterson looks like the leader back there. Peterson handled virtually all of the backfield work (22 carries) for Detroit and he was their most effective runner. He may eventually cede carries to Kerryon Johnson and D’Andre Swift, but for now, the veteran should be the top back in the offense and owned in more than 52 percent of Yahoo leagues. —JC

  • The UMass product got a chance to play extra snaps with Christian Kirk out, and he made the most of it. Isabella caught all four of his targets for 47 yards and two TDs, and the Cardinals may opt to use his speed and quickness as a mismatch weapon in that red zone more often. He’s worth owning given his potential big-play ability. —JC

  • Chris Godwin left the Bucs’ win over the Broncos with an apparent hamstring injury. It’s unclear if the Bucs were just being cautious with their receiver in a big win or if he suffered a soft-tissue injury that could linger. If Godwin misses time, that will open up an opportunity for Miller to step into the No. 2 receiver role once again. He caught a 47-yard pass from Tom Brady on Sunday, so he’s good to have around either way. —JC

  • Jeffery (foot) might finally be back in Week 4. He’s a shell of what he once was, but he’s still a big target who might be counted on in the red zone. If nothing else, it’s worth keeping him in mind as you make your pickups this week. It’s easy to lose track of players who have yet to play a game this season due to injury. –BH

  • Tarik Cohen suffered a bad knee injury on a punt return late in the Bears’ win over the Falcons. Patterson will be the top backup to David Montgomery. Patterson with Cohen out, and although he’s not yet RB-eligible on some sites, that’s the position he’ll be playing. He saw four carries for 13 yards against the Falcons, and the converted receiver could do some damage as a pass-catcher out of the backfield if given more snaps.— JC

  • Diontae Johnson suffered a concussion in the Steelers’ Week 3 win over the Texans. Now, he’ll have to work his way through the NFL’s concussion protocol, so he should be considered questionable for next week’s game against the Titans, who just had trouble containing rookie receiver Justin Jefferson. Washington could have a chance at a big game as a result, as he ended up with a team-high seven targets and five catches for 36 yards helping to replace Johnson in Week 3. — JC

  • Even with Jack Doyle back from injury, Alie-Cox was the Colts’ top pass-catching tight end. He managed to grab Philip Rivers’ lone passing TD of the day and has a strong rapport with the veteran quarterback. He will be a solid low-end TE1 given his nice upcoming schedule (Bears, Browns, Bengals, Lions). —JC

  • Graham has had an up-and-down season so far, but he saw 10 targets and caught six passes for 60 yards and two TDs against the Falcons. He has more upside with Nick Foles now (likely) starting at quarterback, and he could put up more consistent numbers as a result. He may be more of a TD-dependent start at TE, but he’s worth owning as the potential No. 2 target in Chicago’s offense.— JC

  • Ebron caught a touchdown in Week 3, which is where you’re going to find fantasy value from him going forward. The Titans are a favorable TE matchup coming up in Week 4, so if nothing else, you can stream Ebron if you’re dealing with a rough tight end situation. –BH

  • Thomas has racked up 24 targets through three weeks , and that included seven targets for four catches and 31 yards against the Browns. His yardage totals haven’t been particularly inspiring, but Thomas is a TD threat and could be a starter in PPR formats. As long as he’s getting volume, he’s a threat to produce. –JC

  • Shenault continues to see a handful of targets and multiple rushes each game, and he’s proving to be a powerful runner. The Jaguars could bounce back offensively against the Bengals in Week 4, and Shenault should continue to see a consistent workload, especially if DJ Chark (chest) remains out. –BH

  • Williams bounced back from a subpar Week 2 to catch a touchdown on Thursday Night Football in Week 3. He’ll continue to be hit-or-miss as the third passing game option behind DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki, but he remains talented enough and a good enough red-zone threat to warrant a spot on fantasy rosters. –BH

  • For the second-consecutive week, Berrios was able to reel in a TD from Sam Darnold. The Jets aren’t a very good team, but as long as Jamison Crowder (hamstring) is out, Berrios will see a lot of action in the slot and have a chance to catch TDs. And as long as the Jets are trailing, there will be plenty of opportunities for garbage-time points. –JC

  • Dwayne Haskins had four receivers that saw six-plus targets on Sunday against the Browns, and one of them was Dontrelle Inman. The veteran caught three passes for 38 yards but made a big fantasy impact by grabbing two TDs. He may not repeat this production each week, but he should be added given that Haskins seems to be looking his way in the end zone and Washington figures to pass a lot as they look to stay in games.– JC

  • Julio Jones missed Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury and Russell Gage suffered a head injury and exited early. As a result, Zaccheaus ended up seeing six targets and catching four passes for 41 yards, all of which ranked second on the team behind Calvin Ridley. It’s also worth noting that Matt Ryan overthrew Zaccheaus for what could’ve been a big TD, so Zaccheaus should’ve done better. He should be added, as he could be a flex depending on the health of Jones and Gage. –JC

  • Humphries saw seven targets against the Vikings, good for the second most on the Titans behind tight end Jonnu Smith. As long as A.J. Brown (knee) is out, Humphries will continue to be a reliable slot target for Ryan Tannehill. His upcoming schedule looks solid, as the Steelers, Bills, and Texans have all had some trouble against slot receivers, so he could be a nice low-end WR3/high-end flex in PPR formats.— JC

  • With Christian McCaffrey out, Samuel took on a bigger role as a runner. Mike Davis was the top RB, but Samuel handled four carries for the Panthers. He only had seven yards on the ground, but the sure-fire touches are certainly a good sign. He also caught four passes for 45 yards, so he’s a solid bench receiver that can be a flex play in the right matchup. —JC

  • As long as Sammy Watkins (concussion) is out, Robinson will have more chances to produce in the Chiefs’ offense. He should be watched closely against the Ravens on Monday night, but he’s definitely a guy that could be a nice bench piece with flex upside while Watkins is unavailable. —JC

  • Davis is distinctly a deep-league target, as the Bills have a lot of mouths to feed. But Davis showed off both his possession skills and his down-field speed in the first half for the Bills on Sunday. The rookie from UCF looks like he’ll be targeted often when he’s in the game, at least, and if he keeps making plays, he can at least push Cole Beasley for the WR3 spot in Buffalo or be a good fill-in for John Brown as he deals with a calf injury. –BH

  • Hamler caught just three passes for 30 yards, but he did see five targets and one carry for the Broncos against the Buccaneers. In easier matchups, he should be a better play, and when Drew Lock returns from a shoulder injury, his ceiling as a deep threat could be as high as a WR3. —JC

  • Adam Schefter has reported that Tyrod Taylor is likely to miss Week 4 as he continues to recover from his punctured lung. Herbert gets a tough Week 4 matchup against the Buccaneers, but the rookie will continue to be worth starting in two-QB and superflex formats as long as he’s getting the starting nod. It’s also fair to expect that another good performance or two could keep Taylor on the sidelines even once he’s healthy, making Herbert worth considering as a backup in single-QB formats if you’re looking for one, as he does have consecutive 300-yard passing games. –BH

  • Playing in Carolina would be scary most of the year due to Christian McCaffrey’s presence, but Arizona won’t have to worry about that in Week 4. That’s enough to fire this group up to chase after Teddy Bridgewater and likely force a turnover or two once Kyler Murray snags a big lead. –BH

  • There are streams better than this if the 49ers get Jimmy Garoppolo back, but if it’s Nick Mullens and one or more RBs are still absent from the San Francisco attack, the Eagles are a worthy stream. Mullens’ career TD:INT ratio isn’t much greater than 1:1, so the Philadelphia secondary could feast if the 49ers fall behind in this game. –BH

  • The Broncos are far from full strength due to injuries, but the perfect fix for that is a matchup with Sam Darnold and the Jets, who will still be without Le’Veon Bell and will rely on the ancient Frank Gore in the backfield. Turnovers and three-and-outs could be the order of the day for Denver’s defense on Thursday night Week 4. –BH

  • There’s always a chance Miami breaks out Tua Tagovailoa for his NFL debut here after a 10-day layoff following Thursday Night Football. That means you’ll stream a defense either facing a QB in his NFL debut or facing Ryan Fitzpatrick, both of which are appealing enough to pursue this stream despite the trip cross country. –BH

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September 28, 2020
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