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High-Upside Bench Stashes: Weekend Waiver Wire for Week 4 Includes Zach Wilson, Zay Jones, Evan Engram, D'Onta Foreman

Zach Wilson - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News

Being one step ahead of your league mates when it comes to adding players before the market catches up and saving your FAAB or waiver priority in the process is an underrated skill. As mentioned last week, having a solid draft is needed for the success of your season, but using FAAB wisely and starting the right players each week is just as important. In fantasy, we always want to be looking for backup running backs who are one spot away on the depth chart from having fantasy value. While we aren't wishing for anyone to get injured, unfortunately injuries are a harsh reality of fantasy football that we must be prepared for.

If you are in a league that allows you to drop bench players after Thursday Night Football, you might be able to make some free additions to your teams before Sunday. It's important to keep a keen eye on the injury reports and statuses of all teams as we head into the weekend. Whenever a player is injured or ruled out for the game, the first thing that should come to your mind is: "Who benefits the most from this on their team?" If you can develop that skill over time you will become a maestro on waivers, as well as be able to capitalize on player values and pick the right starts each week. Like an investor in the stock market, we always want to be conscious of a simple thing called cause and effect.

Week to week it is my job to keep my ear to the local scuttlebutt of all that is going on with 32 teams to help you bargain hunt for some free options on your league's waiver wire. Here are this week's selections for you to keep an eye on.

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Weekend Waiver Wire Stashes Before Week 4

Zay Jones, Jacksonville Jaguars - 30% rostered

A player who is having a later career resurgence, Jones is showing some incredible potential for fantasy this season. He was being taken at the very end of best-ball drafts and was mostly undrafted in all other formats, but so far this season Jones has seen 24 targets!

The Jaguars' offense is looking like a potent one with the emergence of running back James Robinson whose recovery from an Achilles injury has defied all of what we once thought was true about injury recovery times and sports medical science.

Quarterback Trevor Lawrence is thriving under new head coach Doug Pederson and is showing us all why he was worthy of the number one overall pick. All of these factors are solid for Jones' fantasy value as he is playing 75.6% of the team's offensive snaps so far. While Christian Kirk feels firmly entrenched as the number one target on the team, Jones only has to compete with Evan Engram to be a top two target. He is a player with some serious fantasy value in 3WR leagues and deeper formats.

UPDATE 10/2: Jones has been ruled out for Week 4.

Richie James Jr., New York Giants - 15% rostered

A seventh-round pick of the 49ers in 2018, James has signed as a free agent by the Giants this offseason. With Sterling Shepard unfortunately lost for the season due to a knee injury, James could very well be the top target on the Giants right now with Kenny Golladay in the coach's doghouse and Kadarius Toney and Wan'Dale Robinson still out with injuries.

This season James has seen six, six, and five targets per game, and the Giants' offense is looking much better under Brian Daboll than in years past. It's not likely that James will hold the number one spot all season long, but if you are in a bind with injuries right now and need a player with a decent target floor to start at WR, you could do a lot worse than James.

This week's matchup with the Bears is a favorable one and he should see more than his fair share of volume.

Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Bucs - 30% rostered

While he has been slow getting out of the gates in the first three weeks of the season with just eight carries and two receptions, we must remain patient with the talented running back. If you drafted your team with a Zero RB or Anchor/Hero RB strategy, Rachaad White is one of your ideal targets and should be stashed on the bench for the time being.

This Tampa Bay Bucs team so far sits at 2-1, but it has been anything pretty on offense as injuries have been piling up since training camp. However, they remind me much of an aging San Antonio Spurs team at the end of their run who still has the potential to turn on the jets and get rolling by midseason.

While he hasn't seen much action yet, White would become a must-start if anything were to happen to Leonard Fournette. As mentioned previously, the key to White getting on the field is going to be earning the trust of Tom Brady and improving his pass protection. So far, Fournette has been entrenched as the lead RB on the team.

Last season at Arizona State, White rushed for over 1,000 yards averaging 5.5 yards per carry while having 43 receptions for 456 yards and a TD. In deeper formats, he is a great stash to hold on your roster. He's a special talent and many will see why if he can get on the field more.

Jerick McKinnon, Kansas City Chiefs - 10% rostered

A very talented player who missed the 2018 and 2019 seasons due to some awful injuries, McKinnon is a good player who now looks healthy and productive even at age 30. While Clyde Edwards-Helaire has seen the bulk of the fantasy production in Kansas City so far, McKinnon isn't as far behind him as many think.

McKinnon has played 46 percent of the team's offensive snaps this year and out-snapped CEH in Week 3 where he played 52 percent of the snaps against Indianapolis. McKinnon is a solid runner and a good receiver out of the backfield. It's not likely that he will see more receptions than CEH at this point, but he is a player who could have some value if he gets more playing time.

So far, this Chiefs offense has looked anything but the high-octane offenses we've become accustomed to, but that could change as the season goes on and Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid become better at utilizing their current pieces. McKinnon is being very overlooked right now and could be the type of league winner for teams as an RB2 later in the season.

Josh Reynolds, Detroit Lions - 11% rostered

Lions star wideout, Amon-Ra St. Brown has been officially ruled out for Sunday's contest against the Seahawks, and running back D'Andre Swift will not play as well. So far this season, the Detroit offense has been one of the better ones in the league as the Lions are second in the NFL in points per game at 31.7 and third in total yards per game at 409.

Quarterback Jared Goff played with Reynolds for four seasons on the Rams and the two already have some chemistry together. While Reynolds likely will be the third option at best once the Sun God and rookie Jameson Williams are back on the field, he is a serviceable player who is already playing close to 80 percent of the team's offensive snaps this season.

If he has a big game this Sunday, Reynolds will be added on waivers by plenty of teams. If you are in a 3WR league with multiple flexes and a deeper bench he is a player worthy of your attention right now.

Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars - 23% rostered

Like Zay Jones, Engram has some potential fantasy due to how solid the Jaguars offense has looked so far this season. While he had a down game against the Chargers in Week 3, so far Engram has seen 15 targets. If you are in a pinch at tight end, he is a player you could start, especially in Week 5 when the Jaguars play the Texans.

Engram was once a former darling of the fantasy community who has now been an outcast and left for dead. He had 109 targets on the Giants just two years ago before injuries derailed his fantasy production. So far this season, Engram is looking healthy and we know how well tight ends have performed in years past inside of Doug Pederson's offenses.

Now that he is in a new home, Engram has the potential to be a great late value for fantasy. If you already have a top tight end on your roster, Engram isn't much of value to you right now outside of a bye week, but if you went late tight end in your league and are still looking for a reliable starter, he is a player with some potential.

D'Onta Foreman, Carolina Panthers - 12% rostered

With Christian McCaffrey's status for Week 4 very much in doubt, Foreman is worth our attention. While the Panthers' offense has been nothing short of a train wreck through the first three weeks of the season, we should always be chasing running back volume wherever we can get it.

Foreman was a talented prospect several years ago before an Achilles injury sidelined him and it took a few seasons for him to get back into form. While there is a chance he may be competing with Chuba Hubbard for touches on Sunday, Foreman is a good receiver out of the backfield and could have some fantasy value.

It's not an overly attractive option right now given that it appears Matt Rhule's days in Charlotte appear to be numbered. Nonetheless, Foreman is a player you could pick up and after a good game potentially trade him to the CMC manager. It likely won't be pretty, but Foreman should have our attention for the time being due to the fact that starting running backs are scarce for fantasy.

Zach Wilson, New York Jets - 9% rostered

A player who is more polarizing across the fantasy space than Gabe Davis, Wilson is returning from a knee injury he suffered during the preseason and is expected to make his debut in Week 4 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He likely doesn't have a lot of fantasy value right now in 1QB leagues, but in Superflex leagues, there is a chance he may be hanging around on waivers somewhere.

Wilson did not look ready at all as a rookie last season and struggled mightily, but the Jets' front office has done a tremendous job in surrounding him with some talented players in Michael Carter, Breece Hall, Elijah Moore, and Garrett Wilson. For this reason, there is a chance that Wilson could take a bigger step in his sophomore season at the NFL level.

Dating back to last season, Wilson finished with five touchdowns and just two interceptions in his final seven starts. He has some shown chemistry with Elijah Moore and Garrett Wilson is already looking like a 10-year NFL veteran from the start. Given how much Tua Tagovailoa has improved with the addition of Tyreek Hill to go along with Jaylen Waddle in Miami, is it reasonable to suspect the same could happen to Wilson?

 

I hope you enjoyed these picks. Feel free to follow me on Twitter for more waiver and player analysis throughout the season!



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