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Week 4 Waiver Wire Pickups - All Positions

We know nothing. When I say "we," I am referring collectively to all of us who follow the NFL and play fantasy football on a regular basis of course. We were certain the Vikings-Bills game would be a blowout... but not in Buffalo's favor. The Patriots weren't going to let former assistant coach Matt Patricia and the Lions beat them... until they did. And don't tell me you had a season-long lineup that included Jakeem Grant or Tyler Boyd. The unpredictability of the NFL keeps us on our toes and means there are always emerging stars widely available on waivers. Let's look at the names that are likely to be available in your league. You won't see Calvin Ridley mentioned because his ownership is already at 45% and is guaranteed to skyrocket whether we mention him here or not, but yeah go out and bid for him too.

In this weekly waiver wire series, we provide a comprehensive list of fantasy-viable players that are owned in approximately 35% or fewer fantasy leagues, so that you can make an educated decision about who to add to your squad that might actually be available.

Let’s look around the league at the players worth adding or bidding on as we move on to Week 4 of the 2018 NFL season. Be sure to also check out our other waiver wire articles, including FAAB auction bidding recommendations, for even more in-depth analysis an all positions heading into Week 4.

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Quarterbacks - Waiver Wire Options

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals - 33% owned

His ownership keeps creeping up, but Dalton is still free for the taking in two-thirds of fantasy leagues. He's starting to look like one of the most consistent streaming options out there, having tossed at least two touchdown passes in each of the first three games. His yardage totals keep climbing as well, with 352 yards in Week 3 against a formidable Panthers team. This is the ideal time to scoop him up, as the Falcons' decimated defense is on tap in Week 4. Already without Keanu Neal and Deion Jones, they also lost Ricardo Allen in their overtime loss to the Saints in which they allowed 43 points. Joe Mixon's continued absence likely means more passing volume once again for the Red Rocket.

Eli Manning, New York Giants - 18% owned

We've held off on recommending Manning until the Giants showed signs of life and the schedule started to soften. Now is the time. Manning was extremely efficient in Sunday's victory against the Texans, completing 25 of 29 pass attempts for 297 yards and two TD. They return home to face the Saints next. There is concern that Evan Engram's knee injury could keep him out, but they seemed to get along fine without him. Manning is by no means a must-start, even in two-QB leagues, but he showed that it's too early to give up on him and Big Blue.

Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns - 12% owned

Ignore everything above and below this blurb - this is what you've been saving your FAAB for. Mayfield has been announced as the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns - a sentence that has never resulted in anything good over the last 20 years since their reincarnation. But... this could be different. Mayfield was the #1 overall pick for a reason. If watching that performance on Thursday night didn't convince you that he is the modern NFL version of Lebron James in The Land, you weren't paying attention. Mayfield doesn't just have a starting gig, he has Jarvis Landry, David Njoku, and a competent trio of running backs that can catch the ball. Even if you aren't in need of a new QB, you may want to outbid a desperate opponent just to prevent them from acquiring this potential future star.

Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills - 3% owned

When his name was listed here after Week 1, it was mostly as a "why the hell not" recommendation. Now, it's looking legit. Allen made headlines at the combine for his big arm, but he did most of the damage with his legs in today's shocking upset. Allen ran in two touchdowns by himself, racking up 39 yards on the ground. His passing stats were more modest - 196 yards and one touchdown - but he didn't turn the ball over. Remember, this was against the Vikings. Allen won't be this year's Deshaun Watson but could serve as a bye week fill-in or a stash in deep leagues.

Josh Rosen, Arizona Cardinals - 1% owned

Another rookie QB, another Josh, another speculative add. Rosen got his first taste of NFL action but it was bittersweet. In very limited time, Rosen looked ready for the moment upon completing three of his first five passes but then threw his first interception and failed to lead his team back. It's unclear whether he'll get the nod next week but the thought of Sam Bradford starting all year never seemed feasible in the first place.


Running Backs - Waiver Wire Options

Javorius Allen, Baltimore Ravens - 26% owned

Recognize and realize - Allen is and will continue to be an important part of the Ravens' offense, regardless of how much more talented people believe Alex Collins to be. Allen lowered his rushing average to two yards per carry (16-32 in three games) but he's run in a touchdown in each game and has four total TD. This plays well in standard formats, while his 13 receptions keeps his floor high in PPR leagues too.

Tavon Austin, Dallas Cowboys - 10% owned

Austin now has two touchdowns on the season. Ezekiel Elliott has none. I told y'all!!!  OK, let's make it clear that Austin will remain completely boom-bust and needs a big-play like last week or an opportune TD like this week in order to bring fantasy points. He doesn't need to be owned, but he's been the most productive receiver in Dallas and the only one to actually reach the end zone. Don't forget, he's technically a running back now, so if your RB corps consists of Devonta Freeman, Joe Mixon, Jay Ajayi or any combination thereof, you might be looking for a spark anywhere you can get it.

Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts - 8% owned

Hines couldn't capitalize on the absence of Marlon Mack, but better days are coming. Hines totaled 43 yards with five receptions included, but it was a tough road matchup with the Eagles in wet conditions. The more time Mack misses, the more chance that Hines establishes a firm role in the offense. He's simply not worth owning if you aren't playing with full PPR scoring, however.

Chris Ivory, Buffalo Bills - 6% owned

Is the Buffalo offense better with Ivory instead of LeSean McCoy? No. Now that we got that out of the way, let's at least acknowledge that Ivory combined for 126 yards in Minnesota. McCoy's status will be shaky all season, both due to health and personal concerns, so Ivory makes more sense than ever as a handcuff now that we know the Bills won't go 0-16 and Josh Allen isn't the next JP Losman.

Wendell Smallwood, Philadelphia Eagles - 1% owned

The fourth-string RB for Philly, he didn't touch the ball in Week 1 and then carried the ball seven times with one reception in Week 2 when Jay Ajayi went out. He fared well in Week 3 with a slight bump in playing time, carrying the ball 10 times for 56 yards with a touchdown, adding three catches for 35 yards. Corey Clement is still the lead back as long as Ajayi is out of action, but Smallwood retains flex appeal in very deep formats. Given Ajayi's penchant for injury and the fact that it's a back issue that could linger, nabbing Smallwood now makes sense.

Others to consider: Jordan Wilkins, Indianapolis Colts (33% owned); LeGarrette Blount, Detroit Lions (17% owned); Ty Montgomery, Green Bay Packers (16% owned); Jalen Richard, Oakland Raiders (3% owned)


Wide Receivers - Waiver Wire Options

Brandon Marshall, Seattle Seahawks - 35% owned

It may sound evil, but Marshall's consecutive target totals of 6-6-6 in the first three games is reason enough to keep him on this list, as it shows that he remains involved in the offense. He only brought in two of those targets for 30 yards in Week 3 but as a big-bodied receiver, he remains a red zone threat. He could get the Patrick Peterson treatment next week before squaring off against the Rams in Week 5, so consider him as a stash only.

Geronimo Allison, Green Bay Packers - 34% owned

Be concerned about Aaron Rodgers' health and the state of the Packers in general, but not about Allison's role in the offense. He was targeted just four times against Washington, marking a second straight week where his looks dropped by two. He did turn one of those into a 64-yard touchdown and was the leading receiver on the day. He's gone over 60 yards in every game so far and will be in the WR3 conversation as long as Rodgers is on the field.

Antonio Callaway, Cleveland Browns - 33% owned

Gordon out, Mayfield in, Callaway wins. That pretty much sums up the fantasy situation in Cleveland. From fourth-round pick to starting receiver in a matter of weeks, Callaway should be owned in nearly all competitive leagues. He's lacked production in two out of three games so far but season totals don't tell the whole story. He had 10 balls thrown his way in Week 3 and should see that volume sustained now that gunslinger Baker Mayfield is at QB.

Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals - 15% owned

Maybe now we'll stop doubting the Bengals. Boyd has emerged as the second receiver the cats have been missing since Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu left. Boyd is now 11th among all WR with 249 receiving yards and has scored in back-to-back games. The Bengals will continue to rely on the pass with Joe Mixon out (see Dalton, Andy above) so Boyd might not slow down any time soon.

Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles - 4% owned

It was a quiet return for Matthews and his new QB Carson Wentz with two catches for 21 yards. It was a low-scoring affair with little offense all around though. Matthews could become a primary receiver out of necessity soon enough, although Alshon Jeffery may be on track to return in Week 4. Even so, there is little depth and plenty of injuries in the backfield which makes him somewhat intriguing in PPR formats.

Jakeem Grant, Miami Dolphins - 3% owned

Forget Devante Parker, he's just a decoy for Jakeem Grant and Albert Wilson these days. Grant was the speedy return guy used on gimmick plays last year. Now he's looking like the Dolphins' version of Tyreek Hill. Grant turned two offensive touches into two long scores and 70 yards in Week 3 versus the Raiders. He will be used in a similar capacity the rest of the way, making him a desperation flex play with tons of upside but no safe floor to speak of.

Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals - 3% owned

QB Josh Rosen got all the attention for his debut but it was a coming-out party for Kirk. He caught seven passes for 90 yards, mostly with Bradford behind center. Regardless of who starts next week, Kirk now holds some promise as a flex play.

Others worth consideration: Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville Jaguars (20% owned); Cameron Meredith, New Orleans Saints (11% owned); John Ross, Cincinnati Bengals (10% owned); Ryan Grant, Indianapolis Colts (4% owned); Albert Wilson, Miami Dolphins (1% owned)


Tight Ends - Waiver Wire Options

Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons - 29% owned

Hooper didn't get in on any of the high-scoring action in Atlanta this time around. The emergence of Calvin Ridley might actually be a good thing for him, however. Ridley will command attention from safeties and could free up Hooper across the middle more frequently. Next week's matchup with the Bengals isn't the best time to roll him out but he will be in the TE streaming conversation most weeks.

Ricky Seals-Jones, Arizona Cardinals - 22% owned

Let's not get too crazy with the whole "Cardinals are back" theme, but RSJ has remained at the top of the TE2 stratosphere whether you know it or not. He only caught one pass for 35 yards this week but it went for a score. It was his first TD but prior to that he pulled down seven of 12 targets and has served as a reliable outlet receiver. Keep him on your watch list or play him in favorable matchups.

Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles - 3% owned

In his first game back, Carson Wentz threw 10 passes to Zach Ertz and seven to Dallas Goedert. It's pretty obvious the tight ends are going to both be involved as long as injuries keep the Eagles' skill players out of action. Goedert won't sustain this kind of pace once Jeffery returns, although he's going to get his share of red zone action. We don't normally recommend handcuffing tight ends but this could be an exception if you're in a league with a deep bench.

Others worth consideration: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jacksonville Jaguars (33% owned); Ian Thomas, Carolina Panthers (7% owned); Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens (1% owned)


Defenses - Waiver Wire Options

New York Jets - 31% owned

We knew the Jets wouldn't be as good and the Lions wouldn't be as bad as they did in Week 1. After an amazin' five picks of Matthew Stafford, the Jets had two turnovers the following week and none last week. There is hope for a turnaround, however, as they face Blake Bortles and a Jags team that could be without Leonard Fournette yet again. If Fournette goes, you can pivot elsewhere, but we saw how the team struggled to move the ball against a mediocre Titans squad in Week 3 and Bortles is usually good for a turnover or two himself.

Seattle Seahawks - 27% owned

We're discovering three key things in Seattle so far: 1) Earl Thomas is really good. 2) The 'Hawks will constantly rely on big plays on both sides of the ball. Despite allowing an average of 21 points per game, the Seattle DEF has collected seven turnovers and tallied five sacks in Week 3 alone. They will be matchup-dependent for sure, but this week they face a rookie QB, Josh Rosen, making his first ever start. You can stream this confidently this week and then quickly discard them as they face the Rams in Week 5.

Green Bay Packers - 30% owned

At this point you are clearly desperate, because either you own the Panthers who are on a bye or you stream defenses each week while everyone else in your league hoards two on their roster. The Pack are fifth-lowest in fantasy points for defenses using standard scoring but Buffalo is in town and they can't be as good as they looked last week, right?

More Waiver Wire Adds and Pickups

Check out RotoBaller's famous fantasy football draft sleepers and waiver wire pickups list, updated regularly!


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