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Week 4 Waiver Wire Pickups (QB, RB, WR, TE): Free Agent Adds Include Tank Dell, Joshua Palmer, Romeo Doubs, Roschon Johnson

Joshua Palmer - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Welcome to Week 4 of the NFL season. Hopefully, you're 3-0 in your fantasy football league and just looking to make marginal changes around the edges. However, if you're not and you need to make big changes to your roster, this article will help you figure out who to target. I'll be looking at all the best players fantasy managers should be considering adding to their roster this week. It's difficult to make this article relevant to all the different kinds of leagues out there. There are different league sizes, scoring settings, and roster requirements, which can make things difficult. As a general rule of thumb, I'll only be looking at players with a rostership percentage of 50% or lower, according to Yahoo! Some exceptions may be made for a player around 55%.

One thing I'll be adding this year is a category distinction for all players. This should help you figure out which players to add based on what your waiver wire goals are. Keep in mind that players can qualify for multiple distinctions. Those distinctions will be as follows:

  • BC: Breakout Candidate – This is a player who may not be startable yet, but has a good chance of breaking out and becoming a weekly starter at some point in the season. If you're not in need of a starter this week, these are the players you should be targeting off the waiver wire.
  • WS: Weekly Streamer – This is a player who is not a weekly starter or even someone you cannot drop, but rather they are someone you can target if the matchup is right or if you're desperate for a one-time starter. This is likely to be a quarterback or tight end.
  • DP: Depth Player – This is a player who reminds me of a quote from Bad Santa, "They can't all be winners, now can they?" Obviously, we'd all love to have breakout players, but it's also important to have quality depth players who can be started during bye weeks and be decent injury-replacement players. This is someone like JuJu Smith-Schuster.
  • DL: Deep League Add – This is for competitive 12-team leagues or larger.
  • IF: Injury Fill-In – This is a player who will be a weekly spot starter during the starter's absence due to injuries.
  • MA: Must Add – This is a player who due to any number of circumstances, now finds himself as a weekly fantasy starter and is someone fantasy managers should be adding to their teams.
  • UH: Upside Handcuff – This is reserved for our running backs who could become prominent players if the primary starter gets hurt.

If you have any specific waiver wire questions, give me a follow on X @RobFFSlayer, and don’t be afraid to reach out. I’ll be completing the waiver wire column all year here at RotoBaller and I hope to help as many of you as possible win your fantasy football league.

Be sure to also check our other Week 14 fantasy football waiver wire pickups articles:


Quarterbacks - Waiver Wire Options

Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals – 24% Rostered 

The Cardinals have been surprisingly competitive through three weeks with Joshua Dobbs at quarterback. Arizona made Murray one of their team captains this season, an act that would seem to indicate he's likely to play this season. You'll find a few players who have a higher ceiling than Murray on your waiver wire.

We are currently playing fantasy football in the age of the quarterback. Years ago, the strategy of waiting on a quarterback was excellent because there were so few that were true difference-makers. Those days are gone. Quarterbacks are putting up video game numbers and they’ve never been as valuable as they are today. Murray is one of those quarterbacks.

It's no mystery why he wasn't drafted and remains a free agent in so many fantasy football leagues. He’s recovering from a torn ACL. He's currently on the PUP list but is eligible to return in Week 5. He may not run as much as he used to right away. As a waiver wire add, I’m not so much adding him for Week 5, but rather for Week 15. The previous tweet (what do we call them now?) showcased his weekly upside. Simply put, he’s been one of the best fantasy quarterbacks of all time on a PPG basis.

If your league has an IR, Murray needs to be there. He’s got top-five upside and is one of the few quarterbacks who can compete with the Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, and Lamar Jacksons of the world. He was named a team captain, solidifying the belief he'll return and play this season.

Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams – 54% Rostered

Despite missing Cooper Kupp, Stafford has been terrific on the young season. While he hasn't played his Week 3 game yet -- he'll face off against the Bengals tonight -- he's had over 300 passing yards in back-to-back games. Despite the excellent yardage, his overall fantasy scoring has been somewhat lacking because he has just one touchdown on the season. He's scored 14.5 and 14.0 points, respectively, but he's thrown 93 attempts through two weeks. That kind of volume, especially combined with his passing efficiency, is eventually going to lead to more touchdowns.

There is optimism that Kupp will be ready to play by Week 5 and that will give Stafford another weapon to go along with rookie sensation Puka Nacua and Tutu Atwell. Based on how these two receivers have played and the ancillary weapons of Van Jefferson and Tyler Higbee, adding Kupp will give Stafford a full arsenal.

The Rams have just 181 rushing yards through two weeks, ranking 22nd in the league, which means this team will need to continue leaning on Stafford and the passing game. In the next three weeks, Stafford will play against Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Philadelphia. All three of these teams are in the top 10 in most points given up to opposing quarterbacks through the first two weeks of the season.

Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 22% Rostered (WS)

Mayfield hasn't played his Week 3 contest yet with a Monday night game scheduled for this evening against the Philadelphia Eagles. However, the hope is that his hot streak continues against a defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks through two weeks. The Eagles have been shredded by Mac Jones and Kirk Cousins in consecutive weeks and now will attempt to stop one of the brightest spots in this young season.

Mayfield has been fantastic for the 2-0 Buccaneers, which includes fantasy performances. He hasn't been amazing, but he's scored 16 and 18 points in Weeks 1 and 2, respectively. In Week 1, he threw two touchdown passes to go along with 173 yards. Then, in Week 2, he threw one touchdown and 317 yards. He has yet to throw an interception, which was such a big part of what had dogged him recently. The Eagles have a stout run defense, so it's likely Tampa will have to depend on Mayfield to move the ball.

Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos – 55% Rostered

For as bad as the Broncos looked this past weekend and through three weeks, Wilson hasn't been their biggest problem. He's thrown for over 300 yards in back-to-back games and has four touchdowns over the past two games. He's completing 65.3% of his passes and looks much better than he did last season.

We're still not seeing the same quarterback from Seattle and we probably never will again, but he's scored 15.1, 25.9, and 14.2 points in three weeks this season. He's shown a solid floor with head coach Sean Payton and he still has that ceiling outcome in his repertoire.

In Week 4, the Broncos will face off against the Bears, who have allowed 23, 18, and 25.6 points in games against Jordan Love, Baker Mayfield, and Patrick Mahomes. The Bears have shown to be one of the worst teams in the NFL. If you're in need of a streamer, Wilson will definitely qualify with one of the best quarterback matchups upcoming.

WR Jerry Jeudy will be another week removed from his hamstring injury, and hopefully, rookie Marvin Mims Jr.'s playing time will increase. He's been a sparkplug for the offense and someone who gives Wilson a legit downfield threat.

C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans – 19% Rostered

Stroud has played all four weeks without his starting guard, center, and right tackle. He's played the last two games without his star left tackle. They have just 210 rushing yards after three games, which is just 70 yards per game. He's been pressured on 30.8% of his dropbacks, which is the third-highest rate in the league. On top of all that, he's just a rookie. Yet, the dude is absolutely balling out.

He's thrown for 242, 384, and 280 passing in respective weeks this season. In back-to-back weeks, he's eclipsed 20 fantasy points and has thrown two touchdowns. As his offensive line gets healthier and as he continues to get more and more comfortable in the NFL, the rookie QB is only going to get better. He has just 35 rushing yards, so his upside is somewhat capped since he doesn't really use his legs, but he's played his way into the streamer category.

Others to consider: Mac Jones, New England Patriots – 20% Rostered, Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints – 0% Rostered, Sam Howell, Washington Commanders – 21% Rostered


Running Backs - Waiver Wire Options

De'Von Achane, Miami Dolphins – 40% Rostered (MA, BC)

What an absolute monster day for the rookie running back. He finished his day with 18 carries, 203 rushing yards, two rushing scores, four targets, four receptions, 30 receiving yards, and two more receiving scores. He finished with 49.3 half-PPR points.

For some, this performance isn't entirely surprising. Despite the third-round draft capital he received in the 2023 NFL Draft, Achane was one of the most productive running backs in this year's draft. Not only that, but he ran track at Texas A&M and has that "speed you can't teach" to his game. The combination of his speed with head coach Mike McDaniel had the potential to be lethal. Fantasy managers found out just how lethal this past weekend.

Achane ended up playing 30 of the team's 73 snaps with Mostert playing 37. However, due to the blowout nature of this contest, snap counts need to be taken with a big grain of salt. It is notable, however, that Achane ran more routes than Mostert (18-13).

The Dolphins are expecting Jeff Wilson Jr. back in Week 5 and he could muddy this backfield up, but fantasy managers should still be adding Achane for his upside. If all three running backs are healthy, Achane may only see 8-12 touches in most games, but Mostert is 31 years old and Wilson has already dealt with an injury this season. If anything happens to either player, Achane's value will soar.

Roschon Johnson, Chicago Bears – 48% Rostered 

The Bears have been pathetic through three weeks and there's no guarantee it's going to get better anytime soon. However, it's fair to think the worse Chicago does, the more likely it is that this regime will want to see what they have in the rookie running back they drafted.

Incumbent starter Khalil Herbert was brought in by the previous establishment and may not be in the team's long-term plans. Currently, Johnson and almost every Chicago player needs to be far away from starting lineups, but there's potential that Johnson could work himself into a workhorse role by the end of the season.

Right now, it's an ugly committee. On the plus side, he does have 11 targets through three weeks, although it should be noted that seven came in Week 1. He also has 10 receptions and 56 receiving yards. He's been the team's primary receiving back from Week 1 and with the way the Bears' season is currently going, that role could very likely pay dividends if he's able to carve out a bigger piece of the groundwork. Adding Johnson is more of a long-term play.

Justice Hill, Baltimore Ravens – 36% Rostered (DP)

Justice Hill was out in Week 3, but in Week 2, the first game the team played without injured starter J.K. Dobbins, Hill played 43 of the team's 75 snaps. Week 3 starter Gus Edwards played 32. Hill also ran 23 routes to Edward's 11 and earned three targets to Edwards' zero. Hill also out-carried Edwards, 11-10.

While Edwards ended up outscoring Hill because he found the end zone, based on snap counts, routes run, targets earned, and carries given, Hill was the clear 1A to Edwards' 1B. Who knows how this backfield will look moving forward once Hill is healthy and back in the fold, but it's worth a waiver wire addition to find out.

However, we may not truly find out what that looks like in Week 4 because Edwards left their Week 3 contest with a concussion. If he's unable to play in Week 4, that would seemingly put Hill back in the driver's seat. In this scenario, he'd split work with Melvin Gordon III and Kenyan Drake. Based on Hill's utilization in Week 2 when Edwards was healthy, fantasy managers should expect 12-14 touches in Week 4 if Edwards is out. That puts Hill on the flex radar with RB2 potential.

The most likely outcome is that this turns into an ugly timeshare where Hill is the primary pass-catcher and Edwards is the primary rusher with goal-line responsibilities. This will make Edwards the preferred fantasy option since quarterback Lamar Jackson doesn't target his running backs very frequently, but Hill still deserves a spot on fantasy benches. He'll likely see 6-8 carries per game with 1-3 targets. He's a bench player who could help out during bye weeks and for potential injuries.

Jerick McKinnon, Kansas City Chiefs – 46% Rostered (DP)

We definitely want to be careful chasing touchdowns, but we've seen McKinnon do this before in Kansas City when he finished as one of the best running backs in the second half of the season last year. However, during that time, McKinnon was operating as the Chiefs' primary pass-catching running back.

That isn't the case this time around. Through three weeks, Isiah Pacheco has run more routes than McKinnon in all three contests. That was true again this past weekend when Pacheco ran 16 routes to McKinnon's 13. They each finished with three targets, but two of McKinnon's went for touchdowns.

In Weeks 1 and 2, he scored just 1.5 and 3.7 half-PPR points, respectively. It's an indication that if he doesn't find the end zone, the floor is dangerously low. That said, head coach Andy Reid seems to have a package of red zone plays for McKinnon. Dating back to last season, they've been extremely effective.

Due to the number of snaps he's playing (just 22 of 77) and the number of routes he ran (just 13 of 41), fantasy managers should not be depending on McKinnon as a starter. He is a bench player who can be thrown into the starting lineup in a pinch hoping for a touchdown, as there are worse options.  

Ezekiel Elliott, New England Patriots – 43% Rostered (UH, DP)

No one is likely to be excited about adding Elliott to their fantasy team, but he just turned 16 carries into 80 yards. He's the primary handcuff to Rhamondre Stevenson and would become a locked-in top-24 play if Stevenson were to get injured. Elliott is game script-dependent, but as long as the Patriots are favored or not expected to be down big on the scoreboard, there's a good chance Zeke will see 10-12 touches per game.

The Patriots want to run the football and play good defense. Unfortunately, with contests against the Eagles and the Dolphins, they were unable to do that. Philadelphia has one of the best run defenses in the league and Miami's speed and offense put the Patriots in catch-up mode.

The Patriots offense has been surprisingly more effective than most expected, but as long as they are expected to be in the game, Zeke should provide RB4 value with touchdown potential. He's also got a very high contingency value if Stevenson were to get hurt. He's not a fun addition, but he should be a decent enough bench player.

In Weeks 5 and 6, the Patriots play the Saints and Raiders. Both games should be positive game scripts for New England's running game, which could give Zeke some flex appeal in deeper leagues. He's not a pure handcuff because he does have some standalone value, albeit limited.

Matt Breida, New York Giants – 30% Rostered (IF)

It's hard to know what to make of the New York Giants through three weeks. They played in a torrential downpour in Week 1 against an elite Dallas defense that scored two defensive/special team touchdowns. They sleepwalked through the first half of their Week 2 game against Arizona before securing a wild comeback victory. Then in Week 3, they got destroyed by the 49ers on the road without Saquon Barkley.

It's hard to fault them too much for what happened in Weeks 1 and 3. I promise you, the Dallas and San Francisco defenses are going to make plenty of offenses look very silly. Especially in the conditions in which they faced Dallas in and without their best offensive player, like the 49ers game.

However, what was clear from their Week 3 contest is that Breida will be the team's primary running back in Barkley's absence. He played 41 of the team's 50 snaps, ran 22 routes on 36 dropbacks, and received 50% of the running back carries including their lone goal-line carry, which he was able to covert into a score. He earned three targets, catching them all, and turned in 9.3 half-PPR points in a very difficult matchup.

In Week 4, the Giants will play the Seahawks. Assuming Barkley is out again, this is a much more fantasy-friendly matchup that should give Breida some flex appeal operating as the team's workhorse running back.

Others to consider (Pure Handcuffs):  Tank Bigsby, Jacksonville Jaguars – 29% Rostered (UH), Zach Charbonnet, Seattle Seahawks – 54% Rostered (UH), Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers – 49% Rostered (UH), Jeff Wilson Jr., Miami Dolphins – 25% Rostered (UH), Chuba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers – 28% Rostered (UH), Tyjae Spears, Tennessee Titans – 24% Rostered (UH), Sean Tucker, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 3% Rostered (DL, UH, BC), Rico Dowdle, Dallas Cowboys – 3% Rostered (UH)


Wide Receivers - Waiver Wire Options

Tank Dell, Houston Texans – 30% Rostered (MA, BC)

If Dell is still available in your fantasy leagues, you need to rectify that immediately. He's worth the No. 1 waiver wire claim and he's worth a hefty share of your FAAB. In Week 2, Dell earned 10 targets and finished with seven receptions, 72 receiving yards, and one touchdown. He ended up with 16.7 half-PPR points. In Week 3, Dell's role grew, and he delivered once again.

The Texans offense hasn't been able to run the ball to save their lives and that has put a ton of pressure on the passing attack to move the football. Their defense has also been very subpar. This combination is fantasy football heaven. We have a team that can't stop anyone and an offense that can't run the ball.

This has resulted in Stroud having 121 pass attempts through three weeks. That kind of volume is going to give Dell plenty of opportunities and he's operated as the team's No. 1 receiver. He's a must-add and he looks like a strong WR2/3 moving forward.

Quentin Johnston, Los Angeles Chargers – 32% Rostered (BC, MA)

Johnston has been buried on the depth chart through three weeks, but he saw his fortunes change with the unfortunate injury to teammate Mike Williams. He left on a cart and there are concerns that he may have torn his ACL. He's played behind Joshua Palmer the first three weeks and that will likely continue to be the case in the short term, but Johnston provides what Palmer cannot, a downfield threat.

Palmer is more of a Keenan Allen replacement, while Johnston's style of play and his strengths align more with what Williams did well. It'll be interesting to see what Johnston's role will be moving forward, but fantasy managers know that it's definitely going to be growing in the coming weeks. The question is, what will Johnston do with that role? The X thread below details the kind of player and prospect Johnston was and why he's definitely a player worth betting on.

While Palmer is the short-term addition and he'll be the one to pick up the slack in Week 4, fantasy managers who don't need production right now are best adding Johnston because he possesses more upside than what Palmer has. Last season, with Williams and Allen out for most of the year, Palmer was unable to break out. It's unlikely to happen for Palmer this year with Allen healthy and a first-round rookie on the team. Shoot for the moon and add Johnston now.

Romeo Doubs, Green Bay Packers – 41% Rostered (WS, BC, DP)

It's been an interesting start, to say the least, for this new Packers offense. Star running back Aaron Jones missed Weeks 2 and 3. The expected No. 1 receiver has yet to play this season. That's put more pressure on Doubs and he was dealing with a hamstring injury in Week 1 that limited him to just a 71% route participation rate and 80% in Week 2. In Week 3, that ballooned to 86%, which is closer to what fantasy managers should expect even once Watson returns. Doubs wasn't 100% in Week 1, but that didn't stop him from scoring 16.6 half-PPR points, largely off the back of a two-touchdown performance.

He had yet to dominate the team's target share, but he did that this past week. He finished with 12 targets, catching five of them for 73 yards and the game-winning score. Quarterback Jordan Love seems to have a comfort level and trust with Doubs in the red zone and that could be something that carries over even after Watson returns.

Love has looked far better than most expected in his third season and his impressive play will pay dividends to these young pass-catchers. Through three weeks, as impressive as rookie Jayden Reed has looked, he's operated as the slot receiver, leaving Reed on the field for two receiver sets. Watson is expected to return in Week 4, but Doubs looks like a quality bench player who could provide WR4 value this season.

Jayden Reed, Green Bay Packers – 21% Rostered (BC, DP)

Reed has been asked to do a lot in his first three games as a rookie. That's because the team has been without Watson since the get-go and they were missing Aaron Jones the past two weeks. However, he's earned at least five targets in all three contests, earning 15 the past two weeks with eight in Week 2 and seven this past weekend.

The team is lacking quality pass-catchers with Watson out, but the target-earning skill set he's displayed early is impressive. In Week 2, Reed finished with 17.7 half-PPR points largely due to two touchdowns. He finished with just 37 yards. He upped that total this weekend, catching three of his targets for 63 yards.

He did struggle with consistency, however, dropping what appeared to be two touchdowns. His day could have been even bigger. It's unknown what the target hierarchy will be once Jones and Watson return to the lineup, but Reed has shown enough through three weeks that he looks like a quality bench player fantasy managers should want on their roster. Not only that, but it's within the realm of possibility that Reed actually outperforms Doubs and finishes as the team's No. 2 receiver.

Joshua Palmer, Los Angeles Chargers – 2% Rostered (WS, IF, DP)

Palmer's role is certainly going to grow in the coming weeks. That much was evident based on the routes run following Mike Williams' knee injury. Palmer operated as the team's No. 2 receiver and that'll likely be how they'll use their receivers in Week 4.

However, as the season rolls along, it's certainly possible that Quentin Johnston's talent and first-round pedigree will push Palmer back into the No. 3 role he was occupying prior to Williams' injury. Last year, with Allen and Williams out for what combined to be the duration of the season, Palmer still just finished with 101 targets, 68 receptions, 730 yards, and three touchdowns. The upside, even despite Williams' injury, is limited.

However, he now profiles as a full-time starting receiver in what is likely going to continue being one of the most pass-heavy offenses in the NFL and one directed by offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and quarterback Justin Herbert.

Even if he falls back to the No. 3 role, Palmer is still a quality bench player to have. There's also always the chance that Johnston just isn't very good or maybe he's not ready to make a difference as a rookie. In that case, Palmer could maintain his current hold on the No. 2 role. Either way, he's certainly worth an add now that Williams looks like he's going to be missing extended time.

Skyy Moore, Kansas City Chiefs – 49% Rostered (WS, DP)

Everyone is likely still stuck on his goose egg in Week 1, but the entire Kansas City offense should get a pass for their performance for that game due to the absence of star tight end Travis Kelce. In Weeks 2 and 3, Moore has racked up 10 targets, seven receptions, 112 yards, and one touchdown.

He's averaged 10.4 half-PPR points in the last two games and has continued to play the most snaps among the Chiefs' receivers. This past weekend, he played on 50 of the team's 77 snaps. That should be taken with a grain of salt as well since Patrick Mahomes only played 56 snaps due to the blowout nature of the game.

While we'd all love to see Moore earn a bigger target share, if he can continue to see 5-6 targets per game from Mahomes, he'll be a quality player to have on fantasy benches. He doesn't look like he's going to be that second-year breakout fantasy managers may have been expecting when they drafted him, but that doesn't mean he's without value. He's one of the Chiefs' top receivers in terms of snap share and route participation rate, and their offense will give him plenty of scoring opportunities.

Rashee Rice, Kansas City Chiefs – 26% Rostered (BC, DL)

Rice's day could have been even bigger. He was tackled on the one-yard line not once, but twice. He didn’t manage to find the end zone despite being incredibly close twice, but he did have seven targets, five receptions, and 59 yards. It goes without saying, but it could’ve been a much bigger game.

Even despite the blowout nature of the game, Rice played on just 39 of the team's 77 snaps and ran a route on just 21 of 41 dropbacks. However, he earned seven targets despite just 21 routes. That is a 33.3% targets per route run (TPRR). This is the second game in three weeks where Rice has produced an elite TPRR.

While Rice cannot be started until his role grows, he is showing that the NFL game isn't too big for him. There's certainly potential for Rice to earn more work as the season goes along. If he continues to perform as he did in Week 3, that should be the expectation.

He led all the receivers in targets and receiving yards. That would actually be the second time he led the receivers in targets (the other being in Week 1 when Kelce was out). Right now, fantasy managers need to view Rice as nothing more than a wait-and-see kind of bench stash. If he gets more playing time, the upside could be that of a WR2 in the Kansas City offense.

Marvin Mims Jr., Denver Broncos – 26% Rostered

It can be frustrating to watch coaches hold players back and that's exactly what head coach Sean Payton seems to be doing right now. Despite long-term injuries to K.J. Hamler and Tim Patrick and the fact that the team selected Mims in the second round, they don't seem willing to give him a bigger role yet. This is despite the fact that Mims has shown he can be an electric playmaker and someone who can give the offense a spark.

Adding Mims now is with the expectation that eventually his strong play will lead to more snaps, more routes, and ultimately more targets. Based on his play over the past two weeks, it's hard to argue that he doesn't deserve that. Despite getting just two targets in Week 2, he still finished with 113 yards and a touchdown. Then in Week 3, he secured three of his five targets for 73 yards but also returned a kickoff for a touchdown. His speed is for real.

Zay Jones, Jacksonville Jaguars – 38% Rostered (WS, DP)

In Week 1, Jones finished with seven targets, five receptions, 55 yards, and one touchdown en route to 14.0 half-PPR points. He was injured in Week 2 with a knee injury that limited his playing time and impacted his production. He ended Week 2 with six targets, but zero receptions.

The injury was serious enough to keep him out in Week 3. After Week 1 where it looked as though Calvin Ridley was going to be the alpha receiver, he's struggled the past two weeks. This offense may end up being more a receiver-by-committee than we originally thought after Ridley's big performance in Week 1.

Through two weeks, however, Jones was on pace for 111 targets from star quarterback Trevor Lawrence. That's despite being limited in one of those two games. That kind of volume is worth having on fantasy benches. Ridley did require medical attention in their Week 2 loss to Houston but was able to remain in the game. Should there be any lasting effects from the big hit he took, Jones could have even more fantasy appeal, albeit in the short term.

Adam Thielen, Carolina Panthers – 46% Rostered (WS, DP)

Thielen has seen his target share and yards per route run average decrease in each of the last three years. Moving to a new team with a lesser quarterback certainly seems to be the proverbial nail in the coffin, but Thielen has shown he's not dead yet.

In back-to-back weeks, Thielen has racked up 23 targets. The volume is fantastic, but even better is what he's been able to accomplish with that volume. He caught seven of his nine targets in Week 2 for 57 yards and a touchdown (16.9 half-PPR points) and then caught 11 of his 14 targets this past weekend for 145 yards and a touchdown (26 half-PPR points).

Rookie quarterback Bryce Young missed their Week 3 game due to an ankle injury, an injury that is expected to keep him out of Week 4, too. That's actually a good thing for Thielen's fantasy value. While Young will eventually be the better quarterback, veteran Andy Dalton was able to help Thielen to his best fantasy performance this season. It's also notable that rookie receiver Jonathan Mingo left the game with a concussion and could potentially miss Week 4. His absence would help ensure Thielen's target share stays very high.

Rashid Shaheed, New Orleans Saints — 49% Rostered (DP)

Shaheed has been one of the most efficient receivers dating back to last season, albeit on limited value. However, he continued his stellar 2022 play in the first two weeks of the season even with the quarterback change to Derek Carr. He had six targets, five receptions, 89 yards, and one touchdown en route to 16.5 half-PPR points in Week 1. In Week 2, he secured all four of his targets for 63 yards, finishing with 8.3 half-PPR points. That's two quality outings.

Unfortunately in Week 3, starting quarterback Derek Carr was injured, which brought in backup quarterback Jameis Winston. In his younger years, Winston was an absolute gunslinger, but he's toned it down since coming to New Orleans. That was evident in his target distribution once he came into the game for Carr in the third quarter.

It's unknown what this offense will look like moving forward with Winston under center. Carr's injury is not believed to be season-ending, but he will miss a couple of weeks. If Winston's target distribution from Week 3 is any indication, Shaheed may struggle to provide value to fantasy managers.

Not only is there a quarterback wrinkle to consider, but elite pass-catching running back Alvin Kamara is due back in Week 5, which will mean even more target competition. Shaheed can score on any given play and Winston has the arm to target him deep, so he's worth a bench stash, but his game may be more boom or bust now with the switch at quarterback.

Josh Downs, Indianapolis Colts – 2% Rostered (DP, DL)

Most did not expect the Indianapolis Colts to be very good this season. Rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson was widely viewed as a raw prospect who lacked accuracy, anticipation, and touch in the passing game and that those skills would need to be developed.

He hasn't been perfect, but he's been much better than expected. Backup Gardner Minshew started in place of Richardson, who was out with a concussion. Regardless of who has been under center, Downs has seen a steady serving of targets. In Weeks 1-2 with Richardson, he earned 12 targets total. In Week 3, he matched that number.

He's increased his receptions and receiving yardage in each contest this season. In Week 1, he finished with three receptions for 30 yards. He had four receptions for 37 yards in Week 2. This past weekend, he finished with five receptions for 57 yards.

He's operating as the team's clear No. 2 option in the passing game and he's their full-time slot receiver. This makes him more valuable in PPR leagues because he's not working downfield enough to put up big yardage. He'll need volume in order to do that, but it's coming. The Colts' passing game is likely to be up and down all year, but they're passing more than expected and Downs has already surpassed second-year receiver Alec Pierce on the team's target hierarchy.

Jonathan Mingo, Carolina Panthers – 11% Rostered (BC)

Mingo is going to continue to find his name on this list all season. That's because betting on first-round and high second-round rookies to make a fantasy impact at some point in the season has been a pretty good bet in recent seasons. Combine that with the fact that the Carolina passing attack is desperately looking for playmakers and fantasy managers should continue to be patient. He has yet to catch more than three passes or have more than 30 yards in any game, but he's operated as a full-time player and has at least five targets in all three games.

He had eight targets in Week 2 and six targets in Week 3 before departing early due to a concussion. Mingo was profiled as a raw prospect, not a player who could come in right away and perform well. Through three weeks that looks like the case, but the number of targets he's earned through three weeks should give fantasy managers optimism that a breakout game could be on the horizon. It's only a matter of time before his 90% snap share, 90% route participation rate, and the number of targets equate to a big game. If you have a roster spot, he's worth snagging before that happens.

Wan'Dale Robinson, New York Giants – 2% Rostered (BC)

Robinson missed the first two games of the season as he was still recovering from a knee injury he suffered last year during his rookie season. He was injured in Week 1 in 2022 and missed the next four games. From Weeks 5-11, which included the team's bye week, Robinson had 30 targets in five games.

He caught 22 of those targets for 222 yards. It's a small sample size, but those five games gave him a rookie pace of 102 targets, 75 receptions, and 755 yards. That's a pretty impressive rookie season. This past Thursday, in a brutal matchup against the 49ers, Robinson played very sparingly, but it was promising.

He played on just 11 of the team's 50 snaps and ran just nine routes out of 36 dropbacks, but he finished with five targets. He caught four of them for 21 yards. He showed last year as a rookie that he has the ability to earn targets and he again displayed that in his return to game action this past week.

The Giants' offense has really struggled through three weeks and it shouldn't be surprising if his role grows quickly in the coming weeks. He'll likely eventually take the starting job from slot receiver Parris Campbell and once that happens, fantasy managers will wish they had added him earlier.

Darius Slayton, New York Giants – 3% Rostered (DP)

Through three weeks, Slayton's production has been very modest. He has just nine receptions for 109 yards, but he's seen five targets in each of the Giants' three contests. He has operated as the team's No. 1 receiver in both snaps played and routes run. He was a productive player for the team last year. While he didn't start playing until Week 5, he still finished with 71 targets, 46 receptions, 724 yards, and two touchdowns. Mind you, all that production largely came from Weeks 5-18. He had just two targets and one catch for 11 yards from Weeks 1-4.

While the start of the season has been brutal for Slayton and the entire Giants' offense, some of that was to be expected. Matchups against the Cowboys in a torrential downpour and the 49ers on the road would have halted the vast majority of the league. There's no shame in struggling offensively to those two teams in those two environments.

They have much more fantasy-friendly matchups moving forward starting in Week 4 against Seattle. After that, they'll face the Dolphins, Bills, Commanders, Jets, and Raiders. Over the next six games, Slayton will have four positive matchups where he could be a decent start. With bye weeks starting soon, being able to add a team's No. 1 receiver off the waiver wire is appealing.

Robert Woods, Houston Texans – 24% Rostered (DL, DP)

After two quality performances to start the season, Woods took a backseat to rookie Tank Dell in Week 3. He still managed to finish with six targets, however, which puts him at 25 for the year. That's a pace of 142 for the year. While fantasy managers know that pace will continue over 17 games, Woods looks like he's going to continue to hold fantasy value year-long. While he won't be someone fantasy managers are necessarily happy to start, the volume he's receiving makes him a worthwhile bench player with bye weeks right around the corner.

The Texans have had to heavily rely on their passing offense because their running game has been decimated by injuries and that pass-heavy attack should continue to give Woods plenty of opportunities. Woods is best suited for PPR leagues and there's little upside. He does seem to have a decent floor if you're looking for a dependable starter.

It should be noted Houston's upcoming matchups are far less than ideal. They'll face off against Pittsburgh in Week 4 and New Orleans in Week 6. Those are two of the better defenses in the league. Even their Week 5 opponent, the Atlanta Falcons, is not as fantasy-friendly as one would like. Then in Week 8, they're on their bye week. His upcoming matchups make him far less appealing, but volume is volume. In deeper leagues, he's worth an add.

Others to consider: Jameson Williams, Detroit Lions – 29% Rostered (BC), Jalin Hyatt, New York Giants – 11% Rostered (DL), DeVante Parker, New England Patriots – 4% Rostered (DL, DP), Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens – 47% Rostered (DL), Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals – 8% Rostered (DL),  Kadarius Toney, Kansas City Chiefs – 44% Rostered (DL), Kendrick Bourne, New England Patriots – 33% Rostered (DL)


Tight Ends - Waiver Wire Options

Luke Musgrave, Green Bay Packers – 18% Rostered (BC, WS)

With tight ends, it's simple. We want to chase snaps, routes, and targets. Musgrave has checked the first two boxes every week of the season. In Week 3, he finally checked the third one, too. He's consistently played 80% of the snaps or more and he's had an 80% or higher route participation in three straight weeks.

However, he had just seven total targets in Weeks 1 and 2. Watching Musgrave play, however, fantasy managers can see the speed and athleticism that he has. He posted a Relative Athletic Score (RAS) over 9.00 during the NFL Draft process and is one of the most athletic tight ends in the NFL. Jordan Love has played well through three weeks and as Love continues to improve and Musgrave continues to get more comfortable in the NFL, he's going to have better and better games.

In Week 3, he finished with eight targets, six receptions, and 49 yards. This was his second game with 49 or more receiving yards. Despite not having found the end zone yet, he has two games with more than 6.5 half-PPR points. That may not sound overly exciting, but this is the state of the tight end positon.

His upside is worth chasing even though he shouldn't be trusted in starting lineups until the targets become more consistent. If they do (and they certainly could), his role is very similar to that of fellow rookie Sam LaPorta and the same fantasy goodness that he's experienced through three weeks could also be there for Musgrave.

Zach Ertz, Arizona Cardinals – 39% Rostered (WS)

Ertz's first two weeks were both depressing and exciting all at the same time. On the bright side, he had 18 targets and 12 receptions. On the downside, he had just 77 yards. The volume was elite-elite. The production and efficiency were terrible. The following tweet shows where Ertz ranked among tight ends after the first two weeks of the season. This kind of volume belongs on fantasy rosters at tight end.

In Week 3, Ertz came back to earth. He finished with just two targets, two receptions, and six yards. That's about on par for Ertz, efficiency-wise. In Weeks 1-2, he averaged just 4.2 yards per target. This past weekend, he averaged three yards per target. It's not like he performed "worse" than he did in Weeks 1-2, he just had a lot less volume. That depicts just how volume-dependent Ertz is. If that volume isn't there, the floor is incredibly low. If the volume is there like in Weeks 1-2, the upside is still pretty meh. Despite the insane volume, he scored just 5.1 and 8.6 half-PPR points.

Logan Thomas, Washington Commanders – 5% Rostered (WS)

Thomas did play in Week 3 and missed most of Week 2, so we're looking to add him solely off of one week. That small sample size can always be difficult, but Week 1 was incredibly encouraging. He had a 25.8% target share in Week 1 while playing on 82% of the team's snaps and running a route on 76% of the team's dropbacks. He saw eight targets and caught four of them for 43 yards. If you're desperate at tight end, he's worth an add because the last time he was used like this, he finished as a top-12 TE.

He should return in Week 4 just in time for a date with the Philadelphia Eagles. Their pass defense has been brutal through two weeks (they play tonight against Tampa Bay). Mac Jones and Kirk Cousins both shredded their defense. Not only that, but Hunter Henry and T.J. Hockenson both had over 50 yards receiving and a touchdown and finished as the top tight end when they played against the Eagles. If Thomas returns to the lineup, he should be ranked as a top-12 option in Week 4. That makes him an excellent addition at a scarce position.

Jake Ferguson, Dallas Cowboys — 41% Rostered (WS)

Here's the positive with Ferguson -- he has 18 targets through three weeks with a huge role down in the red zone. Here's the downside -- he has two weeks with just 11 yards. The problem with Ferguson is that he's running a route on just 50% of the team's dropbacks. This past weekend, that increased to 61%, but that still isn't nearly enough opportunity. His targets per route run on the season are higher than the 2022 averages of Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews, Hockenson, and Dallas Goedert. Needless to say, it's fair to expect that not to continue.

Adding Ferguson requires a bet that his target-earning potential, which he has shown, will eventually lead to more routes. If it doesn't lead to more routes, Ferguson will continue to be a touchdown-dependent tight end who on any given weekend could finish with just 11 yards like he did in Weeks 1 and 2.

Sure, that's true for most of this position, but there are better bets if his route participation stays at or below 60%. We have to mention him because of the number of targets he has earned and because of how many have been in the red zone, but there are still red flags with his profile.

Others to consider: Juwan Johnson, New Orleans Saints – 26% Rostered, Irv Smith Jr., Cincinnati Bengals – 7% Rostered, Mike Gesicki, New England Patriots – 4% Rostered, Cade Otton, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 3% Rostered, Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills – 21% Rostered

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