Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Calvin Ridley
- Ryan Collinsworth breaks down his best fantasy football waiver wire targets for Week 4, from handcuffs to top streaming quarterbacks and more.
- Calvin Ridley caught more touchdowns last week than Julio Jones has scored in his past 13 regular-season games. The rookie WR is a top target.
- There's also a plethora of low-ownership players with high upside to stash, including Bengals WR Tyler Boyd.
Week 3 of the NFL season didn’t make any sense.
The Lions drubbed the Patriots in prime time — and looked good doing it. (Am I legally allowed to say Detroit looked good?)
Falcons rookie Calvin Ridley scored three receiving touchdowns — more than Julio Jones has scored in his past 13 regular-season games (ouch). Tyler Boyd had more receiving yards than A.J. Green, and Geronimo Allison outgained Davante Adams.
All of that insanity in one week is pretty hard to believe.
Each week I break down top waiver-wire targets to help your fantasy team navigate injuries, suspensions, running-back committees and probably some relationship problems along the way.
I highlight players who are owned in fewer than 50% of ESPN fantasy leagues. I also recommend an auction price (in parentheses) for each player for leagues using a Free Agent Acquisition Budget system (which I highly recommend, by the way). All recommendations are made based on a $100 FAAB budget.
Notable Week 3 Injuries
- QB Jimmy Garoppolo (knee): Out
- WR A.J. Green (groin): Questionable
- TE Evan Engram (knee): Doubtful
- RB Rex Burkhead (neck): Questionable
It’s Cuffing Season
In life there are few absolute certainties: Death, taxes and fantasy football injuries. In this section, I highlight players to target on waivers when top players inevitably get hurt or suspended.
Javorius Allen, RB, Baltimore Ravens ($12)
Through three games, Buck Allen has 32 rushing yards on 16 carries. That kind of production doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.
However, he has totaled a 13-70-1 receiving line on 17 targets, and he has added three rushing touchdowns. His unique receiving and goal-line usage make him a consistent FLEX option in PPR settings. Moreover, with Kenneth Dixon out for the season with a knee injury, Allen’s role in the offense should remain stable for the remainder of the year.
Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals ($6)
For fantasy players looking to stream a tight end while Engram recovers from his MCL sprain, Eifert offers nice upside this week. He’s totaled a 11-141-0 receiving line on 15 targets this season, and he could see some positive touchdown variance moving forward.
Eifert had his best game last week, catching six passes for 74 yards on eight targets. His target volume elevates his fantasy floor, and he boasts the eighth-best median projection among tight ends for Week 4.
Top Streaming Quarterback Options
Each week, I highlight top quarterback streaming options for Late Round QB-truthers. These quarterbacks are week-to-week options and are not necessarily viable long-term.
Blake Bortles, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars ($3)
I recommended Bortles last week, and I’m not done with him yet.
Last week’s performance against the Titans was disappointing, but his median projection remains high with Leonard Fournette nursing a hamstring injury. Bortles has already rushed for more than 100 yards and provides crucial rushing upside on a weekly basis.
He boasts the 11th-best median projection and seventh-best ceiling projection among quarterbacks for Week 4.
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals ($3)
The Bengals’ offense has looked impressive to start the season. With budding star Joe Mixon sidelined with a knee injury, Dalton saw an increased market share of the offense last week, converting 46 passing attempts into 352 yards and two touchdowns. (Granted, he also threw four interceptions.)
Dalton draws a favorable matchup against the Falcons this week and boasts the 13th-best median projection among quarterbacks.
Buy and Hold
The following players with season-long upside deserve immediate roster consideration.
Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons ($25)
Wow. I mean, many people who watched the preseason knew Ridley was capable of big things in 2018, but not necessarily the 7-146-3 receiving explosion he delivered last week.
Ridley now has four touchdowns this season on 15 targets, which sounds like a Will Fuller-esque stat line. Ridley is a long-term investment, and you’ll likely have to pay up to get him this week if he’s available in your league. Still, even in the short term, he has the 30th-best ceiling projection among wide receivers in Week 4, making him a borderline FLEX play if you’re looking for upside.
Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers ($15)
I’m willing to admit that it’s finally time to buy into the Mike Williams hype.
Through three games, Williams has caught 11 passes for 189 yards and — most importantly — three touchdowns. With Hunter Henry sidelined due to injury, there was ample preseason speculation that Williams could step into a larger role as a red-zone threat. He delivered on that potential last week with two touchdowns for the Chargers. He has the 28th-best median projection and ninth-best ceiling projection among wide receivers this week.
John Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens ($14)
Brown’s excellent start to the season continued last week when he posted a 5-86-0 receiving line on nine targets. For the season, he has caught 12 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns, and he’s arguably been the Ravens’ No. 1 receiving threat. He continues to see high target volume, and his role in the offense makes him a consistent big-play threat.
With few high-volume receivers available on waivers this week, Brown’s touchdown upside makes him a compelling waiver target.
Geronimo Allison, WR, Green Bay Packers ($12)
Allison only had two catches last week, but they went for 76 yards and a touchdown. Through three games, Allison has outgained teammates Davante Adams, Randall Cobb and Jimmy Graham. We’ve seen Aaron Rodgers elevate guys like James Jones and Richard Rodgers in the past, and Allison could be next in line for a career year in Green Bay.
This week he boasts the 35th-best median projection and 26th-best ceiling projection among wide receivers.
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The Watch List
Every week, I highlight players who should be on your watch list — players to monitor who aren’t necessarily worth an add this week but who could develop into viable season-long options. Current ESPN ownership percentage for each player is in parentheses.
- Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns (6.8%)
- Ito Smith, RB, Atlanta Falcons (2.6%)
- Nyheim Hines, RB, Indianapolis Colts (9.2%)
- Dallas Goedert, TE, Philadelphia Eagles (1.9%)
- Antonio Callaway, WR, Cleveland Browns (16.5%)
- Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (37.7%)
- Christian Kirk, WR, Arizona Cardinals (6.2%)
- Ted Ginn Jr., WR, New Orleans Saints (32.9%)
- Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (23.7%)