Waiver Wire Watch: Week 4
Editor’s Note: We’re happy that 4for4 Contributor Pat Fitzmaurice (formerly of Pro Football Weekly) is back on the Waiver Wire Watch this year. He will continue to work in conjunction with Senior Editor John Paulsen to compile this list of the top pickups each week.
Here is a look at the top waiver wire pickups for Week 4. To be eligible for discussion, the player must be owned in 50% or fewer Yahoo leagues, though we’ll stretch the rules a bit for the RB position, which is usually very thin. We’ll also include suggested bid prices (with a $100 budget) for those leagues that use Free Agent Acquisition Budgets. Of course, player value depends on league characteristics and team needs. Players are listed by position in order of importance. For extremely shallow or extremely deep leagues, be sure to review our Rest-of-Season Rankings (updated every Tuesday) to get an idea of how to value players not on this list.
* Players with an asterisk next to their name were mentioned in last week’s Waiver Wire Watch.
Redskins QB Kirk Cousins* ($8)
Cousins put up pinball numbers in his first start in place of the injured Robert Griffin III, completing 30 of 48 passes for 427 yards with three TD passes and one interception in the Redskins’ 37-34 loss to the Eagles. WRs Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson each had more than 100 receiving yards and a TD catch, suggesting that Cousins knows how to handle his high-caliber weaponry. The next couple of weeks will put Cousins to the test, as he faces three above-average pass defenses in his next three games. But if you’re desperate for a QB, you might consider topping this suggested bid by a few bucks.
Next up: Giants, Seahawks, Cardinals
Jets QB Geno Smith* ($5)
Geno has been a fixture in the Waiver Wire Watch this season, and he figures to remain here until he crosses the 50% ownership threshold. Think of it as a Geno sit-in. In recent weeks we’ve given you several reasons to like him. Here’s another: Geno won’t have an especially difficult matchup until late November at the earliest.
Next up: Lions, Chargers, Broncos
Chiefs QB Alex Smith* ($3)
Smith produced a season-low 186 passing yards in a Week 3 win over the Dolphins, but he also threw a season-high three TD passes and completed 76% of his passes in the sort of uber-efficient performance that Troy Aikman patented back in the ’90s. Owned in 39% of Yahoo leagues, Smith is a decent option for the QB-needy.
Next up: Patriots, 49ers, BYE
Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater ($3)
With Matt Cassel breaking his foot on Sunday, Bridgewater made his NFL debut in New Orleans and acquitted himself reasonably well, completing 12 of 20 pass attempts for 150 yards, with no TDs or interceptions. A favorite of NFL draftniks, Bridgewater has a chance to take advantage of a favorable six-week stretch of schedule in which the Vikings will face several highly permeable secondaries. The road is often rutted for rookie QBs, but this isn’t a bad place to put down a small wager.
Next up: Falcons, Packers, Lions
Jaguars QB Blake Bortles ($3)
Jacksonville’s prized rookie made his debut in relief of the ineffective Chad Henne on Sunday and had the sort of uneven performance we might have expected, completing 14 of 24 passes for 223 yards, with two TDs and two INTs. Bortles also ran twice for 30 yards, and his rushing ability is probably going to be his saving grace in terms of fantasy value this season, since a rookie QB playing with a poor supporting cast isn’t going to get it done for fantasy owners with his passing numbers alone.
Next up: Chargers, Steelers, Titans