Waiver Wire Watch: Week 4
Editor's Note: We're happy to have Brandon Niles on the Waiver Wire Watch this year. He'll work in conjunction with Senior Editor John Paulsen to compile the weekly list of pickups and generate recommended prices for FAAB leagues.
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 (FAAB). 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.
Carson Wentz looks better every week. After an efficient first two games to start the season, he let loose on Sunday in a blowout victory over the Steelers. He had 301 yards, a pair of touchdowns and didn’t turn the ball over as the Eagles cruised to a 34-3 victory. Wentz has his team undefeated going into the Week 4 bye, and while he won’t be available this week, it might be a good time to snatch him up before his Week 5 matchup against the Lions. Wentz looks like the real deal and the team continues to build trust in him. He should be better than your current backup QB in most 12 team leagues or larger.
I’d love Dak a lot more if Tony Romo wasn’t a threat to come back, but he’s definitely worth considering as a backup QB or streaming option in most leagues. He had another rushing touchdown – his second in two games – on Sunday night against the Bears, and he had 248 passing yards and threw a touchdown pass. With 36 yards on the ground, he ended up a solid fantasy option. He has the 49ers this week, who looked outmatched by the Seattle Seahawks in Week 3. Dak should be a great streaming QB as a result.
Siemian had a great game against the Bengals on Sunday, tossing 312 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. He came away with a big victory and seems to be getting more comfortable as the starter in Denver. While I think it’s a lot to expect this kind of performance to continue, he has some nice matchups up ahead, especially in Week 5 against the Falcons, and he has definitely earned consideration as a streaming or QB2 option in most leagues. He’s worth rostering if you have a questionable backup QB, as he’s unlikely to lose his job and keeps getting better. Dynasty owners should look to add him as well.
Tannehill put up over 300 yards for the second straight week, and had three touchdown passes against the Browns. However, he also threw a pair of interceptions for the second straight week, including a pick-six that made the Browns game much more interesting than it should’ve been. Tannehill isn’t a great option on a short week against the Bengals, but he remains a reasonable backup QB on most fantasy rosters since the Dolphins look like they’re going to be throwing the ball a lot this year.
Bradford didn’t do a ton against the Panthers with only 171 yards and a touchdown, but he didn’t throw any picks and relied on his defense to pull off the victory. Bradford doesn’t have a great upcoming schedule, but Week 8 against the Bears and Week 9 against the Lions look good for those who stream their QB. Bradford also has value as a solid backup or QB2 option on your roster in most leagues.
Flacco struggled against the Jaguars on Sunday, putting up only 214 yards, despite throwing the ball 40 times. He had a pair of interceptions for the second straight week, and only salvaged his day by running in a score and getting the win to push the Ravens to 3-0. Flacco remains an inconsistent fantasy option as he’s always been, but he’s very streamable and can be used in good matchups. With the Raiders and Washington up the next two weeks, he’s a quality and cheap addition to any fantasy roster looking for short-term QB help.
Fitzpatrick had a horrible game against the Chiefs in Week 3, throwing for only 188 yards despite 44 attempts, no touchdowns, and an embarrassing six interceptions! Fitzpatrick is going to play better than that for most of the season, but he doesn’t have a good matchup against the Seahawks this week and should be left on the waiver wire in most leagues. If you’re stashing or upgrading your backup QB though, it’s not a bad idea to grab him for a minimal bid while his value is low and store him for his Ravens, Browns, Dolphins matchups starting Week 7.
Osweiler had a forgettable outing against the Patriots in Week 3, throwing for only 196 yards and a pick as the Texans were shut out by the Patriots. Osweiler has looked fairly competent up until that point however and should bounce back against the Titans next week. He’s no more than a streaming option, or a QB2 in large leagues, but if he has a nice game against Tennessee this week, then a Week 6 matchup against the Colts will look awfully tempting for QB-streamers.
Smith was an efficient 25 of 33 for 237 yards and a touchdown against the Jets as the Chiefs beat the snot out of New York. Smith remains a streamable option in good matchups or a backup QB on your fantasy roster who is unlikely to lose his job. Smith doesn’t have a lot of short-term value, but a Week 6 matchup against the Raiders is awfully tempting if you’re streaming QBs.
Hoyer had a nice game against the Cowboys, helped by the Bears playing from behind all game. He had 317 yards and a pair of touchdowns, even though it took him 49 attempts to get there. Hoyer also wasn’t sacked once, which was a good sign for a team that has had a hard time protecting Jay Cutler. Hoyer only has short-term value while Cutler is out, but he has a great upcoming schedule, including a Week 4 matchup against the Lions who just gave up four touchdown passes in the first half to Aaron Rodgers. Hoyer isn’t Aaron Rodgers, but he should be a decent streaming option with good matchups while Cutler is out.
It doesn’t seem to matter who plays QB for the Patriots this year, the result is the same: a New England victory. That being said, aside from a nice rushing touchdown, Brissett didn’t light up fantasy scoreboards in his one start. He had 103 yards in an efficient day passing, and added 48 yards on the ground, including the 27-yard design touchdown run. Brissett and Garoppolo are both nursing respective injuries, so both are risky, but if Garoppolo is good to go, then he’s a decent streaming option this coming week against the Bills.
Kessler was 21 of 33 against the Dolphins in his first NFL start, and ended up with 244 yards. He didn’t throw any touchdowns but he also didn’t throw any picks – though he did lose one of two fumbles. Kessler has some long-term upside and didn’t look lost in his NFL debut, but even with Washington next on the schedule, he’s too risky to count on even as a streamable option in most leagues. He should be added in dynasty leagues however as the most likely of the Browns QBs to have long-term value.
I’m not buying: Case Keenum looked more like compost and less like garbage against the Bucs on Sunday, but is unlikely to put up big numbers against the Cardinals next week despite the Cardinals looking terrible in Week 3 against the Bills. Trevone Boykin has some value if he steps in for Russell Wilson, who sprained his knee in the Seattle-San Francisco game, but he’s too unproven to trust in any fantasy leagues and his value is limited by the Jets defense and a bye the next two weeks. Blaine Gabbert looked terrible against the Seahawks. While he won’t face that defense every game, he’s too risky to stream right now.