Here are this week’s top Waiver Wire players who are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues. Our favorite players are broken down in Top Targets and the best secondary options are in our Going Deeper sections. We’ll also list any players at the top of each position who are above the 50% threshold — or are household names — and are still widely available for those who might be in smaller leagues.
Be sure to check out our weekly Waiver Wire podcast and our Waiver Wire Livestream for more analysis. We’ll also have Streaming articles every Tuesday that focus on the top quarterbacks, tight ends, and defenses for the upcoming week(s).
Note: The initial Waiver Wire article writeup will be posted every Monday night, followed by in-depth updates Tuesday, and continued additions Wednesday.
Teams on Bye in Week 5
Packers and Lions
Gardner Minshew (Jax, 46%), Ryan Tannehill (Ten, 49%)
Justin Herbert (LAC, 16%) — We’re officially ignoring what HC Anthony Lynn has to say about going back to Tyrod Taylor (lung) when he’s ready to play because the rookie Herbert has shown that he’s not only the quarterback of the future…he’s also the quarterback of the present. After throwing for 300+ yards in his first two starts for Taylor, Herbert had his best fantasy performance yet against the Buccaneers in Week 4. The rookie completed 20/25 passes for 290 yards (11.6 YPA), three touchdowns, and one INT while adding 5/14 receiving. He’s doing it throwing to Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry, and guys no one’s ever heard of. Herbert is clearly a better option than the veteran Taylor so we’d be floored if he was sent back to the bench. He also has a pretty juicy upcoming slate of games (@NO, NYJ, @Mia, Jax) to continue his momentum and to remain in the high-end QB2 conversation.
Jimmy Garoppolo (SF, 31%) — He may not be ready for Week 5, but after seeing them pull the plug on Nick Mullens in Week 4, it’s Jimmy G or bust in terms of us recommending a 49er QB here (at least for now). If Jimmy G returns this week or next, he’ll have the great George Kittle at his disposal along with an intriguing WR duo or Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, plus some other decent weapons. The 49ers also have some juicy spots over the next two weeks (Phi, Mia) if he’s back. Through their first practice of the week, Jimmy still had a chance to suit up for Week 5. UPDATED: 10/7
Teddy Bridgewater (Car, 19%) — As expected, Bridgewater is going to be slinging the rock plenty this season with the Panthers projected to be one of the league’s worst teams. The Panthers have actually played from ahead the last two weeks in victories, including in Week 4 with Teddy posting 27.2 FP in a win over the Cardinals. Bridgewater completed 26/37 passes for 276 yards, two touchdowns, and one INT while adding 6/32/1 rushing. HC Matt Rhule and Bridgewater have made these Panthers feisty in the early going, and it’s not like he’s playing with a bunch of slouches at receiver. Teddy is averaging 35.3 attempts per game, and he should keep throwing it over the next four games (@Atl, Chi, @NO, Atl) since they’re projected to be underdogs in each contest. He’ll be one of the better streaming options this week against the Falcons.
Kirk Cousins (Min, 29%) — Cousins and the Vikings are off to a shaky start this season but he has now topped 250+ receiving yards in three of his four games. He completed 16/22 passes for 260 yards (11.8 YPA) and one touchdown in their first victory of the season against the Texans. Cousins is averaging just 25 pass attempts per game and he has six TD passes compared to six INTs through three weeks. However, he’s now averaging 8.8 YPA through four weeks, which has been greatly aided by Justin Jefferson’s emergence the last two weeks. Cousins does have a juicy upcoming schedule (@Sea, Atl, bye, @GB) against some offenses that could force him to throw it a little bit more.
Derek Carr (LV, 19%) — Carr has an improved cast around him, and he’s posting better numbers so far this season with multiple TDs in his last three games. He completed 32/44 passes for 311 yards and two touchdowns and he added 20 rushing yards in a loss to the Bills in Week 4. Carr has been playing a bit undermanned recently with both Henry Ruggs (hamstring) and Bryan Edwards (knee) missing time, yet they do have excellent depth at receiver with their TEs and Nelson Agholor and Zay Jones. Ruggs also returned to practice Wednesday, so he’s trending toward a return in Week 5. Carr doesn’t have a great slate of matchups coming up (@KC, bye, TB, @Cle), and he’ll likely need to rack up production chasing points against the Chiefs this week. UPDATED: 10/7
Baker Mayfield (Cle, 44%) — Mayfield is just a streaming option at this point since he’s averaging just 25.3 attempts per game over the last three weeks in this run-heavy attack. Mayfield has yet to reach 17+ FP in a game through four weeks even with the Browns scoring 49 points against the Cowboys in Week 4. Mayfield has some solid spots coming up the next four weeks (Ind, @Pit, @Cin, LV), but he needs a potent offense across from him to attempt enough passes to be fantasy relevant. The Browns will be without Nick Chubb (knee) for likely 3-4 weeks at least, though, which could force Mayfield to throw a little more. He’ll still be a low-end QB2 option, but at least he’s playing well.
Drew Lock (Den, 9%) — He may not be ready for Week 5, but there’s optimism that Lock can return to the lineup sooner rather than later, and when he does he will look mighty appealing compared to the other options Denver has rolled with in Jeff Driskel and Brett Rypien. Denver may not have TE Noah Fant for a while, but they do have Tim Patrick, who balled out in Week 4, and Jerry Jeudy is also a baller, so they do still have weapons. Lock will also augment his fantasy production at times with his legs. Lock has been throwing for a few days this week, so if he doesn’t return Week 5, it would appear he can return for their next game. UPDATED: 10/7
Daniel Jones (NYG, 37%) — We knew it would be a tough ask for Jones to put up strong production in the first month of the season because of a brutal opening schedule. He’s come up incredibly small the last three weeks as he’s failed to throw for a touchdown while combining for about just 30 FP. It doesn’t help that he lost Saquon Barkley (ACL, IR) and Sterling Shepard (toe, IR) in Week 2 and that his O-line is also struggling to protect him, but Jones is still struggling to protect the rock with more turnovers (7) than touchdowns (2) in the early going. Jones is an extremely risky play as QB2 right now, but he has the chance to turn it around with an easy slate over the next three weeks (@Dal, Was, @Phi).
Ryan Fitzpatrick (Mia, 36%) — He will start Week 5, but we’re otherwise week-to-week with Fitz right now since the Dolphins could insert Tua Tagovailoa into the starting lineup at any point after Week 5. He’s now posted 23+ FP in three straight games after struggling against the Patriots in the season opener. Fitz completed 29/45 passes for 315 yards and two INTs but he added 6/47/1 rushing and a two-point conversion pass to supplement his fantasy output. The Dolphins haven’t given any kind of indication just how long Fitz will stay in the lineup beyond Week 5, but he will lose some streaming appeal over the next four weeks with tougher matchups looming (@SF, @Den, LAC, LAR). Then again, SF’s defense has myriad injuries and Denver’s secondary is very beatable. UPDATED: 10/6
Nick Foles (Chi, 14%) — HC Matt Nagy rightfully pulled the plug on Mitch Trubisky in the second half in Week 3, and Foles promptly came into the game and threw three touchdowns in Chicago’s improbable comeback victory over the Falcons. Foles failed to keep the momentum going in his first start with the Bears in Week 4. He completed 26/42 passes for 249 yards (5.9 YPA), one TD, and one INT as the Bears didn’t score a TD until the final two minutes against the Colts. The Bears will stick with Foles for now, but he’s an uninspiring low-end QB2 option with some tough matchups looming (TB, @CAR, @LAR, NO).
Philip Rivers (Ind, 21%) — Rivers has turned into game manager the last three weeks with the Colts dominating both the Vikings, the Jets, and the Bears in Weeks 2-4. He completed 116/29 passes for 190 yards and one touchdown in an eight-point victory over the Bears last week. Rivers has some solid matchups coming up (@Cle, Cin, bye, @Det), but the Colts ideally want Rivers to throw it 30 or fewer times a game as they’ve done the last three weeks, which limits Rivers’ fantasy upside — he’s yet to throw for multiple TDs in a game.
Joshua Kelley (LAC, 54%), Adrian Peterson (Det, 62%), Rex Burkhead (NE, 46%), Latavius Murray (NO, 60%)
Chase Edmonds (Ari, 34%) — Edmonds is the top backup to Kenyan Drake, who is strug-a-ling through the first four weeks of the season. Drake’s fantasy production has dipped each week of the season, and he bottomed out with just 3.5 FP in the best fantasy matchup for running backs in 2019-20 against the Panthers. Drake saw 65% snap share compared to Edmonds’ 37% share in Week 4, but he didn’t see a single target. Drake is averaging just 3.8 YPC after averaging 5.2 YPC with the Cardinals last season, and he has just five catches for 20 yards through four games. He has just 38.4 FP on 72 opportunities this season while Edmonds has 38.2 FP on just 33 opportunities this season. Drake simply hasn’t been effective and it wouldn’t be surprising if Kliff Kingsbury gives Edmonds a chance for more work going forward, since Kinsbury is not afraid to go with the hot hand (and Drake’s is ice cold right now). Add Edmonds now if he’s still sitting on your waiver wire just in case he unseats Drake in the near future.
Damien Harris (NE, 26%) — Harris was activated off the injured reserve for Week 4, and the second-year RB appeared ready to be the team’s top runner before his injury, rushing for 100 yards on 17 carries. He did play only 31% of the snaps and didn’t have a target, but he certainly looks like their primary runner, a role he may keep all year if he continues to perform well. Sony Michel didn’t do a whole lot to distance himself while Harris was out of the lineup, and Michel is also now dealing with a quad injury, which landed him on IR. It’s still a crowded backfield, which also includes Rex Burkhead (35% of the snaps Week 4) James White (53%, as they played from behind), but at least J.J. Taylor wasn’t in the mix. Harris won’t be a slam-dunk option even if he keeps the gig, since Cam Newton is the team’s primary goal-line runner, but at least he has some passing-game chops to help his fantasy value. If he can gather up 1-2 catches a game, he’s a good bet for 10+ PPR points most weeks. UPDATED: 10/6
Justin Jackson (LAC, 5%) — Austin Ekeler left Week 4 early with a nasty looking hamstring/knee injury, which could keep him out of the lineup for the next 4-6 weeks. Jackson has played poorly in his only two games this season with just 8/13 rushing and 2/12 receiving, and he missed Weeks 2-3 because of a quad injury. Joshua Kelley also struggled in Week 4 against a nasty Buccaneers run defense. The rookie also lost a fumble for the second straight game, which could give Jackson a better chance for playing time if HC Anthony Lynn starts having trust issues with his young running back. Jackson is also more capable of filling the receiving void left behind by the prolific pass-catcher Ekeler. The Chargers have a tougher matchup with the Saints next week, but they have a juicy slate after that (NYJ, @Mia, Jax, LV) if Jackson carves out a sizable role while Ekeler is out.
Phillip Lindsay (Den, 49%) — Lindsay will likely return to the lineup in Week 5 against the Patriots after nearly playing against the Jets last week. He’s been dropped in a bunch of leagues since injuring his toe in the season opener, and he should be owned in most formats going forward. Melvin Gordon has played fairly well during his absence but Lindsay figures to carve out at least a change-of-pace role next to Gordon with the potential for a bigger role if he performs well. He has enough standalone value to be considered as a low-end flex option playing next to Gordon going forward.
Jamaal Williams (GB, 10%) — Second-round pick A.J. Dillon is a distant third option in this backfield behind Williams and starter Aaron Jones. Williams is the better all-around player at this stage of his career, and he would lead this backfield if Jones missed any time. And, as we saw in Week 4, Williams may have standalone value as they deal with myriad injuries at receiver. Playing a healthy 57% of the snaps, Williams really picked up the slack in the passing game with 8/95 receiving on 8 targets. He also had 8 carries, and 16 opportunities for a RB2 is nothing to sneeze at. They are likely looking to keep Jones fresh, and Williams does look good again this year, so he’s worth a look if there’s little on the WW. UPDATED: 10/6
D’Ernest Johnson (Cle, 1%) and Dontrell Hilliard (Cle, 0%) — Lead runner Nick Chubb went down with a knee injury in Week 4, which opened the door for Johnson to get some major run next to Kareem Hunt in the Browns Browns backfield. The third-year player led the Browns with 13/95 rushing against the Cowboys, while Hunt finished with 11/71/2 rushing and Hilliard added 5/19 rushing. Hunt will be the clear top option in this backfield and he’s likely to be used like a bell-cow back while Chubb is out of the lineup for at least the next three weeks after the team placed him on the injured reserve. Johnson and Hilliard could carve out small roles as runners with the Browns averaging a healthy 34.8 rushing attempts per game. They were very close in terms of snaps in Week 4, unfortunately, though. Johnson played 23% while Hilliard played 20%. Only Hilliard got a pass target, but it was only 1 target (1 catch for 2 yards).
Malcolm Brown (LAR, 37%) — It looked like Darrell Henderson had taken control of this Rams backfield with a pair of 100-yard performances in Weeks 2-3, but HC Sean McVay reminded everyone that he’s using the hot-hand approach with this backfield every week. With Henderson struggling in Week 4, Brown stepped back up to lead this backfield with 9/37 rushing and 5/19 receiving on seven targets against the Giants. This backfield figures to be difficult to handicap going forward since all three backs are getting chances to play, but at least Brown has a better chance to return flex production while Cam Akers (ribs) is out of the lineup. Of course, Akers could be back in the mix Week 5. UPDATED: 10/7
Duke Johnson (Hou, 20%) — Duke returned to the lineup in Week 4 after missing the last two games with an ankle injury he sustained in the season opener. With the Texans playing from behind, Dookie played 38% of the snaps and managed 3/21 receiving on four targets and he added 5/24 rushing in a loss to the Vikings. Duke is still the preferred passing back if he’s healthy, but David Johnson could steal a few third-down snaps. David has come back to earth a bit after he looked great in Week 1 so Duke has some standalone value in PPR leagues, especially since it looks like the Texans could be playing from behind more often than not this season. The Texans also fired Bill O’Brien, the guy who traded for David, which could help Duke a tiny bit.
Ke’Shawn Vaughn (TB, 6%) — Do you remember this rookie? He’s back on the radar in deeper formats with the Buccaneers dealing with injuries to both Leonard Fournette (ankle), LeSean McCoy (ankle), and Kenjon Barner (concussion). He saw his first real work of the season in Week 4 against the Chargers as he scored a receiving TD after McCoy left early with his ankle injury. Vaughn looked good on his limited touches and already looks like he could be a better pro than Jones, so he’s worth a pickup for deep depth. The Buccaneers play the Bears this week on Thursday Night Football, which means Vaughn should be the #2 back behind Ronald Jones this week. McCoy is out and Fournette is doubtful. UPDATED: 10/7
Anthony McFarland (Pit, 2%) — The rookie McFarland didn’t see a single touch in the first two games of the season, but he became the change-of-pace option behind James Conner in Week 3, and he immediately flashed. The fourth-round pick finished with 6/42 rushing and 1/7 receiving on two targets against the Texans while Benny Snell finished with just 7/11 rushing. The Steelers would likely use a committee between McFarland, Snell, and Jaylen Samuels if Conner missed time, but McFarland has the most upside in the group and his role behind Conner could continue to grow after a strong first performance.
Gus Edwards (Bal, 0%) — He could go back to hibernation any given week for several weeks, but Edwards has been as good as ever the last few weeks and actually led their backfield in snaps in Week 4 with 22 (37%). He’ll need an injury to JK Dobbins or Mark Ingram to be trustworthy, but you could do worse for a back-of-the-bench stash. As we feared for Dobbins this summer, Gus is not going away.
Jeff Wilson (SF, 3%) — Wilson is worth a look, especially in non-PPR formats, for as long as Raheem Mostert (knee) and Tevin Coleman (knee) are out of the lineup, but we saw in Week 4, he’s no lock even if the two top backs are out. Playing from behind a decent portion of the game, the 49ers used Wilson on only 6 snaps (8%) and had only 4 touches. Of course, Wilson saw the most carries in the 49ers backfield in Week 3 and he scored a rushing touchdown and 3/54/1 receiving against the Giants. We’ll see about Mostert’s availability for Week 5 — Coleman is on the IR until at least Week 6 — but Wilson is a desperation play only after Week 4. Mostert was limited on 10/7, so he could return. UPDATED: 10/7
J.D. McKissic (Was, 2%) — He’s a real pest when it comes to Antonio Gibson, but that doesn’t look to be changing in the near future. McKissic managed 7/40 receiving on eight targets with Dwayne Haskins throwing it 45 times in Week 4. The Football Team likes him in the passing game, and he’s also received some goal-line carries with 7-8 opportunities the first three weeks. He’s dependent on a negative game script, which won’t be a problem most weeks in Washington since they’re one of the worst teams in the league.
Best Handcuff Stashes
Alexander Mattison (Min, 37%) — Mattison would take over the majority of work in the Vikings backfield with Mike Boone also mixing. Dalvin Cook missed two games to a shoulder injury last season after dealing with multiple hamstring injuries in 2018.
Brian Hill (Atl, 2%) — Hill has emerged ahead of Ito Smith as the #2 RB in this backfield behind Todd Gurley. The Falcons would likely use a committee between Hill and Smith if Gurley missed time, but Hill is the preferred handcuff for anyone looking to grab the backup to the mediocre Gurley. Hill played a lot in Week 3 with 33% of the snaps with 12 opportunities so he might be more than a handcuff.
Tony Pollard (Dal, 22%) — Pollard ran for 455 yards on just 86 carries (5.3 YPC) as Ezekiel Elliott’s primary backup last season, and there’s a chance he could have more standalone value if he’s given a bigger role as a sophomore. Pollard would immediately be an RB1 if he’s thrust into a bell-cow role at any point this season.
Darrel Williams (KC, 11%) — Williams is the next man up behind rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and he has a small role next to the first-round pick. Williams would see most of the work if CEH missed time — Darwin Thompson would also mix in — and HC Andy Reid feels comfortable with Williams in any situation.
Giovani Bernard (Cin, 19%) — If Joe Mixon goes down, Gio is one of the best handcuffs in all of fantasy football. Across Bernard's last four games without Mixon on the field, he averages 80% of the team's snaps, 13.0 carries, 5.3 targets, and 19.4 FPG. Those are hammer RB1 numbers.
Carlos Hyde (Sea, 30%) — Hyde is the guy to own for early-down work in Seattle if Chris Carson misses time as Rashaad Penny continues to recover from his major knee injury from last season. Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas would duke it out for passing-game work next to Hyde if Carson misses some time. Hyde, of course, missed Week 4.
Boston Scott (Phi, 20%) — Scott moved back to a secondary role in this backfield in Week 2 with Miles Sanders making his 2020 debut after dealing with a hamstring injury the past month. Scott is unlikely to see enough work each week to have enough standalone value to be a flex option so he’s more of a handcuff for Sanders right now.
Darrynton Evans (Ten, 2%) — The rookie Evans is the next man up behind King Henry, and he’ll work as a change-of-pace option as the lightning to Henry’s thunder this season.
Jordan Wilkins (Ind, 1%) — Wilkins has been getting weekly touches as the primary backup to lead runner Jonathan Taylor after Marlon Mack (Achilles, IR) went down for the season. Wilkins would handle the early-down duties with Nyheim Hines mixing in as a change-of-pace back and as a receiver if Taylor missed time.
Devontae Booker (LV, 0%) — The Raiders have built a large part of their offense around stud RB Josh Jacobs, and they also use Jalen Richard as a hurry-up and change-of-pace back, but for now, it will likely be Booker who steps in as the handcuff to Jacobs if Jacobs were to miss time.
Devine Ozigbo (Jax, 3%) — Ozigbo could return off the IR in the near future after missing the first four weeks of the season with a hamstring injury. James Robinson has earned the right to be the team’s workhorse back with his play in the early going, but Ozigbo would be the next man up since Chris Thompson would stick in a passing-back role.
Brandon Aiyuk (SF, 57%), Russell Gage (Atl, 55%), Anthony Miller (Chi, 47%)
Tee Higgins (Cin, 33%) — It didn’t take long for the Bengals coaching staff to elevate Higgins to the #2 spot on the perimeter ahead of John Ross, and he might already be the #1 perimeter option since A.J. Green has officially gone M.I.A. to start 2020. After scoring two touchdowns against the Eagles in Week 3, Higgins hung 4/77 receiving on seven targets (19%) against the Jaguars in Week 4 with 57% of the snaps. Green (71% of the snaps Week 4) hasn’t looked like the same player he once was in the early going, and the coaching staff is going to keep giving Higgins more opportunities to develop with Joe Burrow the rest of the season. We hope you stashed Higgins since he could have a big role in an offense that’s going to be throwing the rock a lot this season.
Scotty Miller (TB, 16%) — Miller drew praise from QB Tom Brady and HC Bruce Arians during training camp, and he’s had a pretty sizable role in the early going with Chris Godwin (hamstring) and Mike Evans a bit banged. Miller posted 5/83/1 receiving on seven targets with Godwin out in Week 4 against Chargers. He was second on the team in WR snaps behind Evans with 57% of the snaps. He’ll once again be active this week against the Bears because Godwin won’t play with the Buccaneers playing on Thursday Night Football. Evans also looked at less than 100% in Week 4 and he may not be able to handle his normal massive workload on Thursday Night Football this week. Tampa may also have to go with more three-WR sets, too, after O.J. Howard suffered an Achilles injury in Week 4 that is expected to end his season. So Miller’s arrow is pointing upward for the future, as well. Miller is questionable with a hip/groin, but he is expected to go. UPDATED: 10/7
Laviska Shenault (Jax, 24%) and Keelan Cole (Jax, 31%) — The Jaguars are rolling with D.J. Chark, Shenault, and Cole as their top-three WRs with Dede Westbrook a healthy scratch when they’re each in the lineup. Shenault bounced back after a disappointing Week 3 performance with 5/86 receiving and a five-yard carry against the Bengals while Cole posted another serviceable 4/46 line on five targets. Cole played more snaps (74% vs. 54% for Shenalt), but we’d much rather take a flyer on the rookie’s upside. Shenault is a worthwhile add since he’s already developed into the #2 receiver while Cole is an add in deeper leagues since he’s getting opportunities in an offense that’s going to be playing from behind a bunch. For Week 5, he’s questionable with a hamstring, so check status. UPDATED: 10/7
Cole Beasley (Buf, 25%) — Beasley is always a deeper option in PPR formats, and he’s back to putting up solid weekly production as the team’s slot WR. He’s now posted at least nine FP in every game this season, including 12+ FP in each of his last three games after recording 3/32/1 receiving on four targets against the Raiders in Week 4. Beasley has been a solid but unspectacular PPR option in the past, but he has more upside than ever before because of Buffalo’s spread attack. Josh Allen is averaging 37 passes per game and 331.5 passing yards per game, which gives Beasley a viable chance to be a low-end WR3 in PPR formats with bye weeks starting this week. He’s been limited with a foot injury this week, so check status. UPDATED: 10/7
Christian Kirk (Ari, 33%) — It hasn’t been a pretty start to the season for Kirk with DeAndre Hopkins seeing what seems like every target from Kyler Murray. The third-year WR did find paydirt in Week 4 in his first game back from a groin injury to finally crack 10 FP. He’s yet to see more than five targets in a game and Murray isn’t throwing the rock particularly well to start the year. Still, Kirk and Kyler could pick it up soon with matchups looming against the Jets, the Cowboys, the Seahawks, and the Dolphins in their next four games. As much as we love him and always have, Larry Fitzgerald may be toast.
Mike Williams (LAC, 40%) — Williams has been dropped in a bunch of leagues after suffering a hamstring injury in Week 3, which forced him to miss last week (he’s questionable for Week 5). Williams will be in a race to be ready for a matchup with the Saints this week, but he might be worth stashing with Justin Herbert showing off his big arm in the early going of his career. The rookie threw a pair of deep touchdown passes to Williams’ replacement Jalen Guyton and Tyron Johnson in Week 4, and it’s easy to envision Williams turning into that big-play threat for Herbert in the near future. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Williams turn in several big plays in Weeks 6-10 with an attackable slate coming up (NYJ, @Mia, Jax, LV). UPDATED: 10/7
Tim Patrick (Den, 0%) — Patrick has been a solid contributor every time he’s been given a chance in Denver, and he’s at it again with Courtland Sutton (ACL, IR), K.J. Hamler (hamstring), and TE Noah Fant (ankle) out of the lineup. He was Brett Rypien’s go-to receiver in Week 4 against the Jets, hauling 6/113/1 receiving on a team-best seven targets (22.6% share) while playing 76% of the snaps. Patrick will stick in the X receiver spot going forward with Sutton done for the year, and he’s actually the most-seasoned receiver for Drew Lock and company in his third season at 26 years old. He’s unlikely to have many 20+ FP outbursts this season, but he could maintain a sizable role even when Hamler returns to the lineup for those looking for help in deeper formats. Patrick should remain active in Week 5 with Fant likely to miss the game, but he’ll likely draw a brutal matchup with Stephon Gillmore this week.
Hunter Renfrow (LV, 42%) — Renfrow has stepped up for Derek Carr the last two weeks with Henry Ruggs (hamstring) and Bryan Edwards (knee) out of the lineup, posting 5+ catches and 55+ receiving yards in both games. He managed 5/57 receiving on eight targets (18% target share) against the Bills in Week 4. Renfrow will eventually go back to being a secondary option in this passing attack after seeing just five targets through the first two weeks of the season, but it’s not like Ruggs and Edwards are off to blistering starts early in the year. He’ll still be a featured weapon this week against the Chiefs, but Ruggs is on track to return Week 5. UPDATED: 10/7
Tre'quan Smith (NO, 30%) — Smith has stepped up nicely with Michael Thomas (ankle) out of the lineup the last three weeks, posting 13+ FP in two of his three games without New Orleans’ top receiver. Smith caught all four of his targets for 54 yards and two touchdowns against the Lions in Week 4. Thomas is likely to return to the lineup in Week 5 against the Chargers after nearly playing last week, which should relegate Smith to the bench in most fantasy formats, especially since Emmanuel Sanders has emerged as a force in this passing attack. Still, there’s a lot to be said for the production Smith has logged the last 2-3 weeks, and it bodes well for his long-term outlook at the least.
Damiere Byrd (NE, 1%) — Not many sites were talking this guy up this summer, but we isolated him way back in the spring as a deep sleeper simply because he actually has some speed and juice, which is severely lacking on this roster. That’s why he’s grabbed hold of a large role here the last three weeks. In that span, he has 22 targets and 14/179 receiving while playing with three different QBs. He led the way with a whopping 97% of the snaps with 10 targets and 5/80 receiving in Week 4, good for a solid 13 PPR points. He may never score, but he absolutely can offer relief for those looking for catches and 10+ PPR points most weeks. N’Keal Harry is too slow to count on, and Julian Edelman has been up-and-down, plus they have nothing at TE. Add it up and Byrd is a thing. UPDATED: 10/6
Breshad Perriman (NYJ, 9%) and Denzel Mims (NYJ, 3%) — The Jets are an absolute dumpster fire but, to be fair to Sam Darnold, he has been playing with the deck completely stacked against him. The Jets top perimeter WR in Week 4 was someone named Jeff Smith. The Jets are set to get Le’Veon Bell (hamstring), Breshad Perriman (ankle), and Denzel Mims (hamstring) in Week 5 against the Cardinals. Perriman can’t be trusted to stay healthy for long and Mims has barely worked since August so there are absolutely zero expectations for either player, but it wouldn’t be crazy if one of these WRs emerges as a relevant option in deeper formats. One of the reasons we liked Perriman this summer and didn’t bail on him when he was hurting in August, keep in mind, is because we were told Perriman looked great early in camp and they were loving him. Also keep in mind, though, that Darnold is out Week 5. If we have to see Joe Flacco for a few weeks, at least he and Perriman were teammates in Baltimore. For Week 5, Mims won’t play and Perriman is also likely out. UPDATED: 10/7
Mecole Hardman (KC, 40%) — Hardman really needs an injury in front of him to have a better chance of producing for fantasy, and we did see Sammy Watkins play in Week 3, and he looked good (and then not good in Week 4). Hardman managed just 2/30 receiving on three targets and he added a three-yard run against the Chargers in Week 2, but he did ball out in Week 3 with 4/81/1 on 6 targets with a beautiful 49-yard TD, and he almost hauled in another long TD. And then in Week 4, while he got only 4 targets and 4/27 receiving, he did score again, so he’s been hanging in there. Hardman is still too volatile as a weekly option given his limited role, but he clearly has the potential to go off any given week. UPDATED: 10/6
N’Keal Harry (NE, 35%) — Harry posted 2/34 receiving and he saw just a 14% target share in Week 3 after posting 13/111 receiving on a 29% target share in Weeks 1-2. He did score in Week 4, but his line was otherwise underwhelming with 3/21 on 6 targets. He did play a solid 76% of the snaps. You could do worse for a WW pickup in a deeper league, but you could probably do better. He is their clear X receiver, though, so he will continue to play a lot. UPDATED: 10/6
Zach Pascal (Ind, 4%) — The Colts WR depth chart has been thinned out with Parris Campbell (knee) out indefinitely and with Michael Pittman (calf) looking at a month’s absence. He became Philip Rivers’ top target in Week 4 with his 27.6% target share against the Bears, and he led the Colts with 3/58 receiving. Pascal had some fantasy relevance moments last season playing with Jacoby Brissett, scoring double-digit FP six times in an 11-game span last season. Pascal is going to play a lot over the next two weeks before their Week 7 bye, but it’s tough to get too excited with Rivers averaging just 25 passes per game over the last three weeks. At least T.Y. Hilton, who is nicknamed The Ghost, has completely vanished with just 13/162 receiving through four weeks with Rivers. And Pascal, well, always seems to do something positive when he plays.
Darnell Mooney (Chi, 1%) — We told readers about this kid all summer, and he’s been used as the #2 WR behind Allen Robinson and ahead of Anthony Miller so far this season. He saw his most work of the season in Nick Foles’ first start of the year, posting 5/52 receiving on nine targets (21.4% target share). The Bears have been high on him and they’ve been blown away with his speed and how quickly he’s picked things up. His upside is capped playing with these below-average quarterbacks, but he will certainly be making some big plays going forward. He is questionable for Week 5, keep in mind, so he’s risky on a short week. UPDATED: 10/7
Golden Tate (NYG, 39%) — The Giants passing attack has been dismal through the first month of the season. Even with Sterling Shepard (toe, IR) out the last two weeks, Tate has managed a combined 5/56 receiving on 13 targets against the 49ers and the Rams. Shepard will miss at least one more game and Tate theoretically has a chance to bounce back in a juicy matchup against the Cowboys this week. Of course, he’ll need Daniel Jones to take advantage of the prime matchup, which isn’t guaranteed with his performance in the early going. But you could do a lot worse for a reach play at WR this week.
Randall Cobb (Hou, 25%) — Cobb was starting to heat up with Deshaun Watson in Weeks 2-3, but he came crashing back to earth with just 2/36 receiving on five targets in Week 4 against the poor Vikings secondary. Cobb should stay active and he should get more comfortable with Watson as they work together longer. It’s only a matter of time until one of the top wideouts misses time with an injury (Will Fuller already has) so Cobb can help in deeper PPR formats.
Chase Claypool (Pit, 10%) — Claypool has made a couple splash plays in his first couple games as a pro playing with Ben Roethlisberger. He made the biggest play of Week 2 by hauling in a deep shot from Big Ben and racing to the house for an 84-yard touchdown against the Broncos. The second-round pick figures to be a boom-or-bust option going forward since he’s unlikely to see heavy volume most weeks, but he showed in Week 2 that he can do a lot for fantasy on limited targets. Claypool played ahead of James Washington in Week 3 (76% snap share) with Dionate Johnson (concussion) leaving early, and the rookie is best suited to take over as the X receiver if Johnson is unable to play in the future. Claypool is an upside stash option at this point.
Olamide Zaccheaus (Atl, 2%) — Horrible vibes right now with the Falcons, who watched Julio Jones leave the field again in Week 4 due to his pesky hamstring, and Calvin Ridley, fantasy’s #1 WR going into the week, got shut out. Ridley should have scored a longer TD at the end of their game against Green Bay, but Matt Ryan threw him a bad ball. Also crapping the bed was Russell Gage, who did have a concussion two weeks ago. The lone bright spot in the receiving corps was Zaccheaus, who caught 8 of 9 targets for 88 yards. He now has 15 targets and 12/127 receiving the last two weeks. If he’s pressed into action, he’s shown he can deliver PPR production in this high volume passing game, so he’s worth a look for depth, especially if you own Julio, Ridley, or even Gage. Julio is trending toward missing Week 5. UPDATED: 10/6
Greg Ward (Phi, 10%) — Carson Wentz has turned to Ward the last two weeks, and at least in Week 3, Ward delivered some fantasy production, seeing a team-high 11 targets (23% share), which he turned into 8/72/1 receiving against the Bengals. Ward did lead them with 7 targets in Week 4, but he posted an underwhelming 4/38 against a depleted 49ers secondary. Alshon Jeffery (Lisfranc) will be back in the mix soon so it’s tough to get too excited about Ward’s big Week 3 performance, especially since D-Jax’s hamstring issue isn’t that serious. But since Dallas Goedert will miss time, Ward will get more opportunities in the slot.
Gabriel Davis (Buf, 0%) — We’ve been hearing great things about the rookie Davis since the summer, and he’s flashed a couple different times in the first few weeks of the season in this suddenly potent Bills passing attack. He made another splash play with a 26-yard touchdown against the Raiders in Week 4, which gives him a touchdown or 80+ receiving yards in each of his last three games. Davis can’t be used except in the deepest formats while Stefon Diggs, John Brown, and Cole Beasley are still healthy, but fantasy owners would be scrambling to add him if one of those receivers goes down if you have a bench spot to stash him.
DeSean Jackson (Phi, 34%), Alshon Jeffery, (Phi, 16%) and Greg Ward (Phi, 19%) — You’re probably better off avoiding this Eagles receiving corps right now since no one has emerged as a reliable target for a struggling Carson Wentz. With D-Jax and Jeffery out of the lineup, Ward led the Eagles in targets with seven but he managed just 4/38 receiving. Jeffery appears to be targeting a Week 5 return to the lineup after returning to individual drills ahead of Week 3 off his off-season Lisfranc surgery. The Eagles’ passing attack could use any kind of help right now, but it’s yet to be seen if Jeffery will be anywhere close to the player that he once was. It’s fine to stash Jeffery just in case he has something left in the tank but just don’t expect the world from him. D-Jax has the best chance of being an impact fantasy option, but he’s not a great bet since he no longer can stay healthy. It’s probably best just to wait for Jalen Reagor’s return in the second half of the year if you’re going to invest in these Eagles WRs. Jackson, though, worked on Wednesday, so he should play. UPDATED: 10/7
Dalton Schultz (Dal, 52%), Rob Gronkowski (TB, 57%), Jimmy Graham (Chi, 51%), Austin Hooper (Cle, 53%)
Robert Tonyan (GB, 26%) — Uh, wow. We have been giving him love for a couple of weeks, and as we wrote going into Week 4, Aaron Rogers clearly trusts Tonyan, who caught all 5 of his targets in Week 3 for a solid line of 5/50/1, giving him a TD two weeks in a row. And then came Week 4. With Davante Adams out, Tonyan broke up fully, catching all 6 of his targets for 98 yards and 3 TDs. As for Jace Sternberger, he was an afterthought until he got hurt again at the end of game. It’s not happening this year for Sternberger and it’s really happening for Tonyan. Right now, he’s looking like THE pickup of the year at TE, and perhaps one of the best overall sleepers of the 2020 season. He’s on bye in Week 5 so he isn’t a player to target for immediate help, but since #2 receiver Allen Lazard is expected to miss the next month or two, Bobby T looks like a lock to average 12+ PPR points per week the rest of the way. UPDATED: 10/6
Eric Ebron (Pit, 26%) — Ebron was trending upward the first three weeks of the season, and it paid off with his first strong fantasy performance in black and gold in Week 3. Ebron saw a team-high seven targets (19% target share), which he turned into a team-best 5/52/1 receiving against the Texans, scoring on a fade pass from 10 yards out. Ebron is behind at least Diontae Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster in this passing attack, and he’ll be competing most weeks with Chase Claypool and James Washington for secondary targets from Big Ben. He had a chance to have a bigger role in Week 4 with Diontae (concussion) looking questionable to play, but the Steelers didn’t play. He’s now back to more of a secondary role in this passing attack with Diontae likely back against the Eagles this week. In fact, the schedule looks really nice for Ebron for a while: Phi, Cle, Ten, Bal, Dal, Cin, and Jac.
Greg Olsen (Sea, 22%) — Olsen is leading this Seahawks TE committee, which also has Will Dissly and Jacob Hollister involved. Olsen now has four or more catches in three of his first four games with Seattle after posting 5/35 receiving on seven targets (20.6% target share) against the Dolphins in Week 4. Russell Wilson is going to throw a ton of touchdown passes this season as he already has 16 TD passes through the first four weeks of the season. Olsen is a distant #3 option behind D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, but grabbing pieces of this potent passing attack is a wise decision, especially if Olsen is just developing chemistry with Wilson.
Mo Alie-Cox (Ind, 33%) — Alie-Cox has scored a touchdown in consecutive games after hanging a 100-yard game against the Vikings in Week 2. We’d love to push him more but his production looks unsustainable with Jack Doyle and now Trey Burton also competing for targets in an offense that’s averaging just 25 passes per game over the last three weeks. For now, Alie-Cox is the one Colts tight end we’d consider playing while he’s running hot with Philip Rivers, but he’s bound to disappoint soon because of his limited opportunities. In fact, he was third on the team in snap percentage at TE in Week 4, which is not good.
Justin Tucker (Bal, 100%) Wil Lutz (NO, 99%)
Stephen Gostkowski (Ten, 10%) - We listed him here last week but Covid-19 forced a bye week on the Titans. He is flying under the fantasy radar after a dismal opening day. Still, he has kicked a game winning field goal with less than two minutes to play in three straight games. Coaching staff has confidence in Gostkowski and so should you.
Randy Bullock (Cin, 12%) - This is likely going to be the last chance to scoop up Bullock as his availability is dwindling with each passing week. He has three or more field goals in three consecutive games and five of his field goals have been from the bonus range of 40 or more yards.
Ka’imi Faribairn (Hou, 32%) - Fairbairn has quietly put together six of seven field goals and eight extra points through four games. These are not outstanding numbers, but he has a very favorable matchup this week at home against the Jaguars who have allowed multiple field goals in three of their first four games.
Brandon McManus (Den,12 %) - McManus only has six field goals made in four games. What stands out here is that five of those six field goals have come from the bonus range of 40 or more yards and half of those six from 50 or more yards. He certainly has the leg strength and could get a couple of opportunities on the road against New England this week.
Cody Parkey (Cle, 1%) - The Browns offense has come alive lately. In the three games Parkey has handled placekicker duties, he has posted 14 extra points and nailed all four of his field-goal attempts with two coming from the bonus range of 40 yards or more. Cleveland faces a tough defense at home, so the offense could stall a few times and that leads to field goal attempts by Parkey.
Steelers (Pit, 88%) — With their surprise bye week coming in Week 4 due to COVID issues from their opponent, a defense that was 100% rostered (and a top-5 scoring defense) was dropped by many scuffling to find a replacement. This Steelers unit has a banged up Philly O-line to feast on, followed by a Cleveland team that was embarrassed by Baltimore before shredding a few of the softest defenses in the league (Cin, Dal). Pittsburgh has 15 sacks and 4 INTs in three games, and hasn’t allowed more than 21 points in a game.
Chiefs (KC, 67%) — The Chiefs defense certainly has some issues at linebacker that have been exposed, but they’ve also gone up against a tough schedule to start the season. As the calendar turns to October, they have a few more tough matchups (LV, @Buf) but then they get a juicy run of some of the weakest offenses in the league (@Den, NYJ, Car). Add to that their positive game script in most of their upcoming games, and this defense will find itself in some great positions to do damage. The Chiefs have yet to give up more than 20 points, and have 12 sacks, 5 INTs (including 1 returned for a TD), and 2 fumble recoveries.
Football Team (Was, 6%) — This defense is loaded up front and has a strong secondary, but they’re getting burned over the middle. This has led to some higher point totals than we’d prefer to see, but they’re still getting home: 14 sacks and 5 INTs. They’ve held their own against some high-powered offenses like Baltimore and Arizona (thanks to their sack and turnover production), so they’re likely to do the same this week versus the Rams. Their following game is really why they’re on here. This vicious D-line (which may have Chase Young back by then) will get to tee off on Daniel Jones and the winless Giants.