Week 3 brought an avalanche of injuries to the NFL. Mac Jones, Dalvin Cook, D’Andre Swift, David Montgomery and others fell this weekend, leaving gaps in fantasy football teams and the opportunity to take a player who can be differential in the season.
Let’s not forget that of the 15 most common players on rosters at the end of last year, a handful was not selected in the Draft (Amon-Ra St. Brown, Rashaad Penny, Dalton Schultz, Hunter Renfrow, Cordarrelle Patterson, Elijah Mitchell and Dawson Knox). The waiver is key and this week presents a great opportunity, regardless of whether you go undefeated or without victory.
We present the best options that are in the waiver wire, with at least 50% availability in the Fantasy of NFL.com
Khalil Herbert (Bears, 4.2%): There are others who are perhaps better off for Week 4, but Herbert is aiming to spend several weeks with the starting lineup due to David Montgomery’s injury. The position is yours in a team that does not pass. He finished with 169 total yards and two touchdowns against the Texans. He started two games in 2021 and had 97 and 100 rushing yards, with two seven receptions. The Giants aren’t the most favorable matchup, but the volume of Chicago’s running backs makes it the priority on the waiver.
Alexander Mattison (Vikings, 38.8%): Annual tradition: something happens to Dalvin Cook, and Mattison shines. Last week, in relief work, he had 11.4 points. In five games without Cook the past two years, he scored 3.0 (a day down 20-0 at halftime), 26.5, 17.1, 19.3, 18.4 and 13.0 in PPR. That’s RB2 if not a little more, depending on the duel.
Jamaal Williams (Lions, 31.9%): He already had a role with the Lions (he played 1/3 of the plays the first two weeks, with 9 carries in the red zone), but D’Andre Swift’s injury opens up more opportunities for a couple of weeks. Craig Reynolds will somewhat participate, but Williams RB25 so far aims to perhaps even enter the RB1. The Seahawks and Patriots aren’t the toughest matchups before their bye in Week 6.
Rhamondre Stevenson (Patriots, 51.7%): slightly above 50%. There’s mac Jones’ injury, which could jam the box, but it’s undeniable that he’s more explosive and performs more than Damien Harris: in 36 touches, he’s averaging 5.0 yards vs. 4.7. He is already the healthiest RB and has played the most (50.79% vs 38.74%). Even with Mac’s injury, the itinerary (GB, DET, CLE, CHI, NYJ, IND) is not the most complicated. Minimum flex.
Brian Robinson (Commanders, 42.7%): He’s running routes a month after he was shot in the leg. It was the RB projected to be a starter. There’s Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic and the team is usually at a disadvantage, but you rarely find a starting RB on the waiver.
For advance purchases, substitutes for other brokers: Jaylen Warren (PIT), Dontrell Hilliard (TEN), Mark Ingram (NO), Chuba Hubbard (CAR), Rashaad White (perhaps, in TB), James Cook (BUF), Sony Michel (LAC), Samaje Perine (CIN), Ken Walker (SEA)
Chris Olave (Saints, 63.6%): Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry were injured in Carolina. Olave was the WR with the most participation, with 77% of snaps. Jameis Winston’s fractured back is a concern, but Olave is currently his team’s leader in receptions (17) and yards (268). Yes, it’s above 50%, but take it if you see it.
Romeo Doubs (Packers, 4.4%): a somewhat speculative signing. Green Bay put Sammy Watkins on IR, so they have to deal with what’s there and Doubs is the best of what’s left. He already showed promise in the preseason and comes from catching his 8 passes for 73 yards and a TD. He has more potential than Allen Lazard.
Greg Dortch (Cardinals, 6.4%): Receivers with more than 13 points in the first three weeks: Stefon Diggs, Christian Kirk, Cooper Kupp, Curtis Samuel, Amon-Ra St. Brown and rookie Dortch. A.J. Green was injured, which may open up more possibilities. Of course, its 9.9 yards per reception is VERY low (#85), but the volume makes you a WR3 or Flex minimum.
Russell Gage (Bucs, 57.5%): He made last week’s waiver look good. Mike Evans will return, but if Godwin and Julio are still out, targets are available.
Josh Palmer (Chargers, 3.0%): We’ll keep mentioning him as long as Keenan Allen is still out. Herbert’s ribs worry, but he still finished 6-99 after 4-30-1 in Week 2.
Michael Gallup (Cowboys, 29.2%): Everything pointed to him not playing on Monday night, but he is on his way back. I wouldn’t put it in Week 4, no matter how much it is against Washington, but would have waited for Dak’s return.
Mack Hollins (Raiders, 0.3%): He is clearly fourth in the food chain in Vegas (Davante, Waller, Renfrow), but the latter’s injury gave him 97% of snaps and a brutal day of 8-158-1. The attention is stolen by the rest, but quietly produces and the attention of the defensive passes through the trident.
Marcus Mariota (Falcons, 32.4%): The flying Hawaiian only produces. He’s running maybe less than expected, but his weapons are surprising and the Browns have allowed some big plays. It is a better option than the immobile (Stafford, Rodgers, Brady)
Jared Goff (Lions, 27.3%): name that I did not expect to include in these latitudes this year, but it goes at home, before a bad perimeter of Seattle, and the loss of D’Andre Swift can give more volume.
Trevor Lawrence (Jaguars, 42.6%): Here comes the Sunshine. In the AFC South preview, we mentioned that there was a scenario where Lawrence would make a leap to Burrow in 2021. Said and, after three weeks, done. The Jags could well go undefeated, if not for a pair of Bombs from Wentz in Week 1, and he’s coming off the best Fantasy game of his life, 25.18 points, against a solid defense like the Chargers. A matchup against the Eagles is coming that might well require throwing more because Hurts and company are a roller in the first half.
Lawrence may not have the best matchup this Week 4, but he might well be a better option in the long run, whether it’s teams that had Dak or Trey Lance as QB, or that have some immobile QBs (Stafford, Cousins, Carr, Rodgers, Brady).
In another position, such as defensive, you can attack favorable duels week by week. The picture is also beginning to be clarified.
David Njoku (Browns, 16.6%): Believe his 23.9 points? It is almost a fact that he will not replicate it. But Atlanta is being attacked against teEs, with 20.4 points per week, and Brissett has a history of nurturing that position.
Tyler Conklin (Jets, 30.6%): A TOP 10 TE is free in two-thirds of the leagues. It only carries one TD, so its score does not depend on reaching the diagonals. As long as Flacco remains QB, you have to trust, especially when they go against the Steelers who on Thursday were torn to shreds by Njoku.
One of my favorite strategies is to rotate defenses, attacking the bad teams in the league. The real bad teams to attack in the rotations are separated. Ahead of Monday between the Giants and Cowboys, it’s the Saints who have given the most points to opposing defenses, but the Vikings don’t know if they can do it in London. The rest of the Top 5: Colts, Bengals (blessed catches of Burrow), Patriots (worst without Mac Jones) and Commanders.
Giants (2.2%): Rookie Thibodeaux comes to increase the pressure and go against the sacking machine called Justin Fields.
Packers (51.3%): are slightly up, but they host the Pats.
Lions (0.2%): in VERY desperate cases… Seattle has a very bad offense.