Waiver Wire Madness: Week 4
September 23, 2014 | Jeff
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We are now three full weeks into the 2014 fantasy football season and the waiver wire is still pumping out productive players due to the abundance of injuries in the league and now we are also seeing the emergence of numerous rookies onto the fantasy landscape. Let’s dive right in and check out the best waiver wire options as the season heads into Week 4:
Kirk Cousins (Ownership: 48% Yahoo, 29% ESPN) looked great on Sunday as he filled in for the injured Robert Griffin III as he chucked three touchdown passes along with 427 yards. For QB streamers or folks looking for a bye week fill in, Cousins is a nice option who is largely available in fantasy leagues. Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson and up-and-coming tight end Niles Paul provide Cousins with some solid passing options and we know what Andy Dalton did under Jay Gruden in 2013.
Two rookies took over at quarterback for their teams in Week 3 as the Blake Bortles (Ownership: 5% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) and Teddy Bridgewater (Ownership: 4% Yahoo, 3% ESPN) eras began. Bortles turned in the better fantasy day of the two despite throwing two interceptions, and both of these youngsters chipped in a few rushing yards to help their cause. On the surface, it appears that Bortles will see a higher volume in his team’s passing game which will make him a better bet in the fantasy realm. Bortles came in and threw the ball 24 times in the second half on Sunday and although some of that is based on game flow, I still believe he will be a better bet to stack up more passing stats than Bridgewater. Both rookie quarterbacks will need some time to rise in the oven but keep them on your watch list as bye weeks approach.
We have talked about Lorenzo Taliaferro (Ownership: 7% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) quite a bit here at The Fake Football and Week 3 was his best day yet as a pro. With Bernard Pierce out on Sunday, it was Taliaferro who handled the majority of the work in Baltimore’s backfield, running for 91 yards and a score on 18 carries. When Pierce returns, we will likely have a committee situation to deal with as Justin Forsett isn’t going anywhere either, but grabbing Taliaferro now is a move that could pay off down the stretch this season. We know Gary Kubiak loves to run the ball and if Lorenzo can wrangle the starting gig away from Pierce, he will pay off nicely.
Donald Brown (Ownership: 50% Yahoo, 90% ESPN) got a huge workload on Sunday with Ryan Mathews out and Danny Woodhead injuring one of his tiny legs during the game. With Mathews expected to miss a few more weeks, this workload will continue in San Diego. If you play in one of these Yahoo leagues where Brown is not owned, quit slacking and pick him up.
Alfred Blue (Ownership: 24% Yahoo, 3% ESPN) had a nice game on Sunday while he filled in for the injured Arian Foster, running for 78 yards on 13 carries. As I mentioned in my Sunday recap, the best part of this effort was the Texans declaring that Blue is going to be the featured back anytime Foster misses time as fellow running back Jonathan Grimes only received one carry. At this point, Blue needs to be owned everywhere due to the odds of Foster playing all 13 remaining games this season sitting at 1 in 1,000,000,000 (approximation).
Other notes: Make sure Khiry Robinson is owned (42% ownership in Yahoo leagues) with Ingram on the shelf for a few more weeks, and feel free to leave LeGarrette Blount and Joe McKnight on the wire for other suckers in your league(s). “Shoelace” Denard Robinson is worth a look this week as well with Toby Gerhart not getting much going so far in 2014. Robinson received eight carries in Week 3, which is considered gold in some deep leagues. He is worth a shot while we see just how committed to Gerhart the Jacksonville coaching staff remains as he struggles.
We will start the parade of rookie wide receivers with Jordan Matthews (Ownership: 18% Yahoo, 3% ESPN), who snared eight passes on Sunday for 59 yards and two scores. Matthews is a promising young player but he still played over 20 less snaps than fellow Eagles wide outs Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper so he may not be the most reliable fantasy option. If you have extra bench space, he isn’t a terrible pickup but I like the other rookie receivers on this list better.
Arizona’s John Brown (Ownership: 8% Yahoo, 2% ESPN) caught two touchdowns on Sunday to go along with four catches for 52 yards. The return of Carson Palmer will only help Brown’s cause and Bruce Arians’ history with small-ish slot type receivers is very good (T.Y. Hilton, etc..) so he may be a nice PPR league option this season. As with Matthews, we need to see his snap counts rise a bit but one Larry Fitzgerald hammy pull will lock up plenty of more snaps for this rookie.
Allen Robinson (Ownership: 2% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) had another nice outing on Sunday, finishing with seven catches for 79 yards. Marqise Lee missed the game but Cecil Shorts was back in action and Robinson was still able to carve himself out a role in the Jaguars passing game. This guy looks legit and he looks to be the most fantasy ready rookie in the waiver wire bunch right now. Even with Lee on the mend, Robinson should see plenty of targets from Blake Bortles moving forward.
Both St. Louis receivers Brian Quick (Ownership: 38% Yahoo, 24% ESPN) and Kenny Britt (9% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) had solid games in Week 3, although they were facing the Dallas defense. Quick has had the most consistent production over the season’s first three games so I would bet on him first if looking for a bench add, as he has tallied 62 yards or more in all three contests so far.
Not a lot cooking in the tight end department this week, so I just want to throw a friendly reminder out about Niles Paul (Ownership: 43% Yahoo, 8% ESPN) and Larry Donnell (40% Yahoo, 3% ESPN), who should be 100% owned at this point. Both of these guys are fine options and will provide a nice spark to teams with top flight TE1 types during bye weeks.
Owen Daniels (Ownership: 27% Yahoo, 6% ESPN) will see a big time increase in volume now that Dennis Pitta is out for the season. He and OC Gary Kubiak are old pals from Houston and Kubes loves to pepper his tight ends with targets. If you need tight end help or lost Pitta, OD will be a solid option for the remainder of the season.