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Two explosive rookies in De'Von Achane and Tank Dell headline the list of free aggent waiver wire pickups heading into week 4. Thankfully, there were fewer injuries at the running back position in Week 3, but those who lost Mike Williams, torn ACL, will need to find replacements. Derek Carr could also miss multiple weeks with a shoulder injury.
Even if you don’t have an immediate need, It’s always a good time to stash talent on your bench for upcoming bye weeks.
De’Von Achane: Running Back, Miami Dolphins
Achane made my list of late-round running backs to target in the preseason , and so he went off on all but one of my benches this weekend (yes, I won the matchup I started him in by a landslide). Check your waiver wire now, as many fantasy managers dropped him after Week 1 when he was a healthy scratch. After putting up a whopping 233 total yards and four touchdowns vs. the Broncos Sunday, Miami can’t just put the genie back into the bottle. He’ll share time with Raheem Mostert, who had a similarly dominant day, and Jeff Wilson and Salvon Ahmed could still be in the mix. Still, the speedster, who also showed impressive pass-catching ability during his time at Texas A&M, should be your top target at the position this week.
FAAB up to 26%
Tank Dell: Wide Receiver, Houston Texans
Tank Dell is the top claim at this position for the second week in a row, and for good reason. Dell followed up his seven-catch, 72-yard, one-touchdown performance in Week 2 with a five-catch, 145-yard, one-touchdown performance in Week 3. Dell led the team in routes and targets this week in a game where the Texans were never trailing. The Texans are a pass-heavy team that will likely be involved in more negative game scripts, and even with Nico Collins, Robert Woods, and John Metchie III in the mix, Dell seems to be a favorite of CJ Stroud’s.
FAAB up to 16%
Josh Palmer: Wide Receiver, Los Angeles Chargers
After Williams left the game on Monday, it was Palmer who played 11 of 13 snaps, including every passing play. We saw Palmer step up last season when Allen or Williams were out, and this Kellen Moore offense will continue to be pass-heavy. He finished with four grabs for 66 yards and a touchdown off seven targets.
FAAB up to 13%
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Quentin Johnston: Wide Receiver, Los Angeles Chargers
Johnston is less likely to be available on your waiver wire, but he’s worth stashing if he is there. The rookie out of TCU is a massive target that combines both size and speed, and his unique stop-start ability also shows after the catch. He profiles much like Mike Williams and could be in line for more work with the possibility to breakout later in the season.
FAAB up to 11%
Marvin Mims, Jr.: Wide Receiver, Denver Broncos
Mims also made our list last week. After Week 3, the rookie leads the Broncos in receiving yards (195) despite having only seven catches on nine targets. Mims is playing about 25% of the team’s snaps, and he is not startable yet, but something has to change for Sean Peyton’s team to win. Maybe using more of the rookie receiver, averaging 7.29 yards with a 78% catch rate this season, should be part of that plan moving forward. He should be on your bench and not your opponent’s.
Faab up to 9%
CJ Stroud: Quarterback, Houston Texans
We had Stroud on our list of pickups last week, and he makes it again this week after an impressive upset victory vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. Stroud is already making history in Houston. The young passer’s 121 attempts without an interception are the most in NFL history through a player's first three career starts. He threw for 280 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a game in which the Texans were never trailing. Stroud was the QB10 heading into Monday Night Football, and a matchup with the Steelers next week puts him in the QB2 conversation. He’s been playing this well even without most of his offensive line, including Laramy Tunsil, who could return next week. Stash him now for your upcoming bye weeks.
FAAB up to 4%
Jordan Love: Quarterback, Green Bay Packers
Love continues to put up solid numbers, and this week, he even added a rushing TD to his stat line. Perhaps most impressive, he was able to do this without Aaron Jones, Christian Watson, left tackle, or left guard. Love was the QB6 for Week 3 and the QB4 for the season on a per-game basis heading into Monday Night Football,. He has a favorable matchup with the Lions this Thursday night.
Roschon Johnson: Running Back, Chicago Bears
There’s not much to get excited about in Chicago, but Johnson could be someone who impresses as the season goes along. He had one more carry than Khalil Herbert on Sunday and caught both passes in what looks to be a nearly even split for the Bears.
FAAB up to 6%
Ezekiel Elliott: Running Back, New England Patriots
Don’t look now, but Zeke had 16 attempts to Stevenson’s 19, but he was far more efficient, averaging 5.00 yards per carry. The game script and weather likely had much to do with Zeke’s involvement, but a revenge matchup with a Cowboys team that just allowed 98 yards and a score to James Conner could be a gamble worth making if you’re hurting at the thin position this weekend.
FAAB up to 5%
Josh Downs: Wide Reciever, Indianapolis Colts
Downs had eight catches for 57 yards on Sunday with Gardner Minshew under center, and he looks to be cementing himself as the WR2 in Indianapolis, averaging eight targets per game. He’s playing more than 70% of the snaps and primarily out of the slot in 11 personnel, which is a grouping the Colts have used often.
DJ Chark: Wide Receiver, Carolina Panthers
With Andy Dalton under center, Chark caught four passes for 86 yards and a touchdown vs. Seattle. This was his first week fully healthy for the Panthers, and he played 96% of the snaps- the most he has played since his 1,000+ yard season in 2019. Jonathan Mingo left the game early, and Dalton peppered Adam Thielen with the bulk of the targets, but Chark is the kind of player with big-play ability and should be startable in your upcoming bye weeks.
FAAB up to 8%
Andy Dalton: Quarterback, Carolina Panthers
Andy Dalton is better than Bryce Young- at least for right now. Dalton finished with 361 yards and a pair of touchdowns on Sunday vs. a generous Seattle secondary, and this week, he gets a Vikings team that has allowed an average of more than 26 points per game to opposing QBs. Dalton likely only has the role one more week as Young recovers from an ankle injury, but he’s in the conversation for QB2 on Sunday for your Superflex leagues.
Jameis Winston: Quarterback, New Orleans Saints
Winston will be taking over for Carr until his return. We know Winston has a big arm and should be able to keep your other fantasy players relevant (Olave, Thomas). If Carr doesn't go on Sunday, this week’s revenge matchup with Tampa Bay for Winston could be a good one.
Matt Breida: Running Back, New York Giants
As long as Saquon is out, Breida is the back to roster in New York. The matchup with the Seahawks is favorable this week.
Melvin Gordon: Running Back, Balitmore Ravens
The Ravens running back room may have to depend on the veteran if Gus Edwards (concussion) and Justice Hill (foot) cannot return by the weekend. Gordon outsnapped Kenyan Drake and looks to be next in line, though the matchup with the Browns isn’t favorable even if he does get the start.
Luke Musgrave: Tight End, Green Bay Packers
Let’s blow up the narrative that rookie tight ends can’t be successful. Sam LaPorta is the TE3 per game through three games this year, and Luke Musgrave is the TE13. Musgrave’s 89 routes are tied for ninth-most at the position, and he’s been targeted on 16.9% of those routes. That’s enough for a solid floor at the position with a potential Top 12 finish.
FAAB up to 6%
Jake Ferguson: Tight End, Dallas Cowboys
Ferguson’s 18 targets are second only to CeeDee Lamb for the Cowboys and leads the team with 34.8% of the red zone targets.
Other Players to Consider Adding
Quarterbacks: Gardner Minshew, Indianapolis Colts. Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers
Running Backs: Tyjae Spears, Tennessee Titans. Jaylen Warren, Pittsburgh Steelers. Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns. Trey Sermon, Indianapolis Colts.
Wide Receivers: Romeo Doubs, Green Bay Packers. Rashee Rice, Kansas City Chiefs
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