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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 4
9/26/16; Updated: 9/27/16 Users...
Check out the most popular waiver wire pickups this week across thousands of MFL leagues. Also, quickly see who's available on your waiver wire this week by using the MFL Power feature at FF Today. Just input your league's 5-digit ID number away you go!
Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business, but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious selections to help your team from week to week while you strive to collect fantasy wins, reach your league playoffs and win the elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp. While I’m a big proponent of making trades to bolster your roster, the waiver wire can be an almost limitless resource when it comes to discovering fantasy value in strange places. Each week, I’ll highlight some of the popular (and not-so-popular) players who can help your squad and may still be available in your league.

Feedback is always welcome, appreciated and encouraged. I’ll get to as many e-mails as I can.


Kirk Cousins, WAS – Cousins, who is owned in about 75-85 percent of fantasy leagues, was dropped by a fed-up owner during waivers in my 14-team league and acquired by another owner the minute he became a free agent at 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning. I wish it had been me that snagged him, as the Washington QB threw for 296-2-0 in a win over the Giants in Week 2. Cousins isn’t a sure thing in any week, but he’s got a bevy of explosive weapons and this is a passing team that will fall behind opponents. He needs to be owned in all formats and gets the hapless Browns in Week 4.

Dak Prescott, DAL – Prescott had an efficient game Sunday night, throwing for 248-1-0 on 19-for-24 passing and adding 36 rushing yards and a TD on the ground. With Tony Romo nearing a possible mid-season return, the rookie may not be the QB following the Cowboys’ Week 7 bye – but he’s got an excellent matchup in Week 4 against the Niners and is a top streaming option.

UPDATE: Despite Dez Bryant’s apparent knee injury, Prescott seems adept at distributing the ball to all his receivers and could be a top 10 fantasy QB in Week 4 (@SF).

Carson Wentz, PHI – Wentz was the reason the aforementioned owner dropped Cousins, and while the rookie signal caller improved to 3-0 after a 301-2-0 performance in a stunning blowout of the Steelers, the Eagles are on a bye in Week 4. Wentz is just 25-40 percent owned, percentages that are sure to increase even in a bye week.

Trevor Siemian, DEN – Siemian (just 5-15 percent owned) was a top fantasy QB in Week 3, throwing for 312-4-0 in the win over Cincinnati. He’s clicking with Emmanuel Sanders and keeping Paxton Lynch waiting in the wings. Undefeated as a starter, Siemian is a must-own in two-QB leagues and takes his talents to Tampa Bay for Week 4, a plus matchup that warrants consideration in all formats.

Blaine Gabbert, SF – If you’re looking for a spot starter in Week 4 in two-QB leagues or feel like rolling the dice on a good matchup, Gabbert takes on the Cowboys in San Francisco – where he beat the Rams in Week 1. While he struggled in Seattle last week, this may be an opportunity for Gabbert to follow a similar narrative to Brian Hoyer on Sunday night, when the veteran backup threw for 317-2-0 during the loss to Dallas.


Sam Bradford, MIN – Bradford completed 18-of-28 passes for 171 yards and a touchdown in Minnesota's 22-10, Week 3 win over the Panthers. He’s a mid-range QB2 option in Week 4 facing the Giants on Monday night.

Ryan Tannehill, MIA – The Dolphins squeaked out an OT victory over Cleveland and Tannehill threw for 319-3-2 with a lost fumble. He’s a risk-reward streaming option next week facing the Bengals.

Joe Flacco, BAL – Flacco disappointed in a favorable matchup (214-0-2; 12 rushing yards, TD), which is pretty much standard procedure at this point. Next week likely portends a similar fate as the Ravens get the Raiders at home. But this week nobody will be on him and he’ll probably throw six TD passes.

Brian Hoyer, CHI – If Cutler (thumb) misses Week 4, Hoyer (1-5 percent owned) could also be used in two-QB leagues, as a desperation spot starter or GPP tourney stab in DFS against the Lions.

Jordan Howard

Jordan Howard's role is set to expand with Jeremy Langford wearing a walking boot on his ankle.

Running Backs

Jordan Howard, CHI – Jeremy Langford was carted off with an ankle injury on Sunday night, vaulting Howard into must-own territory in all-formats. The powerfully built rookie impressed in limited duty against the Cowboys, rushing for 45 yards on nine carries and adding 4-47-0 on six targets. At just 15-50 percent owned (there’s a huge disparity depending on waiver process and whether or not players can be added after Sunday afternoon lock), he’ll be the top RB add of the week and can be a workhorse for the Bears as they search for an offensive identity.

UPDATE: Langford will miss 4-6 weeks with a high-ankle sprain and with Ka’Deem Carey (hamstring) also fighting an injury, Howard will be shouldering a huge workload over the next several weeks.

Cameron Artis-Payne, CAR – CAP, as he’s often called, rushed 12 times for 47 yards and added an 11-yard reception in the loss to the Vikings. In the absence of Jonathan Stewart, he’ll continue to operate as the lead back and faces the Falcons in Week 4 – a good matchup to exploit.

Dwayne Washington, DET - UPDATE: Lions HC Jim Caldwell was upset at the offensive line for not giving Theo Riddick more room to run against the Packers and he’s still the more valuable back, especially in PPR leagues. But Washington looked better as a runner in Week 3 and will assume a bigger role moving forward. He matched Riddick’s 10 carries on Sunday and appears to be lining up as an upside RB3/FLEX play against the Bears in Week 4.

Wendell Smallwood, PHI – Heading into Week 3 Smallwood was listed as the team’s No. 4 RB, but rushed for 79 yards and a TD on 17 carries with Ryan Mathews sidelined and Darren Sproles acting as a scatback/WR. The Week 4 bye will keep his adds low, but we’ve seen Mathews throw away opportunities and fall out of favor before. He’s a deep-league add with upside in a bigger role moving forward. Kenjon Barner had eight carries for 42 yards and a TD and is also worth watching.

UPDATE: HC Doug Pederson confirmed Mathews is dealing with stiffness and swelling in the ankle he injured prior to training camp. He’ll be back after the Week 4 bye, but will be part of a more evenly distributed timeshare with Darren Sproles and Smallwood.

Orleans Darkwa, NYG – He’s not a versatile option and has severely limited upside, but Darkwa (53 rushing yards and a TD on 10 carries in Week 3) could be in line for continued work in the Giants’ offense should Rashad Jennings miss additional time.

UPDATE: Well, that escalated quickly. With the news that Shane Vereen (torn triceps) will miss at least the next two months and possibly the remainder of the season, the Giants will need to cobble together a running game using Jennings – who the team is optimistic could return for Week 4 – and a mixture of Darkwa, Bobby Rainey and rookie Paul Perkins (listed as a healthy scratch the first two weeks). Ben McAdoo said Perkins is “ready to step up” but will be part of a committee.


Jay Ajayi, MIA – Arian Foster is still week-to-week and Ajayi had seven carries for 28 yards and a TD in Miami's Week 3 win over the Browns. This was a full-blown RBBC situation, as Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams also saw touches.

UPDATE: Foster still isn’t ready and Ajayi played the best of the backs in Week 3, so he might get a few more carries against the Bengals on Thursday.

Fozzy Whittaker, CAR – Whittaker (five carries for 22 rushing yards; 5-34-0) was out-touched by CAP and remains a fringe fantasy option with the current depth chart shakeout.

Alfred Morris, DAL – Morris rushed for 15 yards and a TD on five carries Sunday. He’s a top handcuff to Ezekiel Elliott in all formats.

Jerick McKinnon & Matt Asiata, MIN – Asiata rushed six times for 15 yards in the Vikings’ Week 3 win over the Pantherd, adding a 4-yard reception. Asiata drew the start but got out-touched 17-7 by McKinnon and saw fewer snaps. Asiata sets up to be the frustrating goal-line vulture to McKinnon’s versatile workhorse, making both average RB4s with matchup-specific RB3/flex upside.

Kenneth Farrow & Andre Williams, SD – Farrow didn’t get a touch and Andre Williams was released after the Chargers picked up Dexter McCluster on Wednesday. With Melvin Gordon handling a heavier workload, McCluster is a handcuff and bench stash in PPR leagues.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Kevin White, CHI – White had a relatively pedestrian 6-62-0 in the loss to Dallas, but was targeted 14 times by Hoyer – a sign that he’s getting more involved in the offense. Chicago offers a venue where whomever can step up will be a big part of the game plan, and I’m bullish about White’s prospects in 2016, based on his size and talent.

Terrelle Pryor, CLE – Pryor stepped up after the midweek loss of Corey Coleman and busted out for 8-144-0 on 14 targets from Cody Kessler, adding four rushes for 21 yards and a TD, and 35 passing yards after completing three of five attempts. He’s worth adding in all formats.

DeVante Parker, MIA – Despite a productive Week 2, Parker is still available in about 10-25 percent of fantasy leagues. He had another solid week with 3-51-1 in the Week 3 OT win over the Browns, and will be a frequently targeted red zone option.

UPDATE: Jarvis Landry (shoulder) was listed as a non-participant in the Dolphins' Monday practice, but is expected to play Thursday night. Still, Parker’s value is on the upswing.

Adam Humphries, TB – Humphries saw 12 targets from Jameis Winston and hauled in 9-100-0 in the loss to Los Angeles. He’s nearly universally available but has seen his role expand recently, as Vincent Jackson appears a little too long in the tooth for fantasy upside. Jackson has just 9-99-0 on 22 targets through three weeks, while Humphries has operated out of the slot and has 18-167-0 on 25 targets (which increased each week: 5/8/12) over the past three games.

TE Jimmy Graham, SEA – Graham (70-85 percent owned) had his best game since Week 6 of last season, catching six passes for 100 yards and a TD. Russell Wilson’s relative health will have an impact in his production this season, but the veteran TE’s knee injury appears to be behind him. He’s a low-end TE1 with upside.

TE Kyle Rudolph, MIN – Rudolph has emerged as a solid TE1 option with Bradford at QB. He finished with 7-70-1 on 10 targets and has been targeted a total of 26 times through three games in 2016.

TE Zach Miller, CHI – Miller hauled in 8-78-2 on nine targets in the loss to Dallas, though much of that came in the second half with Dallas out in front by a couple scores. As I mentioned, the Bears will likely get the ball to whomever is healthy and producing – something the unexciting but steady Miler has shown a knack for over the years.

TE Cameron Brate, TB – Brate exploded for 5-46-2 following the abrupt release of Austin Seferian-Jenkins. He won’t produce like that every week, but should get more opportunities in the red zone moving forward.


Stefon Diggs, MIN – Diggs missed practice Friday and had a groin injury that may have limited him during Sunday’s game – despite not being listed on the injury report. He finished Week 3 with 4-40-0 on seven targets.

Corey Coleman, CLE – Coleman broke his hand in practice on Wednesday and will miss 4-6 more weeks.

Tavon Austin, LAR – Austin had a solid Week 3 with 5-82-1 on eight targets, adding 22 rushing yards on two carries in the win over the Bucs. He’s a WR3/4 with plenty of upside in 12-team leagues.

Phillip Dorsett, IND – Dorset failed to capitalize on the absence of Donte Moncrief, hauling in just 3-27-0 on four targets from Andrew Luck. He may become more involved as the season continues, but he’s too risky to play in most formats.

Quincy Enunwa, NYJ – Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t have it in Week 3, and Enunwa’s stats (4-37-0 on a game-high 11 targets) suffered as a result. Enunwa played through a rib injury and looked fine fighting for extra yards during as couple of his catches.

Cole Beasley, DAL – Beasley is turning into a steady fantasy contributor, posting 7-73-0 and catching all seven of his targets from Prescott. He’s assuming a Wes Welker-like role in the offense (20-213-0 on 25 targets this season) and should be owned in all formats, especially PPR leagues.

Jamison Crowder, WAS – Crowder is coming into his own as a slot option for Kirk Cousins. He finished with 4-78-1 on seven targets, including a 55-yard TD that gave Washington the lead in the third quarter.

TE Jacob Tamme, ATL – UPDATE: Tamme caught 3-of-4 targets for 28 yards in the Falcons' Week 3 win over the Saints on Monday night but remains a popular target for Ryan and the Falcons offense moving forward. He’s looking like a high-end TE2 in Week 4 against the Panthers..

TE Dennis Pitta, BAL – Pitta had 6-42-0 on eight targets but failed to find paydirt in the win over Jacksonville. He’s a low-end TE1/high-end TE2 going forward.