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Working the Wire: Week 4

By Josh Tinelli | 9/26/23 |

Each week I’ll provide you with a rundown by position of key waiver wire adds. We’ll evaluate not just breakouts based on past performance, but also who could deliver this week based on a soft matchup. Stats will be provided based on a 12-team PPR league, with players less than 75% (preferably less than 50%) ownership being considered.

Week 4 Byes: N/A


Matthew Stafford, LAR @ IND

Stafford has yet to play his Monday Night Football game as of this writing, but through the first two games he’s thrown for at least 300 yards on a total of 93 attempts. Indianapolis is ranked fourth worst against QBs, and the following weeks (Eagles, Cardinals) are also bottom 10. If you have an open spot to pick him up before tonight’s game, do so.

Andy Dalton, CAR vs MIN

Dalton stepped in for an injured Bryce Young to deliver 361-2-0 passing (chipping in 2-11-0 rushing) on the back of 58 passing attempts. Up next are the Vikings, who have allowed multiple TDs to every QB they’ve faced this year, and just gave up 405-3-0 to Justin Herbert in Week 3. If Bryce Young sits again, Dalton would be a solid play for Week 4.

Other QBs to consider: Brock Purdy SF (vs ARI), Jimmy Garoppolo LV (@ LAC)

Last week’s waiver adds:

Russell Wilson, DEN @ MIA: Russ put up another 300 yards against the Dolphins amidst a 306-1-1 line. He’s thrown for 30+ attempts in every game and it appears Denver’s defensive issues will have them playing from behind quite a bit this year. Next week he plays the Bears (a bottom-10 defense against QBs) so if you picked him up last week, you can use him again this week.

C.J. Stroud, HOU @ JAX: Stroud put together another solid week, going 280–2-0 passing and 3-14-0 rushing in a win over the Jaguars. He gets a tough matchup against the Steelers pass defense this week, but they have allowed a TD pass from every signal caller in 2023.

Running Backs

Devon Achane, MIA @ BUF

Achane went nuclear against the Broncos, going 18-203-2 on the ground and 4-4-30-2 through the air. Mostert still appears to be the starter, but his injury issues are well documented. Achane looked explosive, and while the Bills are a tough matchup (62 rushing yards per game, 0 TDs), they have allowed 12 receptions to RBs so Achane may have some opportunities on 3rd downs.

Roschon Johnson, CHI vs DEN

Johnson is splitting backfield work with Kahlil Herbert, but he drew 8-38-0 rushing and 2-2-11-0 receiving in the blowout loss to the Chiefs in Week 3. Roschon may be taking over this backfield, as he was the starter against the Chiefs and saw the most touches. Week 4 sees Johnson facing the Broncos at home, who just allowed 8 TDs to Dolphins running backs.

Other RBs to consider: Jerick McKinnon KC (@ NYJ)

Last week’s waiver adds:

Matt Breida, NYG @ SF: Breida punched in a TD to save his fantasy day against the tough 49ers defense, putting up 4-17-1 rushing and 3-3-1-0 receiving. If Saquon Barkley (potential high ankle sprain) is out again for Week 4, Breida could be in line for a solid stat line against the Seahawks.

Zack Moss, IND @ BAL: Moss delivered again for fantasy managers by going 30-122-0 on the ground and 3-2-23-1 through the air against a tough Ravens defense. In certainly seems like the Colts have no problems giving Moss workhorse back volume for as long as Jonathan Taylor is out.

Jerome Ford, CLE vs TEN: Ford commanded the most touches against the Titans and spiked two touchdowns, although the newly-signed Kareem Hunt was also involved. Next up is another tough rush defense when the Browns face the Ravens.

Tony Jones, NO @ GB: Jones saw 12 touches against the Packers in Week 3. With Alvin Kamara coming back for Week 4, Jones appears to be relegated to relieving Kamara when needed.

Jaylen Warren, PIT @ LV: Warren has maintained a pass-catching back role in the Steelers offense, going 4-3-23-0 receiving to go along with 8-29-0 rushing. There are some rumblings that Najee Harris will have his workload cut due to his inefficiency (19-65-0 rushing and missed his only target), so Warren may be one to stash for his future upside.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

D.J. Chark and Adam Thielen, CAR vs MIN

With Bryce Young sitting, Andy Dalton threw 58 times for 361 yards and two scores. Thielen was the prime target, with 14-11-145-1 against the Seahawks. Chark also 10+ targets while catching 4 for 86 yards and Dalton’s other TD. Next up is a burnable Vikings secondary that has allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to WRs. Thielen was on this list last week but likely won’t be again after this week.

Josh Palmer

Josh Palmer and Quentin Johnston, LAC vs LV

With Mike Williams is out due to a season-ending knee injury, Palmer and Johnston vie for next-man-up behind Keenan Allen. Palmer figures to get the first crack at it after going 7-4-66-1 against the Viking in Week 3. Johnston is the Chargers 2023 first round rookie, but so far he hasn’t garnered more than 3 targets in a game. That will most likely rise going forward, but the next few weeks should belong to Palmer. Palmer had several solid games in 2022 when Allen and Williams battled injuries, and has received 13 targets the last two weeks to Johnston’s 5. In Week 4, the Chargers face the Raiders, who have given up 5 TDs in three games to WRs.

Romeo Doubs and Luke Musgrave, GB vs DET

Doubs got a whopping 12 targets from Jordan Love and converted 5 into 73 yards and a score. If Christian Watson (hamstring) sits again on a short week, Doubs should be the primary beneficiary against a Lions pass defense that did a good job containing the Falcons in Week 3 but got lit up by the Seahawks WRs in Week 2. Musgrave went 8-6-49-0 against the Falcons and draws a Lions defense that is second-worst against TEs.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: Jakobi Meyers LV (@ LAC), Darius Slayton NYG (vs SEA), Chigoziem Okonkwo TEN (vs CIN)

Last week’s waiver adds:

Tank Dell, Robert Woods, and Nico Collins HOU @ JAX: Dell had the better day against the Jaguars with a 7-5-145-1 line. Woods and Collins each had 34 yards on a combined 5 receptions in a blowout win where Stroud only had 30 attempts and connected with 8 different receivers. Collins is now on most rosters but Dell and Woods are still available in most leagues.

Update: Tutu Atwell, LAR @ CIN: Atwell led the team in targets on Monday Night Football, putting up a 9-4-50-1 line and adding 1-22-0 rushing. Atwell is the clear WR2 for the Rams for as long as Cooper Kupp is sidelined. The Rams play the weak Indianapolis secondary in Week 4.

Josh Reynolds, DET vs ATL: Reynolds received a 77% snap rate against the Falcons but didn’t draw a single target. With Sam LaPorta and Amon-Ra St. Brown vacuuming up 23 of Jared Goff’s 33 attempts and only four Lions catching passes, there was little else available for Reynolds. Better days should be ahead but maybe not against the Packers in Week 4.

Zach Ertz, ARI vs DAL: Joshua Dobbs spread the ball around to seven different pass catchers as the Cardinals pulled off the upset over the heavily favored Cowboys. Ertz should stay involved as the clear No.2 option after Marquise Brown, but Week 4 against the 49ers may be another underwhelming performance.

Defense/ Special Teams

Steelers @ HOU

Pittsburgh generated 4 sacks and 3 interceptions in a win over the Raiders in Week 3. In Week 4 they face rookie C.J. Stroud who hasn’t thrown an interception but gave up 11 sacks in his first two games.

Buccaneers @ Saints

Tampa Bay has produced 7 turnovers and a defensive touchdown in the first 3 weeks. In Week 4 they’ll likely face Jameis Winston as Derek Carr recovers from a shoulder injury sustained Week 3. Winston’s risky play style has translated to multiple turnovers in past games.

Last week’s waiver adds:

Jaguars vs HOU: Jacksonville forgot to show up in their upset loss to the Texans. The Jags-D didn’t get a single turnover or sack while allowing 31 points.

Chiefs vs CHI: Kansas City forced 2 turnovers and generated 3 sacks while holding the struggling Bears to 10 points.

Patriots @ NYJ: New England sacked Zach Wilson 3 times while only allowing 10 points.

Seahawks vs CAR: Seattle got 3 sacks but faced a surprisingly spry Andy Dalton in place of rookie Bryce Young.