Week 4 of the fantasy football season is on the horizon and you want to drop some duds and pick up some studs to help you get through the lean times. I’ll give you some possibilities for waiver wire gems below. They are ranked in the order I’d pick them up at each position. All ownership numbers are from Yahoo.
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Terrelle Pryor (20%) – Pryor showed some quarterbacking ability in Monday night’s tilt in Denver and is worth bye week or streaming starts in good matchups and he gets two in a row with Washington and then San Diego both at home. I’ll be playing him in daily games, but also he should get consideration this week if you own Aaron Rodgers or Cam Newton who are on bye.
Ryan Tannehill (17%) – He’s not blowing away teams with his arm, but he’s completing %66.4 of his passes and is 12th in passing yards. He’s improved each week and looks like that could continue. He’s a long term back up for me with a chance to be QB1 quality this season.
Alex Smith (43%) – Smith’s ceiling is low, but his floor is pretty high in Andy Reid’s pass first offense. Kansas City faces the Giants this week who was just lit up by Cam Newton even though they ran a run first offense in a blowout.
Jake Locker (6%) – Locker isn’t a great quarterback and he may never be, but he’s using his legs more now and he’s not horrible in the passing game. Those two things can spell fantasy points. He only has three touchdown passes, but he also has no interceptions. His coaches aren’t asking him to do too much so he’s staying in games and slowly accumulates stats both in the running and passing game. I like his upside about as much as Pryor’s. But you’ll have to wait until week 9 to feel safe in starting him since he has a brutal schedule.
Geno Smith (5%) – I liked the way Geno Smith looked against the Bills last week and he’s worth stashing to see if he can keep it up against some better defenses. His schedule isn’t a cakewalk, so he’s a deeper league stash for me right now.
Le’Veon Bell (62%) – Bell is owned in just 62% of Yahoo leagues so I thought I would give everyone a heads up to check to see if he’s on the wire. He’s not going to blow the NFL back on their heels, but he will be the every down back and the Steelers looked a little better against the Bears on Sunday night. He could be a RB2 with the volume he should get.
Bilal Powell (46%) – Powell is the ultimate volume back because he must have it. He’s not going to put up 100 yards on 15 touches, but with Chris Ivory’s hamstring hurting again Powell is the main man.
Pierre Thomas (45%) – Thomas looks like he might be a must add in PPR leagues if Mark Ingram’s toe continues hurting or if he gets traded. Last week he caught six of six targets and had 11 rushing attempts. They weren’t turned into many fantasy points, but in that offense 17 touches is a fantasy must own.
Brandon Bolden (3%) – Bolden came in as the passing down back against the Buccaneers and had five catches for 49 yards. He could easily build on this role and get more playing time and in an offense that runs so many plays the passing down back needs to be owned in all PPR leagues.
Isaiah Pead (24%) – Pead looks very comfortable in the passing game, but not so much in the run game. The good news is that the Rams defense is not playing as well as they could and it’s keeping their offense in comeback mode. Daryl Richardson says he’ll be good to go next week, but he hasn’t done enough to be the main guy. Pead will get some touches.
Willis McGahee (50%) – The Browns showed on Sunday they can still pass the ball and they will, which should help McGahee see more space once he’s up to speed with the offense. I’m not overly enthusiastic about his upside, but I still believe he will be the main guy.
Andre Ellington (10%) – Ellington is still in a three-headed backfield on a pass first team, so his upside is severely limited, but he’s worth a look in PPR leagues. He’ll continue to see passing down work and the Cardinals will pass a lot.
Jason Snelling (17%) and Jacquizz Rodgers (36%) — Rodgers saw more time on the field, but Snelling once again out produced him in fantasy. They cancel each other out enough to not drop someone with more upside, but with Steven Jackson out for longer than expected they both should be owned, but I like Snelling more.
Johnathan Franklin (10%) – He looked dominant in the Packers offense against a tough Bengals defense, On just 16 touches he racked up 126 yards and a touchdown, but he had a game killing fumble returned for a touchdown. Add that to the fact that Eddie Lacy should be back after the bye and that Franklin still isn’t that great at pass protection and it’s going to be hard for him to see time without a Lacy injury. But his upside is great if that were to happen.
Ryan Broyles (22%) – Broyles would be my #1 waiver priority this week if you aren’t desperate at running back. With Nate Burleson out after a car accident, Broyles should see plenty of targets in the Lions pass first offense. Burleson was averaging 7.7 targets a game and was tied for ninth in receptions for wide receivers with 19. Broyles is still recovering from his ACL surgery, but played against Washington last week and caught all three of his targets for 34 yards on just 17 snaps.
Santonio Holmes (10%) and Stephen Hill (6%) – Both put up big games last week and both are worthy adds, but Holmes should be more consistent since he should see more targets. Last week he had 10 to Hill’s six. Hill is a physical specimen and is probably more talented than Holmes at this point, but will need to continue to catch long passes, which will probably keep him inconsistent.
Kendall Wright (21%) – Jake Locker’s development and Kenny Britt’s lack of development has given Wright and Nate Washington (6%) a nice bump in targets and production. I like both, but Wright is the more talented of the two.
Coby Fleener (31%) – He didn’t have a great week 3 with only two targets, but he’ll have better days as the main tight end target. Andrew Luck only attempted 27 passes, completing 18 of them. His upside is limited by the Colts run first mentality, but Luck is too good not to get him the ball in productive situations.
Heath Miller (26%) – Miller is back and even though he’s not going to compete with Jimmy Graham, he should be consistent, especially around the red zone where Ben Roethlisberger often uses him.
Jordan Reed (4%) – Reed hurt his quad against the Lions last week, but had already caught five passes for 50 yards with Fred Davis out with an ankle injury. I’d like to hear that he’ll be okay for next week and Davis is still battling his ankle injury before I grab him, but if that does happen he’s a good grab.