A recent rash of injuries have presented week 4 fantasy football waiver wires with some intriguing pickups. If you are looking for a one-week solution or a bye-week replacement, this may be your best opportunity to grab quality over quantity on the wire.
Hamstring injuries are running wild this season on elite NFL wide receivers. So either you are a player that is in desperate need to replace your receiver who went down or you are a struggling player that has a shot at picking up a number one wideout on the waiver wire. If wide receivers are your need, there are plenty to be had on this week’s waiver wire.
Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens - Smith and Washington will be the hot pickups at wide receiver this week. Smith had a monster game this week with three TDs and 152 yards. He looks like he has replaced Lee Evans on the depth chart and could wind up replacing Mason as Flacco’s safety net. I am not ready to crown someone this year’s waiver wire champion after one big game, but he certainly deserves a look. I think Washington is the safer pickup but Smith has a much better upside if this week was more than just an anomaly.
Nate Washington, Tennessee Titans - Washington winds up on my waiver wire list for the third year in a row. I thought about drafting him because I have always been a fan of his ability to stretch the field going back to Pittsburgh, but the uncertainty with the Titans going into the season scared me and most of you off. Kenny Britt is likely gone for the season, Matt Hasselbeck is in a groove in Tennessee, and Washington is in line for big opportunities as the team’s number one receiver.
Jason Avant, Philadelphia Eagles - It isn’t pretty in Philadelphia. The quarterback is hurt, the offensive line sucks, the running back is a little banged up, and now Jeremy Maclin is likely gone for at least a week. It isn’t a great matchup this week against the 49ers but Avant seems to be more involved in the offense when Maclin goes down. I think you could do better, but if you are desperate for a week or two than Avant may be your guy.
Victor Cruz, New York Giants - Cruz will be a hot pickup coming off his monster game against the Eagles. I would caution owners that once Mario Manningham returns, Cruz could wind up fading into the background. However, Eli Manning needs a wide receiver he can trust. If he can develop that kind of trust with Cruz, he could turn out to be a go-to guy for Eli before season’s end. I am not convinced but I am curious enough to buy.
Donald Jones, Buffalo Bills - The Bills offense is turning into the Packers and Saints offense in that everyone will benefit. Ryan Fitzpatrick has done an outstanding job of spreading the ball around over the last few weeks. He won’t always put up numbers like he did on Sunday but in this kind of offense, he is bound to have some nice weeks from time to time this season.
Mark Sanchez, New York Jets -The Sanchize is quietly putting up nice numbers over the first few weeks. Sanchez is available in most leagues and why wouldn’t he be? The Jets were supposed to be a run-heavy team, but guess what happened? The Jets can’t run! Sanchez has two games over 300 yards and two touchdowns in each. Sanchez will also play the Patriots and Bills twice, so there are four great matchups right there. Sanchez could make for a great bye week filler or an even better solution to your quarterback problem should you have one.
Bernard Scott, Cincinnati Bengals - Cedric Benson is facing a three-game suspension from the NFL. He is appealing but if he goes down, Scott will get the opportunity that fantasy fans have been waiting for. Scott has shown flashes in the short work he has had in Cincinnati. He could put up some huge numbers for three weeks if he Benson loses his appeal. On the other hand, Benson could win and Scott may not see a start. Take that into consideration when you look to the waiver wire this week for help.
Alfonso Smith, Arizona Cardinals - Smith showed a lot of promise this weekend as he stepped in for an injured Beanie Wells. Wells has a hamstring injury and while he may be back for Week 4, it is the type of injury that doesn’t generally heal in one week for a running back. Just ask Arian Foster owners. Chances are good that by season’s end, Smith could wind up taking over the job and give owners a nice boost going into the playoffs.
Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots - Ridley took carries that would generally go to Green-Ellis in Sunday’s game. Writers in New England seem to think that Ridley will get more chances in the offense over the next several weeks. With such a high powered offense that the Patriots are offering, that is enough of an argument for me to stash him on my bench if I have the room for a potential big upside running back out of New England.
Kendall Hunter, San Francisco 49ers - Frank Gore left Sunday’s game and opened up the door for Hunter to step in and get some snaps. Gore has a sprained ankle but he is expected to play Sunday. However, if you are a gambling man you may want to pick up Hunter in case Gore can’t go. He has an outstanding matchup against an Eagles team that has been shredded in the first three weeks by running backs. If you have the spot on your roster, Hunter could give you a big game if Gore is sidelined Sunday.
Scott Chandler, Buffalo Bills - Chandler will probably be the hot pickup this week in fantasy for owners needing a tight end, as he should be. Chandler has a touchdown in every game this season and continues to benefit from the spread offense in Buffalo. He is a big part of the red zone threat in Buffalo and could turn around your season if you are struggling at tight end.
Ed Dickson, Baltimore Ravens - He has turned into one of Joe Flacco’s favorite targets in Baltimore. He only has one touchdown this season but as teams game plan for Ray Rice later in the season, Flacco will turn to Dickson to take advantage of mismatches. I would be hesitant to make him my every week starter, but if you are hurting you could do a lot worse than Dickson.