2020 Season: Week 4 Waiver Wire

(Photo Credit: All-Pro Reels)

Charles Herrmann (@HermsNFL)
The Lateral Chief Editor

Malcolm McMillan (@McLateralFF)

The Lateral Writer

Did someone kill it last week only to be sitting in the free agent pool of your league? Did that sleeper you were so sure about turn out to be the third part of an RBBC, and now you cannot use him as a FLEX? Well, good news! You do not actually have to keep any of the players on your roster!

Okay, so that's not completely true. Sure, in most leagues you can, in fact, drop all the players you drafted and then replace them with new ones, but that would be dumb. What you can do though, is replace under-performing players and replace them with ones that you did not realize were going to have a significant role this season. You could also stream a player based on a match-up, but be careful, as the player you dropped is not necessarily someone you can get back.

Below you will find one player at each position that is available from Malcolm McMillan that is available in 50% or more of all Yahoo leagues and one player from Charles Herrmann at each position that is available in 50% or more of all ESPN leagues. Each name will be accompanied by a brief description of why you should add that player this week.

Week 4 Waiver Wire

Quarterback (QB)

Yahoo: Kirk Cousins (26% rostered)

This may be a case of "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, won't get fooled again," but Cousins has had two good performances and one bad one, and the Houston Texans DST presents Captain Kirk with an excellent opportunity for another good one. The Houston defense has been awful this year, giving up 6 passing TDs and creating zero takeaways so far. Granted, this could be the week Houston gets some sweet, sweet, regression to the mean, especially since Cousins was turnover-prone even in his good performance this past week. Still, this Vikings team should have been much better than they have been so far in 2020, so I am hopeful Cousins can exploit the Texans like he exploited the Titans in Week 3.

ESPN: Ryan Fitzpatrick (8.2% rostered)

Before I begin the explanation behind this pick, I would like to mention the very likely possibility that Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew II is dropped in your league. As of this moment, he is rostered in 68% of leagues on ESPN leagues and therefore not eligible for this piece, but come 3 or 4 a.m. when waivers run through, I can envision a scenario in which he makes Malcolm's Week 4 Movers & Shakers article as a big drop. Should this occur, Minshew II would be the QB to target in my opinion.

Should that not happen, it would be tempting to add Rams QB Jared Goff, but given their next three games (vs NYG, @ WAS, @ SF) seem more like second half clock-drain games from the RBs, I cannot imagine Goff can provide significant upside for points. If the floor play is the one you are more inclined to go after, Goff is a very fine option. If you really want to shoot for the moon, Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has an excellent opportunity to land there or at the very least in the stars in his next three games (vs SEA, @ SF, @ DEN). The risk you run here is obvious if you've been playing fantasy football for a lengthy period, but I am of the mindset that given the absurd nature of the 2020 season to date that the whole "fortune favors the bold" thing is a good mantra to adhere to.

Running Back (RB)

Yahoo: Myles Gaskin (47% rostered)

Did I cop out here? Yes. Do I care? Nope. At this point, Gaskin is a lock to be the lead back in Miami's RBBC, and he should be rostered in most leagues as a weekly FLEX consideration. Especially if Miami continues to feed him the rock like they did in Week 3. In the first two weeks, Gaskin was highly efficient on only 16 combined attempts, but in Week 3 he was unleashed for a full workload of 22 attempts and 5 targets. Yes, he was not nearly as efficient, and yes Jordan Howard got his obligatory touchdown, but 27 touches mean you deserve a roster spot.

ESPN: Damien Harris (21.6% rostered)

My next two picks are going to continue in line with what I just said about fortune favoring the bold. Aside from a blowup game last week against Las Vegas for RBs Rex Burkhead and to a lesser degree Sony Michel, the combination of those two, J.J. Taylor and James White (through no fault of his own/our thoughts are with him at this time) have been largely ineffective. I am sure part of this is due to the fact that their greatest rushing asset also happens to be the team's QB, but at any rate, there is room in this backfield for someone to emerge should they take hold of an opportunity and ride with it.

Enter 2020 preseason darling Damien Harris. Referenced in a piece from the beginning of the month on the big day of final roster cuts, the departure of RB Lamar Miller after a brief stint with the team opened the door for someone to take hold of the job and as I said before, it seems no one has. Looking back, there was a time when Harris was the Pats RB making headlines in camp and who's to say that he can't be the guy now that he's slated to return from finger surgery soon? Running Backs Coach Ivan Fears seems to be cautiously optimistic about the return of Harris as am I, but I would rather be in on him early and be wrong than late and correct watching him blow up on another fantasy team's roster. We know Harris has the talent; it's now a question of his level of physical preparedness and volume of opportunity. I would suggest making the stash.

Wide Receiver (WR)

Yahoo: Justin Jefferson (31% rostered)

Justin Jefferson went from being a highly coveted rookie WR to droppable in the course of a few weeks after a rough training camp found him as the WR3 behind Adam Thielen and Bisi Johnson. Then he followed that up with a quiet two weeks where he caught just about everything that was thrown to him... which was not much. So was a Week 3 line of 9 targets/7 receptions/175 yards/1 TD a fluke? I mean, the 175 yards part obviously could be, but the first-round draft pick that the Vikings used on him, and the talent he flashed at LSU should have him rise above Bisi Johnson in the pecking order sooner rather than later, and therefore he should start to see more of the 9 target type of games and less 3 target type of games going forward.

ESPN: Alshon Jeffrey (18.1% rostered)

Rounding out the group of bold moves, it's no secret that Eagles WR Alshon Jeffrey's injury history is shoddy at best, but what cannot be denied is that when healthy, the man is a solid football player. Both Malcolm and I have spoken about the Eagles offense as a whole not looking great to this point due to numerous injuries, but if you apply the same logic Malcolm applied to making WR Greg Ward his Week 3 WR boom pick to a more talented player in Jeffrey, the picture is clear here (especially with TE Dallas Goedert slated to miss time).

When exactly he will be ready for action is still to be determined, but if you are a WR needy fantasy manager and can afford to be patient, stashing Jeffrey is the move I would make. Despite two of the next three games for Philadelphia being against the Ravens and Steelers, the Eagles' schedule up through their Week 9 bye week (@ SF, @ PIT, vs BAL, vs NYG, vs DAL) isn't necessarily terrifying. It stands to reason that at some point things will smooth themselves out in Philadelphia and while I am not ready to trust the guy throwing it to him as a fantasy option, I'm willing to squat on the Jeffrey nest egg and see what hatches.

(Bonus tidbit: I posted about 5 intriguing training camp battles to watch back in the end of July and referenced the Bengals WR3 being an interesting one. WR Tee Higgins is only 9.2% rostered and with the combination of WRs John Ross III doing diddly-squat thus far and A.J. Green being unremarkable, Higgins might be a fun add.)

Tight End (TE)

Yahoo: Mo Alie-Cox (10% rostered)

Jack Doyle is simply not the TE of the future for the NFL franchise from Indianapolis, and unless something about Trey Burton magically changed while he was on IR, he will not be either once he is back in the lineup. In the meantime, Alie-Cox has risen to the 4th most targeted receiver in Indianapolis, and Philip Rivers loves a former basketball-playing TE almost as much as he loves spelling his name with the incorrect number of "L"s (the correct answer is actually three, in case you were wondering). As long as Mo Alie-Cox continues to do his job, and with a 3/3/50/1 line in Week 3, it would be hard to argue that he is not doing exactly that, he should continue to get opportunities. Especially with his fellow receivers dropping like flies around him.

ESPN: Eric Ebron (29.1% rostered)

From a statical standpoint and an anecdotal standpoint as a Steelers fan, I can tell you than Ebron's rapport with QB Ben Roethlisberger has strengthened. Fellow TE Vance McDonald still appears on the field an irritating amount of the time, but we're beginning to see Ebron take hold of the significant portion of the TE targets in the Pittsburgh offense. Couple that with his penchant for red zone TDs (including one on Sunday vs HOU), I like Ebron and the Steelers schedule (@ TEN maybe, vs PHI, vs CLE) for the next 3 weeks too.

Defense/Special Teams (DST)

Yahoo: Denver Broncos (36% rostered)

Adam Gase and Sam "I see dead people" Darnold (honestly, would it really be worse if Haley Joel Osment was the Jets QB instead of Darnold?) should lock Denver into a Top-12 DST slot. The New York offensive line might as well be SpongeBob SquarePants as absorbent and yellow and porous are they, letting their QB get sacked 6 times so far as he throws more interceptions than TDs through three weeks. Could I be any harsher on the Jets? Maybe. Could I make any more pop culture references in one blurb? Just one more (sorry Jets fans).

ESPN: Los Angeles Rams (28% rostered)

That other New York football team the Rams play this weekend isn't much better than the Jets. This one is painfully obvious much in the same way that playing Denver's DST is but with an added layer of security given that the Rams defense is objectively better than that of the Broncos.

Kicker (K)

Yahoo: Joey Slye (14% rostered)

Top-12 kicker on a pretty decent offense with a mediocre defense (at best). Add in that he is averaging over 10 points a game and has a match-up against Arizona in Week 4, and another week in the Top-12 should be easily accomplished.

ESPN: Pick 'em

I go by Vegas over/under odds and pick a kicker based on the highest expected point totals when possible. As Week 4 odds are incomplete as of the writing of this piece, check in with me again on this in a few days when I make my boom/bust picks. 

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