2021 Season: Diving Into Week 4 Waivers (Fact or Fiction)

(Photo Credit: Carolina Panthers)

Herms (@HermsNFL)
The Lateral Chief Editor

Malcolm McMillan (@McLateralFF)
The Lateral Editor

Admittedly, some parts of the waiver wire are getting pretty shallow. So rather than diving in headfirst, The Lateral has decided to flip the script with a brand new Fact or Fiction Edition of Diving into Waivers. This week Herms and McLateral scoured the internet, reaching out to Reddit threads and still functioning Myspace profiles to get questions and takes from the people. They will then examine each question/take and either prove it (fact) or disprove it (fiction).

For additional insight, check out today's episode of The Lateral Show with Herms and Jake Trowbridge of Drinking & Talking Fantasy and BallBlast!

Diving Into Week 4 Waivers (Fact or Fiction)

Quarterback

Fact or Fiction: Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold is a top-12 quarterback the rest of the season - Daniel D. Vito (Truth or Consequences, NM)

Sam Darnold sits right at QB12 through three games per FantasyData. Which feels just about right. The stats send a mixed message on Darnold who has been significantly better under center for the Carolina Panthers than he was on the New York Jets. The positives are that Darnold is not afraid to air it out, with 8.3 yards per attempt (good enough for top-12), and he has not made many mistakes when he does (only one interception). Plus, Darnold has 14 rushing attempts already, which is eighth among quarterbacks this season. Unfortunately, he is 22nd in touchdown throws and only runs for 1.2 yards per attempt. Darnold has definitely improved, but his usage should have him just outside the top-12 in fantasy points by the end of the season. Fiction.

Running Back (PPR)

Fact or Fiction: Is Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Giovani Bernard worth rostering? - Tyran A. Saurus (Dinosaur, CO) He is, but I mean, when are you going to use him in your roster? First of all, you essentially have to play in a PPR format. Bernard has received exactly *checks notes* zero carries. You're banking on a negative game script for Tampa for Bernard's involvement to come to fruition. That's what happened in Week 3 that led to Bernard being RB11 on the week; it all came on the heels of having to play catchup on the Rams. If you can find a way to prognosticate when that'll happen, fire up Bernard. Otherwise, no need to prioritize adding him to your roster. Fact?

Wide Receiver (PPR)

Fact or Fiction: Is Las Vegas Raiders WR Hunter Renfrow a reliable flex the rest of the way? - Phillip Beerstein (Coward, SC)

For a FLEX wide receiver, anything in the top-36 goes. Tied for WR27 in point-per-reception (PPR) fantasy football scoring, Hunter Renfrow definitely fits that description. The good news for him is that he has not been touchdown-dependent to get there. The Las Vegas wide receiver is currently 27th in targets amongst all wide receivers, 23rd in receptions, 26th in receiving yards but only has one touchdown so far this year. That means only 14.15% of his points are coming from receiving touchdowns. That makes Renfrow a more reliable flex than Buffalo Bills wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, whose points have been much more reliant on finding the end zone. The main concern with Renfrow is if quarterback Derek Carr cools off from a hot start that currently has him QB9 in fantasy football. But barring that, Renfrow should remain a reliable, if low-upside, FLEX. Fact.

Tight End (PPR)

Fact or Fiction: Minnesota Vikings tight end Tyler Conklin is a flash in the pan. He is not reliable as a starter - Waxon W. Sackhoff (Whynot, NC)

The Tyler Conklin saga this season has been absolutely wild. First, fellow Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. goes down with a meniscus tear and is out for the season (most likely). Then, before the Conklin hype train can even leave the station, the Vikings traded for former New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon IV. None of that even mattered in Week 1, as wide receiver K.J. Osborn quickly took over as the third receiving option. Finally, Week 3 arrives and Conklin finally pops off for a TE2 finish in point-per-reception fantasy football scoring. There are some reliability concerns, but Conklin sees over five targets per game and exceeded Osborn's snap count the past two weeks, Conklin seems to be a (surprisingly) reliable option off of waivers this week. Fiction.

Defense/Special Teams

Fact or Fiction: Do you really think the Tennesee Titans DST is worth streaming against the New York Jets? - Seymour Butts (Climax, MI) Here are the weekly finishes for the defenses/special teams units (DSTs) that played the New York Jets per FantasyPros. Week 1 the Carolina Panthers finished DST6, in Week 2 the New England Patriots finished DST3 and in Week 3 the Denver Broncos finished DST3. However, they are all currently top-6 DSTs. The Tennessee Titans are currently DST31. Not the same. McLateral is not buying that the Titans can find success against the Jets the way previous teams have and even thinks Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson is streamable against Tennessee. Herms is dubious about their prospects as well. Fiction.

Kicker

Fact or Fiction: There are no reliable kickers left on waivers that can be started weekly - Annabelle Lingus (Three Way, TN)

Great take to bring up. Everyone thinks kicker is such a hard position to figure out, so talking about it is always worthwhile. Ultimately, I looked at the following criteria to prove or disprove this take: top-12 through three weeks, no weeks outside the top-12 in fantasy football points, available in over 50% of leagues in ESPN and Yahoo leagues. Low and behold, there was actually one name on the list after all that. New England Patriots kicker, Nick Folk. Folk scored 11 points in Week 1, 15 points in Week 2 and 8 points in Week 3. Those points were good enough to finish K7, K3 and K11 respectively. Folk is also available in 79% of Yahoo leagues and 88% of ESPN leagues. The Week 3 performance almost disqualified him, but he remains the (theoretically) lone reliable kicker left on waivers in most leagues. Fiction (barely).

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