2021 Season: A Week Too Early Waiver Wire: Week 4 Moves for Week 5

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Malcolm McMillan (@McLateralFF)
The Lateral Editor

The first two weeks have been a little rough, I will admit. However, some of these are hitting. That means there are things to celebrate. Obviously, I want to get all of these right. However, the degree of difficulty is high on these calls because they are made so far in advance. No excuses, just a friendly reminder. These picks are high-risk, high-reward. Do not expect every one of these picks to be a hit.

That all being said, there was only one successful pick in Week 1. There were three in Week 2. At this rate, I am on pace to have only successful picks soon. I like those odds.

Note: All finishes are per FantasyData, and injuries will always be a push.

A Week Too Early Waiver Wire: Week 4 Moves for Week 5

Bye Weeks: None (teams start having bye weeks in Week 6)

Week 3 Successes: DST1 Arizona Cardinals, DST10 Carolina Panthers, PPR TE7 Zach Ertz (Philadelphia Eagles)

Week 3 Failures: QB25 Teddy Bridgewater (Denver Broncos), QB30 Carson Wentz (Indianapolis Colts), PPR WR76 Zach Pascal (Indianapolis Colts), PPR TE37 Cole Kmet (Chicago Bears), K29 Dustin Hopkins (Washington Football Team)

Week 3 Pushes: Injured RB JaMycal Hasty (San Francisco 49ers)

Season-long Record: 4-9-2

Quarterback

Key Matchups: New York Jets at Atlanta Falcons (9:30 am Sunday)

Who to add: Zach Wilson (New York Jets) [8% ESPN/11% Yahoo]

Zach Wilson was also the recommendation in this article last week. Granted, that was before a terrible performance against the Denver Broncos, but he had already had an equally terrible performance against the New England Patriots in Week 2. In fact, Wilson to date has faced three top-six fantasy football defenses. So maybe it should not be a surprise that he has had a rough start. Luckily, he gets the DST30 Atlanta Falcons in London in Week 5. The London games have typically not been low-scoring affairs (unless the New York Giants are playing), so Wilson should have the chance to air it out against the Falcons' awful defense. Fantasy football managers should get him now while everyone is down on him before he plays well in Week 4 against the Tennessee Titans. That way, they will already have the New York Jets quarterback to use in Week 5.

Running Back (PPR)

Key Matchups: New England Patriots at Houston Texans (1 pm Sunday)

Who to add: J.J. Taylor (New England Patriots) [1% ESPN/2% Yahoo]

If fantasy football managers want to roster J.J. Taylor going forward, they need to add him now. After this weekend, they may not be able to, and they will definitely want the New England Patriots running back on their roster for a Week 5 matchup against the Houston Texans. Which, should be a good matchup for the New England Patriots running backs.

The reason Taylor is a must roster is simple: he may be the next James White. White was the RB12 in point-per-reception (PPR) fantasy football scoring through two weeks. Unfortunately, in Week 3 he then destroyed his hip and is likely out for the season. This opens up a huge role for Taylor, who has been hinted at as a potential replacement for White. Go grab him off waivers right now.

Wide Receiver (PPR)

Key Matchups: Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (1 pm Sunday)

Who to add: Kalif Raymond (Detroit Lions) [1% ESPN/0% Yahoo]

Trying to pick what Detroit Lions wide receiver to roster may be a fool's errand. After all, a different wide receiver has led their wide receiver group in each game (technically, Cephus tied for the lead in Week 1 then led outright in Week 2). But it does seem that if one of them locks down the top role in that group, it could be valuable. Enter Kalif Raymond, a relatively unknown journeyman who already has more receptions in 2021 than he had in any previous season. In Week 3 he finished WR33 in PPR fantasy football leagues with a game-leading 10 targets. If Raymond can hold onto that target share, the Lions wide receiver will be a great play against the Minnesota Vikings defense in Week 5.

Tight End (PPR)

Key Matchups: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (4:25 pm Sunday)

Who to add: Evan Engram (New York Giants) [32% ESPN/36% Yahoo]

This felt dirty to write. Fantasy football managers have been burned by Evan Engram time and time again. Yet, looking through all the matchups and who was available on waivers, the New York Giants tight end was the clear choice. Targets matter for the tight end, and while Engram struggled to make the most of them in Week 3 against the Atlanta Falcons, he did still see six targets. Giants wide receivers Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton seem likely to miss at least Week 4 against the New Orleans Saints. If they stay out and Engram can carve out a role in this offense, the Dallas Cowboys are a good matchup in Week 5. Still, proceed with caution here.

Defense/Special Teams

Key Matchups: Chicago Bears at Las Vegas Raiders (4:05 pm Sunday)

Who to add: Las Vegas Raiders DST [22.3% ESPN/16% Yahoo]

If the Chicago Bears look as bad in Week 5 as they did in Week 3, the Las Vegas Raiders will be a good play for those streaming their fantasy football defense/special teams (DST) unit. Despite a hot start in Week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens, the Raiders DST has been fine rather than great. But fine may be good enough going up against the Bears' abysmal offensive line. It will be tough for fantasy football managers to use a second roster spot on a DST that is not top-12, but if you are looking for a streaming DST to play in Week 5, the Raiders are the pick.

Kicker

Key Matchups: New England Patriots at Houston Texans (1 pm Sunday)

Who to add: Nick Folk (New England Patriots) [12% ESPN/21% Yahoo]

Nick Folk has been a pretty reliable kicker so far this season. Honestly, fantasy managers in need at kicker can probably just grab him for Week 4 rather than benching him until Week 5. Regardless, the Houston Texans have been giving up over 25 points per game, so Folk should have plenty of opportunities to put points on the board. This was an easy call to make.

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