|(Photo Credit: Rich Barnes/USA Today)|
The Lateral Contributor
Zach Crutcher (@ZackyNFL)
Whether it is bye week troubles, a late injury, or waiting on a rookie stash to finally get an opportunity, sometimes a warm body in the FLEX spot is all you need. Enter: It's A Match! These waiver recommendations are strictly to be considered plays for this week only. If they work out longer term than that, great. But that is not the expectation.
Also, all players are rostered in 50% or less of ESPN leagues. If there are better players still available in your leagues, go get them instead.
It's A Match! Three Matchups to Exploit in Week 4
Cleveland Browns at Minnesota Vikings (1pm Sunday)
Who to add: Kirk Cousins, Quarterback (Minnesota Vikings) [44.2% ESPN]
The Minnesota Vikings are two-point underdogs at home this weekend against the Cleveland Browns. This gives them an implied point total of 24-25 based on a 51.5 point over/under, which suggests plenty of opportunity for the Vikings offense. Minnesota is currently third in the NFL in terms of yards per game thanks to their balanced offense that is seventh in passing yards, sixth in rushing yards, and eighth in total points. This is in no small part because of Kirk Cousins. Through three games, Cousins has eight passing touchdowns, zero interceptions, and has the second-best quarterback rating (QBR) in the NFL. In his last 13 games, Cousins has thrown 32 passing touchdowns and only three interceptions. He was QB4 overall in the second half of 2020, and he is currently the QB4 overall in 2021 as well. Cousins is not just a streamer, he is a legitimate starting quarterback who should be rostered in all fantasy football leagues.
Houston Texans at Buffalo Bills (1pm Sunday)
Who to add: Emmanuel Sanders, Wide Receiver (Buffalo Bills) [36.4% ESPN]
In Week 3 against the Washington Football Team, Emmanuel Sanders exploded for 26.4 point-per-reception (PPR) fantasy football points with five catches for 94 yards and two touchdowns. Next up is a home game against the 1-2 Houston Texans who are currently 22nd in the league in passing yards allowed, and 23rd in the league in overall yards allowed. This was not a one-time performance. Sanders has sufficient volume to provide a stable floor while earning high-quality targets that are conducive to explosive performances like in Week 3. He has played more snaps than Stefon Diggs so far this season for the Buffalo Bills despite being new to the team, and the Bills lead the league in wide receiver targets. Sanders has earned at least six targets in each game so far and currently ranks tenth in the league in air yards for wide receivers. Plus, he has been a clear target for Josh Allen when plays break down like their 42-yard touchdown connection in Week 3. Sanders remains a great option in deeper formats in Week 4 and beyond.
Carolina Panthers at Dallas Cowboys (1pm Sunday)
Who to add: Terrace Marshall Jr., Wide Receiver (Carolina Panthers) [14.5% ESPN]
Christian McCaffrey will be out for multiple weeks after straining his hamstring last Thursday. With rookie running back Chuba Hubbard taking the place of McCaffrey, Carolina will be forced to throw the ball more often to compensate for the loss of their talisman running back. Enter wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. Marshall has earned 14 targets so far through three games, which is more than fellow wideout Robby Anderson. Most of these targets came from the slot. Carolina just traded their tight end, Dan Arnold, to the Jacksonville Jaguars. 34.2% of Arnold's snaps came from the slot. This all means Marshall should see the field more often with Arnold gone. Finally, Marshall already has three targets in the red zone so far. Should he capitalize on those targets, something he did with great efficiency at Louisiana State University (LSU), his ceiling should drastically improve. There is a real chance that Week 4 is when Terrace Marshall reminds the NFL of what a dominant receiver he was at LSU.
Follow The Lateral on Twitter (@TheLateralFF)