As we head into Week 4 of the NFL season, the fantasy football landscape continues to evolve. Injuries, breakout performances, and shifting team dynamics make the waiver wire a critical resource for fantasy managers. This week, we'll explore some intriguing options at various positions to help you strengthen your roster. From potential QBs to overlooked wide receivers and sneaky defenses, we've got you covered.
C.J. Stroud - Houston Texans
While Stroud may already be on a team in most dynasty formats, there’s a very real chance and possibility he’s available on the waiver wire in most redraft 1-QB leagues. If he is, consider this: Over the first three games of the season, Stroud has a 98 quarterback rating, 4 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, and is averaging 17 fantasy points per game. Those numbers are better than other quarterbacks such as: Matt Stafford, Daniel Jones, Dak Prescott, and Trevor Lawrence. Not bad for a rookie. If he’s available in your league, he’s one of the top QB’s on the waiver wire this week. Go get him.
Jameis Winston - New Orleans Saints
This is more of a week-to-week pickup, as Winston was backing up Derek Carr. Now that Carr is injured and out for the foreseeable future, Winston is worth a look, as in Week 4 the Saints go up against an awful secondary in Tampa Bay. With weapons such as Rashid Shaheed, Michael Thomas, and Chris Olave at his disposal, the talent is there for Winston to make an immediate impact. If Carr misses significant time, Winston would also become very valuable over the long term as well. He should be available in your league, so go get him and don’t be afraid to start him this week if you need help at the QB position.
De’Von Achane - Miami Dolphins
This one is probably the no-brainer pickup for the week. Achane absolutely torched the Broncos defense (as did the entire Miami offense for that matter) to the tune of over 200 rushing yards with 2 rushing touchdowns and 2 receiving touchdowns. While Achane obviously won’t do this every week, it’s clear the rookie is talented, and he should have a significant role in the Miami offense moving forward, even after Jeff Wilson returns. He’s clearly earned the playing time with this performance, and also excels as a receiver. While he is most likely already on a roster in dynasty formats, in redraft leagues he may be available. In PPR formats he is especially valuable due to his receiving prowess. You may need to spend a majority of your FAAB budget to get him, but he’s worth every penny to try to acquire via the waiver wire. Go get him.
Kendre Miller - New Orleans Saints
While Miller put up a dud of a performance in his first cup of coffee as a starting running back this week, he is still worth a potential waiver wire pickup in your league. Similar to most of the other players previously mentioned, he’s probably already on a dynasty roster. In a redraft league though, you may want to consider picking him up if you have the roster space and he’s available. Consider this: Yes, Alvin Kamara returns from suspension next week and most likely will resume his starting duties. However, over the past few years, Kamara has not been as durable as most would like. Add in the fact that Jamaal Williams was just placed on IR for the next four weeks, so it’s likely Miller will be starting in the next week or two. Grab him and stash him now before the price goes up.
Elijah Mitchell - San Francisco 49ers
It’s understandable why Mitchell was dropped in most leagues. He didn’t record a touch in Week 2. However, he remains one of the most valuable handcuffs in all of fantasy football. If anything were to happen to Christian McCaffrey, Mitchell would immediately step into a starting role in one of the best running back offensive schemes in the league. He also showed enough in Week 3 to be worth a bench stash and desperation flex play. If you miss out on either running back mentioned above, Mitchell wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize.
Tank Dell - Houston Texans
If Achane is the waiver pickup of the week at the running back position, Dell is the player to go for at wide receiver. In the last two weeks, all Dell has done is post his second straight 20 point game. In a blowout win over Jacksonville in Week 3, he caught five passes for 145 yards and a touchdown. With each passing week, it’s looking more and more like Dell is going to be C.J. Stroud’s go-to guy in the Houston air attack. More volume should be forthcoming. Similar to Achane, Dell may cost much of your FAAB budget, but would be worth it if you need receiving help. In dynasty formats, he is most likely already on a roster, but worth picking up as well should he be available.
Josh Downs - Indianapolis Colts
It can normally take rookie wide receivers a few weeks to get acclimated to the speed and nature of the NFL. However, once that begins to occur, if the talent is there they have a tendency to take off. This may have started for Josh Downs. In Week 3, Downs amassed a whopping 12 (12!) targets. Downs turned those targets into 8 receptions for 57 yards. He is already a safety valve check down option for whoever is under center for the Colts, and has been outplaying teammate Alec Pierce in the first few weeks of the year. He may be available for cheap in your league, and if you have the bench space, would be worth picking up to see what happens as the year moves along. It’s not out of the realm of possibility he’s the number two behind Michael Pittman by the end of the year. Stash and wait.
Adam Thielen - Carolina Panthers
Question, who has scored over 50 fantasy points the past two weeks? Answer, it’s Carolina Panthers veteran wideout Adam Thielen. After a terrible Week 1, Thielen has been the go-to guy in the Panther passing game, and had a huge day against Seattle to the tune of 11 catches on 14 targets for 145 yards and a touchdown. He may be on the older side, and this production may not keep up as the year goes along, but for now, Thielen is the receiver to own from Carolina. Don’t be afraid to go get him and reap the potential rewards, especially if you’re a contending team.
Josh Palmer - San Diego Chargers
With Mike Williams getting hurt and now out for the season, there’s room for San Diego Chargers wideout Josh Palmer to see more volume and playing time. When Palmer stepped in for Keenan Allen last year, he ended up with over a 1,000 yard season, and the talent is there for him to be fantasy relevant again. Even though rookie Quentin Johnson is waiting in the wings, he currently hasn’t done anything to out produce Palmer. With that in mind, after a solid Week 3 showing (4-66-1), Palmer is currently the new #2 in a Justin Herbert led offense, and should be acquired via your waiver wire should he be available. In dynasty formats, he may also be a wideout worth trying to acquire via trade if you need the depth, as he has the potential to provide solid fantasy production moving forward.
Luke Musgrave - Green Bay Packers
With the tight end position currently being a bit of a fantasy graveyard, Green Bay Packers tight end Luke Musgrave is worth a look. Even though his role may be uncertain once Christian Watson returns, Musgrave has slowly seen his snap share increase over the last few weeks. Musgrave also saw eight targets in Week 3, catching six of them for 48 yards. Rookie tight ends typically struggle in the first few years in the NFL, but it’s looking more and more like Musgrave may buck that trend. With a consistent 80% snap share, he’s clearly on the field a lot, and should continue to see the field with regularity even after Watson returns. As he gets more and more acclimated to the speed of the NFL, he could easily become startable. Given the currently abysmal state of the TE position, Musgrave is worth a pick-up.
Jake Ferguson - Dallas Cowboys
Even though the Cowboys put up a stinker of a game against the Arizona Cardinals, Jake Ferguson did his part to help the team garner a win. He was able to haul in five of seven targets for 48 yards. Similar to Musgrave mentioned above, with the TE position being a graveyard in terms of fantasy production, one can do a-lot worse than Ferguson. Even though he may not post elite numbers, Ferguson could easily be a solid streaming option for your team from here on out. If you are in need of help at the position, don’t be afraid to go get him.
Riley Patterson - Detroit Lions
Kickers often go overlooked in fantasy football, but they can make or break your week. Riley Patterson of the Detroit Lions could be one of those overlooked kickers. The Detroit offense has scored 20+ points each of the first three weeks, and Patterson has been perfect on field goals and extra points. The Lions offense should continue to be borderline elite, and should provide more opportunities for Patterson to be a solid option at the position. If he’s available, go get him.
Matt Prater - Arizona Cardinals
We’ve discussed Prater in this article before, but he continues to be a solid option at the kicking position as the year moves along. In Week 3, he helped the Cardinals in their upset win over Dallas by going 3 for 3 with a 62 yarder. Even though he’s been around awhile, currently he’s the 10th best kicker in the NFL in terms of fantasy points. Chances are he’s available in your league, and if he is, grab him if you need to as he should continue to be a solid option all season long.
The Cleveland Browns' defense has surprisingly been one of the most impressive units in the NFL so far this season. In Week 3, they demolished the Tennessee Titans en-route to a 27-3 win, and currently boast one of the best defensive lines in all of football. In Week 4, the Browns will face the Baltimore Ravens, a team that has been vulnerable on offense, which has already allowed eight sacks. Cleveland’s pass rush should create problems for Lamar Jackson and company. If you're in need of a defense that can consistently generate turnovers and sacks, the Browns are a top-tier option and are most likely matchup proof until proven otherwise.
Even though the Broncos just got manhandled by the Miami Dolphins, in Week 4 they face the Chicago Bears. The Bears are arguably one of the worst offenses in the NFL through three weeks, and this could be a get-back-on-track game for the Bronco defense. Rest assured they will want to make amends from their shellacking at the hands of the Dolphins, so you could do worse than a one-week pick up and stream them if you’re hurting at the position.
As we approach Week 4 of the fantasy football season, the waiver wire remains a crucial tool for building a championship-caliber roster. Whether you're seeking a quarterback with breakout potential, a running back to fill in for an injured starter, a reliable wide receiver, a promising tight end, a steady kicker, or a defense with a favorable matchup, there are hidden gems waiting to be claimed.
Be proactive in managing your fantasy team, assess your roster's strengths and weaknesses, and make strategic additions to position yourself for success in the weeks ahead. Fantasy football is a dynamic game, and staying ahead of the curve with the right waiver wire pickups can make all the difference. Good luck, and may your Week 4 fantasy matchups be filled with victories!