Week three of the 2021 NFL season is behind us, but for many of us, it isn’t far enough behind us. We will be haunted by the horrible choices we made in our fantasy drafts. Why did we think Christian McCaffrey was going to go through an NFL season healthy? Why did we think Dalvin Cook was going to go through an NFL season healthy? Why do we think anyone will remain healthy? It is week four and all our starters are dead. So what do we do? Lucky for you, there is a waiver wire that can solve all of your (fantasy football) problems, if you are savvy enough to utilize it. This week, I’m going to provide you with the best options available. If I don’t mention someone whom you think I should be talking about, just know there are many reasons why I overlooked them. Maybe they are owned in most leagues. Maybe they are so bad I don’t even consider them. Maybe it’s because your opinions cannot be trusted. After all, you are here. So let us examine the best week four waiver wire players for your championship run…
Week Four Waiver Wire QBs
Derek Carr, Oakland Las Vegas Raiders ( 51% rostered)
If you haven’t grabbed Derek Carr in your fantasy leagues, this is probably your last chance. In week three, Carr had 386 yards passing, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Three weeks into the season, Derek Carr is the QB8. Even more impressive, through three weeks Derek Carr is one of three quarterbacks to be a QB1 in every game he’s played. The other two are Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes. The 2021 NFL passing yards leader has been consistently good, but he’d look a lot better in your starting lineup.
Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers (16% rostered)
If you can’t get Derek Carr off of waivers, Sam Darnold is not a bad consolation prize. In week three, Darnold had 302 passing yards, along with 2 rushing touchdowns. In standard leagues, that’s like 3 passing touchdowns, which is way more impressive. Darnold has a very soft schedule in his next five games, including three teams that give up a ton of fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. If you need quarterback help, Darnold is a solid option.
Week Four Waiver Wire RBs
Chuba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers (19% rostered)
This is pretty simple. With Christian McCaffrey expected to miss a few weeks, Chuba Hubbard becomes the number one waiver option in week four. Last season, Mike Davis came out strong after CMC went down. While he eventually faded down the stretch, we saw that Carolina is going to lean on their primary running back. Hubbard is more talented than Davis is, and does a lot of the same things that McCaffrey does…. Just not as well because he isn’t Christian McCaffrey. But whether you are the CMC owner or not, you need Hubbard on your roster.
Zack Moss, Buffalo Bills (54% rostered)
Zack Moss had a strong week three, with 91 all-purpose yards and a touchdown. While Moss is definitely worth rostering, he has a seriously capped ceiling. Moss was a healthy scratch in week one, only saw 28% of the team snaps in week two, and saw 56% of the team’s snaps in week three. While I think Moss is definitely more talented than Devin Singletary, I also think that Josh Allen (the Bills’ true goal-line back) could vulture a lot of his touchdown value throughout the season. I’m not saying don’t grab Zack Moss if he is available. I’m saying that you should just understand that Moss is going to be a match-up dependent player, who is more likely frustrate you than help you.
Peyton Barber, Oakland Las Vegas Raiders (10% rostered)
As long as Josh Jacobs is hurt, Peyton Barber is a player that should be rostered. With Jacobs out, a lot of people thought it would be the Kenyan Drake Show. Instead, Barber out carried Drake 23 to 8. Peyton Barber also had 142 all-purpose yards and a touchdown, making him the RB4 in week three. The biggest problem with trying to grab Barber is that he will only be valuable as long as Jacobs is hurt. I personally think that, despite Gruden’s optimism that Jacobs will be back soon, it will probably be a few weeks before we see Jacobs. This means that I will be grabbing Barber where I can get him and sticking pins in my Josh Jacobs voodoo doll.
Week Four Waiver Wire WRs
Hunter Renfrow, Oakland Las Vegas Raiders (11% rostered)
For all the talk about Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards, all signs point to Hunter Renfrow being the number one receiver in Las Vegas. While Bryan Edwards has more routes run per game, Hunter Renfrow leads the Raiders in targets, receptions, and is tied for the touchdown lead. In week three, Renfrow had 5 catches for 77 yards and 1 touchdown. Truth be told, if Ruggs isn’t available on your waiver wire, Renfrow is a solid consolation prize on a team that throws the ball more than anyone in the NFL (except Tampa Bay.)
Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals (37% rostered)
While DeAndre Hopkins “played” in week three, he was clearly out there to open up the offense for other receivers. For the most part, this did not work, with Kyler Murray having his worst week of the season. Christian Kirk, however, had himself his a solid game, with 7 catches for 104 yards. The problem I have with Kirk is that in the first two weeks of the season, he still was only running 23 routes per game, which puts him 70th amongst wide receivers. While the target distribution in the Cardinal’s offense is very balanced, that only makes me look at Kirk and see a guy who is the fourth option in the passing game. Maybe he blows up big, but I can’t help but feel like we see a repeat of 2020 where he had a nice four-game stretch, and then just disappeared for the rest of the season.
Tim Patrick, Denver Broncos (19% rostered)
At a certain point, I need to address the WR26 on the season. Tim Patrick has been a double-digit points producer three weeks in a row. The problem is I just don’t believe it can last. Patrick has gotten his points on 13 targets, which ranks 67th among all wide receivers. His 12 catches are 41st among wide receivers. Patrick’s 2 touchdowns on the season have done a lot to pad his numbers, but an incredibly low target and catch rate make it hard to believe Tim Patrick can provide sustained success for your fantasy football team. That having been said, the injury to K.J. Hamler will likely settle the target inconsistencies, as the Broncos now have Tim Patrick and Courtland Sutton as their healthy wideouts.
Emmanuel Sanders/A.J. Green/DeSean Jackson/Kendrick Bourne (25/20/3/1% rostered)
I’m just bringing these guys up because they all had nice weeks and maybe you are thinking it’d be a good idea. If it was 2016, I’d consider A.J. Green or Emmanuel Sanders. As for DeSean, we all know he has two big games a year. Why would you grab him after he’s already used up one of his games? Finally, Kendrick Bourne. That’s it. Do I really need to say anything else?
Week Four Waiver Wire TEs
Tyler Conklin, Minnesota Vikings (4% rostered)
This week, the tight end we all try to talk ourselves into liking is Tyler Conklin. After putting up 7 catches for 70 yards and 1 touchdown, it is easy to think he can be a viable solution. Surprisingly enough, there are some indicators Conklin has going for him that show he can provide value at the most awful of fantasy football positions. Conklin is in the top fifteen for routes run among tight ends. Through three weeks, Tyler Conklin has 16 targets, which places him in the top ten among tight ends. Most importantly of all, Conklin is the TE8 on the season through three weeks. Would I burn my waiver priority on Tyler Conklin? Probably not. He is still a tight end. But I will grab Conklin once he clears waivers.