Every NFL Sunday brings with it a unique set of circumstances. Sometimes there are a bunch of injuries, leading to a seemingly endless supply of potential waiver moves. Other times, there are minimal injuries and even fewer interesting breakouts. It’s not difficult to figure out what type of Sunday just passed after a quick glance at our top Week 4 fantasy waiver wire pickups and free agent adds. Of course, the biggest fantasy football news (and potential pickup) happened earlier in the week when Christian McCaffrey injured his hamstring, opening the door for handcuff Chuba Hubbard to take over. But heading into the two remaining prime-time games on Sunday, we haven’t added a lot of substance to the waiver wire. Zack Moss and Peyton Barber made some waves among RBs, while Hunter Renfrow, Emmanuel Sanders, DeSean Jackson, Tyler Conklin, and Kendrick Bourne seemingly broke out among pass-catchers. Overall, though, it’s looking much more like a “free agent” week than a “waivers” week.
Even with that said, there are always potential depth pieces to add. Our full free agent list has several more interesting WRs, and TEs (Tim Patrick, James Washington, Pat Freiermuth, Evan Engram, Collin Johnson, A.J. Green, Christian Kirk), all of whom could continue to see upticks in targets because of injuries. Unfortunately, these guys don’t profile as roster saviors by any means. They might be Week 4 saviors, though, and playing things a week at a time is never a bad move in fantasy. That’s why we also have plenty of Week 4-specific streaming suggestions at QB, TE, and D/ST, which can be found at the end of this list.
MORE WEEK 4: Full waiver list
Hubbard is definitely worth a top waiver claim, though it’s possible McCaffrey is only out a week or two. Still, after we saw CMC miss 13 games because of three different injuries last year (and has now added a fourth different ailment), there’s no reason to think this will be the only time he misses. Invest in Hubbard now (and keep an eye on Royce Freeman). Other than that, though, it’s tough to spend big on a wide receiver. Moss seems like the only other guy worth a waiver claim, and he’s probably not worth a top-five claim given the ambiguity that we know will continue in the Bills backfield. The same goes for Barber, as he doesn’t figure to have much (any?) value once Josh Jacobs returns, which could be as soon as next week.
Top fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 4
Unless otherwise noted, only players owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues considered.
Chuba Hubbard, RB, Panthers. With Christian McCaffrey (hamstring) likely to miss at least the next game or two, Hubbard suddenly becomes a potential RB2. It took him a while to get going after replacing McCaffrey on Thursday, but he did well as Carolina’s closer, finishing with 52 rushing yards on 11 carries and adding another 27 receiving yards on three catches (five targets). As we saw last year when Mike Davis filled in for McCaffrey, the Panthers won’t change their offense much even with a backup RB in the lineup. They’ll still throw often to Hubbard, so he should have plenty of value in both standard and PPR leagues. Royce Freeman will also be involved, but expect Hubbard to handle the bulk of the touches against the Cowboys next week and possibly the Eagles the week after.
Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Bills. Stefon Diggs is going to be a constant, but there will be a different No. 2 receiver in Buffalo every week. It was Sanders’ turn in Week 3, as he caught five passes on six targets for 94 yards and two TDs. Sanders saw 14 targets in the first two weeks, so even though he caught just six for 100 yards, he seemed due to break out eventually. Can he be consistent? He’s playing a slightly higher snap share than Cole Beasley and a significantly higher one than Gabriel Davis, so that’s a plus. He’s also clearly talented and in sync with Josh Allen, so that bodes well for him, too. Overall, he’s worth owning and in play as a WR3 most weeks.
MORE WEEK 4: Full waiver list
Zack Moss, RB, Bills. We had our doubts about Moss after his Week 1 scratch and his late-game stat-padding in Week 2, but he looked every bit Devin Singletary’s equal in Week 3. Moss had two more carries (13) and 34 more rushing yards (60) than Singletary, and he even had two more catches (3) and one more target (3) than Singletary. All told, Moss had 91 total yards and a TD. We know the Bills mix up their RB usage all the time, so we’re not confident Moss will continue seeing this type of workload, but at the very least, he needs to be owned in more than 53 percent of Yahoo leagues. Upcoming games against Houston and Kansas City could yield big results with even 12 touches.
Hunter Renfrow, WR, Raiders. Renfrow might be more than just a “PPR receiver.” Yes, he’s more valuable in that format, but with nine, seven, and six targets, respectively, so far this season, he’s clearly a big part of Vegas’ offense. He had his best game of the season in Week 3, catching five passes for 77 yards and a score. Darren Waller will always get his targets, and Henry Ruggs III has a higher ceiling in any given game, but Renfrow has turned into Mr. Security Blanket for Derek Carr, and that doesn’t figure to change any time soon. He’s in play as a WR3 next week against the Chargers.
DeSean Jackson, WR, Rams. Chances are, this was just a random D-Jax blowup week, but given how sharp the Rams’ offense has looked, he’s worth mentioning. The oft-injured speedster caught three-of-five targets for 120 yards and a TD against the Bucs, showing he still has monster upside any given week. Cooper Kupp is clearly Matthew Stafford’s favorite target, but with Robert Woods struggling to get going and Van Jefferson not breaking out, Jackson is worth having around as a boom-or-bust streamer, especially the next two weeks in what could be shootouts against Arizona and Seattle.
For additional waiver/free agent suggestions, including additional QB, RB, and WR breakouts and potential streamers, check out our full Week 4 list.