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While previous weeks saw truckloads of injury replacements available on the waiver wire, Week 4 was fairly quiet. That doesn’t mean there isn’t gold to be found if we look hard enough, though, so let’s take a look at the waiver wire targets still available in more than 75 percent of leagues.
Teddy Bridgewater (Owned in 13 percent of Yahoo leagues): Bridgewater posted 317 yards through the air and ran for 27 yards and a touchdown in his first NFL start and now has 467 passing yards through one and a half games. Bridgewater has plenty of talent around him and decent legs that can add 3-5 fantasy points per game (plus potential rushing touchdowns). His next stop is Green Bay, against a defense that has allowed big time fantasy days to Russell Wilson, Jay Cutler, and even Geno Smith through the first four weeks.
Kyle Orton (0 Percent): Orton has certainly bounced around throughout his career but he hasn’t been bad. Since 2008, Orton has played in 57 games and owns a 60 percent completion rate and 71 touchdowns to 44 interceptions. That’s a strong TD:INT ratio, the kind that Geno Smith only dreams about.
He’s got good talent around him in Sammy Watkins, Mike Williams, C.J. Spiller, and Fred Jackson and should play better than EJ Manuel did before he was benched. While I wouldn’t rush to start him against the Lions this week, he’s got pretty good matchups against the Pats and the Vikings after that.
Running Back Pickups:
Jerick McKinnon (16 percent): It’s clear that Matt Asiata is not an every down or longterm option, especially when McKinnon plays like he did against Atlanta. The third rounder ran 18 times for 135 yards and added a reception for 17 yards. He has now carried the ball 23 times this year and is averaging 6.2 yards per carry while also being targeted 11 times over his last three games. His role on offense is quickly growing and this is likely your last chance to snag up McKinnon.
Darrin Reaves (1 percent): Reaves didn’t play particularly well in relief of DeAngelo Williams against Baltimore but with Williams, Mike Tolbert, and Jonathan Stewart all out, he’s essentially the only warm body they can start. He’ll have a favorable matchup against the Bears who stopped Green Bay’s backs but gave up an average of 136 rushing yards in their other three games against the Niners, Bills, and Jets.
Wide Receiver Pickups:
Eddie Royal (23 percent): We saw Royal post five touchdowns in the first two weeks of 2013, only to post three scores the rest of the way. The difference between those five touchdowns and the four he already has this season is the targets, however. Last season, he was targeted just 20 times over the first four games. This season he has already been targeted 29 times and figures to have a good-sized role with Danny Woodhead and Ryan Mathews out and Ladarius Green banged up.
Louis Murphy (0 percent): With Mike Evans out, Murphy is the only wideout that makes sense to start and he did a great job in relief of Evans against the Steelers, catching six passes for 99 yards in his first game of the season. With Vincent Jackson only posting 13 receptions thus far, Murphy should get his opportunities. While playing opposite of VJax, Evans was targeted 28 times in three and a half games. Evans is expected to be out two to three weeks.
Tight End Pickups:
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (1 percent): Evans’ injury may also help ASJ who returned from injury to face the Steelers and was targeted seven times in his first game back. Brandon Myers is not a starting caliber tight end so the job is essentially his but he’ll need to do more to be fantasy relevant. So far ASJ has only been able to reel in four of nine targets sent his way for 70 yards.
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