Fantasy Football Week 4 Waiver Wire: Top Pickups at Every Position

Alessandro Miglio@@AlexMiglioFeatured ColumnistSeptember 25, 2012

Fantasy Football Week 4 Waiver Wire: Top Pickups at Every Position

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    The waiver wire is heating up with some torrid NFL performances.

    Hopefully the replacement fantasy players will perform better than the replacement referees have thus far. Christian Ponder, Jerome Simpson and Kyle Rudolph make this a very purple week, but who else is out there for you to grab?

    Click through to find out this week's top waiver-wire targets.


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    Ryan Fitzpatrick

    The Bearded Wonder has bounced back after a rough start against the Jets in Week 1. Playing against the Chiefs and Joe Haden-less Browns was a big help.

    Unfortunately, the party might be over for Fitzpatrick, who gets the vastly improved Patriots, sure-to-be-angry 49ers and continually underrated Cardinals defenses next. If you are in desperate need of a quarterback or need a bye-week stash, Fitzpatrick is worth a pickup.


    Christian Ponder

    Riddle me this: How does a team with supposedly no shot to win beat its indefatigable opponent? With a performance like Ponder's last Sunday against the 49ers.

    The Vikings claim the running game was the difference in their matchup against the 49ers. While they did not exactly light up the scoreboard on the ground, San Francisco's defensive attention on Adrian Peterson and the run may have been enough for Ponder to have the fantastic day that he did.


    Andy Dalton

    If you tack Mohamed Sanu's passing statistics onto Dalton's against the Redskins he would wind up with 401 passing yards and four touchdowns. 

    Dalton will not likely see an output like this very often this season. He does have A.J. Green and Andrew Hawkins, and Sanu will not be tossing too many more touchdowns this season.


    Others to Consider

    Josh Freeman

    He cooled off after a hot week against the Giants, but Freeman has a favorable schedule coming up against the Redskins, Chiefs and Saints with a bye in there.


    Jake Locker

    He had a great game against the Lions, but much of his fantasy output came on two big plays. Locker will likely have an up-and-down season, but he is a nice pickup if you need a backup or bye-week fill-in.

    Nick Foles

    This might seem insane, but Foles could be a decent stash if you are in a deep or dynasty league. Not only is Vick one big hit away from injury, his weak performances this season may have shaken Andy Reid's faith in the starter.

    Of course, that might not be a realistic possibility:

    If Mike Vick is in danger of losing his job, I'm the queen of England.

    — mike freeman (@realfreemancbs) September 24, 2012

Running Back

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    Mikel Leshoure

    You could have picked him up last week when I told you to, but here you are reading this and lamenting that you did not heed the advice.

    Well, what are you waiting for? Put in a claim for Leshoure! Bet a big chunk of your FAAB budget if you have to.


    Jacquizz Rodgers

    If folks in your league did not race to get him in free agency last week after news of Michael Turner's DUI broke, try to nab Rodgers before it's too late.

    While Turner actually had a nice game against the Chargers, he remains at a molasses-level YPC this season. The Falcons got 'Quizz involved more this week, getting him 15 touches after he had just 12 in the first two games combined.

    Turner may not see a suspension for his DUI, but Rodgers will have a nice game or two if he does. Besides, he is the most dynamic back in that backfield.


    Daniel Thomas/Lamar Miller

    Reggie Bush's knee injury appears to be minor, meaning he will likely be back this week against the Cardinals. In what capacity remains to be seen.

    Thomas was already having a decent day before Bush was knocked out against the Jets, though, having vultured a goal-line touchdown away from the dynamic starter. All in all, Thomas got the vast majority of the playing time over Miller despite the latter's offensive output in Week 2.

    Still, Miller is the more talented back, and he should eventually overtake Thomas once he can learn the offense.


    Bilal Powell

    The walls are closing in on Shonn Greene, whose ineffectiveness has hampered the Jets offense for years.

    Greene once again averaged two hot pockets and an old shoe last week against the Dolphins while Powell rushed the ball 10 times for 45 yards. Let's see...divide 45 by 10, we get "Powell should be starting." OK.


    Tashard Choice

    It's come to this.

    Fred Jackson is on the mend. C.J. Spiller's injury is so minor that he might play this week. Will you choose Choice over other viable waiver wire pickups? Unless you own Jackson or Spiller, or you are in an extremely deep league, the Choice is wrong.


    Others to Consider

    Joique Bell

    It appears that Kevin Smith is no longer currying favor with the Detroit Lions. Mikel Leshoure is suddenly the work horse and Bell seems to be the backup—he played 17 more snaps than Smith on Sunday. Worth considering, especially if you picked up Leshoure.


    Ronnie Hillman

    It took him a while, but Hillman finally climbed the depth chart to be the No. 2 running back behind Willis McGahee and the third-down back. If he can hang onto that job, he has some nice PPR value.

Wide Receiver

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    Andrew Hawkins

    Hawkins has had three big games to start the season, proving to be a versatile receiver for the Bengals. The last two games are a bit of a red flag, though—he caught two passes in each, both touchdowns coming on long pass plays.

    The Hawkins that caught eight passes for 86 yards in Week 1 is more valuable than the one who caught two passes in each of his past two contests. Once the big plays dry up, where will his fantasy value be? Proceed with caution.


    T.Y. Hilton/Donnie Avery

    Austin Collie's return to the lineup was cut short due to another unfortunate injury, this time to his knee. The torn patellar tendon has knocked the unlucky receiver out for the season, calling into question whether he should continue his football career.

    This opens the door for Hilton and Avery, both of whom have performed well at different times for the Colts.


    Ramses Barden

    Hakeem Nicks was out. Domenik Hixon was sidelined. The Panthers defense focused on Victor Cruz.

    These are all reasons why Barden went nova on us last week. (He would have gone super nova had he scored a touchdown). Both Nicks and Hixon should be back soon. Even if Barden retains the No. 3 spot by virtue of his performance, he will be a poor man's Kevin Ogletree.

    Unless you are banking on Nicks missing more time this year or you are desperate, Barden is not the best waiver-wire pickup.


    Jerome Simpson

    Simpson returns from a three-game ban this week, and he could be stepping into a fantastic fantasy situation.

    Kyle Rudolph has become the Purple Gronk, and defenses will have to adjust. They already have to worry about Percy Harvin and Adrian Peterson. That leaves Jerome Simpson—who is an explosive player when given the opportunity—plenty of room to operate.


    Others to Consider

    Golden Tate

    He might have had two* touchdowns against the Packers on Monday Night Debacle, but do you trust him long term?

Tight End

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    Kyle Rudolph

    If Rudolph was not on your league's radar, he will be now.

    The Purple Gronk is owned in just 13 percent of Yahoo leagues and 40 percent of ESPN leagues. His two-touchdown performance against the 49ers is sure to change that; get him while he's hot.


    Dennis Pitta

    Once is lucky. Twice is nice. Thrice is a trend.

    Pitta has scored in all three of Baltimore's games thus far, and he continues to be a big-time target for Joe Flacco in the passing game. If he still happens to be available in your league, he is an excellent pickup.


    Heath Miller

    After years of Miller teasing fantasy owners with one or two offensive explosions only to turn back into a pumpkin, he seems to have finally developed into a reliable and consistent threat in the passing game.

    If you have held off on picking him up because Miller has burned you before—and let's face it, who with years of experience has not been burned by "Heeeeeeaaath"—it seems like he might finally be safe.


    Jared Cook

    The annual sleeper awakens.

    Cook had a great game against the Lions, racking up four catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. Is this finally the beginning of that great season we have all been waiting for? 


    Others to Consider

    Anthony Fasano

    Fasano is a good safety valve for Ryan Tannehill. He is on pace for 85 targets, 30 more than the most he has gotten in the past four years.


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