Week 4 Pickups: Hot Commodities Likely Available on Fantasy Waiver Wire
Another slew of unpredictable developments in the NFL have resulted in several names emerging as hot fantasy football commodities. The good news is, they are likely available on the waiver wire ahead of Week 4.
One comeback victory in particular engineered by a relatively unproven quarterback may make for a controversy for one franchise. Meanwhile, other skill players took advantage of respective opportunities and should see increased playing time and production.
Let's take a look at some of the most noteworthy names from this week's action and why they should be strongly considered by fantasy owners as coveted additions to their lineups.
Brian Hoyer, QB, Cleveland Browns
In only his second NFL start, Hoyer was able to throw for 321 yards and three touchdowns in providing a spark to the Browns offense unseen in the first two weeks.
Most importantly, he led the game-winning scoring drive, lofting a perfect seven-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jordan Cameron.
The rapport between Hoyer and Cameron alone is reason to take a flier on the 27-year-old signal-caller. Really, though, their common cause was buoyed by the return of star receiver Josh Gordon, who had 10 receptions for 146 yards and the first touchdown.
Hoyer put the ball on the money consistently and did hit a bit of a wall in the third quarter, where he threw two of his three interceptions.
Credit him for at least cutting the ball loose, though, and for ultimately redeeming his mistakes by orchestrating an impressive two-minute drill on the road.
Brian Hoyer showing a lot of guts. Nice lob pass to Cameron and the Browns take lead in final minute. and the Vikes give up 30 again— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) September 22, 2013
The Browns don't have much of a running game to speak of—their leading rusher was undrafted rookie safety Josh Aubrey, who scampered 34 yards on a fake punt.
Johnathan Franklin, RB, Green Bay Packers
All the blame may fall on Franklin for the key fumble that the Bengals picked up and returned for a touchdown in the Packers' 34-30 loss, but he is nevertheless an intriguing prospective fantasy option.
An explosive 51-yard run showed what Franklin could do, and he received the opportunity due to an unfortunate injury to starter James Starks:
Packers could be out another running back. James Starks is questionable for his return because of knee injury. They are down to J. Franklin— John Clayton (@ClaytonESPN) September 22, 2013
Franklin is a rookie out of UCLA and now may be the best option in the Packers backfield as they continue to search for an adequate running game to complement superstar QB Aaron Rodgers.
Who is likelier to retain a starting role in 2013?
Unlike fellow first-year draftee Eddie Lacy and Starks, though, Franklin has proven his ability to be a receiver. In addition to running for 103 yards on only 13 carries, he caught three passes for 23 yards in Cincinnati on Sunday.
The Bengals defense is no joke, so since Franklin proved himself against a legitimate opponent that made the playoffs the past two seasons, his performance can't be dismissed as an aberration.
It is a bit concerning that Franklin lost a fumble. However, his upside as a pass-catcher in the Packers' West Coast offense and his hard-nosed running style could land him the No. 1 spot on the depth chart for the foreseeable future.
Donnie Avery, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
The short, timing-based passing game the Chiefs are deploying with Alex Smith at quarterback sets up favorably for Avery to be a consistent fantasy producer.
Avery has great short-area quickness and solid hands to get open underneath, while the physically formidable No. 1 target Dwayne Bowe can stretch the field and open up those chances.
Smith found Avery on all seven targets for 141 yards, and the receiver frequently turned up the field and turned modest-length throws into huge gains in Thursday's victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
The downside to adding Avery is that the Chiefs are likely to be more of a run-based team with a star like Jamaal Charles at running back. Plus, Avery has never totaled more than five touchdowns in a season.
As far as what's likely available on the wire, though, owners could do a lot worse than Avery based on his speed and seemingly increased involvement in the Kansas City offense.
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