Week 4 Waiver Wire: Rising Fantasy Wide Receivers Worth Taking Gamble on
Three weeks of the 2013 NFL regular season have given us a much clearer fantasy football landscape, as players are quickly disappearing from the waiver wire and emerging as starters.
With so many injuries across the league and players changing locations, spots have opened up for unheralded players to make their marks on the stat sheet, and that has translated to the fantasy football world.
Though it's hard to put stock in a player who has had only one or two solid outings, you can take these guys to the bank, as their surroundings will make for a successful remainder of the season.
Let's take look at players who are worth rolling the dice on in the waiver market.
Kenbrell Thompkins, WR, New England Patriots
Many fantasy experts expected Kenbrell Thompkins to be a breakout rookie as he stepped into a starting role in New England in his first year.
However, after he opened up the season with just 89 yards receiving in two games—including no touchdowns—people began to doubt how effective Thompkins could truly be in a Tom Brady system that features a deep pool of targets.
Which of these players is most valuable in fantasy?
Then, Week 3 happened. Thompkins only caught three balls, but two were for touchdowns, and he finished with 41 yards receiving.
Through three games, Thompkins has been targeted 28 times—second to Julian Edelman's 34. He's certainly asserted himself as a constantly improving target whom Brady will be able to trust more and more as the season progresses.
Very few quarterbacks can impact others' stat sheets like Brady can. That fact, coupled with Thompkins' plentiful workload, makes Thompkins an attractive option on your bench—and potentially as a starter.
Perhaps the best news is he's available in nearly 65 percent of ESPN leagues.
Santonio Holmes, WR, New York Jets
Nobody was betting high—or at all—on the New York Jets' offensive playmakers in fantasy this season, and rightfully so. But it's funny how things can change in just a few games.
Rookie quarterback Geno Smith has over 800 yards through three games. And save for a three-interception setback against New England, he has jump-started the Jets offense in a big way.
It should be no surprise his favorite target thus far has been Santonio Holmes.
The eight-year pro offers a trust factor that isn't there on an inexperienced Jets offense, something a rookie gunslinger unquestionably embraces. He did so in Week 3, targeting Holmes 10 times for five catches, 154 yards and a touchdown.
There's never been a better time to pick up Holmes, who is available in more than 90 percent of ESPN leagues. If he breaks out again this weekend against the Titans, it may be too late to grab him.
As Smith progresses as a starting quarterback, the numbers of his receivers should only improve. And if Week 3 was any indication of how potent the Jets offense may be this year, Holmes will have a huge season.
Ryan Broyles, WR, Detroit Lions
Don't look at the stat sheet for this one. Broyles' breakout will come because of the dominoes falling around him.
Detroit Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson broke his arm in a car accident Tuesday, per Noah Trister of the Associated Press, via ABC News, leaving a gaping hole at the position for Matthew Stafford's potent offense.
Is Ryan Broyles immediately a startable WR?
Burleson is in the midst of a huge season—19 catches for 239 yards through three games, including a six-catch, 116-yard performance last weekend against the Redskins. His absence will be sorely missed, but somebody has to replace him.
Broyles only has three catches on the season—all coming in Week 3—but that workload is certain to improve as he likely delves into the No. 2 slot behind Calvin Johnson.
And as Burleson's numbers show, the Megatron effect can do wonders for the receiver lining up opposite him.
Broyles is quite a bit tougher to pick up—available in 45.1 percent of ESPN leagues—but if you can get your hands on him, do so. He'll be start-worthy in no time.
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