Week 4 may not be as unpredictable in the fantasy football world as Week 3 was, but there’s a good chance of lightning striking twice for some of the most undervalued commodities in the game.
No one is going to suggest giving up on the likes of Robert Griffin III, but if you look at this week’s matchup, you might to consider hitting the waiver wire to grab his opponent if he's healthy: Terrelle Pryor.
Eli Manning? Yeah, it’s hard to justify giving him a starting nod after the New York Giants’ 0-3 start and his abysmal performance against a depleted Carolina Panthers secondary last week.
Here’s a look at Pryor and another pickup at each offensive position.
QB: Terrelle Pryor, Oakland Raiders (Available in 78 percent of leagues)
His status this week is murky after sustaining a concussion during the Oakland Raiders’ Week 3 loss to Denver, per ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez, and according to Steve Corkran of the Contra Costa Times, Pryor missed practice on Wednesday:
Terrelle Pryor is not at practice today.— Steve Corkran (@CorkOnTheNFL) September 25, 2013
But if he can get back on the field in time for Sunday, the dual-threat quarterback has proven he belongs in fantasy discussions as both a passer and rusher.
With the Raiders facing the Washington Redskins in Week 4—a fantasy gold mine—it’s vital to monitor his progress through the league’s fantasy protocol this week. Washington has given up the second-most points in the NFL through three weeks, so offenses are clearly having success.
If Pryor is ready to play, I’m not sure there’s a good reason you can come up with to justify not picking him up and starting him.
RB: Brandon Bolden, New England Patriots (Available in 86 percent of leagues)
The New England Patriots backfield is tough to predict moving forward, but if you didn’t see in Week 3, Brandon Bolden slid into Shane Vereen’s role rather seamlessly. Playing on 26 of 73 offensive snaps—the same number as Stevan Ridley—Bolden ran for 53 yards on three carries and caught five passes for 49 yards.
LaGarrette Blount got his carries, too, in the triumvirate but didn’t impress. Vereen won't be back until at least Week 11 according to the Michael Whitmer of the The Boston Globe, so if you need some help in the meantime, Bolden is your guy.
He's proven to be a capable commodity in the passing game, which makes him especially valuable in points-per-reception leagues as the Pats’ only competent backfield receiver. Brandy will continue to check down to him, and the upside here is worth taking a shot on.
WR: Santonio Holmes, New York Jets (Available in 78 percent of leagues)
Geno Smith is impressing more than we had ever imagined. There just might be a fantasy option or two on the 2-1 New York Jets as a result.
Holmes is a __________ fantasy WR moving forward.
Santonio Holmes looked like the Holmes of old in Week 5 against the Buffalo Bills. The trusty veteran hauled in five balls for 154 yards and a touchdown—albeit against a backup cornerback.
A healthy and energized Holmes could reward fantasy owners for taking a risk on him early. Bye weeks are on the horizon, so you’d be wise to give him a shot now. All Packers wideouts and Steve Smith are on byes in Week 4, and between Weeks 5 and 6, fantasy owners will be without Antonio Brown, Vincent Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Julio Jones and Mike Wallace, among others.
The Jets are surprisingly playing winning football, so Holmes is worthy of WR3 consideration moving forward, particularly over the next few weeks.
TE: Rob Housler, Arizona Cardinals (Available in 90 percent of leagues)
The Arizona Cardinals got Rob Housler active and on the field for the first time this season. Carson Palmer didn’t immediately look to his tight end for help, but the veteran quarterback didn’t have time to do much of anything against a dominant-looking New Orleans Saints defense.
Palmer has a knack for getting his tight ends involved, though—remember Brandon Myers’ garbage-time fantasy performance last year? Housler is the guy to own in Arizona and should become a bigger part of the team’s game plan moving forward.
In Week 4, Larry Fitzgerald will match up with Revis Island, so Palmer could look for his tight end more often than usual.
All stats used are courtesy of Yahoo! Sports unless otherwise noted. Also, all league availability is based off of Yahoo! Sports leagues’ player availability numbers.