Week 4 Waiver Wire: Fantasy Football's Top Pickups and Breakout Candidates

Michelle Bruton@@michelle_nflFeatured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2017

Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis (89) catches a touchdown against Baltimore Ravens strong safety Tony Jefferson during the second half of an NFL football game at Wembley Stadium in London, Sunday Sept. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)
Tim Ireland/Associated Press

Between the first London game of the season falling in Week 3 and the highest-scoring Thursday Night Football game in NFL history occurring a few days ago, we were privy to some interesting fantasy developments that could have an impact on your waiver-wire choices this week. 

Is this Los Angeles Rams offense for real? Can the New York Giants offense be trusted? Does anything that happens at Wembley Stadium in London have any real-life implications?

Maybe you're looking to add depth to your bench or maybe you have an injured player you need to replace. Either way, we'll break down some of the biggest performers in Week 3 who are worth taking a look at as you submit waiver claims for Week 4. 

Players were considered potential waiver-wire options if they were owned in fewer than 60 percent of Yahoo Fantasy leagues as of Sunday. Scoring stats are in PPR leagues.

             

Week 4 Waiver-Wire Pickups

Quarterbacks

Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (29.58 pts; 12 percent own)

Brian Hoyer, San Francisco 49ers (30.18 pts; 8 percent own)

Eli Manning, New York Giants (28.64 pts; 55 percent own)

           

Running Backs

Duke Johnson Jr., Cleveland Browns (22.40 pts; 52 percent own)

Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints (13.20 pts; 40 percent own)

Jamaal Charles, Denver Broncos (12.70 pts; 33 percent own)

           

Wide Receivers

Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (26.30 pts; 34 percent own)

Taylor Gabriel, Atlanta Falcons (18.90 pts; 20 percent own)

Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams (16.80 pts; 7 percent own)

            

Tight Ends

Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills (15.90 pts; 20 percent own)

Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars (28.20 pts; 1 percent own)

Ryan Griffin, Houston Texans (17.10 pts; 1 percent own)

            

Players to Watch

Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints

CARSON, CA - AUGUST 20:  Alvin Kamara #41 of the New Orleans Saints runs the ball down field during the first quarter of the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at the StubHub Center on August 20, 2017 in Carson, California.  (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Ge
Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images

After his performance in Week 3, Alvin Kamara will probably be—or at least should be—the Saints' No. 1 running back.

In the Saints' 34-13 win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, Kamara was New Orleans' third-most used back, after Adrian Peterson and Mark Ingram. 

But while Peterson only gained 33 yards on nine carries (3.6 average) and Ingram, 56 on 14 carries (4.0 average) Kamara managed to break away for 37 yards on only two attempts (18.5 average) and was the only Saints rusher to find the end zone. 

Kamara showed good patience on his runs, and he's obviously explosive. In all likelihood, the Saints will take their time developing the 2017 third-round pick and may not give him a featured role this season, no matter how great he looks. After all, Peterson has a $2.25 million cap hit this season.

On the other hand, the Saints' window with Drew Brees is closing, and at 1-2 the team finds itself in last place in the NFC South. If there's anything New Orleans can do to give the offense a spark, it should do it. 

Getting Kamara more involved just might be the answer, and you'll want to be the one in your league to have him on your team should that happen. 

             

Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants 

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 18:  Sterling Shepard #87 of the New York Giants in action against the Detroit Lions during their game at MetLife Stadium on September 18, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

The Giants offense has been a tricky one to figure out so far this season, making Giants players risky fantasy starts. 

However, in Week 3 against the Philadelphia Eagles, New York finally started to get the ball rolling, as Eli Manning piled up three passing touchdowns. 

One of those receptions went to Sterling Shepard, who also went off for seven receptions and 133 yards overall, including a 77-yard grab. 

In fact, Shepard would have had a second touchdown on the day, but the officials ruled that it wasn't a catch. As you can see for yourself below, that was a questionable call:

So now fantasy managers in need of some help at wide receiver can decide if they think this is a performance Shepard is going to repeat in Week 4 and beyond. 

The Giants take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4. Though the Bucs have been one of the better scoring defenses through the beginning of this season, in Week 3 they were allowing an average of 290 passing yards per game, the fifth-most in the league. 

            

Marcedes Lewis, TE, Jaguars

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24:  Marcedes Lewis of the Jacksonville Jaguars celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the NFL International Series match between Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium on September 24, 2017 in London
Alex Pantling/Getty Images

There are plenty of tight end injuries around the league; Jordan Reed, Tyler Eifert and C.J. Fiedorowicz are some of the big names who didn't take the field in Week 3. 

So if you're a fantasy manager who owns one of those players and you're looking for someone to slot in at your TE spot, why not the Jags' Marcedes Lewis—he of three touchdowns in Week 3?

Now, let's get the obvious caveat out of the way. What happens in London stays in London; or, don't make too many fantasy decisions based on the performance of the teams who play in the London games.

Those matchups are always wonky; to wit, the Jaguars may very well be a better team than the Baltimore Ravens this year, but are they really 44-7 better?

Still, Lewis' performance raised eyebrows around the league. He finished with only 62 yards on four receptions, but scored touchdowns on 75 percent of those receptions. Not too shabby. 

Even if Lewis is only a red-zone threat for the Jaguars, even getting one touchdown from your tight end in any given week (unless his name is Rob Gronkowski) is something to celebrate. 

And only being owned in one percent of fantasy leagues, it's virtually guaranteed that Lewis is available in yours. 

            

Scoring stats and ownership stats via Yahoo and current as of Sunday, Sept. 24.