Fantasy football is a tough beast to tame, but working the waiver wire for Week 4 and beyond is imperative to the long-term success of your team.
Owners aren’t just making pickups for this week—they’re making decisions that could impact their fantasy championship aspirations.
If you take this faux sport far too seriously (join the club), all of the following impact players must be on your roster.
Santonio Holmes, WR, New York Jets
The New York Jets' passing attack was the laughingstock of the NFL this offseason, but led by the solid play of rookie quarterback Geno Smith, former star wide receiver Santonio Holmes is once again becoming a viable fantasy option.
Holmes amassed five receptions for 154 yards with a touchdown in Week 3’s victory over the Buffalo Bills and looked to be building a rapport with his rookie QB. With Smith finding a reliable weapon he can lean on, Holmes’ numbers should reflect the quarterback’s dependence on his No. 1 target as the season progresses.
Holmes was coming off a Lisfranc injury to start the year and looks to be rounding into form physically. If he is available in any of your fantasy leagues, make the move right away and watch as it pays dividends throughout the rest of the year.
Holmes' history as a fantasy stud early in his career proves he is not a one-week wonder if he can stay healthy.
Johnathan Franklin, RB, Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers took Johnathan Franklin in the fourth round of the draft in 2013, but instead of having time to learn the game as a backup, the rookie has been forced into at least a share of the starting job.
Injuries to fellow rookie Eddie Lacy (concussion), James Starks (knee) and fullback John Kuhn (hamstring) have opened the door for Franklin to shine as the premier back.
With only 13 carries in the team’s Week 3 loss against Cincinnati for an impressive 103 yards and a touchdown, Franklin proved the hype surrounding his speed and elusiveness at UCLA was warranted.
Green Bay has a bye week in Week 4, and the rush to pickup Franklin isn’t as fast-paced as it should be. While Lacy will be back eventually, Franklin proved he is too good to not get a healthy share of the touches moving forward.
At worst, expect a late-season timeshare between Lacy and Franklin.
Ryan Broyles, WR, Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions will lean heavily on wide receiver Ryan Broyles moving forward as veteran Nate Burleson recovers from a broken arm he suffered in a car accident, per CBS Detroit.
Broyles returned to the lineup for the first time in Week 3 since undergoing ACL surgery last year, and he will be thrown right back into the mix as the team’s No. 2 receiver behind star Calvin Johnson.
Broyles caught all three passes thrown his way last Sunday and amassed 34 yards total. While his numbers weren’t impressive, his elite route running and speed looked to be making big strides toward returning after the surgery.
There has been a rush to pick up Broyles in fantasy leagues as a short-term fix for Burleson owners or those desperate for wide receiver help, but this is a long-term plan as well.
With Megatron getting double coverage on almost every play and Burleson coming back eventually to get coverage from the No. 2 cornerback, Broyles will be a serious mismatch for almost every team in the league.