Fantasy football's Week 4 waiver wire might be the best iteration yet at just the right time.
For owners, not all draft plans have panned out. Andrew Luck's face sits on the side of a milk carton, LeSean McCoy's missing in action and Calvin Johnson seems to have lost the "mega" from Megatron.
It's early in the season, of course. But when each contest means so much for owners, there's no excuse to wait around on getting some of the top waiver-wire pickups for usage now or later down the line.
Here's a look at the top players to add this week.
Week 4 Waiver-Wire Pickup Targets
Derek Carr, QB Oakland Raiders (19.8 ownership percentage)
Broken record time—owners need to have Derek Carr on rosters.
It seems owners shied away from the sophomore despite an encouraging rookie debut. A two-point outing against the Cincinnati Bengals in which he left the game with an injury didn't help things.
Carr doesn't look any worse for wear, though, stringing together two games with a minimum of two touchdowns, 300 yards and 20 fantasy points. He did his damage first against the Baltimore Ravens, then a stingy Cleveland Browns defense on the road.
The thing about Carr is the weapons around him, which obviously sounds strange when the topic is the Oakland Raiders. But rookie Amari Cooper is one of the best young players in the game and a yards-after-catch machine, and veteran Michael Crabtree continues to have a career renaissance of sorts as a No. 2 option.
At the least, owners need to have Carr as a backup.
Karlos Williams, RB, Buffalo Bills (23.6 ownership percentage)
Insurance policy or not when McCoy has an injury, Karlos Williams has proven to be a producer.
It was easy to write off Williams' 11 points in Week 1, but he followed with nine and then 17 while scoring in all three contests. Regardless of whether McCoy is in the lineup, it seems Williams has a spot as a short-yardage back near paydirt.
As Draft Breakdown's Joe Marino points out, Williams gains much of his production the hard way:
It sounds like McCoy continues to play through a lot of pain, per Tyler Dunne of the Buffalo News, so don't expect Williams' production to go anywhere. Even better, two of his next three opponents rank among the 10 worst teams against backs so far this season.
Every year, a rookie running back comes out of nowhere for a big fantasy season. Williams looks like one of the top candidates this year through three games.
Rishard Matthews, WR, Miami Dolphins (16.1 ownership percentage)
So much for the Kenny Stills hype in Miami.
Really, so much for most of the hype. Behind No. 1 wideout Jarvis Landry's 35 targets, it isn't Stills (eight targets), Jordan Cameron (19), Greg Jennings (11) or rookie DeVante Parker (eight) leading the way.
It's four-year pro Rishard Matthews with 23, a number that already bests his 21 targets from 14 games last season.
Matthews has emerged as one of quarterback Ryan Tannehill's favorite weapons and in the process morphed into quite the fantasy producer regardless of matchup. He's scored a minimum of nine points in each contest so far, with a high of 23 this past weekend.
This past Sunday's game against an elite Buffalo Bills defense says much about the future. Matthews produced despite the matchup, which is what owners should continue to expect given Miami's scheme and the fact Matthews has managed to emerge ahead of big-name acquisitions to make an impact.
Gary Barnidge, TE, Cleveland Browns (0.2 ownership percentage)
Now, it's important to note that the opponent was Oakland. Most days, Barnidge collects his paycheck by acting as a blocker. But this outburst both affirms the strategy of playing whoever lines up against Oakland (buckle up next week, Martellus Bennett owners) and the fact Cleveland might work to get tight ends more involved in the offense.
Barnidge received four targets in Week 1 before this past Sunday's 10. He won't see 10 each week, but he's the top tight end on the roster, and owners dry at the position might want to add him based on the idea the outburst will earn him more looks from quarterbacks in serious need of a reliable option.
It's not the surest thing in the world, but this is tight end—nothing outside of Gronk ever really is.