Waiver Wire Week 4: Justin Jefferson, Tee Higgins Highlight Pickups to Know

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistSeptember 28, 2020

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) celebrates after catching a touchdown pass in the third quarter during an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Minneapolis. The Titans defeated the Vikings 31-20. (AP Photo/David Berding)
David Berding/Associated Press

The third week of the NFL season served as a breakout stage for rookie wide receivers.

The Minnesota Vikings' Justin Jefferson and Cincinnati Bengals' Tee Higgins were two of the top performers in Week 3, which should lead to a wave of fantasy football adds for Week 4.

Jefferson and Higgins found success in different types of roles in their respective offenses. Jefferson is the No. 2 wideout behind Adam Thielen, and he has been a welcome replacement for Stefon Diggs, while Higgins is battling through a crowded depth chart in Cincinnati.

Wide receivers took up a bulk of the early waiver-wire attention because of the performances of Jefferson, Higgins, Brandon Aiyuk and others, but there is one running back to have your eyes on if you still need to fill the spots vacated by the injuries to Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley.


Week 4 Waiver-Wire Pickups to Know

Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota

Jefferson experienced an uptick in targets, catches and receiving yards Sunday compared to his first two weeks in a Minnesota uniform.

The first-round pick out of LSU snagged seven of the nine balls sent in his direction by Kirk Cousins and totaled 175 receiving yards. Jefferson struggled to make an impact in the first two weeks because of his quarterback's inefficiency against the Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts.

Cousins' inconsistent play is one of the drawbacks to targeting Jefferson on the waiver wire. The Vikings signal-caller owns a completion percentage of 59 and has one more interception than touchdown.

The good news for the entire Minnesota offense is that more favorable matchups are on the way before the team's Week 7 bye.

Week 4 opponents the Houston Texans allowed more than 350 total yards in each of their three losses, while Week 5 foes the Seattle Seahawks and Week 6 opponents the Atlanta Falcons have conceded at high rates in 2020.

If Jefferson takes advantage of those matchups, he could repeat his Week 3 production in catches and targets and find the end zone on a few more occasions.


Tee Higgins, WR, Cincinnati

The primary benefit of rostering a Cincinnati wide receiver is the team throws at an incredibly high rate.

No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow attempted 141 passes in his first three NFL starts, and 15 of those attempts have gone in the direction of fellow rookie  Higgins.

The wide receiver out of Clemson did not come close to matching Jefferson's yardage output in Week 3, but he found the end zone on a pair of occasions. In the past two weeks, Higgins has eight receptions on 15 targets for 75 yards. If Burrow continues to target him at a decent rate, the yardage numbers should go up.

Higgins appears to have the depth chart advantage over John Ross, who was inactive for Sunday's trip to face the Philadelphia Eagles, so he, A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd could develop into Burrow's top targets.

The Clemson product is a better addition than Jefferson when it comes to Week 4 matchups since the Bengals play host to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jacksonville conceded 1,093 total yards in its 1-2 start and has allowed 64 points in back-to-back defeats.


Jeff Wilson Jr., RB, San Francisco

Jeff Wilson Jr.'s fantasy intrigue comes in a similar vein as Higgins' with regard to the system he is in.

The San Francisco 49ers running back scored once on the ground and one time through the air in San Francisco's blowout win over the New York Giants in Week 3. Although he only had 15 rushing yards, Wilson was handed the ball on 12 occasions, which is a positive sign for his split with Jerick McKinnon while Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert are out injured.

Wilson may be a better waiver-wire option in points-per-reception leagues since he brought in three catches for 54 yards.

If the 49ers continue to utilize him in both aspects of the offense, he should find a way to put up decent totals with how often running backs get the ball in that system.

Wilson could be a good fantasy option for players who missed out on the wave of additions following Week 3 in response to the McCaffrey and Barkley injury news.

The list of available running backs is not great entering Week 4. Wilson appears to be one of the better options given his usage rate.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90Statistics obtained from Pro Football Reference.


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