Fantasy Football Week 4: Waiver-Wire Pickups, Rankings and Stat Projections

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IISeptember 27, 2021

Fantasy Football Week 4: Waiver-Wire Pickups, Rankings and Stat Projections

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    Matt Patterson/Associated Press

    When one player gets injured, it provides an opportunity for another to step up. And in terms of fantasy football, it means the player getting that opportunity is going to be a top target on the waiver wire at the start of the following week.

    Now that we're three weeks into the 2021 NFL season, there are quite a few players dealing with injuries. For example, Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook didn't play Sunday due to an ankle injury. But Alexander Mattison was a great fill-in option, as he amassed 171 total yards in his place.

    As injuries continue to occur, there will be new players emerging as potential fantasy contributors, so it's always important to be looking ahead and paying attention to the latest news.

    Heading into Week 4, here are some early rankings and top waiver-wire targets to consider.

Quarterbacks

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    1. Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes at PHI

    2. Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen vs. HOU

    3. Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray at LAR

    4. Los Angeles Rams QB Matthew Stafford vs. ARI

    5. Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson at DEN

    6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady at NE

    7. Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts vs. KC

    8. Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson at SF

    9. Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers vs. PIT

    10. Los Angeles Chargers QB Justin Herbert vs. LV

         

    Waiver-Wire Target: Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr at LAC

    Carr is emerging as a solid fantasy option who can be streamed if your primary quarterback is injured, on a bye week or has a tough matchup. Through three weeks, Carr has been consistent, and that's unlikely to change moving forward.

    So far, Carr has passed for at least 382 yards in each of the Raiders' first three games, while throwing two touchdown passes in each of those contests. While those may not be the flashiest numbers, and although Carr may not have a ton of huge performances, he has a high floor each week.

    In Week 4, the Raiders and Chargers could each put up plenty of yards and points in a game that could possibly turn into an offensive shootout. So if you need a QB, consider Carr, as it's likely you're going to know what you'll get from him.

    Projection: 364 yards and three touchdowns

Running Backs

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    Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

    1. Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry at NYJ

    2. New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara vs. NYG

    3. Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook vs. CLE

    4. Green Bay Packers RB Aaron Jones vs. PIT

    5. Cleveland Browns RB Nick Chubb at MIN

    6. Cincinnati Bengals RB Joe Mixon vs. JAX

    7. Washington Football Team RB Antonio Gibson at ATL

    8. Philadelphia Eagles RB Miles Sanders vs. KC

    9. Chicago Bears RB David Montgomery vs. DET

    10. Pittsburgh Steelers RB Najee Harris at GB

            

    Waiver-Wire Target: Carolina Panthers RB Chuba Hubbard at DAL

    As soon as Christian McCaffrey went down with a hamstring injury in the Panthers' Week 3 win over the Texans, Hubbard became the No. 1 waiver-wire target for this week. It isn't yet clear how much time McCaffrey may miss, but Hubbard will be Carolina's top running back in the interim.

    Hubbard had 11 carries for 52 yards and three receptions for 27 yards against Houston. However, that was only his third NFL game, so the rookie should continue to get better as he gains experience.

    The Panthers are likely going to put up some big offensive numbers against the Cowboys, who are allowing 419.5 total yards per game. So if McCaffrey is out, Hubbard immediately becomes a must-start running back for Week 4.

    Projection: 77 yards and a touchdown

Wide Receivers

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    Brett Carlsen/Associated Press

    1. Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp vs. ARI

    2. Kansas City Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill at PHI

    3. Buffalo Bills WR Stefon Diggs vs. HOU

    4. Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams vs. PIT

    5. Washington Football Team WR Terry McLaurin at ATL

    6. Seattle Seahawks WR DK Metcalf at SF

    7. Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley vs. WAS

    8. Los Angeles Chargers WR Keenan Allen vs. LV

    9. Carolina Panthers WR DJ Moore at DAL

    10. Cincinnati Bengals WR Ja'Marr Chase vs. JAX

          

    Waiver-Wire Option: Buffalo Bills WR Emmanuel Sanders vs. HOU

    Sanders got off to a slow start this season, notching six receptions for 100 yards over the Bills' first two games. However, he had been targeted 14 total times during that span, so it was clear that Buffalo was trying to get him involved in its offense.

    That led to Sanders putting up huge numbers in Week 3, as he had five catches for 94 yards and two touchdowns in the Bills' victory over Washington. And while he may not be the No. 2 receiver behind Diggs every week, there's a good chance he'll at least be a solid fantasy option moving forward.

    Buffalo should have no trouble airing it out against Houston, and it will likely spread the ball around to various playmakers in the process. Don't be surprised if Sanders has solid production that will make him worthy of a flex start.

    Projection: 72 yards and a touchdown

Tight Ends

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    Bruce Kluckhohn/Associated Press

    1. Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce at PHI

    2. Detroit Lions TE T.J. Hockenson at CHI

    3. San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle vs. SEA

    4. Las Vegas Raiders TE Darren Waller at LAC

    5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE Rob Gronkowski at NE

    6. Washington Football Team TE Logan Thomas at ATL

    7. Los Angeles Rams TE Tyler Higbee vs. ARI

    8. Denver Broncos TE Noah Fant vs. BAL

    9. Atlanta Falcons TE Kyle Pitts vs. WAS

    10. Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert vs. KC

          

    Waiver-Wire Option: Minnesota Vikings TE Tyler Conklin vs. CLE

    After the Vikings lost Irv Smith Jr. to a meniscus injury before the season even began, it wasn't clear who would emerge as their top tight end. But it seems that Conklin may have seized that role with his performance during Minnesota's Week 3 win over Seattle.

    Conklin had seven catches for 70 yards and a touchdown in his best showing of the season thus far. He's likely to be inconsistent, especially with so many playmakers on the Vikings' offense, but he could be worthy of streaming consideration moving forward, especially if he starts to prove to be reliable.

    Minnesota's offense is faring so well that its players can put up big numbers even in challenging matchups. It could be set for a high-scoring game against Cleveland, and Conklin has a chance to get into the mix again this week.

    Projection: 42 yards and a touchdown

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