Waiver Wire Week 4: Chuba Hubbard, Tim Patrick Highlight Pickups to Know
Football is a game of attrition, and this will be especially true under the NFL's new 17-game format. The same holds true in fantasy football, where healthy rosters frequently outlast the top teams drafted on paper.
We've already seen some fantasy-relevant injuries in 2021—Raheem Mostert, Josh Jacobs, Dalvin Cook and Jarvis Landry are just a few players worth mentioning. Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey joined the ranks of injured fantasy stars when he exited Thursday's game with a hamstring injury. He is expected to miss at least a week or two.
For managers dealing with key injuries, the waiver wire should be a priority. With bye weeks on the not-too-distant horizon (Week 6), it should really be a priority for all managers.
Here, we'll examine some of the top potential pickups to target on the waiver wire in Week 4. All picks are based on points-per-reception scoring.
Chuba Hubbard, RB, Carolina Panthers
With McCaffrey out for the time being, Panthers rookie Chuba Hubbard becomes a viable RB2 or flex option. There's no guarantee that he'll become a fantasy standout a la Mike Davis in 2020, but Hubbard appears poised for a significant workload during McCaffrey's absence.
The fourth-round pick took over as Carolina's lead back on Thursday night. He carried 11 times for 52 yards and caught three passes for 27 more yards. Fellow Panthers back Royce Freeman logged just five carries and one reception.
"I think we saw signs of Chuba in the second half," Rhule said, per Darin Gantt of the team's official website.
Hubbard doesn't have the best matchup as a runner in Week 4. The Dallas Cowboys have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs through two full weeks. However, he offers a lot of PPR upside in Joe Brady's offense. That makes him worth a long look, especially for McCaffrey managers.
Hubbard is rostered in only 25 percent of Yahoo leagues and 11 percent of ESPN leagues.
Tim Patrick, WR, Denver Broncos
All managers with a questionable roster spot should be interested in Denver Broncos wideout Tim Patrick. Unless your bench is completely loaded with starting-caliber talent, Patrick should be on your radar.
The fourth-year wideout was a strong flex option in 2020, finishing with 742 receiving yards and six touchdowns in 15 games. He's off to a tremendous start in 2021 and has developed obvious chemistry with new quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
Patrick also has a high floor, having caught touchdown passes in two of his three games. While he didn't find the end zone in Week 3, he hauled in five passes for 98 yards. According to Pro Football Reference, Patrick has been targeted at least four times in every game this season.
This week, Patrick also has a juicy matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. Baltimore has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.
Patrick is rostered in 22 percent of Yahoo leagues and 14 percent of ESPN leagues.
Sam Darnold, QB, Carolina Panthers
Managers looking to stream quarterbacks or simply not happy with their early signal-caller returns should consider Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold. The former New York Jets franchise quarterback has reinvented himself in Carolina and is emerging as a starting-caliber fantasy option.
Against the Texans on Sunday, Darnold threw for 304 yards and rushed for a pair of touchdowns. That marked his second consecutive game with at least 300 passing yards and his third game of the season with multiple touchdowns.
Darnold should also be a strong option this week against the Cowboys. Dallas has allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
While the absence of McCaffrey takes away one of Darnold's best weapons, it also makes him the unquestioned centerpiece of Carolina's offense. Expect another strong week from Darnold, who is rostered in only 21 percent of Yahoo leagues and 9 percent of ESPN leagues.
Other Targets to Consider
Player, Position, Team (percent rostered in Yahoo, ESPN)
- A.J. Green, WR, Arizona Cardinals (15%, 25%)
- Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Buffalo Bills (26%, 23%)
- Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants (40%, 33%)
- Bryan Edwards, WR, Las Vegas Raiders (17%, 14%)
- Peyton Barber, RB, Las Vegas Raiders (7%, 7%)
- Austin Hooper, TE, Cleveland Browns (49%, 48%)
- Zach Pascal, WR, Indianapolis Colts (26%, 22%)
Fantasy roster information, points allowed via FantasyPros.