Fantasy Football Week 4 Cheat Sheet: Deep Sleepers to Grab on Waiver Wire
In need of waiver-wire relief for your fantasy football roster?
Who are we kidding? Three weeks into the 2021 NFL season, there have been more than enough injuries and statistical duds to make that answer a resounding "Yes!" for most fantasy managers.
Where can you possibly turn for reinforcements? The following three deep sleepers—each available in 70-plus percent of Yahoo leagues, per FantasyPros—are a great place to start ahead of Week 4.
QB: Taylor Heinicke, Washington Football Team (6 Percent Rostered)
If you're looking to the waiver wire for quarterback help, there's a decent chance you're desperate. That might be the mindset needed to stomach this recommendation.
Taylor Heinicke was nowhere near the fantasy radar when the campaign opened, but that changed the instant Ryan Fitzpatrick left his Washington debut early with a hip injury. That gave Heinicke a starting gig—which more or less made him relevant enough for consideration in a deep two-quarterback league—and he has mostly impressed with it.
Expectations should typically be tempered, as there is nothing in his track record suggesting major numbers are likely. Having said that, he can take advantage of a favorable matchup—see: 336 passing yards and two touchdowns against the New York Giants in Week 2—and he draws exactly that in Week 4.
That's when Heinicke and the Football Team head south to face the Atlanta Falcons, who have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks so far, per NFL.com. He'll have his chances to post a streamer-caliber line.
RB: Chuba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers (26 Percent Rostered)
Welcome to the priority club, Chuba Hubbard.
With Christian McCaffrey eyeing a multi-week absence with a strained hamstring, Carolina's rookie rusher is suddenly the focus for all waiver-wire shoppers.
Featured backs are almost impossible to find off waivers, but Hubbard could be the exception. He certainly looked the part in relief of McCaffrey on Thursday with 11 carries to Royce Freeman's five and five targets to Freeman's one. Hubbard did more with his opportunities, too, tallying 79 scrimmage yards to Freeman's 25.
Hubbard could have a decent shelf life in fantasy in other words—it's not like McCaffrey is a stranger to the injury report—so feel free to make a healthy investment regardless of league size.
WR: Emmanuel Sanders, Buffalo Bills (26 Percent Rostered)
The waiver wire can pull fantasy managers a number of different directions at wide receiver, and most of them shouldn't be trusted.
Chasing a big week in yardage or touchdowns can do more harm than good if there's no guarantee of that production carrying over. When there are reasons to buy a breakout, though, then by all means pounce.
Emmanuel Sanders needed a few weeks to find his footing in Buffalo, but the Bills critically kept entrusting him with opportunities. While he only had six catches in the first two games combined, he was targeted a total of 14 times.
He finally rewarded Buffalo's belief in Week 3, when he hauled in five of his six targets for 94 yards and two scores. It's the kind of performance that should keep passes coming his direction, and if he maintains a prominent role in this offense, he'll be someone worth rostering in nearly every league.