So week three of the NFL regular season is in the books. If you’re not quite happy with the way your roster is shaking out, we have the top 5 players for you to target on your league’s waiver wire for week four.
Charles Clay, TE, Buffalo Bills (owned in 22% of Yahoo and 9.5% of ESPN leagues):
Sure, Clay has been a frustratingly inconsistent play in fantasy leagues in the past, but if you are one of many who lost their tight ends to injury, he may be your best option. Charles hit pay dirt in week three with six grabs and a touchdown, and will be Tyrod Taylor’s top option in what should be an (attempted) shootout in Atlanta vs. the Falcons.
Jacksonville Defense / Special Teams (owned in 45% of Yahoo and 89.4% of ESPN leagues):
After holding the Baltimore Ravens to seven points in London last week, the vastly improved Jaguars’ defense will get to feast on the New York Jets. While New York did beat the Miami Dolphins in week three, they did it while scoring just 20 points on offense and still gave up two sacks and a lost fumble. With Calais Campbell and Co. visiting the Big Apple, expect two turnovers and at least three sacks for Jacksonville in week four.
Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts (owned in 83% of ESPN and 75% of Yahoo Leagues):
Ian Rapoport with the NFL Network is reporting that Andrew Luck and the Colts are targeting week 6 for his return to play. Coach Chuck Pagano states he likely will begin practice this week. If practice goes well we suspect Luck could be back as soon as week 5, however, if there is any delay than week 6 is more probable. If you are needing a QB, now is the time to pick him up and stash him on your bench for a few weeks before he heats up on the waiver wire.
Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina Panthers (owned in 20% of Yahoo and 11.2 % of ESPN leagues):
With fellow receiver Kelvin Benjamin exiting the week 3 matchup vs. the New Orleans Saints early with a knee injury, Funchess found himself the number one target for QB Cam Newton. While somewhat inefficient, Funchess was targeted 10 times, finishing with four receptions for 58 yards. Even if Benjamin returns in week 4, Funchess should be in line for plenty of targets as the Panthers will look to maintain pace with their opponents, the New England Patriots and Tom Brady. So far this season, the Patriots’ defense has allowed over 330 passing yards per game. It would not be a surprise to see double-digit targets for Devin again in week four.
Wendell Smallwood (owned in 6% of Yahoo and 2.9% of ESPN leagues):
Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Philadelphia Eagles’ Offensive Coordinator Frank Reich said there was “no doubt” that Wendell Smallwood would see an increase in snaps following the season-ending injury to Darren Sproles. This past Sunday against the New York Giants, Smallwood out-snapped LeGarrette Blount and carried 12 times for 71 yards while adding one reception for nine yards. While Blount should continue to see the majority of short-yardage carries, Smallwood is the best bet to fill the spot vacated by Sproles in the passing game. Smallwood is a must-add in PPR formats, but will be iffy in standard leagues, especially as the Eagles are likely to give rookie Corey Clement an increase in snaps as well.
Here’s how our waiver-wire advice for week 3 turned out:
Samaje Perine: 19 carries for 49 yards, 1 reception for 6 yards, 1 fumble lost.
Chris Carson: 11 carries for 34 yards, 2 receptions for 18 yards and one touchdown.
J.J. Nelson: 3 targets, no receptions.
Rashard Higgins: 6 targets, 2 receptions for 10 yards.
Derrick Henry: 13 carries for 54 yards, 1 reception for 10 yards.