When it comes to fantasy football, injuries can be detrimental to the season-long success of your fantasy squad and can leave you scrambling for plug-in starters, especially after another action-packed, injury-riddled week of football. This is why you will need to work the fantasy football waiver wire to grab high-upside players to help fill these empty spots and reduce that Sunday morning pre-kickoff panic.
If you’re looking to do just that, here are the best fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 4 that could help push your fantasy team in the right direction.
All players must be owned in less than 50 percent of ESPN leagues to be included in the best fantasy football waiver wire pickups weekly column. All ownerships for waiver wire players will be provided and will reflect that of Tuesday morning.
QB Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups
Kenny Pickett (26.2%)
I don’t necessarily love Kenny Pickett in fantasy football just yet, but he’s gotten better and better as the weeks go by. He faced two tough defenses to start the season (49ers and Browns) and totaled less than 20 FPTS combined in those two starts — but improved in Week 3 against the Raiders, finishing with 235 passing yards and two touchdowns. I would understand fantasy managers hesitating to include Pickett in Week 4 fantasy football waiver wire pickups, but his fantasy total has increased each week and he faces some banged-up and less-talented defenses in his upcoming games.
His next two matchups feature the Texans and Ravens — two defenses that have allowed 52.2 and 40.1 FPTS, respectively, to opposing quarterbacks thus far. Pickett should be able to move the ball down the field against a Texans defense that ranked 25th in defensive DVOA (18.8%) entering Week 3. Plus, Houston’s offense has been exciting lately and could possibly keep the game script even, too. Just stash him if you’re in need of a backup in the near future.
CJ Stroud (11.2%)
Much like Pickett, CJ Stroud just keeps looking better as the weeks go by and is producing viable fantasy numbers as a result. The Texans’ passing attack is surprisingly good so far, with Stroud throwing for at least 242 yards and completing at least 63% of his passes in all three games. Believe it or not, he currently ranks as the QB12 on ESPN, and if he can keep the momentum flowing into the next few weeks before their Week 7 bye, he’ll likely be able to exploit the opposing defenses.
Stroud has had the luxury of facing both the Colts and Jaguars’ defenses over the past two weeks, so his numbers may look a bit fluctuated at the moment. He and his offensive line (that’s playing with just one of five projected starting offensive linemen) will have a true test in containing the Steelers’ dominant pass rush. I highly recommend avoiding Stroud as your starter this week, but his 17.6 fantasy points per game (FPPG) shouldn’t go unnoticed and he should be rostered in deep formats.
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RB Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups
Roschon Johnson (33.4%)
The Bears are a big “stay-away” team for me simply because of how bad Justin Fields is and how they’ll likely play from behind all season long. However, it’s hard not to notice Roschon Johnson’s usage in Week 3 after beating D’Onta Foreman for the RB2 spot behind Khalil Herbert. Foreman was a healthy scratch, but how many fantasy managers were expecting Johnson to log just five fewer snaps (23) than Herbert? As a result of the uptick in usage, Johnson averaged 4.8 yards on eight carries and even appeared in the passing game with two receptions.
It’s hard to trust the Bears, I get it. They ranked in the bottom six in both offensive and defensive DVOA entering Week 3 and just let up 41 points to the Chiefs. Now, they get to face the Broncos and Commanders in the next two weeks, two games Johnson could really find his groove and possibly post consistent double-digit performances even while splitting with Herbert. This, of course, all depends on how well Fields can even move the ball to give the offense a chance to score points.
De’Von Achane (16.1%)
I don’t think I need to say too much here. De’Von Achane went OFF in Week 3 — scoring 51.3 fantasy points and four total touchdowns as the Dolphins put up a 70-burger on the Broncos. His ownership is going to skyrocket once the Week 4 fantasy football waiver wire pickups process on Wednesday morning, and rightfully so, but there are some things to note. Jeff Wilson Jr. is returning to the team this week after a short stint on injured reserve and Raheem Mostert still exists. Achane may become a regular part of the rotation simply because of his historic performance, but how many mouths are there to feed in this Dolphins offense at this point?
You cannot discredit a 70-burger, but the Broncos are god-awful on defense this year and the chances of Achane ever doing anything similar are very low. Nonetheless, he fits right in with their speedy offensive scheme and is going to make a ton of plays as the season goes by. I’d talk about his next few matchups but not many defenses are going to be able to slow their game plan down consistently, and points will be scored.
WR Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups
Quentin Johnston (46.2%)
With Mike “Glass” Williams out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL, the rookie Quentin Johnston finds himself now in quite a prominent role in a Chargers offense led by Justin Herbert. Johnston fits the receiver archetype that meshes well with Herbert’s rocket arm, but he has yet to really flash or show signs of improvement at the NFL level. Los Angeles has taken it slowly with Johnston thus far. He logged less than 25% of snaps and only five receptions for 26 yards through three games and only logged 16 in Week 3.
He’s in a great spot to showcase his talent in Week 4 against a struggling Raiders squad that has allowed over 108 total FPTS to opposing wide receivers thus far. Joshua Palmer could very well slide right into WR2 considering he logs at least 40 snaps a game (third-most behind Keenan Allen and Williams), but I’d like to think Johnston just completely enters the deep vertical threat role that Williams operated in while Palmer does his usual thing.
Tank Dell (23.3%)
The rookie receivers are making some noise in the league thus far and Tank Dell is near the front of that group. Dell currently sits at the WR13 position after back-to-back 20-point fantasy weeks. Since Stroud has looked good moving the ball around, Dell has benefitted immensely and is slowly becoming startable on a regular basis.
His big-play ability is there as he’s averaged a whopping 16.7 yards per catch and found the endzone twice already. Both Dell and Nico Collins have emerged as solid pass-catchers in this young Texans’ offense but Robert Woods still leads the way in terms of snaps each week. Dell did log three fewer snaps than Collins, though, and has slowly been stealing his targets as the season progresses.
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TE Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups
Jake Ferguson (19.8%)
When it comes to tight ends, most fantasy managers are streaming the position because it’s normally a wasteland. I tend to look for target share when looking for potential tight end waiver wire additions, and I’m starting with Jake Ferguson. Ferguson’s been targeted 18 times so far through three games and is proving to be a solid security blanket for Dak Prescott.
It’s worth noting that the Cowboys use a tight end-by-committee approach (for some reason). They regularly use all three tight ends for different situations but Ferguson seems to be the most preferred all-down option while Luke Schoonmaker and Peyton Hendershot get their reps in the red zone. Tight ends always eat in Dallas and as long as Prescott continues to trust Ferguson and form more chemistry, his role and production will only increase.
Luke Musgrave (13.3%)
I was a big Luke Musgrave truther to start the season. I thought he’d have an immediate impact and prove to be Jordan Love’s security blanket, but he hasn’t seen a ton of production yet. The thing about Musgrave, though, is he has zero competition for the TE1 spot and logged 68 snaps in Week 3 — tied with Romeo Doubs for most by a pass-catcher. Plus, Love finally looked his way more than five times, resulting in a solid six-reception, 49-yard stat line.
Building off eight targets in Week 3, Musgrave should continue to produce over the next two weeks against the Lions and Raiders. More good news! Both of those teams rank bottom five in total points allowed to tight ends thus far. Include Luke Musgrave in your fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 4 and take advantage of his matchups before the Packers’ Week 6 bye.