|Fantasy Football: Players you should be targeting on Week 4 waiver wire||09.25.12 at 10:42 am ET|
Welcome back to the waiver wire. After a long ugly weekend of watching replacement refs and the problems they create, we have some new names for you to target this week. We also have some old faces reappearing. As always, we strive to provide you options that are available in a reasonable amount of leagues. For even deeper, more comprehensive analysis, we invite you to join us at Rotobahn.com.
Christian Ponder, Vikings
If you’ve been a Rotobahn reader, then you know we like him. After Ponder got it done against a defense like San Francisco’s, it’s time more people jump on board. Ponder is a guy who should be rostered in all medium to large leagues, and some 10-team leagues too. He’s a nice, solid commodity.
Andy Dalton, Bengals
He has made some bad throws, but he’s played well overall. The keys to Dalton’s fantasy appeal are his weapons, led by A.J. Green, who is quickly becoming the scariest receiving threat this side of Calvin Johnson. Dalton can start for you when you need him to and he is a high-quality QB2. He should be owned in all formats.
Jake Locker, Titans
I was hard on Locker last week, and he’s still got a scattershot arm, but we got a look at what he can do for fantasy owners in Week 3. He’s a guy you can use to play matchups, and getting Kenny Britt’s massive catch radius back certainly is a good thing for him. He should be rostered in all 12-team leagues as a QB2, and if he finds some consistency, he could move up into the top 12.
Shaun Hill, Lions
If you are a Stafford owner and if Stafford does indeed miss a game leading into his bye week, then Hill is a good way to deal with Week 4. Hill also can be your backup for Stafford once Detroit gets past its bye week. Hill proved once again that he is a dependable fantasy asset when receives playing time. He’s well versed and comfortable in Detroit’s system. He can start for you in any format as long as he is starting for Detroit. Stafford’s injury looks less serious than originally thought, but Hill still is a good way to protect yourself. The Lions kick off at 1 p.m. You can also use your normal backup if you are comfortable with that option.
Mikel Leshoure, Lions
I hope you nabbed him last week if you had the chance. This is a big back with good feet and pretty solid all-around skills. His potential in Detroit’s offense is sky high. If Leshoure is available in your league, we suggest fighting to get this guy as the Lions clearly have him pegged as their primary back. He can start for you in any and all formats for as long as he stays healthy.
Jacquizz Rodgers, Falcons
The Falcons slowly are getting him into a co-lead role with Michael Turner, and he’s a very exciting player. He should be owned in almost all formats and could eventually have big value in PPR leagues.
Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers
All of their other backs have failed to claim any right to his job. He may be the lead back when the Steelers emerge from their Week 4 bye. If you need help at RB or have some roster space, we recommend rostering Mendy for his upside potential. He’s a viable stash in all formats.
Pierre Thomas, Saints
Unless the Saints start playing with leads, we see Thomas being more valuable than Mark Ingram, who is the early down runner when they want to run. Thomas is in top form, so ride him while he is hot in medium to large leagues in all scoring formats.
Ryan Williams, Cardinals
He says he was running without confidence in his knee up until last week. If that’s true, it explains the lack of explosion we saw in preseason. In Week 3, he looked a lot better and the results were there to prove it. With Beanie Wells banged up, this is the time to roster Williams wherever he is available. He’s a nice flex option in 12-team leagues.
Daryl Richardson, Rams
Steven Jackson remains risky, and now we know who his backup really is. Richardson has some nice upside as we told you back in August. You need to have him rostered if you are relying on Jackson, and we recommend rostering him in large leagues just for his upside in the event of another injury to Jackson.
Bilal Powell, Jets
Shonn Greene finally might be forcing the coaching staff’s hands. He’s just not getting enough yards after contact. Powell has been the better back if you go by what we’ve seen through three weeks. The Jets are looking for answers and we suspect that they may look to Powell as the main back soon. As we have said before, you should have him rostered if you own Greene, but we’d pick him up for upside in large leagues even if you do not own Greene.
Vick Ballard, Colts
We’d have him rostered in medium to large leagues. He’s the choice of the new regime. And with Donald Brown failing to impress in any meaningful way, we expect Ballard to get a chance at the starter’s gig at some point. Brown owners would be wise to get Ballard rostered via waiver wire or trade. Ballard’s price could go up at any time.
Tashard Choice, Bills
He got all the action after C.J. Spiller left and he may be the lead back in Week 4 depending on the availability of both Spiller and Fred Jackson. Choice is fluent in Chan Gailey’s offense, so he’s a good bet to have value if he starts. He’s a good option in large formats if you own Jackson or Spiller.
Lamar Miller, Dolphins
Miller has a ton of upside if he gets a chance at a big role. Though Reggie Bush’s injury seems minor, he remains an injury-prone back likely to miss time sooner rather than later. Miller has outplayed second-string RB Daniel Thomas and we suspect that he will continue to do so. In large leagues and in long-term formats, we are rostering Miller if we can. Further, we prefer Miller to Thomas as a handcuff for Bush.
Ronnie Hillman, Broncos
Hillman’s time is coming, and we already have a ding on Willis McGahee. Hillman seems to have passed Knowshon Moreno on the depth chart. With Peyton Manning at the helm and looking for more options, Hillman could have significant value. He looked very good with the ball in his hands. Make sure he is rostered in all large leagues and some medium-sized leagues as well. His upside is very significant.
Chris Ogbonnaya, Browns
He’s going to have value if Trent Richardson gets injured, and we’d use Ogbonnaya as a handcuff if we owned the talented rookie. He tends to produce when given the chance.
Lance Ball, Broncos
Like Hillman, Ball has passed Moreno on the depth chart. In deep leagues, he is a guy to own, especially if you own McGahee. Ball has looked very good so far this year in limited touches.
Brandon Bolden, Patriots
He saw the ball in the red zone and converted a score. If you own Stevan Ridley in a deep format, then you might consider rostering Bolden, who has looked pretty good every time we’ve gotten a look at him. For deep leagues and dynasty only.
Denarius Moore, Raiders
He’s a Rotobahn favorite for sure, and he looks to be back at full health now, so we strongly recommend picking him up in all leagues if he is available. Moore has WR2 upside to go with some risk for injury. Ride him while he’s hot.
Julian Edelman, Patriots
He was here last week, but he is still available in a lot of leagues. We think he has found a permanent role and was on his way to a very solid night had he not sat out the second half with a hand injury. We’d still be adding him in medium to large leagues. The guy plays incredibly hard and has seemingly won over the Patriots coaching staff.
Jerome Simpson, Vikings
Nobody stepped in and took his spot — quite the opposite, actually. We expect Simpson to take his job right away and we’d be rostering him in all medium to large leagues. The way Ponder is playing, this guy has a chance to be viable for fantasy.
Randall Cobb, Packers
If he was dropped off of his poor Week 2 showing, then pick him up. He has upside in all formats and there are already some health concerns with Greg Jennings. Cobb should be owned in all 12-team leagues and all PPR leagues.
Alshon Jefferey, Bears
This is an upside move. The Bears have issues right now, but once they clean up their pass protection, Jefferey is going to be a pretty solid flex option and maybe more. He’s really shown well on film so far. He should be a very high priority in long term formats. For now he is a guy who can help you during the bye weeks in deeper formats and is a nice upside stash in medium sized leagues.
Golden Tate, Seahawks
Sure he is worth more with the replacement referees in place, but half of his production was totally legit. The knee issue appears to be behind him and he has been a primary option in both Weeks 2 and 3 after sitting out Week 1. Seattle runs a somewhat conservative scheme, but Tate can still make a run at WR3 status. For now, he is certainly worth owning in medium to large formats and help you for sure during the bye weeks. If Seattle opens things up a bit, then his value could increase. He’s available in most leagues.
Ramses Barden, Giants
Barden is tricky. He looked very good in Week 3, and if you own Hakeem Nicks, this seems like a rare wide receiver handcuff opportunity. We don’t think Barden will have much fantasy value if he’s not starting, but we are adding him in leagues where we own Nicks.
T.Y. Hilton, Colts
If you read our preseason content at Rotobahn, then you know how much I like this kid, and now it appears that he is back to full health. Andrew Luck certainly seems to like him and he brings a big-play element that the Indy offense was lacking. There’s reason to wonder if he can hold up, but we’d roster him in medium to large formats just for his upside. He made the big play last week and he can do that again in Week 4, but what is more heartening for fantasy GMs is that he went on to post a 100-yard game, too. We have a feeling that he will come out of Indy’s Week 4 bye with a more established role.
Brian Hartline, Dolphins
He is going to be rosterable as long as he can stay healthy. They are going to throw the ball plenty and he is the best they have. He makes a solid flex in 12-team formats and a solid WR3 during the bye weeks. He’s not sexy, but he will produce on most weeks.
Leonard Hankerson, Redskins
Coach Mike Shanahan has named him as a starter once Pierre Garcon returns and that is a significant thing when you look at how well Robert Griffin III is playing. Hankerson is a guy we really liked coming out of Miami last year, but his rookie campaign ended with a hip injury just when he was starting to earn playing time. The hip is fine now and now that he is starting he should be owned in most formats. Hankerson has the speed to make the big play and the size to be a good red zone option.
Aldrick Robinson, Redskins
He could have big upside if both Hankerson and Garcon are out next week. Keep an eye on that situation and act accordingly. We’ll be updating this via Twitter on Sunday.
Donnie Avery, Colts
The season-ending injury to Austin Collie should give Avery a permanent gig of some sort, but we always worry about his health. Avery is worth rostering in large 12-team formats with Luck playing so well.
Josh Gordon, Browns
Gordon has looked pretty good, and with Greg Little dropping passes and Mohamed Massaquoi banged up, Gordon will get more opportunities. He has a lot of talent and should be owned in large formats. Keep an eye on him in all formats due to his upside.
Michael Floyd, Cardinals
He finally did something in Week 3 and it is probably time to roster him if he is available in large leagues. The kid has a lot of upside if they decide to start him, which they might at some point soon. He’s a stash.
Jacoby Jones, Ravens
He has looked very good in Baltimore’s offense and we expect that to continue. His role is limited, so he’s a reach as a weekly starter, even in deep leagues. But with the bye weeks now upon us, he has some flex appeal in medium to large leagues.
T.J. Graham, Bills
Graham has daylight in terms of having a path to playing time. Now he has to show some consistency. We like him as an add in deep leagues. He was already rosterable in dynasty and other long-term formats. Not a great fit for Ryan Fitzpatrick’s pop-gun arm, but we like him apart from that.
Armon Binns, Bengals
Binns is available in really deep formats and he can help you as a depth player with a little upside. They are getting it done in Cincy right now and Binns has been consistently involved.
Cecil Shorts, Jaguars
He scored again, and though his role has been inconsistent, we like his game a lot. With Laurent Robinson nursing a concussion, Shorts could be in line for a start in Week 4. He could be useful in deep leagues if you need some bye week help.
Jeremy Kerley, Jets
For big leagues only. Kerley is a factor, but he’s posting heavier numbers right now than he normally would due to Dustin Keller’s absence. Kerley can help you next week if you are in need in a deep format, but his long-term value is tied to Keller’s return.
Kyle Rudolph, Vikings
He’s going to be consistent from what we have seen on film, and his QB is playing very well. If Rudolph is available and you need some TE help, he is a viable start in any format or league size.
Heath Miller, Steelers
He’s always had the talent and now he seems to have a more prominent spot in the pecking order. He can be your starter right now and for as long as they continue to feature him in the red zone. Miller is yet another reason why you don’t overpay for a tight end on draft day. He’s viable in all formats.
Dustin Keller, Jets
Now is probably the time to pick him up if he’s been dropped. Keller should be a starting caliber option within the next few weeks, and the Jets may need to expand their offense as the loss of Darrelle Revis takes the teeth out of their shutdown defense.
Jordan Cameron, Browns
He’s been a trendy TE sleeper for a year or so, and he got plenty of looks last week. If you play in a really deep league, he might be useful for bye week help and he’s a stash guy in medium to large leagues if you have some bench space to work with.
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