Week 4 of the Fantasy Football season is fast approaching and in this article, we'll highlight the best adds and drops in this week's waiver wire.
1. Chicago Bears RB Khalil Herbert - 49% rostered
It doesn't take a genius to know Herbert has a ton of standalone value, though he is also one of the more exciting handcuffs in the NFL. Starter David Montgomery suffered an ankle/knee injury on Sunday and gave way to Herbert, who was able to reel in a 60.3% snap share, totaling 169 yards and two rushing touchdowns.
Herbert is a highly talented player and has proven he has high-end RB2 value in a starting role. Montgomery wasn't able to return to the contest and could be sidelined for some time, though his injury hasn't been publicly diagnosed yet.
Still, even if Montgomery returns sooner than expected, Herbert could work his way into more time in the rotation. No running back scored more than Herbert's 30.9 full-point PPR fantasy points.
2. Minnesota Vikings RB Alexander Mattison - 55% rostered
Just like Herbert, Mattison was able to take over for an injured Dalvin Cook on Sunday. Unlike Herbert, Mattison didn't get as much playing time (just 28 snaps) and wasn't as productive, though he's proven in the past that he is an RB1 type of candidate in place of Cook.
A report suggests Cook should be able to play on Sunday after suffering a dislocated shoulder, but Mattison could mix into the rotation more often and is in RB2 territory in the event that Cook's absence becomes extended.
3. New Orleans Saints WR Chris Olave - 65% rostered
Olave is rostered in more leagues than not at this point, but the rate needs to be higher. The rookie has arrived:
Forget the actual production, it's the usage that's exciting. According to Next Gen Stats, Olave is eighth among all players in percent share of a team's air yards with over 41.68% of the Saints' air yards. The rookie has rattled off some impressive usage increases over the past three weeks:
Week 1: 73.8% snap share, 8.8% target share
Week 2: 75% snap share, 24.4% target share
Week 3: 76.8% snap share, 31.7% target share
You may notice he's trending in the right direction across the board. Well, the Saints suffered two injuries at wide receiver in Week 3, with both Jarvis Landry and Michael Thomas exiting the game. Their absences cleared the way for Olave to throw up some outstanding numbers, and that would likely continue if either player is forced to miss any time.
4. Green Bay Packers WR Romeo Doubs - 25% rostered
Like the Saints, the Packers are suffering from injuries at receiver right now — veteran Sammy Watkins (hamstring) was placed on IR prior to Week 3, and rookie Christian Watson was sidelined with a hamstring injury. Both absences cleared the way for Doubs to find his way onto the field, and he earned his reps.
He's trending in the right direction, he was the most productive receiver this past week, and he's clearly separating himself from the bunch as one of Rodgers' trusted receivers.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Russell Gage - 42% rostered
No receiver played more snaps (52), had more routes run (38), or targets (13) than Gage did in Week 3. Of course, Mike Evans didn't play because of a suspension, Chris Godwin was sidelined with a hamstring, and Julio Jones didn't play because of a knee injury.
But, that's where the intrigue lies. Gage is clearly the next-best option and should be, considering he was the WR4 on the week with 24.7 fantasy points. The Bucs' receivers have had trouble staying healthy and it likely won't get much better for Julio, who's had many injury issues in the past. If that continues, Gage should find more time in the rotation for the No. 3 receiver spot, before potentially winning that spot outright.
Not to mention, Godwin could miss another game or two. That should clear the way for more opportunities for Gage.
6. New England Patriots WR DeVante Parker - 25% rostered
I mentioned in last week's injury article that Parker was a player to highlight with Jakobi Meyers ruled out by way of a knee injury. The veteran was targeted just four times through the first two weeks, though everything turned around in Week 3. Parker led the team with 10 targets and 15.6 yards per target. He created multiple 25-plus yard catches downfield.
He led the team in snaps with 64, routes run with 40, and of course, targets. Parker shouldn't be relied on as a weekly starter and his numbers will certainly take a hit when Meyers returns, but he's also the most explosive downfield weapon for a team that is starved for any offensive production. He's worth rostering, especially while Meyers is sidelined.
7. Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Gallup - 36% rostered
Gallup has yet to suit up, but it appears he'll finally find the field on Monday Night Football, though his snap count is expected to be limited. This is the veteran's first game back since tearing his ACL last December.
Gallup is strictly a dart throw at this point. He's rostered in a fair number of leagues but is still widely available and isn't likely to dominate in Week 3, considering how few snaps he'll likely play. Not to mention, Dak Prescott is still sidelined with a thumb injury.
This is an injury situation that you can get out ahead of. It'd make sense to stash Gallup on the bench for a week or two before he becomes a full-time player, and once Prescott returns, Gallup could be on the precipice for a very strong season.
8. Indianapolis Colts WR Alec Pierce - 4% rostered
The rookie receiver returned to the field with just 32 snaps and 20 routes run, both of which trailed veteran Parris Campbell. But, Pierce was able to more than double Campbell's targets with five.
With that being said, Pierce still ranked 19th in percent share of a team's air yards this week with 40.52% of the Colts' air yards. He's being used downfield in a somewhat exciting way, and downfield opportunities typically lead to more big plays.
The lack of snaps and route participation is concerning. Campbell had higher percentages in both metrics in Week 1, too. But, with that being said, Campbell has just five receptions for 47 yards on the season. He isn't a threat to Pierce's production, but he is a threat to his opportunity. That is problematic for the time being, but Pierce should continue to carve out a larger role as a developing rookie. Campbell has not been a source of any production and the Colts' offense needs any spark it can get.
9. Arizona Cardinals RB Eno Benjamin - 12% rostered
If Week 3 was any indication, Benjamin could be the Cardinals' RB2. He out-worked Darrel Williams:
Benjamin: 22 snaps, 13 routes run, 4 targets, 5 rushing attempts
Williams: 14 snaps, 10 routes run, 1 target, 1 rushing attempt
The split probably isn't as skewed as it seems, though Benjamin was more productive than Williams. As it stands, it looks like there is a clear division between the usage of the two:
Early-down work: Benjamin (12), Williams (4)
Short-yardage work: Williams (1), Benjamin (0)
Third-down work: Benjamin (2), Williams (1)
Two-minute drill: Williams (8), Benjamin (5)
Either would be an acceptable waiver wire addition, but Benjamin edges out Williams as of now for me. Both players could be scaled back once James Conner returns to 100% health, though.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers RB Jaylen Warren - 9% rostered
Warren continues to stand out, even in limited opportunities. He played just 12 snaps, had just four rushing attempts, and just one target. Yet he averaged 7.5 yards per rush, forced three missed tackles on just those four rushing attempts, and averaged nearly as many rushing yards after contact per attempt as Najee Harris.
The one problem is Warren continues to fumble the football. That is something that'll likely limit his opportunities as no coach wants to see turnovers. But, even with the fumbles, Warren has shown he can produce in a backfield where the run blocking isn't so fruitful. The rookie is a longshot add this week and could be a fun handcuff option/bench stash.
Minnesota Vikings TE Irv Smith Jr. - 58% rostered
Smith has been splitting far too much time with backup Johnny Mundt this season:
Weeks 1 & 2:
Smith: 46 snaps, 10 targets, 44 receiving snaps
Mundt: 37 snaps, 6 targets, 36 receiving snaps
Smith: 37 snaps, 6 targets, 25 routes run
Mundt: 28 snaps, 2 targets, 7 routes run
While he's finally beginning to trend in the right direction, there isn't enough production nor opportunity to suggest Smith will be a starting quality player in fantasy football leagues at any point. He's droppable.
Chicago Bears TE Cole Kmet - 44% rostered
Kmet has six fantasy points through three games. Yes, you read that correctly. Six. He's the TE52 on the season in an anemic pass offense. No reason to keep this experiment going.
New England Patriots TE Hunter Henry - 42% rostered
If Kmet is bad, Henry is invisible. The veteran tight end has been out-scored by these names so far this season: Ross Dwelley, Ian Thomas, Jordan Akins, Kylen Granson, Harrison Bryant, Durham Smythe, Eric Saubert, Noah Gray, Josh Oliver, Andrew Beck, and Chris Myarick.
It's time to drop Henry.
Los Angeles Rams RB Cam Akers - 90% rostered
Akers looks like he's come back to life. The splits between him and Darrell Henderson were much more positive this week:
Akers: 23 snaps, 5 routes run, 0 targets, 11 carries
Henderson: 25 snaps, 15 routes run, 1 target, 4 carries
San Francisco 49ers RB Jeff Wilson Jr. - 77% rostered
Wilson is the team's unquestioned RB1. The next-closest running back had 36 fewer snaps and 11 fewer carries. He's a stud option in an offense that isn't even playing well.
Detroit Lions RB Jamaal Williams - 60% rostered
Williams is the RB7 this season. His workload will take a hit once D'Andre Swift becomes healthy, though that may not come any time soon with how many injuries the star continues to suffer from.