Waiver Week 4 is the wire of running backs. There are a ton of injuries to consider to the position from Week 3’s action. Some injuries are obviously more serious than others. Regardless of the severity, there are a handful of backup running backs specifically that need to be on fantasy football rosters. The road to fantasy football titles is a long way so we need to be as prepared as possible moving forward. Plenty of the studs from Week 3 should help us along the way.
You may be dealing with injuries, bye weeks, or just need to cycle out players from your bench. Whatever the case may be, the waiver wire is there to help. There’s not always a need to put in a claim for players each week, but if you do, make it count. Below, we’ll look at players at each position, who are on 50% or less of most fantasy football rosters, that could be considered on the Week 3 waiver wire.
Week 4 Waiver Wire By Position
Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings
Mattison is likely on someone’s roster in your league. However, he isn’t on 100% of rosters, no matter which platform you play on, and he should be. Dalvin Cook exited Sunday’s win over the Detroit Lions with a shoulder injury. This isn’t new for Cook as he’s dealt with shoulder issues multiple times over the last few seasons. Mattison played every running back snap in Cook’s place. Furthermore, in six games without Cook, Mattison is averaging 20.4 PPR points. If Mattison is out there, he needs to be THE top waiver wire claim ahead of Week 4 even if Cook plays this week. Having Cook’s backup ahead of Week 4 is worthwhile.
Jamaal Williams, Detroit Lions
D’Andre Swift is reportedly dealing with a shoulder sprain. That’s on top of an ankle injury that’s been lingering since Week 1. This alone should be enough for fantasy football managers to add Jamaal Williams wherever he is available. Additionally, though, Williams leads the league in carries inside the 10-yard line with seven. He also has two games with two touchdowns through three weeks.
The Lions have one of the best offensive lines in football. Swift and Williams combined are averaging 5.7 yards per carry. Detroit hosts the Seattle Seahawks in Week 4 who are allowing the second-most rushing yards this season. They’re also giving up the fifth-most points to running backs. Given Swift’s injuries, and a looming Week 6 Bye for the Lions, Williams not only holds a ton of value in Week 4, but could be a starter in Week 5, as well. If Mattison (above) isn’t available, then Jamaal Williams is THE ACTUAL top waiver wire claim ahead of Week 4.
Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears
David Montgomery is “day to day” after getting rolled up on early in Week 3 after just three carries. After his exit, Khalil Herbert logged 20 carries for 157 yards and two touchdowns while adding two receptions for an additional 12 yards on two targets. We have to monitor Montgomery’s status for Week 4. In the event he is unable to go, Herbert is worth starting in a road game against the New York Giants after you add him on the waiver wire. The Bears still run the least amount of plays per game, but Herbert is a focal point when he has the opportunity to be.
Samaje Perine, Cincinnati Bengals
After Joe Mixon was unable to finish out a Week 3 win against the New York Jets with a lower body injury, Samaje Perine handled the bulk of the backfield duties to put the game on ice. His 34% of offensive snaps were a season-high as a result. Perine is a capable workhorse back who presents upside as a pass catcher. It’s unclear what Mixon’s status is for Week 4. A home matchup against the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night is on tap for the Bengals. The Fins just let Devin Singletary log 18 touches for 91 total yards, 78 of which through the air, and a touchdown. Perine is a good plug-and-play running back off of the waiver wire, on a short week, for those in need of running back help.
Jaylen Warren, Pittsburgh Steelers
Let Week 3 be a sign to target running back handcuffs sooner than later on the waiver wire. Jaylen Warren is Najee Harris’ handcuff. Though Warren played just 12 snaps last Thursday night, the least amount he has all season, he still totaled five opportunities, matching a season-high. Most of his work came on a singular drive in the first quarter. Warren rushed for 20 yards on just three carries adding a reception for three yards, as well. His final rush of that drive brought the quarter to an end with Najee Harris scoring a five-yard rushing touchdown on the next play to start the second quarter. Warren isn’t a legitimate threat to a healthy Najee Harris. However, if Najee were to ever miss time, Warren likely starts on most fantasy football rosters. You can add him now on the Week 4 waiver wire.
Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons
I mentioned on the Week 3 waiver wire that Allgeier is due for a breakout, possibly this past week against the Seattle Seahawks. While he did play a career-high amount of snaps and log seven touches, it was 31-year-old Cordarelle Patterson who ran wild. He even set a career-high in rushing yards with 141 on 17 carries. Allgeier isn’t worth picking up off of the wire in anything other than deeper leagues. It appears the only thing standing in his way of a legitimate opportunity is Patterson’s health status. We can’t predict injuries, nor do we want to. So, this is merely a stash and see.
Zay Jones, Jacksonville Jaguars
The 2022 Jacksonville Jaguars look like the real deal. After a disappointing Week 1, they shut out the Colts in Week 2 and dominated the Chargers 38-10 in L.A. in Week 3. Trevor Lawrence is a top-10 quarterback so far this fantasy football season. Christian Kirk is an obvious beneficiary of Trevor’s play, but Zay Jones deserves some attention, as well. His 11 targets on Sunday led the team. He has just three less targets as a whole than Kirk on the season. As the clear-cut second option on this offense, Jones should be the top wide receiver add on the Week 4 waiver wire.
Russell Gage, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were missing Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Julio Jones in Week 3. That left an opportunity for Gage to be Tom Brady’s top target. With said opportunity, he hauled in 12 of a team-high 13 targets for 87 yards and a touchdown. Evans will be back from a suspension in Week 4. Godwin and Julio, however, are both banged up and could be dealing with injuries all season. Gage is worth stashing on redraft benches in the event opportunities arise for him to see more playing time and targets as he did in Week 3.
Romeo Doubs, Green Bay Packers
The summer-long hype around Doubs finally came to fruition. In a week where Aaron Rodgers needed someone to step up amidst Packer pass-catcher injuries, Doubs did just that. His eight targets led all Packers in Week 3. Doubs’ 16 total targets through three weeks lead the team, as well. He played just one less snap than Allen Lazard, and his 89% snap rate was by far his most of the season. After Doubs’ 21.3-point breakout, I have to imagine Aaron Rodgers will want him on the field more often. Given that Sammy Watkins is now on the Injured Reserve, you can bet Doubs will continue to see the field. As he continues to be a top option for the reigning back-to-back MVP, Doubs should be a priority add on the Week 4 waiver wire.
Treylon Burks, Tennessee Titans
Burks makes the waiver wire column once against because he’s still available in plenty of leagues. He likely isn’t going to be a hot target ahead of Week 4 after just 21 total yards on three opportunities this past Sunday. What continues to be encouraging for Burks, though, is his uptick in playing time. His 69% snap share in Week 3 ranks second to just Robert Woods amongst Titans wide receivers. It’s also a season-high for Burks. It’s unlikely Burks fits into your starting lineup this week and perhaps not even Week 5. Then the Titans have a Week 6 bye. So, adding him on the waiver wire is a speculative move for Week 7 and beyond if you have room in anticipation of a likely breakout.
Richie James, New York Giants
If you’re going to add a New York Giants pass catcher at this point, Richie James is it. It goes without saying that Kenny Golladay isn’t trustworthy enough to be on fantasy rosters at this point. Kadarius Toney nor Wan’Dale Robinson can stay healthy either. Lastly, and most unfortunately, Sterling Shepard’s season looks to be over after a non-contact knee injury on Monday Night Football. Shepard’s 24 targets through three games rank first amongst all Giants. Right behind him, though, is Richie James with 17 of his own and no less than five any given week. The 27-year-old also has one rushing attempt in two of three games. James might just break out by default as the last man standing in this Giants receiving corps. He is worth a waiver wire add as a bench stash in larger leagues.
David Njoku, Cleveland Browns
Njoku’s target share and routes continue to increase week by week. His most recent 32.3% target share last Thursday resulted in nine receptions 89 yards and a touchdown. His 23.9 PPR points are his second-highest total in his career. While that may seem like a fluke, Njoku and the Browns head to Atlanta in Week 4. The Falcons are allowing the second-most fantasy points to tight ends. That makes Njoku a viable streaming option to pick up off of the waiver wire this week.
Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers
Amongst a suspect group of pass catchers in Green Bay, Robert Tonyan continues to stand out as a favorite target for Aaron Rodgers. His seven targets in Week 3 are the second-highest amongst all Packers and good enough for a 20% target share. The Packers’ Week 4 opponent, the New England Patriots, have allowed the most touchdowns (4) to tight ends through three games. Especially with Mac Jones dealing with an ankle injury, the Packers should have the ball, plenty of scoring opportunities, and a commanding lead. Tonyan is a back-end TE1 for me in Week 4 and worth picking up off of the waiver wire to start.
Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
Lawrence is seemingly matchup-proof so far this fantasy football season. He’s QB10 after three weeks averaging just under 20.0 points per game. His 262 passing yards and three touchdowns on the road against the Chargers this past Sunday are worth taking note of. Lawrence is supporting an offense with two top-25 wide receivers in Christian Kirk and Zay Jones, as well as the RB2 in James Robinson. Week 4 is a tough matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. They’re allowing just 11.0 points per game to opposing quarterbacks. This will be a tough test for Trevor, but if Week 3 was an indication, he is worth starting against anyone this season.
Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks
As the starter in Seattle, Geno Smith isn’t even averaging 15.0 points per game so far this season. However, that’s mostly because of a Week 2 struggle where he put up just 7.08 points against the San Francisco 49ers. Smith is coming off of his best fantasy game of the season in Week 3 where he threw for 325 yards and two touchdowns for 19.9 points. He and the Seahawks will travel to Detroit in Week 4 to take on the Lions. They are allowing the second-most points (23.6) to quarterbacks each week. They’ve also allowed the most rushing touchdowns (6) to running backs. The way to beat Detroit is through the run game, however Smith presents start-worthy upside ahead of Week 4 off of the waiver wire, especially for 2QB and Superflex leagues.
Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints
Winston is playing with broken vertebrae in his back as well as a nagging ankle injury. Oh yeah, that’s also after returning from a season-ending ACL tear last year. Still, his 868 passing yards rank seventh amongst quarterbacks and are a big reason he’s averaging 16.3 points per game. Jameis’ ceiling remains high as he ranks first in air yards (672) consistently taking shots downfield week after week. That alone makes Winston a boom or bust streamer ahead of Week 4. He gets an uptick in value as his opponent, the Minnesota Vikings, are allowing the fourth-most passing yards this season. While the Saints game is listed as a home game, it will take place in London, England.