A little foresight in fantasy football is a good thing.
We spend all offseason thinking about how we’ll approach our drafts, mock-drafting away during July and August. You thought ahead then and should do the same now.
Because bye weeks are upon us.
That’s right, the 49ers and Jets are the two teams that will enjoy a Sunday off in Week 4, which is a well-timed break for both because of notable injuries (Sam Darnold, Tevin Coleman, C.J. Mosley and more) they’re dealing with.
As it pertains to your fantasy team, it’s a good reminder to be looking ahead. While the early bye weeks (the Dolphins and Lions are off in Week 5) aren’t chock-full of top fantasy players, it won’t be long before you’ll be finding yourself in need of a replacement quarterback or tight end.
So here’s our annual reminder: Do a little early planning and prepare to get players before you have to have them, as competition for those players will be heated.
Time now for the Week 4 ESPN Fantasy waiver-wire adds of the week.
Note: All players on this list are available in more than 50% of leagues.
With injuries to Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson, Agholor was a prime candidate to step into a massive role in Week 3 … and he did. He gobbled up eight passes for 50 yards and, most important, found the end zone twice. The Eagles play on a short week this week, leaving the door very much open to Jackson and Jeffery sitting again. Get Agholor in your lineup.
Saquon Barkley has an ankle sprain and is expected to miss 4-8 weeks, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Presumably, Gallman will handle the lion’s share of work in the Giants’ backfield, as he stepped in to handle a handful of carries for 13 yards Sunday. We saw Gallman handle double-digit carries on a few occasions as a rookie, which feels like the role he is headed for. He’s a flex consideration for now.
My goodness are the Chiefs loaded. Both Hardman and Demarcus Robinson found the end zone again in Week 3. Here is the reality: While each comes with risk in the sense that neither is a guarantee to see a massive target share, that’s offset by the chance for a massive day. Hardman’s long touchdown in Week 3 affirmed his huge upside.
MVS qualifies for this column by the narrowest of margins at 49.9%, but he showed again why he belongs on rosters. He finished with six catches for 99 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets, once again proving himself to be the second Packers wide receiver to roster. He’s going to try to work his way into the weekly flex conversation.
Gore just keeps on going and going and going. He filled in for Devin Singletary on Sunday and had a very Frank Gore-like day, rushing for 76 yards on 14 carries with a touchdown while adding 13 receiving yards. Given that Singletary missed practice all last week, it stands to reason that Gore could start again in Week 4, albeit against a terrific Patriots defense.
Darrel Williams, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (.3%)
LeSean McCoy could be just fine for a Week 4 matchup with Detroit, but after he left the game late, it was Williams who took on a more prominent role. An effective runner, Williams plays in the offensive equivalent of a cheat code. He’s worth the add in the event McCoy and Damien Williams are unavailable in Week 4.
Three straight games might just be a trend. Chark keeps on balling out and has an apparent rapport with new starter/American hero Gardner Minshew. While the Jaguars have been spreading the ball around the yard among their wideouts, Chark’s big-play potential makes him the most enticing of the bunch right now.
There are a lot of good players in the Patriots’ offense, with Dorsett being one of their most reliable. He found the end zone for the third time this season in Week 3, and while the early prognosis on Julian Edelman (chest) is encouraging, Dorsett is also good insurance to have in a deeper league. His trust with Tom Brady is obvious.
Rex Burkhead, RB, New England Patriots (15%)
While James White‘s absence (congrats to him and his wife on the birth of their baby boy!) played a part in Burkhead’s terrific day, he’s also been a factor in each game so far this season. The tricky part is going to be knowing if Burkhead can be trusted in a given week with so many backs rotating in New England, but he needs to be rostered in any league of 12 teams or larger.
All points count in fantasy football, even those that are scored with one untimed down left on the clock and no chance of winning the game. Dissly’s late score against the Saints in Week 3 was his third in two weeks. Tight end is a spot of limited options; he’s a capable one.
We’re back? Sort of. Jones looked really solid in Week 3, rushing for 80 yards on a team-high 14 carries to go with a 41-yard catch. The trouble is, Jones is a part-time player and he’s been inconsistent, things you already knew. So what I’d do is consider adding Jones to the end of your bench and stashing him there in the event that at some point over the next month he wins this job outright. We’ll see.
Quarterbacks to consider
Though neither team on a bye this week (Jets, 49ers) has a weekly starter at quarterback, soon enough people will be looking for fill-ins. Moreover, there is promise in the following players based on what we’ve seen this season.
Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants (12.7%)
The Danny Dimes era began in incredible fashion, as he accounted for four touchdowns, two of which came on the ground. Jones’ hot start was one of the stories of Week 3 as he showed some encouraging signs: precision as a thrower, elusiveness as a runner and an obvious confidence. Is he a weekly starter yet in fantasy? Nope, but the intrigue is real, and he’s the kind of player I’d like to add a week or two too early with the hope that this persists.
Speaking of stellar Sundays, Allen was lights out for the Panthers, throwing four touchdowns and looking fantastic in relief of Cam Newton in Week 3. While we still don’t know when Newton is expected to return, he has already been ruled out for Week 4, so Allen is a quarterback streamer to consider for Week 4 against the Texans. In a two-quarterback league, you’d better believe he should be a starter in Week 4.
Brissett has accounted for multiple touchdown passes in all three games this season, showing that the Colts’ confidence in him was well-placed. He continues forward with a favorable two-game slate against the Raiders and Chiefs. He was a preferred quarterback add last week for those who were previously starting Drew Brees or Ben Roethlisberger, and the sentiment hasn’t shifted.