Week 3 of the NFL season finally brought with it the type of fantasy scoring we all like to see. It seemed like every game had at least 2 or 3 players produce monster fantasy points. With standout performances from the perennial superstars like A.J. Green and Julio Jones to relatively surprising acts by Chris Johnson and Devonta Freeman, Sunday provided all the excitement a fantasy owner could ask for.
However, becoming complacent in fantasy football with the team you have could leave you wondering how it all went wrong come playoff time. For that reason, we hit the waiver wire week 4 for some additional depth and potential:
Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens (Owned in 44.2% of ESPN leagues)
After a horrible week 1 against the Cowboys, Flacco has been airing it out the last two games. Despite the team remaining winless, he has managed to put up 360+ yards passing and 2 TDs in back-to-back games. Flacco now has a short week to head to Pittsburgh and face a defense coming off a strong performance against the rams.
However, the Rams aren’t exactly dynamic on offense and Nick Foles definitely isn’t Joe Flacco. In Flacco’s trip to Pitt last year he left with 303 yards passing and 2 TDs. Look for him to stay consistent and produce similar numbers this week as well.
Rishard Matthews, WR, Miami Dolphins (Owned in 16.1% of ESPN leagues)
Who leads the Dolphins in receiving yards and touchdowns this season? That’s right, Rishard Matthews. Not Lamar Miller, not Jarvis Landry, not Greg Jennings, not Kenny Stills, not DeVante Parker, and not Jordan Cameron. The 25 year old who has never eclipsed 500 yards receiving in a single season since entering in the league in 2012 is already half way there through 3 games. This is partly due to the surprisingly poor performance of the Dolphins run game and defense this season. Trailing late and often, the Fins have been forced to throw the ball a lot more than they would like which has benefitted Matthews greatly. He now has back-to-back 110+ receiving yard games. Although a touch matchup with the Jets secondary lies ahead do not be surprised to see the Dolphins fall behind only to have to pass their way back into it.
Percy Harvin, WR, Buffalo Bills (Owned in 56.9% of ESPN leagues)
We know Rex Ryan likes to pound the ground with his platoon of running backs. However, Tyrod Taylor has proven himself as a capable passer in this league. With Sammy Watkins injury status unknown, look for Harvin to grab the lion’s share of the targets this week. Average 5 catches and 60 yards receiving per game through the first 3 weeks, Harvin is a solid flex-play in PPR leagues and could be even more valuable if Watkins isn’t able to suit up. Also, a favorable matchup against the Giants this week bodes well for Harvin.
Ted Ginn Jr., WR, Carolina Panthers (Owned in 8.3% of ESPN leagues)
At the moment Cam Newton has very few reliable targets to throw to and Ginn appears to have solidified himself as the #2 option in Carolina. He trails only Olsen in catches, receiving yards, and targets through the first 3 weeks. As opposing defenses attempt to limit Olsen’s impact, look for Ginn to become more involved in the offense. A trip to Tampa Bay this week to face the struggling Bucs could be a break-out week for Ginn.
Lance Dunbar, RB, Dallas Cowboys (Owned in 13.1% of ESPN leagues)
As long as Tony Romo and Dez Bryant are injured, expect Lance Dunbar to be heavily involved. He leads the team in receiving yards and is tied with Jason Witten for the team lead in receptions. With Brandon Weeden as the starting QB, the Cowboys will likely be playing from behind often this season and Dunbar will be the beneficiary of many short check-downs. Definitely more valuable in PPR, but still a solid option if you are thin at running back week 4.
Oakland Raiders Defense (Owned in 1.2% of ESPN leagues)
If you need a spot start at defense this week consider the Oakland Raiders if Jay Cutler is still unable to suit up. The bears will likely take the reins off Jimmy Clausen a bit next game as they are at home and coming off a shut-out in Seattle. Raiders offense is capable of scoring frequently forcing the Bears into passing situations and Jimmy Clausen passing is a good thing for any opposing defense.