Although there were less injuries in Week 2 than Week 3, there are still plenty of opportunities that have opened up based on other factors. Here are my top-10 waiver wire adds as we head into Week 4.
10. Dwayne Washington
RB, Detroit Lions
Detroit had a horrible day running the ball against Green Bay, but we learned an important piece of information — Theo Riddick and Dwayne Washington are sharing carries. Riddick out-touched Washington 17-11 as a major factor in the passing game, but each received 10 carries. With Ameer Abdullah out for at least seven more weeks, Washington’s role is likely to only grow as he is a better pure runner than Riddick.
9. Trevor Siemian
QB, Denver Broncos
I don’t want to overreact to Siemian’s breakout NFL game. He’s very unlikely to have another four touchdown game this week, especially on the road, and especially considering Denver’s style of play. We also can’t just throw Siemian’s stat line in the garbage and pretend it didn’t happen. This kid will make mistakes, but he’s better than anyone gave him credit for. Sunday’s game (32 DK points for a mere $5,100) should give the Broncos more confidence letting him air it out moving forward.
8. Adam Humphries
WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Who? I seriously didn’t know who this dude was until a couple of days ago. Believe it or not, Humphries has received more looks from Jameis Winston this season than Vincent Jackson — 25-22. Humphries’ targets have gone up each week along the way, topping out at 12 in Week 3 (hauling in nine for 100 yards). This certainly doesn’t feel like a fluke.
7. Cameron Brate
TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Meanwhile, Tampa parted ways with Austin Seferian-Jenkins last week. Aside to a slight bump to receivers like Humphries, the clear-cut beneficiary is Brate. After being targeted seven times in the Bucs’ first two games combined, Brates became the uncontested starting TE for Week 3. He made the most of the opportunity, securing 5-of-10 targets for 46 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
6. Kyle Rudolph
TE, Minnesota Vikings
The 3-0 Vikings feel like they’re legit. The defense has been dominant, and Sam Bradford is starting to find his way in the passing game. A big reason has been Rudolph — who’s been targeted eight or more times in each game this season. He’s now scored touchdowns in both games he’s played with Bradford, putting forward a 7/70/1 line this past week.
5. Carson Wentz
QB, Philadelphia Eagles
I’ve seen what I’ve needed to see and I’m buying in — Wentz is a legit NFL QB right now. The future is bright in Philly, but there’s still fantasy value to be had right off the bat with the rookie. In his first three games, Wentz has completed 66-of-102 passes for 769 yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions. Mistakes will come, but on the whole we should continue to see growth.
4. Wendell Smallwood
RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Ryan Mathews got 22 carries in Week 1, but followed it up with just nine in Week 2 (despite scoring a pair of touchdowns). He exited Week 3 with an ankle injury, but the Eagles still managed to destroy the Steelers as all three of the other running backs found the end zone. With Darren Sproles handling the receiving duties, it was Smallwood that headed the rushing attack (out-carrying Kenjon Barner 17-8). Smallwood finished the game with 79 yards and a touchdown, which was good enough to convince Philly’s coaches to keep him in the mix when the Eagles come off their bye week. It will be a RBBC going forward, but if Mathews is forced to miss any time, Smallwood would presumably get the start.
3. Orleans Darkwa
RB — New York Giants
Rashad Jennings is beat up and Shane Vereen is now out indefinitely, not leaving much leftover in the Giants’ backfield. Darkwa handled 10 carries for 53 yards and a score when called upon on Sunday, and would be the early-down back if Jennings isn’t recovered by Week 4. Bobby Rainey should also be in the mix to replace Vereen, but Darkwa is the guy to go after if Jennings continues to sit in my opinion.
2. Terrelle Pryor
WR, Cleveland Browns
Pryor was doing it all on Sunday, practically playing QB, RB and WR at times. Cody Kessler assuming the QB job might be the best thing that could have happened to the former Ohio State QB turned WR. Pryor was targeted 14 times in the passing game, bringing in eight balls for 144 yards. On top of that, he was also the team’s wildcat QB, which resulted in four rushing attempts for 21 yards and a touchdown, along with five passing attempts (completing three for 35 yards).
1. Jordan Howard
RB, Chicago Bears
Jeremy Langford suffered a high ankle sprain against the Cowboys, and it appears serious enough to cost him 4-6 weeks. Rookie Jordan Howard, who the Bears like and were already beginning to feature more before Langford went down, stepped in and took the workload. Howard carried the ball nine times for 45 yards, but added four catches (on six targets) for 47 more yards. More to follow in this week’s “Next Man Up” feature.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.