Fantasy football waiver wire recommendations refer to 12-team league formats, unless specifically stated. FAAB $ amounts are based on a $100 budget.
Check back for any updates throughout Monday and Tuesday as more injury news becomes available.
Bye weeks: none
Fantasy football waiver wire targets
Priority free agents
1) RB/WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons: This is geared for the 24 percent of gamers who didn’t listen two weeks ago when CP was included in this space. … Sure, three touchdowns is sexy and gets him the highlight reels. Equally as important from week to week, the journeyman has a consistent role in an offense struggling to create an identity. The entire Arthur Smith system is predicated on a functional rushing attack, and they just haven’t seen it yet from Mike Davis. Patterson has operated in space as an extension of the running game and is eligible at WR and RB in some leagues. The chance to touch the football 10-12 times a game makes him relevant in most formats, especially as bye weeks lurk, and the newfound multi-TD potential is a nice bump to his stock. The offense hasn’t pushed the ball down the field, so until this changes, Patterson has weekly value in PPR.
2) RB Damien Williams, Chicago Bears: Positional scarcity bumps Williams up the list after running back David Montgomery left early with what has been given a preliminary diagnosis as a hyperextension. Update: Tuesday tests results put a four- to five-week prognosis on the injury, and the former Chiefs running back will fill in as the primary option. Williams himself suffered a thigh bruise but is fine. He’ll share touches with Khalil Herbert on clear passing downs, at least until Tarik Cohen (knee) returns to overtake Herbert. Williams should prove to be useful over the next month, anyway. Those opponents (Las Vegas and Green Bay) are followed by less friendly foes in Tampa and San Fran. If a running back can come in to help you win off the wire, he’s worthy of being the top-billed waiver target. Montgomery owners should spend up.
3) RB Samaje Perine, Cincinnati Bengals: Keep an eye on the status of Joe Mixon as he is day-to-day with a minor ankle sprain. Perine is likely to be the lead in a time share with rookie Chris Evans. Roster Perine to be safe, but don’t get too wild with your bidding, unless you own Mixon.
4) QB Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers: In competitive leagues, chances are someone has stashed the No. 3 overall selection from April’s NFL Draft. In more casual setups, he is available in the majority of leagues polled. Lance has the wheels and weapons to make some noise, even if it isn’t the prettiest look each week. Starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a calf issue of unknown severity in Week 4, and the veteran could be forced to sit at least a game with a Week 6 bye looming. The interesting wrinkle here is whether or not he actually loses his job because of an injury. In the event Lance beats the undefeated, division-leading Arizona Cardinals in Week 5, it’s tough to envision the team going back to Garoppolo after the break.
5) WR Jamison Crowder, New York Jets: After missing the first three games, due to COVID-19 and a groin injury, the veteran slot receiver returned to the lineup in a big way. He hauled in seven of a team-high nine targets, going for 61 yards and a score. New York is coming off its first win but is still a feeble team that just happened to draw a hobbled Tennessee roster. Gamers get the luxury of Crowder facing a banged-up Atlanta secondary in Week 5 before the Jets go on bye. Crowder has staying power in PPR, so unless you absolutely need to treat him as a one-week rental, keep the veteran stashed through his week off.
6) WR Josh Reynolds, Tennessee Titans: No Julio Jones (hamstring) and A.J. Brown (hamstring) thrust Reynolds into the lineup after being a healthy-ish scratch in Week 3. He had missed time with an injury but was cleared ahead of the third game and still ended up being inactive. In that game, WR Nick Westbrook-Ikhine made the most of his opportunity. This past Sunday, in a losing OT battle with the Jets, this former LA Ram paced the Tennessee wideouts with nine targets. Ahead, a trip to an underrated Jacksonville pass defense, followed by Buffalo and Kansas City. While hamstring injuries can be tricky, three to four total weeks should be more than enough time to get both receivers back.
7) WR Kalif Raymond, Detroit Lions: Reminder from last week … Raymond should be added in most formats of 12-plus teams. He’s a starter on a team with a shaky defense and limited talent around him. Raymond’s shelf life may not necessarily be the longest, if WR Tyrell Williams regains his job upon returning soon from IR, but the former Tennessee receiver has been the team’s best receiver in the past two weeks, suggesting Williams may be left out in the cold. An upcoming matchup with Minnesota should have Raymond in plenty of lineups.
8) WR Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers: This might be one of the shorter rentals, because it has taken three weeks and a Marquez Valdes-Scantling injury before Aaron Rodgers threw meaningfully to the player he just had to have on the roster. Green Bay heads to Cincy next week to face an opponent a similarly skilled Laviska Shenault Jr. exploited in the opening contest of the season’s fourth stanza. It’s a favorable PPR schedule over the next two months for Green Bay wideouts, and MVS will be out a minimum of two more weeks after being placed on IR. Cobb is capable of covering bye weeks.
9) RB Jeremy McNichols, Tennessee Titans: McNichols has a little bit of wiggle in his game and demonstrates sound hands out of the backfield as a change-up to Derrick Henry. While he won’t lead the team in targets most weeks — or ever again, if we’re being realistic — but as long as hamstring injuries to WRs A.J. Brown and Julio Jones continue to keep them out of action, McNichols offers utility in deep formats.
TE Mo Alie-Cox, Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens: It’s easy to get on board with a player after he scores a pair of touchdowns the prior week, but that’s merely a factor in his inclusion here today. The more impactful reason is the opponent: No team has given up more fantasy points to TEs through the first month of the season than the Ravens. One in 10 grabs by the position has scored, Baltimore has given up the most catches, and only Kansas City has yielded more yardage to the position. While the volume against is nice to see, anyone playing Alie-Cox should be gunning for a touchdown from the hybrid tight end. In PPR, it wouldn’t be a stretch to play Colts tight end Jack Doyle for a cheap chance at 10 or so points if you’re looking to be safety-minded.
TE Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Miami Dolphins: Rob Gronkowski has at least four fractured ribs and a punctured lung, which seemingly will keep him sidelined through the upcoming week (or more). Brate, a veteran who has stepped up a time or two when given an earnest chance, faces a Miami defense that had been in the middle of the pack vs. the position prior to permitting a pair of scores to Indianapolis tight ends in Week 4. Miami is strong enough on the back end that Tom Brady may be forced away from his star-studded cast of receivers at times, especially in the red zone.
WR Van Jefferson, Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks: Following three total looks his way in the first two games, Jefferson has lassoed 10 of 12 targets for 132 yards and a score, including a career-best 6-90-1 in Week 4. After seeing the smackdown put on the venerated LA defense by the Cardinals, it’s no a stretch to expect Seattle’s offense to put on a show of their own, forcing the Rams to sling it all around the park again. Seattle has given up five scores to WRs in the past four contests, and the attention paid to slow Cooper Kupp should send Matthew Stafford Jefferson’s direction.
TE C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Green Bay Packers: It’s easy to be reactionary to a two-TD performance. Care more about the opportunity if WR Tee Higgins (shoulder) is indeed out again, and it never hurts when the matchup is the sixth best of the week. Green Bay has allowed tight ends three scores over 25 catches in this young season, and there’s always the chance Aaron Rodgers forces Joe Burrow into a game of “catch me if you can” on the scoreboard. Uzomah is unlikely to see the volume of a week ago (six targets, five catches), but he certainly is a worthwhile gamble for a TD.
QB Jacoby Brissett, Miami Dolphins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: This one is best viewed through the lens of superflex leagues. Tampa has so many injuries — down its top trio of cornerbacks from Week 1, plus a safety — and has shockingly struggled to reach quarterbacks in 2021. Brissett has plenty of weapons around him to do enough to warrant a lineup spot, but he’s not a reliable option in single-quarterback scenarios as we don’t have bye weeks to press the need.
QB Zach Wilson, New York Jets at Atlanta Falcons: In Week 4, Taylor Heinicke went for 290-3-0 — plus he added 43 rushing yards. Over the first month of 2021, Atlanta has given up 11 passing touchdowns without an interception and 274 yards per contest. Something in the vicinity of 275-2-1 from Wilson should be considered a win for two-QB setups.
Grab & stash
TE Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills: Another reminder from last week’s recommendations: Knox won’t do much for you with volume but can offer a better than average chance of finding the end zone. Byes are two weeks away, and even if you don’t intend to play him vs. KC (not a bad start), Knox has staying power for depth.
WR Kadarius Toney, New York Giants: Keep tabs on injuries to Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard, both of whom missed Week 4 with hamstring strains. Their absence led to Toney’s first serious role as a rookie. The first-rounder missed so much time during the offseason that he was behind the curve, making it more refreshing to see a nine-target day turn into a 6-78-0 line. The speedy rookie is a viable deep threat in an offense that has several, which could lead to more underneath action in effort to let him create yards after catch. He was a watch-list guy last week and ascended into the stash territory. In a pinch, Toney could be a flex play vs. Dallas next week, provided the two veteran receivers are again inactive.
Keep your eye on ’em
WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions: There’s an argument to be made that St. Brown should be in the “grab and stash” segment after a eight-target, six-catch performance that netted the rook 70 yards. Teammate Kalif Raymond was in this article last week as well as being reiterated above, but St. Brown is the player this team wants to get going in possession situations. He was one of my favorite sleepers entering the year, and it’s mildly surprising the Lions took this long to get him involved to any notable degree. We’ve seen tight end T.J. Hockenson get shut down in consecutive games, which bodes well for Jared Goff being forced to target other outlets. St. Brown might be worth a roster spot in the deepest of PPR leagues, though he is more safely observed for the time being. Fingers crossed for this being the jump-start performance that he needed.
Deep diving for running backs
If you’re in a competitive league, it is unlikely running backs are just chillin’ on the waiver wire. But that doesn’t mean gamers aren’t still in need of “break in case of emergency” running backs. These players could be available for a dumpster dive:
- Kyle Juszczyk, San Francisco 49ers (FB with an adoring coach)
- Demetric Felton, Cleveland Browns (Electric WR/RB but limited role)
- Alex Collins, Seattle Seahawks (saw increased work in Week 4)
- Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears (depends on Montgomery’s prognosis)
- Alec Ingold, Las Vegas Raiders (FB with a role)
- Carlos Hyde, Jacksonville Jaguars (James Robinson insurance)
- Larry Rountree, Los Angeles Chargers (Austin Ekeler insurance)
- Royce Freeman, Carolina Panthers (CMC injury)
- Brandon Bolden, New England Patriots (James White injury)
- Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts (maybe gets traded?)