Early Week 4 Fantasy Football waiver wire: Wendell Smallwood, Sterling Shepard, Rishard Matthews are good stashes, while Jared Goff leads the quarterback streamers

Week 3 might be remembered for the studs who Fantasy owners benched than the players who put up big numbers. Stefon Diggs and T.Y. Hilton were sat down in roughly one-third of CBS Sports leagues, while Jordan Howard, DeMarco Murray, Sammy Watkins, Pierre Garcon and Chris Hogan were banished to the pine in at least 60 percent of our leagues.

This week is a microcosm of just how unpredictable Fantasy Football is. Case Keenum will finish as a top-10 quarterback -- and Blake Bortles will be top-5!

If you benched studs, hopefully you still made it out of the week with a win. If not, well at least you still have the studs on your team.

And here's more good news: There weren't a glut of injuries like we had in Week 2 -- Kelvin Benjamin's looms the largest, and even that isn't considered major. So that's a win for all of us.

Better yet, the waiver wire will have a handful of very interesting names to help pad our rosters.

Running backs

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Duke Johnson CLE • RB • 29
69% owned
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Alvin Kamara NO • RB • 41
57% owned

There isn't a reliable starter for Week 4 available here, but there's plenty of potential with each name. Johnson scored for the second week in a row and has remained a nice weapon in the Browns offense. However, he's also averaged eight touches and 68.0 total yards per game. His numbers will stink if he doesn't score. That also goes for Kamara, who's averaging even fewer touches and yards per game than Johnson.

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Wendell Smallwood PHI • RB • 28
17% owned
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D'Onta Foreman HOU • RB • 27
40% owned

The guys to hone in on with the idea of stashing are Smallwood and Foreman. On the same week Darren Sproles went down with a hand injury, Smallwood had a team-high 13 touches for 80 total yards. If Sproles' wrist injury is serious, Smallwood is a cinch to see a lot of playing time, even if he has to share with LeGarrette Blount. Foreman, too, will share with Lamar Miller. However, he has not only looked the part as a physical runner, but also caught a pair of passes this week and turned them into gains of 34 and 31 yards. He's a must-stash, especially if you have Miller.


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Blake Bortles JAC • QB • 5
21% owned
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Jared Goff LAR • QB • 16
23% owned
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Eli Manning NYG • QB • 10
66% owned
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Andy Dalton CIN • QB • 14
55% owned

All four of these guys posted their first 20-plus-point Fantasy game of the season. While Andy Dalton, Jared Goff and Eli Manning completed well over 70 percent of their passes and made use of their playmaking receivers, Blake Bortles had a blast-from-the-past, with an impressive four-score matchup against the Ravens in London. And it wasn't even in garbage time!

Each of them has nice matchups in Week 4 -- Dalton will see the Browns, Bortles plays at the Jets, Manning hits the road again to take on the Bucs and Goff will visit the Cowboys. But none of them have the kind of schedule that will make you want to hitch your wagon to them. That goes double for Goff, who will see a tough slate of games beginning in Week 5 against the Seahawks.

Wide receivers

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Rishard Matthews TEN • WR • 18
65% owned
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Marqise Lee JAC • WR • 11
50% owned

You know, we'll have bye weeks starting in Week 5, and if your receiver depth isn't so great, you'll want to check in on these guys. The headliners are Matthews and Lee, both de facto No. 1 receivers for their teams. Lee has 19 targets since Allen Robinson went down with a torn ACL while Matthews' 24 targets are six more than any other receiver on the Titans. Matthews should continue to look fresh against the Texans in Week 4, while Lee will see the Jets.

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Sterling Shepard NYG • WR • 87
55% owned

So much for Brandon Marshall being the No. 2 receiver for the Giants. Shepard has outperformed Marshall in every game for Big Blue this year, and he only has two more targets than the 12-year veteran. There's some staying power with him as a potential No. 3 receiver from week to week, at least until the Giants unearth a running game.

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Robby Anderson NYJ • WR • 11
17% owned
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Taylor Gabriel CHI • WR • 18
34% owned

Anderson and Gabriel are similar players in that they're both fast, big-play guys. That was on display in Week 3 when Anderson caught a 69-yard score and Gabriel made good on a touchdown from 40 yards out. They're not expected to do this every week, but anytime they're in a favorable matchup, especially one expected to be high scoring, they're worth taking a chance on as a Flex or bye-week replacement. They're also nice DFS options. Gabriel has a little more appeal for Week 4, but Anderson is worth doubling-back for when the Jets play at the Browns in Week 5.

Tight ends

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Charles Clay BUF • TE • 85
41% owned
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Cameron Brate TB • TE • 84
37% owned

As always, when it comes to tight ends we're looking for guys who have a chance to score in any given week. From there we hope to fall into a reliable option. Clay has scored in two of three matchups this season and will play at the Falcons in Week 4. Figuring the Bills will play from behind and that the matchup against Atlanta's linebackers will appeal to Tyrod Taylor, Clay could be worth taking a chance on.

Brate's in the same boat -- he finally came through to help Fantasy owners in Week 3 and will take on the Giants in Week 4. New York has allowed a touchdown to a starting tight end in each game this season, so Brate's potential for another end-zone visit is pretty strong.

Senior Fantasy Writer

Dave Richard has spent nearly his entire career covering the National Football League. Beginning with NFL.com at the boom of the Internet, Richard was that site's first Fantasy Football writer before transitioning... Full Bio

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