Coming into the season, we expected Melvin Gordon to be the obvious alternative in case something happened to Javonte Williams, however circumstances in Denver may have already changed by Week 4. Because, with Williams leaving Sunday's game against the Raiders with what would turn out to be a season-ending knee injury, it was Mike Boone who got the first opportunity for the Broncos.
That's because Gordon's fumble issues cropped up again Sunday, leading to a defensive touchdown for the Raiders. Boone ultimately only ended up with three carries for 20 yards, but he still figures to be one of the most coveted players on the waiver wire heading into Week 5, given Williams' injury and Gordon's struggles.
That doesn't necessarily mean I think Boone is going to be the starter for the Broncos, though. Gordon was penalized for his fumbles and probably has a pretty short leash, but you have to think the Broncos will give him the first crack at a lead role for the remainder of the season, given how much of a leash they've given him so far. That could potentially make Gordon a top-15 running back the rest of the way.
It seems pretty likely Gordon and Boone are both going to have expanded roles in Week 5, and while Gordon is rostered pretty much everywhere (92%), Boone is available pretty much everywhere. And he figures to see double-digit touches in a timeshare with Gordon, at least – and it's at least possible he remains the top option if Gordon has truly cost himself with his fumbles.
Whether that means Boone should be the top option on waivers depends on what the Broncos say about the Gordon/Boone split. If Nyheim Hines (75% rostered) is available in your league, I'd take him over Boone, but I would probably prioritize Boone over either Deon Jackson or Phillip Lindsay, the Colts other RB options to help replace Taylor. Boone suddenly has a pathway to a significant role -- he just might be an injury or another fumble away from it.
Here's who else we'll be chasing on the waiver wire for Week 5.
DEN Denver • #28
Age: 32 • Experience: 10 yrs.
With Alvin Kamara sidelined by a rib issue that just has not gone away since he suffered it in Week 1, Murray as elevated from the practice squad and had a solid game Sunday. He benefited from Mark Ingram leaving the game briefly to be checked out with an injury, but he also just ran the ball better, totaling nearly twice as many yards on only one more carry, with a touchdown. Murray has experience in this offense, and if Kamara and Ingram's injuries cost them some time moving forward, he could be a starting-caliber Fantasy option here.
ATL Atlanta • #25
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
With Cordarrelle Patterson dealing with a knee injury and the Falcons deciding to abandon the passing game, Tyler Allgeier and Caleb Huntley took on bigger roles in Week 4 and both shined against the Browns. It was against a short-handed Browns defense missing their two starting edge players, but you can't discount 104 total yards on 11 touches for Allgeier, nor 56 yards on 10 carries with a touchdown for Huntley. I would prioritize Allgeier on the wire, as he was in the game before Huntley and was on the field when the Falcons were trying to run out the clock at the end of the game. But both looked good enough to think they'll have more significant roles moving forward. It wouldn't shock me if Allgeier led the team in carries moving forward, given how the Falcons clearly want to limit Patterson's exposure after he wore down last season.
PIT Pittsburgh • #14
Age: 21 • Experience: Rookie
I'm not going to say Kenny Pickett can be expected to just turn the Steelers offense around – anyone who says he "can't be worse" than Mitchell Trubisky has to prove they didn't say Trubisky "can't be worse" than Ben Roethlisberger. Still, Pickett got the moribund Steelers offense going Sunday, and he made Pickens a big priority, targeting him on four of 13 passes. The duo connected on each of those passes for 71 yards as he put together the first 100-yard game of his career. I think it's pretty clear Pickens is better than Chase Claypool right now, and while Diontae Johnson is going to remain the No. 1 receiver for the Steelers, if Pickett plays well, there could be room for both of them to be Fantasy relevant. It was hard to have that hope with Trubisky in there, but at least Pickett gives us something to dream on.
Jared Goff QB
DET Detroit • #16
Age: 28 • Experience: 7 yrs.
I think I just need to give Goff more credit. I expected the Lions offense to be pretty bad with D'Andre Swift, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and D.J. Chark all sidelined by injuries. After all, those are the three best big-play guys on the team! So, of course, Goff had arguably his best game of the season. Sure, it was against a pretty bad Seahawks defense, but it was also with a pretty poor set of weapons. The Lions are giving Goff all of the time in the world behind a good offensive line, and he's making plays. I don't think he can be a top-12 QB consistently moving forward, but in this offense, he's got a better shot than he has in a long time.
Corey Davis WR
NYJ N.Y. Jets • #84
Age: 27 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Davis is the elder statesman of the Jets receiving corps, and with interesting young guys like Garrett Wilson and Elijah Moore around, no Fantasy player really wants to see Davis emerge as a big part of this offense. However, in Zach Wilson's first game Sunday, Davis was the team's top target, catching five of seven passes for 74 yards and a big late touchdown. Wilson and Moore are incredibly intriguing young players, but Davis put up a respectable 12.3 PPR points per game in seven with Zach Wilson active last season, and he just may have the young QB's faith. That counts for something.
Mo Alie-Cox TE
IND Indianapolis • #81
Age: 29 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Alie-Cox has had a frustrating role this season, but they got him more involved Sunday and he responded with a huge game. He entered Sunday with just four catches for 44 yards, but he's always flashed some solid playmaking upside, and that's something this Colts offense desperately needs. It'll be hard to trust Alie-Cox, given the minimal role he had in earlier weeks, but he did play a season-high 68% of the snaps in Week 4, so maybe that's something to build on. If you're looking for a streamer, consider Alie-Cox for Thursday's game.