Fantasy Football Week 4 Early Waiver Wire: Daniel Jones stands out among first-time starters
Daniel Jones showed serious Fantasy upside, and if you need a QB, he's at the top of the list. Here's who else is on Dave Richard's radar after Week 3.
Six teams had new starting quarterbacks Sunday, with three of them posting at least 20 Fantasy points and four of them collecting at least two touchdowns. Those two accomplishments eclipsed Matthew Stafford, Jimmy Garoppolo, Josh Allen, Kirk Cousins and even Aaron Rodgers.
The deepest position in Fantasy Football got a little bit deeper in Week 3. Not that we necessarily needed it. Can we get some breakout running backs, next? Pretty please?!
The best of the bunch? Daniel Jones, the rookie quarterback of the Giants. He erased any doubts about him being a preseason fluke pretty quickly, leading the Giants to scores on each of his first two drives at Tampa Bay while completing 9 of 13 passes for 111 yards with a rushing touchdown.
He was just getting started. Jones was incredible all game long despite a pair of lost fumbles, completing some really tight throws on his way to a 336-yard effort with passing touchdowns to Evan Engram (on a catch-and-run) and Sterling Shepard (on a double-covered diving catch on the sideline of the end zone) and two rushing scores.
The Giants won 32-31 when the Bucs missed a field goal as time expired, and Jones finished Sunday afternoon as the No. 2 Fantasy quarterback in scoring in six-point-per-TD leagues with 37 points.
So, was Jones great because he played the Buccaneers? Or is he actually this good? After watching him make great throws all preseason and run for yardage and touchdowns in college (17 scores in three years), I'm willing to say Jones has a good chance to be legit for Fantasy. I wouldn't make him your permanent Fantasy starter — he plays the Vikings and Patriots in Weeks 5 and 6. But if you have any doubts whatsoever about your current Fantasy starter, or if you can somehow grab Jones in your SuperFlex/Two QB league, get him. Jones is available in 67% of CBS Sports leagues.
If not for Jones, this would have been a headline week for Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen. Playing at the Cardinals, the former undrafted rookie launched four touchdowns and had an otherwise good day against the toothless Arizona defense (19 of 26 passing, 261 yards, one fumble lost). If he could play this defense every week he'd be special. Unfortunately, his next two games are at the Texans and versus the Jaguars before a date in Europe with the Buccaneers. Allen's appeal is strictly limited to SuperFlex/Two QB leagues.
Teddy Bridgewater beat the odds again — this time he walked into Seattle and walked out with a win to go with a modest stat line. He threw for under 200 yards but came up with a pair of touchdown throws on 19 of 27 passing and would have had more numbers if not for the Saints scoring on a punt return and a defensive fumble return in the first half. As a result, the Saints only had the ball for 11:00 at halftime, leaving Bridgewater with 14 attempts. He also didn't have to do much in the second half as the Saints played with a lead. The time to get Bridgewater in your lineup isn't in Week 4 against the Cowboys, but Week 5 versus Tampa Bay. If for some reason Stafford is your starter, Bridgewater should be stashed to replace him for Detroit's bye.
As for Mason Rudolph, the second-year quarterback was alright in the second half of the Steelers' loss at the 49ers, but not good enough to trust in Fantasy. Rudolph hit JuJu Smith-Schuster on a short pass that Smith-Schuster took to the house for 76 yards, then threw a perfect pass to Diontae Johnson in single coverage down the left side of the field for a 39-yard score. The Steelers' third-longest pass play of the game was a 10-yard completion to Vance McDonald. Even in a nice home matchup against the Bengals in Week 4, Rudolph shouldn't be trusted. Stafford, Case Keenum, Kyle Allen and Gardner Minshew are better streamers.
One more quarterback: Jacoby Brissett. The Colts' backup-turned-starter is doing a great job of making people forget about their starter-turned-retiree. On Sunday he lit up the Falcons for two touchdowns and 310 yards. He has seven passing touchdowns and one interception through three games, and a pair of 21-plus Fantasy point games to go with it. Available in just under 50% of CBS Sports leagues, Brissett has a pair of dynamite matchups on the horizon (Oakland, at Kansas City). He's the second-best quarterback you could add after Jones.
But maybe you've got Patrick Mahomes or Russell Wilson at quarterback and you don't care about these newcomers. Don't worry, the Week 4 waiver wire has some interesting additions for you:
Early Waiver Targets
Rex Burkhead RB
NE New England • #34
Age: 29 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Did Burkhead make a case to replace Sony Michel as the Patriots' lead running back in Week 3? The stats speak for themselves -- he had 47 rush yards on 11 carries compared to Michel's 11 yards on nine carries. Both scored, but Burkhead made his presence felt in the passing game (six catches for 22 yards) compared to Michel (one target this season). James White will reclaim the passing downs role next week, but Burkhead could lay claim to the lead rushing job given Michel's ineffectiveness through most of the season. It's definitely enough to warrant adding Burkhead.
KC Kansas City • #17
Age: 21 • Experience: Rookie
Hardman mimicked Tyreek Hill on an 83-yard touchdown when he got past most of the Ravens defense and then sped to the end zone. He was targeted five times and had a carry too. It's not a lot of work, but he's a good Fantasy boom-or-bust receiver because he's got potential to make a house call anytime he catches a pass from Mahomes. An interesting matchup at Detroit in Week 4 should open the door for Hardman as a flex option.
KC Kansas City • #31
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Williams didn't start for the Chiefs but did rack up 109 total yards on nine carries and five catches. And he was needed when the Chiefs lost LeSean McCoy to an ankle injury in the third quarter. Andy Reid believes McCoy will be OK, but if he's not and if Damien Williams isn't ready to return from his knee injury, then Fantasy managers should have at least a low-end No. 2 running back to lean on in Darrel Williams in Week 4. Such a scenario would also give Darwin Thompson (61% owned) some work, but his minimal touches in Week 3 told us what the coaching staff thinks of him right now.
Will Dissly TE
SEA Seattle • #88
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Dissly had the garbagest of garbage-time touchdowns, scoring at the buzzer in the Seahawks' loss to the Saints, but before then he caught 5 of 6 targets for 58 yards. He's been a considerable part of the Seattle offense over the last two weeks, both games where the team had to throw to stay competitive. Dissly lands the prettiest of matchups — at Arizona — in Week 4 and is absolutely worth the stream treatment.
D.J. Chark WR
JAC Jacksonville • #17
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Scoring in three straight games and developing some major mojo with Gardner Minshew should clinch Chark as a must-own receiver in every league. He's also a good starting option as at least a flex for the next six weeks as the Jaguars' toughest opponent over the stretch is probably Denver next week. Make Chark a priority if he's somehow on your waiver wire.
NE New England • #13
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Dorsett's been a touchdown-dependent Fantasy receiver for all of his five years in the league. He's notched 60-plus yards only five times (and never over 100 yards). But things are changing -- he's the third receiver in the Patriots' Gronkowski-less offense, opening up targets and scoring chances for Dorsett like we haven't seen before. With Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon drawing attention, Dorsett is often left in single coverage, or in the case of his touchdown on Sunday, wide open. Fantasy managers will chase Dorsett hoping he can stay consistently involved in the Patriots offense. It's possible given the amount of playing time he's getting. Hopefully he'll have more games with seven targets like he had in Week 3, and less of the seven-target games combined he had in Weeks 1 and 2.
Golden Tate WR
NYG N.Y. Giants • #15
Age: 31 • Experience: 10 yrs.
Tate's best work came when he worked in an offense that couldn't run the ball well in Detroit. Without Saquon Barkley playing for the next several weeks, it's probably a likelihood that the Giants will throw plenty. With Daniel Jones at quarterback, that's not a bad thing. Tate will finish his suspension in Week 4 but will deliver some additional options for the Giants' offense beginning in Week 5. So long as Barkley is sidelined and the Giants run game is a mess, Tate offers significant PPR appeal.
NYG N.Y. Giants • #22
Age: 25 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Alright, I have to mention Gallman. He's the running back expected to replace Saquon Barkley in the Giants offense for the next several weeks while Barkley heals from a high-ankle sprain. At the very least, he's someone who should sink his teeth into a large dose of snaps. The former fourth-round pick entered Week 3 with a 4.1-yard rushing average, a 6.0 receiving average, three career touchdowns and five career fumbles (two lost). Not great. The Giants have a nice matchup versus Washington in Week 4, then take on the Vikings, Patriots, Cardinals and Lions. Maybe Barkley will be back after those games, and not many of them would be running back friendly to a back who's produced at an average level like Gallman.
More names to know
- Ronald Jones (46%): One week it's Peyton Barber dominating for the Bucs, the next it's Jones. That's why it's hard to get too excited about either Bucs running back. Making matters worse are back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back games on the road against the Rams, Saints, Panthers, Titans and Seahawks (with a bye mixed in) as part of one of the most unfair schedules in NFL history. Seriously, they won't play in Florida again until November 10. Add Jones for running back depth but may the Fantasy Gods have mercy on your desperate soul if you are forced to start Jones in any of these upcoming games.
- Marquez Valdes-Scantling (65%): Believe it or not, MVS has outproduced Davante Adams in Fantasy so far this season. Don't count on that to last, but do count on Valdes-Scantling to pick up some deep passes each week. Those receivers tend to do great one week and then stink the next two or three, but anyone catching balls from Aaron Rodgers warrants usage. The Packers host the Eagles and their not-so-scary secondary in Week 4.
- Diontae Johnson (5%): The Steelers will move forward with Johnson as a starting receiver, and he looked great on a touchdown toss from Mason Rudolph against the 49ers. Though his quarterback situation isn't ideal, Johnson should be given a chance to develop into a contributor for Fantasy play. I'd add him with the idea of stashing him, but a Week 4 matchup against the Bengals is tantalizing.
- Alexander Mattison (52%): If you have Dalvin Cook, please find the roster room for Mattison. He's a capable back who would fall into a sizable workload if Cook suffers an injury. Cook has been ridiculously good through three weeks, but he's been hurt by October in each of his first two seasons. Fingers crossed that Cook stays cookin' all season long, but you'd hate to have to fight for his replacement off waivers in the event the stud misses time.
- Gardner Minshew (12%): He's got a live arm and a cool mustache. He'll run a little and should have had an even better day against the Titans on Thursday night. But be real: You'll feel better dressing up as him for Halloween than start him in a one-QB Fantasy league.
- Darius Slayton (0%): The Giants' No. 3 option in the passing game could see some increased targets with Jones under center and Barkley on the sideline. In deeper leagues he's worth the stash after a 3-82-0 line on Sunday.
- Adam Humphries (5%): I might prefer to wait another week just to make sure Humphries' role in the Titans offense is secure. I also need a week to talk myself into trusting a receiver catching passes from Marcus Mariota. A 6-93-0 line on nine targets shouldn't be ignored.
- Chris Herndon (15%): We're another week closer to his return, along with another week closer to Sam Darnold's return. Grab him and stash him.
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