Yet another week of fantasy football action is in the books, as owners everywhere look to the waiver wire the best available wide receiver pickups. Looking around the league shows that players like Justin Jefferson and Allen Lazard offer the best chance of positive performance moving forward.
Note that in order to be eligible for this list, the player needs to be available in at least 50% of ESPN leagues. Obviously, there is some variation from league to league, so make sure to peruse all available players before making your claims. There could be better players available in your specific league that didn’t qualify for this list.
Justin Jefferson, Allen Lazard Highlight Fantasy Football Week 4 Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups
If you can only get one guy off waivers this week, make it Justin Jefferson. The Minnesota Vikings wide receiver was one of the biggest names in the offseason, as he inherited a fantastic situation. The Vikings needed somebody to replace Stefon Diggs, and Jefferson was the hand-chosen successor to the role. Jefferson has tons of talent, and he capitalized on his opportunity in Week 3.
Stepping up as the top option in the passing attack, Jefferson finished his night with seven receptions for 175 yards and one touchdown. While he obviously won’t repeat this on a weekly basis, this showing demonstrates that he’s finally ready to handle starting duties in this offense. Minnesota has a terrible offense and they will have to throw the ball early and often to keep up. Adam Thielen can’t receive all of those targets, and Jefferson has decent odds to be a reliable WR2 the rest of the way.
Aaron Rodgers is back. After two (relatively) underwhelming seasons, the two-time MVP has looked like his old self throughout 2020. Without Davante Adams in town, Rodgers turned to former undrafted free agent Allen Lazard. The second-year pro answered the call, going off to the tune of six receptions for 146 yards and a touchdown. He should be a star if Adams misses any more time and should be a decent play even when he’s back on the field.
Speaking of talented rookies thrust into fantastic opportunities, Brandon Aiyuk made his first splash on the NFL stage. The first-round pick finished Week 3 with five receptions for 70 yards on eight targets to go along with three carries for 31 yards and one touchdown. He was the focal point of the offense and is playing under arguably the greatest offensive mind in football in Kyle Shanahan.
The 49ers are decimated by injury, so Aiyuk’s target share shouldn’t be in jeopardy moving forward. Additionally, Shanahan specifically drafted him for his ability in the open field, and nobody is better at scheming up open space than Shanahan. He should receive plenty of targets, and those targets should be pretty efficient. While San Francisco’s run-heavy philosophy limits his ceiling, Aiyuk should be a safe play for the foreseeable future.
Carson Wentz has been shockingly bad through three weeks, but there is still fantasy value to be had in Philadelphia. The Eagles pass-catching options are dropping like flies, as DeSean Jackson and Dallas Goedert both suffered serious injuries in Week 3. With first-round pick Jalen Reagor also sidelined, this leaves Greg Ward as the second-best receiving option on the team (Zach Ertz being the top choice).
Ward is nothing special from an athletic standpoint, but he has an established rapport with Wentz and has no competition for targets. If Wentz regresses to his usual level of play, Ward should be a reliable start until the rest of the team starts getting healthy. Even if Wentz continues his poor level of play, Ward should be a fine start in the short term. Last week, he recorded eight receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets, all team-highs. He probably won’t perform this well on a weekly basis, but he’s a fine short-term streaming option.
Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards are hurt, leaving Hunter Renfrow as the top option in the Las Vegas Raiders passing attack. The slot receiver had a great game against the New England Patriots, recording six receptions for 84 yards and a touchdown while coming inches away from a second score.
Assuming Ruggs and Edwards can’t play in Week 4, Renfrow should be a great option in PPR leagues. Derek Carr loves to throw short, and Renfrow is actually pretty efficient in the short part of the field. He’ll need volume to give you a starting-caliber performance, and that volume should be there if Vegas is missing their top two receivers.
Don’t look now, but Josh Allen is playing like one of the best quarterbacks in the league. The third-year passer took a major leap this year and is suddenly capable of supporting multiple fantasy-relevant receivers in the passing game. John Brown suffered an injury, and Gabriel Davis stepped up as the outside receiver opposite Stefon Diggs. During his limited time on the field, Davis recorded four receptions for 81 yards on four targets.
If Brown misses any time, Davis should be a safe bet for a decent performance. The speedy receiver makes his living in the deep part of the field, and he’ll only need one or two plays to have a fantasy-relevant week. Josh Allen is playing like a man possessed, and you should be chasing this opportunity if injuries have devastated your team.
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