Every week, we'll identify six players to target on fantasy waiver wires, plus a lightly owned team defense. Each of these fantasy assets will be available in a majority of Yahoo leagues.
Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders, 24 percent owned
Carr has delivered back-to-back 300-yard performances, both in winning efforts, tossing five touchdown passes and just one pick along the way. Check the touch on this 13-yard TD. Carr has been dealing. He also happens to have a ridiculously skilled rookie receiver at his disposal, a kid capable of shaming defenders with plays like this. With three games in the books, Carr is averaging 8.07 yards per pass attempt, which ranks well ahead of early-round fantasy assets like Brees (7.09), Wilson (6.85), Luck (6.49) and Peyton (5.94).
Simply put, Oakland's second-year QB is playing the position awfully well, and he's working with a significantly upgraded receiving corps. Many of us have a desperate need for QB help right now — add Tom Brady's looming bye to the growing list of positional issues — so Carr should be viewed as a priority add for Week 4. He gets a gift of a matchup on Sunday, as Oakland travels to Chicago to face the winless/talentless/hopeless Bears. Don't be surprised if Carr produces another 300-yard, multi-touchdown game.
FAAB bid: $14
Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills, 37 percent
OK, last call on Taylor. We've hyped him as a pickup consistently, yet somehow he's still available in nearly two-thirds of all Yahoo fantasy leagues. Going forward, we're ruling him ineligible for this feature, no matter where his ownership percentage sits.
Here are the essential numbers on Buffalo's quarterback: Taylor currently ranks fourth at his position in fantasy scoring (26.4 PPG), fifth in passing TDs (7), fourth in Y/A (9.15) and fourth among all QBs in rushing yards (96). His team just destroyed Miami on the road, and his upcoming matchups with the Giants and Titans shouldn't scare you off — in fact, New York actually ranks dead-last in the NFL in passing defense (335.7 YPG). If you aren't willing to add Taylor now, it's probably never gonna happen. There's no reason to think his streak of useful games is about to end.
FAAB bid: $22
Karlos Williams, RB, Buffalo Bills, 23 percent
Another week, another spike for Williams. He's found the end-zone in every game for the Bills so far, and he saw his largest workload yet in his team's Week 3 annihilation of Miami, rushing for 110 yards on 12 carries (9.2 YPC). He's a 230-pound back with 4.48-speed, so he's big enough to bulldoze at the goal line and fast enough to outrace defensive backs when he gets a running lane. There's a lot to like here. LeSean McCoy remains atop the depth chart for Buffalo, but he's running at less than full capacity right now (hamstring), and there's a possibility he'll sit for a week of recovery...
Even if Shady plays in Week 4, Williams clearly still belongs in the starting discussion for fantasy purposes. He's made the most of his limited touches thus far.
FAAB bid: $23 ($100 budget)
Lance Dunbar, RB, Dallas Cowboys, 16 percent
You don't need to be a PPR owner to appreciate Dunbar's game, but, well ... it certainly helps. The fourth-year pro has been given just two carries for Dallas in three games this season, rushing for 13 yards. But he's also hauled in 21 catches for 215 yards (10.2 AVG) on 23 targets. As of this writing, Dunbar ranks No. 13 in the NFL in total receptions, tied with teammate Jason Witten. He delivered 10 receptions for an even 100 yards against Atlanta in Week 3, and he gets a not-so-threatening matchup with New Orleans on Sunday night in Week 4. Dunbar should be owned in pretty much every PPR format. The target distribution will obviously change for Dallas when Dez Bryant is back in the mix, but, for now, Dunbar should be a high-volume receiver.
FAAB bid: $14
Rishard Matthews, WR, Miami Dolphins, 31 percent
We've all been waiting patiently for the DeVante Parker breakout in Miami, and it's probably not so far away. But while we wait, Matthews just keeps piling up fantasy points. He drew another 10 targets in Sunday's loss to Buffalo, snagging six for 113 yards and two scores. Matthews now leads the Dolphins in receiving yards (262) and yards per catch (16.2), and he's caught three of Ryan Tannehill's five touchdown passes. (This one in particular was absurd. If you lost a fantasy matchup on that heave ... well, wow. That's bad.) He's the eighth highest-scoring receiver in fantasy at the moment; even in his worst week he gave us 9.4 standard fantasy points. Add and enjoy. His FAAB price just keeps rising.
FAAB bid: $15
Marvin Jones, WR, Cincinnati Bengals, 20 percent
A.J. Green was obviously the star attraction in Cincinnati's Week 3 win at Baltimore, but Jones was a key supporting player. He caught five balls for 94 yards and one TD on eight targets, again drawing more looks than Mohamed Sanu. Back in 2013, Jones hauled in 10 touchdown passes (including four in one game), so there's little question he can achieve fantasy relevance. He was sidelined by foot and ankle issues last year, but he's clearly reclaimed his old role. He's a fantasy starter, no question. Let's see if we can flip the ownership percentages of Jones and Roddy White (77%) by the weekend.
FAAB bid: $12
Indianapolis Colts Defense, 30 percent
As with most defenses we highlight here as pickups, the Colts D isn't a unit you'll want to own for the full season. This is merely a single-serving add with a friendly matchup ahead. Indianapolis hosts Jacksonville in Week 4, which means a visit from Blake Bortles (20 INTs, 62 sacks in 17 career games). Indy's defense was a useful fantasy asset on Sunday in the win at Tennessee (TD, 2 INTs), and the setup improves in Week 4.
FAAB bid: $3
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- Sports & Recreation
- Derek Carr
- Oakland Raiders
- Buffalo Bills
- Tyrod Taylor