Our weekly fantasy football waiver wire takes a look at the top pickups for Week 4 of the NFL season. Many of these players are still available in a majority of leagues and could have an immediate impact on your fantasy roster. Others might be worth stashing on your bench or are simply just players to add to your watch list.

Quarterbacks

Blake Bortles JAX | QB

The constant butt of jokes and the king of garbage time, Blake Bortles looked like a different man across the pond on Sunday morning. Bortles tossed four touchdown passes to go along with 244 yards and a healthy completion percentage of 65%. It doesn’t seem like a coincidence the Jaguars are visibly more competent since Doug Marrone took the reins from Gus Bradley at the end of last season. While Bortles may not put up 25 + fantasy points every week, Sunday’s outing solidified him as the Jaguars starter and he should be viewed as a stream-able, fringe QB1 in certain matchups. (about 12% owned)
Recommendation: Should be added in deeper leagues

Jared Goff LAR | QB

The first season back in Los Angeles was a tumultuous one for the Rams, as the team’s No. 1 pick of the 2016 draft did them no favors. Yet, with a season under his belt and an offensive guru as a Head Coach, Jared Goff has started to show signs of life. In Thursday Night’s shootout with the 49ers, Goff turned in a career high QB rating of 145.8 to complement three touchdowns and 292 passing yards. Despite the impressive showing coming against the lowly San Francisco defense, Goff’s play merits legitimate QB2 consideration with QB1 upside. He’ll have a favorable matchup next weekend against the Cowboys in Dallas. (about 12% owned)
Recommendation: Should be added in deeper leagues

Running Backs

Jamaal Charles DEN | RB

That’s right, one of fantasy’s stars from the past handful of years returns to relevancy, as a recommended waiver wire pickup. Jamaal Charles ranks above Jim Brown, Barry Sanders, and every other running back in NFL history when it comes to yards per rush average, sporting an eye-popping 5.4 average throughout his career. This past weekend in Buffalo, the Broncos showed they were committed to getting Charles involved, as he ripped off 56 yards and a touchdown on 9 attempts. Even with C.J. Anderson handling featured back work and turning in a bounce back season, Charles’ stock is trending upwards and should have flex appeal moving forward. (about 33% owned)
Recommendation: Should be added in all leagues

Wendell Smallwood PHI | RB

After Darren Sproles suffered devastating dual injuries – tearing an ACL and breaking an arm, the workload distribution in the Philadelphia backfield is still up for grabs. That said, there’s one thing for certain: Wendell Smallwood is primed to receive a solid uptick in touches. The second-year back out of West Virginia earned 71 yards on 12 carries and added one reception for nine yards in Sunday’s win over the Giants. With Sproles done for the year, look for Smallwood to be first in line when it comes to spelling LeGarrette Blount. Smallwood will be one of the more popular adds on the waiver wire this week. (about 6% owned)
Recommendation: Should be added in all leagues

Duke Johnson Jr. CLE | RB

The verdict is out in Cleveland – Duke Johnson Jr. is one of the few offensive weapons that the anemic Cleveland Bronws’ offense possesses. After hauling in six passes for 81 yards and adding 23 rushing yards and a TD on two carries, it’s time Head Coach Hue Jackson started running more designed plays through the third-year back. With Isaiah Crowell continuing to struggle, even in a juicy matchup against the Colts, it’s clear that the Browns need to do a better job at getting the ball to Johnson. Assuming the Browns coaching staff wises up, he’ll be a solid flex play (especially in PPR leagues) in the interim. (about 52% owned)
Recommendation: Should be added in all leagues

Wide Receivers

Sterling Shepard NYG | WR

With the New York Giants struggling as much as anyone through the first two weeks, Head Coach Ben McAdoo simplified things in Week 3’s gameplan against the Eagles. The offense was much more oriented around short passes and getting the ball out of Eli Manning’s hand at a quicker rate, things that greatly benefited second-year receiver Sterling Shepard. With Odell Beckham Jr. back and commanding much of the defense’s attention, Shepard had his way in single coverage and made the most of it by hauling in seven receptions for 133 yards and a TD. With Brandon Marshall continuing to be an absolute non-factor, Shepard could permanently find himself as the more consistent No. 2 option in the Giants passing game moving forward. (about 35% owned)
Recommendation: Should be added in all leagues

Kenny Britt CLE | WR

Leading up to the Browns Week 3 game against the Colts, Head Coach Hue Jackson spent some time with Kenny Britt expressing the need for him to step up. Week 3’s performance was certainly a step in the right direction for the veteran receiver, as Britt nabbed three receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown. However, the biggest takeaway from this week is the fact Britt’s target total doubled his combined mark over the first two weeks. While the Browns offense still has a number of growing pains with a rookie quarterback, Britt will continue to operate as the team’s de facto No. 1 target during Corey Coleman’s lengthy absence. (about 44% owned)
Recommendation: Should be added in deeper leagues

Tight Ends

Jared Cook OAK | TE

Long removed from the fantasy chatter hyping up the prospects of a breakout season, veteran Jared Cook has been an afterthought in fantasy leagues. However, there are signs of encouragement from his early season usage during his inaugural season in the Oakland offense. Racking up 17 targets through three games, Cook has solidified a role within the Raiders offense. With a tough slate in Denver up next on the schedule, look for Derek Carr to continue to rely on his big tight end on an array of underneath routes. (about 40% owned)
Recommendation: Should be added in deeper leagues

Defenses

Jacksonville Jaguars JAX | DEF

The Jags were one of my recommended picks coming out of Week 1, after they dismantled the Texans in the season opener. However, the Jacksonville defense hit a road bump against the Titans in Week 2, as they allowed 37 points and recorded negative fantasy points. That said, the team bounced back in a big way during Sunday’s demolition of the Ravens in London.
After allowing a mere seven points and tallying two sacks, two interceptions, and a fumble recovery, the Jaguars defense will remain an elite option in Week 4 against the pitiful Jets offense. While the Jacksonville defense may continue their roller coaster ride this season, I expect a lot more ups than downs this week in the Meadowlands. They’ll be one of the most popular waiver wire adds for Week 4. (about 45% owned)
Recommendation: Should be added as Week 4 streamer option

Cincinnati Bengals CIN | DEF

Despite losing a late lead over the Packers on Sunday in Green Bay, the Bengals defense turned in their most impressive outing of the early season. They recorded six sacks and a pick-six in doing their best to slow down Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense. This week, they’ll get a much easier task as they travel to Cleveland to take on the 0-3 Browns. If there was ever an opportunity to stream the Cincy defense, this qualifies as the week. Owners should feel confident rolling them out there in lineups in Week 4. (about 21% owned)
Recommendation: Should be added as Week 4 streamer option