Welcome to the dreaded, initial bye week for fantasy football teams. This is the moment where waiver additions will become critical to building your championship team. The Patriots and Titans are on their bye week which means no Brady no Gronkowski no Edelman no Dion Lewis no Kendall Wright. Check out this week’s top guys to snatch up off waivers.
Fantasy Football Add/Drop – Week 4
Add – Andy Dalton
What has gotten into the red rifle Andy Dalton? With a total of 866 yards 8 TDs to 1 INT Dalton is looking more like the 2013 Jay Gruden coached Andy Dalton (33 TDs) and little like the 2014 No Tyler Eifert No Marvin Jones, Andy Dalton. A lot was made of his struggles last season within new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson’s system but if you take a good look at the injuries he had to deal with on the offensive side of the ball you might want to give him a reprieve. Top wide receiver A.J. Green battled an assortment of injuries causing him to be in and out of the lineup while playing injured a majority of the time when he lined up for the Bengals in 2014. Top running back and Dalton’s safety valve coming into the 2014 season Gio Bernard dealt with an injury of his own causing the Bengals to rely more upon the power running of rookie sensation Jeremy Hill. 1st round tight end Tyler Eifert and 2013 10 TD breakout receiver Marvin Jones missed all of last season for the Bengals. Mix all of Dalton’s weapons up and you have a Bengals offense that looks flat out unstoppable and you have a quarterback that’s a must add in all fantasy football formats.
Notables – Michael Vick
Drop – Teddy Bridgewater
As it stands Teddy Bridgewater is a better quarterback in reality than he is fantasy football and that’s not saying much for the young signal caller. He’s doing a good job of extending plays and mitigating negative outcomes but the explosive plays are non-existent. The fact of the matter is that Bridgewater is not pushing the football downfield on a consistent basis. He’s under throwing his targets downfield and when he happens to make a good deep throw his receivers aren’t helping by dropping passes. The return of Adrian Peterson has prompted a more ball control offense. Can’t say that we blame Norv Turner particularly when Mike Zimmer’s defense is playing at a high level. A 1 TD to 2 INT ratio through 3 games isn’t roster worthy in fantasy despite his long-term upside. Cut bait.
Add – Devonta Freeman & Karlos Williams
Florida State running backs are in the building and should be scooped up in your respective fantasy leagues. Freeman and Williams played together on FSU’s national champion team and both came into the regular season 2nd on their respective teams’ running back depth chart. The injury to Falcons starting running back Tevin Coleman paved an opportunity for Freeman to finally get an every down workload for the first time in his young career and boy did he take full advantage. Freeman rushed for career highs in all categories with 30 carries 141 yards and 3 touchdowns. Add in another 52 yards receiving and you have what you call BALLING!!! While Freeman broke out with career numbers, Williams just continued what he has been doing all season as LeSean McCoy’s backup. The surprising release of veteran Bills RB Fred Jackson stunned everyone but Williams has rewarded the confidence of the Bills’ coaching staff and front office as he has scored a TD in every game while leading the NFL with a robust 7.75 yards per carry. Coach Rex Ryan stated McCoy is not close to being 100% healthy and should be limited until he is; so fire up Williams for the Bills and fire up Freeman for the Falcons.
Notables – Thomas Rawls, Lance Dunbar, Antonio Andrews
Drop – Rashad Jennings
The dreaded running back committee has claimed the fantasy value of Rashad Jennings. The problem is that he is the oldest and least talented back of the bunch. However, it’s his all-around game as compared to his counterparts Shane Vereen and Andre Williams that keeps him a part of the mix. However, his 2.9 yards per carry and dwindling volume of touches week-to-week spells the end of Rashad Jennings as a viable fantasy option at the running back position. Vereen is getting the lion’s share of the passing down and 2-4 minute offense work. Andre Williams is clearly the more explosive and powerful ball-carrier, more adept at breaking tackles, gaining yardage after contact and breaking off long gains. The Giants offensive line lacks stability and the defense will force them into shoot-outs. Try to trade Jennings if you can but don’t hesitate to simply drop him in favor of a Devonta Freeman or Karlos Williams.
Add – Marvin Jones
What’s wrong with a double up of Cincinnati Bengals. CPGM preseason fantasy sleeper WR Marvin Jones is demonstrating why he was missed all of last season with foot and ankle injuries. He is displaying his 2013 form ala Andy Dalton. Jones was targeted a season high 8 times against the Baltimore Ravens snagging down 5 reception for 94 yards and a TD. Expect Jones to become more involved in the offense on a regular basis as teams will look to bracket A.J. Green and try to take away TE Tyler Eifert. Opponents can’t guard everyone on the Bengals offense therefore Jones and his big play abilities will be matched up one-on-one on the outside making him a good flex play each week.
Notables – Allen Hurns, Ted Ginn Jr., Martavis Bryant
Drop – Charles Johnson
Yet another fantasy sleeper heading into the 2015 season, Charles Johnson simply hasn’t made an impact thus far. It’s hard to imagine that he will have a significant role in the Vikings offense considering that he has only been targeted 8 times through 3 contests. The return of Adrian Peterson, Kyle Rudolph and the acquisition of Mike Wallace certainly pushes Johnson down the target totem pole. His lack of productivity and involvement in the offense has to be attributed to Bridgewater’s deep ball inaccuracy, a more conservative offensive game plan, and lack of concentration/engagement on each play on Johnson’s behalf. If the ball isn’t coming their way frequently it isn’t uncommon for young receivers to have lapses in concentration, drop the football, run the wrong route, etc. Johnson is going through a learning process along with a young quarterback . Let them work the kinks out on the waiver wire.
Add – Charles Clay
Is this a resurgence for Charles Clay? Or was it just inspired play facing off against his former team the Miami Dolphins? Clay has battled injuries over the last couple of seasons for Miami but has now found a new home in Buffalo where he looks like his former healthy self. On Sunday, Clay caught 5 of his 7 targets for 82 yards and an impressive touchdown shaking and avoiding defenders en route to the goal line. New Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman has made him a focal point within the offense and QB Tyrod Taylor looks to the tight end in short to intermediate routes. With Rob Gronkowski and Delanie Walker unavailable in Week 4 (bye week) now is the time to scoop up Clay. Not only is a decent option during the interim but he provides considerable upside at the tight end position as long as Tyrod Taylor is under center.
Notables – Owen Daniels, Antonio Gates
Drop – Ladarius Green
Ladarius Green is a tease. With news that Antonio Gates would be on a bit of a “pitch count” this season followed by the news that Gates would be suspended it was time to roll the dice on post hype sleeper Ladarius Green once again. Well, after a solid performance in Week 1, Green has been non-existent primarily due to his inability to stay healthy. With target monster Keenan Allen regaining his rookie form, the addition of Stevie Johnson, Phillip Rivers’ penchant for targeting Malcolm Floyd deep and Danny Woodhead all seeing their fair share of targets Green couldn’t afford to lose time to injury if he were to continue being a part of the offensive game plan. With Gates slated to return in Week 5 Green’s fantasy value is practically nil and is no longer worthy of being on your fantasy roster.
Add – Vikings D
It’s not all bad in Minnesota. Again, the Vikings are relying heavily on their running game led by Adrian Peterson and a talented and well-coached group of defenders. After a poor showing during Week 1 at San Francisco the Minnesota Vikings defense has shut down Matthew Stafford and Phillip Rivers led offenses. The Broncos offense will be a challenge in Week 4 but this defense will fight. Even if you choose not to start the Vikings defense in Week 4 they will present plenty of value in the coming weeks. Add them.
Drop – Texans D
Your memory is playing tricks on you. Outside of J.J. Watt this defense isn’t very good. In fact it’s nothing like it was in the past. The Texans struggle to rush the passer on a consistent basis and give up far too many explosive plays to be relied upon week-in and week-out in your fantasy leagues. They are a matchup play at best and if you don’t have the room on your bench to utilize them as such don’t hesitate to drop them. Do you recall what Alex Smith did to them in Week 1. Alex Smith!?!