Is He Fantasy Fool’s Gold?

Once again, DeVante Parker gave fantasy football managers a taste of his potential and made himself a Week 4 waiver wire target. Coming off his highest receiving yards total since 2019, is Parker now a waiver wire priority, or should fantasy managers look to avoid getting sucked into rostering the inconsistent pass catcher?

How should fantasy managers prioritize DeVante Parker on the Week 4 waiver wire?

There was a lot to like about Parkers’ Week 3 performance with 156 yards on five receptions. However, no more than a handful of fantasy managers benefited after he came into the week with just four targets through the first two weeks. Parker is rostered in 21.3 percent of ESPN leagues but was started in just 0.8 percent in Week 3. The question now is how we react to this performance. Was it a one-off, or was it the culmination of Parker working into the New England Patriots‘ offense?

The immediate positive is that Parker has played a lot of snaps through the first three weeks of the season. He played every snap in Week 1 against the Dolphins, 76 percent of the snaps in Week 2, and 97 percent of the snaps in Week 3. The Patriots certainly appear to value having Parker on the field, which finally translated to targets in Week 3.

The big difference between Week 3 and the first two weeks of the season was the absence of Jakobi Meyers. Meyers was the clear leader of the pass catchers in the first two weeks (19 targets and 13 receptions). His 29.2 percent target share was up for grabs after the Patriots ruled him out with a knee injury, and Parker stepped into the breach with a 31.3 percent target share in Week 3.

Entering the waiver wire period for Week 4, we have no idea how serious the injury is to Meyers. He has not been placed on the IR, but the Pats ruled him out reasonably early Sunday. If Meyers returns, Parker would likely drop to the second target option at best. Additionally, there is uncertainty over how the offense will look with Brian Hoyer at the helm after Mac Jones suffered a high-ankle sprain.

What is Parker’s fantasy value going forward?

It’s tough to judge what Parker’s value looks like going forward because it was such a contrast in Week 3 compared to the previous two weeks. Consequently, you throw in the uncertainty over this offense with the injury to Jones, and it all becomes very messy.

The debate surrounding Parker as a waiver wire target becomes: what are you looking for from him? The offensive situation makes him unstartable this week, so if you need immediate help, he is not the answer. In that case, you are looking at Greg Dortch, Russell Gage, and Romeo Doubs before even considering Parker. However, if you are looking for a big-play upside that you might be able to utilize down the stretch, it’s a different story.

Parker definitely falls into that second category. Not a single one of his 10 targets came within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. His targeted air yards in Week 3 were second only to Tre’Quan Smith, and he had an incredible 57.1 percent of the Patriots’ air yards this past week. On top of that, he produced after the catch, averaging 9.4 yards after the catch per reception. However, that production after the catch is tough to rely on, as Parker averaged four yards after the catch above expected, the third-highest number among qualified receivers in Week 3.

Parker’s value in fantasy right now is as a stash and hold. That’s tough to do in some leagues where bench sizes are small. Therefore, he is a relatively low-priority waiver wire addition for many. That is good news for those who are looking to stash him. With the injury to Jones, Parker’s value is somewhat depressed from what it was as the game was wrapping up.

Regarding the priority order, Parker falls close to the bottom of the WR position for me. I would rather take the chance on Mack Hollins, Josh Reynolds, and K.J. Osborn than a player who has one good week and is now playing with a backup journeyman QB. Therefore, limiting your FAAB (or waiver priority) bids to around 0-2 percent is prudent. If you are feeling in a comfortable position and want to add him as a stash, then, by all means, go above that a touch. However, five percent should be an absolute maximum. If someone else is willing to pay more, good luck to them.

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Should You Add Him To Play The Seahawks?

Week 4 of the 2022 NFL fantasy football season is already here, and we have you covered for all of your waiver wire questions. While most fantasy owners will stand pat after your fantasy football draft, staying flexible with your roster can swing a matchup.

Pay attention to the top names on the waiver wire all season long. Hard Knocks star and Detroit Lions running back Jamaal Williams has quickly become a fantasy star. We’ll dive into Williams’ Week 4 waiver wire value against the Seattle Seahawks.

Should you add Jamaal Williams from the waiver wire for Week 4?

Available in 39% of Yahoo leagues and 56% of ESPN leagues, Williams has quickly become a popular play for managers. He’s the fifth-best fantasy rusher in the league right now thanks to a role few projected for him. Williams is leading the Lions in rushing attempts and touchdowns as a red-zone vulture for D’Andre Swift.

With Swift now week-to-week with a shoulder injury, this is Williams’ backfield. Fantasy managers could have an unbelievable event to get someone who has been an elite back in 2022. Williams is tied for the NFL lead in red-zone rushing attempts (11), third in yards (40), and tied for the lead in touchdowns (4).

It’s a no-brainer to add Williams off the waiver wire for any fantasy manager. You should consider spending heavily in FAAB leagues or using top priority wherever Williams is available. He’s the whale you hope comes on the market as his floor won’t be significantly diminished once Swift is back.

With 43 carries for 168 yards and four scores in three games, Williams has been the go-to guy for this offense. Even if he returns to an even share with Swift upon his return, Williams is a red-zone monster. The biggest negative with Williams thus far has been the lack of targets despite being such a good receiving threat in past years. He has only five targets with four catches for 29 yards.

Is Jamaal Williams a good play against Seattle?

The Lions are eighth in the NFL in rushing attempts, third in yards, second in touchdowns, and first in yards per carry. Seattle offers one of the best matchups in the league for Williams to put forth a dominant performance. Their defense ranks 28th in rushing attempts, 30th in rushing, and allow 4.9 yards per carry.

It’s safe to expect a heavy workload for Williams and backup Craig Reynolds in Week 4. Detroit should thrive with their elite offensive line as they pick on Seattle’s undersized and under-talented run defense. There’s a solid chance Williams has an RB1 output this week and remains a top-six back until Swift returns.

One of the biggest potential boosts for fantasy managers would be giving Williams his usual target share. Swift has been targeted 12 times to Williams’ five. Will Williams inherit the primary receiving role with Reynolds stepping into Williams’ backup role?

We’re hoping so since his upside would shoot to the moon. It’s possible Reynolds gets a larger workload than we’re hoping and Williams simply takes over the starting job. While Williams would still be a great starter, he would lose some of the upside that could make him a season-changing pickup off the waiver wire.

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Should You Add Him To Play The Eagles?

The 2022 fantasy football season is already reaching the end of the first month of action, and we have you covered for all of your waiver wire questions. It’s time to really dig into all data we have available since trends are forming. Don’t hesitate to make a bold move if the first few weeks haven’t gone your way.

Pay attention to the top names on the waiver wire all season long. Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Zay Jones has become a surprising fantasy option for managers. We’ll dive into Jones’ Week 4 waiver wire value against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Should you add Zay Jones from the waiver wire for Week 4?

Available in 89% of Yahoo leagues and 91% of ESPN leagues, Jones is an up-and-coming roster candidate. He’s the 35th-best fantasy receiver in the league right now and is second on the team in targets. His Week 3 outbreak featured a season-high 11 targets, 10 catches, 85 yards, and a touchdown.

With 19 receptions for 173 yards and one score on the year, Jones is the go-to guy for Trevor Lawrence when he needs a short completion. The dynamic between Jones and Christian Kirk, the top target within this offense, is a unique one compared to the rest of the league. Kirk was expected to be the slot star after seeing his role in Arizona, but he’s been moved all around, with Zay Jones as the slot option and Marvin Jones Jr. a third-down and red-zone master.

PPR league fantasy managers won’t get high upside with Zay Jones despite Trevor Lawrence’s growing fondness for him. Jones isn’t an overly physical player at the catch point despite his size and the offense. He’s more like what Rondale Moore was for Arizona last year than Kirk, which is a fascinating development.

With an average of 14.1 points per game in PPR leagues, Jones has the second-lowest yards per reception amongst the top 51 fantasy receivers. Only Curtis Samuel has fewer, but it makes sense given his role. This is a bit of a red flag for Jones’ fantasy relevance and upside moving forward.

A consistently low ceiling isn’t much to be happy with. Zay Jones has been targeted six times in the red zone but has only caught three passes. Marvin Jones is a clearly better red-zone option with his skill set and has more red-zone fantasy points despite being targeted three times there on the season. Will Doug Pederson force the ball to Zay even if his skill set doesn’t fit the role?

That’s a key question for fantasy managers. Zay Jones is worth picking up because he continues to get opportunities, but it’s worth keeping a higher-variance option over him until we see more red-zone success. There’s not much of a difference between Jones’ profile and Greg Dortch’s, for example.

Is Zay Jones a good play against Philadelphia?

The Eagles are one of the better defenses in the league at slowing opposing receivers. They rank 10th in fantasy points allowed to receivers, giving up 42 receptions for 448 yards and two touchdowns on 76 targets. Expect Lawrence to be less efficient this week than his previous two performances against weaker defenses.

The Eagles have big, physical corners in Darius Slay and James Bradberry. Those two can be major headaches for Jones, and it’d be wiser for Lawrence to prioritize Kirk, Marvin Jones, and Evan Engram this week. Unless you absolutely need a player likely to produce under 10 points, consider staying away from Jones on the waiver wire or grabbing him and stashing him.

If you’re in a FAAB league, Jones is a low-cost option only if you’re suffering from injuries and need a modest floor, low-ceiling starter, or depth piece.

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Dalvin Cook’s Injury Opens The Door For A Massive Opportunity

The quickest way to fall behind in a fantasy football league is to become complacent and rely on the team you drafted, neglecting the all-important waiver wire. As managers make numerous waiver claims for Week 4, hoping to strengthen their roster, should Minnesota Vikings RB Alexander Mattison be a priority addition ahead of his game against the New Orleans Saints?

Alexander Mattison continues to be a top-ranked fantasy football handcuff

Every single preseason we hear the same thing: Alexander Mattison is the best backup/handcuff you can draft in fantasy football. Well, it looks as if we might see that narrative put to use again this week, meaning Mattison could be one of the most important waiver wire selections for Week 4.

Subbing in for an injured Dalvin Cook, Mattison took over and ran the ball seven times for 28 yards and a touchdown in Week 3. It’s not the first time Mattison has taken over when Cook was unavailable. In the four games that Cook missed last year, Mattison finished as the RB7, RB6, RB8, and RB13 in those four games.

It is worth noting he was a bit lucky with the strength of schedule over that stretch, facing the Seattle Seahawks once and Detroit Lions twice. That said, Mattison consistently exceeded expectations, something even the best players fail to do more often than we would like.

In his three 2021 starts against Seattle and Detroit, Mattison averaged 24.3 rushes, 6.0 targets, and 149.3 total yards per game. He also found the end zone twice. Compiling all six of his career starts, Mattison has averaged 23.3 touches, 115.5 total yards, and 20.1 fantasy points.

If there is any positive to come out of this for Cook managers, it is that by the time the injury occurred, Cook had already put together a decent game. In Week 3, he was the RB18 in PPR formats, scoring 13.6 points thanks to 17 rushes for 98 yards and a touchdown.

While the Vikings are more aggressive vertically under Kevin O’Connell, when you have a running back like Cook or even Mattison, you can never write off the running game.

Dalvin Cook’s status is up in the air for Week 4

Complicating matters is that Cook is not guaranteed to miss Week 4, making it hard to gauge how much fantasy managers should invest in Mattison on the waiver wire.

Cook suffered a dislocated shoulder on Sunday, which is not uncommon for him. Cook has been dealing with shoulder injuries since high school. Last season, Cook dislocated his shoulder and tore his labrum in a contest against the San Francisco 49ers. It was reported that Cook played with his labrum still unrepaired.

It’s expected that Cook will wear a specially designed brace that helps keep his shoulder safer, something he did last year after sitting out just one game. There is a chance he doesn’t even miss time, as the Vikings are leaving open the possibility of Cook suiting up on Sunday against the Saints.

“He’s pretty sore today, but obviously something he’s familiar with. He’s tough, he’s ready to try to get back out there and go, but we’ll take it day-to-day,” O’Connell said to media members on Monday.

Take caution in using too much FAAB on Alexander Mattison

By no means am I saying not to take a swing at Mattison. If he is out there, you need to at least put in a claim for him, as he has a well-established track record of success when taking over the Minnesota backfield.

What I am saying is to use some caution and not drop 100% of your FAAB on him, as there is a chance Cook starts. If he does, it’d be tough to justify starting Mattison, as we don’t know what the snap share would be. If Cook sits, then it’s wheels up, and we ride Mattison as a premium RB2.

With all that said, we likely won’t have clarity on Cook’s situation until later in the week, meaning you need to make a gut call now. Mattison is a top-five waiver wire claim for Week 4, but he is not No. 1. That distinction most likely goes to Bears RB Khalil Herbert. Browns TE David Njoku is also on the shortlist given how devoid the tight end position is of difference-making options.

Even if Cook plays, Mattison and the Vikings have a difficult matchup. New Orleans is allowing the sixth-fewest points to the position through three games (16.1) and has allowed only one touchdown so far. They did give up over 100 yards to both Cordarrelle Patterson (120) and Christian McCaffrey (108), but it took over 20 carries for each to hit that total. If Cook is active, it’s likely that neither Cook nor Mattison will see similar volume.

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5 best fantasy football matchups to exploit for Week 4

Sep 25, 2022; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals’ James Conner (6) runs the ball against the Los Angeles Rams at State Farm Stadium.
Nfl Los Angeles Rams At Arizona Cardinals

Matchups in fantasy football are important. From Najee Harris to Amari Cooper, Week 4 has some potentially exploitable matchups.

Finding exploitable matchups in fantasy football can be crucial to success week to week, whether it’s season-long leagues or daily lineups. Having a good player lined up with a good matchup can make your life easier on gameday. Here are five players with exploitable matchups.

Best matchups for fantasy football Week 4

5. James Conner, RB, Arizona Cardinals (vs. Carolina Panthers)

James Conner hasn’t necessarily been the fantasy producer that managers drafted him to be in 2022. After dominating in 2021, he’s been off to a sluggish start — much like the rest of Arizona’s offense. He’s totaled 90 yards on 30 carries, and hasn’t added much through the air.

However, this is a good week for Conner and the rest of the Cardinals’ offense to rebound. Conner is going up against the Carolina Panthers, who have allowed the 16th-most fantasy points to running backs in 2022, and haven’t looked very good themselves. This will likely be a competitive game, and the Cardinals will need offensive production to win out.

Conner has the talent and the volume to be a legitimate fantasy producer. He’ll have to improve on what he’s done through three weeks and make better use of the solid volume he’s getting. Until then, he’s a low-end RB2. However, this matchup increases his outlook this week.

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