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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Waiver wire for NFL Week 4: Myles Gaskin, Justin Jefferson among top pickups

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      Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston’s Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.

One of the best strategies in fantasy football is to always be looking ahead, planning for the next move. Along those lines, it’s worth reminding you that starting in Week 5, NFL byes will begin.

I mention this because it won’t be long before you and your league mates will be looking for help to fill in for usual starters, which will make the fantasy football waiver wire that much more competitive. So do yourself a favor and start looking ahead — if that means adding a quarterback to replace your starter a week or three before his bye week, that’s A-OK.

Here is the Week 4 ESPN Fantasy waiver wire column.

Note: All players in this column are available in at least 50% of leagues.

Myles Gaskin, RB, Miami Dolphins (45.9%): There’s a clear-cut starter in the Miami backfield, and a surprising one at that: Myles Gaskin. Gaskin had his busiest night of the season in Week 3 with more than 20 rushes, and he is now up to 15 catches on the season as well. Jordan Howard seems to be a situational runner mostly (and his hogging of the goal-line carries should not go overlooked), but Gaskin’s workload is too good for him to be anything other than the priority add of the week.

Carlos Hyde, RB, Seattle Seahawks (9.9%): Late in Sunday’s dramatic victory over the Cowboys, running back Chris Carson got his knee twisted on an unquestionably dirty hit that resulted in a knee sprain. The extent of the injury is unknown, but Hyde is the next man up as the go-to carrier in this high-powered offense. Hyde is coming off a 1,000-plus-yard season in Houston, and while not as dynamic as Carson, he’s got excellent endurance to handle a heavy workload if need be.

Jeff Wilson Jr., RB, San Francisco 49ers (13.7%): As if the 49ers hadn’t been dealt a litany of injury woes already, Jerick McKinnon hurt his ribs late in the fourth quarter against the Giants and did not return (though the team was up huge on New York, and keeping him off the field may have been precautionary). While Raheem Mostert has at least a chance to return in Week 4, Wilson is another insurance policy in the event he’s the starter. Wilson is a capable player who scored in Week 3 and has flexed some ability whenever he’s been given the chance.

Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota Vikings (33.8%): A star may have been born in Week 3, as Jefferson went for 175 receiving yards on seven catches and added a touchdown. My belief coming into the season was that Jefferson was as equipped as any first-round rookie wide receiver to make a mark, and that was on display Sunday. He’s more than talented enough to remain locked in as the Vikes’ No. 2 pass-catcher.

Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans (47.2%): A.J. Brown continues to sit out because of a knee injury, and his return may not come in Week 4. Along those lines, Davis has been solid in the team’s first three games, posting double-digit scoring in each of them. The target share is steady, he’s explosive enough to create big plays, and Ryan Tannehill continues to be so, so good for the Titans under center.

Tee Higgins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (6.9%): Trust the talent here, as Higgins had his breakout Sunday with a pair of touchdowns on five total catches. Higgins was the 33rd pick in this year’s draft, and while A.J. Green is not going anywhere, it’s Higgins who was the more exciting perimeter wide receiver on Sunday. A name to monitor in 12-team or larger leagues for bench depth.

Allen Lazard, WR, Green Bay Packers (36.3%): The Packers needed someone to step up in Davante Adams‘ absence in Week 3 and Lazard met the challenge with a career day that included nearly 150 yards and a touchdown. Adams’ status for Week 4 is not yet known, but he was progressing late last week, so he could be back. With Lazard, we were thrilled to see his awesome game and hope it was the launching point to a consistent dose of fantasy goodness, but he’s a better option to stash on your bench for now if Adams is back in the fold this week.

Greg Ward, WR, Philadelphia Eagles (0.3%): The Eagles are decimated by injuries … again. Already without Alshon Jeffery and Jalen Reagor, the team lost DeSean Jackson (and tight end Dallas Goedert) to a hamstring injury in Week 3, leaving Ward as a primary target for Carson Wentz. It seems like Jeffery’s return is coming soon, and we’ll see if Jackson misses further time, but in the event that they are unable to play in Week 4, Ward will have to step up like he did late last season. He’s another depth add in 12-team or larger leagues who might be thrust into lineups, pending Philly’s injury situation.

Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco 49ers (16.8%): Another rookie wide receiver to monitor, as Aiyuk had the best game of his young career. What was encouraging beyond his five catches was that the 49ers schemed up three runs for Aiyuk. The 49ers are due to get several key players back soon from injury, including Deebo Samuel, so we won’t thrust Aiyuk into lineups right away, but if Sunday was a stepping-stone moment to a consistent role in a Kyle Shanahan offense, there’s value there. Another deeper-league add.

Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams (37.5%): For the most part, starting quarterbacks have met expectations in fantasy this season, so there may not be much of a need to make a move at this position. However, in the event you’ve hung tough with Daniel Jones or Wentz through three weeks, Goff is a name to consider, and he’s unquestionably one to have on your mind for Week 5, when Aaron Rodgers goes on a bye. The Rams play against the Washington Football Team that week, and Goff would be an adequate replacement.

Mo Alie-Cox, TE, Indianapolis Colts (8.5%): Hat tip to my buddy Matthew Berry, who has been all over Alie-Cox in recent weeks. The athletic tight end has double-digit fantasy points in back-to-back games after scoring a touchdown in Week 3. Jack Doyle has returned from injury, but that did not deter Alie-Cox’s chance to produce on Sunday. He’s an interesting tight-end option.

Dalton Schultz, TE, Dallas Cowboys (23.6%): The Cowboys are going to throw it a ton — a ton. Along those lines, Schultz’s standing as the fourth, fifth or sixth passing-game option may still be enough to produce fantasy relevance. A week after his career-best outing (nine catches, 88 yards, TD), Schultz saw six targets and caught four of them in Week 3. There’s potential for steady value here, because I don’t see the Cowboys’ defensive woes curing themselves soon — they’ll need to put up points in droves to find a winning formula.

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