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Waiver Wire Roto Wizard week 4 NFL 2022
Although it may be difficult to remember at times (even more so for those who bet on the games) - Fantasy Football, at its core, is a game where both players and analysts alike simply try to guess correctly. We can put all of our lineups in the best position possible to succeed, but at the end of the day there are plenty of variables which will wreak havoc upon point totals. Game script, injuries, coverage matchups and a litany of other wrenches are constantly thrown into the works - we just do our best to adjust accordingly.
Week 3 in the NFL was an incredibly frustrating one to watch. Let's just get that out of the way. Scoring was down across the board, and players who came in with smash matchups laid eggs across the board that were difficult to overcome. The blue injury tent on the sidelines was struggling with heat exhaustion (much like the Buffalo Bills) from a revolving door of Fantasy stars dealing with bumps and bruises. It wasn't pretty, and trust me - I saw all of your Twitter notes.
"Where is Justin Jefferson? Is he alive today? THIS IS THE LIONS!"
"Is Matthew Stafford ever going to throw a touchdown??"
"Carson Wentz is the worst quarterback I've ever seen, and this offensive line is garbage"
"Thanks for nothing, David Montgomery"
Yep, saw them all.
Thankfully, this was just one week, and for every butt-punt or Orlovsky-esque safety blunder, there were performances that inspired confidence and opportunity. Several low-owned options shined, and a few of them might have enough short-term relevance to make a difference on teams that are struggling out of the gate. I'll touch on several of those players below, and cross my fingers (and toes) that Week 4 is somewhat less chaotic and depressing.
Jacoby Brissett (2 percent rostered) - Fantasy players dealing with injuries to Dak Prescott, Trey Lance or Mac Jones are currently scrambling for a fill-in option that will be serviceable over the next several weeks. In the past I've discussed Jimmy Garoppolo, Jared Goff and others as streaming options, but Brissett is a name to consider as well. Quietly, he currently has a 4:1 TD:INT ratio, and he has a handful of rushing attempts in each of his first few starts. Cleveland has a cakewalk matchup in Week 4 against the Atlanta Falcons, and I expect Brissett to finish as a top-15 option at the position. He's virtually unowned, and several of the secondaries which he will face in the next month are sub-par (especially Baltimore in Week 7).
Recommendation: If you're currently dealing with injuries at the position or looking for a depth-add in deeper formats, spend a minimum bid to add Brissett as a streamer before Deshaun Watson returns later this year.
Ryan Tannehill (15 percent rostered) - The start of Tannehill's 2022 campaign has been up-and-down to say the least, with Tennessee struggling to remain competitive in contests. Thankfully, the offense seems to have taken a more balanced approach lately, and become less Derrick Henry-or-bust. Tannehill showed improved rapport with veteran Robert Woods in Week 3, and he has multiple touchdown performances in two of his first three games this season. The Titans face the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Commanders in two of the next three weeks, and each of those contests should be competitive enough where Tannehill could be considered a spot-start. Getting rookie Treylon Burks more involved should be a key factor to unlocking better statistics - I expect that relationship to improve throughout the season since the two had precious few snaps together previously.
Recommendation: Tennessee's offense should be strong enough to provide Tannehill with upside-QB2 numbers until the team's difficult stretch starting in Week 9 (they face KC, DEN, GB, CIN, PHI, JAX and LAC afterwards). He can be added for a $5 bid in 12-team formats or larger for those looking to stream at the position.
Jamaal Williams (43 percent rostered) - Williams is a priority add entering Week 4, with an even higher focus if I was a D'Andre Swift owner. Swift barely played in Week 3 after picking up a shoulder injury, and Detroit was content on handing Williams the entire workload in his absence. He already has four rushing touchdowns on the early season, and he would enter the upside-RB2 discussion if Swift were to miss any period of time while recovering. The Lions square off against Seattle in Week 4, who have surrendered the third-most rushing yards in the early season (471) and the third-most rushing touchdowns (4). As a spot-start or long-term handcuff, he is worth considering in shallower leagues.
Recommendation: Should be already rostered in 14-team leagues or deeper, but in shallower formats he gains a significant uptick in value if Swift were to miss any time recovering from his ankle/shoulder issues. Is worth a $15-$20 bid in shallower formats were available.
Samaje Perine (4 percent rostered) - Joe Mixon has been one of the more disappointing running backs of the early season, averaging just 2.8 YPC for a total of 163 yards on the ground through the first three weeks. Cincinnati has been playing from behind often, forcing the team to abandon the run and become one-dimensional. It was evident that Mixon was frustrated during Week 3, and late in the game he hobbled off of the field, ceding touches to Perine for the rest of the way. Though uninspiring, Perine is an adept-enough runner and receiver that he will warrant RB2 consideration if Mixon were to miss any period of time, with Chris Evans acting as the backup. Cincinnati will square off against a very stout Miami Dolphins defense in Week 4 that has only yielded one rushing touchdown this year.
Recommendation: Keep an eye on practice reports and beat reporter news out of Cincinnati to monitor the health status of Joe Mixon. Should he miss any period of time, Perine can be considered a mid-range RB2 in Week 4 and beyond. He isn't the most talented handcuff, but the Bengals have shown their desire to make him the next man up. He's worth a $10-$15 bid in deeper leagues.
Justice Hill (1 percent rostered) - On a day that was supposed to celebrate the triumphant return of J.K. Dobbins, Hill led Baltimore's backfield with 60 rushing yards on six attempts in a victory over the New England Patriots. Yes, this is a crowded backfield that will only get further muddied with the return of Gus Edwards, but this team needs a spark to get going - they can't be entirely reliant upon Lamar Jackson for everything on the ground. A former fourth-round selection out of Oklahoma State in 2019, Hill is just 24 years old and has shown plenty of burst with limited touches during his three-year career. He's more of a stash-and-pray option, but could provide to be a waiver wire darling if the chips fall correctly.
Recommendation: Stash Hill in 14-team leagues or larger as an upside play and the immediate backup to Dobbins. Kenyan Drake and Mike Davis are utterly worthless at this point, and Hill has shown an ability to be an adept runner to the outside or in space. He can be acquired as an under-the-radar pickup for a minimum bid.
Mack Hollins (1 percent rostered) - Hollins has filled in admirably as the chain-moving option for Las Vegas while Hunter Renfrow continues to deal with concussion-related symptoms. Darren Waller's hands of stone have enabled Hollins to rise to relevance as the "1B" option to Davante Adams for the Raiders. His 10 targets tied for the team lead in Week 3, and he converted that into 8 receptions for 158 yards and a score, making him a top-5 finisher at receiver this week. My endorsement of Hollins is strictly tied to the health status of Renfrow - concussions are notoriously difficult to predict, and information about how far along he is within the league's protocol is kept close to the vest.
Recommendation: Should Renfrow miss Week 4 with his concussion, Hollins becomes an interesting flier in 14-team leagues or larger. The Raiders square off against a very difficult Denver Broncos secondary, but the majority of attention will (and should) be mostly paid to Davante Adams and Darren Waller - leading Hollins to feast on short-yardage work. He's worth a $5 flier for a short-term impact.
Romeo Doubs (16 percent rostered) - I mentioned Doubs as one of my breakouts this year in multiple magazine publications for our website, and my endorsement is looking strong to start the year. Green Bay recently put Sammy Watkins on short-term IR and Christian Watson is dealing with hamstring issues, causing a rise in prominence for Doubs. He responded by catching all 8 of his targets in Week 3 for 73 yards and a touchdown during his time in the spotlight. He will look to build on his strong game by taking on the New England Patriots in Week 4 and New York Giants in Week 5 - both secondaries are exploitable. His talent far exceeds anyone on the team other than Allen Lazard.
Recommendation: Doubs should already be on a squad in 14-team leagues or larger, but is a priority add to be sure. As the season progresses, his rapport with Aaron Rodgers will only grow. I've long thought that he was an absolute steal for the team in the fourth-round, and he could easily be the next Jordy Nelson for Green Bay. He might be quiet initially, but his talent will force him onto the field, and he's worth a $10 bid.
Greg Dortch (8 percent rostered) - I was reluctant to recommend Dortch as a pickup in prior weeks, since I thought that Arizona could keep themselves afloat with the trio of James Conner/Zach Ertz/Marquise Brown, but injuries to Conner and constantly playing from behind have forced Dortch into relevance. In an uphill battle against the Los Angeles Rams, Dortch caught 9-of-10 targets for 80 yards, second only to Brown. He's reached double-digit Fantasy points in each of the first three weeks to the season, and will have additional value while DeAndre Hopkins serves his six-game suspension. He has firmly leapfrogged Rondale Moore on the depth chart, and holds moderate value in deeper PPR formats for the next three weeks.
Recommendation: Positive game script has thrown Dortch into consideration, with the Cardinals defense allowing the second-most receiving touchdowns in the league. He has clearly caught the eye of Kyler Murray, and is worth a $5-$10 bid in PPR formats in the short term as a FLEX option.
Tyler Conklin (12 percent rostered) - Conklin will finish Week 3 as a top-3 option at the position -words that I never thought possible. He has averaged eight targets per game while Joe Flacco is under center, and has scored double-digit points at a position bereft of scoring to start the year. Even with C.J. Uzomah returning to action, Conklin led the New York Jets in catches (8) and receiving yards (84) in a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. It remains to be seen what will occur once Zach Wilson returns to the field in Week 5, but for now he is (somehow) a must-start option against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It feels strange typing that.
Recommendation: Conklin being a top-3 option at tight end is more an indication on how awful the position is this year than his talent - lets just start with that. Considering that most Fantasy players will be chasing touchdowns, Conklin is a solid volume-based play that has rewarded owners with consistency to start 2022. For anyone struggling at this spot, he's a cheap flier worth a $5 bid.
Evan Engram (29 percent rostered) - Jacksonville was a bid-spender in free agency during the off-season, with Engram being one of their highlight additions. After five incredibly disappointing seasons with the New York Giants, the former first-round selection has shown flashes of why he was so highly considered out of Mississippi in 2017 - his speed creates mismatches. The Jaguars have shown an affinity to airing the ball out this year, and their offensive prowess under new coach Doug Pederson is lightyears ahead of the Urban Meyer era. Even though he had a quiet past week, his volume on a high-powered offense makes him a streaming play.
Recommendation: Most teams are dealing with consistency issues at this position to start the 2022 season. Engram offers big-play ability on a team that has started to really take off behind Trevor Lawrence. Like many others he will deal with up-and-down performances, but his metrics suggest a top-12 season is possible. He's worth a $5 bid for assistance.