Week 4 was about exciting of a week of football as one could ever expect.
And with that excitement came a few unexpected performances by some players who are sure to be found on your waiver wire, regardless of your league format—some exceptions may apply.
In regard to a few previous WR waiver wire mentions, Bears receiver Dane Sanzenbacher came back down to earth in WK 4 catching only one pass for 16 yards, Broncos receiver Eric Decker caught a team high seven passes, despite only being good for 48 yards and Titans receiver Nate Washington had his hands full with Browns corner Joe Haden (as I predicted) catching only two passes for 62 yards on just four total targets.
This week, however, has a few interesting mentions—so let’ get started.
Matt Hasselbeck – QB – Tennessee Titans
Still think this guy isn’t worth a squirt? Well think again, kids.
Matt Hasselbeck has thrown 8 TDs to only 3 INTs and has shown he is the real deal in fantasy football.
On any given day, you can give this guy the nod and expect nothing but fantasy gold, and if you pick him up as your primary backup—and there are plenty of you out there currently WITHOUT a QB2—you can easily consider him a solid backup QB on your roster.
His availability is still pretty high in most leagues, with a ESPN league average ownership of 27.4%—that ownership percentage spiked in one week by nearly 10 percent, so hurry.
Steve Breaston – WR – Kansas City Chiefs
Breaston isn’t a guy who is going to be easily found in some formats, but in other formats, he is a diamond in the rough currently emerging.
Breaston was originally brought in to be the complimentary deep-ball threat, opposite of Dwayne Bowe, but he has maturated more into a possession receiver with down-field benefits—perfect for a waiver wire acquisition in PPR leagues.
The Chiefs are expected to play from behind in a lot of contests this year, and when moving the ball, a possession receiver is the number one target which means Breaston has huge upside moving forward.
Isaac Redman – RB – Pittsburgh Steelers
Rashard Mendenhall left Sunday’s game with an apparent hamstring injury, and if the injury keeps Mendenhall out for an extended period of time, Isaac Redman becomes a tasty waiver wire consideration.
When he is given the chance, Redman can be a back who—even in a time share—show himself to be a nice spotty producer for those of you hurting at RB in deeper leagues.
Of course we’ll have to wait and see, but for now, he seems to be a nice grab for the interim.
Ryan Torain – RB – Washington Redskins
It was very unexpected when coach Shanahan put in Ryan Torain at the 7:07 mark of the second quarter, and it was even further unexpected to see that he only needed three-quarters of a game and 20 snaps to muster up 135 yards and a single touchdown.
The interesting issue here is that the Redskins have been dealing with Tim Hightower's stamina issues—oh, did I mention the guy almost got benched last week and is a little banged up?
Not to mention the staff feels that Roy Helu is not yet ready to shoulder a starting role.
Coach Shanahan was non-committal as to whether or not Torain would continue to contribute on offense, and that is probably because they face division rival Philadelphia next week.
Keeping a "hush-hush as possible" approach is going to be this week’s mantra as the Redskins have been catapulted into first place—no sense in letting the cat out of the bag against the wounded birds, that’s for sure.
Still, with everything mentioned, Torain may be a decent insurance grab in deeper leagues for the interim, and possibly for the long-term.
Clay Harbor – TE – Philadelphia Eagles
I’m going to go out on a limb here, so stick with me.
The Eagles have previously said that they wanted to see more work out of Clay Harbor, and he responded in kind with three catches for 55 yards and a single touchdown.
The Birds are enjoying Brent Celek as an extra blocker, and quite frankly, they need him more a a blocker than a pass-catching TE with that embarrassing O-Line.
But they still need a pass-catching TE in some capacity as well.
Look, I don’t believe this guy is going to set the world on fire anytime soon, but he is—at the very least—worth a hard look going forward, and if you are one of the richer fantasy owners with an open roster spot, he certainly deserves a small stint on the roster.
The Eagles could make good on a desire that many forgot about over the past two weeks.
Stay Tuned for Greg Brosh's collected mentions, and feel free to leave your questions below.
Tarvaris Jackson - SEA (5% owned): Jackson had a career day against a suspect Falcons pass rush, throwing for 319 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. We've seen flashes of this type of play from Jackson before, with a big letdown coming the week after. I don't see this time being any different. With the Giants coming up in Week Five, I don't see Jackson being worth anything more than a desperation QB2 in 16-team leagues or a low-end QB2 in leagues that start two quarterbacks. But even then, Jackson is too inconsistent.
Andy Dalton - CIN (10% owned): Dalton has his ups and downs, like Jackson, but Dalton seems to be improving in small doses every week. He led a Bengals comeback in Week Four against the Bills, with 298 passing yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. In the right matchups, Dalton has shown he can control the offense as evidenced by his 300+ yards and two scores in Week Two against the Broncos. Dalton is turning into a strong dynasty option, but is still nothing more than a low-end QB2 in redraft leagues. He is sure to have more big games, just don't expect them every week going forward.
Colts McCoy - CLE (33% owned): When I looked at the box scores last night, I was just as shocked as other owners when I saw that McCoy had thrown 61 passes against the Titans. He's only completing 58.1 percent of his passes. But with two multi-score games under his belt so far, McCoy should be a viable QB2 in larger leagues if he is still on the waiver wire.
Charlie Batch - PIT: I don't even have to list Batch's ownership percentage since it's at zero, but he may be called upon soon. There is a report that Ben Roethlisberger has a left foot sprain, which leaves his status for Week Five unclear. Batch is only worth a look in the very deepest of leagues. The Steelers' offense definitely takes a step back even further if Batch is forced into the starting lineup.
Curtis Painter - IND (3% owned): Even though Painter threw two touchdowns and no interceptions, his 13-for-30 passing wasn't all that great and he wasn't as good as the stat box would lead you to believe. He could make everyone else around him better, but Painter still isn't worth a roster spot.
Matt Moore - MIA: It was recently reported that Chad Henne suffered a separated left (non-throwing) shoulder injury against the Chargers. The Dolphins have a bye this weekend. But considering Tony Sparano is on the hot-seat, he could decide to go with Moore to spark some life into a win-less team.
Stevan Ridley - NE (13% owned): Ridley followed up his Week Three breakout performance by racking up 97 rushing yards and his first touchdown of the season in the win over the Raiders. BenJarvus Green-Ellis also found the end zone, but was outplayed by Ridley for the second-straight game. BGE figures to keep goal-line duties, but Ridley should continue to see an expanded role as the weeks go by. He's looking like a strong flex option.
Roy Helu - WAS (31% owned): Like Ray mentioned above, I still don't think Helu is ready to take on the lead-back role, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him take it before the end of the year. Ryan Torain is clearly the No. 1 waiver-wire option this week. But if I had room to sit on him, I'd take Helu if I missed out on the Torain sweepstakes. Torain isn't anything special. And as we have already seen, he's an injury waiting to happen. Helu has a 5.3 ypc average through four games. And if I know Mike Shanahan, he's biding his time before he can let Helu loose for a majority of the carries.
Michael Bush - OAK (47% owned): Bush is only owned in 47 percent of leagues so far? Seriously?!? Even as a standalone fantasy option, Bush still has value as the main goal-line back behind Darren McFadden. After scoring a touchdown in three-straight games, Bush should be on all rosters in leagues of 14 teams and higher. He did suffer a late-game ankle injury against the Patriots, but it doesn't sound too serious as of now.
Jacoby Jones - HOU (24% owned): CBS Sports' Mike Freeman is reporting that Andre Johnson could miss a couple weeks due to a hamstring injury. Johnson and non-Johnson owners should pick Jones up immediately. He should have a much bigger role if/when Johnson is out. If it turns out that Johnson's hamstring injury isn't as bad as initially feared and he can play, we'd leave Jones be. He went without a catch against the Steelers Sunday.
Sidney Rice - SEA (79% owned): It's not shocking to see Rice still not owned in 21 percent of most leagues. I had figured Week Three was an anomoly, but Rice is clearly 100 percent recovered from hip problems that had plagued him last year. Through just two weeks, Rice has eleven receptions, 188 receiving yards and a touchdown. With a shaky Giants defense coming up, Rice could be worthy of a flex spot.
Laurent Robinson - DAL (2% owned): I've been high on Robinson going all the way back to his days as a Falcon, but injuries have plagued him for years. With Miles Austin (hamstring) out, Robinson has made the most of his time as a Cowboy after his seven catch/116 yard performance against the Lions. The Cowboys have a bye this week and Austin is expected back Week Six. But since hamstrings are tricky, especially with wide receivers, Robinson could have some future value if Austin suffers some sort of setback once he is in game action.
Victor Cruz - NYG (33% owned): Cruz started the Week-Four game against the Cardinals as the slot receiver, but he quickly supplanted Mario Manningham as the No. 2 across from Hakeem Nicks in two-receiver sets for the last three quarters. We aren't sure if Manningham's demotion was just for Sunday's game, or if Cruz will start going forward. Cruz deserves the promotion if the Giants decide the latter. Through two games, he is averaging 4.5 catches a game, 104 receiving yards and had two score against the Eagles last week. Even if he doesn't start, Cruz's upside makes him worth a flex option.
Preston Parker - TB (3% owned): Parker reeled in five receptions for 70 yards and a score in the win over the Colts, but I am still weary of his consistency. Outside of Week Three, Parker has averaged between 6-7 targets the other three weeks, but I would only take a chance on him in larger PPR leagues.
Kevin Boss - OAK (4% owned): Boss may not be a huge fantasy asset, but his four-catch/78 yard game against the Patriots is worth mentioning. He'll never be the pass-catching talent that Zach Miller was and Boss' blocking-first role will never get him any more value than a low-end TE2.
Jared Cook - TEN (28% owned): Cook only caught two passes, one for a touchdown, but he did get six targets, which makes him a worthy pickup. With Kenny Britt out for the year, Matt Hasselbeck will have to lean on someone other than Nate Washington. Cook is a TE2 with upside.