Top waiver wire pickups for Week 4
Note: This list includes only players who are owned in less than 50% of leagues.
Terrelle Pryor (OAK): In somewhat of a shocking development, the quarterback position appears to be the least of the problems in Oakland through three weeks of the season. Pryor has not just made big plays - which we all knew he was capable of - but has also made smart plays on a consistent basis. The 24-year-old has not turned the ball over since Week 1. He suffered a concussion on Monday night, but is reportedly doing well. If he can be ready for Week 4, he'll have a tasty matchup with the Redskins. He's one of the better bye week fill-ins this weekend.
Ryan Tannehill (MIA): I wasn't a big fan of the Dolphins taking Tannehill with the 8th overall pick in 2012, but that was simply because I believe upside is sometimes overvalued in the draft. In Tannehill's case, however, he seems to be capitalizing on that upside. His completion percentage, interception rate, and quarterback rating have all improved significantly as he makes good use of his improved arsenal of weapons. Along with Pryor, Tannehill is one of the better fill-in options for Week 4 when he takes on the Saints.
Bilal Powell (NYJ): He may not be the fastest, the quickest, the strongest, or the most explosive, but Powell has been the Jets' best running back through three weeks. With Chris Ivory now sidelined with a hamstring injury, Powell will be a workhorse for the foreseeable future. Don't expect him to maintain the 5.5 YPC mark that he posted against the Bills' pathetic run defense in Week 3, but he'll get enough touches behind an underrated offensive line to be viable flex option.
Pierre Thomas (NO): It looks like the Mark Ingram experiment is coming to an end. The plodding runner just is not a fit in the Saints' offensive system, and he is now sidelined with a toe injury. Thomas is the primary beneficiary of Ingram being sidelined, as he can run effectively between the tackles, but is also a threat in the screen game and as a receiver out of the backfield (unlike Ingram). Now expected to play at or slightly above 50% of the Saints' offensive snaps, Thomas is on the flex radar in PPR leagues.
Jacquizz Rodgers / Jason Snelling (ATL): These two should each get two more weeks of production while Steven Jackson nurses his injured thigh back to health. Unfortunately, the fact that both of these backs are factoring into the Falcons' offense makes them a bit risky to stick into a starting lineup. I like Rodgers a little more because he played nine more snaps and got five more touches than Snelling in Week 3. Snelling is the goal-line back, however, so owners in touchdown-heavy leagues may want to opt for him.
Isaiah Pead (STL): He may not be an impact fantasy performer just yet, but he could be down the road. Due to an early injury to starter Daryl Richardson, Pead got a chance to show his skills on Sunday after touching the ball just three times in Week 2. Pead probably has more explosiveness and open field ability than Richardson, but Richardson was the more productive between-the-tackles runner in 2012. Richardson, however, is averaging just 3.3 YPC this year. If Richardson can't go on Thursday night, Pead will have a chance to take the lead of the backfield committee by showing well against a 49ers defense that has shockingly given up the 4th most rushing yards in the league this year (ranked 14th in YPC).
Brandon Bolden (NE): I'm sure a lot of owners had their teams take a hit when Shane Vereen went down with a wrist injury, but Bolden could be an asset while Vereen is sidelined. The Patriots appear poised to keep Stevan Ridley in a strict between-the-tackles role, and Bolden is getting much of the passing down work that Vereen would usually see. Bolden got his first touch in Week 3, finishing with five catches for 49 yards and three carries for 51. He could be on the flex radar in PPR leagues.