Each week I pick a player from each position that should be available on the waiver wire in your fantasy football league. Heading into week four we have had some key injuries, and the hottest topic coming out of week 3 was a few key injuries to big-name players. With that in mind, the first couple of players on this list are direct results of injuries.
Waiver Wire Week 4
QB Teddy Bridgewater
Teddy Bridgewater is the backup quarterback in Miami and is likely one of the best #2 quarterbacks in the NFL. Bridgewater spent the last two seasons as a starter for Carolina in 2020, and Denver in 2021. In Denver, despite the lack of attention he got for it, Bridgewater had a career year. Building off of his previous game management methods, and improving his touchdown to interception ratio.
In 2022 he produced a career-high in touchdown passes with 18, previously he had never topped 15 in his seven seasons. He also managed to complete 285 of his 426 passes for a 66.9% completion rate. One thing I always want to see in my fantasy quarterbacks is a high completion rate and at minimum a 2-1 touchdown to interception ratio.
Bridgewater though-out his career has been exactly that. Producing 74 total touchdowns to 46 turnovers. These numbers don’t truly do his current status justice. In his last two seasons 29 games as a starter, he produced 40 of those touchdowns, while producing 22 turnovers. I would argue that the weapons Bridgewater has in Miami play to his strengths as a player. He needs receivers that can produce after the catch to bring his game to the next level.
This is exactly what led to his success in Denver. The only difference is, the Dolphins offer Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Cedric Wilson, and Mike Gesicki in the passing game. While the competition is close between what Miami and Denver offer, I would give the edge to Miami. This is why I believe Bridgewater is a solid bye-week option depending on the match-up.
In week 4 Bridgewater in his first major playing time for Miami, found some success. He completed 14 of 23 attempts for 191 yards 1 touchdown, and 1 interception, adding 1 carry for 11 yards. Keep in mind he didn’t enter the game until after the injury to Tua. Before the injury Tua had attempted 14 passes completing 8 of them averaging nearly 8 yards per reception. He also threw 0 touchdowns, and 1 interception. So all said and done the Dolphins threw the ball 37 times in week 4. So far Miami has thrown the ball less than 30 times just once in four weeks in week 3 against Buffalo.
2022 Projected Stats:
(14 starts) 420-450 passing attempts, 3,200 yards 20 touchdowns, 9 interceptions, 15 carries 100 yards, and 1 touchdown.
RB Rhamondre Stevenson
The New England Patriots can be absolutely maddening for fantasy owners. They run a committee approach at nearly every position it seems with very few prominent fantasy players standing out. Stevenson might slowly be emerging as a player to own in a pinch for fantasy owners. Having produced 729 total yards last season he was expected to have a role early but it was unclear how much of one.
The Patriots drafted not one but two running backs this season. With 4th-round pick Pierre Strong, and 7th-round pick Kevin Harris coming into the fold. They also still have Damien Harris a former 3rd round pick on the roster.
This season has shown to be very similar to last season in terms of carry share. Stevenson seems to be 1B in the backfield. The thing is at any given moment the Patriots could run the ball 40 times in a game and give each back 20 carries. You just never know what the Patriots’ offense will look like from week to week.
Currently, they have a near 50-50 split between Harris and Stevenson. Harris heading into week four had 35 carries for 160 yards and 2 touchdowns, adding 6 receptions for 31 yards. While Stevenson has 29 carries for 145 yards and 1 touchdown adding 7 receptions for 34 yards. In week 3 Stevenson came out ahead in the touches carrying the ball 12 times to Harris’s 11. Both men were given chances in the passing game, with Stevenson being targeted 5 times and catching 4 passes, while Harris had 2 receptions.
Finally in week 4 Stevenson took 14 carries, and caught 4 passes. He totaled 89 yards on 18 carries he is averaging nearly 5 yards per carry, almost half a yard better per carry than Harris or any other runner on the roster. His touches also have increased each week since the season started. Currently his average is 13.5 touches per game which is a healthy share, and one that certainly has fantasy viability this season. Guess I acted too fast when I cut Stevenson after week 1.
180 carries for 864 yards and 6-7 touchdowns, 25-40 targets for 15-25 receptions 150 yards, and 1-2 touchdowns
WR Laviska Shenault
Without repeating myself on this one I will just leave you guys with a shameless plug for the stand-alone article I did on Shenault’s role in the Panthers franchise.
Shenault came into week 4 injured, and still managed to play just 5 snaps in this game. He took 1 kick return for 28 yards. He also got his first carry with the Panthers that went for no yards. Once he is healthy I expect him to take a larger role in the offense.
65 targets, 40 receptions, 420-450 yards, 4 touchdowns, 18-30 carries 125-200 yards rushing 1-2 touchdowns, 25 kick returns for 650 yards
TE Jelani Woods
Jelani Woods is a rookie, but he could be the man who ends up seizing the top tight end role for the Colts. Rostered in just 1% of leagues, Woods had no targets going into week 3. Then he exploded on the scene with 3 targets, 2 receptions 13 yards, and 2 touchdowns in week 3. He followed that up with 1 reception for 33 yards in week 4 showcasing his athleticism.
Woods is a 6’7 265 pound RedZone target waiting to be utilized by the Colts. As they work him into the lineup more and more his production should only increase with time. Having run a 4.61 40-yard dash at the combine and followed it up with 24 bench press reps, he is an athletic freak.
If Woods had more production in college he easily would have been one of the highest-rated tight ends in a very long time. Having played quarterback in high school, he went to college and transitioned to catching passes. Through his first three seasons, he was listed as a wide receiver at Oklahoma State.
He managed just 22 games for 31 receptions for 361 yards and 4 touchdowns adding 1 carry for 5 yards. He transferred to Virginia for his senior season and was moved to tight end. He played in 11 games catching 44 passes for 598 yards and 8 touchdowns adding 1 carry for 1 yard. The Colts love to use their tight ends. More importantly, they aren’t scared to play a somewhat raw player at the position, given their background with Mo-Allie Cox the current starter.
45 targets 37 receptions for 410 yards 4 touchdowns, and 3 carries for 5 yards.
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Thank you to NFL.com, ProFootballReference.com and Wikipedia.org for providing information for this article.