Week four brings the first of the dreaded Bye Weeks to the NFL season, and for some this may be the first time that they have thought to scour the waiver wire, as they attempt to plug gaps in their fantasy rosters. With that in mind, and my usual strong sense of public service, here are four players that you should consider slotting into your line up this week.
Ryan Tannehill (owned in 13.2% of NFL.com leagues)
One of the most frustrating players in the modern NFL, Tannehill seems incapable to joining two halves of solid football together. In the three 1st halves he has played so far this season, he has completed 30 of 51 pass attempts (58.9%) for 311 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. His second half stats are much better, with 41 completions from 58 attempts, with 531 yards, four scores and a single interception. He has a surprisingly good match up this week against the Bengals, who have struggled to contain opposing quarterbacks in 2016. They are allowing 21.27 fantasy points per game to signal callers so far, the 4th most, and the nine passing scores they have allowed are good for 3rd most.
Dwayne Washington (3.0%)
Who is Dwayne Washington, you ask? Well, he should, assuming rational coaching (never a safe assumption with Jim Caldwell) be the new lead back for the Lions, after the Theo Riddick as runner experiment failed spectacularly in Week Three against the Packers. Riddick’s ten rushing attempts garnered a grand total of nine yards, with a long of eight yards. Washington, in relief against the same defense, managed 38 yards on his ten carries. The Lions only attempted 23 rushing attempts as a team, but they found themselves in a hole early. This week, Washington has an enticing match up against divisional foes the Chicago Bears, a welcome sight for running backs at present. They’ve allowed 21.8 points per game to running backs so far, and their 365 rushing yards to tailbacks is the 5th most across the league.
Jamison Crowder (1.0%)
This might be a player to stash and add for the weeks after Week 4, given the developing situation within the Redskins offense. With preseason prognostications debating as to whether it would be DeSean Jackson who would dominate the offense, or would Kirk Cousins feed Jordan Reed, maybe Pierre Garcon would command most of the attention, or would 1st round draft pick Josh Doctson become the guy, they forgotten man was Crowder. After a rookie season that heralded 59 receptions for 604 yards and two touchdowns, Crowder leads the team with 25 targets in 2016 (tied with Reed), has 175 receiving yards and has already matched his touchdown total of a year ago. He has seen at least seven targets in all three games. His Week Four reward is a clash with the Cleveland Browns. The Browns have bled fantasy points to wide receivers so far in 2016, allowing over 31 points per game to the position.
Dennis Pitta (24.4%)
In one of the more pleasing comebacks of recent years, Dennis Pitta is not just out on the field, but is actually an important cog in one of the league’s more under the radar (translation – boring) offenses. Through three games, only Steve Smith Sr has seen more targets than the 24 that Joe Flacco has sent Pitta’s way. He is one game removed from a 100 yard outing, but is yet to find the end zone on the young season. Next up for the Ravens is a game against the Oakland Raiders, who have been quite accommodating towards tight ends in 2016. They’ve given up the 5th most receiving yards to the position across the league, with 245.