Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 4
Every Tuesday I will be bringing you the NFL players who have somehow flown under the fantasy radar and are owned in far too few leagues given their production and/or ceiling. Injuries and byes are inevitable, too.
With the first game of the week a mere 48 hours away, here are some players that are on quite a few waiver wires out there that simply shouldn’t be.
Geno Smith, New York Jets (Yahoo: 5% owned; ESPN: 3.8%) — 6% FAAB
The rookie still made some awful decisions against the Buffalo Bills last week, but the good (from a fantasy perspective at least) far outweighed the bad, as he totaled 345 yards and three touchdowns. His ability to move the pocket is valuable, and if the Jets can continue to run the ball like they did this past weekend (41 carries for 182 yards), Smith should see less defenders as he looks to stretch the field.
Santonio Holmes (foot) looked as healthy as he has been in his Jets career, and at 29 years old, there is hope in New York that he can provide Smith with a consistent threat down the field. I’m not sold on the rookie as a top-15 quarterback this season, but the schedule is very negotiable over the next month, meaning you could add him now and trade him if his value continues to rise in the short-term.
Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings (Yahoo: 6% owned; ESPN: 2.1%) – 3% FAAB
Not all additions are obvious or for the faint of heart. Let’s say you’ve got Drew Brees, Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, Matthew Stafford, Colin Kaepernick, or Tom Brady (all reasonable fantasy starters with a bye week from 7-10) and you’re looking down the road. Even the elite quarterbacks have bye weeks, meaning you’ll need a backup to plug in for that week, a week that could well be the difference when the playoffs come around. Not only does Ponder face favorable pass defenses in all of those weeks, his Vikings are trending in a positive direction for his fantasy prospects.
Sure, they love running with ball with Adrian Peterson, but opponents have been limiting the run game by scoring nearly every time they touch the ball (Minnesota has allowed at least 31 points in each game this season). Ponder has thrown the ball 10% more on a per game basis this year than last, and his sneaky athleticism makes him a decent plug and play option if you’re starter is on a bye. Don’t overlook the fact that he very quietly totaled almost 3,200 total yards with 20 touchdowns last season.