Three weeks of fantasy football are in the books already. Man, how time flies. Fortunately, this week was not the injury bloodbath that Week 3 was, as no big-name fantasy stars went down on Thursday, Sunday, or Monday.
Still! A good fantasy player never lets a waiver wire opportunity pass, if only to prevent others from benefitting. Here are the best fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 4. (All stats via ESPN PPR leagues)
Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota Vikings (Available in 62 Percent of ESPN Leagues)
Jefferson was the Vikings' first-round pick this year, and it took a few weeks for him to get acclimated. Sunday seems to indicate he's done just that, as he put up Randy Moss-like numbers in the first half and totaled 30.5 fantasy points with a one-touchdown, seven-catch, 175-yard performance. Kirk Cousins has been anemic at times along with the rest of this offense, but this week might've been Jefferson's coming-out party as Adam Thielen struggles mightily with No. 1 option duties. He won't drop a 30-burger for you every week, and there are still some duds in his future. He's still a rookie. But Jefferson is the only guy on that team who will catch passes from Cousins aside from Thielen, and with Houston and Seattle's Swiss cheese secondaries coming up, Jefferson is a good flex option.
However, with the news that the Vikings and Titans shut down team facilities following the NFL's first COVID-19 outbreak in Tennessee, Jefferson and his teammates may not be able to suit up on Sunday.
Jimmy Graham, TE, Chicago Bears (Available in 83 Percent of ESPN Leagues)
Hey, remember this guy? Graham has come a long way from being a fantasy TE 1, but with the QB change in the Windy City, it's time to go back to this watering hole. Here's why: While relying on the Bears' offense for fantasy production is a risky venture regardless of who's under center, Nick Foles likes to throw to his tight ends. Graham was targeted seven times by Foles after he replaced Mitch Trubisky. He ended the day with six catches for 60 yards and two TDs, good for 24 fantasy points. That's a higher output than we should expect because the Bears played from behind most of the day, but the connection with Foles is there, and it feels like head coach Matt Nagy is going to unleash an entirely different offense with Foles than Trubisky.
Hunter Renfrow, WR, Oakland Raiders (Available in 92 Percent of ESPN Leagues)
I'll admit I was always higher on Renfrow's fantasy potential than most. He hasn't really produced in great quantities over his first year and three games in the league. But he has the trust of Derek Carr, and the Raiders are trotting out a league-average offense, so if you're in need of a flex option this week, Renfrow could be your guy. He caught six passes against a pretty good Patriots secondary for 84 yards and a TD to finish with 20.4 points. The biggest reason to believe in Renfrow over the next few weeks is his health. Henry Ruggs, Darren Waller, and Josh Jacobs are all dealing with various ailments, leaving Renfrow as the only guy 100 percent going into next week's game against Buffalo. Carr will be looking for him.
Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco 49ers (Available in 78 Percent of ESPN Leagues)
Another rookie wideout, yes. And he's suiting up for a 49ers team that has suffered a serious bout of injuries, resulting in Nick Mullens earning a start last week. But Aiyuk is an intriguing fantasy option because of how Kyle Shanahan used him against the Giants last week. He caught five balls for 70 yards, a fine but unspectacular statline. Yet he also carried the ball three times for 31 yards and a TD, giving him 21.1 points on the day. Shanahan likes to get creative and go running back by committee, Aiyuk is his best option to get creative until Deebo Samuel comes back, and (most importantly) they're playing the stumbling Eagles this week. If Jimmy Garoppolo can play, Aiyuk could be in store for an even bigger day.
Allen Lazard, WR, Green Bay Packers (Available in 49 Percent of ESPN Leagues)
Lazard is only available in half of ESPN leagues, so normally he wouldn't really qualify for a waiver wire list (unless I was really struggling that week). But with Davante Adams still dealing with his injury, Lazard is a must-get if he's around in your league. He's now Aaron Rodgers' favorite option outside Adams after he torched the Saints defense to the tune of six catches for 146 yards and a touchdown. Green Bay doesn't play again until Monday, so Adams might be a go, which would lower Lazard's ceiling. But he appears to have secured the No. 2 wideout spot even with Adams back, and the Packers are playing the Falcons, who have not exactly put their best foot forward in terms of locking down opposing wide receivers this year. He's a good pickup who could be great if Adams is out again.