Not many injuries to deal with in Week 4, so there isn’t really a must own replacement. However, a few wide receivers had big games, and proved that they need to be on fantasy radars.
Eddie Royal, WR, Chicago Bears - Royal has quietly been having a very good season. He has scored more than 10 points on two different occasions (three if your league gives points to a player if they score a return touchdown), including a 17 point day in Week 4. Royal is carving a role for himself in Chicago’s offense and Brian Hoyer likes throwing to him, as proven by his seven catches in Week 4. Alshon Jeffery has struggled from opposing defenses using bracket coverage, leaving targets available for other receivers. As long as Jeffery continues to struggle, Royal is a middle of the pack flex option, especially if you have players on bye.
Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints - Like Royal, Thomas is putting up numbers. Thomas has scored in two straight weeks, and received 20 targets over that span. Unlike Royal, the rookie wide receiver plays in a superb offense. If Thomas continues to get heavily targeted in the potent Saints offense, he could become a waiver wire steal. That is a big if however, as he is still fighting for targets with Willie Snead and Brandin Cooks. The Saints are on a bye this week, making Thomas not the top priority on waivers, but a nice option in a deeper league.
Kenneth Dixon/Terrance West, RB, Baltimore Ravens - To start off, West is only owned in 45% of ESPN leagues. Coming off a huge game against Oakland, West is a must own. It seems unlikely that any Ravens running back will largely eat into his workload in the favorable matchup against Washington. Eventually, Kenneth Dixon could work his way into the conversation in Baltimore’s backfield. Dixon is 20% owned in ESPN leagues. The Ravens are going to ease him back in, but Dixon was clearly the best back in the preseason. Pick up Dixon now, before he has a breakout game. If you are in a keeper league, get Dixon NOW.
Hunter Henry, TE, San Diego Chargers - Henry has all the makings of a future star. As long as Antonio Gates is out, Henry should see a lot work in the Chargers offense. Henry is the best option as a streaming tight end, especially facing Oakland’s shaky secondary.
Corey Coleman, WR, Cleveland Browns - Many fantasy owners are dropping the rookie wide receiver due to his broken hand. His ownership dropped 11 points this week to 44%. He is reportedly out 4-6 weeks. However, he has already missed two weeks, meaning he theoretically could be back in two weeks. Like Adrian Peterson, Coleman should be added to your roster, if available, for the second half of the season. Once Coleman returns, he could prove to be a major upgrade to an owner who is fighting to make the playoffs.
Orleans Darkwa/Bobby Rainey, RB, New York Giants - For as long as Rashad Jennings is out, it is the Orleans Darkwa show in in New York. Darkwa largely out carried, and out rushed, every other Giants running back. Even when Jennings returns, based off of the Giants Week 4 game in Minnesota, Darkwa will be getting the goaline carries. Keep an eye of Bobby Rainey however, as he provides a meaningful role as a receiving back. Rainey had seven catches, in addition to four carries. Both are low end flex options for Week 5, assuming Rashad Jennings returns, but neither are great starting options.
As always, good luck on the waiver wire this week. Check back for starts and sits coming tomorrow.