Fantasy Football Fix: Viable Week 4 Waiver Wire Targets

By Adam Pfeifer
Brace Hemmelgarn-US Presswire

Week 4 of the NFL season will kick off the first bye weeks, which may, or may not, cause fantasy owners to panic. Two teams get to rest this week; the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts.

A few significant injuries are also driving owners crazy.

With that, I give you one word: Relax! I have got you covered with some free agent finds this week that can fill the possible void your team may have. Lets get started.

Christian Ponder, QB, Minnesota Vikings

I was beyond impressed with Ponder’s performance in a shocking victory over the vaunted San Francisco 49ers defense. The sophomore quarterback threw for just 198 yards, but found the end zone twice. He also ran for 33 yards and a score. Surprisingly, Ponder has yet to throw an interception. Next week, he faces the Detroit Lions weak, banged up secondary, who are allowing the 9th most fantasy points to opposing signal callers. He also will have another weapon to use as Jerome Simpson is set to return from his suspension. If your starting quarterback is Ben Roethlisberger (bye) or Matthew Stafford (pulled leg muscle), Ponder is certainly worth a look.

Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Atlanta Falcons

While he may not be the starting back, Rodgers certainly looked heavily involved in the Falcon’s offense on Sunday. He had a total of 15 touches and 67 yards from scrimmage, including a touchdown catch on the first drive of the game. The Falcons welcome the Carolina Panthers to the Georgia Dome on Sunday, who are allowing the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing running backs. I can easily see Rodgers getting a ton of touches again, which could make him a flex play in deeper leagues. Regardless, the upside is there.

Mikel Leshoure, RB, Detroit Lions

Leshoure played in his first NFL game this past Sunday, and did not disappoint. He carried the ball 26 times for 100 yards and a score, as well as four catches for 34 yards. It appears that the Lions will be using Leshoure as their featured back, seeing as former starter Kevin Smith didn’t even receive a carry. If quarterback Matthew Stafford is to miss some time due to injury, expect Leshoure to become the focal point of the offense.

Tashard Choice, RB, Buffalo Bills

As a Bills fan, I noticed that year in and year out, this team is decimated with injury. Seems as if it’s happened again. Fred Jackson has been out since Week 1 with a sprained knee, but says he is 70-75 percent certain he will play on Sunday. C.J. Spiller, the league’s leading rusher, is unlikely to play after suffering a shoulder sprain. If you own one of these guys, your best bet would be to pick up Choice. After Spiller left Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns, Choice stepped in and produced. He rushed 20 times for 91 yards. While he will certainly receive a significant role this week, it’s difficult to start him unless both Spiller and Jackson are ruled inactive.

Daniel Thomas, RB, Miami Dolphins

Dolphins starting running back Reggie Bush left Sunday’s game against the New York Jets with an apparent knee injury. In his place, Thomas received the bulk of the carries. He had 19 for for 69 yards and a touchdown, which he actually vultured from Bush. It appears that Bush may be able to play on Sunday, but don’t sleep on Thomas. He will certainly get significant work, regardless if Bush plays. The fact that he appears to be the goal line back doesn’t hurt his case either. If you own Bush, I suggest you go pick up Thomas as well, who is owned is just 3 percent of leagues.

Heath Miller, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers    

 Ben Roethlisberger stated that he wants to get Heath Miller to the Pro Bowl this season. So far, both have been doing a pretty good job. Miller has been targeted 20 times so far this year, catching 15 passes for 129 yards and four touchdowns. With the running back situation as unstable as it is, Miller should be the main red zone target. Although Pittsburgh has a Week 4 bye, there is no reason not to stash Miller on your bench.

Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings

Run run Rudolph! Coming off a game where he had 5 catches for 36 yards and 2 touchdowns, Rudolph is proving that he can be a reliable fantasy option. He isn’t going to get you the big plays down the field. But, with his size and athleticism, Rudolph appears to be a big time red zone option. Which means one thing for fantasy owner; touchdowns. Quarterback Christian Ponder has great chemistry with the tight end, which means more productivity could be on the way.

Arizona Cardinals D/ST

If we learned anything from this past week of NFL action (other than the embarrassment of the replacement referees) it is that the Cardinals defense is for real. On Sunday, Arizona held the high powered and explosive Philadelphia Eagles offense to just six points. They also scored a defensive touchdown, a sack fumble on quarterback Michael Vick which wad returned 93 yards to the house. Their next three opponents? Miami, St. Louis Rams and Buffalo. I like the Cardinals defense now, as well as long term.


Adam Pfeifer is a Fantasy Football columnist for Rant Sports.

You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.


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