Unfortunately just like Week 2, many players had to hitch a ride on the cart in Week 3, as the 2014 fantasy football season was plagued by injuries once again. Owners will have to scramble for some long and short-term solutions at running back, tight end and quarterback on the waiver wire in Week 4.
Minnesota turned to rookie Teddy Bridgewater after Matt Cassel was carted off, the San Diego Chargers are now dangerously thin with running back Danny Woodhead going down with a nasty ankle injury, and Baltimore tight end Dennis Pitta re-injured his hip. Not to mention top Houston running back Arian Foster, Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles and San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis all ruled inactive for Week 3.
There are now several questions to answer ahead of Week 4: Is this the rookie Bridgewater’s time? Can the Chargers trust Donald Brown in the backfield? Do owners need some insurance for Foster, Charles and Davis?
Several players could emerge in the handful of games remaining in Week 3 , but let’s answer some of those questions and take a look at a few of the players owners may consider for Week 4‘s waiver-wire claims. Remember, always drop and add at your own discretion.
Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Minnesota Vikings
Bridgewater looked fairly accurate, and wasn’t afraid to take off from the pocket. If Cassel is out for some time, it will be Bridgewater who takes on the Falcons in Week 4. The rookie isn’t worth a start just yet, but Bridgewater might be worth a pickup-and-sit for a week or two to see how he plays against Atlanta’s shaky D.
Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens running game was in trouble even before the Ray Rice fiasco. Bernard Pierce and Justin Forsett showed some flashes, but really Taliaferro just needed more touches to show what he could do. He battled a solid Browns frontline for 91 yards and a touchdown off 18 attempts , and he’ll shoot up the waiver-wire this week. He might not be worth a start in Week 4 against Carolina though.
Lance Kendricks, TE, St. Louis Rams
Kendricks caught everything that came his way in Week 3, with five catches for 19 yards and a touchdown off five targets. Will he return to his 2012 form when he totaled 42 receptions for 519 yards and four TDs? Too hard to tell now, but he’s slowly becoming quarterback Austin Davis’s go-to target, especially after Jared Cook shoved Davis after he dropped a sure-fire TD. If you bid for your waiver claims, don’t splurge too much on Kendricks, but he’s worth consideration. Just remeber St. Louis has its bye in Week 4.
Andrew Quarless, TE, Green Bay Packers
Another efficient tight end, who also snagged the Packers only touchdown against Detroit. Aaron Rodgers will need all the targets he can get if Green Bay continues to struggle running the ball, and Quarless could be a major beneficiary. His upside might not be as high as Kendricks, so again bid low for Quarless if you are in need of a tight end.
Branden Oliver, RB, San Diego Chargers
Originally the undrafted rookie out of Buffalo was supposed to act as the primary kickoff returner with Donald Brown moving up as the No. 1 back following Ryan Matthews' injury. But that was before Woodhead went down. In deeper leaguers Oliver could be worth a pickup for those who lost Woodhead. He rushed for more than 4,000 yards and 33 touchdowns in four years in Buffalo and totaled 75 career receptions.
Others to watch: Darrel Young, FB, Washington; Jordan Matthews, WR, Eagles; Josh Hill, TE, Saints; Khiry Robinson, RB, Saints; Isaiah Crowell, RB, Browns; Alfred Blue, RB, Houston; N.Y. Giants DST