Was your fantasy football team decimated by injuries in Week 4? Don’t give up just yet—there’s help to be found on the waiver wire.
On Sunday another avalanche of injuries came crashing down on fantasy owners. Rookie running backs Dalvin Cook (torn ACL) and Chris Carson (broken leg) both had their seasons cut short, while Derek Carr is expected to be sidelined two-to-six weeks with a fracture in his back.
To make matters worse, over the next seven weeks every team aside from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins will receive their annual week off.
During this seven-week stretch, owners are going to have to make some of their most difficult decisions since assembling their team on draft day. Late-round bargains, player handcuffs, injury liabilities, and those who underperformed are all viable options to walk the plank.
As the aforementioned casualties hit the water, think about bringing these players aboard.
Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans
Fresh out of a failed marriage to Brock Osweiler, one would think Houston head coach Bill O’Brien would have been frothing at the mouth to unveil Deshaun Watson in Week 1. It’s okay, Tom Savage’s fiery train wreck of a first half brought O’Brien to his senses.
Watson flourished on Sunday in a record-setting rout of the Tennessee Titans. accounting for five touchdowns (four passing, one rushing) and 307 total yards. This comes on the heels of throwing for 301 yards in a nail-biting loss in Foxboro. Three of Houston’s next four games are at home, including two tasty matchups with the Cleveland Browns (Week 6) and Indianapolis Colts (Week 8).
Watson’s ability to create big plays with his legs and arm adds to his rising value. Furthermore, underwhelming and unpredictable quarterback play through four weeks makes Watson a must add.
Wayne Gallman, RB, New York Giants
The rookie from Clemson didn’t disappoint, rushing for 42 yards on 11 carries while hauling in two catches, one of which was a four-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning.
It’s been a merry-go-round of mediocrity lining up behind Manning in recent years. Gallman’s aggressive north-to-south running style and pass-catching ability make him a valuable commodity for both fantasy owners and an unbalanced Giants offense.
Thomas Rawls, RB, Seattle Seahawks
Non-keeper league owners promptly returned Chris Carson to the waiver wire where they found him just a few short weeks ago. The undrafted rookie suffered a high ankle sprain and fractured leg with Sunday night’s game well in hand, all but ending his season.
Head coach Pete Carroll has several options to lean on in Carson’s absence. Rookie J.D. McKissic, who started in place of the injured C.J. Prosise, turned heads with two touchdowns and 65 total yards in his NFL debut. Eddie Lacy also showed flashes of his former self, amassing 52 yards on 11 carries. However, through Carroll’s eyes, it looks like Thomas Rawls will be pressed into duty.
“Right now, we are so fortunate that Chris has to sit out for a while, that Thomas Rawls gets to step up,’’ Carroll said Monday, per Tom Condotta of the Seattle Times. “That is just good fortune and it’s good planning and all of that. Thomas is really raring to go and we are excited to get him to play.’’
Rawls burst onto the scene two years ago as a dynamic weapon in Carroll’s offense. The situation will need to be monitored on a weekly basis, but right now running backs are at a premium, so stash Rawls while you can.
Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina Panthers
Funchess hauled in seven receptions on nine targets, securing his first two scores of the season on Sunday. When Cam Newton doesn’t soar into the end zone himself, the red zone looks are a tug of war between Kelvin Benjamin and Funchess.
His 6-foot-4 frame works to his advantage, a characteristic Cam’s weaponry has lacked during his tenure with the Panthers. Funchess should see favorable matchups in his next four games against the Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Snag him if he’s available