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Early Week 4 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire

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Be on the lookout for a full weekly waiver-wire column from the SI Fantasy team. Every Sunday night, however, I will take an early look at a few options that could help you in the upcoming week or on a rest-of-season basis.

With that said, here are a few waiver-wire options to consider heading into Week 4 (Yahoo! ownership in parenthesis):

D.J. Chark Jr., WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (40% owned)

Appearing on last week’s early waiver-wire list, Chark’s ownership level has increased from 12%, but he’s still under-owned in fantasy leagues. Playing on Thursday night, Chark had another impressive outing with four catches for 76 yards and a touchdown.

Through Week 3, Chark has a minimum of four catches and 55 yards and has extended his scoring streak to three games. On the season, the second-year receiver has 15 catches for 277 yards (92.3 YPG and 18.5 Y/R) and three touchdowns, all of which are already career highs.

Dede Westbrook leads the team in targets (20), but he’s only converted them into 11 receptions. Given his rapport with rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew and his level of production, Chark will be my top-ranked Jags receiver and could be a WR3 (top 36) option as we begin the bye-week phase of the season in Week 4.

Mecole Hardman, WR, Kansas City Chiefs (49% owned)

Patrick Mahomes and the high-octane Chiefs offense have picked up where they left off last season. Mahomes has thrown for 370-plus yards and three-plus touchdowns in each of the first three games. Tyreek Hill (clavicle) may not miss much more time, but a different Chiefs wide receiver has led the team in fantasy production without Hill. This week, it was the rookie speedster out of Georgia.

Both Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce had more targets (eight) on Sunday, but Hardman led the team in receiving yards (97), which included an 83-yard touchdown. Hardman now has more than 60 yards and a score in back-to-back games with a total of six catches for 158 yards and two touchdowns on 11 targets over that span.

Ronald Jones II, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (24% owned)

Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II ran for 75 yards on 13 carries in Week 1 and disappointed—nine yards on four carries—in Week 2 despite NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport suggesting a bigger workload for Jones. Things were better in Week 3.

Jones finished Sunday with 14 carries for 80 yards and added a 41-yard reception. Perhaps it’s too early to trust Jones to be a fantasy starter or even flex option, as Peyton Barber dominated the workload in Week 2 and the duo shared the workload evenly in Week 3. But if Jones continues to play like Weeks 1 and 3, he should earn more reliable usage rates and be owned in more than a quarter of leagues.

Wayne Gallman, RB, New York Giants (2% owned)

Saquon Barkley had been one of the few bright spots for the Giants with back-to-back 100-yard games to open the season. Leaving Sunday’s game and returning to the sideline with crutches and a walking boot, however, Barkley is expected to miss time with a high-ankle sprain.

For as long as Barkley is sidelined, Wayne Gallman is in line for a large workload. He didn’t get much going—neither did Barkley before the injury—against the improved Bucs run defense as he finished with five carries for 13 yards. Barkley had eight carries for 10 yards.

Justin Jackson, RB, Los Angeles Chargers (29% owned)

Chargers running back Austin Ekeler had 57 touches compared to just 24 for Justin Jackson in the team’s first three games of the season. In those games, Jackson was efficient—rushing for 142 yards on 18 carries (7.89 YPC).

Looking ahead to Week 4, Ekeler and Jackson get a Miami defense that has allowed 133 points in their three losses and a pair of 100-yard rushing games to Ezekiel Elliott (19/125) and Tony Pollard (13/103/1) on Sunday. The Chargers will be huge favorites, which should allow both Ekeler and Jackson to have big outings.

Kevin Hanson joins SI for the 2019 season. His fantasy rankings have placed him in the Top 20 in each of the past two seasons among all the industry experts tracked by FantasyPros.com, and he has been in the Top 25 in six of the past eight years.



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Kevin Hanson, DMT.NEWS