Where has the time gone? We’re already through Week 4 of the 2023 NFL season, and once again, it delivered plenty to talk about. The Toy Story London game brought in new viewers from the playground, the Chicago Bears snatched defeat from the jaws of victory against the Denver Broncos, even though Justin Fields had a resurgence of sorts, and, of course, Taylor Swift was once again one of the most talked about storylines as the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the New York Jets and Zach Wilson at MetLife Stadium.

And, as always, there were tons of injuries to deal with. Justin Herbert broke a finger on his non-throwing hand, Mike Evans could miss time with a hamstring injury, Tee Higgins fractured a rib, Javonte Williams went out with a hip flexor…the list goes on and on! To make things more difficult for fantasy managers this week, it’s the first week of byes, meaning you’ll have to find a fill-in for the Chargers, Seahawks, Buccaneers, and Browns on your rosters. With the waiver wire nearly depleted, where do you go? Don’t worry. As always, I have a list of options to help you fill your rosters as we get into the meat and potatoes of the season.


Waiver Wire Quarterbacks

C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans (Rostered in 32% of ESPN leagues, 47% in Yahoo leagues, and 55% in Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Budget: 2-3% of total budget

Did you listen when we told you to pick up Stroud last week? If you didn’t, you still have a chance in several leagues, but you’re going to have to spend a lot more FAAB on him to get him this week than you did if you scooped him up ahead of Week 4. Even against what was supposed to be a good Steelers defense, Stroud finished with 306 yards and two touchdowns, and he still has yet to throw an interception. The rookie is the real deal, sitting at QB10 on the season, and with bye weeks coming up and even more injuries thinning out the ranks this week, Stroud needs to be rostered.

Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams (Rostered in 33.6% of ESPN leagues, 50% of Yahoo leagues, and 47% in Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Budget: 2-3% of total budget

While Stafford hasn’t been a great fantasy quarterback due to his lack of touchdowns, he has thrown for over 300 yards in three of his first three games, and this week, he faces a Philadelphia Eagles defense that has been somewhat soft against the pass. He did suffer a hip injury in the Rams overtime win, but he’s expected to be out on the field in Week 5. With this injury and all eyes on CJ Stroud, you could end up getting Stafford at a discount, even if it’s just for a fill-in.

Sam Howell, Washington Commanders (Rostered in 8.9% of ESPN leagues, 18% of Yahoo leagues, and 20% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Budget: 1-2% of total budget

Sam Howell has definitely had his ups and downs this year, and after Week 3’s performance against the Buffalo Bills, it was hard to imagine that he’d show up here as a waiver wire target. But that’s the beauty of the NFL! On the road against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 4, Howell put together a nice outing, finishing with 290 passing yards, a touchdown, and 40 rushing yards, almost pulling out a win against the defending Super Bowl Champions. If you don’t have a backup quarterback for Justin Herbert or were starting Kenny Pickett in a superflex league, Howell has a great matchup against the winless Chicago Bears in Week 5 and should be able to put together another solid performance. 

Waiver Wire Running Backs

Zach Charbonnet, Seattle Seahawks (Rostered in 40.7% of ESPN leagues, 60% of Yahoo leagues, and 63% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Budget: 10-15% of total budget

Depending on which platform you play on, Charbonnet may already be on a roster, but he’s worth a mention since he’s rostered in under 50% of ESPN leagues. We haven’t seen him get a ton of work yet, but he’s flashed promising usage in the two-minute drill and in the red zone. Kenneth Walker still looks very good, but Charbonnet could be making a run towards fantasy relevance after the bye week.

Jaleel McLaughlin, Denver Broncos (Rostered in .5% of ESPN leagues, 3% of Yahoo leagues, and 2% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Budget: 8-10% of total budget

Once Javonte Williams went out with a hip injury, everyone was looking towards Samaje Perine to get the bulk of the work, but surprise, surprise, Sean Payton had another “Joker” in mind with Jaleel McLaughlin. The undrafted rookie was hyper efficient with the work that he saw, amassing over 100 scrimmage yards on just ten touches. Sure, the Broncos were facing a decrepit Bears defense that somehow managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but the efficiency can’t be overlooked. Now, Williams’ injury may not keep him out, so McLaughlin could still stay in that backup role, but he has just as much potential as anyone left on waivers.

Chuba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers (Rostered in 17.9% of ESPN leagues, 25% of Yahoo leagues, and 32% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Budget: 6-8% of total budget

Starting running back Miles Sanders was supposedly good to go after missing practice with a groin injury, but it was Chuba Hubbard who took over for him in the second half of the Week 4 loss against the Vikings. All in all, Hubbard had 14 carries and tacked on another 12 yards on two targets on Sunday, and if Sanders is still dealing with that groin going into Week 5, you can expect much of the same. Hubbard has never been very efficient (and the Panthers offensive line has certainly not helped that this year), but if he ends up being the lead back in Week 5 and you’re desperate for a bye week fill-in, he could get the job done.

Latavius Murray, Buffalo Bills (Rostered in 3.7% of ESPN leagues, 10% of Yahoo leagues, and 11% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Budget: 3-5% of total budget

As with everyone remaining on waivers in the running back pool, you don’t feel great about them, but what you’re looking for is them to not give you a zero. That’s what Latavius Murray is right now. He’s not getting the carries that you want to see for fantasy, but he has been efficient when he has touched the ball and has also managed to see some targets to go along with that. The upcoming schedule against the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants are pretty juicy, and if Buffalo gets a lead, Murray may end up seeing more touches in positive game script situations. 

Waiver Wire Wide Receivers

Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals (Rostered in 43.1% of ESPN leagues, 37% of Yahoo leagues, and 51% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Budget: 5-8% of total budget

The Bengals offense has looked absolutely pitiful this season, but with Tee Higgins suffering a fractured rib in Week 4, Tyler Boyd moves into the WR2 spot on this offense, and that alone makes him worthy of a waiver claim. Through the last three weeks, Boyd has averaged eight targets per game, and even if he’s not doing much with them, the PPR value alone of the added snaps and target share is worth a look. He does get an “easy” matchup against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 5, so maybe this is the week Cincinnati finally gets on track.

Jameson Williams, Detroit Lions (Rostered in 16.3% of ESPN leagues, 32% of Yahoo leagues, and 53% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Budget: 5-8% of total budget

After the NFL and NFLPA revised their gambling policy, Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams is now eligible to return to action after serving a reduced four game suspension. Williams won’t be an automatic plug and play, and it’s likely going to take him some time to get reacclimated to this offense, but he is (theoretically) a much better deep threat than Josh Reynolds, Kalif Raymond, and Marvin Jones, so once he’s in game shape, he could have a big role down the stretch. Admittedly, we haven’t seen much from him in his NFL career, but his profile alone is enough to take a stab on.

Marvin Mims, Denver Broncos (Rostered in 17.3% of ESPN leagues, 39% of Yahoo leagues, and 50% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Budget: 5-8% of total budget

Looking at the Broncos yardage leaders, you would think that Mims is the WR1 on the team, as he currently has the most of any of the team’s wideouts with 242 yards. The problem is, he’s just not seeing the snaps, with his highest snap percentage of 35% coming against the Bears in Week 4. Once Sean Payton figures out that he needs to get the best receiver on the field, things will be different, and when that happens, it’s going to be wheels up for Mims. Get him while you have the chance because once he hits, the cost is going to be much higher.

Michael Wilson, Arizona Cardinals (Rostered in 1.4% of ESPN leagues, 2% of Yahoo leagues, and 6% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Budget: 5-8% of total budget

The rookie from Stanford had a coming out party against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 4, playing 70% of the snaps, catching all seven targets for 76 yards, and finding the end zone twice. His snap total has gone up each week since Week 2, and while we were all expecting the Cardinals to roll over and play dead, they’ve actually put up quite a bit of a fight. Their next three weeks include matchups against the Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, and Seattle Seahawks, so Wilson could continue to see a heavy workload in what could be some winnable matchups.

Trey Palmer/Deven Thompkins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Rostership NA)

FAAB Budget: 0-1% of total budget

This is for you deep league players only and only if Mike Evans is out, but each of these receivers put together a decent little outing on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. Palmer saw 75% of the snaps and found the end zone for his second of the season, and while Thompkins saw slightly fewer snaps at 63%, he had the better fantasy day, catching all four of his targets for 45 yards and scoring a touchdown. Look for Palmer to be the main guy to sub in for Mike Evans if he is absent, but put in a contingency bid on Thompkins just in case some other poor schmuck is more desperate than you.

Waiver Wire Tight Ends

Logan Thomas, Washington Commanders (Rostered in 7.8% of ESPN leagues, 6% of Yahoo leagues, and 9% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Budget: 0-1% of total budget

Everyone, pull out the old meme that says “I’m once again asking for you to take a look at Logan Thomas,” because that is what I’m asking you to do. He missed last week with a concussion, but in his return, he played 79% of the snaps and saw three targets. Now, while that’s not super great, if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 1,000 times, tight end is a wasteland, and if you’re playing that high of a snap count, the targets will eventually come. Offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy loves utilizing tight ends in his system, and as long as Thomas stays healthy, he’s going to have a large role here. Well, as long as he stays healthy. 

Jake Ferguson, Dallas Cowboys (Rostered in 24.5% of ESPN leagues, 53% in Yahoo leagues, and 50% in Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Budget: 0-1% of total budget

Fellow tight end Peyton Hendershot was inactive for Week 4’s blowout of the New England Patriots, so that may have something to do with Ferguson’s snap count, but, regardless…he’s still getting the ball when he’s on the field. He’s had seven targets in all but one game so far this season, and even with other receiving options, Dak Prescott loves to utilize his tight end. Going into Monday Night Football, Ferguson is the TE8 in PPR leagues, and now that we’ve seen that Kyle Pitts, Dallas Goedert, etc. aren’t getting it done on our rosters, it’s time to look elsewhere. Scoop up Ferguson while you can.

Jonnu Smith, Atlanta Falcons (Rostered in .4% of ESPN leagues, 1% of Yahoo leagues, and 2% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Budget: NA

Admittedly, this is a deep cut for those deeper leagues out there, and to add insult to injury, it’s a slap in the face to Kyle Pitts managers. He’s had no fewer than six targets per game since Week 2, and while Pitts has been lining up as a wide receiver, it’s Smith who is lining up as the tight end and is getting those short to intermediate looks from quarterback Desmond Ridder. Smith has yet to score a touchdown but is currently sitting as the TE11 in PPR leagues barring any massive Monday night performances, and even if it feels like we’re living in the upside down, he’s the guy in this Atlanta passing offense right now.