We are officially through three weeks of the 2023 NFL season, and there have been plenty of surprises so far. With the likes of Puka Nacua, Devon Achane, and Sam LaPorta already cashing in during their rookie seasons, the influx of youth is taking over the fantasy football sphere too, and they should be dominating your Week 4 waiver wire pickups.
At this stage of the season, you have a pretty good feel for how competitive (or not) your team is at this point. While its a few weeks too early to be packing it in for next season, you still have time to turn things around.
As always, the following list includes players that are rostered on fewer than 50 percent of all ESPN rosters, making the chances you can pick them up pretty high. You can never have too much talent on your fantasy football roster, which makes your Week 4 waiver wire pickups that more important.
10. Quentin Johnston, Los Angeles Chargers – WR
The season-ending ACL tear suffered by Mike Williams on Sunday clouded over what was an important first win for the Los Angeles Chargers. Having held such a big role in the passing attack, the WR2 spot alongside Keenan Allen is now up for grabs.
More on Joshua Palmer later (who profiles to be the best choice to fill that role), but Quentin Johnston should see an uptick in usage now as he becomes the clear-cut WR3 option. Having struggled to get his footing so far this year, Johnston is a solid WR3/4 option at this point, with a high ceiling.
9. Tyjae Spears, Tennessee Titans – RB
It’s been a disappointing start to the season for the Tennessee Titans as a whole, but their offense has looked especially dreadful. Derrick Henry has failed to get going, but Tulane rookie Tyjae Spears has vultured a bunch of work so far.
Spears obviously is not the starter by any means and won’t subject Henry to a back-seat role, but if the Titans continue to play in a negative game script, that gives Spears a solid floor to rely on for your fantasy football roster.
8. C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans – QB
The best rookie QB so far this year has been C.J. Stroud, who just led the Houston Texans to a 20-point upset win over the Jaguars in Week 3. Having taken care of the ball and calmly led the offense down the field, Stroud has put together a very impressive body of work so far.
Stroud’s connection with fellow rookie Tank Dell (more on him later) has given this Houston offense some life, and if you need a QB with bye weeks upcoming, he should be a target. Try to bench him in Week 4 though, as the Texans face the Steelers.
7. Josh Downs, Indianapolis Colts – WR
North Carolina rookie Josh Downs looks to be tightening his grip on the WR2 role for the Indianapolis Colts, making a much bigger impact than Alec Pierce so far this season. Even with Gardner Minshew stepping in for Anthony Richardson in their Week 3 overtime upset of the Ravens, Downs was still a focal part of the offense (eight receptions for 57 yards on 12 targets).
As the Colts look to hopefully welcome Richardson back for Week 4, Downs should continue to have a weekly WR3 value attached to him. Playing from behind only opens up the potential opportunities for the former Tar Heel, and he has taken them in stride so far.
6. Luke Musgrave, Green Bay Packers – TE
Ever since Jermichael Finley, the Green Bay Packers have failed to really have a field-stretching tight end for their offense. But in Luke Musgrave’s rookie season, it feels as though they may finally be able to check that box once again.
Really only overshadowed by Detroit rookie TE Sam LaPorta, Musgrave has been a rock for Jordan Love, and his target share of 16.3 percent over the first two games is a strong sign of things to come.
5. Marvin Mims, Denver Broncos – WR
For our discussion on the best fantasy football breakout and sleeper candidates, listen below:
There’s no doubt about it, the Denver Broncos are a dumpster fire this season. While their 2022 season was no better, this year feels worse – and rookie wide receiver Marvin Mims is one of the few bright spots.
While uber-reliant on big plays to cash in for your fantasy football rosters, Mims’ role in the passing attack grew to a career-best five targets against the Dolphins. Look for Mims to bring game-breaking value to your roster, and he even is a threat on special teams, having returned a kick for a score last week.
4. Josh Palmer, Los Angeles Chargers – WR
Joshua Palmer should be one of the top receivers on your radar for your waiver wire pickups this week, solely because of the Mike Williams injury. The vacated WR2 role in the Chargers offense can be a gold mine, and while Johnston is lurking to take this spot over, it should be Palmer’s to at least start.
Palmer’s 13 targets on the season (eight receptions) pales in comparison to both Keenan Allen and Williams, but he is the more talented option for this offense to utilize moving forward. With a Week 4 matchup with the Raiders on tap next, see if you can add Palmer this week.
3. Roschon Johnson, Chicago Bears – RB
It feels overly gross to want anything to do with a piece of the Chicago Bears offense, but rookie running back Roschon Johnson is getting close to being one of the few. First it was relegating D’Onta Foreman to becoming a healthy scratch, and now it is taking the first carry of the game over Khalil Herbert.
Johnson has been seen as the most talented RB option on this roster, and he is finally getting a chance to prove it – if you need RB depth, he should be your backup plan if the top player on this list isn’t available.
2. Tank Dell, Houston Texans – WR
As mentioned when discussing C.J. Stroud earlier, Tank Dell has become the top target in the Houston offense. While Nico Collins and Robert Woods have flashed this year so far too, it has been Dell who has been the most consistent.
Negative game script benefits the receivers for Houston, giving Dell a lot of time on the field running routes. If you need a plug-in FLEX option in your waiver wire pickups in Week 4, Dell is your guy.
1. Devone Achane, Miami Dolphins – RB
Having Devon Achane headline our Week 4 waiver wire pickups list should not be a surprise to anyone, especially after his 200+ yard, 4-TD day. While his breakout performance can somewhat be chalked up to the game being blown open early, it was very encouraging to see just how much work he did earn.
With Jeff Wilson Jr. and Salvon Ahmed out with injuries, Achane is in the driver’s seat to take over lead-back duties within a few weeks. Raheem Mostert has looked excellent so far, but he is not the best running back on this team – that right goes to Achane.