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Week 4: Working the waiver wire

Week 4: Working the waiver wire
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Week 3 didn't have a ton of injuries, but there were some big ones. Saquon Barkley owners will be scrambling to find a replacement at RB. There are some decent options this week, but replacing a player like Barkley is pretty much impossible. Keep in mind the owner % mentioned is for 10-team standard ESPN leagues.

Some of these players below are good for the short-term, while others have more long-term value. You have to make the call on what your team needs. Immediate help to start this week, or a player to stash on your bench and hope he breaks out. Let's get started.

QB

Matthew Stafford: He's surprisingly available in 62% of ESPN leagues, and he should be chasing points against the Chiefs this week.

Jameis Winston: He had a great week throwing for 3 TDs against the Giants. He might be starting to figure it out in Bruce Arian's system, and he's available in 52% of ESPN leagues. He has a tough matchup against the Rams this week though.

Daniel Jones: Jones looked good in his first NFL start so you can pick him up if you need help. It was nice to see him get points with his legs, but let's not forget how well he threw the ball. Jones plays the Redskins this week, so you have to like that matchup. He'll be without his all-world RB which could cause him to underwhelm a bit this week. He wasn't quite as good after Barkley left with the ankle injury. His next 2 matchups after this week will be tough facing the Patriots and Vikings though. He's available in most leagues.

Andy Dalton: Say what you want about Dalton, but he's throwing the ball a lot. His defense isn't very good, and the running game has struggled because of a poor offensive line. He faces the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Monday Night Football, so the matchup is pretty good. He's out there in 82% of ESPN leagues.

RB

Wayne Gallman: Don't count on him to be much better than a No. 2 RB or a flex play, but he could be serviceable over the next few weeks until Barkley returns. The offense looks better with Daniel Jones in the fold, and Gallman should have some decent value for more than a couple weeks. Several of the backs I'll list below might be better starts this week, but they have limited upside in the long-term. He's available in 98% of ESPN leagues.

Darrel Williams: He looked good last week needing only 14 touches to produce over 100 total yards. LeSean McCoy and Damien Williams are dealing with injuries so Williams should produce some nice numbers in the Chiefs high-powered offense. Many thought Darwin Thompson would be the guy to replace McCoy, but that just wasn't the case. Williams is only owned in 2% of ESPN leagues.

Ronald Jones: He's hard to trust but after a nice game against the lowly Giants he might have some value. He's younger and more explosive than Peyton Barber, so he might be a good option to stash. He has the Rams this week if you need to start him. Jones is available in 60% of ESPN leagues.

Rex Burkhead: I told everyone that would listen last week to pickup Burkhead and start him against the Jets. That advice paid off but many fantasy "experts" are pushing him again this week. James White is expected to return to action against the Bills, which makes Burkhead's value significantly less. If you're desperate in a PPR league, he may be usable but I'm skeptical. James White missing last week's game for the birth of his child was why Burkhead had so many touches. He may see more work in the passing game with the Patriots throwing more after losing their fullback to injury. He's still available to add in 78% of leagues. At least he's in an elite offense if you're desperate.

WR

Phillip Dorsett: With Antonio Brown gone and Julian Edelman dealing with a chest injury you have to add Dorsett if you need help at WR. He played over 90% of the snaps last week and should be in store for a big role going forward, especially if Edelman misses time. He's scored 3 TDs in 3 games, so you have to like that. Dorsett is available in 88% of ESPN leagues.

D.J. Chark: 3 straight games with over 17 points in a PPR isn't bad, in fact it's really good. His QB situation seems a lot better than initially thought after the Foles injury. Grab him if he's out there. He gets the Broncos this week which isn't a great matchup but this is probably your last chance to get him on your team. He's out there in 59% of ESPN leagues.

Marquez Valdez-Scantling: He's still available in about 50% of ESPN leagues, and he had 10 targets against the Broncos last week. Rodgers said he will try to get the ball to Devante Adams and Jimmy Graham more on Thursday night, but he's still a great option against the Eagles' poor secondary.

Mecole Hardman: I love this guy, but I'm worried Tyreek Hill will be back soon. When Hill returns I don't expect Hardman to be startable, but he's a nice flex until that happens. You can get him in 55% of ESPN leagues.

Nelson Agholor: I pushed him hard last week, and he came through with a huge game scoring 2 TDs. Much like Hardman, he's a great option until his teammates return from injury. He's available in 54% of ESPN standard leagues.

TE

Will Dissly: He had another big game on Sunday against the Saints so this will be the last time he's available on waivers in most leagues. If you need a TE, he's the best option. He's rostered in 27% of ESPN leagues. His matchup is fantastic this week!

Chris Herndon: You can't use him until Week 6, but he's an option if you're desperate. Adam Gase loves to get his TEs involved in the passing game, so you could do worse when he returns. You can add him in 93% of ESPN leagues.

Defense

If you need a defense this week, the Texans and Colts are pretty good options. The Texans might have been dropped because of their matchup against Philip Rivers and the Chargers last week. I know Kyle Allen played well throwing 4 TDs against the Cardinals on Sunday, but I don't see him doing that to the Texans defense. They're available in 67% of ESPN leagues. Also, don't forget to see who the Dolphins are playing each week. The Chargers get that beautiful matchup on Sunday.

If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter or listen to my radio show MoneyLine with Jerry Bo Sundays from 10-noon on ESPN 97.5 FM. We talk all things fantasy football and NFL gambling getting you ready for kickoff every Sunday.

@JoshJordan975 @Moneyline975

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Following Houston's 6-4 road trip, the Astros returned home to finish the first "half" of the season before the All Star break hosting Florida and Texas. Houston's road trip was filled with clutch performances in New York, dominance in taking 3 of 4 in Toronto, and a dose of close calls and tough realities with a short-handed team against Minnesota.

Now the Astros hope to take care of business against the lowly Marlins and division rival Rangers. The Texas series, in particular gives Houston the opportunity to reassert their hold on the #2 spot ahead of the Rangers who have won their last 5 games in a row (as of the time this was published). Both teams have won 7 of their last 10 games and hope to catch a free-falling Seattle team to overtake the division lead.

Dana Brown told the media last week he expects both Justin Verlander and Kyle Tucker to be reactivated following the All-Star break but Tucker's updates continue to be more promising than Verlander's and MUCH more promising than Lance McCullers. Astros manager informed the media this week that McCullers has been shut down from throwing after his arm did not respond well to his recent bullpen sessions and the team is formulating the plan for what's next for the embattled pitcher. McCullers hasn't pitched since the 2022 postseason and underwent season-ending flexor tendon surgery last June. McCullers is under contract with Houston until 2026.

An eventual return for Kyle Tucker would spur a juggling act from Joe Espada to find a proper balance of time for all his outfielders, none of which have separated themselves offensively. Chas McCormick had a great month of June recording an .804 OPS but that run looks more like an anomaly as his scuffles have continued over the past 2.5 weeks, recording just 4 hits over his last 32 plate appearances.

While Jake Meyers has wowed fans and teammates with his glove this season, his offense has hit a skid, hitting just .184 with a .565 OPS over the past month. After rookie Joey Loperfido's torrid debut, he too has struggled with the bat, hitting just .216 with .599 OPS over the same time period.

An unexpected bright spot has been the recent play of first baseman Jon Singleton. Over the last 4 weeks, "Big Jon" is batting .302 with an .802 OPS. It's worth mentioning that Singleton's season numbers are better than Florida's Josh Bell, who drew interest from Astros fans over the past several seasons as a potential answer at first base. Bell has 135 more ABs this season so its not quite an apples-to-apples comparison but there's no doubt Singleton's contributions were sorely needed following the release of Jose Abreu.

To watch part 1 of this week's episode of Stone Cold StrosStone Cold Stros, just click the video above or to listen to the entire episode on podcast, search "Stone Cold Stros" in your favorite podcast app or click one of the following links.

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