Fantasy Football waiver wire candidates after Week 4

Week 4 of the NFL season is officially behind us, and those near the bottom of their league in fantasy football may be looking to make some big changes to their respective fantasy teams.

For those who are looking to turn around their fantasy football fortunes, here are the top five pickup candidates that are available in over 50 percent of leagues on the ESPN Fantasy Football platform going into Week 5.

Week 4 Recap:

In full transparency, there were some misses in my Week 4 waiver-wire article from last week. Both Houston Texans wide receiver Tank Dell and Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Quentin Johnston underperformed, scoring 3.9 and 2.8 fantasy points respectively last week. However, others did live up to the hype that were mentioned in the article, including Miami Dolphins running back De’Von Achane (27.0 fantasy points) and Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (17.64 fantasy points).

5. Michael Wilson, WR, Arizona Cardinals

  • Week 4: 26.6 fantasy points (PPR)
  • Rostered: 1.4 percent

Wilson has seen his role within this Cardinals offense grow each week. And the 2023 third-round pick starred in Week 4 for the Cardinals, hauling in all seven of his targets for 76 yards and two touchdowns. That was good for a top-10 finish at his position in fantasy for the week.

Some may be cautious of picking up any players from the Cardinals’ offense considering their rough start to the season without star quarterback Kyler Murray. However, they have actually been able to move the ball quite well with veteran Joshua Dobbs under center. The Cardinals are shockingly just outside the top-10 in the NFL in yards per game offensively. Part of that success is due to Wilson’s emergence as a bigger part of the offense. And he should only continue to look better as he gets more comfortable throughout his rookie season.

4. Jake Ferguson, TE, Dallas Cowboys

  • Week 4: 14.7 fantasy points (PPR)
  • Rostered: 24.5 percent

Ferguson took over the TE1 job in Dallas after Dalton Schultz’s departure in free agency this offseason. And it finally looks like Ferguson is beginning to ease into a substantial role in this high-powered Cowboys offense. He finished their Week 4 game against the New England Patriots with seven receptions for 77 yards, which was enough for a top-five finish amongst a thin tight end position in fantasy for the week.

Star quarterback Dak Prescott has shown over the years that he has no problem heavily targeting the tight end position. And it now seems like he is finally building some chemistry with Ferguson. Considering the lack of great options at the tight end position in fantasy, Ferguson should be a high-priority player to add if you’re in need of a productive tight end entering Week 5.

3. Joshua Palmer, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

  • Week 4: 10.7 fantasy points (PPR)
  • Rostered: 47 percent

One of the storylines heading into Week 4 was how the Chargers’ wide receiving corps would look after the season-ending knee injury to Mike Williams. While the Chargers offense wasn’t exactly firing on all cylinders against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 4, the team did show that third-year wide receiver Joshua Palmer is going to play a big role in their offense moving forward.

Palmer was targeted eight times on Sunday, including the 51-yard catch above that iced the game for the Chargers. He was featured more in their offense than rookie Quentin Johnston, which is obviously a great sign for his fantasy prospects moving forward.

It will be worth monitoring the health of star quarterback Justin Herbert moving forward, who suffered a fractured middle finger on his non-throwing hand in their Week 4 win. Adding Palmer would be more of a long-term move, as the Chargers have a Bye Week in Week 5. But considering how good the Chargers offense profiles to be for the rest of the year, it may be worth playing the long game and adding Palmer this week.

2. Romeo Doubs, WR, Green Bay Packers

  • Week 4: 18.5 fantasy points (PPR)
  • Rostered: 33.9 percent

Doubs has been listed as an honorable mention multiple times in these waiver-wire articles. But he’s finally listed as one of the top-five players to add, and for good reason after his excellent game in Week 4. Doubs recorded nine catches on a whopping 13 targets for 95 yards in a TNF loss to the Detroit Lions.

More importantly, it seems like even when the Packers offense is struggling as it was on Thursday night, quarterback Jordan Love has shown that he will look Doubs’ way, which has been a trend even dating back to the preseason.

It’s encouraging that Doubs got this much attention from Love, especially considering star wide receiver Christian Watson returned alongside Doubs for his first game of the year on Thursday night. This latest performance continues Doubs’ impressive play this year. Doubs has recorded over 18 fantasy points in three of four games this season, and at this point, his consistent production is getting hard to ignore.

1. C.J. Stroud, QB, Houston Texans 

  • Week 4: 21.84 fantasy points (PPR)
  • Rostered: 32.0 percent

Stroud continued his impressive play in Week 4 against the Pittsburgh Steelers despite some massive injuries on the Houston offensive line. Despite being without both starting tackles and being down to a third-string center, Stroud was able to pick apart the Steelers’ defense. He threw for 306 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for 16 yards on the ground in the Texans’ Week 4 blowout victory.

Aside from his first career start in the NFL, Stroud has been spectacular from a fantasy perspective as well. His Week 4 performance was his third consecutive game over 20 fantasy points. And as his offensive line gets more and more healthy, his play should only improve in the coming weeks. If you have a struggling quarterback like Joe Burrow or Trevor Lawrence on your roster in fantasy, you should absolutely consider picking up and starting Stroud until they get back on track.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Terrance Marshall Jr. (WR, Carolina Panthers)
  • Tyler Boyd (WR, Cincinnati Bengals)
  • Rashid Shaheed (WR, New Orleans Saints)
  • Zach Charbonnet (RB, Seattle Seahawks)
  • Sam Howell (QB, Washington Commanders)

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.