The roster percentages for this column are updated every Friday morning. In addition, all players from Thursday's Broncos-Jets game have been removed.
Each week of the NFL season, we will identify fantasy football waiver-wire pickups specifically for those of you looking for streaming options in deeper formats (including IDP leagues). These are players available in a majority of ESPN Fantasy leagues, who have enticing matchups in the week ahead that may make them worthy of consideration for your lineup.
While you may notice some overlap with Field Yates' pickup column that publishes on Mondays, an important distinction to make between that column and this one is that the options mentioned in this column are focused solely on this week's matchup and not the players' value for the remainder of the season.
Do you need replacement options for injured players? Or are you merely dealing with depth issues? A roundtable of fantasy analysts and NFL Nation reporters will join me to identify some choice names to consider each week.
Here are some of our favorites for Week 4:
The numbers haven't proved compelling just yet, but some signs point to Mayfield finally delivering a solid fantasy effort. The Cowboys have allowed 25.3 fantasy points per game to opposing passers, third most in the league. It also helps that Dallas is just 18th in sack rate, with the fourth-lowest forced turnover rate in the NFL. Given that the point total for this contest sits around 55 across most sportsbooks, Cleveland is expected to produce a robust offensive day in keeping pace with the Cowboys' elite skill group. For those in deeper leagues, this might just be the week to do more than just watch Mayfield in commercials. -Jim McCormick
Fitzpatrick hit on his first 12 passes and completed 18 of 20 attempts overall to set Miami's single-game completion percentage record last week in a rare win. Next up is a leaky Seattle defense that ranks 27th in creating pressure on opposing signal-callers. Given the Seahawks have allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, it's a nice spot to stream the bearded playmaker. -J.M.
Coming off of a big week full of long runs, Michel might become a popular waiver addition. Maybe not, though, as many managers know the boom-or-bust volatility of Michel's fantasy outcomes. He's dependent on converting goal-line work to really deliver fantasy fun, but this game in Arrowhead at least promises potential to pressure the Patriots to keep pace with the Chiefs' offense. -J.M.
Given that his list of teams is growing each season, revenge games don't have a ton of resonance, but this matchup with the Saints is still intriguing given they've yielded nearly 91 rushing yards per game to tailbacks while Peterson, even in the twilight of his career, is dominating usage out of the backfield for Detroit early this season. If there is a major shift to eventually unfold in how Detroit approaches its backfield, last week didn't reveal much in the works, as Peterson handled 23 touches to a combined five for Kerryon Johnson and D'Andre Swift. The Saints have the talent to be stout against the ground game still, but with Peterson's consistent usage of early-down work in Detroit, he's worth streaming until the team changes the game plan. -J.M.
You don't need me to tell you about some of the players who had a big Week 3 -- they've already had their moments and your leaguemates are well aware of them. So I'm rolling with ol' reliable this week against a Panthers defense that has all but given up on making their opponents uncomfortable (blitz rate by week: 23.3%, 14.3% and 5.8%). Why does that matter? This season, Fitz's target share increases when Kyler Murray is not blitzed, a contrast to 2019 and something I think has to do with DeAndre Hopkins demanding so much attention. Arizona is working with an implied total of 28 points, thus raising the scoring equity and having me believe the future Hall of Famer is a top-30 player in Week 4. -Kyle Soppe, ESPN Fantasy researcher
Preston Williams, Miami Dolphins (48.3% rostered; vs. Seahawks)
Williams could be an option given the aggressive throwing style of Miami QB Ryan Fitzpatrick in a favorable Week 4 matchup with Seattle. This season, the Seahawks are allowing a league worst 430.7 passing yards per game. While Williams hasn't seen consistent volume to start the season, Miami's vertical pass game approach could lead to explosive-play opportunities for the wide receiver. -Matt Bowen, NFL writer and analyst
Isaiah Ford, Miami Dolphins (0.5% rostered, vs. Seahawks)
This is pretty deep, but this guy is almost 100% available and I think he's free points this week. In terms of fantasy points allowed to WRs, Seattle is so far beyond any other team it looks like a typo. The Cowboys had three top-25 scoring WRs in Week 3, two of them were in the top seven and one of those was Cedrick Wilson. You can't get DeVante Parker and it's possible Preston Williams isn't available in your league, either, but if you want a piece of a passing offense that's going to absolutely light it up this week, Ford is the Dolphins' slot guy and a player who really impressed coaches and teammates with an outstanding camp. He had 14 targets in the first two games of the season. While he had only two in Week 3, the Dolphins didn't have to throw it that much because they were so efficient and led the game throughout. This week, they'll have to throw it a ton, and there will be plenty to go around against a pass defense that looks like a welcome mat for any receiver who shows up. -Dan Graziano, ESPN NFL Insider
It's admittedly not an ideal matchup, as the Colts have allowed the fewest fantasy points to tight ends. Not so great. But as a worthy counter, Graham has flashed a fun red zone rapport with new starter Nick Foles, a quarterback who has peppered his tight ends for several years now. It's simply a one-game sample, but Graham leaped from four targets in the first two weeks to 10 Sunday against the Falcons, working mostly with Foles behind center. At such a fickle position, it's worth seeing if something rewarding is developing with Graham and Foles. -J.M.
Logan Thomas, Washington (17.1% rostered; vs. Ravens)
The sample of quarterbacks who have successfully converted to tight end at the NFL level is likely quite small, but such is the case for Thomas, who is proving to be an exception with each productive outing. Washington is leaning on Thomas liberally early on, as he's tied for the team lead with Terry McLaurin with 24 targets through three games. Baltimore has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends this season, aiding Thomas' bid as an ideal streamer this week.-J.M.
Defense/Special Teams (D/ST)
Los Angeles Rams (81.6% rostered; vs. Panthers)
The Rams D/ST has totaled just 12 fantasy points in three games, but last I checked, they still have Jalen Ramsey and Aaron Donald, and they have racked up seven sacks and five turnovers against some solid offenses (DAL, PHI, BUF). Now they face a slew of damaged or vulnerable offenses the next five weeks (NYG, WAS, SF, CHI, MIA) beginning with the Giants, who have allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing D/STs thus far. This Rams D/STs roster rate has gone from 21% to nearly 82% since this column first published, but it's still worth checking to make sure they aren't available in your league. -Tom Carpenter, ESPN Fantasy editor
Philadelphia Eagles (19.1% rostered; at 49ers)
Pursuing the 49ers for matchup purposes doesn't happen often, but I think there is potential for Philly's capable rush defense to push the game into Nick Mullens' hands. While Mullens is a capable signal-caller, Philly's emerging pass rush rates third in creating pressures per dropback and could cause enough havoc in the pocket to make this a rewarding streaming outcome.-J.M.
Individual Defensive Players (IDP)
Emerging as the leader of a young Carolina front, Burns has delivered a solid floor for tackling production along with some rewarding splash plays. As the rare edge player due to play a full batch of defensive snaps, Burns is a nice value against Arizona's capable offense. -J.M.
With at least seven tackles or multiple big plays in each of his first three appearances, Goodson has been on the field for nearly every one of Cleveland's defensive snaps this season. The Cowboys' commitment to getting their backfield the ball should feed this inside linebacker with a series of potential tackles, bolstering Goodson's potential for a solid fantasy outcome. -J.M.
Jeff Okudah, Detroit Lions (7.8% rostered; vs. Saints)
With 13 tackles and a pick through two weeks of action, this talented rookie is being tested early and often by opposing quarterbacks. It's often the case that rookie corners face a barrage of targets, so Okudah should prove busy facing the Saints' deep passing attack.-J.M.