The final NFL injury report is released every Friday, and if you look close enough, and do a little research you can get a sneak peek at the next week’s waiver wire. This article will cover players that could potentially have breakout games in week 4, and will be hot commodities off the waiver wire in week 5. If you have a low waiver priority, you might want to pick up your favorite sleeper now, beating the rush for next week.
Log in to the forums if you want to know who the best fit for your team is. We will also have injury updates on Sunday morning before the games begin courtesy of our head NFL writer mikesherman.
I will list the potentially injured player, their status, and the guy who could benefit the most and have a big game this Sunday.
Hakeem Nicks – WR – Doubtful / Ramses Barden – WR – New York Giants
Nicks is about 95% out of his week 4 matchup as he rested his injured knee all week, and when testing it Thursday still wasn’t able to go on it. This leaves the door open for Ramses Barden to have another big game in week 4. In week 3 Barden caught 9 passes for 138 yards, the only thing stopping him from having another big game? Domenik Hixon who is currently listed as third on the depth chart for the Giants at WR3. This could be misdirection from Tom Coughlin, but Hixon could also end up having a breakout performance, and as a guy higher on the depth chart could actually end up being the better add as he works out of the WR3 spot for the Giants where a guy named Victor Cruz was last season.
Steven Jackson – RB – Questionable / Daryl Richardson – RB – St. Louis Rams
This one is largely dependent on Steven Jackson and whether he can go on Sunday. If Jackson is declared out, Richardson will probably be one of the top pickups next week, even with a tough matchup against the stingy Seahawks D. In week 2 vs the Redskins, Richardson ran the ball 15 times for 83 yards and caught 2 passes for 19 yards. It looks like Jackson will have lingering health issues this season, and I have already rostered Richardson in my leagues as a breakout candidate down the line. Even with another line of 20/80/0, we could see Daryl’s ownership shoot up over 60% in week 5. If you need a decent handcuff option at RB, give Daryl Richardson a look.
Stephen Hill – WR – Doubtful / Jeremy Kerley – WR – New York Jets
Kerley has seen just 4 targets over the past 2 weeks at Pittsburgh and at Miami, but he has made the most of his opportunities. In week 3 at Miami Kerley caught 2 passes for 73 yards and a TD. Heading into week 4, Hill is extremely unlikely to play with a bum hamstring, making Kerley the WR2 for the Jets behind only Santonio Holmes. This is another tough defensive matchup against the 49ers, but with another solid showing here I expect Kerley’s ownership numbers to jump in week 5 as owners rush to waivers to add the big play WR for the Jets. Hill looks like he will be out multiple weeks at this point, so Kerley could have value for weeks to come.
Darrius Heyward-Bey – WR – Doubtful / Rod Streater – WR – Doubtful / Denarius Moore/ Derek Hagan – WR/ Brandon Myers – TE – Oakland
Here is how the situation stands for the Raiders. Heyward-Bey is pretty much out, Rod Streater suffered a neck stinger on Friday and is expected to be limited and probably out Sunday. So up will step Denarius Moore and Brandon Myers, already two of Palmer’s favorite targets in a game that is expected to see a lot of scoring. Derek Hagan will step into the WR2 role for the Raiders, and as a relative unknown has the opportunity for a breakout game. Don’t be surprised if Palmer gets the ball to Hagan 6+ times in week 4, and if DHB remains out for an extended period of time, Hagan could become a legitimate sleeper in deep formats. For week 4 itself, Moore is a WR3/Flex play in most formats depending on your depth, Hagan is sitting on waivers somewhere, and Myers is a solid fill in if you have a TE on a bye week.
Did I miss anyone? Let me hear it in the forums, some of these names could become hot commodities off waivers next week. My money is on Daryl Richardson having the most immediate impact this season if S-Jax continues to be limited by injury.
Be sure to check out other great articles at Fantasy Team Advice.