The NFL is wrapping up its third Sunday of the year, closing out with a fun Packers-49ers matchup! We still have Monday Night Football between the Eagles and Cowboys, but in the meantime, it’s time to start considering your fantasy football waiver wire options. The Week 4 waiver wire can make or break a league, and the injury report will be critical to consider.
On Sunday afternoon, we saw Titans wide receiver AJ Brown, Giants wide receivers Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard, and Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster all suffer notable injuries.
Below is a rundown of notable skill position injuries, and who stands to benefit as you consider what to do with your waiver wire priority. We’ll offer updates on each injury as new information comes along this week.
AJ Brown, WR, Titans
Brown left Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts in the first quarter with a hamstring injury. Depending on the extent of the injury, the third-year wide receiver could be out for a few weeks. If that’s the case, receivers Nick Westbrook-Ikhane and Chester Rogers could be potential additions off the waiver wire. Westbrook-Ikhane led the Titans in receiving with four receptions (four targets) for 53 yards and a touchdown.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Steelers
Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was the second wideout in the last two weeks to go down with an injury. In Sunday’s game against the Bengals, Smith-Schuster suffered a rib injury and was ruled out. It is not ideal news for Pittsburgh as they’re without Johnson. As of right now, Chase Claypool would be the No. 1 receiver if neither Smith-Schuster or Johnson can play.
Darius Slayton, WR, Giants
The New York Giants suffered a tough loss on Sunday in more ways than one. Before losing on a game-winning field goal to the Atlanta Falcons, they lost both Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton to hamstring injuries. Slayton was making some noise in the team’s first two games as someone who can stretch the field. Without the former Auburn receiver, New York rookie wide receiver Kadarius Toney might be a solid options off of waivers. Toney only had two receptions (three targets) for 16 yards, but is rostered in 2.9% of leagues. If either WR is out, then that opens up the door for Toney or someone else.
Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants
Shepard became a hot name on the waiver wire circuit after Week 2, but suffered a first quarter injury against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. The veteran receiver went down with a hamstring injury and never returned to the contest. If Shepard is out for an extended period of time, then Collin Johnson becomes a top name on the waiver wire. The second-year wide receiver was the Giants’ second-leading receiver with five receptions (seven targets) for 51 yards.
James White, RB, Patriots
The veteran running back was carted off the field on Sunday with a hip injury. White did not do much in the game before exiting, but not having him for an extended period of time would hurt the Patriots’ offense. White is a reliable pass catching option out of the backfield that is a quality FLEX play in fantasy football. If he is out for a couple games, it would not be surprising to see JJ Taylor, Brandon Bolden or Rhamondre Stevenson become notable waiver wire adds.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, Buccaneers
Gronk took a big hit on a reception and immediately left the field. He went to the medical tent and then the locker room with what was described as either a rib or back injury. He later had an x-ray that came up negative for broken ribs. Cameron Brate has gotten more work than OJ Howard behind Gronk. Neither is of much value if Gronk misses time.