Waiver-Wire Pickups, Keeper Sleepers and Spot Starts: Week 4

After the crazy weekend that just took place in the NFL, you’re probably scratching your head and asking a few questions about your line-up come week 4. Like, is Kevin Curtis the real deal? How severe is the injury to my star running back? These are some of the questions I’m sure you’re thinking, so to help put some of your fears, questions or concerns to rest, here are the Waiver Wire, Keeper Sleeper and Spot-Start picks for Week 4…

Wide Receivers

Kevin Curtis (PHI): Prior to this weekends freakish performance, Curtis was posting very mediocre stats. If your league has a waivers system, immediately put in your request and cross your fingers that you win. If you’re in a league without waivers, then Curtis is already picked up…guaranteed. While Reggie Brown was expected to be the number one guy in Philly, it looks like Curtis is taking over that role and he should post solid numbers again next week against the lowly Giants secondary.

Nate Burleson (SEA): If he’s not already on a team in your league and you’re looking for depth at the WR position, look for Burleson. He’s had touchdowns in the past two games and this past weekend was targeted 12 times. While he caught only 50% of those balls, it was still enough for solid fantasy stats. He should be targeted frequently in a passing attack that is beginning to finally get off the ground.

Andre Davis (HOU): Probably not the Andre that you’re familiar with on the Houston Texans, Andre Davis was promoted quickly after the Texans lost another receiver, Jacoby Jones, to injury this past weekend. Davis went on to catch passes for 70 yards and should be starting this coming week. He should be a satisfactory 3rd receiver for your team if you’re looking for a spot-start.

Roddy White (ATL): It was expected that Joe Horn would be the leader of this lowly passing attack after he came over from the Saints this season, but that hasn’t seemed to happen. Roddy White has meshed with Harrington nicely though and really went off this past weekend for 127 yards and a touchdown. He hasn’t had less than 4 receptions yet this year and looks to be Harrington’s favorite target. He should fill in nicely as a third WR for the remainder of the season if you’re in need of one.

Greg Jennings (GB): Finally, my sleeper pick is back from his injury! He appears to be in good form as well, going for over 80 yards and a score. Favre seems to be poised for a great year with Driver, Jennings and James Jones as his weapons, so expect decent numbers from all three (although Driver remains the uncontested number one option at this point).

James Jones (GB): Filling in for Jennings while he was hurt, Jones produced fairly well. Now that Jennings is back though, his numbers improved (seems a bit strange, but we’ll go with it). If the Packers can spread the field with their three receivers, they could form one of the more dangerous passing attacks in the NFL (not to mention that they have gunslinger Favre behind the wheel). Jones and Jennings make decent third receiver options for a bye week or spot-start when needed.

Quarterbacks

Daunte Culpepper (OAK): McCown went out of the game with an injury after a poor performance, so it appears his chance is over. Now it’s up to Culpepper to fend off the JaMarcus Russell fan contingent. Culpepper could play pretty well in this offense and if he can make use of both Curry and Porter in the passing game, he could put up some decent fantasy numbers. Although at first I’d eye him as a spot-start quarterback, keep him in your sights in case he starts playing well.

Trent Edwards (BUF): Keeper alert! Losman is out for a few weeks with a leg injury and it’s probably just what Buffalo needed. Not that I wish injury on anyone, but the Bills really needed to see how Edwards can play in the NFL so that they can go into the offseason knowing whether they have their quarterback of the future (Losman is not it), or if they need to keep looking. Edwards probably won’t put up great numbers this year, but keep him in mind if you’re in a keeper league if he starts playing even relatively decent football in the next few weeks.

Brian Griese (CHI): Is it really Grossman that is that bad? Or is the Chicago passing game just terrible? I guess we’ll see this week as coach Lovie Smith declared that Brian Griese would be the starter for the Bears this weekend. I wouldn’t plug him into your lineup anytime soon, but keep an eye on him as a bye-week fill in in deep leagues, or a spot-start here and there if necessary.

Running Backs

Brian Leonard (STL): It now appears that Steven Jackson may be out for a couple weeks. If that groin tear gets any worse, who knows how much longer he would be out (or at least hindered). Rookie Brian Leonard will take over the reigns in the running game and should be able to perform fairly well. If the Rams offense can snap out of their New Orleans Saints-like funk, then Leonard has a chance to be a great running back option. However, keep in mind that the offensive line for the Rams is in shambles right now, so if Leonard doesn’t produce…don’t come crying to us. We warned you!

Aaron Stecker (NO): With Deuce McAllister out for the year, Reggie Bush may be counted on to shoulder the entire load of the running game, but I don’t really see that happening. The Saints love to keep Bush in the passing game and they’ll want a straight ahead running back to counter Bush’s fancy moves. I have a feeling Stecker will be given the chance to be that guy and if the Saints offense can pick up even a little, Stecker might be passable for a bye-week fill-in or a spot-start here and there.

Kenny Watson (CIN): Although right now it appears that Rudi Johnson’s hamstring injury isn’t serious, you might see a bigger dose of Watson this week just to make sure Johnson doesn’t re-injure himself. Watson played fairly well when Johnson went out this past weekend, going for 60 yards and a touchdown on 9 carries. If you have Johnson, Watson is a hand-cuff at this point so get in your waiver request ASAP!

Kevin Jones (DET): Kevin Jones made his first appearance of the season this past weekend and even scored a touchdown. He only rushed three times for five yards, but the fact that he was in for the goal-line carry is promising. He didn’t report any further injury to his foot, so expect an increase in the workload this coming weekend as he and Tatum Bell split carries. If Jones can return to his full potential, he’ll become the uncontested starter here, but that’s asking a lot from a guy who seems to have spent more time on the injury list than on the field.

Earnest Graham (TB): Coach Gruden says that Cadillac Williams is still the starter and I tend to believe him. If you’re really hurting for a running back this week though, you could consider picking up Graham as a spot-start. He played well last weekend in Williams absence, going for 75 yards and 2 TD’s on only 8 carries, but I don’t see these stats projecting anywhere in the future. He might be the new goal line back in Tampa Bay, but don’t expect gaudy fantasy numbers on a weekly basis.

Tight Ends

Jeff King (CAR): Apparently Jake Delhomme has finally found a new target besides Steve Smith. At this point King is averaging over 4 receptions a game and over 40 yards (plus one touchdown). If that production is better than your current TE’s, then consider picking up King and playing him for the next few weeks to see if he can continue this production.

Owen Daniels (HOU): With Andre Johson and now Jacoby Jones out, Matt Shaub looked towards Daniels a lot in the last game. He finished with 7 receptions and should continue to be a reliable target in the Texans passing game. At this point I’d take Daniels over Jeff King, but the difference is pretty paltry.