Fantasy football Week 4 recap and top waiver wire picks

There were some huge performances in Week 4 of the fantasy football season, but the biggest disappointments were the handful of major injuries that marked this week.

Of course, the biggest news of the week has to be the torn ACL of Dalvin Cook. The exceptional rookie burst through the line of scrimmage for a nice gain before he crumbled to the ground and grabbed his knee as he fumbled. He had already rushed for 66 yards and a touchdown before his third-quarter injury.

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) runs from Detroit Lions strong safety Tavon Wilson (32) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Minneapolis. Cook was injured on the play. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Latavius Murray will be pressed into action for Minnesota, but he won’t be nearly as productive as Cook has been. Still, if he’s available in your league, pick him up.

Another rookie highlighted the week for a good reason. Deshaun Watson became just the third rookie in NFL history to throw four touchdown passes and rush for another. He’s a great option to stream at quarterback if you’re a Matt Ryan, Drew Brees or Kirk Cousins owner. All three are on bye next week.

Watson’s best target on the day was DeAndre Hopkins. He caught 10 passes for 107 yards and a touchdown.

Speaking of Ryan, he had one heck of a dud performance against the Bills. He turned the ball over three times and lost Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu to injury during the contest. With the Falcons off next week, those two should make it back healthy in Week 6.

Someone who started the season struggling but has found a bit of a groove is Andy Dalton. He finally looked decent last week with a new offensive coordinator and had a great game this week against the Browns. That Cleveland defense was just what the doctor ordered. Dalton finished with 286 yards and four touchdown passes.

One of Dalton’s touchdowns went to A.J. Green, who is starting to play well for fantasy owners.

A.J. Green #18 of the Cincinnati Bengals catches a touchdown pass in the second quarter against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller /Getty Images)

Other wideouts that shined were Tyrell Williams, Devin Funchess and Michael Thomas. Williams, alongside Keenan Allen, finally looked like a solid duo Philip Rivers could rely on. They both gained over 100 yards receiving and Williams scored. Funchess scored twice to go with 70 yards as his teammate Kelvin Benjamin went over 100 yards receiving. Thomas caught eight passes and scored as he remains a player with a high floor.

Someone with a low floor, but great upside is rookie running back Alvin Kamara who’s also on the Saints. He’s getting more touches as Adrian Peterson seems to be the odd man out in New Orleans. Kamara rushed five times for 25 yards, but where he makes his money is in the passing game. He caught a whopping 10 passes for 71 yards and scored.

Among the best rushers this week were Le’Veon Bell, Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott. Bell looked like himself against the Ravens, rushing for 144 yards and two touchdowns. Gurley and Elliot played exceptionally well in the same game. Gurley rushed for 121 yards and caught seven passes for 94 yards and a touchdown. Elliott had a rushing and a receiving touchdown.

Dallas Cowboys safety Jeff Heath (38) attempts to stop a leaping Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley (30) as Gurley carries the ball in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

Lamar Miller was also great, totaling 121 yards and two touchdowns in the Texans’ offensive explosion.

Bilal Powell finally showed up, with Matt Forte out, and rushed for 163 yards and a touchdown against a Jaguars defense that looked great last week. Jacksonville was awful defensively as they even allowed Elijah McGuire to rush for 93 yards and a touchdown.

Speaking of bad defense, it’s time to start worrying about the Patriots. When Cam Newton, who struggled against the Saints, can throw for three touchdowns and run for a fourth, it’s time to reevaluate the defensive strategy.

Staying with the Saints defense, I have to give them credit after picking on them a lot this season. They pitched a shutout against the Dolphins in London Sunday. Don’t get too confident in them, however, since that game was played in a unique situation. Let’s see them play well stateside before you pick them up.

One of the most disappointing receivers this week had to be Sammy Watkins, who blew a good matchup with the Cowboys by catching one pass for 17 yards. Demaryius Thomas also had a rough day with just one catch. It was his worst game so far this season. Amari Cooper suffered his seventh drop already this season in that game against Denver. He severely disappointed even with Michael Crabtree sidelined.

As for the running backs, Terrance West had back-to-back 0-point games and Marshawn Lynch has scored practically nothing for the second week in a row.

Running back Marshawn Lynch #24 of the Oakland Raiders is tackled by outside linebacker Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos during a game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 1, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Chris Thompson finally came back down to earth after a tremendous run. He had seven touches for just 24 yards and lost a fumble on Monday night.

A running back that was supposed to finally have a breakout performance was Joe Mixon. He managed just 48 total yards on 21 touches.

In Sunday night’s matchup, Chris Carson was carted off in an air cast, a very unfortunate turn of events for the surprise find.

Don’t worry too much, there’s a lot on the waiver wire this week.

But before we get to that. I have to, just this once, talk about a kicker. Have to give kudos to Greg “the leg” Zuerlein who hit seven field goals, including a long of 49 yards against the Cowboys. He won the week for some owners.

Top waiver wire picks

Deshaun Watson, QB, Texans: 283 yards passing, 5 total TDs

Will Fuller, WR, Texans: Strike while the iron is hot. He scored twice in his season debut and the Texans offense is heating up.

Jaron Brown, WR, Cardinals: The struggles of John Brown make Jaron Brown valuable. He’s scored well in three straight games.

Jared Goff, QB, Rams: Still owned in less than 40 percent of CBS leagues. 255 yards, 2 TDs

Aaron Jones, RB, Packers: Ty Montgomery may miss Week 5 and Jones did well in relief on Thursday.

Andre Ellington, RB, Cardinals: He led the Cardinals in receptions and totaled over 100 yards of offense.

J.D. McKissic, RB, Seahawks: He looked pretty dynamic, scoring two times with just five touches.

Tyler Kroft, TE, Bengals: At least one Tyler is producing from the tight end spot for Cincinnati. Kroft had 6 catches for 68 yards and two touchdowns in Tyler Eifert’s stead.

Alex Collins, RB, Ravens: Had 82 yards rushing for second straight week.

Devin Funchess, WR, Panthers: He’s had three straight weeks with at least four catches and 58 yards.

Alfred Morris, RB, Cowboys: Just in case Elliott is ruled against in court this week.

Elijah McGuire, RB, Jets: Stash him for later this season if you have room. 133 total yards, TD

Wayne Gallman, RB, N.Y. Giants: 13 touches, 50 yards

Austin Ekeler, RB, L.A. Chargers: Another possible stash, if Melvin Gordon gets hurt. 3 touches, 58 yards, TD

Contact Cat Vasquez at 512-445-3677. Email cvasquez@statesman.com. Twitter @AAS_Cat.