Carolina Panthers running back Chuba Hubbard (30) is forced out of bounds by Houston Texans cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III (26) during the second half of an NFL football game Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Whether revealing sleepers, busts, shocker specials or other related fantasy football viewpoints, The Fantasy Five is geared for dedicated fantasy football players combing through sources for definitive takes. Today’s topic: Week 4 waiver targets.

1. Chuba Hubbard and Royce Freeman, Panthers, RB (25% and 1% rostered in Yahoo)

Does Christian McCaffrey currently have the Hope Diamond in his possession? The dude is cursed. Out multiple weeks after his hamstring disengaged last Thursday against Houston, his immediate departure paves the way for the rookie Hubbard and, to a lesser extent, Freeman to seize the moment. Hubbard, who generated 73 percent of the snaps in CMC’s absence, should set the pace in a presumed 65-35 split. Equipped with solid burst, useful hands and decent break-tackle ability, he’s likely to command 14-16 touches moving forward. Freeman is also worth your consideration. Exceptional in pass pro and torque between the hashmarks, the veteran, though he failed terribly to meet high expectations in Denver, is intriguing for the deep-league crowd. He has always performed well in yards after contact, an admirable trait. With matchups against the Cowboys, Vikings, Giants and Falcons on the horizon, Hubbard is easily RB2 material in 10-teamers, while Freeman offers FLEX appeal for the more challenging crowd. (FAAB with $100 budget: Hubbard $30-$35, Freeman $8-$13)

2. Emmanuel Sanders, Bills, WR (25% rostered in Yahoo)

Overlooked due to the giant shadow cast by Stefon Diggs, Sanders has quietly become a focal point in Buffalo’s air-heavy scheme. The crafty veteran, splitting time between the slot and outside, has hauled in 11 of 20 targets for 194 yards and two touchdowns. More impressively, he’s currently top 15 among qualifying receivers in total air yards and average depth of target. With Josh Allen’s journey back to his inaccurate early career days now in the rear view, Sanders is a resourceful bench wide receiver who will come in handy when injuries mount or bye weeks kick in. Glancing at his upcoming schedule — Houston, at Kansas City and at Tennessee — he’s worth starting consideration in deeper formats. (FAAB: $6-$10)

3. Tyler Conklin, Vikings, TE (4% rostered in Yahoo)

Last week, those with unreliable tight end options bolted to the waiver wire, submitted bids on Maxx Williams and prayed he was the answer to their long-term problems. He followed up with a 3-19-0 flop in Jacksonville. Will Conklin, off a spectacular 8-7-70-1 showing against Seattle, suffer a similar fate? Regardless, he’s worth pondering. Over the first two weeks, K.J. Osborn kept the seat warm, brilliantly filling the large void left by Irv Smith’s injured reserve placement. After Conklin’s breakout, it appears both will work in concert out of the slot, complementing studs Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. With beatable pass defenses Cleveland and Detroit next up, he’s a buyable free agent for the TE needy, me very much included. (FAAB: $10-$15)

4. Giovani Bernard, Buccaneers, RB (16% rostered in Yahoo)

Well, hello there, James White 2.0. On the constantly spinning Bucs RB roulette wheel, Bernard may have the most defined role. It took him a couple weeks to bounce back fully from a mild high-ankle sprain, but it’s becoming abundantly clear he’s starting to live up to the hype that Tom Brady and Bruce Arians placed upon him in August. Against the Rams, he commanded a whopping 10 targets, hauling in nine receptions for 51 yards and a score. Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones are cemented on run downs, but when TB12 prefers to go hurry up or Tampa is forced to chase, Gio will be the preferred option. PPR enthusiasts in 12-team leagues should stash him. (FAAB: $6-$11)

5. Bryan Edwards, Raiders, WR (17% rostered in Yahoo)

A mixture of Terrell Owens and Randy Moss. Absurd. Ridiculous. Hilarious. That’s the description Jon Gruden applied to Edwards. His performance level is well shy of those two fantasy legends, but there’s an upward trajectory to his game. Through three contests, he has attracted 13 targets, catching 10 passes for 210 yards but no touchdowns. His top-10 standing in yards per target and WR33 slotting in fantasy points per touch only enhances the appeal. The volume isn’t the sexiest, but in an offense that's No. 1 in pass attempts, Mr. Clutch, who has 163 yards on seven catches in the fourth quarter and OT sessions this season, is a bench stash who's capable of adequately plugging holes when needed.


Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Bryan Edwards (89) makes a catch against Miami Dolphins defensive back Brandon Jones (29) during overtime of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Others to consider
Player Team Position FAAB
Jacoby Brissett Dolphins QB $2 to $5 (for stream-minded folks)
Peyton Barber Raiders RB $11 to $16
Zack Moss Bills RB $20 to $25
A.J. Green Cardinals WR $5 to $7
Hunter Renfrow Raiders WR $2 to $4
Dawson Knox Bills TE $3 to $6
Pat Freiermuth Steelers TE $2 to $4
Dan Arnold Jaguars TE $4 to $7

Follow Bally Sports' Brad Evans on Twitter.

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