Tim Patrick Waiver Wire Week 4: Broncos WR worth targeting?

Tim Patrick is in line for additional work with injuries to the Denver Broncos' receiving options -- is he worth adding from the waiver wire?

It’s always a weird situation when you have to discuss the fourth wide receiver on any depth chart — let alone one quarterbacked by Teddy Bridgewater — but here we are. Due to a string of injuries, both on his roster and around the league, Tim Patrick has found himself on the fantasy football and waiver wire radar.

The 6’4″, 212-pound, 27-year-old Patrick is now locked in as the No. 2 option for the Denver passing attack after the Broncos lost KJ Hamler for the season with a torn ACL. Hamler joins fellow wideout Jerry Jeudy on the injured reserve. So, what are we doing with Patrick going forward?

Is Tim Patrick worth a waiver wire claim?

In half-PPR scoring, Patrick has had three remarkably consistent and similar fantasy outputs through the first three weeks. He had 11.9 points in Week 1, 11.2 in Week 2, and 12.3 in Week 3. 

Over the first two weeks, Patrick got there thanks to a handful of receptions, low-yardage totals (39 and 37, respectively), and a touchdown in each game. In Week 3, after Hamler went down, Patrick converted all 5 targets into 5 receptions for 98 yards. A touchdown would have put him over 18 fantasy points and landed him as the overall WR10 on the week, ahead of Chris Godwin and DJ Moore.

Despite throwing the football the 10th-fewest times per game in the NFL, Bridgewater has been surprisingly effective and efficient. He has the 11th-most passing yards through three weeks with 827 and the second-highest completion percentage in the league at 76.8%. Coupled with Denver’s strong defense, Bridgewater is a huge reason why the Broncos are 3-0. 

With Hamler and Jeudy out, Patrick will be an every-down starting wide receiver in an offense that has been pleasantly surprising. 

Some waiver wire additions are short-term rentals, but Patrick is not one of them. He will have a substantial role in the offense for the duration of the season and should be added and treated as a weekly flex candidate.

Is Patrick a late breakout?

Patrick signed with the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent on May 5, 2017. However, he was waived less than three months later on July 30. Most players come into the NFL at 21-23 years old. Patrick, however, was 25 when he got his first career start with the Broncos in 2018.

Denver just keeps re-signing him. Patrick’s played each of the last four seasons for the franchise on one-year contracts, steadily earning more opportunities and more money. In 2018, Patrick played on a one-year, $480,000 deal. After seeing limited work in his first two seasons with the team, Patrick experienced a breakout of sorts in 2020, posting 742 yards and 6 touchdowns. Prior to this season, Denver brought him back for $3.38 million.

Last year’s production came on an average of 9.4 yards per target, with Drew Lock at quarterback. Now, with Bridgewater under center, Patrick is averaging 13.4 yards per target. Furthermore, in just three games, he’s a third of the way to his touchdown total from last season. 

It’s rare to see a 27-year-old wide receiver generate a breakout season, but it looks like we’re witnessing one. Due to the unfortunate injuries in front of him, Patrick could be in line for a career year and is worthy of your attention in all fantasy formats. 

Jon Helmkamp is a fantasy football and NFL contributor for Pro Football Network. You can find him on Twitter: @JonHelmkamp and find more of his work here. Don’t forget to listen to the PFN Fantasy Football podcast and check out our free fantasy newsletter.