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Sneaky Starts, Pivot Plays, and Post-Waiver Pickups for Week 5 - Joshua Dobbs, Rashee Rice, Michael Wilson and Jaleel McLoughlin

Rashee Rice - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL wr, Draft Sleepers

The bye weeks are here. The first month was nice as you had your entire lineup at your disposal outside of injuries, but your depth is about to be tested! This week we have the Browns, Buccaneers, Chargers, and Seahawks on bye. That means there are a lot of key fantasy pieces that will not be in your lineup this week. 

We also have injuries to deal with, as always. This is the time of year when the waiver wire is just as vital as your bench. 

But do not worry, this article has you covered each and every week with plenty of sneaky starts and pivot options for those in need! Let's get into it.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy football rankings for 2024 fantasy football drafts:


Quarterback Pivot Options for Fantasy Football

Pivot options in case Kenny Pickett doesn’t play or you don’t like your QB matchup…

Daniel Jones has played one good half of football this season. His offensive line is not doing him any favors and it has led to him finding himself on the waiver wire in a lot of leagues. If you need a pivot option this week though, he is in play. Miami has allowed the seventh-most passing yards and seven passing touchdowns to QBs through four games. They generate pressure at a below-average rate, which is huge for Jones and that line. Plus, he will be trying to keep up with one of the best offenses in football, which means more passing. 

Sam Howell is another sneaky option this week. He has topped 20 fantasy points in two of his last three games and has been showing more with his legs. Plus, the Bears have allowed the seventh-most passing yards and the second-most passing touchdowns. They also allow a ton of points weekly. If you are streaming, Howell is a very solid option. 

Joshua Dobbs has been playing great football. He is taking care of the ball, limiting sacks, and best of all for fantasy - adding value with his legs. He has run for at least 40 yards in three straight and has averaged 21.9 fantasy PPG in that span – twice topping 23 fantasy points. The matchup isn’t as strong as the other two, but Dobbs is a sneaky option this week.

Mitch Trubisky is in play for those in two QB leagues. Look, we know what Trubisky is at this point and we know that the Steelers offense is struggling. But in two QB formats anyone with a pulse can come in handy, especially with four teams on bye. If you are desperate, you can turn to Trubisky in those leagues. Just hope he runs and salvages his day.  


Running Back Pivot Options for Fantasy Football

Pivot options if Saquon Barkley and Javonte Williams don't play,  … 

Gus Edwards is not someone you can likely pick up off the waiver wire at this point, but if he has been on your bench you can elevate him to your starting lineup. He played 71 percent of the snaps with 15 carries, 12 routes, and three targets last week – all of which led the Ravens backfield. He didn’t have the biggest fantasy day, but the volume stands out. Now he gets a strong matchup against the Steelers, who have allowed the second-most rushing yards to running backs. The Ravens likely will be playing from ahead in this one as well, which means more running. 

Jaleel McLaughlin carried the ball seven times last week for 72 yards. He also caught all three targets for 32 yards and a touchdown. With Javonte Williams likely sidelined, McLaughlin is in play this week. He does not have the best matchup, going up against the tough Jets defense. But he is a big play threat that brings a high ceiling. He is a bit boom-or-bust this week, but the upside is certainly there. 

Chuba Hubbard led the Panthers backfield playing 54 percent of the snaps last week. He carried the ball 14 times and ran 15 routes - both more than Miles Sanders. He turned his opportunities into just 53 yards, but the usage is what stands out. The Panthers have a very tough matchup against the Lions this week, but if you are diving deeper and looking for a back that will get touches, Hubbard is in play. 

Roschon Johnson was the clear secondary option last week, but we have seen him heavily utilized in the past. That could be the case this week as the Bears are on a short week against the Commanders. Washington has been pretty good at slowing running backs down, but for those looking for an upside swing this week, Johnson provides that. 


Wide Receiver Pivot Options for Fantasy Football

Pivot options in case Cooper Kupp, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and Odell Beckham Jr. don’t play… 

Michael Wilson was very popular on the waiver wire this week and if you could nab him you may want to slide him right into your starting lineup. There are several leagues where byes are hitting me hard and I have to do so myself. He saw his volume increase last week, seeing a season-high seven targets. He scored two touchdowns and has now topped 75 yards in two straight games. He is the clear second wide receiver for the Cardinals. I liked Wilson heading into the NFL Draft and I like him now heading into Week 5. 

Marvin Mims Jr. ranks eighth in targets on the Broncos and fifth in catches, yet he leads the team in receiving yards. He also leads the NFL in yards per route run. Eventually, head coach Sean Payton will learn the error of his ways and start playing Mims more. Hopefully, that comes this week as the Broncos take on a tough Jets secondary. Mims is very boom-or-bust but the big play ability is there. He is an upside shot for those diving a little deeper. 

Rashee Rice ran the third most routes among Chiefs receivers and had the second most targets on the team behind only Travis Kelce. He has been targeted on 37 percent of the routes he has run this season and is now starting to see the field more. He could be blossoming into the Chiefs' number-one receiver. The floor isn’t safe, but he brings upside this week against the Vikings, who have allowed the third-most yards to receivers. 

Wan’Dale Robinson played the second-most snaps amongst Giants receivers last week. He led them with six targets, catching five for 40 yards. He has been seeing an uptick in usage and right now looks like the receiver that Jones trusts the most. Now he faces the Dolphins, who are in the top 10 in yards and touchdowns allowed to receivers. With the Giants likely chasing points, he is a volume upside play.

Rashid Shaheed and Tyler Boyd are both options for those diving a bit deeper. Shaheed will never bring a safe floor but the upside for him to have a big week is always there as one of the better field stretchers in the game. Boyd is purely a volume type of play. I have concerns since Joe Burrow wasn’t able to get the better Tee Higgins consistently involved. But, beggars cannot be choosers. If you’re desperate, he is in play for you. 


Tight End Pivot Options for Fantasy Football

Pivot options in case Pat Freiermuth doesn’t play or you need a streaming option…

Jake Ferguson has been earning consistent volume, seeing seven targets in three of four games this season. He has scored at least 9.8 fantasy points in three straight and has been a top 11 fantasy tight end in each of them. A safe floor and consistent volume are more than most tight ends have going for them. Plus, he is heavily utilized in the red zone. Even in a tough matchup, Ferguson is in play. 

Zach Ertz has seen at least eight targets in three of four games this season. He has caught six balls in each of those three games and twice topped 50 yards. It may not sound like much, but it's been enough to make him a top-12 fantasy tight end in each of those weeks. The volume is too good right now to ignore. Ertz is definitely in play at the tight end position. 

Cole Kmet finished as the TE1 in Week 4 catching two touchdowns and scoring nearly 28 PPR fantasy points. He scored more in the last game than in the first three combined. I am a little skeptical if he is for real or if it was one big game against the Broncos, but if you need a pivot option this week, he is certainly in play. 

Jonnu Smith has 20 targets, 15 catches, 179 yards, and was the TE11 through the first month of the season. Those are the types of numbers Kyle Pitts managers would sign up for right now. But Smith is outproducing Pitts every week right now. You do not have to love it, but if you are diving deeper, Smith is in play as a streaming option.

Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter, @MichaelFFlorio.


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