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Week 5 Deeper Waiver Wire Pickups: Standard Leagues

What's up RotoBallers. Welcome to my deeper standard league sleepers column for Week 5 of the NFL season. In this weekly article we are going to take a look at some deeper waiver wire options for standard leagues, who could help out your team in this upcoming week.

For reference's sake, we are looking at standard scoring leagues and will be using ownership percentage data from Fleaflicker. In order to qualify as a deep sleeper, a player must be 20% owned or less.

Let's get to the picks!

Editor's Note: Once you're done here, be sure to read about more Week 5 waiver wire recommendations, for all other positions. Just click on any link: ALL - RB - WR - TE - QB - DEF - FAAB - CUTS



Paxton Lynch (DEN) vs. Atlanta Falcons
(Ownership: 12%)

While we are still unsure about Trevor Siemian's status heading into Week 5, early reports are that he suffered an AC joint sprain in his non-throwing shoulder. If Siemian is not ready to suit up in Week 5, rookie Paxton Lynch can be expected to make his first career start. Lynch looked good against the Buccaneers in Week 4, zipping passes around and field and showing nice mobility on several plays.

Lynch would draw a favorable matchup for his first career start as he is set to take on a Falcons pass defense that ranks just 31st in the league in DVOA according to Football Outsiders (through Week 3). Add in the talented duo of Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, who can make any quarterback look good, and you have a decent option as a QB2 in deep leagues.


Running Back

Kenjon Barner (PHI) @ Detroit Lions
(Ownership: 5%)

This play is mostly dependent on Ryan Mathews' status heading into Week 5, but either way, Barner makes for an interesting deep-league sleeper. The fourth-year back has shown some explosiveness in his limited work this season, averaging 6.1 yards per carry on his 14 touches. If Mathews can't play, Barner would likely split work with Wendell Smallwood and Darren Sproles. Smallwood himself was another consideration for this space, but he is 21% owned, just missing the cutoff for this column (arbitrary cutoff number aside, you should still consider Smallwood as a deep sleeper this week).

The Lions' defense is shaping up as one of the worst in the league, ranking 27th in run defense DVOA (through Week 3) and allowing 100-yard games to opposing running backs in two straight weeks. Barner's unknown workload makes him the definition of boom/bust, but when searching for deep sleepers, that is the kind of player to target.


Wide Receiver

Robert Woods (BUF) @ Los Angeles Rams
(Ownership: 14%)

Woods finished Week 4 as Buffalo's leading receiver, pulling in seven catches for 89 yards against the Patriots. With Sammy Watkins sidelined indefinitely, look for Woods to remain an integral part of the Bills' passing game. With 18 targets over the past two games, it appears that Woods has become Tyrod Taylor's new favorite target in Buffalo.

A matchup against the Rams should lead to another strong showing for Woods in Week 5. Los Angeles has been getting smoked by opposing teams' wide receivers over the past two weeks. They allowed Mike Evans to rack up 10 catches for 132 yards and a touchdown in Week 3 before coughing up 10 catches for 144 yards to John Brown on Sunday. While Woods isn't on the level of those two, this matchup still sets up nicely for him.


Tight End

Austin Hooper (ATL) @ Denver Broncos
(Ownership: 10%)

Hooper isn't seeing enough targets to be considered a safe play, but as far as deep sleeper options go at tight end, he's not a bad choice. The rookie tight end caught a 42-yard touchdown in Week 4 against the Panthers on his only target of the game.

The Broncos have a fearsome defense, but they have proven to be susceptible in the middle of the field over the past few seasons. With Atlanta's outside receiving threats likely to be locked up by the Broncos' tough cornerbacks, Matt Ryan could lean on his rookie tight end to keep the chains moving.


Defense/Special Teams

San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals
(Ownership: 18%)

The 49ers' defense finds itself in a favorable position for Week 5 as they have several factors working in their favor. It appears the Cardinals will be without Carson Palmer, who suffered a concussion in Week 4 and will be hard-pressed to get cleared in time for Thursday night's kickoff. If you remember two years back when Palmer tore his ACL, the Cardinals' offense did not look very good with Drew Stanton under center. Second, Thursday night games tend to be lower-scoring than usual, which doesn't help Arizona's outlook much. Lastly, San Francisco's defense might actually be sneaky good this season. Through Week 3, they are ranked as the ninth overall defense in DVOA according to Football Outsiders.

Check out RotoBaller's famous fantasy football draft sleepers and waiver wire pickups list, updated regularly!


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