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Week 5 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds


There were plenty of fireworks on Sunday, with eight teams scoring 30 or more points. The vultures also came out to roost, assuming that's what vultures do. In other words, several unknown players came onto the field simply to steal a touchdown away from a fantasy stud and frustrate fantasy owners. We won't list those players here because we know Brandon Bolden and Troymaine Pope have no tangible value. Instead, we'll focus on players with an opportunity to contribute in Week 5 and beyond, based on matchups, rising snap counts, and other variables.

Each week, we will advise you which players to consider picking up on waivers that are owned in approximately 35% or fewer of Yahoo leagues so that you can make an educated decision about how to improve your fantasy football team. This list is NOT meant to be exclusive of all add-worthy players. For a more comprehensive list, check out our weekly Waiver Wire Lightning Round by position, ordered by priority. If higher-owned players not listed here are available in your league, feel free to treat them as priority pickups before these players.

As always, keep checking back here for updated waiver recommendations and always keep tabs on our NFL Player News feed. Be sure to also check out our weekly rankings and analysis columns, with in-depth analysis for all options heading into Week 5.

Editor's Note: Get any rest-of-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS Tools, Lineup Optimizer and Premium DFS Research through the Super Bowl. Sign Up Now!

 

Quarterbacks - Waiver Wire Options

Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts - 35% owned

Even in a disappointing home loss to the Raiders, Brissett managed to come away with three touchdowns and 265 yards. Sure, that last 48-yard score to Eric Ebron came in garbage time, but that doesn't matter in the fantasy world. Brissett has thrown at least two TD in every game this year and gets to face the Chiefs in Week 5, who have struggled in the secondary and just gave up nearly 300 yards and three TD to Matthew Stafford.

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals - 34% owned

We've yet to see how Dalton will respond in primetime at Pittsburgh, although his track record isn't promising. His passing output has gone down each week since going for a league-high 418 yards in Week 1. He does go back home to face the Cardinals, who are still without their top two corners and have had a hard time stopping teams through the air. They're allowing 290 passing yards per game in 2019. Dalton is a relatively safe streamer and should be the second choice behind Brissett.

Sam Darnold, New York Jets - 13% owned

It's still up in the air whether Darnold will play in Week 5 and conflicting reports aren't helping fantasy owners make an informed decision. He had a mediocre first game and has been on the sidelines for three weeks, so putting him in your lineup is a risky proposition anyway. If not for the favorable matchup, he wouldn't be a serious consideration. The Eagles have, however, allowed the seventh-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks and are struggling with injuries in the secondary yet again. If Darnold does play, he could be an option in Two-QB leagues.

Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars - 12% owned

Minshew Magic. That's the only way to describe the rookie's comeback effort in Week 4. From a fantasy standpoint, he didn't do much to move the needle though, with 213 yards and two touchdowns. He's been remarkably consistent, finishing between 200-275 yards and tossing either one or two TD in each game. In fact, he's gone for exactly 213 yards on 33 attempts in each of his two road games. That's playable as a low-end QB2 in Superflex formats but the ceiling is always going to be limited in this offense. Love him for the Uncle Rico comps but don't get expectations up too high.

Others to consider: Mason Rudolph, Pittsburgh Steelers (10% owned); Teddy Bridgewater, New Orleans Saints (7% owned)

 

Running Backs - Waiver Wire Options

Ronald Jones II, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 40% owned

We need to cheat a little here because the state of the running back position is such that there are not many appealing options on the wire that haven't already been snatched up. Jones is more than one-third owned but is still available in more than half of fantasy leagues. Understandably, fantasy owners are skeptical after last year when he averaged less than two yards a pop and barely saw the field. This year, he's showing what the team expected. He's gone over 70 rushing yards in three out of four contests despite not seeing as many as 20 carries in any game. What holds him back is the lack of red-zone carries and an offensive scheme that doesn't prioritize throwing to running backs. He can serve as a flex play but no higher as long as he shares time with Peyton Barber.

Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers - 33% owned

The Niners are done with their bye, so you can put Mostert back in the flex conversation. A home game against Cleveland is an adequate matchup given his usage in the passing game and relatively high floor. Be warned that Tevin Coleman may be ready to return soon, so Mostert figures to be a short-term streamer rather than a long-term solution, regardless of how well he's playing.

Ito Smith, Atlanta Falcons - 14% owned

It's puzzling how the 5'9" Smith keeps getting red-zone rush attempts over starter Devonta Freeman or bowling ball Qadree Ollison, who hasn't registered a carry this season. Smith is also outperforming Freeman by averaging 5.7 rushing yards per attempt compared to Freeman's 3.3. There doesn't look to be a ton of upside in this rushing attack right now but Smith is at least getting consistent touches each time out.

Ryquell Armstead, Jacksonville Jaguars - 1% owned

The Jags finally got their running game going and wasn't limited to Leonard Fournette alone. In addition to Fournette's monster day, Armstead went for 42 yards in limited work and scored his first NFL touchdown on a seven-yard reception. His sudden jump is usage was unexpected, especially since he took zero offensive snaps the last two weeks after seeing eight in Week 1. The Panthers have been bottom-10 against the run so far this year

Dexter Williams, Green Bay Packers - 0% owned

Keep an eye on the other Williams in Packerville, as Jamaal is likely to miss Week 5 after getting demolished on a hit last Thursday and taken off on a stretcher. We know Matt Lafleur doesn't want to run Aaron Jones into the ground, so Dexter Williams could see 10+ touches in his first NFL action.

Others to consider: Jaylen Samuels, Pittsburgh Steelers (29% owned); Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys (27% owned); Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens (9% owned);

 

Wide Receivers - Waiver Wire Options

Mohamed Sanu, Atlanta Falcons - 27% owned

Never an exciting pick, Sanu quietly is putting together a WR4 season once again. He caught nine for 91 against Tennessee although he was held without a touchdown. This could be dismissed as a once-off performance except that he's seen at least six targets and caught at least four passes in every game this year. Sanu isn't too friendly with the end zone - he's never scored more than five TD in a season - so his value lies in full PPR leagues as a high-floor option to get you through bye weeks and injuries.

Geronimo Allison, Green Bay Packers - 24% owned

If Davante Adams winds up missing the Cowboys game, Allison will see a big bump in target share. He's been touchdown-dependent for fantasy value so far this year, scoring twice but tallying just 76 total yards in four games. He could finally deliver more than a handful of receptions in a game that promises to have a high over/under.

Dante Pettis, San Francisco 49ers - 20% owned

Most fantasy GMs have dropped Pettis like a bad habit already. Between a calf injury and a questionable work ethic, he barely saw the field the first two games. Then, like Lazarus he rose from the dead to score in Week 3 and help the Niners remain undefeated. If he's got both feet out of the doghouse for good, Pettis could start to live up to some of the promise that made him a popular preseason sleeper.

Keke Coutee, Houston Texans - 18% owned

The crowded Texans receiver room has a little more room now that Kenny Stills has a hamstring injury. He left early against the Panthers, presenting an opportunity for Coutee to re-emerge as the WR3. He didn't do much, catching one of three targets for 11 yards. The entire offense was fairly ineffective, however, so it's not on Coutee alone. Houston is better at home and faces a Falcons Defense without Keanu Neal that has gotten progressively worse each passing week. There's a chance he stays in the background and offers little but there's no reward without risk.

A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans - 10% owned

Brown has emerged as the rookie wideout to own after going for two touchdowns, one a 55-yard sprint to the end zone where he did all the work himself. Scary Terry McLaurin (a.k.a. McLaurin F1) had the edge but now has a hamstring injury to deal with plus a quarterback issue (he doesn't have a good one). Brown is definitely worth a claim but not if you're looking for help in Week 5. The Titans take on the Bills, who just held Josh Gordon, Julian Edelman, and Phillip Dorsett to a total of 86 yards between them. Brown is someone to stash as a fourth or fifth receiver at the moment.

Antonio Callaway, Cleveland Browns - 1% owned

In a recurring theme this week, Callaway is eligible to return after his suspension ends. It has never been lack of talent that prevented Callaway from succeeding, so if he can keep his head straight, there's a path to production here. Rashard Higgins has been hurt the past couple of weeks and Jarvis Landry is now in the concussion protocol. Callaway could make an instant splash if he's needed on Monday. If nothing else, he's a speculative stash that will cost you nothing to add.

Others to consider: Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers (26% owned); Randall Cobb, Dallas Cowboys (23% owned); Marquise Goodwin, San Francisco 49ers (19% owned); Cole Beasley, Buffalo Bills (12% owned); Adam Humphries, Tennessee Titans (6% owned); Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers (5% owned); Chris Conley, Jacksonville Jaguars (4% owned)

 

Tight Ends - Waiver Wire Options

Jimmy Graham, Green Bay Packers - 36% owned

He's technically just over our cutoff but Graham is available in most 12-team leagues so he warrants mentioning. Given all the injuries to key tight ends this week, a player like Graham is worth streaming because he's always a threat to score. The glory days are way past him but his 61-yard output in Week 4 was a reminder of what he can do when involved in the offense. The problem is that we don't know when that will be. The previous two games, Graham had zero receptions on a total of two targets. In Weeks 1 & 4, he combined for 14 targets. The Cowboys are no slouch on defense but without Davante Adams or Jamaal Williams, Graham will have to be counted on to some extent.

Trey Burton, Chicago Bears - 35% owned

He was a popular sleeper in 2018 who paid off handsomely in the first half and completely disappeared in the second half of the season. The story in 2019 has been a groin injury that kept him out of Week 1 and saw him limited the last two weeks. We haven't been able to count on him so far but that could change as he gets healthier and re-acquainted with running routes. The main reason to target him in Week 5 is a matchup with Oakland. The Raiders allowed both Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron to visit the end zone last game and have been one of the more generous defenses to tight ends this year, after finishing third-worst against the TE last year.

Chris Herndon IV, New York Jets - 16% owned

If you're in the market for a high-upside tight end that could conceivably stay in your lineup the rest of the season, rather than streaming, Herndon is the best bet. Bear in mind, he isn't eligible to play in Week 5 because the team had their bye and has only played three games. Herndon's four-game suspension has another week to go but the time to add and stash is now, not next week when everyone else will be of the same mindset. Herndon had a nice rookie year after a slow start. In his last 11 games, he averaged approximately three receptions and 41 yards per game with four touchdowns. If he and Darnold can rekindle their connection, he can enter the conversation as a top-10 TE.

Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams - 5% owned

Jared Goff seemed to suddenly realize that tight ends are eligible receivers too, feeding the ball to Everett more than ever against Tampa Bay. On one drive alone, Everett caught the ball three times and then Goff hit him for a touchdown later that quarter. Everett came into the game with six catches over the first three games and averages 1.6 receptions per game for his career. We'll carry some skepticism about whether this is the start of a trend or simply a result of the Bucs giving up the middle of the field while the Rams were in pass-only mode. A tough matchup on the road against Seattle makes Everett a desperation streamer at best.

Benjamin Watson, New England Patriots - 1% owned

Another four-game suspension served, another potential waiver wire value. Watson is the second tight end who is set to play for the first time in 2019, although his upside is obviously not as high as it was 10 years ago. The Pats also have enough weapons that Watson won't be depended on to a high degree. He does have a rapport with Brady and could be a red-zone target, so consider him in standard leagues this week as they take on the pathetic Redskins.

Logan Thomas, Detroit Lions - 0% owned

Rookie T.J. Hockenson left the game early on an ill-advised leap that led to a concussion. Interestingly, it was Thomas, not Jesse James, who saw TE targets throughout the second half. James hasn't been a factor in the passing game, catching a total of five passes in four games. He's been a blocker on 34% of his snaps and dwells with a bevy of other tight ends who are barely targeted. By contrast, Thomas runs a route on 95% of his snaps. While the Lions are on bye in Week 5, if Hockenson is out beyond that, Thomas could be a sneaky streamer to watch.

Others to consider: Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts (20% owned); Noah Fant, Denver Broncos (11% owned); Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills (14% owned); Ricky Seals-Jones, Cleveland Browns (1% owned)

 

Team Defense - Waiver Wire Options

Philadelphia Eagles - 37% owned

Fresh off a Thursday night performance in which they let Aaron Rodgers shred them for 422 passing yards and 27 points, it should be a different story for the Eagles Defense in Week 5. They will be at home to face the hapless Jets, who may or may not have Sam Darnold back in action. Philly only has a total of three sacks in four games, so the floor is pretty low here. Take a chance only if Luke Falk is at quarterback for this matchup, in which case there could be some turnovers in store.

Tennessee Titans - 24% owned

This defense doesn't get much recognition but they should. The Titans embarrassed Cleveland in Week 1, picking off Baker Mayfield three times, and just shut down the Falcons in Atlanta. They have yet to allow an opponent to score more than 20 points in a game, despite playing three of four matchups on the road. A home contest with turnover-prone Josh Allen (six INT, five fumbles) looks promising and should make Tennessee one of the best DST options for Week 5.

San Francisco 49ers - 24% owned

The Niners had a week off to prepare for their Monday Night Football showdown with Cleveland. In their first three games, the defense is allowing an average of 16 points per game with at least two sacks and one interception in each. The Browns offense looked like they finally woke up in their thrashing of Baltimore but Baker Mayfield has thrown a pick in all four games and still takes too many sacks. San Fran is riskier in formats where points against count heavily but have a higher floor than most streaming options this week.

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