The Waiver Wire – Week 5
It feels like every week it’s the same thing, we have underperforming high draft picks (Amari Cooper we are looking at you) and devasting season-ending injuries. Week 4 hit me and our team hard with the news that Dalvin Cook has been lost for the season with a torn ACL. We are die-hard FSU fans and have been beating the drum for Dalvin since he first stepped onto the field at Doak Campbell. But Dalvin wasn’t the only player we lost in Week 4. Chris Carson fractured his lower leg and has been placed on the IR and Derek Carr has a back fracture and will be out 2 to 6 weeks. Players who left their respected games and will have a questionable tag all the way up to week5; Julio Jones who left Sunday’s game w/ a hip injury, OBJ dislocated his finger and reactivated his high ankle sprain, Marcus Mariota pulled his hamstring, Paul Perkins has a rib injury, Jordan Matthews left with a thumb injury, Ty Montgomery injured ribs, and lastly Davante Adams who was carted off the field after a brutal hit to the head. Adams is in the NFL concussion protocol and his week 5 status is in doubt. I promise I am not copying and pasting it but I could. With another week of brutal injuries to big names, owners are running to the waiver wire to find lineup help.
Before we move forward we must mention week 5 is the start of NFL bye weeks! This week the Saints, Falcons, Broncos, and Redskins are taking the week off. Let’s not waste any more time and dive right into this week’s top waiver adds!
Let’s not waste any more time and dive right into this week’s top waiver adds!
As a disclaimer, all players must be owned in less than 60% of ESPN or Yahoo leagues. Ownership percentages are in parenthesizes. Below I have ranked the top 3 adds at each position with a bonus player or two sprinkled in throughout.
Deshaun Watson (ESPN 24% & Yahoo 33%) – I couldn’t believe it when I looked down and saw that the Texans had put up 57 points and Deshaun Watson had 5 total touchdowns! Watson has put up back to back QB 1 weeks and is this weeks #2 QB as I am writing this. Watson looks legit and his ability to run gives him as safe a floor of any quarterback on The Waiver Wire this week. Cleveland in Week 6 is reason alone to grab and stash once KC is out of the way!
Andy Dalton (ESPN 15% & Yahoo 46%) – Since the offensive coordinator change, Dalton has posted 498 yards / 6 TD’s, and most importantly ZERO interceptions. Against Cleveland Dalton had his way carving up the secondary only having 5 incompletions in the entire game. Dalton has great season-long value but does face a tough week 5 test against Buffalo. If you are looking for a bye week fill-in Dalton could be serviceable as the game is at home and the insert of Mixon & John Ross (when healthy) into the lineup gives Dalton the optimal lineup to be successful.
Eli Manning (ESPN 18% & Yahoo 59%) – Ok, I am not a fan of Manning or the G-Men but I must take my Patriots pride out of it and understand he has posted back to back QB 1 weeks. Manning faces a tough test Sunday vs the Chargers but back in NY, he might be able to continue his hot throwing. After LAC at home, the Giants have @Den & vs Sea. If they can’t win this week I honestly could see them being 0-7 just in time for their bye week. Manning like Rivers is always a dangerous play but his upside puts him into the QB1 conversation.
Hail Mary Streaming Options for Week 5: Jay Cutler & Josh McCown – Bare with me on this one. I know these two are SCARY options in week 5 and if you have the stones to do it and it pays off, a tip of the cap will be coming to you! Both McCown and Cutler are barely owned in either ESPN or Yahoo 30% & 2% respectively and I know Cutler has thrown up 2 stinkers and McCown has had one good game but both are once again in the crosshairs of cupcake matchups. McCown gets the gift that keeps on giving as the Jets travel to Cleveland to face the Browns secondary which has given up 9 passing TD’s over 200 yards in every game and back to back 20+ point performances. Cutler who has been awful faces the other QB cure defense in the Tennessee Titans. All they have done in the past two weeks is give up 8 TD’s, 656 passing yards, and back to back 30+ point QB fantasy performances. It’s hard to start either of them but neither is going to face a juicy matchup all season! Good Luck making this decision. Your hand might be shaking if you attempt it.
Alvin Kamara (ESPN 19% / Yahoo 46%) – If you listen to the Trophy Time podcast & YOU BETTER, I wasn’t on board with Kamara based on limited production at Tennessee but he really opened my eyes at the combine, then again when he got drafted by NO, and lastly when Sean Peyton said he was going to see a lot of work. Kamara continues the rookie RB impact in the league and this past Sunday in London he put in a performance (5 for 25 rushing & 10 catches for 71 & a TD) that we could begin to see weekly. Even in standard leagues, Kamara is a must own as his pass catching volume gives him a safe floor as a matchup flex option.
Andre Ellington (ESPN 3% / Yahoo 23%) – The attack of the air back continues as Ellington cracks our list for week 5. After dominating the snap share once again and receiving 14 targets in Sunday’s overtime win Ellington looks to be the RB to own in a David Johnson less offensive in Arizona. Ellington leads the league in RB targets (30), the Cardinals lead the NFL in pass attempts per game (45.8) and are 2nd in passing yards per game (292.2). Being attached to the air back in this offense is the smart play!
Latavius Murray (ESPN 19% / Yahoo 17%) – No one really wants to own Latavius Murray but because of the injury to Dalvin Cook, Murray is most likely going to get the first crack at being the Vikings primary running back. Murray came out and said his surgically repaired ankle is still bothering him but with little options in the locker room all signs point to Murray taking over. McKinnon is my preferred option based on athletic profile and scheme fit but because he is nursing an injury himself, Murray gives you a plug and play option in week 5.
Bonus: Wayne Gallman (ESPN 1% / Yahoo 3%) – With the injury to Perkins, the rookie out of Clemson was able to make the most of his touches in a hard-fought Giants loss. Gallman’s numbers are not overly impressive (11/42/0 & 2/8/0) but that is how Gallman operates. He was never the flashy guy at Clemson but he always gained that extra yard, made an impact catch & run, or had a game-saving blitz pickup. The Giants are tied for last in the NFL in rushing attempts per game (18.8) but Gallman might see an increased workload especially if Darkwa & Perkins are unable to go in week 5.
Double Bonus: Elijah McGuire (ESPN 1% / Yahoo 2%) – McGuire like Powell benefited from a Forte less lineup as he nursed a turf toe injury he suffered in last weeks win. McGuire took advantage of his carries (10/93/1) and could once again be in for decent volume if Forte is unable to go. Cleveland presents a favorable matchup for all skill position players on the Jets.
Triple Bouns: Aaron Jones (ESPN 2% / Yahoo 11%) – Another opportunity opened up due to injury, Jones was able to get the most out of his time in Thursday nights game against the Bears. With Montgomery (ribs) & Williams (knee) both ruled out, the Pack turned to the rookie and he delivered 13/49/1. Jones is only a waiver option if Montgomery is going to miss time but as of writing this, it looks like he isn’t going to miss any. Jones is still worth a stash in deeper leagues because you never know if a re-injury could happen or Montgomery just can’t go.
Leave This Situation Alone: Thomas Rawls, Eddie Lacy, C.J. Prosise and J.D. McKissic – I told you once to stay away from the Rawls, Lacy, Carson situation and here I am once again screaming from the hilltops to stay away. Rawls was a healthy scratch this week, Lacy was awful once again and J.D. McKissic had 4/48/1 but was used in garbage time. Prosise just can’t stay on the field to be the air back we all want him to be and the offensive line lost yet another piece last night. Let your league mates stress over this situation as you roll Kamara or Ellington against them in your flex.
Devin Funchess (ESPN 12% / Yahoo 25%) – Since the Greg Olsen injury Funchess has seen 9 & 10 targets over the past two games and broke out on Sunday in New England with two touchdowns. Until Olsen is cleared to return which might not be in 2017, Funchess is a cupcake matchup/bye week fill in that you feel safe starting. Never chase the touchdowns but always chase volume because where there is volume there are touchdowns awaiting.
Will Fuller (ESPN 7% / Yahoo 32%) – Welcome back Will Fuller! Houston put on an offensive display Sunday and Fuller in his first game back from a broken collarbone went 4/35/2 on the terrible Titans secondary. I am not encouraged by the volume which is why I have Funchess ahead of him but I understand as it was his first game back so the volume should improve. If Watson is the real deal, Fuller provides him with that stretch sideline receiver which he fell in love with in college. Praying for a great healthy year for Fuller in ’17!
Cooper Kupp (ESPN 10% / Yahoo 44%) – Similar to the air backs we spoke of above Kupp is a situational player at this stage of his career. As the primary slot receiver, his PPR value far outweighs his standard but he has a safe floor as a WR4/5 with the volume to catch a touchdown in certain matchups. The Rams have a brutal stretch of games but if you need a one-week filler, Kupp could come in handy at home vs a Seattle defense that did give up points to Randall Cobb back in week 1 (9/85) on 13 targets.
Bonus: JuJu Smith-Schuster (ESPN 1% / Yahoo 1%) – As the @Dafantasyfather pointed out on Twitter JuJu is running more snaps then Martavis Bryant right now. And it’s true! Over the past two weeks, Smith-Schuster has out snapped Bryant 51 to 45 & 54 to 48. I’m not saying Bryant is droppable or anything but it does show Bryant is still rusty after missing an entire year and they feel Schuster is giving them a better chance to win. I still don’t think high production is in the cards for JuJu but he is a name to remember and someone safe to take a Free Agent flyer on.
Cameron Brate (ESPN 8% / Yahoo 50%) – I told you Brate was a great streaming option last week and if you grabbed him then there is no need to read any further. Have a great night you! Brate faces a Patriots secondary that is reeling and is giving up the most passing yards per game in the NFL 324.0. Brate is a must-start on a short week at home.
Tyler Kroft (ESPN 1% / Yahoo 1%) – If you miss out on Brate, Tyler Kroft is not a bad option this week. Buffalo has been stingy vs TE’s but at home and coming off a 7 target, 68 yards, and 2 TD performance I think the new offense is clicking in Cincy and gives him as good a shot of any waiver tight end of scoring a touchdown. Kroft has the better team and QB and is why he is ahead of ASF this week.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ESPN 1% / Yahoo 7%) – ASJ is back and this looks like the game fantasy owners had circled as his breakout game! Cleveland is giving up 240.8 passing yards per week and gave up a two-touchdown performance to Jesse James all the way back in week 1. I told you before starting a Jets player not named Powell is going to be tough but I truly believe this is going to be a coming out party for ASJ.
Defenses to Stream
Philadelphia Eagles (ESPN 11% / Yahoo 40%) vs Ari
Detroit Lions (ESPN 33% / Yahoo 35%) vs Car
New York Jets (ESPN 1% / Yahoo 3%) vs Cle
Indianapolis Colts (ESPN 1% / Yahoo 2%) vs SF
Kickers to Stream
Greg Zuerlein (ESPN 15% / Yahoo 38%) vs Sea
Robbie Gould (ESPN 2% / Yahoo 1%) vs Ind
Nick Folk (ESPN 1% / Yahoo 3%) vs NE
That will do it for Week 5 of The Waiver Wire. Do you need EVEN more fantasy advice? You can find us on Twitter @TFFGurus or feel free to email us at TrophyTime@TFFGurus.com. I will see you all next Tuesday for another edition of The Waiver Wire. Best of luck this week and remember championships are won on the waiver wire!