Fantasy Football: Week 5 Waiver Wire

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Another week of football in the books, another week of waiver pickups! Hear the full Week 5 Waiver Wire breakdown on the podcast or jump straight to the Week 5 Waivers segment on YouTube. A number of the waiver pickups are a result of Week 4 Injuries. Ownership percentages are taken from Yahoo.

Wide Receivers

HOU Will Fuller (32% owned)
Week 4: 4/35/2 on 6 targets
Week 5: vs KC

Will Fuller is a guy that people had high expectations for last season. That didn’t pan out given the talent throwing to him. Enter Deshaun Watson. Watson has adjusted nicely to the role of an NFL quarterback. In fact, he is a top 6 fantasy quarterback after the first quarter of the season without getting the start Week 1. The volume in passing attempts has increased in the past two weeks for this Houston offense which will lead to more opportunities for Will Fuller. Expect DeAndre Hopkins to continue to be the number one target monster for the Texans but it is worth noting that Fuller caught both of his red zone targets Week 4 and scored on both.

CAR Devin Funchess (25% owned)
Week 4: 7/70/2 on 9 targets
Week 5: @Det

The Panthers offense has been awful in the first three weeks of the season. They needed someone to step up and Cam Newton did just that. Wide receiver, Devin Funchess played a big role in what was the best offensive performance of the season for the Panthers. Cam Newton targeted Funchess five more times than the next wide receiver (Kelvin Benjamin) on Sunday’s upset vs the New England Patriots. With Greg Olsen out, Newton will need to utilize another reliable target if he wants to keep the momentum going. Devin Funchess could be that target as he leads all Panther’s wideouts in targets this season.

NYG Sterling Shepard (55% owned)
Week 4: 5/54/0 on 5 targets
Week 5: vs LAC

Sterling Shepard has been the most reliable target for Eli Manning catching 78% of his targets this season. Although Shepard has proven a reliable target for Manning, he has the 4th most on the team behind Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, and Evan Engram. Shepard may be a shaky option given the mouths to feed in this offense and the inconsistencies of Eli Manning.

LAR Cooper Kupp (44% owned)

Week 4: 5/60/1 on 7 targets
Week 5: Sea, @Jax, Ari

Typically, you’d want to avoid any Rams receiver but this season has been a different story. Jared Goff has been playing very well and Todd Gurley‘s run game has helped open up the passing lanes for the receivers. Cooper Kupp and Sammy Watkins have been very productive targets for Goff. Both have 14 receptions, both have two touchdowns, but surprisingly, Kupp has five more targets than Watkins on the season. Sammy Watkins is likely owned in your league while Kupp is only owned in 44% of leagues. Pick him up as he is a can be a solid start on your roster.

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ARI Jaron Brown (6% owned)
Week 4: 3/47/0 on 7 targets
Week 5: @PHI

Since not being targeted in Week 1, Jaron Brown has been targeted 29 times. Double-digit targets in two of the last three weeks. He has proven to be a go-to guy outside of Larry Fitzgerald for Carson Palmer and I don’t expect that to slow down even with John Brown in the lineup. Both Jaron and John were on the field in Week 4 and it was Jaron that received 12 targets to John’s seven targets. Between John Brown’s sickle cell and his various injuries that keep him off the field, Jaron Brown is the safer option here and is only owned in 6% of fantasy leagues.

ARI John Brown (39% owned)
Week 4: 3/47/0 on 7 targets
Week 5: @Phi, TB, @LAR

See Jaron Brown above.

SEA Tyler Lockett (42% owned)
Week 4: 4/67/0 on 5 targets — 2/24/0 rushing
Week 5: @LAR

The Seattle Seahawks offense is in trouble. They just lost what little run game they had in Chris Carson after he went down with a leg fracture and ankle sprain. If it wasn’t already, it’s Russell Wilson time. This offense is going to have to shy away from its typical game plan and they are going to have to throw the ball a lot more going forward. This is great news for all Seattle wide receivers. Tyler Lockett is already owned in about half of leagues right now and I would try to get him if you are completely broken at wide receiver or in deeper leagues as he has been the fourth option for Wilson this season. Lockett has big-play ability but will not get you consistent numbers.

NE Danny Amendola (50% owned)
Week 4: 6/42/1 on 7 targets
Week 5: @TB

Amendola has already missed a game this season due to injury. He is a risky player to own but with Edelman out of the picture, Amendola should see a decent amount of target share in this offense when healthy. His opportunities will be there but Chris Hogan has been making some big plays to take Tom Brady‘s attention away from his trusted slot target. If you are looking for a wide receiver that provides a safe floor due to target distribution, Danny Amendola is your guy. Just be ready to drop him and play the waiver wire once he inevitably gets injured again.

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Deep WR Pickups

GB Geronimo Allison (13% owned)
Week 4: no targets
Week 5: @Dal

Allison had a great Week 3 performance that had him near the top of waiver pickups last week. With Cobb back in the lineup, Allison was not targeted. It’s safe to assume Geronimo Allison is not fantasy relevant unless we see some significant time missed from one of Aaron Rodgers top targets. He is a great option for if or when that happens.

BUF Zay Jones (15% owned)

Week 4: 1/18/0 on 5 targets
Week 5: @Cin

Zay Jones has been targeted more than any Buffalo Bills wide receiver this season. With Jordan Matthews out for at least a month, it could be time for Jones to step up and perform. I would not bank on it, however. Jones has only converted 4 of his 17 targets on the season (24%). It’s clear that Tyrod Taylor does not like to target wide receivers as tight end, Charles Clay and running back, LeSean McCoy leads the team in targets. The injury to Jordan Matthews does make Jones more appealing but I think it’s fools gold. Expect Taylor to continue to target his two favorite targets (Clay and McCoy).

Running Backs

NO Alvin Kamara (46% owned)
Week 4: 5/25/0 — 10/71/1 on 10 targets
Week 5: Bye

Even with how awful Adrian Peterson has been, Alvin Kamara still has fewer rushing attempts this season. Mark Ingram has the lion’s share of carries and is still heavily involved in the passing game which is Kamara’s specialty. Last week, Drew Brees target Kamara 10 times in which Kamara caught all 10 for 71 yards and a touchdown. After that performance, it’s safe to assume that Drew Brees will continue to target Kamara more moving forward. It is worth noting that Ingram was still targeted eight times in that game. Kamara was the more efficient back in the passing game, however. Alvin Kamara should be owned in all formats and is a great flex play or even as a number two running back in PPR formats. Don’t expect his rushing numbers to be pretty as he will get you most of his points through the air.

MIN Latavius Murray (17% owned)
Week 4:  7/21/0 — 2/8/0 on 2 targets
Week 5: @Chi

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With Dalvin Cook out for the season, the Vikings will likely lean on a committee approach at the running back position. This is not a good situation for either Latavius Murray or Jerick McKinnon. McKinnon has shown flashes in the past but just never does anything with an increased workload. Murray will be the goal-line back in a decent enough offense to get some points but don’t expect him to rack up a ton of yards. If you absolutely have to own one of these guys, Murray should be the more fantasy relevant back here but it’s not pretty.

MIN Jerick McKinnon (3% owned)
Week 4: 2/0/0 — no catches on 2 targets
Week 5: @Chi

See Latavius Murray (above).

PHI Wendell Smallwood (58% owned)
Week 4: 10/34/1 — 4/45/0 on 6 targets
Week 5: Ari

Another player benefiting from another injury. Wendell Smallwood will take over in the Darren Sproles role after Sproles went down for the season. Blount is still the bruising early-down back and will continue to get goal-line work as well. That would typically lead to less production for a guy like Smallwood but lucky for him he is in an offense that has been scoring so he will get his opportunities. I like Smallwood more in PPR formats, otherwise, he isn’t a very good every week play.

GB Aaron Jones (11% owned)
Week 4: 13/49/1 — no targets
Week 5: @Dal

Jamaal Williams has been the expected running back to take over duties if Ty Montgomery were to go down but it was Aaron Jones who gained the majority of carries and showed to be more productive than Williams last week. If this season has taught you anything it’s that you can’t predict how things will go week to week. So from that aspect, Williams may be worth a stash as he could very well be the main guy against the Dallas Cowboys this week. If you need a replacement for Ty Montgomery now, Aaron Jones is the safer option as the Packers were able to move the ball more with him on the field.

GB Jamaal Williams (10% owned)
Week 4: 4/11/0 — 1/2/0 on 1 target
Week 5: @Dal

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See Aaron Jones (above).

SEA Thomas Rawls (29% owned)
Week 4: Inactive- healthy scratch
Week 5: @LAR

It appears Rawls will handle the majority of carries heading into Week 5. At least that is what coach, Pete Carroll is leading us to believe. Eddie Lacy did show a little life in Carson’s absence but hasn’t done much of anything outside of that. J.D. Mckissic could very well be someone to surprise us all but this situation has all the makings of a classic RBBC. These Seattle running backs are barely owned and with good reason. The offensive line troubles will be a nightmare to overcome for any option. This offense will likely become a throw first offense and for that reason, I’m staying away from this backfield.

SEA Eddie Lacy (19% owned)
Week 4: 11/52/0 — no targets
Week 5: @LAR

See Thomas Rawls (above).

SEA J.D. McKissic (3% owned)
Week 4: 4/38/1 — 1/27/1 on 1 target
Week 5: @LAR

See Thomas Rawls (above).

BAL Alex Collins (10% owned)
Week 4: 9/82/0 — no catches on 2 targets
Week 5: @Oak

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The Ravens have been looking for some kind of life out of the running back position and Alex Collins finally gave them something to hang their hat on. Collins has more yards on 12 fewer attempts than Javorius Allen and 20 fewer attempts than Terrance West. It’s time Collins takes over this backfield. He is only owned in 10% of leagues right now and I would heavily target him this week in a good matchup against the Raiders.

ARZ Andre Ellington (23% owned)
Week 4: 5/18/0 — 9/86/0 on 14 targets
Week 5: @Phi

Ellington should be owned ahead of all running backs on this list. He was targeted more than anyone else on the team last week and produced. Carson Palmer will use Ellington as another security blanket beside Fitzgerald moving forward. Easy dump passes are something Palmer welcomes at this juncture in his career. Chris Johnson hasn’t done much with his opportunities, only three yards per carry and not involved in the passing game. It’s Ellington’s backfield right now and he will continue to get the volume as this offense needs to give the ball to its playmakers. Ellington has been the second-best option in this offense since David Johnson went down.

ARZ Chris Johnson (36% owned)
Week 4: 13/32-0 — 3/31/0 on 3 targets
Week 5: @Phi

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See Andre Ellington (above)

HOU D’Onta Foreman (28% owned)
Week 4: 13/45/0 — no targets
Week 5: KC

Lamar Miller finally had himself a week to keep his starting role for the time being. Foreman is definitely worth a stash as the Texans continue to increase his workload. He could eventually take over as the lead back in this offense should Lamar Miller revert back to mediocre play.

Deep RB Pickups

NYG Wayne Gallman (3% owned)
Week 4: 11/42/0 — 2/8/1 on 2 targets
Week 5: vs LAC

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Who? Wayne Gallman showed the Giants what they could potentially look like with a decent run game. He provided a spark that this offense has yet to see all season. He is worth a flyer but temper your expectations as he still only ended the game with 42 yards, averaging less than 4 yards per carry. The truth is we have not seen any production from the Giants running backs so this performance provides some light at the end of the tunnel if anything.

NYJ Elijah McGuire (2% owned)
Week 4: 10/93/1 — 2/38/0 on 2 targets
Week 5: @Cle

Elijah McGuire looked amazing last week. The only problem? Bilal Powell looked much better. The Jets had no issues running on the Jaguars defense in Week 4. This game can easily be considered an outlier for McGuire as he was able to rack up 60% of his total rushing yards on the season in that one game. This backfield is all of the sudden crowded with decent talent at the position but McGuire is number three behind Forte and Powell. With Forte expected to return fairly soon, I would not roster McGuire unless you have a dire need at the position.

Tight Ends

NYG Evan Engram (46% owned)
Week 4: 6/62/0 on 11 targets
Week 5: vs LAC

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In a world where the talent out of the tight end position is scarce, you want someone who at the very least, will provide you with target volume. Evan Engram is your guy. He is tied with Rob Gronkowski for the second most targets in the league for all tight ends with 30 targets. He is also a top-six tight end in receiving yards and has two touchdowns on the season. Most are looking to stream a tight end on a weekly basis this year but Engram is worth an every week start. Get him if he is available in your league.

BAL Ben Watson (24% owned)
Week 4: 5/43/0 on 6 targets
Week 5: @Oak

Watson has shown he can be productive but is in an offense that is broken. He has decent numbers in half of his games this season and if it weren’t for a last minute garbage time touchdown from quarterback Ryan Mallett, his numbers would not impress. He is nothing more than a streaming option at the moment as is the case with most tight ends. He gets a slight boost in PPR leagues.

NYJ Austin Seferian-Jenkins (7% owned)
Week 4: 4/46/0 on 4 targets
Week 5: @Cle

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ASJ is actually someone to target in this desperate pool of tight ends. In two games, he has caught 9 of 10 targets for 77 yards. He has the most receptions on the team since starting. ASJ is on a team that will have to throw a ton in a negative game script which should, in turn, benefit Austin Seferian-Jenkins and will keep his target volume up.

Editor’s Note: Looking for QBs? Week 5 QB Streamers