Best fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 5

Best fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 5

Information about Best fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 5

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Every week, fantasy football owners hope there are no injuries, but we also know that a big injury, especially at RB, leads to the best pickups. So, again, while we definitely don’t root for guys to get hurt, we’re also quick see opportunity when they do. Our top Week 5 fantasy waiver wire pickups and free agent adds are headlined by such players, as Bears handcuff Damien Williams is line to be a starter for at least a game or two depending on the severity of David Montgomery’s knee injury and Trey Lance might be taking over at QB in San Francisco if Jimmy Garoppolo’s calf injury keeps him out. Fortunately, there weren’t many more key players who left games early, but plenty more potential breakouts had nice performances, including Sam Darnold, Dawson Knox, Dalton Schultz, Hunter Renfrow, and Darnell Mooney.

Our full free agent list features many more interesting depth pieces coming off notable games. Guys like Quintez Cephus, Kenny Gainwell, Daniel Jones, Tyler Conklin, Curtis Samuel, Michael Carter, Maxx Williams, Randall Cobb, and DeVante Parker all have potential fantasy value, especially with the bye weeks fast approaching. These aren’t necessarily “must-haves,” but they’re certainly guys worth targeting as free agents depending on your team needs. If all you’re looking for is someone for Week 5, we have plenty of streaming suggestions at QB, TE, and D/ST, which can be found at the end of this list. 

WEEK 5 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

If Montgomery is expected to miss multiple games, Williams will be a worth a top waiver claim. Lance is a little tougher to evaluate. Most teams have a capable QB, but Lance’s dual-threat upside gives him top-10 potential every week. Of course, we said the same about Justin Fields and that hasn’t exactly turned out well. Because of that, using a top claim on Lance might be unnecessary, but it’s tough to watch him go to another team and light it up like we’ve seen from other rookie QBs in the past few years. It really comes down to your situation. If you have Kyler Murray or Patrick Mahomes, ignore Lance. If you drafted Ryan Tannehill to be your starter and don’t feel confident in your backup, maybe it’s worth the gamble. (Update: With news that Jimmy Garoppolo might play in Week 5, Lance’s waiver takes a considerable hit. See below.)

No one else looks to be worth a top-five claim right now (we have two TEs among the top pickups, after all), but obviously that could change as more information comes out early in the week. We’ll stay on top of it so you know who’s worth adding. (Update: With Joe Mixon considered “week-to-week” because of a low-grade ankle sprain, Samaje Perine suddenly looks worth a top-five claim.)

WEEK 5 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Top fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 5

Unless otherwise noted, only players owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues considered.

  • David Montgomery suffered what looked to be a potentially serious knee injury against the Lions, opening the door for Williams to take over as Chicago’s lead back. Williams looked good spelling Montgomery on Sunday, rushing eight times for 55 yards and a score and catching another two passes for another 15 yards. Yes, it was against Detroit late in a big win, but Williams has put up decent numbers for the Chiefs in the past, so he can work as an every-down back. He’ll be a top waiver pickup barring positive reports about Montgomery’s health. It’s worth noting that Tarik Cohen (knee) is eligible to come off the PUP list in Week 7 and could steal the bulk of the passing-down work when he’s back. — Matt Lutovsky

    (Update: Williams reportedly suffered a thigh bruise on Sunday. The serverity of his injury is unknown. If he has to miss time, Khalil Herbert would likely handle the bulk of the Bears’ RB touches.)

  • Lance took over for Jimmy Garoppolo (calf) at the start of the second half. He had an up-and-down performance despite some eye-catching stats(157 passing yards, 41 rushing yards, two TDs passes, two-point conversion),but we caught glimpses of his tantalizing dual-threat potential even if most of his production came on a blown coverage and in garbage time. With Garoppolo expected to miss multiple games, Lance will be worth a waiver claim. Fantasy owners might be leery after hearing similar things about Justin Fields (and we’ve all seen how that’s turned out), but Lance is in a much more stable offense with a better play-caller. We’ll stop short of saying he’s “better” than Fields, especially given his college inexperience, but Lance certainly has a lot of upside and could have a major fantasy impact if he gets going. — ML

    UPDATE:It’s now being reported that Garoppolo’s injury isn’t as bad as previously thought and he might be able to play in Week 5. If that’s the case, Lance’s waiver value drops considerably. He’s still worth adding because of his upside and the likelihood Garoppolo gets hurt in the near future, but he’s merely a free agent flier at that point.

  • It was originally reported on Monday that JoeMixonwas “week-to-week” with an ankle injury after last Thursday’s game against Jacksonville. Later in the day, Bengals coachZacTaylor saidMixonis “day-to-day” and will practice to start the week. Obviously, that’s far better news forMixon’soutlook, but chances are, we won’t know if he’s suiting up in Week 5 until much later in the week. You might rememberMixonwas “week-to-week” for 10 weeks last year while missing the final 10 games because of a foot injury. It’s tough to know whetherPerineis worth a top waiver claim orwon’t even have value this coming week, but chances are, you’ll need to bid for him if you want him. It’s possible he’s the Bengals’ starting RB against Green Bay in Week 5 and maybe even Detroit in Week 6. He seems worth adding on the chanceMixoncontinues to struggle with injury. — ML

  • Darnold had some “Bad Sam” moments against the Cowboys, but fantasy owners can live with a few INTs if he’s going to keep passing for 300-plus yards and posting four overall scores. To sweeten the deal, Darnold even had 35 rushing yards. He’s now had 300 passing yards in three straight games (and at least 279 yards in all four games), and he’s rushed for five TDs on the season. He’ll be forced to do more with Christian McCaffrey (hamstring) out, and with the Eagles, Vikings, Giants, and Falcons on deck, he should continue to post pleasing fantasy stats. — ML

  • Carter had another week of being the lead back in the Jets’ offense. He totaled 14 touches for 34 total yards and a touchdown. While those aren’t eye-popping numbers, he’s worth the roster spot given his increased usage. He’ll play a bad Falcons’ defense in Week 5. — Jackson Sparks

  • Renfrow continues to operate as the Raiders top wide receiver, and maybe this is the week fantasy owners take notice. He caught six of a team-high eight targets for 45 yards and a score on Monday night, giving him at least five catches in every game this season and touchdowns in two straight contests. Renfrow doesn’t put up big yards, but clearly he has value in PPR leagues. He’s a worthwhile WR3 in most matchups, and he should continue to thrive in Week 5 against a below-average Bears defense. — ML

  • The Bills have a lot of mouths to feed on offense, so it always seemed risky to trust “TD-or-bust” Knox. This year, he’s been much more reliable, scoring in three straight games, including twice in Week 4. For the day, he caught five-of-eight targets for 37 yards. He’s caught four passes in three-of-four games this year, which doesn’t sound like a ton, but at TE, that’s valuable, especially in PPR leagues (and especially when it comes with a touchdown). Knox will have some duds, but that can be saidof almost all tight ends. The Bills can move the ball against anyone, and that will be especially true next week in Kansas City and the week after in Tennessee. — ML

  • Even though Blake Jarwin scored in Week 4, Schultz led the entire team in targets (8), catches (6), and scored his third TD in the past two games. With at least six targets in three-of-four games, he’s clearly Dallas’ lead TE, and that status puts him in play at such a weak position (especially in PPR formats). The Cowboys have one of the best offenses in the NFL, and they’ll continue moving the ball next week against the Giants. — ML

  • Gainwell was targeted seven times and rushed three times in Week 4. Overall, he totaled 89 yards of offense and only had one fewer touch than Miles Sanders (nine to 10). He’s been far more efficient than Sanders and found the end zone against Kansas City. In PPR leagues, he’s a solid depth piece. He plays Carolina in Week 5, and it remains to be seen how good their defense actually is after being torched by Dallas — JS

  • Sam Darnold had more struggles against Dallas than we’ve seen so far this year, but he still threw a touchdown and rushed for two. Jones has the rushing skillset to produce a similar line, and Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay, and Kadarius Toney actually showed up in Week 4. Jones is a mid-tier QB2 vs. Dallas in Week 5 after a big Week 4 against a New Orleans defense that had been solid this year (402 passing yards, 27 rushing yards, two TDs). — JS

  • Samuel returned from the IR on Sunday, and even though he had a relatively quiet day (four catches, 19 yards), he’s going to be a big part of Washington’s offense going forward. Grab him now and enjoy the production against New Orleans and Kansas City the next two weeks. — ML

  • Marquez Valdez-Scantling (knee) is on IR, so naturally, Cobb takes more of a role in the offense. Teams will often double-cover Davante Adams as Pittsburg did in Week 4 when Cobb caught five-of-six targets for 69 yards and two touchdowns. Let’s see if he carries the momentum into Week 5 against the Bengals. — JS

  • It wasn’t that long ago when Crowder was a solid PPR flex play, and he was just that in Week 4 against Tennessee. He drew nine targets for seven catches for 61 yards and a TD. He was productive with Sam Darnold, so he can do the same with Zach Wilson — especially in a matchup with the Falcons in London this week. — JS

  • Mooney finally had a breakout performance this year, catching five passes on seven targets for 115 yards. He looks more like Justin Fields’ favorite target than Allen Robinson right now. Mooney should be viewed as a decent PPR play moving forward, though not all matchups will be this favorable. He’ll take on the Raiders in Week 5. — JS

  • We’re confused why Sanders is still available in more than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, but surely this will be the last week that statement remains true. In a game where the Bills dominated, Sanders caught five-of-six targets for 74 yards. Next week, he’ll play the Chiefs, and we might see Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes break the record for the most combined passing attempts. Sanders is an instant high-end flex consideration in Week 5. –JS

  • Parker was written off prior to his season, but he’s arguably been the best Dolphins’ WR. In Week 4, he caught four-of-nine targets for 77 yards and a touchdown. Also, WIll Fuller (hand) is banged up, which obviously opens more opportunities for Parker. Tua Tagovailoa will eventually return from a rib injury, and you’d have to think he’ll have more success through the air than Jacoby Brissett. Parker will play the Buccaneers in Week 5, who have given pass-catchers whatever they want. — JS

  • We’ve already said plenty about Gordon’s fantasy outlook, but here’s a reminder that’s worth taking on a flier on after signing with the Chiefs. Yes, Gordon’s best days are long behind him, but he couldn’t have gone to a better situation. He’ll be no better than a third option for the NFL’s scariest offense, but that could still yield some big games given the quarterback he’ll have throwing him the ball. At 30, he might not be completely washed up, so if he can stay on the field (a big “if”), Gordon could have value. — ML

  • Green once again looked like his former self, catching five-of-six targets for 67 yards and a touchdown in Week 4. This offense is producing a ridiculous amount of fantasy points, and this is your chance to get a piece of it. They’ll play the 49ers in Week 5, and they’ve been torched several times this season. — JS

  • The entire Minnesota offense was at a standstill vs. Cleveland, but Conklin did draw six targets for four catches. He’s not a sit ’em and forget ’em option at tight end, but he’s a high-upside streamer against the Lions in Week 5. — JS

  • Reynold led all Tennessee WRs in targets (9) in the absence of A.J. Brown (hamstring) and Julio Jones (leg) in Week 4. That said, he’s valuable while those two are out — especially in a matchup with Jacksonville next week. — JS

  • Jefferson caught all six of his targets for 90 yards and a touchdown in Week 4. He is the more reliable option between him and DeSean Jackson, but neither are must-starts. Jefferson might come and go in the Rams loaded offense, but he’s worth roster consideration heading into a matchup with a bad Seattle secondary in Week 5. — JS

  • Despite how awful the Lions’ offense has looked, it hasn’t stopped it from having fantasy-relevant options. Cephus caught four-of-five targets for 83 yards and continues to look like the big-play threat in Detroit. He’ll play Minnesota in Week 5, and while they’ve looked improved on defense, we still view this as a favorable matchup. — JS

  • In Week 4, Raymond caught three-of-six targets for 35 yards and two touchdowns. It’s tough to love a player based on just touchdowns, but this is his second straight week with solid production. Lions’ OC Anthony Lynn continues to draw up plays for him, so he should continue to get opportunities. In deep leagues, he’s a flex consideration heading into a matchup with Minnesota. –JS

  • The rookie first-round pick was finally a factor in Week 4. He caught six-of-nine targets for 78 yards and had a rushing attempt. Simply put, someone has to catch footballs on this offense, and with Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard dealing with hamstring injuries, Toney should continue to benefit in a Week 5 matchup with Dallas. — JS

  • Watkins caught four-of-seven targets for 49 yards in Week 4 and continues to exceed his preseason expectations. Rashod Bateman (core) might play next week, so Watkins could take more of a backseat, but for now, Watkins is worth a roster spot heading into a matchup with Indianapolis. — JS

  • Brown did nothing noteworthy against the Colts, but he did get the most touches of any Dolphins RB, as Myles Gaskin was seemingly phased out. He also saw the goal-line carries in Week 3. You don’t want to start him yet, but it’s always worth monitoring a lead RB in any offense. He’ll play Tampa Bay in Week 5, so he’s not an option there, but he’s worth stashing with the bye weeks soon approaching. — JS

  • As the season progresses, more RBs continue to get banged up. We saw David Montgomery and Tony Jones Jr. go down this week, so Mack could be traded at any moment to an RB-needy team. If you have a roster spot, stash him now. — JS

  • Like Tre’Quan Smith and T.Y. Hilton, there’s a chance Bateman makes his season debut in Week 5. — JS

  • Winston hasn’t been what we hoped he’d be, but he’s still worth watching. This offense has been up and down through four weeks, but we have to think they’ll eventually settle in, especially with Tre’Quan Smith (hamstring) and Michael Thomas (ankle) set to return at some point this season. That said, he has the chance to be a solid option later in the season. For streaming purposes, Winston plays Washington in Week 5, and they’ve been a shockingly bad pass defense this season. — JS

  • Cook is owned in just 47 percent of Yahoo leagues despite the dearth of decent tight endsthis year. That percentage will go up after he caught six-of-seven targets for 70 yards and a TDon Monday night. He’s been belowaverage this year, but he’s had at least five targets in three-of-four games and plays in an explosive offense. He has plenty of upside going forward, though a Week 5 matchup against Cleveland won’t be a good spot to use him. He’s still worth adding, as he will be a top streamer in Week 6 against a Baltimore defense that entered last week tied for the most fantasy points allowed toTEsand gave up another TE score to NoahFant. — ML

  • Henry scored last week and tied Jonnu Smith in targets (5) a week after seeing six targets. He seems to be emerging slightly over Smith despite Smith also scoring, and he’s in play against a bad Texans defense. —ML

  • Smith has seen at least five targets in four straight games, and he finally found the end zone last week. He still had just 14 yards, but he’s in play this week against the Texans’ porous defense. — ML

  • Alie-Cox is back to scoring TDs. Our preseason deep sleeper at TE caught three passes for 42 yards and two touchdowns in Week 4. As usual, he’s much more attractive in standard leagues, but perhaps he can build on this momentum heading into Week 5 against Baltimore — JS

  • Uzomah had the best game of his career against Jacksonville, catching five-of-six targets for 95 yards and two touchdowns. This performance might be an anomaly, but it’s worth monitoring him moving forward at such an unproductive position in fantasy football (especially if Tee Higgins misses more times). — JS

  • Williams caught all five of his targets against the Rams, and he’s been one of the top breakout tight ends this season. This offense is loaded and puts up a ton of points every week. Williams is a great flyer. He’ll play San Francisco in Week 5 in what could be another NFC West shootout. – -JS

  • Rob Gronkowski (ribs) was inactive for Week 4 and it looks like he might miss a few weeks down the road. It seems as if Brate is the next man in line to serve as the primary tight end, but O.J. Howard will also get a chance to compete for that role. For now, Brate is the more attractive option, as he’s been a real weapon in the red zone throughout his career and had five more targets than Howard in Week 4. He’s never been the sole starting tight end in an offense, yet he’s caught 29 touchdowns in his seven-year career. That said, he looks like an attractive temporary Gronk replacement in standard leagues. — JS

  • With Logan Thomas (hamstring) leaving early in Week 4, Seals-Jones took over at TE and caught two-of-four targets for 19 yards. Given RSJ’s athleticism and how often Washington throws to TEs, RSJ could have some value if Thomas misses games. He gets New Orleans and Kansas City the next two weeks. — ML

  • This defense had trouble withDallas in Week 4, but the Eagles’ offense has looked bad against decent D/STs this year. Week 5 is another spot for Carolina to look dominant on that side of the ball. — JS

  • Did anyone see how bad Justin Fields and the Bears’ offensive line looked against Cleveland? It made mistakes against the Lions putrid defense, too.The Raiders have an underrated pass rush, so they have to be considered as a streamer at the D/ST spot in Week 5. — JS

  • Trey Lance might offer a higher ceiling than Jimmy Garoppolo (calf), but the rookie is bound to make some mistakes in his first NFL start in Week 5. The Cardinals’ defense is the type of big-play unit that can capitalize, especially at home. — ML

  • Mike Zimmer should eventually get this defense right, and what a better time to start than a matchup with Jared Goff, whose best WR is Kalif Raymond or Quintez Cephus. This Lions’ offense is limited, and Goff is always prone to turnovers. — JS

  • The Panthers offense showed few ill effects of Christian McCaffrey being out in Week 4, but Sam Darnold made some key mistakes while playing from behind. The Eagles’ defense is nothing special, but they have some boom-or-bust streamer appeal here. — ML

  • The Falcons might have the worst defense in football, but the Jets have the worst offense. Falcons defense coordinator Dean Pees has orchestrated some of the toughest defenses in recent memory with New England and Baltimore, so Atlanta’s defense can likely force some mistakes against the Jets in London in Week 5. — JS

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