Fantasy Waiver Wire Week 5
Now that we’re past the one-quarter mark of the NFL schedule, fantasy owners will have to start relying on their waiver wire even more than they did early. Not only are injuries mounting at an alarming rate, but Week 5 brings the wave of four-team bye weeks.
Another key reason for waivers is paramount to one of my rules of fantasy football: After four games, teams generally are who they are. Same thing in fantasy. Hard to see guys who have been busts for 25% of the season turning it around. This is a good point to cut bait on disappointing early draft picks, move on, and be proactive towards the playoffs.
For Week 5’s Waiver Wire piece, I’m presenting a slightly different look. I decided to rank guys in order of overall value based on your budget percentage (FAAB.) Hopefully, this will help you make the correct decision for the appropriate positions that you need help with.
Week 5 Byes: Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks
Carson Wentz – Now that Philadelphia’s bye is out of the way, Wentz is worth an aggressive add as a potential starter or streaming option down the stretch. Through three games, Wentz is averaging 20.3 fantasy points per game, which is a top-20 number. He also has done a great job protecting the ball, as he and fellow rookie Dak Prescott are the only two QB’s in the league to start three games and not throw an interception. Wentz also makes a nice Week 5 start as the Eagles face a Detroit Lions secondary that has yielded the second-most points to opposing quarterbacks.
Brian Hoyer – Hoyer has been great off the bench for Chicago, with two-straight games of 300+ passing yards and two touchdowns. There’s still no word on when Jay Cutler will be healthy, but John Fox hinted that Hoyer could keep the job if he continues to produce those gaudy numbers. For Week 5, Hoyer is worth a stream as Chicago travels to Indy to take on a punchless Colts defense.
Paxton Lynch – I would be higher on Lynch if I knew that Trevor Siemian was definitely out for Week 5. Siemian hurt his non-throwing shoulder and Lynch relieved him in Week 4. Lynch played pretty well, but I wouldn’t think an undefeated team would switch QB’s. Monitor this if possible. If Siemian were listed as out for Week 5’s matchup against Atlanta’s league-worst pass defense, I’d move Lynch up to about a 10% bid.
-Ownership data based on ESPN public leagues
Dion Lewis – It may seem early to add Lewis, who could be out for 2-4 more weeks. But I’m all about being proactive. Lewis has the potential to be a difference-making player down the stretch in PPR leagues. Tom Brady’s return to New England will work wonders for all of the Pats’ skill position players, and I expect Lewis to reclaim his role that was so vital last year.
Kenneth Dixon – Dixon was my favorite rookie running back (besides Paul Perkins) and now he’ll finally see his first action of 2015. The Baltimore backfield has been a mess so far, so Dixon has the real shot at immediate significant playing time. The only thing preventing me from suggesting a more aggressive bid on Dixon is that John Harbaugh intimated he would stick with the “hot hand” approach and Terrance West just ran for 113 yards. Still, Dixon has big-time upside and is certainly worth a roster stash.
Wendell Smallwood – I’d be higher on Smallwood if I had any clue how the Eagles were going to use their backs. Unfortunately, it looks like Doug Pederson is moving towards a pesky rotation with Smallwood, Darren Sproles, Ryan Mathews and even Kenjon Barner involved. Smallwood will likely be hard to predict from week to week, but he’s got massive upside when he’s commanding the lion’s share of the carries.
Terrance West – If we weren’t all so worried about rookie Kenneth Dixon taking over the job, West would be a top-3 add for this week after his 21-carry, 113 yard Week 4 showing. As of now, he’s considered the starter in Baltimore, so feel free to take advantage by grabbing him off waivers while you can.
Quincy Enunwa – I’m surprised that Enunwa continues to be widely unowned, but his role is more than secure now with Eric Decker slotted to miss a significant stretch of playing time. In PPR leagues, Enunwa is the WR25 and is averaging eight targets a game. He’s also produced 4+ catches in all four games. Enunwa has been a pretty consistent PPR producer and that should continue for at least 4-6 more weeks.
Robert Woods – With Sammy Watkins now shelved for the foreseeable future, Woods is the de facto No. 1 receiver in Buffalo. Woods’ role has been growing, as his snap count has increased each week, culminating in a huge 67-snap day in Week 4. Woods is also producing at a nice rate while he’s out there, with 13 grabs for 140 yards in Buffalo’s past two contests. He’s a legit team WR1 that can be used as a weekly WR3/flex play in fantasy, so he’s got to be at or near the top of your “to do” waiver list this week.
Tajae Sharpe – Sharpe is another No. 1 WR that is unowned in the majority of ESPN public leagues. After a big Week 1, Sharpe’s statistics have dropped off with each week, but that’s mainly due to QB Marcus Mariota simply not playing well. Sharpe has gotten 7+ targets in each of the Titan’s four games while playing over 90% of the snaps. Mariota will come around, and when he does, Sharpe’s numbers will recover. For Week 5, the Titans travel to Miami to face a Dolphins secondary that has surrendered the 4th-most fantasy points to opposing wideouts. Sharpe and Mariota could be nice plays in Week 5.
Cameron Brate – Surprisingly, Brate in the No. 8 tight end for the season so far, with 16/159/2 stat line. After the Bucs jettisoned Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Brate has logged 132 snaps over Tamp’s past two games. He should remain close to a full-time player and that gives him week-to-week streaming appeal in favorable matchups. Tampa Bay’s Week 5 opponent, the Carolina Panters, rank 28th in the league, allowing 16.9 fantasy points per contest to opposing tight ends.
Hunter Henry – I would be higher on Henry if I knew how long Antonio Gates was going to be out. Early speculation is that Gates will likely miss Week 5 at least. That gives Henry serious appeal as a streaming option. Henry has played 128 snaps since Week 3 and has a nice matchup in Oakland for Week 5. Even when Gates returns, injuries will force the Chargers to employ a lot of ’12’ sets, so Henry is worth a stash as well as a weekly streamer.
Jesse James – The Outlaw is also playing a ton of snaps for a potent Pittsburgh offense. James’ massive size will assure he’s a decent bet to see weekly red zone targets from Ben Roethlisbeger. But keep in mind that the Steelers offense tends to play much better at home, so that makes James a risky stream for Week 5- even though the Steelers have a decent matchup against New York’s 24th ranked fantasy tight end defense.
Deep Sleeper Adds
- Quarterbacks – Ryan Tannehill, Marcus Mariota, Blaine Gabbert
- Running Backs – Josh Ferguson, Orleans Darkwa, DeAndrew Washington
- Wide Receivers – Anquan Boldin, Adam Humphries, DaVante Adams
- Tight Ends – Clive Walford, Jack Doyle, Vance McDonald, Dwyane Allen