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Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 5

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups

Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 5How are you owners feeling after the first quarter of the season? Better get ready because we have another week to hit these waivers hard as the fantasy season starts heating up. We saw a ton of points scored in Week 4 and saw Mitchell Trubisky go #Kaboom. So who you are going to add this week?

Key Tips: 

  • Stay ahead of your bye weeks. In Week 5 we have the Buccaneers and Bears on bye weeks. In Week 6, the Lions and Saints will be on bye weeks.
  • If you have been waiting on a player and you still have not seen it after four weeks, it’s time to move on. Especially if you are 0-4 or 1-3, you cannot afford to hold on anymore. It’s time to make changes to your roster, so be more aggressive on the waiver wire.
  • Block your opponents. If you see your opponent needs a tight end pick up a tight end on waivers even if you don’t need one.

Without further ado, here are your waiver wire targets for Week 5!

Week 5 Waiver Wire QB Pickups

Marcus Mariota

ESPN: Less than 21% owned

Could Mariota finally be healthy? It would appear so after the quarterback threw a season-high 43 attempts and compiled 344 passing yards and two touchdowns. He also added in 1o rushes for 46 yards and another touchdown. This is the Mariota that many including myself envisioned seeing him play at during the offseason. In Week 5, Mariota takes on the Bills in a favorable match-up.

Derek Carr

ESPN: Less than 21% owned

Carr has been throwing the ball a lot so far in 2018. He ranks fourth in total passing yards (1,373) and faces a Chargers defense that misses Joey Bosa in Week 5. The Chargers defense so far this season has allowed at least 245 passing yards in each game and has allowed an average of 288 passing yards per game. With Carr averaging over 340 passing yards per game this season, I like his chances to hit 300 passing yards or more against Los Angeles. The Chargers defense has also allowed multiple touchdowns passes to quarterbacks this season in three of their four games.

Blake Bortles

ESPN: Less than 21% owned

Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 5History has shown us that Bortles produces better in fantasy when Leonard Fournette does not play. That happened again on Sunday when Fournette was forced to miss time, Bortles stepped up and threw for 388 yards and two scores. With Fournette looking to miss even more time, Bortles could be leaned on more. In Week 5, Jacksonville will face-off against the Chiefs awful passing defense who have allowed over 22 fantasy points to 3 out of 4 quarterbacks they have faced. And again, Bortles traditionally plays much better regarding fantasy when Fournette misses. Bortles averages 18.67 fantasy points per game with Fournette and 21.71 fantasy points per game without Fournette.

Joe Flacco

ESPN: Less than 17% owned

Four straight games with at least 15 fantasy points, Flacco has been vastly underrated at quarterback in fantasy formats in 2018. He is actually on pace for 5,012 yards and a 32:8 TD/INT ratio.  In Week 5, Flacco will be playing in Cleveland against the Browns who gave up over 33 fantasy points to Derek Carr last week in Oakland.

Mitchell Trubisky

ESPN: Less than 20% owned

Mitchell TrubiskyTrubisky absolutely exploded in Week 4 versus the Buccaneers throwing for 354 yards and six total touchdowns for a total of 43.5 total fantasy points. Trubisky has actually increased his yardage output now in four consecutive weeks. Keep in mind that he is on a bye week in Week 5, but his upcoming schedule: Dolphins, Patriots, Jets, and the Bills. Things could just be getting started for Trubisky.

Jameis Winston

ESPN: Less than 9% owned

The Ryan Fitzpatrick #FitzMagic era is over. Winston replaced Fitzpatrick after the latter struggled in the first half against the Bears. Not sure Winston was much better throwing for two interceptions, but with their bye week approaching the change at quarterback sees imminent. That being said, with Winston taking the reigns in Week 6, they will be playing the Atlanta Falcons who have been destroyed by opposing quarterbacks this season. Over the past three weeks starting quarterbacks have averaged 31.64 fantasy points versus the Falcons. And interestingly enough Winston averages more fantasy points per game without O.J. Howard. 18.89 fantasy points per game with Howard and 21.18 fantasy points per game without Howard. No O.J.? No problem.

*Priority Order* FAAB Spend:  Bortles, Carr, Mariota, Winston, Trubisky, Flacco 5% of the total budget



Week 5 Waiver Wire RB Pickups

Nyheim Hines

ESPN: Less than 16% owned

What receiver led the Colts in targets in Week 4? Well, Chester Rogers has 11 targets, but so did running back Nyhiem Hines who had a team-high nine targets on those targets. 11 targets is a significant target share especially with T.Y. Hilton looking like he is going to miss Week 5 versus the Patriots. The Colts will be looking for playmakers that can create favorable opportunities against the Patriots. I believe that player will be Hines in Week 5. He has been dominating in the passing game and truly has become the Darren Sproles of the Colts’ offense. 73% of the snaps played in Week 3 followed up by 69% of the snaps played in Week 4. 14% target share this season is second to only Hilton who is doubtful for Week 5.

FAAB Spend: 10%


ESPN: Less than 47% owned

Well, Leonard Fournette is injured once again, so if Yeldon is on your waiver wire, you are going to want to scoop him back up. Yeldon has produced in games that Fournette as missed so if you are need of a running back, he should be your primary target. Yeldon has scored double-digit fantasy points in all, but one game this season and faces the Chiefs in Week 5. Chiefs have allowed the second most fantasy points to the running back position.

FAAB Spend: 15%

Tarik Cohen

ESPN: Less than 61% owned

Tarik CohenCohen finally had the game we were all looking for, and it came at the expense of running back Jordan Howard. Cohen out-touched Howard 20-11. The Bears seemed to reach their peak in Week 4, so it would only make sense that they would try to run their offense moving forward with Cohen possibly featured more. Again, a great addition in PPR formats if somebody dropped him after the bye week.

Bears are on a bye week, but if you don’t need anyone, pick him up and stash him for later.

FAAB Spend: 10%

Nick Chubb

ESPN: Less than 16% owned

The first 100-yard game for Nick Chubb came on just three carries. Chubb has the talent to thrive in the Cleveland backfield it’s just a matter of touches. Carlos Hyde still has the grasp on the starting running back role and unless he gets hurt, it could be while for Chubb. However, Hyde has a history of injuries, so stashing Chubb could pay dividends sooner rather than later.

FAAB Spend: 4%

Ronald Jones

ESPN: Less than 18% owned

Jones was active for the first time this season and led the Buccaneers in rushing yards. Jones only had 29 rushing yards on 10 attempts, but considering the game script of this game Tampa Bay never really had a chance to get the ground game going. It is encouraging to see that Jones out-touched Peyton Barber and Jones should see the first crack at the RB1 job after the Buccaneers conclude their bye week.

Another pro-active waiver wire pickup suggestion as the Buc’s are on a bye week.

FAAB Spend: 3%

Duke Johnson Jr.

ESPN: Less than 57% owned

Duke Johnson had his best game to date in 2018 in Week 4. Comes at no surprise that his best game comes when the Browns start their new quarterback Baker Mayfield. If somebody dropped Johnson, make sure you add him especially in PPR formats.

FAAB Spend: 2%


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Week 5 Waiver Wire WR Pickups

Keke Coutee

ESPN: Less than .5% owned

FAAB Spend: 10%

15 targets!? Yes, you heard that right. In Coutee’s NFL debut he had 11 receptions for 109 yards on those 15 targets. Now the thing to consider here is that Will Fuller exited this game with a hamstring injury. The Houston offense is very top-heavy when it comes to target share. It is condensed at the top with DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller through the past two weeks receiving 57% of the total target share. That’s why Coutee’s upside relies upon whether Fuller will be good to play or not. If Coutee can find himself in that number two receiver role, he could benefit in Week 5.

Dede Westbrook

ESPN: Less than 13% owned

FAAB Spend: 8%

Westbrook saw a season-high in snaps (74.03%) and led the team with 13 targets in Week 4. Westbrook has now scored double-digit fantasy points in 3 out of 4 games in PPR formats. Overall, it has been tough to decide which Jacksonville wide receiver you can trust on a weekly basis, but I think Westbrook can be trusted in Week 5 versus the Chiefs. The Chiefs have allowed the most yards after the catch this season, and that has been Westbrook’s strength this season.  Westbrook in 2018 has the fifth most yards after catch yards (172) in the NFL. If you miss out on Westbrook, Donte Moncrief could also be a viable option.

Taywan Taylor

ESPN: Less than 4% owned

FAAB Spend: 1%

Rishard Matthews is gone, and Taywan Taylor seems to have taken over the number two wide receiver role behind Corey Davis. Taylor out-snapped Tajae Sharpe 63% to 44% and saw nine total targets for 77 receiving yards in Week 4. That tied for second most with Dion Lewis. The Titans offense looks to be on the uprise with Marcus Mariota finally looking healthy. If the offense can make the jump like many predicted in the offseason, Taylor could be a great fantasy add.

Taylor Gabriel

ESPN: Less than 7% owned

FAAB Spend: 3%

Gabriel saw ten targets in Week 3, which definitely raised some eyebrows amongst fantasy owners. But then in Week 4, Gabriel exploded for seven receptions for 104 yards and two touchdowns. The biggest difference in the game outside of the fact that Tampa Bay can’t play defense was the absence of Anthony Miller. Without Miller, Gabriel was able to have a more featured role, and I don’t think this is a fluke. We have seen Gabriel produce at an extremely high fantasy level before so I would buy him while he is cheap. Owners will not be aggressive bidding on him because of his bye-week, but he is for sure worth adding. Through 4 weeks, Gabriel leads the Bears in receptions and is second on the team in targets.

Jamison Crowder

ESPN: Less than 54% owned

FAAB Spend: 3%

Check your waiver wire for Jamison Crowder folks. The Redskins were on bye in Week 4, and after his slow start do not be surprised to see if Crowder was dropped. But here’s the thing. You need to add him and play him this week in his matchup versus the New Orleans Saints. No team has allowed more fantasy points to the wide receiver position than the Saints this season. Specifically, slot and secondary receivers have had big games against New Orleans. Sterling Shepard, Mohamed Sanu, Antonio Callaway, Chris Godwin, and DeSean Jackson all had productive days versus the soft New Orleans defense.



Ryan Grant

ESPN: Less than 11% owned

FAAB Spend: 1%

Grant has scored double-digit fantasy points in three out of the four weeks this season, and behind T.Y. Hilton has played the most snaps at the wide receiver position for the Colts. With Hilton’s availability, ailing Grant becomes a plug in play piece at the wide receiver position. He should see an uptick in targets and the Colts will most likely be in a negative game script on Thursday night versus the Patriots. The Patriots have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to the wide receiver position so far through 2018.

Mohamed Sanu

ESPN: Less than 50% owned

FAAB Spend: 1%

The Falcons offense is on fire right now, and that should continue into Week 5. The Falcons are playing the Steelers who have allowed the third most fantasy points to the wide receiver position. Specifically, they have also allowed the most air yards of any team this season. Airyards are a great predictor of future fantasy production so if you are looking for a receiver with some upside, playing Sanu as part of the Falcons offense won’t disappoint.

Chris Conley

ESPN: Less than .5% owned

FAAB Spend: 1%

Sammy Watkins suffered a hamstring injury on Monday night football thrusting Conley into an increased workload. Conley ended up having just four receptions for 13 yards but did receive the most targets behind Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. With hamstring injuries taking multiple weeks to heal, Conley could be inclined for more work over the next few weeks. Being the number three option in one of the best offenses in the league for sure holds value for Conley.

Jordan Matthews

ESPN: Less than 3% owned

FAAB Spend: 1%

Playing in over 60% of the snaps, Matthews made a significant contribution on a 56-yard catch and run touchdown. Unsure of what his role in Philadelphia would be, Matthews is worth a stash in deeper formats. His usage in just his second game is encouraging though.

*WR Priority* Coutee, Westbrook, Crowder, Taylor, Gabriel, Conley, Sanu, Grant, Matthews

Week 5 Waiver Wire TE Pickups

Vance McDonald

ESPN: Less than 32% owned

FAAB Spend: 5%

Need a tight end? McDonald had five receptions for 62 yards which tied for the team-lead in Week 4. His snap percentage was at a season-high (61.90%) in Week 4, while Jesse James saw a season-low in snap percentage (44.44%). Since Week 3, only George Kittle has more yards after the catch than McDonald at the tight end position. With his big-play ability, McDonald is a weekly starter at the tight end position.

Cameron Brate

ESPN: Less than 11% owned

FAAB Spend: 2%

Jameis Winston loves Cameron Brate. Looking at Brate’s splits he averages over 9.5 fantasy points per game with Winston under center. Without Winston? Just 3.48 fantasy points per game. Then throw in the fact that O.J. Howard is going to be missing time, Brate becomes a must-add at the position. But even when Howard does return from his injury again his splits with Winston make Brate the more favorable play. Howard averages 6.9 fantasy points per game with Winston and averages 12.32 fantasy points per game without Winston.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins

ESPN: Less than 27% owned

FAAB Spend: 1%

Sometimes you just have to look for the best matchups when it comes to tight-end streaming. Insert Seferian-Jenkins who faces off against the Kansas City Chiefs who have allowed the third most fantasy points to the tight end position.

Austin Hooper

ESPN: Less than 40% owned

FAAB Spend: 1%

Hooper leads all Atlanta skill-position players in offensive snaps played through 2018. So far that volume has led Hooper to have one fantasy productive outing with three not so productive outings. However, as we approach Week 5, the matchup could dictate differently for Hooper. The Pittsburgh Steelers have allowed the second most fantasy points to the tight end position through 2018. Then in Week 6, the Falcons take on Tampa Bay who have allowed the most fantasy points to the tight end position.

Tyler Kroft

ESPN: Less than .5% owned

FAAB Spend: 1%

Tyler Eifert has been put on injured reserve, and I fully believe that Tyler Kroft will be the main tight beneficiary. Kroft has always filled the tight end role admirably when Eifert has missed time. In 17 games, in games where Kroft has played without Eifert, he has averaged 8.19 fantasy points per game. So even though C.J. Uzomah leads the team in snaps at the tight end position, I have more faith in Kroft to see the increased workload. He also had the Dolphins slated up in Week 5, who have traditionally struggled versus the tight end position.

*TE Priority* McDonald, Brate, Seferian-Jenkins, Hooper, Kroft

Defense/Special Teams Waiver Wire Pickups

Tennesse DST @ Buffalo

ESPN: Less than 40% owned

Carolina DST vs Giants

ESPN: Less than 30% owned

Denver DST @ Jets

ESPN: Less than 54% owned

– Andrew Erickson is a fantasy writer for Gridiron Experts. Follow me and vote in my twitter poll!




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