Waiver Wire Pickups Week 5
Some of the players I mentioned as waiver targets last week put on a show in Week 4. Guys like CJ Stroud, De’Von Achane, and Romeo Doubs were some of the featured players in the previous edition of the waiver wire pickups article and they proved to be the real deal. This week, let’s take a look at the next wave of players that could give you some temporary success in the wake of injuries, as well as season-long success with upside.
Washington Commanders (9% ESPN, 18% Yahoo)
I’m intrigued by Sam Howell and the Commanders. Similar to how I felt about Jordan Love and the Packers after Week 1, I think Howell has something going after a few weeks of play. Through Week 4, he ranks 11th in passing yards and 11th in rushing yards among quarterbacks. The only reason he hasn’t vaulted up the rankings this season is his lack of touchdowns. However, I’m a big believer in positive touchdown regression and I don’t see any reason why Howell won’t score more moving forward. The receiving core of Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, and Curtis Samuel is among the best in the NFL and they should be able to find their groove and deliver more endzone trips as the season goes along. Howell is worth a deep-league pick-up in a quarterback climate that is full of injuries and inconsistencies from some of the top guys.
- Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Zach Wilson, New York Jets
Denver Broncos (1% ESPN, 4% Yahoo)
Injuries, injuries, injuries. They have plagued the NFL so far this season and they continue to pile up week after week. Javonte Williams is the latest victim after hurting his hip in the Broncos victory over the Bears. While he was out, Jaleel McLaughlin stepped up and balled out. On just seven carries and three receptions, the undrafted rookie gained 104 yards from scrimmage and scored on an 18-yard catch and run in the first quarter. While it’s reported that Williams might not miss much time, McLaughlin could be worth an add off the waiver wire this week as he might have played his way into more snaps moving forward, no matter the health of the other running backs in Denver. He should be considered a deep bench stash but could prove to be a FLEX option if he turns in performances like this moving forward.
Baltimore Ravens (46% ESPN, 65% Yahoo)
This suggestion is pretty simple. Gus Edwards is the running back who is seeing the most touches on a team that should be winning a lot of games this season. In Week 4, the Ravens blew out the Browns, 28-3, and Edwards logged 15 carries for 48 yards and caught two passes on three targets. No, he was not very efficient and he did not find the endzone. However, this article isn’t “add whoever played well last week”. That would be lazy and unhelpful. While Edwards did not turn in a very productive performance, I think there are better days ahead for the workhorse running back in Baltimore. He led the Ravens running back-room with a 69% snap share against the Browns and paced the team with 18 touches compared to Melvin Gordon who finished second with four. Right now, he’s the clear RB1 on a contending football team. Go grab him, even after a down week.
- Keaton Mitchell, Baltimore Ravens
Arizona Cardinals (1.5% ESPN, 31% Yahoo)
Joshua Dobbs has been serviceable for the Cardinals this season, which means his weapons aren’t as useless as most thought coming into the year. Michael Wilson, a third-round rookie receiver, is one of those weapons who’s benefitting from competent quarterback play and he could be an interesting waiver-wire add ahead of Week 5. Through four weeks, Wilson ranks second on the team in targets, receptions, and receiving yards while being tied for the most receiving touchdowns with two. Last week, he saw a season-high seven targets and turned them into 76 yards and two scores. With his size and physicality, he serves as one of the best red zone targets for the Cardinals as both of his touchdowns came inside the 20-yard line in Week 4. He could also see an increase in production once Kyler Murray returns at some point this season. The Cardinals have been playing better than expected but they will still trail in games for most of the year. The passing volume will be there and with an upgrade at quarterback on deck, Wilson could find his way into weekly FLEX consideration this season.
Detroit Lions (16% ESPN, 32% Yahoo)
Jameson Williams was always going to be featured in a waiver wire article this year, I just didn’t think it was going to come this soon. His suspension was reduced by the NFL and he is eligible to return to play in Week 5. While I don’t think he is startable this week, I do think he could find himself being a WR3 with upside once he gets more real game reps under his belt. Williams was an elite prospect coming into the 2022 NFL Draft, being selected by the Lions in the first round. Last season, he was rusty last year after missing the first 12 weeks of the season recovering from an ACL injury he suffered in college. He did, however, show some flashes with a couple of big plays for Detroit toward the end of the season and should be featured as the WR2 in Detroit behind Amon-Ra St. Brown. The Lions offense is extremely productive and they are about to get even more explosive with the addition of Jameson Williams. Add him as a bench stash and reap the rewards later on.
Washington Commanders (13% ESPN, 9% Yahoo)
As I mentioned earlier, I’m intrigued by the Washington Commanders. They seem to be getting better as the weeks go on and I see a lot more scoring from them in the future. Sam Howell is getting more comfortable and he should be finding his receivers for more endzone trips soon. This includes the versatile Curtis Samuel. Through four weeks, Samuel is third on the team in target share at 15.3%, but he ranks second in receiving yards and is the only pass-catcher on the team that has a real role in the backfield. He has already logged three carries for 20 yards and a touchdown this year, indicating his importance to the offense as a dual-threat weapon. It should be noted that his involvement as a rusher isn’t an anomaly as he carried the ball 38 times last season for 187 yards and a score in the same system. Samuel provides multiple ways to score fantasy points which is a value not every receiver has. As Sam Howell and the Washington offense get better throughout the season, so will Curtis Samuel. He’s worth an add and could be started as soon as this week with a softball matchup with the Chicago Bears on Thursday night.
- Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys
- Jayden Reed, Green Bay Packers
- Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears
Houston Texans (55% ESPN, 36% Yahoo)
If you didn’t draft Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews, or TJ Hockenson, you are likely streaming the tight end position. Even if you drafted Darren Waller or Dallas Goedert, you might already be fed up and ready to move on to picking up tight ends off the waiver wire with decent matchups. This week, that waiver wire pickup should be Dalton Schultz. Despite only seeing three targets in Week 4, he turned them into three catches for 42 yards while scoring a touchdown on a trick play from running back Devin Singletary, showing the Texans’ desire to get him more involved in their surprisingly productive offense. and he has a chance to build on this performance with a matchup against a Cardinals defense this week that has allowed an average of 4.5 receptions and 49 yards to the position through four weeks. They proved to be tough against George Kittle last week in a blowout loss to the 49ers but could soften up in what might be a shootout against the Texans. I’m expecting the passing volume from CJ Stroud to continue and Dalton Schultz should benefit once again. He could be a solid streaming option for those who are struggling at tight end so far this year.
- Logan Thomas, Washington Commanders
- Jonnu Smith, Atlanta Falcons
Will Holtz is a fantasy football analyst and contributes to GridironExperts.com. His goal: Help you win your fantasy football championship.