Waiver Wire Week 5
After a jam-packed first three weeks of waiver wire goodness, week four doesn’t hold anyone too exciting, but there are FAAB and waiver order spots to be spent. In a review of last week’s article, I had highlighted a bunch of Wide Receivers and most of them hit. Justin Jefferson balled out again, Tee Higgins may have just surpassed AJ Green officially, Zach Pascal flashed his reliable PPR floor and Scotty Miller and Tim Patrick made the most of their opportunities due to injuries at their respective positions. Damien Harris received a boost Monday with the news of Sony Michel being placed on IR. Harris will have every opportunity to take over that early-down job and is up towards the top of my wish list after his 100-yard game Monday night. All are once again recommended adds. Let’s get down to who remains.
Quarterback 5.5% rostered
When asked who would be the starting Quarterback in Week Five, Miami coach Brian Flores said that he did not know. For the first time, Flores has cast doubt at the position. Add in the fact that they have the talented first-rounder Tagovailoa waiting in the wings and it doesn’t take a genius to see that #TuaTime is coming. Prior to his injury in college, Tua was the best Quarterback in College Football, most often compared to Drew Brees. If you take his skill set and pair it with an under-rated receiving corps in Parker-Gesicki-Williams and Ford, with the volume he should see by being down in most games, he makes for a solid QB2 with upside. If you have been disappointed in your Quarterbacks play so far, it wouldn’t be the worst idea to grab Tua while he is still cheap, a week or two early.
Running Back 8.6% rostered
Josh Kelley is the number one add this week if available, but he probably isn’t in most competitive leagues. So let’s talk about Jackson, who saw about 40% of the offensive snaps against the Buccaneers. With Ekeler out for the foreseeable future, it will be Kelley and Jackson in a most likely 60-40 split on a weekly basis moving forward. Both backs struggled this week, but that is to be expected against an elite Buccaneers run defense. Justin Jackson was the far superior pass catcher in college compared Joshua Kelley so if I was a betting man, I would say he gets most of the receiving work left behind by Ekeler giving him flex value in PPR leagues of 12+ teams.
Running Back 0% rostered
In addition to Ekeler, we also saw stud running back Nick Chubb go down with an injury. Obviously, this makes Kareem Hunt a locked in top 10 Running Back until his return. But Johnson did see 13 carries for 95 yards, good for 7.3 yards per carry. The next two weeks bring tough defensive challenges against Indianapolis and Pittsburgh, but then we see two nice matchups against the Raiders and Bengals. In 10 and arguably 12 team leagues, I can make an argument against leaving Johnson on the wire, due to the massive workload Hunt should see paired with the two tough upcoming matchups. In the same breath, Chubb should be out through the week 9 bye, which would mean 19 of the 32 teams will have seen their bye. With bye weeks beginning, its time to have depth like Johnson on your bench in case of emergency, especially with his friendly week seven and eight matchups. Johnson could easily flirt with flex status during these times and worth a pickup… at the right price.
Laviska Shenault Jr.
Wide Receiver 27.3% rostered
In my Week one article, I had Shenault in my quick hits section saying to keep an eye on him. At the time, I needed to see more before buying in, well a short three weeks later, he makes it on here as an add after his five-catch 86 yard outing. Shenault is averaging a respectable 11.6 PPR points through four weeks and looks to be the third option on offense behind Chark and Robinson. He doesn’t just catch passes either, as he has taken nine carries for 53 yards so far this season. With bye weeks beginning this week, its time to start building that depth for the long run and Shenault should provide low-end WR3 outings in PPR leagues moving forward.
Wide Receiver 0.5% rostered
Don’t look now, but Isaiah Ford has out-targeted(26 to 17), out-caught (15 to 6) and out-gained (151 to 89) Preston Williams throughout the season, and it hasn’t been particularly close. Add-in, that for the first time Ford out-snapped Williams, signaling that we could be seeing a shift in the pecking order down in Miami. Now keep in mind, this all could change once Tua takes over as every Quarterback develops their favorite targets, but Ford has flashed his potential. Already with two games over nine targets, Ford can be considered in leagues of 12+ teams if you’re in a pinch at the receiver position.
Tight End 7.8% rostered
Once word out of Green Bay came out that Tonyan could be first in line for starting reps, I picked him up everywhere he was available in Dynasty and boy did it pay off. Tonyan caught three touchdowns Monday Night, making that three games in a row with a touchdown. He has all but locked up the job and claimed his piece of the pie in the offense moving forward. With Aaron Rodgers playing the best ball of his career, Tonyan will arguably flirt with Top 12 value moving forward.
Tight End 0.2% rostered
Prior to OJ Howard’s season-ending injury, he was out-producing Rob Gronkowski through four weeks. That isn’t by coincidence, but design. I said before the season that everything I was seeing out of Bucs camp was that OJ was the tight end to own, not Gronk. Gronk has his role and of course, he will get a slight bump and is the preferred target if available, but Brate will fill the void left behind by OJ Howard. No stranger to finding the endzone, Brate should be in the TE2 discussion moving forward.
- Teddy Bridgewater had been racking up the yards but lacking in the touchdown department. Well, he changed that this week with three total touchdowns and 32 yards rushing. In week 5, he draws the soft Falcons defense who are starting backups at almost every level, and siphoning points to opposing quarterbacks. He,s a top option for me if you are looking to stream and is only 9.8% rostered.
- Keep an eye on Duke Johnson who is available in 72% of leagues. The Texans finally fired Head Coach Bill O’Brien and with Watson struggling to connect with any of his weapons outside of Will Fuller, maybe the new coach finds a way to utilize Duke in the passing game…ya know…where he’s proven best.
- Kenyan Drake went down with a chest injury on Sunday but early indications are that he will not miss any time. The injury had me look into Chase Edmonds and I saw that he was only 25.2% rostered. Even though Drake is not expected to miss any time, if you are a team sitting pretty at 4-0 or 3-1 and have bench space to burn, I would grab Edmonds as he is widely available and would enter the top 15 discussion if Drake were to ever go down.
- Jeff Smith looked legit on Thursday night. Turning nine targets into seven catches for 81 yards while playing 95% of the offensive snaps. For a team in the position such as the Jets, they would be fools not to see what they have in Smith, even once Perriman returns. Leagues with 14+ teams should consider the speedy jet just in case his performance this week earns him some more run moving forward.
- There is no better feeling than hitting on a super deep sleeper. Darnell Mooney was that guy for me this year and ever since the draft I was saying how I thought he could come out of nowhere and produce. Mooney seems to be very involved in Chicago and could very well be on his way to surpassing Anthony Miller if he hasn’t done so already. Deep leaguers keep an eye out. Leagues with 12 teams or less need not add him just yet.
- Dalton Schultz was included in my week one article, yet he is still owned in only 33.7% of leagues. That is unacceptable. With Dak under center, Schultz carries TE1 upside every week with an 8-10 point floor in PPR leagues.
Brandon aka @Doublehfantasy1 has been playing fantasy football (and winning championships) since 2002. He has a special place in his heart for larger leagues and lives by the motto, “If you’re in a 10 team league, first thing you should do as commissioner is add more people”. Brandon is dedicated to providing deeper analysis on players after years of seeing useless vanilla takes all over the mainstream fantasy world for years. Brandon is a life long South Jersey resident but the only thing he loves more than a good beer is the Buccaneers. Go Bucs!