Analysis

Week 5 Waiver Wire Report

It’s a bad week to need help off the waiver wire. In response, I’ve changed how I format this waiver wire column. Instead of naming players you should pick up for Week 5, I shifted the article to include all players you may consider in a more actionable and digestible way.

This page will be constantly updated throughout the day to reflect any new information from the games. It’s also geared toward PPR leagues unless otherwise noted. All players included are owned in less than 40% of leagues, per FantasyPros’ rostership data. All stats are credited to TruMedia unless stated otherwise.

Quarterbacks

If you need a quarterback to stream in Week 5, pick up Jared Goff.

  • Rostered in 47.9% of leagues
  • 15.5, 26.04, 13.88 fantasy points in the first three games
  • 33.22 points in Week 4, most among quarterbacks (prior to Sunday and Monday night games)
  • He’s averaged 37.8 passes, which would have been the 11th-most heading into Week 4
  • He’s only thrown three picks
  • The Lions are averaging among the most points in the league.
  • Detroit faces New England in Week 5
  • The Patriots allowed 27 and 37 points in the last two weeks
  • Good passing volume in a surprisingly high-scoring offense

If you really need a quarterback, pick up Zach Wilson.

  • Rostered in 9.5% of leagues
  • Scored 18.78 fantasy points in Week 4
  • Scored four rushing touchdowns in the final seven games after injury last season
  • Wilson is more than capable of making plays with his legs.
  • Has a solid supporting cast that includes Elijah Moore, Garrett Wilson, Corey Davis and Breece Hall
  • Faces Dolphins D/ST in Week 5
  • Dolphins surrendered 20 points to Joe Burrow in Week 4

And if you REALLY need a quarterback, you still shouldn’t pick up Kenny Pickett or Geno Smith… yet.

  • Each is rostered in fewer than 13% of leagues
  • Pickett’s two short-yard rushing touchdowns were mitigated by three turnovers
  • One of his interceptions did come on a last-minute heave
  • The Steelers are below league average in rushing attempts per game.
  • The Steelers travel to Buffalo in Week 5…
  • Geno Smith was due for a blowup game, as our own Jordan Vanek predicted
  • Detroit’s defense has been abysmal
  • The Seahawks face the Saints in Week 5
  • The Saints D/ST held Kirk Cousins and Tom Brady to fewer than 13 fantasy points this season

Running Backs

Rex Burkhead is the best option among very discouraging options.

  • Rostered in 25.1% of leagues
  • Burkhead scored 14.9 fantasy points, though a receiving touchdown inflates his value
  • He ran 14 routes on 17 snaps
  • Houston will probably be playing from behind more often than from ahead
  • Burkhead saw five targets to Dameon Pierce’s six targets
  • He was tied for the third-most targets on the team

If you didn’t pick up J.D. McKissic last week, you might as well this week. 

  • Rostered in 35.2% of leagues
  • McKissic isn’t going to win you any games, but he’s better than almost any running back widely available
  • McKissic led the backfield in snaps, targets and routes run again
  • Consistency is good for bench players
  • If Gibson ever gets hurt, McKissic’s stock will rise
  • I’ve run out of things to say, if you need a running back this bad, good luck

Add Kenneth Gainwell and Tyler Allgeier to your watch list, but leave them on waivers.

  • Each is rostered in fewer than 23% of leagues. 
  • Gainwell looks like the RB2 in the Eagles’ offense
  • His lone score in Week 4 came from a ten-yard carry
  • He had just five carries
  • Miles Sanders is still the clear lead-back
  • Allgeier led all Falcons running backs in snaps, routes run and targets…
  • …by eight snaps, two routes run, one target
  • He was tied for the most carries with Caleb Huntley (10)
  • He saw the backfield’s only target 
  • Cordarrelle Patterson looked limited from a pre-existing knee injury
  • Patterson was placed on IR with a knee injury
  • Damien Williams is eligible to return from his injury for Week 5
  • Caleb Huntley was the goal-line back
  • Marcus Mariota should still vulture carries

Mike Boone is a sneaky addition for now.

  • Rostered in fewer than 1% of leagues
  • Boone had three carries for 20 yards
  • Melvin Gordon had three carries for 8 yards
  • Gordon fumbled
  • Boone played 19 snaps
  • Gordon played 10 snaps
  • Boone saw three target
  • Gordon saw one target
  • Javonte Williams is out for the season with a torn ACL
  • Denver has the 13th-highest run-play rate

Wide Receivers

You should’ve added Romeo Doubs last week. 

  • Rostered in 56.5% of leagues
  • Allen Lazard and Doubs each saw eight targets and 70 snaps
  • Doubs ran one fewer route than Lazard
  • No other wide receivers played more than 25 snaps
  • A fumble dropped his fantasy score to 13.7 points
  • They’re clearly the top two receiving options in Green Bay
  • This is the second-straight week where Doubs scored
  • He just looks good… how’s that for hard-hitting analysis of the waiver wire?

Corey Davis is worth a roster spot for now.

  • Rostered in 16% of leagues.
  • Exclude a Week 3 dud and Davis has averaged 16.1 fantasy points
  • He has two touchdowns in two of the four games
  • Davis has seen at least seven targets twice this season
  • He was tied for the second-most targets on the team in Week 4
  • A Zach Wilson-led offense threw the ball 36 times
  • A Joe Flacco-led offense averaged 51.7 attempts

If Michael Gallup’s somehow available, scoop him up.

  • Rostered in 42.7% of leagues
  • Gallup was clearly the Cowboys’ WR3
  • He ran more routes than Noah Brown
  • Brown injured his neck in the fourth quarter
  • Gallup himself was likely limited in his first game back
  • A positive game-script limited passing attempts
  • Gallup only saw two targets but scored on one of them
  • Dak Prescott reportedly wants to come back in Week 5

Don’t pick up Josh Reynolds, yet…

  • Rostered in 10.3% of leagues
  • Reynolds has 12.8, 15.6 points and now 21.1 points in the last three weeks, respectively
  • Heled Detroit wideouts in snaps, routes and targets 
  • Tom Kennedy saw just two fewer snaps, three fewer routes and two fewer targets than Reynolds
  • Reynolds saw 10 targets last week and eight targets last week
  • The game was a shootout between two bad defenses, hence the 48-45 score (a.k.a a Scorigami)
  • Amon-Ra St. Brown, D.J. Chark and D’Andre Swift were all inactive
  • Emphasis on the above point

George Pickens’ upside warrants roster consideration.

  • Rostered in 38.4% of leagues
  • Pickens scored 16.2 fantasy points on eight targets
  • He led all Pittsburgh wide receivers in targets
  • He had the third-most snaps and third-most routes, but only two fewer each than Chase Claypool
  • He’s seen 7+ targets in two straight weeks
  • The Steelers face the Bills, Buccaneers, Dolphins and Eagles before their bye in Week 9
  • Each team is top-eight in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers
  • So don’t expect huge performances from Pickens in that time
  • Kenny Pickett looked better than Mitchell Trubisky

Watch Isaiah McKenzie’s status.

  • Rostered in 33.5% of leagues
  • McKenzie suffered a head injury in Week 4
  • He still scored 12.1 fantasy points and a touchdown
  • He’s scored in three of the four games this season
  • He’s seen 15 snaps over the last two games
  • McKenzie and Devin Singletary are tied for the team’s second-most targets per game 
  • Buffalo’s receiving group has been banged up
  • Jamison Crowder broke his ankle and is out indefinitely
  • Crowder has run 87% of his snaps from the slot
  • McKenzie has run 76% of his snaps from the slot
  • Those are the highest rates on the team
  • Only the Chargers have thrown for more passing yards per game than the Bills
  • If he’s healthy, McKenzie can be at worst the Bills’ WR3

Tight Ends

Tyler Conklin should’ve been picked up last week.

  • Rostered in 39.6% of leagues
  • He was tied for the second-most targets behind Corey Davis in Week 4
  • Conklin is second on the team in targets this season
  • He’s been a borderline TE1 or high-end TE2 every week
  • Like with Davis, Wilson’s return may limit the volume of targets Conklin sees
  • No signs he’ll see a lower target share
  • Tight end is a barren position, so you should chase the points when you can

Will Dissly isn’t a sustainable fantasy option yet.

  • Rostered in 2.3% of leagues
  • Exclude Week 2 and Dissly has been a top-7 TE each week
  • Dissly is third on the team in targets
  • Only DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett have more than 13 targets on the team, but by more than 20 additional targets
  • He’s fifth on the team in routes run
  • Two of his touchdowns came on his three red-zone targets
  • You can’t trust him each week

Robert Tonyan also isn’t sustainable nor productive enough yet.

  • Rostered in 26.2% of leagues
  • He scored 9.7 points on seven targets in Week 3
  • He scored 10.2 points on two targets in Week 4 thanks to a touchdown 
  • Five Packers also saw more targets than Tonyan 
  • Tonyan’s tied for third on the team targets per game this season… with 4 targets per game
  • Like Dissly, the volume just isn’t there

WATCH MORE: Week 4 Recap

 

 

Video

Fantasy’s Top Week 4 Waiver Wire Pickups

Josh Larky and Ryan Reynolds run through all the potential players you can add on the waiver wire for Week 4, and whether you should target them or let them sit in free agency.

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Fantasy

Waiver Wire Targets for Week 4

This waiver wire page will be constantly updated throughout the day to reflect any new information from the games. It’s also geared toward 12-team PPR leagues unless otherwise noted. All players included are owned in less than 40% of leagues, per FantasyPros’ rostership data. 

Quarterback

Marcus Mariota, Falcons

These quarterbacks are not a waiver priority. They’re simply here if you need a backup quarterback, or you’re playing in a superflex or 2-QB league. Let’s get that out of the way. As for Mariota, his rushing upside obviously gives him some fantasy value. His 23 rushing attempts over three games rank among the top five at the position. In fact, Mariota once again finished with more fantasy points than Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. No, you’re not dropping one of those greats for Mariota. Although you could certainly make a case for starting Mariota over Rodgers or Brady in Week 4, given Atlanta’s uninspiring matchup versus Cleveland.

Jacoby Brissett, Browns

Again, you don’t have to add Brissett. He’s simply the best option among a mediocre group of the typically available passers. That’s not saying much. Still, it’s encouraging to see Brissett drop 17.9 points against a stingy Steelers defense — even without T.J. Watt. The Browns face the Falcons next week who haven’t been known to lock down quarterbacks. You shouldn’t expect a 20-point explosion out of Brissett. Instead, expect a performance that nets you around 14-17 points. In other words, his floor isn’t too low. Having a playmaker like Amari Cooper certainly helps, too. Brissett is a fine addition in 2-QB leagues or in redraft as a streaming option, but nothing more. There just may be no better quarterback left on the waiver wire.

Other QBs to Consider: Zach Wilson

Running Back

Khalil Herbert, Bears

Stats and analysis derived from Nic Bodiford’s 5 Takeaways column for Week 4. 

Herbert is a must-add this week after totaling 169 yards from scrimmage and two rushing touchdowns, playing in relief of injured starter, David Montgomery. Montgomery is believed to have suffered both an MCL sprain and high-ankle sprain, and a four-to-six week absence is expected. Side effects from high-ankle sprains often linger until the player has time to fully rehabilitate in the offseason, which means Herbert may be able to outplay Montgomery even after Montgomery returns.

Herbert played very well, averaging 7.85 yards per carry and 6.60 yards after contact per carry, and took 20 carries for 157 rushing yards, per data provided by TruMedia. Chicago’s No. 3 running back, pass-catching specialist Trestan Ebner, had just seven carries for just 23 yards.

Surprisingly, Herbert was also heavily involved in the passing game, running a route on 14 of the 14 passing plays for which he was on the field. Ebner ran a route on 85.7% of his passing down reps, six in all. Herbert promisingly secured both of his targets, taking the two catches for 12 yards, while Ebner failed to catch the one target he earned.

The 5-foot-9, 212-pound Herbert was in on all three of Chicago’s green zone snaps, inside the opponent’s 10-yard line. Head coach Matt Eberflus put the ball in his hands each time and Herbert responded by finding the end zone from one yard out. Ebner was not given a green zone snap.

Herbert will be a top-24 fantasy football running back against the New York Giants next week. Per The 33rd Team’s free interactive data tool, New York allowed the 13th-most PPR points per game to opposing running backs through Weeks 1 and 2. New York’s 5.0 yards per carry allowed ranks ninth in the NFL and their 12.9 yards per running back reception allowed is the league’s single highest average.

Jamaal Williams, Lions

If Williams is still available in your league, scoop him up immediately. He’s the top running back on waivers, as FantasyPros says he‘s on waivers in nearly half of all fantasy leagues. With D’Andre Swift reportedly nursing multiple injuries, Williams could be in-line for even more work… and he’s already been seeing considerable work. Williams has unseated Swift in every goal-line situation this season, and he’s mostly had a grip on short-yardage situations. It’s clear Dan Campbell and Co. view Williams as the bruiser in this backfield. If Swift misses time, Williams vaults to safe-RB2 territory. 

J.D. McKissic, Commanders

Somehow, McKissic is still on the waiver wire in 65.2% of leagues, per FantasyPros. McKissic once again was a top option in the Commanders’ passing game. He saw eight targets, which was the third-most on the team in Sunday’s defeat. Through three games, McKissic is also third in targets behind Curtis Samuel and Terry McLaurin. He’s averaged 10.4 points in that span and ranks as RB31 in PPR leagues. McKissic isn’t a must-start or even someone worthy of a flex spot yet, but his consistency has carried over from last season. If you’re lacking depth at the position, McKissic is a fine bench player with upside should Antonio Gibson miss time. Brian Robinson’s pending return should impact Gibson more than McKissic, though, since the latter is firmly planted as the team’s top receiving back.

Other RBs to Consider: Craig Reynolds

Wide Receiver

Greg Dortch, Cardinals

Don’t look now, but Dortch may be legit. He scored 13+ points in his first two games and followed it up with a 17-point performance in Week 3. The best part: Dortch’s only touchdown came in Week 2.  He’s seeing enough work to warrant legitimate flex consideration. Even if/when Rondale Moore comes back healthy, Dortch could’ve played his way into the Cardinals’ WR2 role alongside Marquise Brown. Of course, we should expect things to change when DeAndre Hopkins returns from suspension in three weeks. Until then, make sure Dortch isn’t on waivers in your leagues. And some free lineup advice for Week 4: Slot him into the flex spot against the Panthers next week. He’s a top waiver wire target.

Romeo Doubs, Packers

Stats and analysis derived from Nic Bodiford’s 5 Takeaways column for Week 4. 

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Romeo Doubs appears to have won the No. 1 wide receiver role, leading the team in all receiving categories; eight receptions on eight targets, 73 yards receiving, and one receiving touchdowns. He is a must-add and will be ranked inside the position’s top-36 next week.

Doubs repeatedly got open against Tampa Bay’s perimeter coverage, running 28 of his team-high 34 routes lined up on the outside. The rookie wide receiver was a menace with the ball in his hands, averaging 6 yards after the catch per reception. That very same 6 yards after the catch per reception rate is also his Weeks 1-3 average, which ranks No. 2 among all NFL rookie wide receivers with at least 10 targets this year.

Fantasy managers should be optimistic that Doubs and veteran wide receiver Allen Lazard can coexist moving forward, as Lazard took a team-high 15 snaps lined up in the slot. Doubs was used as a short-to-intermediate area weapon, averaging 3.13 air yards per target, while Lazard stretched the field vertically up the seam. The latter man averaged 15.33 air yards per target, the second highest on the team behind depth receiver Juwann Winfree.

Though Green Bay’s next opponent, the New England Patriots, boasts a sturdy coverage unit, Doubs has earned the trust of quarterback Aaron Rodgers and should retain reasonable volume even in a tough matchup. After Week 4, Green Bay gets a three-week passing party against the paltry coverage units of the New York Giants, New York Jets, and Washington Commanders.

Other WRs to Consider: Mack Hollins, Zay Jones, Randall Cobb

Tight End

David Njoku, Browns

Any tight end that puts up 20+ points usually deserves waiver consideration. If you need a tight end, here’s the upside Njoku brings to your lineup. He just scored 23.9 points on 10 targets, which was second on the team behind Amari Cooper’s 11 targets. No other Cleveland Brown saw more than four targets. The downside? Njoku only had six targets prior to Week 3. Luckily, there’s still no clear WR2 in Cleveland, so Njoku could snag that mantle. Njoku is likely the best tight end on waivers if you need some depth. Just don’t spend too much FAAB on him. 

Tyler Conklin, Jets

Unlike Njoku, Conklin has been super consistent through the first three weeks. He’s exceeded double-digits each week and averaged 12.6 points. Conklin has also seen at least seven targets in each game. Could the return of Zach Wilson add a roadblock to Conklin’s surprisingly smooth start? Of course, but until that happens, Conklin is a must-add at such a barren fantasy position. He’s even a borderline TE1 against a T.J. Watt-less Steelers in Week 4. 

Other TEs to Consider: Cameron Brate

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