Quick note: I’m moving to dollars out of a 100-dollar budget going forward.
Percentages at this time of the year are tougher given you’re estimating remaining budgets. Additionally, you know your league best. If it’s an aggressive league, you may have to spend more or vice versa, and we’re going to use $5 increments (mostly); you can tweak from there.
Week 5 Waiver Wire Pickups: QBs – Quarterback Streamers
Carson Palmer, ARI (63%) – Even after getting picked off three times in Week 1, Palmer still has at least 17 points in each game with 21-plus in the last three. Palmer has thrown for at least 325 yards in those three games and faces the woeful Eagles pass defense.
Eli Manning, NYG (59%) – Since switching things up after Week 2, Manning had 47 and 49 attempts the last two weeks with 654 yards, five touchdowns and 30.3/30.6 Fantasy points. The Chargers are a bit tougher matchup wise, but Manning should have a good week.
Andy Dalton, CIN (46%) – Continuing with the adjustment theme, since Bill Lazor became the offensive coordinator, Dalton has 498 yards, six touchdowns and 51.6 Fantasy points in two games. The Bengals host the Bills this week.
Deshaun Watson, HOU (34%) – Watson isn’t going to be Top 5 quarterback all year, but the rushing potential is up there with Tyrod Taylor, and he’s clicked in the passing game the past two weeks with 584 yards and six touchdowns.
Tyrod Taylor, BUF (45%) – Taylor has been up-and-down this year, and heading to Cincinnati isn’t easy.
DON’T: Brian Hoyer, SF (8%) – Sure, he’s facing the Colts pass defense, but Hoyer isn’t working with much and has only thrown for touchdowns in one game. There’s potential, sure, but you have to be desperate.
Week 5 Waiver Wire Pickups: RBs
Smallwood fills the Darren Sproles roll and more, and is the running back I trust more. Foreman isn’t going to hit 60 percent for a while, but Foreman needs to be owned everywhere given his ability and better production in tough-yardage situations.
FAB Dollars: $30
Latavius Murray, Jerick McKinnon, MIN (17%, 3%) – The Dalvin Cook injury is a team-killer both for the Vikings and Fantasy owners. It’s painful to see especially for Cook with how good he is and was playing. Nevertheless, we need to consider the backup options, although, neither is overly exciting. Murray’s value hinged on the power of the Raiders offense and the high number of scoring opportunities. McKinnon hasn’t done much with his increased touches in the past besides show that he can be an explosive complement option. Murray is the better option and will be the lead running back, but McKinnon has some PPR appeal and caught 35-of-39 targets over the final eight games last year (Pat Shurmur took over after their seventh game).
FAB Dollars: $30 Murray, $20 McKinnon
Alvin Kamara, NO (46%) – It took the Saints a few years, but they finally found their new Sproles. Until Adrian Peterson retires, gets traded or is released, the only trustworthy option (even in Non-PPR) is Kamara, who’s on pace for 80 receptions.
FAB Dollars: $10-15
Thomas Rawls, Eddie Lacy, SEA (29%, 19%) – With Chris Carson out for the season (broken ankle), we’re back to Rawls and Lacy. My advice? Avoid this backfield altogether. Pete Carroll hinted at Rawls being the option, but Lacy saw the work in Week 4 with Rawls inactive. Don’t forget that C.J. Prosise likely returns this week too. Oh, and then there is J.D. McKissic… more on him soon.
FAB Dollars: $5-10, Rawls first… maybe
Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams, GB (11%, 10%) – Don’t go overboard here for two reasons. First, Ty Montgomery might be ready for Week 5. Yea, I’m surprised too. Out for 4-6 weeks, out for 2-4 weeks, week-to-week, possibly ready for Week 5… okay? Second, Williams isn’t officially out either. If he is, Jones is a decent pickup, especially if Montgomery can’t return. However, take note that he was fourth on the depth chart and isn’t built to be a workhorse/lead option. Jones is explosive but better in the change of pace role.
FAB Dollars: $10-15 on Jones if Montgomery and Williams are out, $5-10 if not. Same on Williams if Montgomery out and he’s okay for Week 5.
Alex Collins, BAL (10%) – Javorius Allen isn’t going anywhere as the pass-catching back, but Collins is now the lead option, which also makes Terrance West expendable. Collins is running better than when he was in Seattle, and while it’s possible that it’s more to do with the offensive line, he’s worth an add.
FAB Dollars: $5
Either way, Ellington has 27 targets and 17 receptions in the three games since losing David Johnson.
FAB Dollars: $5 in PPR
Elijah McGuire, NYJ (2%) – Bilal Powell is the top option, and Matt Forte may return and muddy this up, but as mentioned in previous “For the Future” portions, McGuire is explosive and similar to Tarik Cohen.
FAB Dollars: $2-5
FOR THE FUTURE: Matt Breida, SF (12%); James Conner, PIT (7%); Chris Ivory, JAX (3%); Austin Ekeler, LAC (0%) – Breida can technically fit in the “Last Chance” portion because I can’t keep warning Carlos Hyde owners every week. It’s also that time of year to start thinking about your backup plans for the lead options to these running backs.
DON’T: J.D. McKissic, SEA (3%) – Rawls, Lacy and Prosise. That’s all I need to say. Sure, McKissic went off Sunday night, but this backfield is a mess and then some.
Week 5 Waiver Wire Pickups: WRs
LAST CHANCE: Devin Funchess, CAR (25%) – So, Funchess is simply WR17 on the year with 68, 58 and 70 yards in the past three games. You don’t want him? Fine, leave him for me everywhere… although, I already picked him up two weeks ago.
FAB Dollars: $20
Will Fuller, HOU (32%) – Like McGuire, if you paid attention to the “For the Future” portion, Fuller is already on your team. Nice return game, huh? Of course, Fuller isn’t going to do that every week, and he’s still wildly inconsistent, even with his hands. However, he’s the No. 2 receiver for the Texans and emerging Watson.
FAB Dollars: $10
Tyler Lockett, SEA (42%) – Lockett is flashing the potential that had everyone over-hyping him last year. While Paul Richardson is going to create inconsistency between the two, Lockett’s ceiling is higher and better pickup.
FAB Dollars: $10
Cooper Kupp, LAR (44%) – It’s going to be hard to trust any receiver for the Rams, even Sammy Watkins, but Kupp could end up being the most consistent as Jared Goff’s most sure-handed option.
FAB Dollars: $5
Geronimo Allison, GB (13%) – If Davante Adams misses time, double Allison’s FAB amount. Even if Adams returns this week, Allison is a wide receiver handcuff of sorts with WR4 value and a ceiling for more any time Jordy Nelson, Adams or Randall Cobb misses time. He actually fills the Adams role better than Cobb’s.
FAB Dollars: $5
Taylor Gabriel, ATL (22%) – The Falcons have their bye at an opportune time with Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu injured. It appears Jones should return after the bye, but Sanu will miss 2-4 weeks. Gabriel gets a value and consistency boost with either receiver out.
FAB Dollars: $5
Ricardo Louis, CLE (0%) – We had to take that chance on Rishard Higgins, and unfortunately, not every waiver wire pickup pans out. Louis has 15 targets in the last two games, and Higgins didn’t have a single one last week despite being on the field more than Kenny Britt. Hue Jackson also said Britt would have been benched if not for injuries at the position.
FAB Dollars: $2-3
FOR THE FUTURE: John Ross, CIN (6%) – Ross could return in Week 5 and finally get on track, and we shouldn’t forget about his potential and ability. Giovani Bernard is the Bengals second leading receiver with Tyler Kroft jumping all the way to third after basically one big game. The Bengals need Ross.
Week 5 Waiver Wire Pickups: TEs
LAST CHANCE: Jared Cook, OAK (55%) – I’m so happy I don’t have to write about Cook anymore, although I’m conflicted by the pain of having to recommend him once again. Hey, I’ve railed against him in the past for showing up 3-4 times a season and getting owners excited for nothing. Starting Cook is just an accident waiting to happen.
But alas, 25 targets in four games is hard to ignore… although, EJ Manuel adds a level of uncertainty.
FAB Dollars: $5
Evan Engram, NYG (46%) – I’d grab Engram over Cook, as I’ll echo my pre-draft assessment: he’s a wide receiver masquerading as a tight end. Engram has at least 40 yards in each game with 30 targets and 19 receptions already.
FAB Dollars: $5-10
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, NYJ (7%) – The Jets – surprisingly not tanking for 0-16 – need weapons, and Seferian-Jenkins is showing everyone the ability he has. That ability has never been a question, just his inability to avoid off-field issues.
FAB Dollars: $2-5
Ben Watson, BAL (24%) – Just call him “Ravens tight end.” The Ravens tight end is always Fantasy worthy.
FAB Dollars: $2-5
Quick note: Splitting the buy low into two sections
buy low – They’re Definitely Better
Matt Ryan – We knew about the regression; he’s still better than this
Marcus Mariota – He’s a QB1
Jay Ajayi – Could qualify for both categories with that knee, but talent hasn’t left him
Joe Mixon – Needs to read the field better and can develop with continued work
DeMarco Murray – More inconsistent than last year but more touchdowns are coming
Christian McCaffrey – The Panthers have to be smarter than this and get him more touches, plus… Jonathan Stewart (below)
Demaryius Thomas – Too talented to not turn it around
Amari Cooper – Despite my disdain for the hype he receives, still much better than this
Golden Tate – Remember how slow he started last year or what he did in Week 1?
Jimmy Graham – If healthy, easily Top 10 tight end
buy low – Could be a Bust this Year, but Potential Reward
Ben Roethlisberger – Still avoid on road and wait until Week 7, if possible
Melvin Gordon – Like Ajayi with the knee but even more concern with YPT and touchdown dependent
Marshawn Lynch – Latavius Murray didn’t need 200 carries or 800 rushing yards to score 12 times and near RB1 status last year
Isaiah Crowell – DeShone Kizer is killing the offense (yes, I’m doing a told-ya-so) but if a change comes
Mark Ingram – Maybe the Saints move on from Peterson, or he does from them
Martavis Bryant – See: Roethlisberger
Jamison Crowder – Was Kirk Cousins’ boy last year. Maybe they can rekindle the romance?
Eric Ebron – Might remember what those things at the end of his arms are for
Cam Newton – He doesn’t face the Patriots again
LeGarrette Blount – See: Smallwood
Jonathan Stewart – Injury prone, really that simple
Ameer Abdullah – Only if someone thinking Top 15-ish happening – getting no use inside the 10
Chris Hogan – Fifteen receptions, four touchdowns – I know it’s the Patriots, but…
Larry Fitzgerald – Love him, but fades in the second half, Brown is back (for now) and volume dependent
Sammy Watkins – If even can after last week, but schedule gets brutal after the Cowboys
Coby Fleener – Already quieted down, and now Willie Snead returns
Main Image Credit: Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini
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