League Office: Fantasy Football Waiver Wire – Week 5

We have now passed the quarter pole of the NFL season. But as was the case after each of the first three weekends of the campaign, it feels like we have more questions than answers about many players and teams.

However, some things that have become clear can help pave a path to fantasy championships for many managers.

Before tackling a list of this week’s waiver wire targets, here are some players who should be owned in nearly all leagues (especially PPR) and will be top priorities to add if they are available on the waiver wire:

*These are in no particular order*

  • WR John Brown (ownership: 63% on ESPN, 72% on Yahoo)
  • WR Geronimo Allison (ownership: 43% on ESPN, 47% on Yahoo)
  • WR Tyler Boyd (ownership: 67% on ESPN, 72% on Yahoo)
  • WR Corey Davis (ownership: 78% on ESPN, 80% on Yahoo)
  • WR Calvin Ridley (ownership: 82% on ESPN, 86% on Yahoo)
  • RB James White (ownership: 83% on ESPN, 76% on Yahoo)
  • RB Tarik Cohen (ownership: 60% on ESPN, 62% on Yahoo)
  • RB Nyheim Hines (ownership: 16% on ESPN, 14% on Yahoo)

With solid-producing receiver targets like John Brown, Geronimo Allison, Tyler Boyd, and Corey Davis and pass-catching running backs, Tarik Cohen and Nyheim Hines, fantasy teams hurt by poor production or injuries at either position can find what they need to pull back into the title chase. Teams that have enjoyed a less adverse first four weeks of the season have a chance to add some great depth to their championship-level squad.

Whether these players are either not available in a league or if a waiver claim on them should go unsuccessful, there are plenty of other targets to consider. From streaming options to high-upside stashes, the waiver wire should have plenty of worthy targets for claim submissions this week.

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Quarterbacks

Add

Blake Bortles

(ownership: 18% on ESPN, 32% on Yahoo)

  • With Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette suffering another hamstring tweak after returning to action in Week 4, Blake Bortles should be called upon to help his team keep pace with a high-scoring Kansas City Chiefs team in Week 5. While the Jaguars defense stands the best chance so far at quieting the Chiefs’ attack, Bortles should get plenty of opportunities to sling the rock and produce as a viable streaming option.

Marcus Mariota

(ownership: 20% on ESPN, 33% on Yahoo)

  • After suffering an elbow injury in the opener, Marcus Mariota looked to be over the effects of the nerve issue in Week 4. Mariota passed for 344 yards and two scores against the Philadelphia Eagles and also ran for 46 yards and another score en route to an overtime victory. With receiver Corey Davis finally looking like the wideout who was worthy of the No. 5 selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, Mariota is not only a nice streaming option against the Buffalo Bills in Week 5, but could prove to be the QB1 some thought he would develop to be.
Drop

Ryan Fitzpatrick

(ownership: 87% on ESPN, 76% on Yahoo)

  • There’s a reason Ryan Fitzpatrick has served as the backup quarterback for seven teams during his NFL career: He’s a good passer who can learn playbooks quickly, but he’s careless with the football at times and doesn’t display the consistency needed to be a franchise quarterback. While capable of putting on dazzling shows at times, the Fitz-magic act always comes to an end as suddenly as it began. After being benched for Jameis Winston against the Chicago Bears in Week 4, the curtain appears to have come down and signaled the closing of the Fitz-magic show for the 2018 season. Thank him for the fantasy points and the great show, but kindly return him to the waiver wire.

Others To Place On Waivers: Eli Manning (14% ESPN, 30% Yahoo)

Running Backs

Add

T.J. Yeldon

(ownership: 47% on ESPN, 50% on Yahoo)

  • As mentioned above, Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette left the Week 4 contest against the New York Jets after aggravating a hamstring strain that forced him out of a Week 1 contest early and also kept him out of the next two games. With Fournette’s status in doubt for the next few weeks, Yeldon is a priority add.
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Others To Place Claims On: Austin Ekeler (59% ESPN, 64% Yahoo), Mike Davis (0% ESPN, 2% Yahoo)

Drop

Rashaad Penny

(ownership: 49% on ESPN, 45% on Yahoo)

  • Despite Chris Carson missing the Seattle Seahawks’ Week 4 game against the Arizona Cardinals, first-round rookie Rashaad Penny received just nine carries. Mike Davis dominated the touches, rushing for more than 100 yards and two scores while also hauling in four receptions. With Carson’s absence not expected to be long, Penny should find himself as the third option in what could turn into a committee.

Others To Place On Waivers: LeGarrette Blount (16% ESPN, 15% Yahoo), Latavius Murray (53% ESPN, 41% Yahoo)

Wide Receivers

Add

Keke Coutee

(ownership: 0% on ESPN, 2% on Yahoo)

  • After missing the first three games of the season with a hamstring injury, Keke Coutee made his Houston Texans debut in Week 4 and exploded on the scene with 11 receptions on 15 targets for 109 yards. Working heavily in the short-passing game, Coutee could be a solid PPR option for the rest of the season. However, it is also worth noting that Will Fuller exited the game early with a hamstring issue of his own. Fuller’s presence may curb Coutee’s production, but Fuller has missed a handful of games in each of his pro seasons, including six in 2017. Coutee is a high-priority add this week.

Others To Place Claims On: Christian Kirk (12% ESPN, 12% Yahoo), Dede Westbrook (12% ESPN, 17% Yahoo)

Drop

Robby Anderson

(ownership: 53% on ESPN, 42% on Yahoo)

  • Drafted as a high-end WR3 before the season, Robby Anderson seemed to be the New York Jets top receiver this season. However, that has not come to fruition, as Quincy Enunwa has emerged as the top Jets pass-catcher. Without a solid rapport with rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, Anderson is an after-thought in the Jets offense and is best suited for life on the waiver in fantasy leagues.

Others To Place On Waviers: Danny Amendola (35% ESPN, 15% Yahoo), Chris Hogan (85% ESPN, 83% Yahoo)

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Tight Ends

Add

Hayden Hurst

  • After being drafted in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Hayden Hurst seemed poised for a solid season with the Baltimore Ravens. However, a foot injury has sidelined him for the first quarter of the season. But Hurst returned to practice ahead of Week 4. While he was inactive against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Hurst’s return seems destined to come very soon. With bye weeks picking up and injuries to the tight end position still mounting, Hayden could be a league-winner at the position and should be a priority add this week.

Others To Place Claims On: Tyler Kroft (0% ESPN, 1% Yahoo), Nick Vannett (0% ESPN, 1% Yahoo)

Drop

Will Dissly

(ownership: 44% on ESPN, 35% on Yahoo)

  • Bursting onto the fantasy football scene with a huge Week 1 game and then following it up with a touchdown against the Chicago Bears in Week 2, Will Dissly’s season has come to an end because of an injury. The Seattle Seahawks tight end was on the verge of dropping from fantasy relevance after a one-catch game in Week 3 and only registering a single catch in Week 4 before the injury. Now out for the season, this waiver wire find can be returned to the land from which he came to be on a fantasy roster.

Others To Place On Waivers: Tyler Eifert (67% ESPN, 64% Yahoo) *also suffered injury in Week 4

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Joshua Cook

Joshua Cook

Writer Fantasy Football Desk at Sports Talk Line
Fantasy enthusiast armed with whit, sarcasm and some knowledge, too. The Fantasy Sports Chef is a fantasy writer for SportsTalkLine.com.
Joshua Cook