With just Monday Night Football still to happen, now is that glorious time of the week when we turn our attention to Week 5 and attack the fantasy football waiver wire.
To be as helpful as possible to you dear readers, I’ve highlighted two players at each position, plus a handful of other names to target ranging from a little over 50% rostered in Sleeper leagues to well under the 30% mark. I’ve also included a few players to be cautious of to further help give you the edge over your leaguemates. No matter your league size, there’s someone in here for you.
Jared Goff, Detroit Lions (50% rostered)
Through four weeks of NFL football, Jared Goff is the QB5 in fantasy. The QB5. That means there are only four other quarterbacks who have played better than him so far this season. He’s coming off his best game of the year, tossing 378 yards and 4 touchdowns against the Seahawks. This Lions offense is for real, no matter who’s healthy, and this is your last chance to snag a TOP FIVE FANTASY QB OFF WAIVERS.
Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks (18% rostered)
It might feel weird to put your faith in Geno but you can’t deny how the Seahawks’ QB has started the year. Currently the QB9, Smith has thrown for over 320 yards and 2 touchdowns in each of his last two games. He added a rushing touchdown Sunday against the Lions just for good measure. While Geno might not finish the season a QB1, he’s playing like it right now and is a perfect fill-in for QB needy teams.
Other Targets: Jameis Winston (41%), Kenny Pickett (14%), Teddy Bridgewater (2%)
Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins (49% rostered)
The Dolphins’ backfield has been frustrating for fantasy managers so far this season. However, after four weeks, we might be getting a clearer picture of the hierarchy in Miami. Mostert has led the backfield in carries the last three weeks and is coming off a 17 touch game in which he had a 69.2% opportunity share (his largest of the season). Chase Edmonds has scored with more regularity but he hasn’t seen over seven touches since Week 1. As long as Mostert leads this backfield in touches, he’s worth rostering.
Mike Boone, Denver Broncos (0% rostered)
Javonte Williams sadly left the Broncos’ Raiders game Sunday with what’s now been confirmed as a torn ACL. With Williams out and Melvin Gordon also dealing with injuries, Boone saw an increase in work, touching the ball 4 times for 29 yards. While Boone will see more work with Williams out—especially in the passing game—Gordon is clearly now the No. 1 back in Denver. Boone’s fantasy ceiling is capped if all goalline work goes to Gordon as it did in Week 4. Regardless, both backs (Gordon 76% rostered) are must targets this week on waivers.
Caution: Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts (66% rostered)
Jonathan Taylor left Sunday’s game with a high-ankle sprain. The Colts play Thursday night this week. Put those together and Hines could be in for an RB1 workload in Week 5. If Hines is available on your waiver wire, add him and start him this week assuming Taylor is out. Hines is a caution though as he doesn’t have much season long upside assuming Taylor isn’t out for long. Monitor Taylor’s availability for Thursday night closely.
Other Targets: Brian Robinson (56%), Rachaad White (39%), Latavius Murray (0%)
George Pickens, Pittsburgh Steelers (58% rostered)
The Steelers finally made the transition away from Mitch Trubisky Sunday, benching him at halftime in favor of the rookie Kenny Pickett. As a result, Pickens saw his targets per route increase drastically, from 28.6% in the first half to 33.3% in the second (per PFF). He finished the game with 6 catches on 8 targets for 102 yards. We know the rookie receiver can ball and a permanent transition to Pickett could mean more targets are coming Pickens way.
Corey Davis, New York Jets (29% rostered)
In Zach Wilson’s first game back, Davis led the Jets in targets with seven. He caught 5 of them for 74 yards and a touchdown. While Davis is sure to have hot and cold weeks given the depth the Jets have at receiver, his target share in Wilson’s return is worth noting. We might see Davis remain in the offense as a go-to target for Wilson which gives him solid WR3/Flex value moving forward.
Caution: DeVante Parker, New England Patriots (38% rostered)
Parker has enjoyed a two game stretch of solid fantasy production. Last week he finished with 156 yards and this week vs the Packers he caught 2 balls for 24 yards and a touchdown. Fantasy managers be warned as this uptick in production has conceded with Jakobi Meyers—the Patriots’ true No. 1 WR—sidelined. Oh, and the Patriots are maybe starting their third-string QB moving forward?
Other Targets: Romeo Doubs (74%), Jahan Dotson (66%), Michael Gallup (58%), Kadarius Toney (38%)
David Njoku, Cleveland Browns (65% rostered)
For the second week in a row, Njoku saw at least 7 targets and over 70 yards receiving. He already boasted one of the best PER ratings among tight ends heading into Week 4, averaging 1.58 points per target. Yet another strong outing will only continue to keep him towards the top of those ranks. Njoku is seeing a reliable target share and has proven to make the most out of those targets.
Caution?: Will Dissly, Seahawks (5% rostered)
Dissly is currently the TE9 in .5PPR because all the man does is catch touchdowns. Seriously though, he’s top 3 among TEs in touchdown dependency and that’s not including his Week 4 performance in which, wait for it, he caught another touchdown. On the one hand, touchdown production is very fickle and hard to rely on. On the other hand, if Geno Smith is going to make sure Dissly gets his weekly touchdown, you don’t want to leave that on your waiver wire. My recommendation is don’t spend too much of your FAAB on Dissly but he’s not a bad target especially in deep leagues.
Other Targets: Robert Tonyan (41%), Mo Alie-Cox (6%)