Winning on the Waiver Wire | Week 5 2017

Latavius Murray Minnesota Vikings running back

Thanks to injuries and depth chart changes we have a number of week 5 waiver wire pickups to consider.  With 25% of the 2017 fantasy football season in the rearview mirror be sure to prioritize your waiver wire adds based on positional needs for your team.

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Players appearing in my weekly waiver wire article are owned in 50% or fewer of Yahoo leaguesSuggested FAAB bids appear in green and are based on 12 team standard.

Winning on the Waiver Wire | Week 5

Week 5 Waiver Wire | Must Adds

Latavius Murray – Minnesota Vikings (11% owned) | 21-31% FAAB

Minnesota Vikings logo with white horns and yellow hairFantasy owners dread the words non-contact injury, and rightfully so as MRI’s and season ending injurie announcements soon follow.  Dalvin Cook was running well against the Lions before exiting with the knee injury while change of pace option Jerick McKinnon also suffered an ankle injury (before eventually returning).  My suggested FAAB bid assumes that Cook’s injury is an ACL, or is serious enough to keep him out 8+ weeks and that Murray will take over the early down role while McKinnon remains the change of pace back.

We’ll obviously want to keep a close eye on news of a possible RBBC out of Minnesota, however Latavius was the clear cut RB1 option after Cook’s departure totaling 7 carries for 21 yards with 2 receptions for 8 yards (McKinnon 2 carries for 0 yards).

While he won’t replace Dalvin Cook’s production, Latavius put up solid numbers for the Raiders and with 15+ touches per game for the Vikings he should be able to return RB2/Flex value in 12 team standard leagues.  For those who worry about the offensive line PFF ranked them 14th overall coming into the season which isn’t as bad as their 29th place finish from a season ago.

Eddie Lacy – Seattle Seahawks (17% owned)| 16-21% FAAB

Seattle Seahawks blue bird logo pngChris Carson went down to an absolutely brutal injury yesterday before being carted off with his leg in an aircast, leaving the starting RB job up for grabs once again in Seattle.  The only problem is… no one is sure who gets first crack at the job.  Eddie Lacy was inactive for weeks 2 and 3, and then it was Thomas Rawls’ turn to be a surprise inactive in week 4.  For now owners will need to follow the touches as Eddie Lacy turned 11 carries into 52 yards against the Indianapolis Colts while Thomas Rawls has just five carries for four yards all season long.  For those interested in J.D. McKissic he did look terrific scoring two touchdowns on Sunday Night Football, however he is a converted wide receiver who is only expected to fill in temporarily while C.J. Prosise is sidelined.  Either way it looks like a RBBC in Seattle with Eddie Lacy getting first crack at the early down work.


Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers (12% owned) | 11-16% FAAB

Green Bay Packers png logoTy Montgomery is looking doubtful for week 5, Jamaal Williams (knee) is expected to be out as well, meaning it will be Aaron Jones starting at running back for the Green Bay Packers in week 5 against the Dallas Cowboys.  After Ty Mont left with injury, Aaron Jones carried the ball 13 times for 49 yards and a TD against the Chicago Bears and now gets to face a Dallas Cowboys defense that is allowing 20% more than average to opposing running backs.  Jones will likely only have value for as long as Montgomery and Williams are out, but he should return solid RB2 value during that time.


Andre Ellington – Arizona Cardinals (22% owned) | 11-16% FAAB

Red Arizona Cardinals logo on a grey backgroundAndre Ellington (45 snaps) led the Cardinals backfield in snaps played for the 2nd straight week while also seeing an obscene amount of targets (14) which he was able to turn into 9 receptions for 86 yards.  If you play in PPR leagues Ellington is an absolute must add over Latavius (and you’ll also have to bump up the FAAB bid) as he will continue to operate as the pass catching back for a Cardinals team that lacks much of a run game thanks to a decimated offensive line.  In standard leagues Andre remains a strong suggested add as you’re basically getting a receiver at the running back position who has now amassed 22 targets in just 2 weeks.


Devin Funchess – Carolina Panthers (24% owned) | 11-16% FAAB

Carolina Panthers black panther logo with neon blue outline pngWith Greg Olsen lost for most of the season the Panthers needed to find a big body to step up, and it was Devin Funchess playing a major role in an upset over the New England Patriots as he converted 9 targets into 7 receptions for 70 yards and 2 touchdowns.  If you’ve read my articles for any length of time you know I like to follow the targets and the signs here are VERY promising as Funchess saw 10 targets in week 3 followed by 9 targets in week 4.  If you need a wide receiver Funchess is my top waiver wire WR pickup for week 5.


Will Fuller V – Houston Texans (30% owned) | 11% FAAB

Blue and red Houston Texans logo on a grey backgroundWill Fuller returned from a broken collarbone this past Sunday, and promptly matched his TD total from all of last year as he hauled in two touchdowns as part of his 4 receptions for 35 yards.  Deshaun Watson is playing like a rookie of the year candidate, and while DeAndre Hopkins should continue to receiver double digit targets it looks like Fuller will slide in comfortably to the WR2 role for a team that is short on reliable receiving options.  If you’re unable to pick up Funchess, Will Fuller is a fine consolation prize off the week 5 waiver wire.


Week 5 Waiver Wire | Suggested Adds



Deshaun Watson – Houston Texans (34% owned) | 6-11% FAAB

Blue and red Houston Texans logo on a grey backgroundThere is an imbalance in the fantasy football world.  Eli Manning is owned in 59% of leagues, while Deshaun Watson is owned in just 34%.  I think that gets corrected this week as Watson turned in another impressive performance throwing for 283 yards and 4 touchdowns while adding 4 carries for 24 yards and a rushing TD.  Depending on just how badly you need a QB (perhaps you’re streaming?) I could see an increase in the FAAB bid as Watson provides a solid floor with his legs that QB’s like Eli don’t (Watson eclipsed 40+ rushing yards in both weeks 2 and 3).  Watson’s performance against the Titans will likely be his high watermark this season, however he makes for a terrific backup or even streaming play as the Texans get the Browns in week 6 and the Colts in week 8.

Waiver Wire Notes: If you don’t land Watson, Jared Goff is a decent waiver wire replacement however his upcoming schedule is a good deal tougher.


Jaron Brown – Arizona Cardinals (5% owned) | 8% FAAB

Red Arizona Cardinals logo on a grey backgroundJaron Brown is quietly putting up some eye-popping numbers for the Cardinals as he now as 29 targets over the past 3 weeks (with games of 11 and 12 targets!).  His week 4 performance almost certainly opened some eyes as he caught 8 passes for 105 yards while also playing 94% of the snaps for Arizona with John Brown and JJ Nelson both active.  John Brown deals with constant injuries, and J.J. Nelson has been hampered by a bad hammy as well which is helping to contribute to Jaron’s current breakout numbers.  He is a near must-add at this point after 3 solid weeks of fantasy production for a Cardinals offense that loves to throw the ball.


Alex Collins – Baltimore Ravens (9% owned) | 6% FAAB

Baltimore Ravens purple bird logo on grey backgroundRumors swirled all week long that Alex Collins would see a “significant increase” in carries this week which led to… exactly the same number of carries as the previous week.  It was deja vu all over again for Collins as he handled 9 carries for 82 yards in back to back weeks. The one major difference was that Collins started the game, however a 2nd quarter fumble could put him right back into Harbaugh’s doghouse  Alex appears to be a player on the rise who SHOULD take over the starting role at some point, but it could take a while as Allen is still seeing the most snaps while being involved in the passing game and Terrance West does a great job distributing Gatorade to thirsty players during timeouts.



John Brown – Arizona Cardinals (39% owned) | 5% FAAB

Red Arizona Cardinals logo on a grey backgroundGiven his already extensive injury history to this point in his career owning John Brown will never be an enjoyable experience.  You’ll have to sit by your computer (or have your phone handy) before every Cardinals game as you wait to see if he is active, however, when he is active Brown is a decent WR3 that should be owned in most formats.  In his only game this season (week 1 at Detroit) John Brown saw 9 targets


Zay Jones – Buffalo Bills (15% owned) | 2% FAAB

Buffalo Bills 100x100 png logoWith Jordan Matthews out for at least a month the Buffalo Bills will now turn to Zay Jones as their top overall WR with Andre Holmes settling in as the WR2.  Zay had 5 targets against the Atlanta Falcons which he was only able to convert into 1 reception for 18 yards however the schedule for the Bills does look good for receivers with CIN, BYE, TB, OAK and NYJ coming up.  Jones has been a massive disappointment so far, but with few receiving options outside of Charles Clay available it looks like Zay’s target share should be consistently in the 6-8 range going forward.

Wayne Gallman – New York Giants (2% owned) | 1% FAAB

New York GiantsPaul Perkins suffered a rib injury against the Bucs and was ruled out in the 3rd quarter, which is when Wayne Gallman went to work.  Wayne finished his day with 11 carries for 42 yards while adding 2 receptions for 8 yards and a TD.  The running back situation for the Giants is every bit as murky as the one in Baltimore, however Gallman looked good with the touches he was given, and if Perkins is out for any amount of time Wayne could start to carve out a role as the early down back in New York.


The Waiver Wire Tight End Carousel:

Looking to add a tight end off the week 5 waiver wire? My top 5 in order:

  1. Evan Engram
  2. Cameron Brate
  3. Austin Seferian-Jenkins
  4. Jesse James
  5. Benjamin Watson


Taylor Gabriel – Atlanta Falcons (22% owned) | 1% FAAB

Atlanta Falcons red falcon logo pngThe Falcons lost both Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu to injury against the Bills, however with a BYE coming up in week 5 both players will have 2 weeks to get healthy before their week 6 matchup with the Miami Dolphins.  The Atlanta Falcons have already come out and said they don’t expect Julio Jones to miss any playing time so we’ll likely need to keep an eye out for Sanu injury updates during the week.  If the Falcons had a game in week 5 Gabriel would likely be higher as he would contribue immediately, however he is more of a long term hold while we wait for an injury update on Mohamed Sanu.


Deep league waiver wire pickups

  • Josh Gordon – Cleveland Browns (6% owned)
    • Reddit’s dedication to Josh Gordon knows no bounds as one ambitious redditor tracked down tweets detailing Josh Gordon boarding a plane for Cleveland, followed by an Uber driver picking him up at the airport and then Josh Gordon snapping a picture winking.  Perhaps his dealer lives in Cleveland, perhaps he is being reinstated.  Either way, if you play in deep leagues and have the roster space for a stash you can’t wait for the official reinstatement.
  • Tyler Kroft – Cincinnati Bengals (1% owned)
    • Filled in admirably for an injured Tyler Eifert with 7 targets, 6 receptions, 68 yards, 2 TD’s. Gets the Bills next week and then a BYE so not much long term value.
  • Ricardo Louis – Cleveland Browns (0% owned)
    • 15 targets the last 2 weeks.  Appears to be settling in as the WR2.
  • J.D. McKissic – Seattle Seahawks (0% owned)
    • McKissic filled in for an injured Prosise and looked terrific on a TD run late in the 3rd quarter against the Colts before catching another touchdown late in garbage time.  Could be a PPR option in deep leagues depending on how long C.J. Prosise is out.
  • Jeremy Kerley – New York Jets (2% owned)
    • 10 targets, 10 receptions last 2 weeks.  Seeing decent looks out of the slot, could be worth adding in 16+ team leagues
  • Trent Taylor – San Francisco 49ers (0% owned)
    • 18 targets last three weeks (10 targets in week 4)
  • Andre Holmes – Buffalo Bills (0% owned)
    • Should step in as the new WR2 for the Bills with Jordan Matthews sidelined

Monday Night Special

If you play on Yahoo, or in a similar format, you’re allowed to drop bench players who have already played to pick someone up off the waiver wire ahead of tonight’s game.  This is a HUGE advantage as you basically get a free week 5 waiver wire addition if you’re planning to drop one of your bench players anyway.

Josh Doctson – Washington Redskins (11% owned)

Washington Redskins yellow circle logo with white feathers pngIts surprising a guy that has had just 3 targets and 1 reception all season is 11% owned, but if you saw him leap over his defender and then bully his way into the end zone last week in primetime you know what the hype is about.  For whatever reason Kirk Cousins and Terrelle Pryor have not worked out, and rumors are swirling that Doctson is a player to watch.  If you’re looking for a wide receiver off the week 5 waiver wire, grab Doctson ahead of tonight’s game just in case he breaks out.  If he doesn’t materialize you can always drop him back to waivers before they run this Wednesday morning.


As a former resident of Las Vegas, and someone who used to work in multiple casinos on the strip I was absolutely shocked and horrified to read the news this morning.  My thoughts are with the people of Las Vegas today as they attempt to recover from this absolutely senseless tragedy.  I wish everyone who was injured a speedy recovery.



Fantasy Football


  1. Should I drop Big Ben for Watson? Or is it silly to chase those points. I know Big Ben is bad away and he’s had 3 away games, but he has yet to throw more than 300 yards.

  2. I have hogan, Allen & J jones on a 2 WR standard and 1 flex. Is it worth grabbing will fuller with my waiver #2? My rbs are Hyde mixon Ingram.. I probably need an RB first.

  3. Like many people, I lost Dalvin Cook this week. Looking to add a replacement, but obviously don’t want to use my #1 waiver order spot on a shared backfield. What’s the safest pick: L. Murray, E. Lacy, Ellington, or even a Alex Collins who’s been getting more carries in Baltimore.

    Thanks for the advice


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