The Waiver Wire: Week 5

Just like that, it’s time to start thinking about week 5. Whether you’re 5-0 or 0-5 or anywhere in between DFF is here to help you. Injuries took a toll this week, and with byes ongoing, we’ll give you options for your Dynasty or Redraft leagues to get you through this rough patch. And because man or woman can not survive on waiver wire content alone don’t forget to check out all of our other content to help you dominate your leagues. We have podcasts (I’m partial to the DynastyTradesHQ podcast), start/sits, IDP and even DFS content for your check out every week.

Shane Says:

Wide Receiver:

Keke Coutee: Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Will Fuller has an injury. There’s a chance that Fuller misses some time. Someone needs to account for the 29% target share that Fuller has seen on a weekly basis. DeAndre Hopkins should see an increase in targets, but with a 30.1% target share already there’s only so much room for his targets to increase (in theory at least).

Coutee is the guy to pick up and is an immediate plug and play after seeing 15 targets on Sunday. Coutee was able to turn that massive target load into 11 receptions and 109 yards on Sunday. Those 11 receptions broke a Texan record for a player making their NFL debut, besting Andre Johnson’s old mark of 6. DeShaun Watson has shown he likes to limit the majority of his targets to two players and with Fuller down Coutee would be that second target.

Taylor Gabriel: After a mini-breakout in 2016 with Atlanta Gabriel had a disappointing 2017. Signed as a free agent this offseason by the Bears, his signing was met with shrugs by most. With Anthony Miller suffering a dislocated shoulder last week, Gabriel will see a lot more playing time going forward. This week Gabriel stepped up with 7 receptions and 104 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. Fade the touchdowns, Gabriel entered this week with 9 career TDs, but Gabriel is an excellent bye week streaming option, particularly in games with shootout potential. 

Chester Rogers: Rogers stepped up Sunday big time. With T.Y. Hilton missing time for a chest injury and then finally being ruled out of the game with a hamstring injury, Rogers went off for 8 for 85 on Sunday. Head Coach Frank Reich has already indicated that Hilton will miss this Thursday’s game against the Patriots. Under the assumption that Andrew Luck will need to throw to someone, Rogers is worth an add. He does have a WR1 week in his past, week 10 last season, with 22.7 fantasy points, in addition to what he did today in Hilton’s absence. 

Andrew Luck through 4 games is averaging 46.5 pass attempts per game, the Colts can’t run the ball to save their lives, and their defense has given up at least 30 points twice out of four games. This is a team that will continue throwing the ball. Check you waivers for Ryan Grant as well, and if both he and Chester Rogers are rostered pick up Zach Pascal. Pascal had himself a nice day with 6 receptions, 56 yards, and a TD. With bye weeks and injuries, it’s prudent to pick up most anyone who has flashed, even if in just one game. 

Cameron Meredith and Kendrick Bourne are deep diving targets. Meredith has started to work himself into the Saints offense and saw four targets Sunday, with three receptions. The 49ers lost both Dante Pettis and Marquise Goodwin in Sunday’s loss to the Chargers. Both injuries looked bad and the 49ers wide receiver depth is being severely tested. It’s plausible that Bourne is a starter next week and gets to build off the 3/34/1 TD line he produced against the Chargers. 

Running Back:

Mike Davis: Chris Carson was unable to play Sunday due to a hip injury, and it was Davis who got the nod as a starter. Though Rashaad Penny ran well, it was Davis who had the better fantasy day (by far). Davis contributed 101 yards on the ground and 23 yards on four receptions. If Carson can’t suit up next week, Davis is a player you can start in your second RB slot or one of your flex positions.

Mitch Says: Hey, I LOVE Chris Carson, but Pete Carroll has been treating this backfield with a hot-hand approach the past two years. Rawls, McKissic, Davis, Carson, Lacy, Prosise, Penny and even Christine Michael have all taken their turns leading the Seahawks’ touches in games in the past two seasons. If they ease Carson back in and Davis can outperform him and Penny, Davis will have value. Albeit value that stands on the shakiest foundation in all of football.

Tight End:

Tyler Kroft: Tyler Eifert was on his way to another TE1 weekly finish, which would have have been his second in four games when he went down with a horrific ankle injury. It’s already been reported that Eifert broke his ankle and will miss the rest of the season. The Bengals are fortunate they have another Tyler, Kroft, that they can slide into their starting TE slot. 

Mitch Says: Yeah, this is a solid TE pickup, as Kroft could offer value down the stretch. It sucked to see Eifert go down like that, but Kroft should slot in somewhere around the TE1/2 borderline.

In 20 career games playing in place of Eifert, Kroft has averaged 8.13 fantasy points per game. This includes a 14 game run in 2017. During those 14 games, Kroft finished as a TE1 on 5 occasions, and just outside the top 12 as a TE13 once. You could do much worse as a waiver wire add. 

Nick Vannett: If you’re struggling for TE help, maybe you play in start two TE leagues and just lost Tyler Eifert for the season, go pick up Vannett. Will Dissly tore his Patella tendon Sunday, leaving Vannett as the last man standing at Tight End in Seattle.

Mitch recommends:

Wide Receiver:

I think that the amount of time that you have to get Rashard Higgins cheaply is running out. All throughout training camp and preseason, Baker Mayfield showed a real rapport with Higgins. Higgins may have fallen behind fellow WRs Landry and Callaway for targets, but he outpaced everyone on the Browns in receiving yards as he converted 4 of his 5 targets for 61 yards. Callaway only caught 3 of his 9 targets, and secured all of his yards on a single 59 yard catch-and-run, he then lost 5 total yards on two screen passes. Higgins showed that he was the true #2 WR in Cleveland, and that is going to translate to value as Baker Mayfield gets more confident as an NFL Quarterback.

Now I know that we mostly come from a Dynasty perspective here on the Waiver Wire. But I would like to point out to all of you redraft guys, Christian Kirk is going to start producing points. Josh Rosen may not have finished with the best line, but his receivers were dropping passes all over the place. Rosen actually looked like a seasoned veteran, and completed several surgical-precision throws.

I was completely impressed with his work, and I expect Rosen to just keep gaining confidence. He also really seemed to like targeting Kirk, who finished second on the Cardinals in targets. Everyone else let Rosen down, as JJ Nelson, Ricky Seals-Jones and Chad Williams committed brutal drops. If you have a deep redraft bench, I would recommend targeting both Kirk and Rosen, and in Dynasty this might be the last week where you can get these guys at a relatively low price tag.

Running Back:

Again, this is a little more of a redraft play, but it’s probably important to note that while he wasn’t terribly effective, Ronald Jones out-touched Peyton Barber 11-8, and gained more yards. Barber has been brutal, so it’s possible that Jones sees an expanded role coming out of the Week 5 Bye.

If you don’t typically read my articles (you should), you might be aware that I have a deep love affair with Oakland back Jalen Richard. Especially in PPR formats, he is a fantastic speculative add. He plays behind a dependable but aging Marshawn Lynch, and the eternally mediocre Doug Martin. His pathway to every-week startability is minimally blocked. He’s putting up points every week as a pass-catcher, and I’ve used him as a bye-week or injury filler in a couple PPR leagues and have enjoyed the results. His potential is incredible, as he’s one of the most elusive backs in the game. He could be the new Chris Thompson before season’s end.

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