Fantasy football: Making the most of a grim Week 5 waiver wire

Steven Psihogios
·7-min read

As the month of October rolls on, we are officially nearing spooky season. And you might not see anything more frightening than the waiver wire options for Week 5.

It’s not a talented group, it’s not a deep group, but there are options that can help you get through the bye weeks, and that’s all we can really ask for right now.

Here are the players rostered in 50 percent of Yahoo leagues or less I recommend targeting on the wire this week.

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - OCTOBER 05: Robert Tonyan #85 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates with Lucas Patrick #62 after scoring a touchdown during the second quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Lambeau Field on October 05, 2020 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Packers TE Robert Tonyan has reached the end zone in three straight weeks. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

TE Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers (31% rostered on Yahoo)

Tonyan went nuclear on Monday Night Football against the Atlanta Falcons scoring three (3!) touchdowns.

He has now scored a TD in three straight games and has entered QB Aaron Rodgers’ circle of trust. Tonyan features an athletic profile and has proven to be a reliable option for the Packers near the red zone. Moving forward, Tonyan can be penciled in as a mid-range, to low-end TE1 after the Packers’ Week 5 bye.

QB Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers (17% Rostered on Yahoo)

Early on, it seems like the Chargers have something in their first-round QB. Although he still makes rookie mistakes like late-game interceptions, Herbert is getting the job done in fantasy football.

He’s finished as a top-15 QB twice in his three starts this season, and his cannon-like arm was on full display against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past Sunday.

His upcoming schedule is also a major plus. In Week 5 he battles the Saints, who have a banged-up secondary and have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points per game to QBs, and then he matches up against the New York Jets, Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars in the following weeks. Herbert will flirt with QB1 numbers over that stretch.

WR Tim Patrick, Denver Broncos (2% rostered on Yahoo)

The Broncos are really hurting offensively. WR Courtland Sutton and TE Noah Fant are both scheduled to miss the team’s upcoming game against the New England Patriots. In Denver’s last game against the Jets, Patrick served as the “X” receiver on offense, totalling six receptions for 113 yards and a TD. He appeared on 75.7 percent of the Broncos’ offensive snaps and will likely serve as a WR3 in deeper leagues against the Patriots in Week 5.

RB Damien Harris, New England Patriots (32% rostered on Yahoo)

Harris received a lot of hype this offseason while impressing during training camp. In Week 4 he was activated off the IR, played in his first game and actually looked really good. He rushed for 100 yards on 17 carries, including a 41-yard run. His upside for rushing touchdowns will be limited when QB Cam Newton returns, but he can be added and considered a low-end RB3.

WR Denzel Mims, New York Jets (3% rostered on Yahoo)

Typically, I steer clear of the Jets in fantasy football. Mims, however, is an extremely intriguing prospect. At 6-foot-3 and 207 pounds, he has the prototypical “X” receiver size. Additionally, he has ridiculous speed as demonstrated by his 4.38-second 40-yard dash.

He dominated at the college level while playing at Baylor University and enters a Jets offense in desperate need of a playmaker. Even though he is a rookie who has missed time, head coach Adam Gase would be foolish (which he may be) to keep this tantalizing rookie off the field. It seems like there’s a possibility, according to the New York Post, we see Mims make his NFL debut this Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. He’s worth an add and stash in deeper fantasy football leagues. It may not pay off immediately, but he’s a second-half breakout candidate.

WR Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals (34% rostered on Yahoo)

Last week, Higgins was one of my top recommendations on the waiver wire. If he’s still available in your league, I highly recommend you add him if you need help at WR. It’s clear that he and fellow rookie QB Joe Burrow have established a connection, and he’s becoming a regular part of their offense, appearing on a healthy 57.3 percent of offensive snaps in Week 4. Additionally, he’s been targeted 22 times in the last three games. He will be harder to trust as anything more than a WR4 in Week 5 against the Baltimore Ravens.

TE Mo Alie-Cox, Indianapolis Colts (33% rostered on Yahoo)

Another player I recommended last week, Alie-Cox stayed fantasy-viable this week catching one of his two targets for thirteen yards and a score. Indianapolis is still short on receiving options with WR Michael Pittman Jr. and WR Parris Campbell out, so the opportunity is there. He’ll be a TE1 in Week 5 against the Cleveland Browns, who have allowed the fourth-most points to tight ends thus far.

RB Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals (36% rostered on Yahoo)

Edmonds isn’t higher on my list because I still think RB Kenyan Drake is the main back in Arizona, but Edmonds has been productive with his limited looks throughout the first four weeks. Last week, he turned nine touches into 40 yards and a score. He’s topped 10 fantasy points twice this season and has played a role in the passing game. Still, he’s nothing more than a low-end RB3.

WR Laviska Shenault Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars (24% rostered on Yahoo)

The 2020 rookie WR class is making an instant impact in fantasy football this season. Shenault Jr. is another first-year wideout who has looked promising. He posted a 5-86-0 line last week against the Bengals, marking the second straight week where he’s had five receptions. Additionally, his 12 targets over the past two weeks tie him for the most on the Jaguars. He’s a WR4 with a road date against the Houston Texans in Week 5.

RB Joshua Kelley, Los Angeles Chargers (56% rostered on Yahoo)

I’m cheating a little bit on this one given Kelley is above the 50 percent threshold, but he’s worth mentioning as RB Austin Ekeler (hamstring) will miss the next four-to-six weeks. Kelley has already factored on 39.6 percent of the Chargers’ offensive snaps, and that number should increase considerably with Ekeler out. Although he hasn’t been extremely effective thus far on the ground, the rookie RB will get opportunities on a Chargers team that has run the football the eighth-most frequently of any team in the NFL through four weeks. He’ll earn low-end RB2 consideration in Ekeler’s absence.

DST Stream of the Week: Arizona Cardinals (49% rostered on Yahoo)

I don’t really have to go overboard here in explaining why you should add the Cardinals defense. They’re playing the Jets, who are scoring just 16.2 points per game (second lowest in NFL). New York is also not planning on starting QB Sam Darnold in Week 5, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. The elite one, QB Joe Flacco, getting the nod would obviously make this appealing matchup even better for Arizona’s defense.

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