The NFL season is well underway and, after four weeks of competition, many fantasy fans will be checking out the waiver wire for some much-needed additions and replacements for their rosters. Players who are suffering from injuries or struggling with poor runs of form need to be replaced if you want to be successful in fantasy leagues and games. Therefore, today we’ll be taking a look at the best waiver wire picks to focus on for week 5. We’ll go through each position in turn and identify the targets you might want to take a look at, as well as highlighting some players that are best avoided.
Let’s start with the signal callers. There aren’t injuries to speak of, but some big names are on bye including Cam Newton and Ryan Tannehill. Teddy Bridgewater and Ryan Fitzpatrick round out the list of unavailable players. We’d recommend dropping the likes of Tannehill, Derek Carry and Joe Flacco. In their place, the top recommendation of the week is Jay Cutler who played very well against the Raiders recently. On paper, he has a tough matchup on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs, but they haven’t been playing too well defensively and Cutler should be able to take advantage of that.
Others to consider for week 5 include Nick Foles, Black Bortles, Michael Vick, Alex Smith and Josh McCown. Foles has been putting in some impressive performances so far this season, earning at least 20 points in half of his games. He has a good matchup against Green Bay considering the Packers usually let some points slip to opposing quarterbacks in the later stages of the game. Bortles is on a good run of form and Vick had a rough start against the Ravens but will be better prepared for his next matchup against the Chargers. Smith and McCown are also in good form, with the latter earning over 23 points in his last two games.
Injuries to Karlos Williams, Lance Dunbar and Fred Jackson, along with the fact that several key players will be on bye including Adrian Peterson, Jonathan Stewart, Lamar Miller and Chris Ivory, means that many fantasy owners will be scouring the waiver wire for an RB replacement this week. Owners might want to think about dropping Joique Bell, Tre Mason, Bishop Sankey and Alfred Blue, while our top recommendation to add to your squad is Ronnie Hillman. He’s got a good matchup against the Raiders and analysts are expecting to have more time on the field in the weeks to come.
Other plays to think about are Anthony Dixon, Thomas Rawls, Duke Johnson, Andre Williams, and Antonio Andrews. If Williams and McCoy are out for the Bills, Dixon should get a chance to play and will have a good opportunity to score some fantasy points for any squad. Rawls struggled against the Lions but should have a chance to rebound at Cincinnati. It won’t be easy, but the Bengals have struggled against RBs so far this season and Rawls will want to take advantage of that weakness. Johnson put in a fantastic performance with 8 carries for 31 yards, 9 catches for 85 yards and a touchdown at San Diego, so he could be an exciting pick this week. Williams and Andrews have also both been in good form and might be solid additions to your roster.
The likes of Steve Smith, Nate Washington, Cecil Shorts and Malcolm Floyd all find themselves on the injury table. Meanwhile, some important players will be on bye this week like Brandon Marshall, Jarvis Landry, Eric Decker and Rishard Matthews. We recommended replacing Andrew Johnson, Roddy White, Steve Johnson and Victor Cruz. Our top pick is Allen Hurns. Marqise Lee won’t be playing and Hurns has established himself as a reliable No.2 WR for the Jaguars. His game against the Colts was very impressive and his form in general has been profitable for fantasy owners.
There aren’t too many interesting WRs this week aside from Hurns, but the likes of Leonard Hankerson, Kamar Aiken, Tavon Austin and Rueben Randle could be worth a look. Hankerson has been playing well for owners recently with at least six targets in his last few games. He’s also set for a great matchup against the Redskins. Aiken will be taking over from Steve Smith and has a solid matchup himself. His good form should make him a reliable pick. Austin had a very impressive week 4 and will hope to replicate that sort of form in his next few games, but he might be a bit of a risky selection. Finally, Randle seems to be playing some good football lately and is the No.2 WR for the Giants with Cruz injured.
We have two injuries to mention: Jordan Reed and Eric Ebron. Greg Olsen, Jordan Cameron and Kyle Rudolph are the big names on bye this week. Recommended drops include Julius Thomas and Heath Miller, as well as the players who are unavailable. Our top tight end pick for your roster is Owen Daniels. The Raiders have a very fragile defense, especially when it comes to tight ends, and Daniels can absolutely benefit from that. He’s scored in his last couple of games and should do even better in this one.
Other recommendations are Coby Fleener, Richard Rodgers and Gary Barnidge, with Garrett Celek also representing a possible sleeper pick. Dwayne Allen should be out again, giving Fleener the chance to earn plenty of points. Rodgers performed brilliantly at San Francisco with 5 catches for 45 years and should do well again in week 5. Barnidge has played well in two consecutive games and will hope to make it a trio against Baltimore. Vernon Davis is struggling with a knee injury and Celek could benefit from that. He’ll be up against the Giants, who haven’t defended well to tight ends so far this season.