Fantasy Football – Week 5 Waiver Wire – Redraft

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The hits just keep on coming this fantasy football year and the bye weeks are not helping. Scouring the waiver wire to find replacements for injured or fading stars is what we are here for.

Teams on bye: Carolina, Miami, Minnesota, New York Jets

All players focused on here are owned in less than 50% of all NFL.com leagues and could be available in your redraft leagues. Ownership % shown in parentheses.

Quarterback

  1. Alex Smith (43.2%) Wk 4 (31-45, 386 yds, 0 TDs)While these yardage numbers are great, one thing is missing – touchdowns. On a day that saw Smith throw for almost 400 yards, the Chiefs were unable to cash in and had to settle for 7 field goals. He should be able to get Kelce and company back in gear against a Bears defense that is tied for 2nd giving up 10 touchdowns in four games this year.
  2. Derek Carr (38.8%) Wk 4 (20-33, 196 yds, 2 TDs, 1 Int)Looking beyond the numbers shows a budding relationship between Carr and Cooper that will lead to fantasy gold. The yards may not be much to look at but the touchdowns make up for it. Carr goes up against a good Denver defense that has only allowed 2 touchdowns through the air and has racked up 18 sacks through the first quarter of the season. The ideal fantasy situation is that Denver goes up big early forcing Oakland to lean on their passing game leading to garbage time points.
  3. Josh McCown (0.7%) Wk 4 (32-41, 356 yds, 2 TDs) McCown had one of the best games of his career in the loss and quieted the Manziel calls for now. McCown used Duke Johnson out of the backfield and the journeyman Barnidge to help move the Browns down the field. Up next is a middle of the road Baltimore defense that can be thrown on.
  4. Blake Bortles (3.5%) Wk 4 (28-50, 298 yds, 1 TDs, 1 Int) Ignoring the woeful efficiency numbers, the fact remains that the Jaguars are still a bad team and that leads to opportunities for garbage time points. With Julius Thomas still on the shelf, Bortles has taken his shots with Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns as his primary go to receivers. Facing Tampa Bay on Sunday, Bortles will be a desperation play but with bye weeks, you could do worse.

Running Back

  1. Ronnie Hillman (23%) Wk 4 (11 carries, 103 yds, 1 TDs, 1 rec, 5 yds) – Now the stats look great, but the rush yardage is bolstered by a 72 yard touchdown run. Taking away that run and Hillman averaged less than 3 yards per carry. Fortunately, Anderson averaged 3.9 so the lead back role is still wide open. With Kubiak’s endorsement on Monday, it looks like Hillman will get the next crack at taking the lead role.
  2. Duke Johnson (37.4%) Wk 4 (8 carries, 31 yds, 9 rec, 85 yds, 1 TDs) – Crowell still dominated the carries 12-8, but Johnson made his presence known in the passing game. Johnson led the Browns with his 9 receptions and now goes up against a Baltimore secondary that is suspect. In PPR leagues, Johnson is a great flex play as his role continues to grow.
  3. Christine Michael (1.5%) Wk 4 (1 carries, -1 yds) – For all the CMike truthers out there, the time is now. With the injury to Dunbar, the path to playing time is a bit less crowded. Now Randle and McFadden are still there and will dominate carries but Michael will get some playing time. Question still remains as to how much time that will be but he is still a long shot stash.

Wide Receiver

  1. Willie Snead (0.1%) Wk 4 (6 targets, 6 rec, 89 yds) – Drew Brees trust this wide out and that is what matters. Catching everything that comes his way, Snead is becoming the Saints’ best receiving option. Passing up Coleman and securing his targets has Brees looking his way quite a bit. Take away Spiller’s catch in overtime and Snead would lead the Saints in yardage. If you need receiver help, take note of him.
  2. Allen Hurns (5%) Wk 4 (15 targets, 11 rec, 116 yds, 1 TDs) – Robinson drew the top corner for the Colts and that was the recipe for success for Hurns. He definitely has a good rapport with Bortles and is making the most of his targets. His numbers may not be huge but he is consistent. With the Jaguars playing from behind this year, Hurns is one to target.
  3. Kamar Aiken (0.4%) – Wk 4 (7 targets, 5 rec, 77 yds, 1 TDs) – Though the stat line looks good, this is more about opportunity than anything else. Campanaro is now on IR, Steve Smith Sr. is possibly slated to miss time with a back injury and Gillmore is still hurt thus leaving Aiken as Flacco’s lone top target. Temper expectations though, with Haden and the Browns up next on the slate.
  4. Tavon Austin (6%)Wk 4 (7 targets, 6 rec, 96 yds, 2 TDs) – Could this finally be the breakout that the FF community has been waiting for? With a renewed running game behind Gurley, Austin may find a bit more space to run. Green Bay is next up and if the Rams get behind early, Foles will be looking for Austin.
  5. Eddie Royal (2.9%)Wk 4 (10 targets, 7 rec, 54 yds, 1 TDs) – With Jeffery still out with a hamstring issue, Royal took advantage of the return of Jay Cutler. With Clausen last week, Royal only managed 3 catches for 17 yards so this was a definite improvement. Jeffery has a shot to play next week against KC and will reduce targets so don’t expect a repeat performance.
  6. Leonard Hankerson (1.2%)Wk 4 (8 targets, 6 rec, 103 yds, 1 TDs) – Roddy White is officially being phased out. With the Falcons essentially steamrolling the Texans with Freeman, Hankerson was the top target for Matt Ryan with Julio checking in with 6 targets of his own. Now Hankerson’s numbers are buoyed by a 55 yard pass and he has been a bit inconsistent in the box score but he is playing with Matt Ryan in this pass first offense. Make no mistake, Julio is still Ryan’s first read but Hankerson is fast becoming that second option.
  7. Jamison Crowder (0.1%) Wk 4 (12 targets, 7 rec, 65 yds) – Making the most of his playing time, Crowder is making his case for staying on the field. Jordan Reed left the game with a concussion and the Redskins are already without Desean Jackson so they needed Crowder to step up. Looking to next week, the circumstances could not be more perfect. With Reed questionable at best, Jackson still out and his only competition (Roberts) drawing the ire of the coaching staff, this may be Crowder’s time to shine.

Tight End

  1. Richard Rodgers (5.4%) – Wk 4 (6 targets, 5 rec, 45 yds, 1 TDs) – With Quarless on the IR – designated to return, Rodgers is making the most of his playing time. He is in a good spot to contribute on a weekly basis as a mid TE2 in most formats.
  2. Antonio Gates (44.5%) – Suspended Green has filled in great for the first four games but this is still Antonio Gates. I would not expect Green to go away with Gates coming back this week but Gates still has Rivers’ trust and should be well rested and ready to play.
  3. Gary Barnidge (5%)Wk 4 (6 targets, 6 rec, 75 yds, 1 TDs) – The journeyman tight end has the eye of McCown. After putting up 105 yards on 10 targets last week, he followed it up with another solid performance. With McCown under center, Barnidge will get the looks which should lead to decent stats. With bye weeks and injuries, he may be the little bit you need for a win.
  4. Derek Carrier (0%)Wk 4 (2 targets, 2 rec, 18 yds) – Carrier didn’t do much on the stat sheet but he is on his list because of the health of the guy above him on the depth chart. Jordan Reed suffered another concussion and is also nursing an ankle and knee injury. Reed was averaging 6 catches and 80 yards per game before week 4 and Carrier can expect something close to that with Desean Jackson still out.

 

All stats from ESPN.com

 

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