NFL Fantasy Week 5: Waiver Picks

Sometimes waiver wire pickups work out. Sometimes, they don’t. Some of the most popular waiver adds of Week 4 flopped. (I’m looking at you, Baker. You too, Eli.) Others came through with varying degrees of success.

If you picked up Mitchell Trubisky and Tarik Cohen last week, you probably won’t bother reading anyone else’s advice anymore. You obviously have some kind of psychic power and are fine on your own.

For the rest of you, here’s what we think about the NFL Fantasy Week 5 waiver wire: (Remember, Tampa Bay and Chicago are on bye weeks.)

QB: Bortles, Mariota, Carr, Rosen?

Thanks to the bye week, we have some extra time to figure out what to do with Ryan Fitzpatrick. I already dropped him. Someone probably already has Jameis Winston tucked away for Week 6. You might want to do the same with Trubisky, although I wouldn’t start him until I saw a bit more of the “new” Bears.

We received a few questions indicating some NFL Fantasy owners are re-thinking this one-legged-Rodgers thing. Aaron Rodgers can win games for the Packers, but what is he doing for your NFL Fantasy team? He scored 15 points this week and fell just short of 20 in Week 3. That puts him at the QB-17 position over the two weeks.

But… He has a potential shootout coming up in Detroit, with nice level turf. He showed some increased mobility in Week 4 and called out his receivers, indicating something other than the passer was to blame for a sub-par performance against the Bills. Remember, Cobb was inactive and Allison left early with a concussion.

So, if you don’t want Rodgers, I’ll take him and start him in Week 6.

It’s funny no one asked us the same question about Tom Brady or Russell Wilson, currently the QB-19 and 20 on the year.

Anyway, for immediate assistance…

Blake Bortles has a date with the generous Chiefs defense in Week 6. I am willing to shrug off his Week 3 performance against the pesky Titans and accept that he is becoming more confident and reliable as an NFL Fantasy quarterback.

Marcus Mariota is trying to avoid being someone’s backup quarterback next season. His QB-7, 300-yard, come from behind performance against the Eagles, supplemented by a bit of running, make him worth a shot against Buffalo in Week 6.

Derek Carr still scares me, but he does seem to find a new receiver to keep his floor high each week. When it all comes together, like it did in Week 4, there is no ceiling. He’s worth a play against an injured Chargers defense that just let CJ Beathard throw for 300 (almost) yards.

The quarterback I am stashing is Arizona’s Josh Rosen. I thought he looked better than Mayfield on Sunday. If not for some devastating drops, Rosen would have thrown 3 touchdowns and been a top-12 passer. When the Cardinals wide receivers get it together, Rosen could be something. In a pinch, I’d take a chance on him against the 49ers defense.

RB: Slim pickings… Hines, and cross your fingers

If you are in one of the 25-35-percent of leagues where TJ Yeldon is still available, he is a must add until the day Leonard Fournette is healthy. With Fournette, Yeldon is good for enough touches and big-play potential to hope for the best. Without Fournette, he runs and catches as the top back against the most porous defense in the league.

Indianapolis’ Nyheim Hines doesn’t run much, but he does catch a lot of passes. He is a must-add in PPR and a good bet for standard leagues, too. He is even more attractive if TY Hilton misses Thursday’s game.

Tarik Cohen is a good add for the future, but be careful. Depending on the game plan, he could take a back seat to Jordan Howard in any given week.

In 2018 NFL Fantasy previews, I discussed the Seattle running back committee and predicted Mike Davis would be the 1A to Chris Carson by the end of the season. With Pete Carroll, you never know. We could see a 50-50 share between Rashaad Penny and CJ Prosise in Week 6. But until we know how much Carson’s hip is really bothering him, Mike Davis is the guy to back him up on your roster.

Eventually, Nick Chubb has to be given more touches in Cleveland, especially if Carlos Hyde doesn’t improve on his 3.9 yards-per-carry. I’d add Chubb if I had space on my roster.

WR: Coutee, Gabriel, and Kirk

Keke Coutee is being widely touted as a must-add if Will Fuller’s hamstring causes him to miss any time. I am telling you Coutee is a must add even if Fuller is on the field.

Coutee saw 15 targets in his NFL debut Sunday, more than even DeAndre Hopkins. Coutee caught 11 for 109 yards. Several of those targets and catches came before Fuller left the game. It is obvious he is on the same page as Deshaun Watson, who looks like he is ready to kick it into the gear we saw last season.

That version of Deshaun Watson easily supports three wide receivers. Coutee has to be rostered everywhere.

The rebirth of Marcus Mariota with the loss of Rishard Matthews created an opening for a number-2 in Tennessee. Taywan Taylor provides the same sneaky fast type of receiver that Calvin Ridley is providing in Atlanta. Taylor’s 7 catches on 9 targets for 77 yards could be his new floor.

As mentioned earlier, I am higher on Josh Rosen than any of the other rookies. As such, fellow rookie Christian Kirk’s value goes up. He already is the Cardinals’ number -2 to Larry Fitzgerald. With Fitzgerald hampered by hamstring issues and a fresh arm in Rosen, Kirk is bound to have some big games in Arizona.

Heading into a showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs and their most-generous defense, whichever Jacksonville Jaguar wide receiver is still available in your league provides a worthy streamer for Week 6.

Don’t overlook Taylor Gabriel’s role in Chicago. He already provided a Tarik Cohen-like burst in previous games, and he still got a bunch of touches (and two touchdowns) in Trubisky and Cohen’s breakout day. He’s on a bye, but he is worth picking up as a plug-in helper the rest of the season.

TE: Kroft, Vannett, and Gates

Tyler Kroft provides a starting tight end in an offense that likes using him. Kroft had some big weeks for Cincinnati in Tyler Eifert’s absence last year. Andy Dalton has total faith and will not look away from the backup Tyler.

Nick Vannett was supposed to be the receiving tight end in Seattle before the team realized their blocker had great hands, too. Vannett has been in the mix, but is the main guy now… for what that’s worth in a tight end these days.

Antonio Gates needs a touchdown to be relevant. The good news, he scores a lot of touchdowns. His first this season has him firmly back in Phillip Rivers’ sights going forward.

Dwayne Allen will get some takers as the fill-in for a potentially injured Rob Gronkowski. Allen did nothing to secure the trust of Tom Brady last season and has only one target this season (for minus-4 yards). I would imagine the returning Julian Edelman and (hopefully for my NFL Fantasy team) Chris Hogan will see the bulk of Gronkowski’s targets in Week 6.

D/ST: Bengals, Titans

For NFL Fantasy owners streaming defenses, Week 6 doesn’t offer much opportunity. The best bet is probably Cincinnati facing Miami. Miami was exposed last week. While there is concern the Dolphins right be desperate to right their ship, the strong front 7 of the Bengals should control the weak running game and hand Ryan Tannehill another long day.

Tennessee faces a potential trap game here. In fact, Buffalo's D/ST might not be a terrible bet to stream, either. But I am betting Mike Vrabel keeps the Titans focused after three consecutive wins against better opponents to handle the Bills and their rookie quarterback effectively.

One team I am avoiding is the Indianapolis Colts. Some pundits are calling this a revenge game because of Josh McDaniels little misadventure in the offseason. However, I doubt Frank Reich is upset McDaniels walked away. I am more concerned that McDaniels might want to pile on the Colts.

Be sure to keep up with injuries and rumors from the practice fields so you can jump on that surprise waiver winner during the week! And if you have a spot to play with, look ahead to cover your bye week needs now!

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