Fantasy Football Today - fantasy football rankings, cheatsheets, and information
A Fantasy Football Community!

Create An Account  |  Advertise  |  Contact      

Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 5
10/03/16; Updated: 10/04/16 Users...
Check out the most popular waiver wire pickups this week across thousands of MFL leagues. Also, quickly see who's available on your waiver wire this week by using the MFL Power feature at FF Today. Just input your league's 5-digit ID number away you go!
Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business, but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious selections to help your team from week to week while you strive to collect fantasy wins, reach your league playoffs and win the elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp. While I’m a big proponent of making trades to bolster your roster, the waiver wire can be an almost limitless resource when it comes to discovering fantasy value in strange places. Each week, I’ll highlight some of the popular (and not-so-popular) players who can help your squad and may still be available in your league.

Feedback is always welcome, appreciated and encouraged. I’ll get to as many e-mails as I can.


Brian Hoyer, CHI – Hoyer has played well in Cutler’s stead and turned in a 302-2-0 performance Sunday in the win over Detroit. He could remain the starter moving forward, and is worth a look in deeper formats – especially facing the Colts and their banged-up secondary in Week 5 and the Jaguars in Week 6.

UPDATE: John Fox seems to consider Hoyer a much better option than Cutler, and he alluded to Hoyer keeping his starting job regardless of Cutler’s thumb health.

Paxton Lynch, DEN – Lynch filled in for Trevor Siemian after a non-throwing shoulder injury forced the Broncos starting QB out of action Sunday. Lynch (0-10 percent owned – mostly in dynasty leagues) had some bad throws but finished with 170-1-0 on 14-for-24 passing. He might be worth a start facing the Chargers if Siemian can’t go, and early reports have him missing a game or two.

UPDATE: HC Gary Kubiak acknowledged that while Siemian's injured left shoulder was “very sore” on Monday, he’d be the starter if healthy in Week 5. Fantasy owners should consider him day to day and possibly look elsewhere. The Broncos may be hopeful that Siemian will be able to play against the Falcons but he won’t get much practice in. The QB position in this matchup could be a longshot GPP pick in DFS, but may be something to avoid.

Case Keenum, LAR – Okay, I’m paying attention. Keenum has managed to develop a very productive relationship with Brian Quick, and the two connected for a couple scores en route to a 266-2-0 (fumble lost) day for the Rams QB. He’s almost universally available and faces BUF/@DET/NYG the next three weeks before a Week 8 bye. Only viable in deeper leagues, Keenum is not a great signal caller but could have some value in two-QB formats.

Derek Anderson, CAR – Cam Newton’s concussion will require passing through the protocols, which means we could see Anderson in Week 5 against the Bucs. Anderson moved the ball effectively and tallied 172-2-2 with a 2XP (albeit in garbage time during Week 4), and the Bucs pass defense leaves quite a bit to be desired. It’s a situation worth monitoring.

UPDATE: Newton will have an extra day to get ready, and the notoriously tight-lipped Ron Rivera didn’t have much to say regarding his starting QB’s status. Anderson will be worth a look against the Bucs if Newton cannot go.

Drew Stanton, ARI – Carson Palmer left Week 4 with a concussion and is a longshot to take the field Thursday with the quick turnaround. Stanton had one his best games as a pro in Week 3 against the 49ers in 2014, but is probably best left on the bench even if he gets the call.


Kirk Cousins, WAS – Cousins turned in a solid performance in the win over Cleveland with 183-3-1, and Matt Jones had his best game since Week 10 of last season, which was one of the reasons the QB didn’t have to throw for more yardage. The three TDs were a season high, and next week’s matchup at Baltimore shouldn’t discourage you from plugging him in again.

Dak Prescott, DAL – Once again, Prescott was poised and steady, and has yet to turn the ball over through four games as a pro. He completed 23-of-32 passes for 245-2-0 Sunday but should have his biggest test next week against the Bengals. It’s not a recommended fantasy matchup unless it somehow turns into a shootout, so we could be looking at a low-floor/high-ceiling sort of projection for Dak – not a bad strategy for a large-field GPP in DFS.

Carson Wentz, PHI – The Eagles were on a Week 4 bye, and have a decent matchup in Week 5 versus the Lions.

Trevor Siemian, DEN – As mentioned above, Siemian was carted into the locker room after he suffered a shoulder injury against Tampa Bay and did not return. He completed 5-of-8 passes for 68 yards and a TD before he left and is highly questionable for Week 5.

UPDATE: See the update on Siemian in the Paxton Lynch blurb above.

Blaine Gabbert, SF – Despite a positive matchup at home facing the Cowboys, Gabbert turned in just 196-1-1 with 27 rushing yards, and it’s obvious that his upside is severely limited. I’m not interested.

UPDATE: Chip Kelly is not considering a QB change even if he should. There’s an off chance the ARI/SF game turns into some weird kind of shootout or that Gabbert has to play catchup and posts passable fantasy numbers, but there’s just too many ifs to bank on something tangible.

Jordan Howard

Terrance West got the surpirse start on Sunday and delivered with 113 yards on 21 carries.

Running Backs

Terrance West, BAL – With Justin Forsett a healthy scratch for Week 4, West (about 50 percent owned) stepped up in a starting role and rushed for a career-high 113 yards on 21 carries, including a 3-yard TD run. He’s not much of a passing down back, and Kenneth Dixon (knee) is ready to return but West has a juicy Week 5 matchup against Washington and makes an excellent short-term addition.

UPDATE: Justin Forsett has been released and the Ravens are riding the hot hand at RB. Every indication is that West will continue to dominate carries while Dixon gets back to full strength. The Towson product is averaging over 5.0 YPC his last two games.

Alfred Morris, DAL – I know there aren’t a lot of viable RBs on the wire in most leagues, and this week didn’t see multiple starters go down with injuries like previous weeks, so I’ll just reiterate the importance of rostering Morris (20-60 percent owned) in all formats. He’s Ezekiel Elliott’s handcuff and gets a series here and there to show why he’s still in the league. Morris is a good runner still in his prime who will get some goal line work and spell Elliott. Don’t forget about him.

Zach Zenner, DET – Zenner (0-5 percent owned) had three carries for 12 rushing yards and one catch for 22 yards Sunday in the loss to Chicago but could see more work if Dwayne Washington (ankle) is forced to miss time. Theo Riddick doesn’t handle many of the goal line carries and isn’t built for a workhorse role.

UPDATE: Washington is dealing with a sprained foot and ankle, and was limping in the locker room after Sunday’s game. The Lions signed former Bucs RB Mike James to the practice squad earlier in the week but Zenner could definitely assume a larger role the next couple of matchups.

Paul Perkins & Bobby Rainey, NYG – UPDATE: Perkins showed some flash on his touches Monday night (two carries for 8 yards; 2-72-0 on three targets receiving), and I’ve always had a soft spot for Rainey and his PPR value. The committee aspect of this ragtag RB corps is frustrating and this week’s matchup against the Packers is not a favorable spot to roll any of these guys out. But, with the injury history of Rashad Jennings (thumbs) and Shane Vereen on IR, there could be an opportunity for someone to emerge. Keep this situation on the front burner and stay tuned to Ben McAdoo’s pressers.


Jordan Howard, CHI – Howard rushed for 111 yards on 23 carries and added 3-21-0 receiving. He’s in line for continued workhorse role with Jeremy Langford and Ka’Deem Carey sidelined.

Cameron Artis-Payne, CAR – The Panthers just never got anything going on the ground, and Artis-Payne finished with just 12 rushing yards on six carries. Fozzy Whittaker blew up with 9-86-0 receiving on nine targets and with the Panthers struggling, could get more work because of his high usage in the passing game.

Dwayne Washington, DET – Washington sustained an ankle injury and finished with just two carries for 6 yards and 1-8-0 on one target. It’s a shame because he was supposed to be a big part of the Lions game plan in Week 4. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: As mentioned above, Washington feels like a longshot to play in Week 5. We never really got a chance to see what he could do as the lead back but he still could get his chance before the season is out.

Wendell Smallwood, PHI – Smallwood (now up to about 30-60 percent owned) still projects to be involved next week against the Lions.

Orleans Darkwa, NYG – UPDATE: Darkwa rushed 12 times for 48 yards and a TD in the Giants' Week 4 loss to the Vikings on Monday night. Darkwa has value because he’s healthy, but he’s a plodder who will struggle to find running room against Green Bay. If the Packers jump out to a lead and Manning starts the dump-off brigade as he did in Minnesota, I could even see Perkins or Rainey being a better value in PPR leagues.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

John Brown, ARI – The coaching staff said Brown (55-75 percent owned) would get more targets, and they weren’t kidding, as the talented third-year receiver finished with 10-144-0 16 targets in Week 4. His value takes a hit if Stanton fills in for Palmer Thursday, but he’s a high-upside WR3 and could see upward of 10 targets a game moving forward.

Robert Woods, BUF – With Sammy Watkins on the shelf, Robert Woods hauled in 7-89-0 on 10 targets and is they Bills No. 1 WR from here on out. He’s a must-add in all formats and has decent PPR upside considering his role as possession receiver to Marquise Goodwin’s home-run-ball potential.

Golden Tate, DET – UPDATE: Tate is still owned in about 75-90 percent of leagues but is being dropped at increasingly high rates. I’m seeing suggestions all over the place that Tate is drop-worthy because of his most recent benching (that wasn’t a benching, according to Jim Caldwell) but I think four games is still a little early to jump the gun and cut bait. If somebody releases Tate, he makes a fine addition as a WR4, considering his relative health and 26 targets through four games. Tate started slowly last season and posted huge games in the fantasy playoffs in weeks 14 (9-60-2; 15 rushing yards) and 15 (6-45-1).

Brian Quick, LAR – Quick isn’t a possession receiver like Woods, and has more in common with Goodwin’s role by comparison – but he had 2-69-2 on five targets in Week 5 and is almost universally available in fantasy. He’s boom-or bust in every sense of the term.

UPDATE: Reports emerged Monday that Jeff Fisher thinks the game is “slowing down” for the fifth-year receiver, who has always been bandied about as a possible breakout player. It’s happened before with late-blooming receivers, so Quick might be worth a waiver flier if you like the gamble.

Dontrelle Inman, SD – With much of the attention on Travis Benjamin, Inman (0-5 percent owned) turned in a career game on Sunday with 7-120-1 on 11 targets from Philip Rivers. He’s got a boom-or-bust fantasy profile, but this spike in targets in encouraging.

TE Garrett Celek, SF – Celek made a couple nice catches versus Dallas and finished with 5-79-0 on five targets. He’s far from a TE1, but there’s some value here in deeper formats.


Kevin White, CHI – White hauled in 6-55-0 on nine targets Sunday and looks like a solid WR4 with marginal upside moving forward.

UPDATE: We’re still waiting on the results of an MRI on White’s ankle that forced him to leave Sunday’s game. The Wednesday injury report should have more information, but for now it looks like Eddie Royal could pick up a few additional targets at Indianapolis.

Terrelle Pryor, CLE – Pryor’s 5-46-1 on nine targets answered the bell for most fantasy owners, although I started him on one league over Will Fuller, which had me a little angry. But that’s not Pryor’s fault, and I won anyway. Pryor now has 40 targets through four games.

DeVante Parker, MIA – The 2-20-0 receiving line was a disappointment, especially since I’ve been higher on Kenny Stills, who had a much bigger game Thursday with just one catch.

Adam Humphries, TB – What happened to Jameis Winston’s slot guy? One catch for 4 yards isn’t going to cut it. With the offense possibly pulling back the reins after Winston’s dismal Week 4, this does not bode well for Mike Evans and could mean more targets for Humphries.

TE Jimmy Graham, SEA – Graham’s 6-113-0 on eight targets in Week 4 shows he’s very much a part of the offense moving forward, and should be owned in all formats.

TE Kyle Rudolph, MIN – UPDATE: Rudolph now has three solid weeks in a row at a position that has been difficult to find consistency from this season. He posted 5-55-1 in the win over the Giants, and should be considered a Top 10 fantasy TE moving forward.

TE Zach Miller, CHI – Miller saw just three targets, but he caught them all for a 3-31-1 line and should be on everyone’s radar in Week 5 facing Indy.

TE Cameron Brate, TB – As expected, Brate saw a high volume of targets (8) and caught 5-67-0. He’s not going away as a high-end TE2.