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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 5
10/2/17; Updated: 10/3/17 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.


Carson Palmer, ARI – Palmer could be a popular pickup this week after throwing for 357-1-1 in Week 4. He’ll face the Eagles in what could be a shootout in the city of Brotherly Love. I’ve discussed how the veteran QB is not the most reliable fantasy option, but he’s still available in about 20-40 percent of fantasy leagues and should see TD passes pile up in the next few weeks (@PHI, TB, @LAR).

Tyrod Taylor, BUF – UPDATE: Even without Jordan Matthews for the next several weeks, Taylor is looking like a solid fill-in during a favorable run right up until the fantasy playoffs take shape, with the exception of the team’s Week 6 bye (@CIN, BYE, TB, OAK, @NYJ, NO, @LAC). While he struggles with inconsistency and injury issues, Taylor is a mobile, talented QB who can make all the throws and doesn’t make too many egregious mistakes. Huge games are rare, but once in a while Taylor busts out with an awesome rushing total and 3-4 TDs. Pick him up if he’s available.

Andy Dalton, CIN – UPDATE: I had thought Dalton’s ownership was higher than 50-60 percent, but in retrospect I should have known more folks had cut ties after his duds in weeks 1 and 2. Dalton isn’t a great pickup this week since the Bengals are facing the Bills, and the Bengals have a Week 6 bye, but if you’ve got the roster space and need a quality QB, the Cincy schedule is quite favorable the rest of the way and especially in weeks 7-10 (@PIT, IND, @JAC, @TEN). Dalton makes this list at least once a year.

Mitchell Trubisky, CHI – Mike Glennon has been benched and Trubisky takes over the starting role, which he is expected to hold onto barring a catastrophe. The No.2 overall pick should be an upgrade over Glennon and could be a fantasy wildcard. This isn’t a vote of confidence, so temper your expectations of the rookie – he’s only a worthwhile addition in deeper formats or as a lottery ticket add in 12-team leagues.

Jay Cutler, MIA – It’ll be hard to trust Cutler after a terrible Week 4 performance in London, but as I mentioned before, some folks might be running out of options. A home matchup against the Titans might be just what Cutler needs to get his horrible season back on track.

Josh McCown, NYJ – McCown is rarely a viable fantasy option, but Week 5 he faces his old team the Browns. If you’re a Derek Carr owner (or would normally start bye week QBs Matt Ryan, Drew Brees or Kirk Cousins) and desperate for a plug-n-play, McCown is most likely available in your league and has some upside even if he could easily bust. I’ll even have a share or two of him in large-field, multi-entry DFS tournaments.

Other QBs to consider: DeShone Kizer (CLE), Jacoby Brissett (IND)


Jared Goff, LAR – Goff completed 21-of-36 passes for 255 yards and two TDs in the Rams’ Week 4 win over the Cowboys. Todd Gurley’s newfound effectiveness in the passing game has helped to make Goff a dynamic fantasy option moving forward.

Deshaun Watson, HOU – Watson exploded for 283-4-1 and four carries for 24 rushing yards and a TD in the blowout win over the Titans. He’s a must-own in all formats, though he’ll face a stiffer test in Week 5 against the Chiefs.

Case Keenum, MIN – Keenum had a boring 209-0-0 in Week 4, which became a war of attrition after Dalvin Cook’s injury. Sam Bradford probably won’t return until Week 6, so we’ll probably see Keenum for one more game in a decent matchup in Chicago against the Bears.

Brian Hoyer, SF – Hoyer had another weak performance against the Cards (234-0-1 on 24-for-49 passing) but remains the 49ers QB heading into Week 5 against the Colts, a better matchup for the journeyman signal caller.

With Dalvin Cook (ACL) out for the year the Vikings backfield will be heavily targeted on the Wk 5 wire.

Running Backs

Latavius Murray, MIN – Murray will likely be the most popular RB on the waiver wire heading to Week 5, as the Cook injury was confirmed as a torn ACL on Monday afternoon. Murray only tallied 21 yards on seven carries and added 2-8-0 receiving in limited duty Sunday, but has put up solid fantasy numbers in the past – though he never reached his full potential as a lead back in Oakland. Murray is still capable of big games getting reliable touches, but there’s a reason he was behind the rookie in Minnesota, so don’t expect to be getting Cook-like numbers out of him in the coming weeks.

Alvin Kamara, NO – UPDATE: He’s taking over most of the passing down duties and logged a huge receiving line (10-71-1) despite just five carries for 25 yards on Sunday in London. Adrian Peterson isn’t getting reliable touches and the Saints never seem to go overboard with Mark Ingram’s workload. Kamara is not available in too many formats (owned in about 80-85 percent of competitive leagues), but he’s a must-add across the board.

Wayne Gallman, NYG – Gallman looked better than any of the other Giants backs in his NFL debut in Week 4. With Paul Perkins (ribs) and Orleans Darkwa (inactive) unavailable, Gallman racked up 11 carries for 42 yards and added 2-8-1 receiving, as he had the coach’s confidence in the second half. One of Gallman’s weaknesses – that he’s sort of a “jack-of-all-trades, master of none” running back, could be a strength in the NFL on a team with glaring weaknesses in all its backs. The rookie may not be flashy, but he needs to be scooped up in all formats heading into Week 5, when he could have a feature role as the winless Giants search for some identity in the backfield.

Thomas Rawls, Eddie Lacy, C.J. Prosise & J.D. McKissic, SEA – With Chris Carson likely out for the season after suffering a broken ankle, we’re going to see more of the usual cast of characters handling the carries for the Seahawks, with the exception of newly added McKissic, a converted wideout who took his first carry 30 yards for a TD and added a 27-yrd TD reception late in Sunday night’s game. Prosise is still the favored passing down back but remains questionable heading into Week 5, as will Rawls, who like Prosise was inactive in Week 4. Eddie Lacy is trending up and is now the default starter despite being owned in just 20-35 percent of fantasy leagues. Normally, this would be a situation to completely avoid, but the dynamism of Seattle’s offense still offers huge upside to the “flavor of the week” ball carrier.

Aaron Jones, GB UPDATE: With Ty Montgomery dealing with multiple broken ribs and doubtful for this week’s matchup with Dallas, it’s likely that Jones will take over as the lead back for the Packers. Jamaal Williams is dealing with a knee injury, and Montgomery said he’ll try to play through the issue but will err on the side of caution with respect to risking serious injury to his vital organs. Jones looked sharp on Thursday night and needs to be added in all formats.

Other RBs to consider: Devontae Booker (DEN), Jerick McKinnon (MIN), D’Onta Foreman (HOU), Elijah McGuire (NYJ)


Wendell Smallwood, PHI – Smallwood played a few less snaps than LeGarrette Blount but remains the passing down/change-of-pace back that complements the big fella’s head-of-steam, straight-line approach to carrying the football. He had 10 carries for 34 yards and a TD and added 4-45-0 receiving Sunday.

Chris Johnson & Andre Ellington, ARI – Johnson tallied just 32 yards in 13 carries as the main ball carrier, while Ellington caught 9-86-0 on 14 targets, adding 18 yards on five rushes. Ellington remains the more productive back and the likeliest option for consistent fantasy production, especially in PPR leagues.

Branden Oliver, LAC – Melvin Gordon was good to go Sunday, so Oliver finished with just two carries for 1 yard and 1-2-0 receiving. Not a very exciting day for this obvious handcuff.

Alex Collins, BAL – Collins ran well with 82 yards on just nine carries, but he lost a fumble and earned some remarks from the coach following the game. He’s a must-own back in 12-team leagues based on his effectiveness carrying the football in limited opportunities this season, and could see more looks moving forward.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Will Fuller, HOU – Chemistry alert! Not only did Watson hook up with stud WR DeAndre Hopkins for 10-107-1, but he tossed a couple TD passes to Fuller (4-35-2 on six targets) in the second-year WR’s 2017 debut after missing the first three games with a broken collarbone. I actually laughed in one league when he was drafted in the later rounds, and now I feel like a dummy fort not considering how a QB switch could greatly improve the Houston passing game to the point where Fuller (just 15-30 percent owned) was a viable fantasy target like he was at the start of 2016.

Brandon Marshall, NYG – The Giants may finally be figuring out how to use Marshall, who’s owed in plenty of leagues but available in about 15-25 percent. He’s now coming off consecutive weeks of double-digit targets and has 14-112-0 over his last two games.

UPDATE: Marshal acknowledged his poor play thus far this season and claims to be working to get better at making all the catches and separating from defenders. I’m scooping him up based on his physicality and experience.

Danny Amendola, NE – Amendola is about 60-75 percent owned despite being a popular target of the arguably the best QB of all time. He posted 6-42-1 in Week 4 and seems to be fully recovered from his knee injury. Amendola is one of many viable receivers on the Pats, so there could be some weeks he disappears from the box score, but his upside is there and he’s just too valuable to be left on the waiver wire.

Kendall Wright, Deonte Thompson & Josh Bellamy, CHI – While we’re on the topic of QB switches, let’s talk about Wright and Bellamy, who should both see increases in usage with Trubisky at the helm. Bellamy finished Week 4 with just 3-36-0 but saw a total of six targets from Glennon, and Wright had 4-51-1 on four targets. TE Zach Miller could also see more targets the next few weeks. Thompson receives less fanfare but saw nine targets in Week 4 and is playing the most offensive snaps.

TEs Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard, TB – Both Brate and Howard produced on Sunday, combining for 6-143-2 in the win over the Giants. Brate (50-65 percent owned) will likely continue to see more targets (he saw six to Howard’s four in Week 4), but Howard (15-30 percent owned) is likely the more dynamic big-play tight end and long-term value. Both should be owned in 12-team leagues.

Zay Jones, BUF – Jones had just one catch for 18 yards Sunday but is left as the Bills top receiver with Jordan Matthews expected to miss about a month after thumb surgery. The rookie is a sneaky prospective add in deeper leagues.

TE Tyler Kroft, CIN – Since Tyler Eifert will miss more time, it’s okay to pick up Kroft after his big game (6-68-2 in Week 4) without worrying too much about it being a fluke. Still, it’s likely his biggest game of 2017 seeing as he had just one career TD coming into the matchup with Cleveland. Kroft is universally available and faces the Bills in Week 5.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: TE Evan Engram (NYG), Mike Wallace (BAL), Jaron Brown (ARI), Taylor Gabriel (ATL), JuJu Smith-Schuster (PIT), Ricardo Louis (CLE), Michael Floyd (MIN), TE A.J. Derby (DEN), Austin Hooper (ATL), Adam Humphries (TB), TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (NYJ)


Devin Funchess, CAR – Alright! Funchess had a monster day with 7-70-2 in a big win over the Pats, and hopefully a lot of our readers had him plugged in, regardless of Kelvin Benjamin being active for Carolina. The 2015 second-rounder now had 17-216-2 on the season and is well on his way to obliterating last year’s totals and surpassing the combined totals of his first two seasons. There’s something to that third-year WR theory, folks!

TE Charles Clay, BUF – That makes two in a row. Clay finished with 5-112-0 as the Bills upset the NFC champion Atlanta Falcons (who I had in my survivor pool and paid the fateful price of elimination). Clay has an obvious rapport with Tyrod Taylor and big upside from week-to-week; he’s a low-end TE1 and should be owned in all formats.

Paul Richardson & Tyler Lockett, SEA – Despite Doug Baldwin being active, both Richardson (3-65-0) and Lockett (4-67-0, 24 rushing yards) contributed for the Seahawks. The TDs should be coming for both in the ensuing weeks.

Sterling Shepard, NYG – Shepard had 5-54-0 Sunday and has been snatched on in most leagues. He’s a WR3/4 who’s seeing targets but could use some better QB play.

TE Marcedes Lewis, JAC – Four targets, zero catches. The Marcedes might be better off in the garage.