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Through The Wire - Week 5

By Antonio D'Arcangelis | 10/5/20; Updated: 10/6/20 |

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. I’ll also provide a brief update on the players I covered the previous week.

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


Teddy Bridgewater, CAR – One of the NFL’s class acts, Bridgewater (5-10% owned) is finally building a fantasy resume of significance in 2020. The former Vikings QB and Saints backup went 26-for-37 with 276-2-1, adding six carries for 32 yards and a rushing TD during Sunday's 31-21 win against Arizona. His next matchup is a great one – facing the Falcons in Week 5.

Carson Wentz, PHI – Wentz (55-65% owned) did what he could with his shoddy offensive line and completed 18 of 28 pass attempts for 193-1-1, adding seven rushes for 37 yards and another TD on Sunday night. If the line gets better, he could be a huge fantasy asset from Weeks 8-12 (excluding the Week 9 bye), when he has favorable matchups and could have a full complement of healthy WRs.

Gardner Minshew, JAC – Uncle Rico got off to a bad start with an INT on the opening drive, but he settled in, completing 27 of 40 passes for 351-2-1 in Sunday's 33-25 loss to the Bengals.

Other QBs to consider: Daniel Jones, Ryan Tannehill, Justin Herbert


Jared Goff, LAR – Goff fizzled in a big spot on Sunday with just 200-1-0 in Sunday's boring (until the fight at the end) 17-9 win over the Giants. He’s been efficient, which doesn’t help much in fantasy, but a Week 5 date with a Washington defense (one that's allowed multiple passing TDs in three of four games so far in 2020) could be just what he needs.

Nick Foles, CHI – Foles completed 26 of 42 passes (not great) for 249-1-1 in the 19-11 loss to the Colts on Sunday. This just isn’t a great Bears team and the matchups (for fantasy QBs) don’t get much easier the next few weeks.

Kirk Cousins, MIN – Cousins went 16-for-22 passing with 260-1-0 in Sunday's 31-23 win against the Texans. But as we pointed out in last week’s column, he was included in the writeups because he’s got awesome the matchups the next two weeks (@SEA, ATL).

D'Ernest Johnson

Running Backs

Kareem Hunt / D’Ernest Johnson, CLE – Hunt (60-70% owned) toted the rock 11 times for 71 yards and two TDs during Sunday’s 49-38 win over the Cowboys after Nick Chubb (knee) left the game in the first half and did not return. D'Ernest Johnson (universally available) also stepped up, leading the Browns with 95 rushing yards on 13 carries. Both Hunt (in the passing game) and Johnson should get RB3 touches next Sunday against the Colts.

UPDATE: Chubb has an MCL injury, will be placed on IR and will miss several weeks. Both Hunt and Johnson should be fine fantasy assets for the next few weeks.

Antonio Gibson, WAS – Gibson wasn’t the most popular guy after a couple of bad weeks, but he carried the ball 13 times for 46 yards and a TD in Week 4 against Baltimore, adding 4-82-0 receiving on five targets. He’s got some solid matchups coming up (LAR, @NYG, DAL).

Joshua Kelley, LAC – Austin Ekeler (hamstring) went down early and Kelley (55-60 percent owned) rushed nine times for just 7 yards, hauling in all three targets for 26 yards in the loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday. Kelley also lost a fumble, but he could be in line for a huge workload in Week 5 vs. the Saints if Ekeler remains sidelined.

Damien Harris, NE – UPDATE: Harris (20-25% owned) was activated from IR prior to Monday night’s game, responding with 100 rushing yards on 17 carries – a new season-high mark for Pats RBs. He’s a plug-n-play replacement for Sony Michel (IR), but likely won’t have too much involvement in the passing game, which is dominated by James White and Rex Burkhead. Still, Harris should be added in 12-team leagues and will be the recipient of plenty of early-down and goal line touches – a viable RB3/4 in most formats.

Reggie Bonnafon, CAR – Mike Davis is the back to own in Carolina with CMC out, but Bonnafon (0-1% owned) rushed 10 times for 53 yards and caught both of his targets for 18 yards and a TD in Sunday's 31-21 win over the Cardinals. He’ll be involved in the offense in Week 5 @ATL.

Chase Edmonds, ARI – Edmonds (25-30% owned) did most of his damage in the passing game with 5-24-1 on six targets, but he could be in line for a big workload in Week 5 with Kenyan Drake nursing a chest injury. Drake, who had 13 carries for 35 yards and wasn't targeted during Sunday's 31-21 loss at Carolina, left the game in the fourth quarter and didn't return.

Jamaal Williams, GB – UPDATE: As good as Aaron Jones is in a feature role, the Packers used a lot of Williams in both the red zone and between the 20s on Monday night. While Williams (20-25% owned) was largely unsuccessful with the traditional carries he logged (eight rushes for 10 yards), he caught all eight of his targets for 95 yards and appears to be a viable RB3/flex moving forward in PPR formats and deeper leagues.

Other RBs to consider: Tony Pollard, Justin Jackson, Ke’Shawn Vaughn


Carlos Hyde, SEA – Hyde was inactive Sunday with a shoulder injury and Chris Carson was back.

Rex Burkhead, NE – UPDATE: Burkhead rushed 11 times for 45 yards and brought in his only target for five yards in the Patriots’ 26-10 loss to the Chiefs on Monday night. Belichick still sees his backfield as a fluid group, so even with the activation of Harris in the Michel role, Burkhead will see 8-12 touches per game moving forward and occasionally get the “hot hand” treatment when the offense is clicking.

Latavius Murray, NO – Murray had a monster day on Sunday, rushing 14 times for 64 yards and two TDs while adding 1-19-0 receiving yards in Sunday's 35-29 win over Detroit. He should be owned in all formats.

Nyheim Hines, IND – Hines carried the ball nine times for 24 yards in Week 4 against the Bears, adding three receptions for eight yards. In games when the Colts face negative game scripts he’ll be more useful.

La’Mical Perine, NYJ – Perine should be getting more chances after he rushed five times for 15 yards and wasn't targeted in the passing game on Thursday night. These Jets have nothing to lose and really need to start giving him a shot.

UPDATE: The Jets waived Kalen Ballage, so if Bell struggles in the bell cow role, we could see more Perine mixed in.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Tim Patrick, DEN – Patrick had a breakout game with Brett Rypien under center, hauling in 6-113-1 on seven targets in the Broncos' 37-28 win over the Jets on Thursday. He’s owned in fewer than 1 percent of fantasy leagues.

TE Robert Tonyan, GB – UPDATE: Last week, I included Tonyan (10-15% owned) in my “WR/TEs to consider,” although commenters were itching for a full write-up. Well, the Allen Lazard injury (and lack of viable Green Bay WRs) thrust him into the spotlight on MNF, where he was a wrecking crew against the Falcons. He caught all six of his targets for 98 yards and three TDs, looking a lot like George Kittle – the stud TE he spent much of the offseason working on his game with. It seems to have paid off, as we can comfortably slot Tonyan into TE1 conversation after this huge night.

Scotty Miller, TB – Miller (10-15% owned) fought through hip and groin injuries on Sunday to haul in 5-83-1 on seven targets from Tom Brady. The speedy WR could be seeing consistent targets over the next few games with Chris Godwin expected out and O.J. Howard (Achilles) hitting the IR.

TE Austin Hooper, CLE – Hooper (40-45% owned) had 5-34-1 on seven targets Sunday and the Browns passing game looked pretty solid against the woeful Cowboys secondary. He faces a much tougher matchup against the Colts in Week 5, but it’s a step forward for the former Falcons TE.

Damiere Byrd, NE – UPDATE: Byrd caught 5-80-0 on 10 targets in New England’s Week 4 loss to the Chiefs but has been involved enough in this offense the past few weeks that he’s a viable bench/bye-week fill-in at WR3. He’s a talented WR who can get open and break some big plays.

Zach Pascal, IND – Pascal has been serving as the Colts’ deep threat WR, and while the Bears defense isn’t terrible, he did haul in 3-58-0 on eight targets in Week 4. He’ll continue to get opportunities with the Colts limited corps of pass catchers.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: Tre’Quan Smith, Nelson Agholor, Isaiah Ford, David Moore, Zay Jones, Gabriel Davis


Allen Lazard, GB – UPDATE: Lazard has been placed on IR with an abdomen injury and is expected to miss about a month to six weeks of action after undergoing core-muscle surgery this week. We’ll see more opportunities for Tonyan and WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (50-60% owned) in the interim.

Brandon Aiyuk, SF – Aiyuk continues to impress. He hauled in just two receptions (five targets) for 18 yards on Sunday night, but had an awesome 38-yard TD run in the loss to the Eagles. He’s a must-own WR4 in 12-team leagues, and I know he’ll have a few more big games this season.

Justin Jefferson, MIN – Jefferson had 4-103-0 on five targets during Sunday's 31-23 win against the Texans and gets a favorable matchup in Week 5 when the Vikings face a Seattle defense that’s giving up more than 400 passing yards per game.

Greg Ward, PHI – Ward caught just four of seven targets for 38 yards in Sunday's 25-20 win over San Francisco, but Wentz missed him on a couple of easy throws that he rushed, so Ward’s stats should have been better.

Tee Higgins, CIN – Higgins caught 4-77-0 on seven targets, adding a 13-yard rush in Sunday’s 33-25 win over the Jaguars. He’s an integral part of the Cincy offense.

Mecole Hardman, KC – UPDATE: Hardman caught all four of his targets for 27 yards and a TD in the Chiefs’ over the Patriots on Monday night. He’s a big-play speedster who can disappear but makes sense in deep leagues and dynasty formats for his explosiveness and ability to step up if Tyreek Hill goes down.

Andy Isabella, ARI – Christian Kirk was back in action, so Andy was pretty quiet on Sunday with just two catches for 3 yards (three targets).

TE Rob Gronkowski, TB – Gronkowski was a huge bust on Sunday with just one 29-yard reception on three targets on Sunday. The Howard injury should increase Gronk’s targets, but it’s obvious he’s no longer a Pro Bowl-caliber TE.

TE Jimmy Graham, CHI – Graham caught four passes for 33 yards in Chicago's 19-11 defeat to the Colts on Sunday and should be a fine TE2 moving forward.

TE Mo Alie-Cox, IND – The big red zone target had just one catch on two targets, but it was for a 13-yard TD. He’ll be a better play if Jack Doyle misses any more time this season and looks like a boom-or-bust, TD-dependent TE.