Gotcha! Don’t actually pick up John Kuhn, unless you’re a reminiscing Packer fan and want a good luck charm at the end of your bench. It might take him three more years to score three more touchdowns.
It turns out that Week 4 was a gold mine for waiver wire pickups. I hope you picked up Jordan Howard, Kyle Rudolph, Steve Smith, or Terrelle Pryor if you had a chance, and if any of them are still available they need to be owned. Dwayne Washington was the only top five claim that didn’t produce, and that was caused by a very early injury.
Week 5 was thankfully very light on injuries (other than the Quarterback position) and therefore doesn’t have much to offer on the wire. Here are the fantasy relevant ones:
|Trevor Siemian||QB||AC Sprain||TBD|
|Dwayne Washington||RB||Sprained Foot/Ankle||TBD|
|Tyler Lockett||WR||PCL||1-2 Weeks|
1. Terrance West – RB – BAL (ESPN Ownership: 45.2%)
Many fantasy owners were forgoing the Week 4 waiver wire riches of Howard and Pryor and instead opting for the preemptive strike on Baltimore rookie RB Kenneth Dixon. It looks like that move may have come a bit too early. Baltimore surprisingly deactivated veteran Justin Forsett against Oakland and handed the feature back duties to the journeyman West, who responded with a 21-113-1 rushing line. Head coach John Harbaugh has been reluctant to anoint any Baltimore RB as the unquestioned starter and stays committed to the “hot-hand” approach, but right now it looks like West is the hot hand and Dixon is more of a threat to Forsett’s roster spot than West’s early down work.
Dixon is a talented player and was a favorite of draftniks, but let’s not forget that he is a fourth-round rookie coming off a knee injury. It may take some ramping up for him, and there’s no guarantee that he takes this backfield over this season. Baltimore gets one of the worst run defenses in the league next week (WSH) and West should have the opportunity to stake his claim as the Ravens starter. It’s hard to project much further than that though, and the Ravens schedule does tighten up. He’s not the most enticing add this year, but starting RBs always have value.
Verdict: Add in all 10+ team leagues. Don’t use a top waiver claim on him unless you need a starter this week or are in a deeper league.
2. Quincy Enunwa – WR – NYJ (ESPN Ownership: 40.1%)
Eric Decker has a torn rotator cuff and is looking at either not being healthy all season or being put on IR. Enunwa has produced this season as the third WR and should be even more productive as the second. The Jets offense has struggled mightily over the last two games, but Enunwa still hauled in 10 balls and should have more scoring opportunities when (or if) Ryan Fitzpatrick comes out of his funk.
Verdict: Add in all 10+ team leagues.
3. Bilal Powell – RB– NYJ (ESPN Ownership: 36.2%)
Powell has touched the ball ten times in each of the last two games, and actually outsnapped starter Matt Forte on Sunday against Seattle. He has been productive on those touches, compiling 71 and 80 yards in each week. It is unclear whether the Jets are justifiably concerned about Forte’s early high rate of usage, Forte’s efficiency, or they just want to get Powell the ball more, but either way the needle is pointing up for him. Seen as just a high-value handcuff through the first two weeks, Powell now has standalone PPR value.
Verdict: Add in all 10+ team leagues.
4. Kenneth Dixon – RB– BAL (ESPN Ownership: 20.8%)
The afore-mentioned Dixon will hopefully be activated this week. He has feature-back potential, so if you can afford to stash someone, Dixon is the guy to stash. Just don’t expect to use him right away.
Verdict: Add and stash in all 10+ team leagues.
5. Hunter Henry – TE– SD (ESPN Ownership: 32.5%)
Over the last two games, Henry has caught 9 balls for 133 yards and a touchdown in Antonio Gates absence. There hasn’t been much news out of the Gates camp, but if he misses another game, Henry is a back-end TE1 for the Week 5 matchup against Oakland. He is a short term play, however, as he offers little to no standalone value once Gates is healthy.
Verdict: Add if you need a TE this week.
6. Carson Wentz – QB– PHI (ESPN Ownership: 34.4%)
Between injuries to three starting QBs and having four teams on bye, this could be a tough week for QBs. Wentz has played a very easy schedule so far, but he has looked fantastic and put up a decent amount of points on limited passing volume. The schedule doesn’t get any more difficult this week as the Eagles head to Detroit. If you need a streamer or replacement QB, I would take the shot on the high-upside rookie over more established mediocre veterans. He may just ball out enough for you to keep him, and other than the Week 7 meeting with Minnesota, his next six weeks are all plus matchups.
Verdict: Add if you need a QB this week.
7. Robert Woods – WR– BUF (ESPN Ownership: 10.3%)
Sammy Watkins has been placed on IR and all of a sudden Robert Woods is Buffalo’s #1 WR. That isn’t always a productive role, but Woods should see the most targets in this Buffalo passing game. He has 13 catches in the last two games.
Verdict: Add in 12+ team leagues and 10+ team PPR leagues.
1. Carson Palmer – QB– ARI (ESPN Ownership: 95.1%)
Perhaps we should have known that 2015 was more of an outlier in Carson Palmer’s career than what to expect in 2016. He has been very inconsistent throughout the first four weeks, and is now in the concussion protocol. Still, all of the Cardinals weapons are now healthy and we’ve seen how potent that Bruce Arians offense can be when clicking. He has too much upside to drop now.
2. Derrick Henry – RB– TEN (ESPN Ownership: 71.7%)
Henry hasn’t seen the usage that owners would like, but it is clear that that Tennessee run game is going to be very productive. Demarco Murray is currently the RB1, and if anything were to happen to him, Henry would slide into a great situation. If you need roster space, at least try to trade him to the Murray owner before dropping him.
1. Dwayne Allen – TE– IND (ESPN Ownership: 53.3%)
Allen is still getting outproduced by Jack Doyle and has put up duds in several plus matchups. The Colts offense is clearly not the juggernaut that we thought it could be, and will not be able to support two fantasy relevant tight ends (and probably not even one.)
2. Tajae Sharpe – WR– TEN (ESPN Ownership: 42.1%)
The Titans passing game has been abysmal and Sharpe has averaged only 32 yards over the last three games. Kendall Wright should be back this week, and Sharpe’s usage should go down in an offense that can’t even support one fantasy WR.
3. Tyler Lockett – WR– SEA (ESPN Ownership: 69.9%)
I cautioned you all to keep Lockett through this Jets matchup, and while the Seattle passing offense was firing on all cylinders, Lockett was hobbled and not involved. Even when healthy, Lockett’s best hope is the third option behind Jimmy Graham and Doug Baldwin, and even that is a longshot. It’s time to cut bait over the bye.
4. Golden Tate – WR– DET (ESPN Ownership: 86.2%)
What the hell happened to Golden Tate? Not only has Marvin Jones firmly cemented himself as the #1 WR in Detroit, Tate has looked uninterested and confused all season (leading to a benching in Week 4.) I’d still hang onto him in PPR leagues but he has no use in standard leagues.
5. Justin Forsett – RB– BAL (ESPN Ownership: 62.2%)
Forsett has been released.