And just like that, we’re more than a quarter into the season. Week 5 accumulated a handful of headlines. From another Aaron Rodgers 4th quarter comeback against Dallas, to OBJ’s major injury as the Giants fall to 0-5, to the Kansas City Chiefs as the last undefeated team standing, the 2017 NFL season hasn’t played to script. You may have prematurely pulled the plug on your favorite team, but that’s why we play fantasy football, right?
Hopefully you’ve been able to compensate any negatives on the season from a fan perspective with fantasy success. If not, don’t worry, there’s still a lot of (fantasy) football left to play, and we’re here to help.
Year after year, the waiver wire can prove to be what puts your fantasy team over the top. Whether you’ve been hindered by injuries, or you just straight up drafted a bad team, there’s still hope and a way you can make up for it.
This week boasts an intriguing crop of top waiver wire gems, and I outlined a good bit below. Whether you need a new FLEX, replacement for OBJ or some upside to help with your playoff push, I have you covered below.
For more fantasy advice, follow me on Twitter @JonValencia_WiB.
RB Matt Breida – San Francisco 49ers – 7.1% ownership
Carlos Hyde struggled, so Kyle Shanahan went with the hot hand , and that happened to be undrafted rookie Matt Breida. During training camp there was buzz that Carlos Hyde could be a surprise roster cut, but that obviously was nothing but smoke. There was heavy speculation that 4th round pick Joe Williams could assume the starting role, but Matt Breida was a name thrown around as well.
Breida was a standout at Georgia Southern where he posted monster production. He got his first real chance this past Sunday as he filled in for the struggling Carlos Hyde, as Breida went on to rush for 49 yards while hauling in three catches as well.
While it’s highly unlikely Breida overtakes the feature role from Hyde, it’s almost certain that he will be seeing a higher snap share. The 49ers aren’t going to win many games, so they’ll want to showcase their youth, especially if they’re flashing.
RB Wayne Gallman – New York Giants – 26.9% ownership
The Paul Perkins feature back era died before it ever began, and it’s clear that Wayne Gallman is the back to own out of that backfield. The rookie out of Clemson has now posted 13 fantasy points in consecutive weeks and has shown far more than Perkins. It gets better.
New York’s WR corps took a huge blow this week as four players were injured in week 5’s loss to the Chargers, including superstar Odell Beckham. This means the Giants will be forced to run the ball more, so Gallman could be in line for a heavy workload. Gallman should be your top priority this week if you plan on working the waiver wire.
RB Marlon Mack – Indianapolis Colts – 3.3% ownership
Since he posted 11.5 fantasy points in week 1, Mack has been silent. He came out of hibernation in week 5 with 91 yards and a score on just nine carries en route to 16.3 fantasy points.
His production thus far has emulated his running style. Mack is “hit or miss” on a lot of his runs, much like how he is on a week to week basis from a fantasy perspective. Still, I like his season-long upside as he has a real chance to steal a good chunk of the snap share as the season moves on.
He may not produce consistently at first, but he’s worth a stash if you have the space and are willing to take a chance on someone who could help you during your playoff run.
RB J.D. McKissic – Seattle Seahawks – 9.2% ownership
The landscape in the Seahawks backfield seems to shift weekly, but it looks like J.D. McKissic may be sticking around. After C.J. Prosise’s struggles in week 4 and his absence in week 5, McKissic could steal the pass catching role.
While he came back down to earth this past week with 6.6 fantasy points, that’s still enough to keep you intrigued after his monster 19.5 performance just two weeks ago. There’s still hope that Prosise will assume back his role at some point, but it certainly looks good for McKissic. He has PPR FLEX potential.
RB Charcandrick West – Kansas City Chiefs – 9.9% ownership
Since the opening game of the season, it has been the Kareem Hunt show in Kansas City. The backfield shifted into his possession after the injury to Spencer Ware in the preseason. Even before Hunt’s emergence, not many people were talking about Charcandrick West.
As Hunt’s handcuff alone, West holds value. But, he can still be an efficient FLEX. West hasn’t received many carries this season, but he’s made the most of his opportunities in the passing game. In week 5, West scored TDs on both of his receptions. In week 4, he hauled in 5 catches. During that span, West is averaging 12 fantasy points per week.
If you own Hunt, West is definitely worth adding as a handcuff. If not, he’s a solid last priority waiver claim.
WR John Brown – Arizona Cardinals – 41.7% ownership
It’s not often that you see a player with John Brown’s upside hanging out on the waiver wire. Brown just hasn’t seemed able to get right over the past couple years, but he may be hovering around top form right now.
Brown hauled in his first TD of the year against Philly this past week, and has posted respectable production in both other games he has suited up in this season. Going back to 2015 where Brown eclipsed 1,000 yards with 7 TDs, he was a threat to drop 15+ fantasy points any given week. Roll the dice on that upside as Brown can help your team during your playoff run.
WR Brice Butler – Dallas Cowboys – 0.9% ownership
Has Dallas ever had a solid #2 WR opposite Dez Bryant? And I’m not talking about Cole Beasley who plays out of the slot. Have they given up on Terrance Williams yet? Well, they should.
Every time I seem to turn on a Cowboys game, Brice Butler flashes. While he hasn’t quite seen the volume, he’s making the most of his opportunities averaging an astounding 25.9 yards per catch and scoring on 25% of his catches.
The Cowboys have a bye this week, but then see a cupcake matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. Hopefully by then Jason Garrett decides to give Butler a larger snap share so we can see what he’s capable of in an expanded role. Maybe not a player you want to burn waiver wire priority on, but certainly someone to keep an eye on.
WR Jermaine Kearse – New York Jets – 40.7% ownership
After a stellar two weeks to start the season, Jermaine Kearse came back down to earth in the ensuing couple of weeks. However, he turned up the production yet again this past week as he hauled in all four of his targets for 38 yards and a TD.
While the Jets are as underwhelming as they come from a fantasy perspective, production has to be generated somehow. Kearse now has three TDs on the year and is without a doubt the most reliable Jets pass catcher. He’s a solid matchup based FLEX play for the rest of the season.
WR Roger Lewis – New York Giants – 0.1% ownership
With the plethora of injuries suffered to the Giants WR corps in week 5, they must adapt the “next man up” mentality. Roger Lewis now enters his 2nd season out of Bowling Green where he enjoyed an ultra productive career.
During his rookie campaign, Lewis hauled in only seven catches, but two of those went for TDs. On his only reception in week 5, he scored. Lewis is sure to see a high spike in snap share this week, and while in a limited sample size, he has a great REC:TD ratio. With OBJ likely out the rest of the season, snag Lewis and hope that he can emerge into a reliable FLEX play.
WR Ricardo Louis – Cleveland Browns – 0.4% ownership
When Corey Coleman went down a few weeks ago, Rashard Higgins was the guy many targeted on the waiver wire. He hasn’t quite lived up to the hype. Instead it’s been Ricardo Louis who has stolen production out of that WR corps.
The 2nd year WR out of Auburn has garnered some hype in the fantasy circuit since last year, and now we may see him blossoming into the most reliable receiver on the Browns. Louis has caught five passes in consecutive weeks combining for 23.5 fantasy points. The Browns have to throw to someone, and it looks like Louis is going to be that guy. He can serve as a matchup based FLEX play if he continues his consistency.
TE Ed Dickson – Carolina Panthers – 8.7% ownership
Greg Olsen who? Perhaps the most surprising breakout fantasy performance thus far during the young season was Ed Dickson dropping 22.5 fantasy points in week 5 – good for 8th best by a TE so far this season. Dickson’s 175 receiving yards crushed his prior career high and was also more than he had entering Sunday.
While it’s highly unlikely Dickson ever reaches 20 points again, it’s hard to ignore a monster performance like this. If you need a TE, Dickson certainly looks worth an add if you want to risk that he doesn’t go ghost after a huge performance. Until Greg Olsen returns, Dickson looks like a solid play.