By Ryan Weisse
While we are all glad to have football back, this season feels like it has been going on for months already! Between COVID cancellations and FanDuel mishaps, Week 5 did nothing to quell the chaos. We saw our first major QB injury — and we wish Dak Prescott a speedy recovery — but now the hopes of the high-flying Dallas offense are in the hands of Andy Dalton. Running back waivers continue to be thin but wide receiver is as bountiful as ever, with more than a few rookies looking solid in Week 5. All the players listed below are available in more than 50% of Yahoo leagues and tend to be available in far more than that on ESPN. If your team is in trouble, it’s time to Pick ‘Em Up.
PRO TIP: Always look at last week’s bye week teams for good players that may have been dropped out of desperation. Week 5 was Detroit, Green Bay, New England, and Denver.
Andy Dalton (97% Available)
Dalton is getting the keys to a Ferrari– let’s hope he can drive it. He is a proven QB that threw for almost 3,500 yards and 16 TDs in 13 games last year with the Bengals. It would be hard to argue that this is the best offense he has ever been a part of and expectations will be high. Dalton completed 81% of his passes for 111 yards in relief duty on Sunday and will play Arizona in Week 6. The Cardinals give up the 10th fewest points to fantasy QBs so Dalton will have his work cut out for him.
Kirk Cousins (68% Available)
This may just be a one-week rental, as the Vikings have a Week 7 bye, but they get the Falcons in Week 6. This is your chance to land the QB that will likely be my Stream of the Week before the rest of your league. The Falcons got chopped up by Teddy Bridgewater last week and Cousins played well enough against Seattle, hitting two TDs and 249 yards. He has 6 TDs in his last three games and should have no trouble dropping two or three on a spiraling Falcons team.
Justin Jackson (57% Available)
I am writing this before he even plays his Monday Night game but Jackson should be added in all but the shallowest of leagues. Joshua Kelley will be the lead back but Jackson is far more suited to play the Austin Ekeler role in this offense, meaning plenty of passing targets. Ekeler is going to miss at least a month and Jackson will see good volume during that time. The Chargers do have a Week 6 bye that you will need to overcome but, with RB depth at a premium, I would not wait.
Phillip Lindsay (50% Available)
An unplanned bye week bought you some time to go get Lindsay. Again, like Jackson, Lindsay will be a clear RB2 in this offense but there is plenty of work to go around. He saw eight touches in Week 1 before getting hurt and missing the next two games. This extra week of rest should have him ready-to-go when the Broncos play the Patriots in Week 6. Also, this may have taken care of their bye week for the season, so he will be an every week RB2/Flex option moving forward.
Alexander Mattison (60% Available)
While it does not appear that Dalvin Cook will miss any significant time, Mattison proved he needs to be rostered as far more than just an insurance policy for Cook. He rushed for 112 yards on 20 carries in Week 6 while Cook was mending. Even if he doesn’t miss a game, the Vikings are likely to lessen Cook’s workload, opening the door for more weekly volume for Mattison. If Cook does miss time, Mattison is a fantasy RB1.
Chase Claypool (84% Available)
Coming off of a four (almost five) TD game, he has to be scooped up immediately. Will he ever have a game like this again? Probably not, but he has a chance to be something good in this offense. He is huge (6’4″, 238 lbs) and played TE in college. He can work in traffic or outside and provides Ben with a unique weapon he hasn’t really had before. Diontae Johnson did get hurt early here but this game didn’t go to Juju, or Washington, or Ebron. It went to Claypool and that can’t be ignored.
Mike Williams (61% Available)
Another write-up before they play on Monday night but with Herbert being named the starter moving forward, Williams is a must-add. Keenan Allen is going to lead this team in targets but when it comes time to send that ball deep, it will be in Williams’ direction. He has been hurt most of this season but should be close to 100% now and won’t be available on waivers for long. As mentioned above, you will need to suffer through the Week 6 bye for Los Angeles. **Editor’s note: Keenan Allen left Monday night’s game with a back injury.**
Brandin Cooks (56% Available)
Cooks is too talented to wait and see if this week’s performance was a flash-in-the-pan. In Week 5, he basically matched the numbers he put up in the first four games in just this one game and also scored his first TD. The fact this was the first game post-Bill O’Brien gives confidence that he could be more involved moving forward.
Henry Ruggs (56% Available)
Ruggs showed us a glimpse this week of why he was the first WR drafted this year. While he only caught two passes, one was a 72-yard TD and the other was a 46 yards bomb. He is a big play waiting to happen, it just remains to be seen whether Jon Gruden will let Carr cut it loose. Gruden made a point of acknowledging that they threw the ball deep, and won, in Week 5, so maybe we will see more of what Ruggs is capable of moving forward.
Laviska Shenault (66% Available)
There is going to be a week very soon where Shenault scores three TDs and everyone will rush to waivers to claim him — so get ahead of that curve. He just looks like he is a threat to score every time he touches the ball and the Jaguars are getting him more and more involved each week. He led the team in targets this week, catching seven of eight passes thrown his way for 79 yards.
Travis Fulgham (97% Available)
Much like Andy Isabella a few weeks back, this is a desperation play and unlikely to repeat…but if your bench is deep, Fulgham may be worth an add on a depleted Eagles WR corps. Fulgham is a 2nd-year guy that recorded no stats at all in Detroit last season as a rookie. He has scored a TD in each of the last two weeks but his role is still unclear once DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, and Jalen Reagor get healthy.
Jimmy Graham (60% Available)
While he is not exactly impressive, Graham is looking like a playable fantasy TE week in and out. He is averaging 3 receptions and almost a TD every game this season. With the injury to Tarik Cohen, Graham has stepped up and played that short-pass safety blanket role in this offense. There are going to be dud weeks, like Week 2 when he caught just one ball for 18 yards, but he is a TD threat every week and that will be enough to make him fantasy relevant for the rest of the season.
Trey Burton (99% Available)
It appears that no matter how much the fantasy community asks for it, Mo Alie-Cox is not going to be a thing. For the 2nd straight week, Burton led the Indy TEs in targets. With just about every WR on this team hurt or ineffective, Burton seems to be the guy that Rivers is locking on to. He has 11 targets in the last two games and should start to do more with those targets as he continues to get healthy. They have Cincinnati in Week 6 and a Week 7 bye after that, but if you’re in TE trouble, Burton is worth the add.