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Pick ‘Em Up: Week 5 Fantasy Football Waiver Claims

Week 5 Waiver Wire

It’s Week 5 in the NFL, and hopefully, the fantasy season has started well for you. If you’ve been following along with these articles, you’ve undoubtedly been crushing the waiver wire! The injuries have slowed down this week, but plenty of solid players are still available in most leagues. As a reminder, every player mentioned on our list is available in at least 50% of Yahoo leagues, which means there is a good chance they are available in you yours…until you Pick ‘Em Up!

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Sam Darnold (63% Available)
FIVE. F.I.V.E. 5!!! That is how many rushing TDs Darnold has on the season. It’s also his overall fantasy rank. Past trauma has kept him available in far too many leagues. Let it go, and Pick. Him. Up.

Daniel Jones (69% Available)
Another QB with rushing upside being ignored. Jones has the 3rd-most rushing yards for QBs and another two rushing TDs on top of four passing TDs…and only one interception. The Giants will need to throw plenty moving forward, and Jones is a fine play.

Taylor Heinicke (90% Available)
Stop me when you’ve heard this before…QB, rushing ability, good fantasy play. Heinicke is averaging over 4 yards per carry and already scored one rushing TD. He’s also thrown eight passing TDs and is the QB13 on the season despite minimal Week 1 playing time.

Trey Lance (69% Available)
I assure you this record is not broken…you want QBs that can run the ball. It just so happened that another is about to take over for the next month, if not the rest of the year, in San Francisco. Lance already has one rushing TD as a gadget player and will make things happen in an offense with many weapons.

Running Backs

Kenneth Gainwell (71% Available)
Gainwell has been stealing work from Miles Sanders all season long and has actually scored more fantasy points than the Eagles’ starting RB on the season. Gainwell has also secured 13 of 18 targets thrown his way, giving him a safe floor if Sanders starts to get it together.

Damien Williams (92% Available)
This is more about the injury to David Montgomery than any faith in Williams. Williams has been average as can be over the last few seasons, but if he’s getting all the carries for Chicago, he has some value at a very thin fantasy position. This is a temporary rental, as Monty will be back up to speed in a week or three, so don’t blow too much FAAB.

JD McKissic (61% Available)
As mentioned with Gainwell, passing-down backs have a safe floor. McKissic was a top-15 back in this role last year but hasn’t had the same success in 2021. However, he’s still secured 12 of 14 targets and scored two TDs on the season, the same as the starter, Antonio Gibson.

Latavius Murray (53% Available)
Ty’Son Williams’ time in the sun was short-lived, as the young back was a healthy scratch in Week 4. Lead-back duties went to Murray, and he managed to score another TD. Murray has over 150 yards and four TDs on the season for one of the NFL’s best rushing teams. He should not be available in this many leagues.

Michael Carter (50% Available)
While Carter hasn’t done a ton to start the year, he’s heating up. I’ve made note of the last few weeks that it seems that all the red-zone carries seem to fall to Carter. Of the Jets’ eight RZ carries, five have ended up with the rookie, including two more and a touchdown in Week 4. As the Jets improve, Carter will see his workload increase, and he could be a fantasy RB2 by the season’s end.

Wide Receivers

Darnell Mooney (62% Available)
There is an obvious rapport between Mooney and Justin Fields, and he will be the highest waiver priority heading into this week. That connection was further illustrated by his five catches for 125 yards this past week. You’ll likely have to pay up to get him, but if you need a WR, he is worth it.

Jamison Crowder (80% Available)
Crowder did great in his first week back, but it’s the production of his role you should be excited by for fantasy. In the weeks that Crowder missed, Braxton Berrios filled his spot. Over four weeks, the Jets’ slot role has accounted for 22 catches on 31 targets, 211 yards, and one TD.  That’s top-36 production sitting on your waiver wire, and those numbers could improve with the more-talented Crowder.

AJ Green (76% Available)
Guess what? AJ Green is not dead. Turns out he’s not even washed. He’s the WR31 on the season with 248 yards and two TDs. To make matters better, he’s still building rapport and learning this system. If he stays healthy, Green has top-24 upside the rest of the year.

Curtis Samuel (60% Available)
While his first game back was nothing special, it was his first game back. Samuel caught all four balls thrown his way but managed just 19 yards, Those numbers will improve, and Samuel is worth a stash on deep benches.

DeVante Parker (62% Available)
You’re never going to believe this: Will Fuller is hurt…again. Parker is averaging eight targets per game and has already scored a TD this season. The Miami QB situation is less than ideal, but Parker is a proven commodity to fill your Flex spot with bye weeks approaching.

Tight Ends

Dawson Knox (53% Available)
Knox has been targeted 20 times so far this season. While that is only good enough for 4th on his own team. It’s still the 13th most among all TEs. He’s also scored four TDs this season, making the TE5. He will have bad weeks, as will all TEs, but he is one worth holding instead of streaming.

Jonnu Smith (52% Available)
The entire New England passing game is questionable, but Smith is worth the gamble. He’s been targeted 21 times, two more than Hunter Henry. Both TEs scored their first TD of the season this past week, but Smith is still outperforming Henry despite fewer snaps.

Dalton Schultz (66% Available)
Another murky two-TE situation. Schultz seems to have wrestled the top spot from Blake Jarwin. Schultz has scored three TDs in the last two weeks, and in the current TE climate, fantasy managers cannot ignore that production. He may cede a few weeks back to Jarwin, but he plays in an offense that can score a lot of points, making him an interesting weekly play.