Before we dive into the shallow pool known as the Week 5 Waiver Wire, here is a quick piece of advice. Sometimes, it’s better to wait. I comprise this list of players available in 50% or more leagues, and for the first four weeks, there was talent. Looking at the Week 5 options, there is a definite contrast. Basically, I wouldn’t blow more than 3-5% FAAB or ANY waiver priority on a single player this week. Obviously, if your league slept on Tank Dell or De’Von Achane, get them, but otherwise, wait until free agency tomorrow to fill holes. Most of these guys aren’t worth it.
Pro Tip: Keep an eye on who your leaguemates drop this week. With bye weeks starting, managers may have to drop players that they shouldn’t from the Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Chargers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Seattle Seahawks, as they all have Week 5 off.
Quick Note: All players listed are available in at least 50% of ESPN leagues. While not everyone plays on ESPN, studies show most do. So, if they’re available there, they’re likely available on your Week 5 Waiver Wire. Pick ‘Em Up!
Week 5 Waiver Wire
Normally, I don’t advocate blowing FAAB on QBs. There is always plenty to choose from in free agency after waivers, and you should just stream the position. This list will usually be small, but if you’re desperate, this is who I would prioritize this week.
C.J. Stroud (68% Available)
Stroud is the QB10 on the season and has looked good in his first four games. He should be rostered in any 10+ team league moving forward. With a schedule of ATL and NO in the next two weeks, he’s an excellent start before his Week 7 bye.
Roschon Johnson (54% Available)
Johnson is the RB30 on the season and is in a clear timeshare with Khalil Herbert, but he should still be rostered. He has 12 targets in four games, a season-long pace of 68 targets. He is currently ranked 22nd for RB targets, and that usage in the passing game keeps him valuable.
Jaleel McLaughlin (99% Available)
If Javonte Williams misses time, McLaughlin could be a fantasy RB2 for a week or two. Even if Williams plays, McLaughlin has scored more fantasy points than Samje Perine in 14 fewer touches. The rookie may be the RB2 or even the starter before the season is over.
Justice Hill / Gus Edwards (at least 55% Available)
Both Baltimore backs are ranked in the Top 50 on a team that is going to run the ball a lot. This is not the new passing offense we were promised, and both Ravens’ backs should see plenty of volume when they are healthy.
Kenneth Gainwell (54% Available)
While D’Andre Swift has taken over the starting role, Gainwell is not dead. He has 21 touches in the last two games, and in this Eagles’ offense, that is valuable volume.
Tyjae Spears (79% Available)
Inexplicably, Spears has been playing equal snaps to Derrick Henry this season. It hasn’t translated into much fantasy success, but he should improve as the season progresses.
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Romeo Doubs / Jayden Reed (at least 64% Available)
Ignoring this Green Bay offense seems like a mistake. Doubs should be the priority; he appears to be a lock to lead this team in targets, but Reed is showing a nose for the endzone.
Josh Palmer (53% Available)
The Chargers are on bye this week, but Palmer should still be added if you have the roster spot. He scored 10 points in his first game in relief of Mike Williams, and this passing game is the best in the league.
Michael Wilson (98% Available)
The rookie Wilson appears to have won the WR2 job in Arizona and scored two TDs last week. He’s a gamble, as is rostering just about any Arizona Cardinal, but his ceiling now looks very good.
Marvin Mims (82% Available)
Mims has more fantasy points than Jerry Jeudy on six fewer targets. On any given week, any WR in this offense can pop off; Brandon Johnson has three TDs this year, but Mims has the draft capital to earn himself a significant role in this offense.
Tyler Boyd (56% Available)
Boyd is basically Josh Palmer, but older, worse at football, and in a potentially bad offense. Are you sold? If he takes the target share that Tee Higgins leaves behind while he deals with a broken rib, he could have some Boom weeks. However, the Bengals’ offense is quite literally the lowest-scoring in the league right now, so there will be Bust weeks too.
Much like QB, I don’t usually recommend blowing any waiver priority or FAAB on a tight end, either. You can generally wait until Wednesday and play the streaming game. However, early in the season, there are sometimes players that should be rostered, and leagues are missing out. These are those players.
Jake Ferguson (75% Available)
Ferguson is literally the only startable TE rostered below 50%. If you need a TE, he is your option. That makes him worth some FAAB for TE-needy teams. He is TE8 on the season and has scored 9+ fantasy points in each of his last three matchups.