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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 5
10/1/18; Updated: 10/2/18 Users...
Check out the most popular waiver wire pickups this week across thousands of MFL leagues. Also, quickly see who's available on your waiver wire this week by using the MFL Power feature at FF Today. Just input your league's 5-digit ID number away you go!
Targeting weekly waiver picks is a completely subjective business, but this column hopes to point out some obvious and not-so-obvious selections to help your team from week to week while you strive to collect fantasy wins, reach your league playoffs and win the elusive title that your friends say is out of your grasp. While I’m a big proponent of making trades to bolster your roster, the waiver wire can be an almost limitless resource when it comes to discovering fantasy value in strange places. Each week, I’ll highlight some of the popular (and not-so-popular) players who can help your squad and may still be available in your league.

Feedback is always welcome, appreciated and encouraged. I’ll get to as many e-mails as I can.

Mitchell Trubisky

Thanks to scheme and a poor Bucs defense, Trubisky had the benefit of wide-open receivers in Wk 4.


Jared Goff, LAR – All you need to know is that Goff is just 69 percent owned in ESPN leagues, which means there’s around 20-25% of competitive 10-team leagues where he’s available. He should be owned in all formats and I suspect he won’t make another appearance in this column once his ownership level skyrockets past 85 percent and never looks back. This is your last chance to grab the guy who threw for 465-5-0 on Thursday night against the Vikings. His schedule gets a little tougher the next few weeks (@SEA, @DEN, @SF), but he is emerging as a matchup-proof stud. It makes zero sense that Matthew Stafford has a higher ownership percentage.

Andy Dalton, CIN – Dalton (50-55 percent owned) is coming off a big 337-3-1 game in Sunday’s win over the Falcons, but just lost TE Tyler Eifert for the season to a gruesome lower leg injury that all but assures he won’t play football until late in 2019. But there are weapons in Cincy, and Dalton gets the Dolphins next week. If Miami safety Reshad Jones misses another game, the whole Bengals offense gets an upgrade.

Mitchell Trubisky, CHI – Trubisky (about 15-25 percent owned) threw for 354-6-0 and rushed for 53 yards in Chicago’s blowout win over the Bucs, showing off some of the skills that Chicago fans have been waiting for patiently over the past couple seasons. He should be rostered in 12-team leagues if this is his upside in Matt Nagy’s offense. He’s on a Week 5 bye and faces the Dolphins in Week 6.

Joe Flacco, BAL – Flacco looked sharp on Sunday night in Pittsburgh, leading the Ravens to a 26-14 win with 363-2-0. His ownership is still quite low (15-20 percent) and he matches up with the Browns in Week 5. See what Derek Carr just did to them (below).

Other QBs to consider: Marcus Mariota, Dak Prescott, Blake Bortles, Ryan Tannehill


Derek Carr, OAK – His 437-4-2 shows us there’s still some upside in the Raiders’ offense, even if the OT win came at the expense of the Browns. He finally connected for a TD with Amari Cooper and should be busy next week against the Chargers weak secondary.

Alex Smith, WAS – Washington was on a Week 4 bye, but Smith is a sneaky add as he faces the Saints in Week 5.

Eli Manning, NYG – Manning only threw for 255-1-0 and lost a fumble Sunday. It might be time to move on from Eli and get a backup with more upside. He just doesn’t have the protection to throw it downfield.

Baker Mayfield, CLE – Mayfield finished with 295-2-2 and two lost fumbles Sunday, mixing in some good with the bad. He’ll have a tough matchup against the Ravens in Week 5.

C.J. Beathard, SF – 298-2-2 was a lot better than I expected out of Beathard, and it’s obvious he’s not shy about getting it to good buddy George Kittle. This is his upside, considering the favorable matchup with the Chargers, though the Cards aren’t a heck of a lot better.

Running Backs

Sony Michel, NE – Sony Michel (80-85 percent) is still available in a few leagues, and brings some needed balance to this New England offense. With Rex Burkhead out with a neck injury, he could have a few games like Sunday’s in the hopper. Michel ran for 112 yards and a TD on 25 carries and gets the Colts in Week 5. He needs to be owned in all formats, and like Jared Goff, this will be his last appearance in the column once his ownership crests past 85 percent and stays north of that figure – even when Burkhead returns.

Tarik Cohen, CHI – Cohen is just 60 percent owned and had a monster day (53 rushing yards, 7-121-1 receiving) despite being started in just 1 percent of large field, full-slate DFS contests Sunday. He’s an explosive back and a great PPR option, and he was included in my “other RBs to consider” last week. Hopefully some of you took advantage in H2H and daily fantasy.

Mike Davis, SEA – I hate the Seahawks. I was prepared for some solid Chris Carson numbers, but they were obviously less-than-truthful about his status heading into Sunday. “Maintenance” toward the end of the week turned into a hip injury that made him a surprise inactive – giving Davis (101 rushing yards and two TDs; 4-23-0 receiving) a huge workload in his stead. Davis is under 1 percent owned and worth a look in all formats after Sunday’s monster day.

Nyheim Hines, IND – The rookie had just four carries for 10 yards, but he exploded for 9-63-2 on 11 targets from Andrew Luck in Sunday’s OT loss to Houston. My mistake was not starting him in one 12-team PPR league as my RB2 over Peyton Barber, who’s essentially useless these days. Hines is just 15-20 percent owned and makes a fine grab off the wire in PPR formats.

Nick Chubb, CLE – The Browns have some interesting offensive weapons, and now we have a revelatory game from Chubb (15 percent owned in ESPN leagues), who gashed the Raiders on a couple of huge runs, busting out for 105 yards and two scores on just three (three!) carries. The Browns need to get him more involved.

Aaron Jones, GB – Jones was in my RBs to consider as well, and he’s about 50-60 percent owned right now heading into Week 5 waivers. His 11 carries for 65 yards and a TD (plus 1-17-0 receiving) in his second game back from suspension should vault him past 75 percent ownership this week, regardless of the crowded RB committee in Green Bay.

T.J. Yeldon, JAC – Yeldon is just 45-50 percent owned but is getting a lot of work with Leonard Fournette out. He had 52 rushing yards and a TD on 18 carries, adding 3-48-1 receiving in the win over the Jets Sunday. He’ll be a solid flex play against the Chiefs next week.

UPDATE: Given what we saw Denver RBs do against the Chiefs run defense on MNF, Yeldon is looking like a bona fide RB2 in this matchup if Fournette remains out.

Other RBs to consider: Ronald Jones, Ito Smith, Ty Montgomery, Latavius Murray Alfred Blue, Corey Grant


Kerryon Johnson, DET – Johnson is no longer available in the vast majority of leagues after last week, and he finished Sunday with 55 yards and a late TD on 9 carries. He’s far from a three-down back who’ll see a huge workload, but he’s a guy who should be owned in all formats.

Chris Carson, SEA – See the Davis piece above. Carson was out Sunday and we’ll have to monitor the hip injury moving forward.

Austin Ekeler, LAC – Ekeler is disappearing from waiver wires as well. On Sunday he rushed eight times for 25 yards and added 2-21-1. He’s been very effective despite limited work this season, hauling in 13-163-2 on 14 targets and rushing for 188 yards on 28 carries over four games.

Javorius Allen, BAL – Allen has been quietly productive this season but had a quiet game Sunday night with 2-17-0 receiving and 30 rushing yards on 10 carries.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

Corey Davis, TEN – Don’t give me a hard time for leading with a guy who’s about 75-90 percent owned, but Davis had a monster game (9-161-1 on 15 targets) and he’s still out there in a few leagues. He and Marcus Mariota are finaly clicking and connected for Davis’ first career TD in the stunning upset of the Eagles. He’s a solid WR3 moving forward.

Dede Westbrook/Donte Moncrief, JAC – Two weeks ago I recommended adding Westbrook, and the talented wideout erupted for 9-130-1 in the win over the Jets. He lost a fumble but racked up 13 targets from Blake Bortles. Next week the Jags face the Chiefs, which all but guarantees more offensive upside for both him and Moncrief (10 percent owned).

Tyler Boyd, CIN – Boyd (owned in about 70-90 percent of fantasy leagues after a huge ownership spike last week) was targeted 15 times by Dalton and finished with 11-100-0 Sunday in a game that saw a season-ending injury to Eifert and Bengals WR john Ross pull up with a soft-tissue injury that clouds his status for next week. Boyd has 36 targets through four weeks and 26-349-2 on the season, warranting ownership in all formats moving forward.

Jamison Crowder, WAS – UPDATE: Paul Richardson is dealing with a shoulder injury that will require maintenance, and Washington faces the Saints in Week 5. Crowder is still available in about 30-60 percent of leagues, depending on size and format, and he’s been relatively quiet so far this season. With his ability to move around and win the ball on shorter routes, he’s firmly in place as a WR3 and could break out this week.

Keke Coutee, HOU – After missing the first three weeks of the season with a hamstring issue, Houston Texans rookie wide receiver Keke Coutee (out of Texas Tech) made his debut against the Colts on Sunday, hauling in 11-109-0 on 15 targets from Deshaun Watson. Coutee (3-5 percent owned) is an explosive vertical threat who works well out of the slot, and he’ll be a popular waiver wire add this week in PPR leagues heading into a Week 5 matchup against the Cowboys.

Taylor Gabriel, CHI – Gabriel (5-15 percent owned) has also been a big play receiver, and he broke out with 7-104-2 in the drubbing of Tampa Bay Sunday. He’s not the most consistent WR available, but he’s worth a look in 12-team leagues as a WR4 with upside in favorable matchups.

Willie Snead, BAL – Snead finished with just 6-56-0 on 7 targets Sunday night, but he looks as productive as Michael Crabtree in this offense and could see plenty of targets from Flacco this season out of the slot and on third downs. He’s owned in about 15-25 percent of leagues but is a steady WR4 option in PPR formats.

Ryan Grant, IND – UPDATE: On a short week facing the Patriots on Thursday night, it’s very possible the Colts will be without T.Y. Hilton, which puts Grant (10-30 percent owned) on the fantasy radar despite limited upside. He makes sense as a low-end WR3/flex in PPR leagues.

TE Cameron Brate, TB – UPDATE: The Bucs are on a Week 5 bye, but O.J. Howard is out 2-4 weeks with an MCL sprain. That means Brate could break into TE1 status once they return Week 5 against the Falcons. With TE being such a difficult position to get consistent value from, Brate (10-30 percent owned) stands out as a high-upside short-term option. If you don’t need immediate help in Week 5 and the pickings are slim on waivers anyway, he should be a priority.

Michael Gallup, DAL – UPDATE With a battered Ezekiel Elliott shouldering such a heavy workload and the Cowboys faced with keeping up with a potent Houston offense this week, it’s quite possible that Dallas will be forced to take a few more deep shots and utilize the services of Gallup. He’ll be tough to trust in standard leagues, but in deeper formats and large-field DFS tournaments, he’s on my radar as a low-owned dart throw.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: Zach Pascal, Chester Rogers, Ryan Switzer, Courtland Sutton, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, TE Jeff Heuerman


Mike Williams, LAC – I’ve been dreading a dud from Mike Williams and this was it. One catch for 15 yards – but we’ll have to keep an eye on the latest Travis Benjamin injury, which looked like a reaggravation of the foot issue that’s kept him out. Stay tuned and don’t give up on Big Mike.

Chris Godwin, TB – Godwin had just 2-22-0 in Week 4 against the Bears, and the Bucs are on a Week 5 bye.

Jordy Nelson, OAK – Nelson’s 5-48-1 on eight targets was eclipsed by standout performances from Cooper and TE Jared Cook (8-110-2), but he’s got a good floor in this offense and some favorable upside considering his Week 5 matchup with the Chargers.

Tyler Lockett, SEA – Doug Baldwin returned to action and Lockett finished with 5-53-0 on six targets and the Seattle running game controlled the offensive game flow.

Christian Kirk, ARI – Kirk (10-45 percent owned – a huge disparity based on format and level of competition) followed up his big Week 3 with just 4-28-0 on five targets. He’s still a solid pickup with upside if Larry Fitzgerald is still dinged up.

TE Tyler Eifert, CIN – He had a nice game going (4-38-1) before the devastating ankle injury. He’s done until 2019 at the earliest.

TE Dallas Goedert, PHI – Goedert’s breakout in Week 3 turned into a measly 2-13-0 on two targets against the Titans. He’s still on my radar.

TE Vance McDonald, PIT – McDonald turned in a fine outing with 5-62-0 but lost a fumble Sunday night on a bizarre play where Tony Jefferson just took the ball from him.

Sterling Shepard, NYG – Shepard went for 10-77-1 and looked like Manning’s favorite target against the Saints. He’s a solid WR4 moving forward.