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Antonio D'Arcangelis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

Through The Wire - Week 5
9/30/19; Updated: 10/1/19

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.

Andy Dalton


Jameis Winston, TB – Winston shook off his previously ugly performances with a solid game against the Rams – completing 28-of-41 passes for 385 yards, four TDs, and just one interception in the Bucs' thrilling 55-40 Week 4 win. The mistake was a bad one – a fourth-quarter pick-six to Marcus Peters that gave the Rams life after trailing most of the day by multiple scores. The high-risk, high-reward Winston will be low-end QB1 play next week against the Saints, and he’s owned in just 45-60 percent of leagues.

Andy Dalton, CIN – I’ll update after tomorrow’s game, but for now Dalton (20-30 percent owned) looks like a decent pickup heading into Week 5 against the Cards if you need a streaming QB option.

UPDATE: It may be a blessing in disguise that the Bengals were still running the ball in the second half down three scores, because Dalton and the offense couldn’t have looked much worse on MNF. The Red Rifle threw for 171-0-1 with a lost fumble and the offensive line was atrocious, giving up eight sacks. If the line can improve, the Bengals have a chance to post some numbers against the Cards.

Kirk Cousins, MIN – Cousins is owned in about 25-40 percent of leagues, and he’s another option based on matchup alone. The Vikings might play conservative in this game against a Giants defense that’s improved since poor performances in weeks 1 and 2, but there’s a good shot at 200 passing yards and a couple TDs.

UPDATE: Adam Thielen’s post-game commentary was devastating, and hopefully Cousins was listening to his concerns about throwing the ball more to his capable WRs. It’s a great bounce-back spot for Cousins because the Vikings should be much better than this.

Other QBs to consider: Joe Flacco, Chase Daniel, Matt Barkley


Daniel Jones, NYG – Jones followed up his gleaming debut as a starter with a more pedestrian performance, completing 23-of-31 passes for 225-1-2 in the Giants’ Week 4 win over Washington. He’s not a great option this week hosting Minnesota.

Gardner Minshew, JAC – Minshew completed 19-of-33 passes for 213-2-0 in Week 4, beating the Broncos in Denver. The Jaguars’ rookie QB grinded and ran, extending plays with his feet and making some great throws. He’s not going to be a QB1 because of the Jaguars low passing volume, but he’s worth a look as a QB2 facing the Panthers in Week 5.

Kyle Allen, CAR – Cam Newton is still out, and Allen completed 24-of-34 passes for 232-0-0 in the Week 4 win over the Texans. He’s off the radar for Week 5 in a tough matchup against the Jags.

Case Keenum, WAS – Keenum was benched in the first half of the Redskins’ Week 4 loss to the Giants and can de dropped in all formats, as the team will be looking toward Colt McCoy (also not a great fantasy option) for Week 5.

UPDATE: HC Jay Gruden said he's not sure who he will start at QB in Week 5 against the Patriots, but regardless, they won’t be a viable fantasy starter against the Patriots.

Running Backs

Jordan Howard, PHI – Howard exploded for three TDs and 115 total yards in Week 4. He’s not always going to have this type of workload, since the Eagles also favor Miles Sanders, but for a running back who’s owned in fewer than 50 percent of ESPN leagues, this was a likely high-water mark. Expect more touches for Howard moving forward.

UPDATE: I still believe that Sanders is the best RB option for Philly, but Howard could be a worthwhile FLEX play facing the Jets in Week 5.

Duke Johnson, HOU – Johnson tallied 56 yards on just six carries and had 2-22-0 receiving in Week 4, and he’s still available in about 20-35 percent of fantasy leagues. A must-own in PPR formats, Johnson could be seeing more work as the Texans continue to fall into negative game scripts.

Jaylen Samuels, PIT – UPDATE: Perhaps Samuels (10-30 percent owned) is more than just a handcuff to James Conner? The Pittsburgh RB had a monster fantasy day along with Conner on MNF, rushing 10 times for 26 yards and a TD and adding 8-57-0 yards on eight targets. A reliable pass catcher who may not see this workload every week, he’s best utilized as a spot starter flex in favorable matchups in PPR leagues. He’s got a tough Week 5 matchup against the Ravens.

Raheem Mostert, SF – I’ve spoken of Mostert before in this column and I love the guy’s running style. A bye week in Week 4 means you may have one more chance to grab him before he takes full control of the lead back duties in the 49ers RB committee. His ownership is a little higher at than Matt Breida right now (30-40 percent for Mostert and 15-30 percent for Breida).

Other RBs to consider: Damien Harris, Chase Edmonds, Ryquell Armstead


Wayne Gallman, NYG – Gallman rushed 18 times for 63 yards and one rushing TD and caught 6-of-7 targets for 55 yards and a TD in the Week 4 win. He had a whopping 24 touches and was involved in the red zone, which makes him an every-week fantasy starter for as long as he keeps this usage. He’s looking at an RB2 role in Week 5.

Ronald Jones, TB – Jones seems to have finally surpassed Peyton Barber on the depth chart, but that’s always subject to change based on who’s running the ball better and staying out of the doghouse. Jones (40-60 percent) carried the ball 19 times for 70 yards and a TD in the Bucs’ Week 4 win over the Rams and will be a hot commodity on the wire this week.

Tony Pollard, DAL – We didn’t see much of Pollard in Week 4, so for now he’s off my fantasy radar. Still a necessary handcuff for Zeke owners though.

Darrel Williams, KC – Williams and LeSean McCoy are having themselves a fine time with Damien Williams still out for the Chiefs. Darrel had 13 yards and two TDs on eight carries while hauling in 3-43-0 in the Chiefs’ exciting Week 4 win over the Lions. Once Damien returns from his knee injury, Darrel will be the Chiefs third RB option.

UPDATE: Still no word on Damien’s injury, so stay tuned.

Wide Receivers / Tight Ends

A.J. Brown, TEN – Brown should be added in all 12-team leagues following his breakout game against the Falcons, when he hauled in all three of his targets for 94 yards and two scores. The Bills are a tough Week 5 matchup but the upside Brown offers as a big-bodied target means he’ll be scooped off the wire in most formats after this week.

TE Eric Ebron, IND – UPDATE: The 26-year-old TE was having a terrible game in Week 4, but it was salvaged by garbage time TD. He had three drive-killing drops and was quite unhappy with his performance after the game. Despite this outing, Ebron (40-60 percent owned) and Jack Doyle (20-40 percent owned) both have upside as TE2 for Week 5 against the Chiefs.

Geronimo Allison, GB – If Davante Adams (toe) is forced to mis any time, Allison could garner more looks from Aaron Rodgers. He had 3-52-1 in Week 4 on TNF and is owned in about 25-40 percent of leagues.

UPDATE: Adams did not practice on Monday, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Allison and Jimmy Graham would all be in for increased roles if Adams, an elite WR1 in al formats, sits in Week 5.

Mohamed Sanu, ATL – Sanu may not have the upside of Julio Jones or Calvin Ridley, but he’s available, and he produces. The veteran receiver is just 35-40 percent owned and is coming off a 9-91-0 game where he saw 12 targets. With 24-239-0 this season, TDs are the only thing keeping him from being a WR3.

Zach Pascal, IND – Pascal caught four of seven targets for 72 yards during Sunday's 31-24 loss to Oakland, but his upside and relevance hinger on the availability of T.Y. Hilton in Week 5 facing the Chiefs.

DeVante Parker, MIA – Parker caught all four of his targets for 70 yards and a TD during Sunday's 30-10 loss to the Chargers, but the Dolphins don’t play again until Week 6 against Washington. If you don’t need immediate help this week, this might be the time to grab him, as he’s just 5-15 percent owned.

Diontae Johnson, PIT – UPDATE: Johnson (5-10 percent owned) has played well in both games Mason Rudolph has started for the Steelers, and caught 6-77-1 on six targets on MNF. The talented WR formed a connection with his QB after practicing together in the summer, and it looks like it’s paying dividends. He’s a must-own in 12-team leagues and makes sense as a big-play threat in an offense that needs some.

Other WRs/TEs to consider: Cole Beasley, Preston Williams, TE Ricky Seals-Jones


Marquez Valdes-Scantling, GB – Valdes-Scantling caught 3-47-0 in the Packers’ Week 4 loss to the Eagles. He’s not a great matchup against a capable Cowboys secondary in week 5.

Phillip Dorsett, NE – Dorsett had a tough game in Week 4 with just two catches on nine targets for 10 yards in the Patriots’ Week 4 win over the Bills, but he’s a much better play in weeks 5 and 6 facing the Redskins and Giants.

TE Jordan Akins, HOU – Akins was quiet in Week 4 with just 3-21-0 on four targets. He’s a low-end TE2 right now.

Golden Tate, NYG – Tate has been reinstated from his four-game suspension and it will be interesting to see how the Giants use him given their propensity to use WR Sterling Shepard out of the slot (79.5 percent this season). At worst, Tate makes for a speculative WR4 addition.

TE Dawson Knox, BUF – Knox caught 3-of-3 targets for 58 yards in the Bills’ Week 4 loss to the Patriots and makes sense as a TE2 moving forward at a weak fantasy position.