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.
Minshew, JAC – Minshew is just 15-25
percent owned in fantasy leagues and keeps producing. The exciting
rookie completed 26-of-44 passes for 374 yards and two TDs in
the Week 5 loss to the Panthers and gave everything he had in
the waning moments to get a win. He’s going to make mistakes but
there’s a Ryan Fitzpatrick-like gunslinger element to his game
and that’s just fine for fantasy.
CAR – We probably have not seen the last of Allen (7-15
percent owned) this season, as Cam Newton isn’t expected to return
until at least Week 8 following the team’s bye week. Allen was
just okay on Sunday (though he got a lot of help form the rushing
of Christian McCaffrey), completing 17-of-30 passes for 181-1-0
in the Panthers’ Week 5 win over the Jaguars. The Panthers travel
to London this week to take on the Bucs – a favorable matchup
for the offense.
Winston, TB – The enigmatic Winston
(65-70 percent owned) completed 15-of-27 passes for 204 yards,
two TDs and zero turnovers in the Bucs’ Week 5 loss to the Saints
and didn’t have much pass protection all game. The veteran QB
took six sacks and completed no passes to WR1 Mike Evans, though
he did connect with Chris Godwin for 7-125-2. The Panthers just
gave up a bunch of passing yards to Minshew and the Jags, so perhaps
he’s a decent Week 6 play.
Dalton, CIN – The Red Rifle completed
27-of-38 passes for 262-2-0 in the Bengals’ Week 5 loss to the
Cardinals and looked awful for the first 30 minutes before rebounding
with an okay second half. Dalton (15-20 percent owned) is not
a recommended Week 6 play, but a negative game script against
the Ravens could mean some second-half garbage time numbers.
Cousins, MIN – Finally! Cousins
(20-35 percent owned) got right in Week 5 by completing 22-of-27
passes for 306-2-0 in the win over the Giants. It’s his first
game with at least 300 passing yards since Week 11 of last season,
and he seems to have worked things out with WR Adam Thielen, who
went nuts for 7-130-2. Next week promises another favorable matchup
at home against the Eagles, making him a QB1 streamer.
Edmonds, ARI – David Johnson’s backup
rushed eight times for 68 yards and a TD in the Cardinals’ Week
5 win over the Bengals, adding 3-18-0 – all new season highs for
the second-year pro. Johnson is nursing a back injury, so Edmonds
could be popular this week on the waiver wire and is just 2-5
ATL – The Falcons run game is not great, but Smith (10-15
percent owned) rushed five times for 19 yards in Week 5, adding
6-45-0 receiving. He’s the preferred passing game option to Devonta
Freeman and was only out-snapped 41-to-33 on Sunday. He’s got
limited standalone value unless we get an injury to Freeman, but
the Falcons backfield is in a good matchup facing the Cards in
Mattison, MIN – The Boise State
product rushed seven times for 52 yards in the Vikings’ Week 5
win over the Giants and continues to mix in throughout the game
for Dalvin Cook. The rookie is doing quite well in limited work
within the Vikings’ run-heavy offense and he’s got plenty of handcuff
value in deeper season-long leagues. Mattison is just 15-20 percent
Howard, PHI – The former Bear rushed
13 times for 62 yards and a TD in Sunday’s drubbing of the Jets.
Miles Sanders may be the more dynamic back in Philly, but Howard
will stay on the fantasy radar as a TD-dependent RB2 getting most
of the early-down and goal line work.
Samuels, PIT – The Steelers played
the Ravens tough on Sunday, but Samuels didn’t help much. He rushed
three times for just 2 yards, hauling in 3-of-4 targets for 11
yards and tossing an interception in the overtime loss. He’s still
a viable fantasy option but this was a poor showing.
UPDATE: Samuels will miss about
a month with a knee injury – he got it scoped on Monday
and can be dropped in most formats.
Johnson, HOU – Johnson rushed nine
times for 59 yards in the Texans’ Week 5 win over the Falcons,
adding one catch for 8 yards. An elusive back with plenty of upside
in the passing game, Johnson yields most of the early down and
goal line work to Carlos Hyde (who had 21 carries Sunday). He’s
a must-own in PPR formats and is still available in about 20-35
percent of leagues.
Mostert, SF –UPDATE:
With Tevin Coleman back in action and Matt Breida busting out
for huge game (114 rushing yards, TD), Mostert was an afterthought
on Monday night – but still rushed for 34 yards in garbage
time. He’s off the fantasy radar for now.
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends
Fuller, HOU – He’s still available
in about 15-30 percent of fantasy leagues and should be owned
in all formats after his monster 14-217-3 game on Sunday. He saw
16 targets in this one.
JAC – Another WR who’s been producing and is owned in
plenty of formats, I looked at his ESPN ownership and was surprised
it’s only at 71.3 percent as of Monday morning. What are you people
waiting for? Chark has 8-164-2 on 11 targets in Week 5 and has
an even better Week 6 matchup facing the Saints.
Everett, LAR – Everett posted some career bests on
Thursday night, hauling in 7-of-11 targets for 136 yards in the
loss to the Seahawks. He’s a TE2 with upside moving forward and
is owned in just 3-5 percent of leagues.
Pringle, KC – Pringle (0 percent
owned) had six catches (nine targets) for 103 yards and a TD in
Sunday’s 19-13 loss to the Colts, but a performance like this
just adds another interesting name to the mix in Kansas City.
Tyreek Hill’s return will hurt the value of the rest of the WRs,
but this was a standout performance that requires our attention.
HOU – Coutee (25-30 percent owned) caught 3-of-4 targets
for 72 yards (no scores) on Sunday and is one of many Texans WRs
who has value. While it’s getting tough to predict which receiver
or TE is going to have a big game, the entire passing game is
looking good and Coutee is available in plenty of leagues.
TEN – Brown was targeted just twice against the Bills,
catching 2-27-0. He’ll have better matchups.
Ebron, IND – In a quiet performance on Sunday night,
Ebron caught just 1-of-4 targets for 8 yards in Week 5 against
the Chiefs. He’s a high-end TE2 moving forward.
Allison, GB – Allison had just two
catches for 28 yards on Sunday (six targets). He’s a TD-dependent
WR3/4 facing the Lions in Lambeau next week.
UPDATE: No word on whether Davante
Adams will return for Week 6 yet, but it’s worth monitoring
if you own Allison.
Sanu, ATL – The veteran WR (who
sometimes throws TD passes) caught 5-of-5 targets for 42 yards
and a TD in the Falcons’ Week 5 loss to the Texans. He’s looking
at TD-dependent WR3/4 value heading into next week’s favorable
matchup against the Cardinals.
Pascal, IND – Just one catch for
8 yards on Sunday night. He’s not of much use with T.Y. Hilton
Parker, MIA – The Dolphins were
on a Week 5 bye, and hopefully you’ve grabbed Parker – he could
be in for a huge week against the reeling 0-5 Redskins – a legit
opportunity for the offense to get going and for the Dolphins
to get a win.
Johnson, PIT – Donte Moncrief’s
replacement continued to flourish on Sunday, hauling in 5-of-8
targets for 27 yards. This was the second straight game the third-round
pick led Pittsburgh's wideouts in targets, but the Steelers could
be facing more QB problems as Mason Rudolph was knocked out cold
on Sunday, forcing Devlin Hodges to take over. Stay tuned.