Week 5 Waiver Wire Deep Dive
Week 4 had some very interesting games and surprising developments — and provided plenty of potential targets for you to add, particularly in deeper leagues. As always I’ll consider RB, then WR, then TE, with one potential deep-league add at QB.
As I said in previous weeks, most of these suggestions are based on the usage we are seeing already, whether it’s snap count or opportunities. A few are based on anticipated usage, especially with players coming back from injury or rookies gaining steam as they get more experience.
You do not need to add every player, and I would advise being very selective with how you use this information and with which players you add. It will depend almost entirely on your situation, your league, your settings, and so forth. But these are players who are available in many leagues, even deep ones, so I throw them out as potential targets.
Brian Robinson, RB, Commanders
Robinson has been designated to return from IR and is expected to resume practicing this week. There was chatter that he might even return in Week 5, so he should be added to rosters now if he’s available in your league. He could soon push for the starting role for the Commanders, since he was rumored to be the starter for Week 1 before he was involved in a shooting. This offense has taken a step back the last few weeks, but Robinson could still be useful if he earns a lot of snaps and touches.
Rachaad White, RB, Buccaneers
White played on 38% of snaps on Sunday night, and they were very intentional about getting him involved. He finished with 3 rushes and 5 targets (5-50). He is a nice addition due to his receiving prowess if he is on your wire.
Isiah Pacheco, RB, Chiefs
Pacheco was certainly dropped in many leagues since he hasn’t produced much, but he is likely to get more and more work as the season goes along. He got 11 carries on Sunday night and produced 63 yards. He played on 1 fewer snap than Jerick McKinnon, who saw a sharp decrease in his playing time. It looks like the Chiefs want to lean on Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Pacheco primarily, so adjust accordingly.
Jaylen Warren, RB, Steelers
I wanted to mention Warren again, in case he’s on your wire and you need an upside RB. Warren continues to be effective when he touches the ball, and with Najee Harris’ heavy workload the past couple years, there is a chance he breaks down and Warren gets a chance. The Steelers are bad so far this season, but if they improve and Warren gets a shot, he could be a league winner. He played on 25% of snaps on Sunday and got 4 touches for 22 yards.
Caleb Huntley & Damien Williams, RBs, Falcons
With Cordarelle Patterson on the IR for 4weeks, the Falcons will use not only Tyler Allgeier but also Caleb Huntley and Damien Williams. Huntley was just signed to the active roster when Patterson, who had a knee procedure after the game, was put on IR. On Sunday, Huntley played on only 12 snaps but rushed 10 times for 56 yards and a score. For Week 5, he and Allgeier should be the primary backs against the Bucs. After that, Williams will be eligible to return from his own IR stint and could push right back in and grab a share of the backfield. In deep leagues both are worth consideration.
Gus Edwards, RB, Ravens
The Ravens continue to struggle with injury issues at RB.Right when Justice Hill was starting to look like a great complement to J.K. Dobbins, he was again injured. However, Gus Edwards might be ready to return from his ACL tear soon, and the Ravens could really use him. He might be a very nice addition to your team if you are hurting at RB, as he could push right away for 40% of the snaps or even more.
Skyy Moore, WR, Chiefs
If Moore remains on your wire, he needs to be added immediately. While it remains true that the Chiefs will spread the ball around, making all of the WRs frustrating for fantasy, it is also clear to me that Moore is the most athletic and dynamic of the WRs on the team. He played a season-high 28% of snaps on Sunday night, earning 4 targets and finishing 2-31. When they watch the film, they might notice he should have earned more targets than that. He is a skilled route-runner with an excellent release off the line and good long speed. I look for him to get more and more involved as the season goes on.
George Pickens, WR, Steelers
Pickens is probably only available in shallow leagues, but his usage is finally ticking up. He played on 70% of snaps on Sunday and got 8 targets, catching 6 for 102 yards. He was by far the most productive WR on the Steelers, so obviously if that continues he will have major value the rest of the season.
Josh Reynolds, WR, Lions
I would typically dismiss this production, since both Amon-Ra St. Brown and D.J. Chark were out for this game. But we have not seen Chark do anything yet as a Lion, and Reynolds had a fantastic Week 4, finishing with a 7-81-1 line on 8 targets (84% of snaps). This might mean he plays over Chark moving forward, so he is worth consideration in deep leagues in case things play out that way.
Trent Sherfield, WR, Dolphins
Sherfield worked as the #3 WR with Cedrick Wilson out with rib and toe injuries. Likely those injuries will not keep Wilson out too long, so take this entry with a grain of salt. However, in Weeks 1 and 2 Wilson played on 47% and 31% of snaps, while in the past two weeks Sherfield has played on 63% and 62%. So this could represent a shift toward Sherfield and away from Wilson. He received 6 targets, more than Jaylen Waddle, and finished with a 4-55 line. If you’re desperate at WR in a deep league, he could be worth your attention.
Donovan Peoples-Jones & David Bell, WRs, Browns
While I hated how the Browns played on Sunday, these two are both worth consideration moving forward, depending on your situation and league type. Peoples-Jones has been very up and down, and I anticipate that will continue, but he played on 84% of snaps on Sunday and led the team in targets, as he did in Week 1 (9 targets, 5-71). He is a player you could roster in deep leagues as a potential bye week sub. And David Bell, particularly in dynasty leagues, deserves some attention. He played on only 26% of snaps, his lowest of the season, but earned 3 targets and went 2-35. The coaches would be smart to get him on the field more moving forward, so he’s a name to monitor.
Jalen Nailor, WR, Vikings
This is a very deep cut for those in extremely deep leagues, but Nailor played his first snap for the Vikings in Week 4 and earned a target, catching it for 13 yards. I found this notable since KJ Osborn was on the field for 61 plays and also earned 1 target. I think Nailor is a speedier version of Osborn, so he could work his way into more snaps and eventually take Osborn’s job. Especially for dynasty leagues, he is a name to keep in mind for the future.
Hayden Hurst, TE, Bengals
Hurst played on only 56% of snaps on Thursday night, but he got 4 targets and finished 3-27-1. He is not an inspiring play at TE, but he’s on the field and is getting looks in an explosive offense.
Will Dissly, TE, Seahawks
While I still think Noah Fant is a superior talent to Dissly, you can’t ignore the snaps. Dissly played on 73% of snaps on Sunday, and that makes it 3 out of 4 weeks that he has played more than Fant. Fant has played on between 53% and 59% every week, while Dissly has been over 60% in 3 out of 4 weeks. Dissly is also getting targets, and caught all 4 of his looks on Sunday, for 39 yards and a score. With the Seahawks going more pass-heavy of late, Dissly is worth a look if you need a TE.
O.J. Howard, TE, Texans
It might be time to pay attention to Howard, particularly in TE-premium leagues. He played on 75% of snaps on Sunday, while his previous high in Week 3 was 31%. He may have moved into their starting TE role. He has excellent pedigree and many thought he would develop into a top TE when he entered the league. Now that he’s getting the snaps, he is a great and still sneaky pick up in deep or TE-premium leagues. He got 5 targets, a 14% target share, but only caught 2 for 27 yards. So he’s still not high on radars yet.
Mo Alie-Cox, TE, Colts
Alie-Cox is likely still available in most leagues, even deep ones, because he has been very inconsistent in production. However, his snaps have been above 50% every week, and he played on 70% of snaps in Week 4. That jump also corresponded with a jump in target share this week, as he was targeted 6 times (16% target share). He caught all 6 for 85 yards and two scores. Still, this offense looks poor, and he will have some very quiet weeks as well. Kylen Granson also played on 45% of snaps and got 4 targets, so he’s still sharing the TE work. But, again, if you need a TE who is playing and could give you points,Alie-Cox is an option.
Adam Trautman, TE, Saints
I was on Trautman in some deep and TE-premium leagues this draft season, since there was talk he was having an awesome camp and he has high draft pedigree. But it looked through the first three weeks that the Saints actually preferred Juwan Johnson. In Week 4, Trautman played on more snaps than Johnson for the first time (39 to 29), and both were involved. Johnson got 4 targets to Trautman’s 3, and their production was almost identical. I mention Trautman in case you are desperate for a TE in a deep league – otherwise, he’s just a guy to monitor since he and Johnson are still splitting snaps.
** Bailey Zappe, QB, Patriots
I don’t typically point out QBs in this article since no QB is really a “deep add,” but Zappe might be a very nice pick up in deep dynasty leagues. He played better than Mac Jones has played this season, against a very good Packers defense, and we might see him get a chance to start over Jones for the next few weeks and have an audition for the job.
Kevin Scott is a fantasy pro who has been playing in high-stakes redraft and dynasty leagues for over 15 years. He has won over $100,000 playing fantasy football. He has written for Sports Illustrated, 4for4, Fansided, FFToday, and Chiefs Wire. You can follow him on Twitter @kevinscottff, or check out his podcast called Grinding the Data.