Week five of the 2020 NFL season and the hits keep on coming. Austin Ekeler? DEAD! Nicholas Chubb? DEAD!!! The Tennessee Titans? ALL DEAD!!! Did I lift this open from my week two article? YES!!! Why would I do this? BECAUSE ART IS DEAD AND SO ARE ALL THE PLAYERS ON YOUR ROSTER!!! Lucky for you, we can help you salvage your decimated rosters. If I don’t mention someone whom you think I should be talking about, just know there are many reasons why I overlooked them. Maybe they are owned in most leagues. Maybe they are so bad I don’t even consider them. Or maybe it’s because your opinions cannot be trusted. After all, you are here. So let us examine our best week five waiver wire players…
Week Five Waiver Wire QBs
Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina Panthers (15% rostered)
Over the past two weeks, the Carolina Panthers have shown signs of not being a completely terrible football team. One thing I think we failed to consider with the Panthers is that they have a new quarterback and a completely revamped offensive scheme. In limited playing time last year, Teddy Bridgewater had some pretty nice games with the Saints. In week four, Bridgewater had 276 passing yards and 3 total touchdowns for his best game of the season. In week five, Bridgewater is playing Atlanta, so there is a very good chance he will finish as a top-five fantasy quarterback two weeks in a row. If you need a quarterback next week, Teddy Bridgewater should be your first target.
Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers (14% rostered)
Justin Herbert is an interesting waiver wire prospect for the next few weeks. In week four, he had 290 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Over the next four weeks, he gets to play the Saint, the Jets, the Dolphins, and the Jaguars. As hard as it might be to believe, the Jets are the toughest defense he will face. The Dolphins, Saints, and Jaguars are giving up the fourth, fifth, and sixth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. And the Jets are the Jets. Although he’s still a rookie, that is a very soft stretch of games.
Week Five Waiver Wire RBs
Joshua Kelley/Justin Jackson, Los Angeles Chargers (56%/8% rostered)
If you just look at the stat line of the Chargers in week four, you wouldn’t want any of them. However, with Austin Ekeler out multiple weeks, Joshua Kelley became the starter in Los Angeles and Justin Jackson just became Joshua Kelley. On the season, Ekeler has been producing at an RB2 level and Joshua Kelley has been a solid flex. The Chargers offense can sustain two running backs in fantasy, so if you can grab one or both, you need to do it.
Damien Harris, New England Patriots (31% rostered)
The best New England Patriots running back pickup since last week’s Rex Burkhead pickup, Harris carried the ball 17 times for 100 yards in his 2020 debut with the Pats. He is nothing but bench depth at this point, but we all need bench depth. And hey, the worst thing that could happen? You got a Bill Belichick RB. Oh no.
Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals (30% rostered)
If you have Kenyan Drake rostered on your fantasy football team, I feel nothing but pity for you. It has to be terrible knowing, in your heart of hearts, that he is probably going to lose his job to Chase Edmonds. While I don’t know if this is true, it definitely feels like the writing is on the wall. Kenyan Drake had 35 total yards against a Panthers defense that was one of the worst in football. Granted, Edmonds only had 40 yards, but he also had half the snaps of Drake and he scored a touchdown. Truth be told, I’m not sure I want anything to do with the Cardinals running game, but Edmonds has a chance to find himself the starter in the second half of the NFL season. If you think that will happen, you definitely want Chase Edmonds on your roster.
Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6% rostered)
In week four, Ke’Shawn Vaughn had two catches for 22 yards and 1 touchdown, and fantasy football sadists everywhere had the idea, “Maybe instead of Leonard Fournette or Ronald Jones, it is actually Ke’Shawn Vaughn I should be targeting in fantasy football leagues.” This thought is dumb and completely misses the point that over the past three weeks, there has been a new, sexy quarterback in Tampa Bay and EVERY FOLLOWING WEEK THAT GUY HAS SUCKED!!!! The lesson here is DON’T ROSTER TAMPA BAY RUNNING BACKS!!!! They will only break your heart.
D’Ernest Johnson, Cleveland Browns (2% rostered)
I’m not sure if I’m more surprised there is a player in the NFL named D’Ernest or that he was already on some fantasy football rosters or that there is a player in the NFL named D’Ernest. Perhaps the biggest medical tragedy across the nation over this weekend is the loss of Nick Chubb. The good news is that Stefanski’s Brown’s have shown they can consistently sustain multiple running backs. Both Hunt and Chubb have been RB1s to this point in the season. Once Chubb went down, D’Ernest Johnson was able to come into the offense and get 95 yards on 13 carries. If you need running back help, D’Ernest Johnson is someone who should be on your waiver wire list.
Reggie Bonnafon, Carolina Panthers (1% rostered)
Reggie Bonnafon had a nice game against the Arizona Cardinals, but the fact remains he has very little long-term value. Bonnafon was only able to produce his 71 all-purpose yards and one touchdown because Christian McCaffery is not available. The most you can hope for with him is a couple of decent games before CMC comes to take his job back, and all the backfield touches in the process.
Week Five Waiver Wire WRs
Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals (30% rostered)
Last week, I said the problem with Tee Higgins is that the Cincinnati Bengals don’t realize he is the best receiver on their roster. His four catches for 77 yards in week four will help go a long way in helping bring his coaches around. He still is only on the field for half of the team’s snaps, which caps his potential production. I still need to see more from Tee Higgins before I’m willing to burn a waiver on him. But, the upside is there.
Laviska Shenault, Jacksonville Jaguars (26% rostered)
If you are wondering why I keep bringing up Laviska Shenault, it is because he keeps screaming at fantasy football players to add him to your roster. You crazy kids just haven’t been listening to me sing his praises. First off, he had a quality game in week four with 5 catches for 86 yards. Second, he is the most talented non-DJ Chark receiver on that roster. Shenault is a long-term waiver wire investment, but he is one you should take. Especially considering how uninspired these week five waiver wire options are.
Tre’Quan Smith, New Orleans Saints (24% rostered)
You might look at Tre’Quan Smith’s stat line in week four and think he would look good on your roster. Sure, he had 4 catches for 54 yards and 2 touchdowns, but Smith is fools gold. The problem with owning a receiver on the Saints is that they only seem to like throwing to one of them. Even his production was flukish since Emmanuel Sanders had more targets, catches, and yards than Tre’Quan Smith. In a couple of weeks, Smith will be pushed further down the depth chart, once Michael Thomas returns. Questionable short-term AND long-term value are not what you should look for from your waiver wire wide receivers.
Tim Patrick, Denver Broncos (2% rostered)
In week four, Tim Patrick led the Broncos in targets and catches, with 6 catches for 113 yards and 1 touchdown. Before you get too excited, a couple of things to bear in mind. First, the Broncos were playing the Jets. Second, Patrick only had the opportunities he had because of injuries to KJ Hamler and Noah Fant. However, that being said, both Fant and Hamler are questionable for week five. If they both miss week five, Tim Patrick could be a valuable week five player. However, his long-term value is non-existent.
Week Five Waiver Wire TEs
Dalton Shultz, Dallas Cowboys (43% rostered)
At this point, I’m kind of surprised Dalton Shultz is still available. Shultz is top-five in targets for tight ends this season. On 8 targets, Dalton Shultz had 4 catches for 72 yards and 1 touchdown. He is in a high-powered offense that has to score points to keep up with opposing teams because their defense is terrible. If you need tight end help, I doubt there anyone on your waiver wire as good as Dalton Shultz
Mo Alie-Cox, Indianapolis Colts (27% rostered)
In week four, Mo Alie-Cox has ond catch for 13 yards and 1 touchdown. I’ll be honest, I am only bringing up Mo Alie-Cox as a waiver wire guy, just so you can see the drop off between him and Dalton Shultz. Yes, Mo Alie-Cox technically ended week four as a TE1. No, you don’t want him on your team.
Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers (18% rostered)
Before I close my laptop, I can’t help but notice this Robert Tonyan guy on the Green Bay Packers. 5 catches for 78 yards and 3 touchdowns makes him the second-best tight end in week four. However, bear in mind that he is playing the Atlanta Falcons. Don’t get too excited about him, but it is okay to get a little excited about him. With Allen Lazard out for the year and Davante Adams hurt, the Packers need to throw the ball to someone. However, don’t burn a waiver on a guy who has a bye week in week five, unless you have space on your roster.
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