With another NFL weekend in the books, it’s time to focus our energy back on the waiver wire. Injuries are mounting and byes are in full swing (until week 12). It’s a combo that will cause even the most confident fantasy owner to patrol the waiver wire for depth.
As always, we’re here to help with our waiver wire rankings. Our featured experts have once again ranked this week’s top readily available players (rest of season value). Read on to view the pundits’ consensus advice as well as their top D/ST rentals for week 5.
Waiver Wire Rankings (STD Scoring)
|Player||Position||Team||Consensus Rank||Best Rank||Worst Rank|
| Garrett Graham
Week 5 Waiver Wire Advice
We also asked each expert to share some specific tips for this week’s waiver wire. Here are the experts’ suggestions on who you should target in week 5.
Q1: Give us your thoughts on a waiver wire target (or two) you especially like a pickup.
Danny Woodhead is my top target off the waiver wire because he has the most consistent role and he’s not relying on someone else getting hurt to obtain his value. He was a dud in week one, but it’s clear the Chargers realized they needed him involved more and since then he’s touched the ball at least 10 times in the last three games. He’s an elite Flex play in PPR leagues and a legit Flex play in standard leagues, as well.
The biggest sleeper on this list is Coby Fleener. He has had two very solid outings so far, but he’s been pretty inconsistent. Indy rolling with a power run game sets him up for that more, too. Still, he’s the #1 TE in Indy and he and Luck have established legit chemistry. He’ll have weekly TE1 upside until proven otherwise.
Thin week, and I would have said Rashad Jennings for the top option, but Darren McFadden reportedly has only a Grade 1 sprain, and the Raiders bye is in two weeks. So, while Jennings will have flex value – especially since DMC makes glass look like titanium – we can’t bank on long-term worth. So Justin Blackmon stands out because he shows how impatient owners can be. Why is he available? With 64 catches and 865 yards as a rookie, Blackmon proved he has the talent, even with the worst QB situation in the league. Byes are in full swing, making Blackmon a borderline WR3 in most leagues.
Coming off his first-ever 100-yard receiving game, Bears second-year receiver Alshon Jeffery has been getting consistent targets from Jay Cutler — at least eight targets in three of the past four weeks. Counting his rushing yards (57 yards on three carries), Jeffery is on pace to finish the year with 1,072 yards from scrimmage. Although he scored his first TD of the season in Week 4, Jeffery has excellent size (6-3, 216 pounds) and strong hands and I expect him to be more of a weapon in the red zone going forward.
The Colts offense is clicking on all cylinders as expected. What was not expected, was Dwayne Allen not being part of the picture. Now that Dwayne Allen is gone, you have Coby Fleener all by himself in fantasy leagues as the main TE for the Colts. Fleener was a favorite target of Luck’s back in Stanford, and we are seeing success instantly since Allen has gone down. He is a TE #1 to have in all leagues.
With the Jaguars looking like a helpless football team, Justin Blackmon will come in and thrive in this system as long as one thing happens. Chad Henne needs to be the QB of this team. While the Jags have said they are going to go with Gabbert for now, come fantasy playoff time the Jaguars have a very juicy matchup Week 15 against Buffalo where Blackmon could be the difference maker in your league.
Danny Woodhead is quickly becoming an integral component of the new-look Chargers offense installed by Mike McCoy and company in San Diego. Over the last three weeks, Woodhead has parlayed 19 rushes for 90 yards on the ground along with 20 receptions for 146 yards and two scores. The Chargers should continue to spread the ball around going forward, making Woodhead a Sproles-esque type addition to your PPR fantasy squad. He’ll also make a fine bye week fill-in for standard scoring leagues.
Q2: For owners looking to rent a D/ST in week 5, what readily available option should they target first?
Currently available in 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues, the St. Louis Rams (vs. JAC) defense has struggled allowing 30.3 points per game (fifth-worst in the NFL), but their defense is better than they have showed thus far. They rank second in forced fumbles (five) and have excellent pass-rushers in Chris Long and Robert Quinn. With a few extra days to prepare, they will host the league’s worst offense (and team) in Week 5. The Jaguars rank last in the NFL in scoring offense (7.8 PPG) and total offense (224.0 YPG) and have given up double-digit fantasy points to opposing defenses in all four games this year. The Rams defense will get back on track this week.
Too easy. Who is facing the Jaguars? That’s the only question you need to ask. St. Louis Rams D/ST ownership has dipped just under 50 percent, as they have allowed teams to score 24 or more points every week. The Jags have allowed the opposing defense to score 23, 10, 12 and 22, which included the Raiders and Colts. Plus, they are sticking with Blaine Gabbert at QB. Be glad Gus Bradley is insane, and start the Rams in Week 5.
One of the more popular strategies in fantasy football is streaming defenses, and rightfully so. It makes perfect sense to add the defense playing the most offensively anemic or turnover prone team week-in and week-out, doesn’t it? Last week we, like many others, suggested the Colts defense against the Jaguars. That turned out quite well, leaving fantasy footballers running to grab the Rams defense facing the same Jacksonville club in week five. But if by chance the Rams aren’t available in your league, look to add the Buffalo Bills (at CLE) defense for their game on Thursday night. The Browns are yielding the fifth-most fantasy points per game to opposing defenses and new gun-slinger, Brian Hoyer, gets just a few days to prepare. Carolina deserves consideration against the Cardinals if both of the above are spoken for.
Defenses can be tricky. The Bears are an elite unit, but the Lions dropped 40 points on them in week four (32 offensively). On the other hand, no one thought the Colts were anything close to elite, and look what they’ve done the past two weeks (allowed 10 total points). With the unpredictability factor made clear, I like the Carolina Panthers (@ ARI) the most. They might be available in a few more leagues due to their bye last week. However, a defense that is more likely to be available that would make sense as a pickup is the Cleveland Browns (vs. BUF). They have questions on offense, but the defense is playing at a high level and can’t be ignored forever.
With the way the St. Louis Rams unit has been playing all season, a lot of owners have given up faith that this is a strong defense like they were to close out 2012. While their defense may be slacking, the Jaguars offense is a joke with Blaine Gabbert. Grab STL D/ST and don’t look back this week.
Thanks to this week’s Featured Pros for sharing their advice! You can check out more picks from the pundits as their weekly rankings are unveiled soon.