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Waiver Wire Rankings: Expert Pickups for Week 5

Oct 6, 2015

Rookie Duke Johnson is getting increased work and is a top waiver pickup because of it

Rookie Duke Johnson is getting increased work and is a top waiver pickup because of it

We’re past the quarter point in the season already and if you’re in need of help, the waiver wire will be your friend. Navigating the wire can be a difficult task and with nothing guaranteed, you want to make sure you’re spending your waiver claim wisely.

To help with that, we’ve asked our featured experts to rank the top waiver options that are readily available. They were also asked why they like a certain player or two, more than the other options that can be picked up.

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Featured Pros

Kevin HansonEDSFootball
Kevin RobertsBreaking Football
Nick RaducanuProjectRoto
Greg SmithThe Fake Football

Waiver Wire Rankings (Standard Scoring)

Player Position Team Consensus Rank Best Rank Worst Rank Yahoo
Ownership %
Duke Johnson RB CLE 1.3 1 2 31%
Allen Hurns WR JAC 2.5 1 4 18%
Rueben Randle WR NYG 4 2 7 38%
Leonard Hankerson WR ATL 5.5 3 7 19%
Eddie Royal WR CHI 6.3 2 14 39%
Ted Ginn Jr. WR CAR 7.8 4 11 33%
Tavon Austin WR STL 8 5 10 16%
Christine Michael RB DAL 8 7 10 9%
Antonio Andrews RB TEN 8.8 2 15 9%
Willie Snead WR NO 8.8 7 14 3%
Kamar Aiken WR BAL 11.3 8 17 2%
Kenny Stills WR MIA 11.3 8 16 17%
Ty Montgomery WR GB 13.5 11 19 13%
Coby Fleener TE IND 13.5 12 15 23%
Richard Rodgers TE GB 14 12 17 16%
Gary Barnidge TE CLE 16.5 11 21 9%
Andre Williams RB NYG 17 15 20 14%
Chris Thompson RB WAS 17 16 18 1%
Jamison Crowder WR WAS 18.3 13 21 0%
Stefon Diggs WR MIN 18.3 15 21 0%
Dontrelle Inman WR SD 19.8 18 22 0%
Zac Stacy RB NYJ 21.8 21 22 1%

Week 5 Waiver Wire Advice

Each expert was asked to share the reasoning behind their waiver rankings. Here’s what the experts had to say.

Q1: Give us your thoughts on a waiver wire target (or two) you especially like as a pickup.

Kevin HansonEDSFootball
“Not targeted in either of the team’s first two games, Duke Johnson has seen his role within the passing game change with a total of 15 receptions in the past two games including 9/85/1 receiving in Week 4. Johnson now has double-digit touches in three consecutive games and it’s essentially been an even split between Isaiah Crowell (40 touches) and Johnson (39) over that three-game stretch. Going forward, Johnson could regularly see in the neighborhood of 12 to 15 weekly touches and it wouldn’t surprise me if he scored more fantasy points than Crowell rest of season.”

Kevin RobertsBreaking Football
Duke Johnson is the easy call so I’ll touch on Allen Hurns, who is my second favorite WW pickup of the week. Obviously Hurns went nuts in week 4 (11 catches), but he was already a starter with a quality role in an improving Jacksonville offense. Despite being banged up to start the year, he’s now caught at least four passes OR a touchdown in every single game. His role and talent make him a solid WR3 going forward, especially with defenses focuses on taking Allen Robinson away first.”

Nick RaducanuProjectRoto
“I like Johnson, Randle and Hurns, but I’m going to skip over those guys and take a look at Antonio Andrews. Sure, he’s not a supremely talent running back. Sure, he’s on a pretty bad team. And sure, he has one of the most aggravating head coaches in the league when it comes to fantasy. But it’s also impossible to ignore a player who has a chance to be a starting running back in a year where there are about eight running backs you can trust on a week-to-week basis. I wouldn’t go breaking the bank on Andrews, but I think he’s worth a pickup in the hopes that he’s able to take the Titans’ starting running back job and run with it.”

Greg SmithThe Fake Football
“There are plenty of viable wide receiver targets on the waiver wire this week, but I’m particularly intrigued by Leonard Hankerson. Julio Jones is arguably the best receiver in the league and he demands special attention from opposing defenses, which creates opportunities for the Falcons’ ancillary receivers. With Roddy White evaporating into the ether, Hankerson has cemented his claim to Atlanta’s WR2 role, averaging 8+ targets and 14 fantasy points per game over the past three weeks. Let your leaguemates chase more volatile wideouts on waivers while you take aim on the surprisingly consistent production of Hankerson.”

Q2: Give us your thoughts on a D/ST rental you like for owners in Week 5.

Kevin RobertsBreaking Football
“I’m liking the Atlanta Falcons for week five. If this game was in D.C. I’d be slightly hesitant, but the Falcons looked amazing last week defensively and they’ll be at the Georgia Dome yet again. Kirk Cousins has delivered two strong games this year, and he’s also handed out two big time duds. I think a dud is coming on the road this week, making ATL a strong streaming play.”

Nick RaducanuProjectRoto
“I’m not sure I’ll ever trust the Falcons defense as far as I can throw them (which isn’t far, mind you), but they are coming off an extremely solid game against the Texans in which they put up 21 fantasy points and are facing a great matchup at home against the Redskins next week. The Falcons are currently a top-5 team in turns of takeaways, and the Redskins are a top-10 team in terms of giveaways. Readily-available on most waivers wires, I think the Falcons defense makes for a solid pick next week.”

Kevin HansonEDSFootball
“Tied for seventh among defenses in fantasy points scored (Yahoo! scoring) through Sunday’s games, the New York Giants have scored double-digit fantasy points in three of four games. On the year, they have five sacks, five interceptions and three fumble recoveries. The Giants will host the 49ers this week and San Francisco has scored a total of 10 (real) points in the past two games. In addition, no team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing defenses than the Niners this season.”

Greg SmithThe Fake Football
“The best readily available fantasy defense for Week 5 is that of the New York Giants. The G-men are averaging 9.5 fantasy points per game and have the benefit of hosting a haphazard 49ers offense that allows the most fantasy points per game to opposing defenses. When there are rumblings that a team may need to bench their starting QB for Blaine Gabbert, you should definitely stream defenses against that squad.”

Thanks to the experts for ranking their top waiver pickups for Week 4. For more advice from them, please follow them on Twitter.

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