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Fantasy Football: Waiver Wire Rankings (Week 5)

Oct 2, 2017

Alvin Kamara is starting to separate himself from the pack in New Orleans

What an eventful weekend of football. It started with a dud in London as we saw Jay Cutler be….Jay Cutler. Then we saw some unexpected performances from Deshaun Watson (4 TDs) and Cam Newton (welcome back Cam). We also saw a our share of injuries, none bigger than Dalvin Cook who tore his ACL and Chris Carson who fractured his leg. It’s going to be a busy waiver wire week so we’ve asked the experts to rank the top readily-available options.

Our table below combines the rankings of multiple experts with players that have < 50% consensus ownership. We also realize how complicated the running back situation is in Seattle, so we asked the pundits which Seahawks RB has the most fantasy relevance moving forward.

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Featured Experts:
Mike Tagliere – FantasyPros
KJ – Fantasy Team Advice
Matthew Hill – DataForce Fantasy Football
Pat Fitzmaurice – The Football Girl
Dan Harris – FantasyPros

*Ownership % derived from a consensus of Yahoo & ESPN leagues

On a mobile device? Click here for rankings table >>

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

“It would seem that Sean Payton has no choice but to give Alvin Kamara more touches. Over the weekend, Payton told reporters that he really only wants two running backs involved in the gameplan going forward. There’s not a chance he takes Kamara off the field with the amount of splash play potential he gives this offense. He’s in the top 12 running backs in yards per route run, while Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson compete for work on first and second down. The Saints knew they needed a running back of the future, and Kamara fits what Payton’s offense wants to do. He’s a flex-worthy play right now and has potential for more. ”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Latavius Murray should be at the top of everyone’s waiver wire list heading into week 5 as Dalvin Cook is out for the season. The Vikings O-line made improvements this offseason and is no longer one of the league’s worst units, and with 15+ touches per game Murray should be able to provide low-end RB2 or flex value going forward.”
– KJ (Fantasy Team Advice)

“This week’s waiver wire is rich in capable bye week flex options including Murray, McKinnon, Kamara, Funchess, Kupp, and Kearse, as well as solid tight ends and quarterbacks. My top add, however, is someone that you should not consider putting in your lineup yet, but has the potential to be a league winner. The Texans offense has impressed the past two weeks, and while the running game goes through Lamar Miller, it is clear that if he were to go down for any length of time, D’Onta Foreman would assume the role of every-down back. Foreman has received double-digit touches in three straight games and would offer every-week RB1 upside if Miller were inactive.”
– Matthew Hill (DataForce Fantasy Football)

“Most waiver wire shoppers are going to head straight for the RB aisle this week, making this a good time to grab TE Evan Engram on the cheap. He hasn’t had a true blowup performance yet, but Engram has had at least four catches and 44 yards in every game, and despite all the talent the Giants have at wide receiver, Engram is averaging 7.5 targets. Seeing is believing — the kid is special. As for the aforementioned RB position, Latavius Murray figures to be the highest-profile target because of the Dalvin Cook injury, but Alvin Kamara is at least flex-worthy every week and might be just a Mark Ingram injury away from a Cape Canaveral-style liftoff.”
– Pat Fitzmaurice (The Football Girl)

“Deshaun Watson is the obvious choice for any quarterback-needy team, but I am particularly targeting Andre Ellington over several fine running back options this week. There are already grumblings that Cardinals players are complaining about Chris Johnson getting carries, and Ellington was dynamic in the passing game on Sunday, with nine grabs for 86 yards. Given the state of the Arizona offensive line, Carson Palmer is going to need to get the ball out quickly going forward, which should lead to plenty of targets and production for Ellington. While not a workhorse back, he should be able to provide fantasy owners with a high floor each week.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)

Q2. What should owners make of the running back situation in Seattle? Who has the most fantasy relevance moving forward?

“The Seahawks expect C.J. Prosise back from an ankle injury this week, and I think he’s the best bet from among this group. Eddie Lacy looks cooked, and yet Lacy seemingly outranks Thomas Rawls, who was inactive in Week 4. I don’t want to dismiss J.D. McKissic out of hand, but I suspect that he’s little more than a placeholder for Prosise.”
– Pat Fitzmaurice (The Football Girl)

“It’s clearly a situation to avoid. First it was C.J. Prosise not getting any targets in Week 1, then it was Eddie Lacy not being active in Weeks 2 and 3, then it was Thomas Rawls not being active in Week 4. It’s never-ending with this backfield and you can never confidently insert any of them into your lineup. If you have one of these running backs on your roster, I suggest you move them for something useful. If forced to pick which one had the most relevance, it’d have to be Prosise because of his involvement in the passing game.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

“The short answer is no one knows. Eddie Lacy was inactive in weeks 2 and 3, then suddenly Rawls was inactive in week 4. At this point owners need to follow the touches as Eddie Lacy amassed 52 yards on 11 carries making him the early favorite to take over in Seattle, while Thomas Rawls has just 5 carries for 4 yards all season.”
– KJ (Fantasy Team Advice)

“With Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise inactive and a potential home blowout looming, expectations were high for Chris Carson to put up huge numbers against the Colts. Instead, fans watched Carson being carted off in the middle of the fourth quarter with what is a significant injury. Before owners rush out to add Rawls or Prosise off the waiver wire, remember that even before the injury, Carson had lost touches to Eddie Lacy and conceded time to J.D. McKissic, who had all of one carry last season and had been inactive for the three previous games. Seattle’s backfield is more frustrating to figure out than New England’s, without the huge weekly upside. Stay away.”
– Matthew Hill (DataForce Fantasy Football)

“There’s no way to know with any certainty, but the best bet for fantasy relevance going forward is, in my opinion, Thomas Rawls. Although he was inactive on Sunday night, Pete Carroll’s comments suggested that the reason for that was because he has a similar skill-set to Chris Carson. With Carson down, I’d expect Rawls to step into the main role, with Eddie Lacy as a complementary back and C.J. Prosise and J.D. McKissic chipping in during passing-downs. But, particularly with the offensive line issues, it’s not the best situation for fantasy owners.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)

Thank you to the experts for naming their top waiver targets. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter if you’re not already doing so and check out our latest podcast below for more great advice.

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