The bulk of Week 5 action is in the books, and already we have some solid waiver wire pickups for fantasy owners to check out to get a jump on the competition for Week 6. Injuries and big games have made some players far more valuable after this week. Let’s take a look at some early suggestions for your waiver wire, including the player’s Yahoo! ownership and upcoming schedule.
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Baker Mayfield (QB – CLE): 37% owned
Mayfield’s rise is old news at this point, but after a letdown performance against Oakland last week, Mayfield’s ownership has dropped to 37%. In two starts, he’s averaged 318.5 passing yards per game, with three TDs and three picks. He picked apart a stout Baltimore defense in Week 5, throwing for 342 yards and leading his team to an overtime win. His upcoming schedule is absolutely delicious, as he faces the Bucs, Steelers, Chiefs, and Falcons in succession from Weeks 7-10. The schedule after the team’s Week 11 bye isn’t scary, either. If you missed jumping on the Baker train a couple weeks ago, here’s your chance to jump back on.
Next three weeks: LAC, @TB, @PIT
Joe Flacco (QB – BAL): 30% owned
Yes, he struggled mightily in Week 5, but he still managed nearly 300 passing yards against an excellent Browns defense. Flacco has cut his turnovers this season, and his TD-INT ratio is a healthy 8-3. He’s averaging over 300 yards passing per game, and he’s nearly halfway to his 2017 fantasy points total through just five games this year. The Week 5 matchup with the Browns was a trap game from the start, playing a hungry Browns team at Cleveland. Flacco’s rest of season schedule couldn’t be much more friendly to QBs. The next four games before the team’s Week 10 bye include Pittsburgh and New Orleans at home. In Weeks 13-16, Flacco will face Atlanta, Kansas City, Tampa Bay, and the L.A. Chargers. His ownership will likely dip after this week, so pick him up and get ready for a great QB play in the coming weeks and in the fantasy playoffs.
Next three weeks: @TEN, NO, @CAR
Other QBs to consider: Case Keenum (QB – DEN) 20% owned, Jameis Winston (QB – TB) 18% owned, Sam Darnold (QB – NYJ) 7% owned
Robby Anderson (WR – NYJ): 34% owned
Anderson’s productive 2017 has been largely forgotten thanks to Sam Darnold‘s budding infatuation with Quincy Enunwa this year. Still, the previous two weeks and today’s blowup performance are very encouraging for Anderson’s outlook moving forward. In Weeks 1-2, Enunwa commanded a 34% target share in this offense compared to 10% for Anderson. In Weeks 3-4, those numbers became 24% for Enunwa and 15% for Anderson. In Week 5’s surprising victory over the Broncos, both Enunwa and Anderson had five targets (24%), but Anderson finished the day 3-123-2 while Enunwa ended with all donuts in the stat sheet. The workload was swinging back toward Anderson and as Darnold’s confidence grows, he will look to Anderson more on the deep ball. He’s a great pickup this week.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling (WR – GB): 9% owned
Any time you can snag a starting Green Bay receiver, you have to do it. Anyone catching passes from Aaron Rodgers presents immediate fantasy value, and MVS was no different in Week 5. I highlighted his breakout potential earlier this week, and the rookie did not disappoint. He finished the day 7-68-1 and was called down at the one-yard line on another would-be score. He came away with 10 targets, and Rodgers even looked his way in the back of the endzone on a two-point try. Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison are not locks to play in Week 6 and even if one or both suit up, MVS has certainly earned more snaps after this performance. He’s one of the top pickups of the week and still available almost everywhere.
Next three weeks: SF, BYE, @LAR
Mohamed Sanu (WR – ATL): 32% owned
Sanu has been severely undervalued this year. Over the last three weeks, he’s gone 14-220-2 on 23 targets, finishing with no fewer than 13.6 PPR points during that stretch and eclipsing 17 PPR points twice. Atlanta’s defense seems to get worse with each passing week, and they just gave up 41 points to Pittsburgh in an ugly Week 5 loss. Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones demand so much defensive attention that Sanu is often left free to do his thing. He’s got a tasty Week 6 matchup with the Bucs at home, and he makes a great plug-and-play option in that game before a tough matchup with the Giants and a bye week. Grab him now.
Next three weeks: TB, NYG, BYE
Other WRs to consider: Donte Moncrief (WR – JAX) 13% owned, Willie Snead (WR – BAL) 6% owned
Mike Davis (RB – SEA): 19% owned
Davis had a great game in Week 4 with Chris Carson sidelined, finishing with 124 total yards and two rushing TDs. Davis predictably had his role reduced in Week 5 with Carson back in the lineup, but he has clearly supplanted rookie disappointment Rashaad Penny as the team’s backup RB. Penny did not score a single fantasy point in Week 5. Davis seems to be the preferred goal-line back and he scored a six-yard rush in Week 5 to go along with almost 6.0 yards per carry. His usage may be spotty but Carson is injury-prone and there may be enough work to go around between the two backs. Davis is efficient with his opportunities and he’s an excellent pickup after another solid outing.
Next three weeks: @OAK, BYE, @DET
Jalen Richard (RB – OAK): 3% owned
Richard is getting very little work in the running game but his involvement as a pass-catcher makes him a solid pickup, especially in PPR formats. Through five games, he has 24-205 receiving and 9-29 rushing. He offers far more value as a backup than Doug Martin because of his receiving skills, and he would be the primary beneficiary if the aging Marshawn Lynch were to miss any time. Richard holds an obvious 47.4-12.6 fantasy points advantage over the Muscle Hamster through five games. Richard is only 3% owned, and with the RB landscape barren and bye weeks on the horizon, he’ll make a fine fill-in with built-in upside.
Next three weeks: SEA, BYE, IND
Other RBs to consider: Frank Gore (RB – MIA) 10% owned, Mark Walton (RB – CIN) 6% owned, Wendell Smallwood (RB – PHI) 3% owned
C.J. Uzomah (TE – CIN): 26% owned
Uzomah had a modest 2-43-0 line in a Week 5 win over Miami but his fantasy value shot sky-high after fellow-TE Tyler Kroft left that game with a foot injury. With Tyler Eifert on IR, and Kroft’s Week 6 status unknown, it will be the C.J. Uzomah one-man show at the TE position. Cincinnati’s passing attack has been excellent this season and the upcoming schedule could make Uzomah a TE1 candidate for the next three weeks. The Bengals face three of the leagues worst passing defenses in Weeks 6-8. Pluck him off the waiver wire this week, set and forget.
Next three weeks: PIT, @KC, TB
Other TEs to consider: Cameron Brate (TE – TB) 29% owned, Nick Vannett (TE – SEA) 3% owned
Buffalo Bills D/ST 2% owned
Next three weeks: @HOU, @IND, NE
Indianapolis Colts 3% owned
Next three weeks: @NYJ, BUF, @OAK
Seattle Seahawks D/ST 21% owned
Next three weeks: @OAK, BYE, @DET
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Zachary Hanshew is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Zachary, check out his archive and follow him @zakthemonster.