2017 NFL Week 5 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups

Flex Replacements, Bye-Week Streamers, 7 Tight Ends to choose from, and a Kicker for NFL Week 5

***WEEK 5 BYE-WEEK TEAMS***
Atlanta Falcons
Denver Broncos
New Orleans Saints
Washington Redskins
 
RUNNING BACK (RB)
 
Latavius Murray, RB, Minnesota Vikings (currently owned in 16% of all ESPN leagues):
The Vikings lost dynamic rookie Dalvin Cook for the year to a torn ACL.  Murray is the next man to carry the bulk of the load for the Vikings ground game.  Murray had 195 carries for 788 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground, and added 33 catches for 264 yards in 2016.  While McKinnon may cut into Murray's pass catching duties, McKinnon has always struggled running between the tackles.  Therefore, McKinnon isn't a real threat to Murray's workload.  Murray should be picked up in all leagues immediately.
 
Jamaal Williams, RB, Green Bay Packers (currently owned in 1.6% of all ESPN leagues):
The 6'0", 213lb rookie out of BYU is in line to carry the load with Ty Montgomery potentially out for 3 weeks with a rib injury.  Williams is a powerful, extremely balanced runner.  He sheds arm tackles in stride and is tough to bring down.  He's also an experienced receiver out of the backfield, making him a great fit for Green Bay's option-based offense.  He'll take on a formidable Cowboys front in Dallas this week.  For more on what Williams did at BYU, check out our rookies and redshirts article here.
 
Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers (currently owned in 0.9% of all ESPN leagues):
Ty Montgomery could be out for several weeks with a rib injury.  If Jamaal Williams isn't able to go, it'll be rookie Aaron Jones who carries the load.  He ended week 4 with 13 carries for 49 yards and a touchdown.  The Conference USA product out of UTEP is a one-cut, downhill runner and proven receiving threat out of the backfield.  He has a great stiff-arm who 's tough to bring down, especially when lowers his shoulder to run over defenders and break arm tackles.  At 5'8", 208lbs, he's a stocky back who should fit into the Packers' scheme.  If Montgomery and Williams are both unable to go, Jones is the man.  For more on Aaron Jones' college career, check out our rookies and redshirts article here.
 
Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints (currently owned in 16.3% of all ESPN leagues):
**New Orleans Saints DO NOT PLAY week 5**
Kamara is this week's PPR special.  He's gotten more and more involved in the Saints' game plan through the first 4 weeks of the season.  He carried the ball 5 times for 25 yards, but he also caught 10 passes for 71 yards and a touchdown as the Saints' primary receiving threat out of the backfield.  He's a must-add in all PPR leagues, but has decent upside in standard scoring as well.  While he's on bye this week, he has some nice matchups in the coming weeks.  For more on Kamara's college career, check out our rookies and redshirts article here.
 
Wendell Smallwood, RB, Philadelphia Eagles (currently owned in 16.2% of all ESPN leagues):
Smallwood lived up to his expectations of filling the Darren Sproles role, rushing 10 times for 34 yards and a touchdown, while adding another 45 yards on 4 catches.  He'll be tested again this week against an above-average Arizona defense.
 
Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals (currently owned in 3.9% of all ESPN leagues): While Ellington is a PPR add only, he's emerged as the Cardinals' most consistent fantasy player albeit catching passes out of the backfield.  Chris Johnson has struggled, and Palmer looks like he'll dump it off to his receiving back more often as an extension of the ground game.  While Ellington should be added only in deep PPR leagues only, his consistency merits watching in all leagues, at least until David Johnson comes back.  
 
Elijah McGuire, RB, New York Jets (currently owned in 0.2% of all ESPN leagues):
Somehow, someway, the Jets got a run game going against the Jaguars who have one of the best rush defenses in the league.  This is probably because the Jags offense couldn't get anything going offensively and their defense got gassed.  Still, it's worth noting that rookie Elijah McGuire took 10 carries for 93 yards and a touchdown to go with 2 catches for 38 yards.  The Jets are running a conservative offense, which could mean more plays for McGuire.  He's worth a pickup in deep leagues, and worth watching in most leagues, given Powell and Forte's injury history.  For more on what McGuire did in college at Louisiana-Lafayette, check out our rookies and redshirts article here
 
WIDE RECEIVER (WR)
 
Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants (currently owned in 47.9% of all ESPN leagues):
Shepard is the Giants' possession receiver, and actually saw an uptick in usage after OBJ came back, catching 7 targets for 133 yards and a touchdown that week.  The arrow should continue to point up, as McAdoo will do his best to get the ball out of Eli's hands in less than 3 seconds.  Shepard should get plenty of looks on inside hitches and quick slants.  Most of his production comes after the catch.  He's on pace for over 80 catches this season, and should be a solid streamer, especially in PPR leagues.
 
Will Fuller, WR, Houston Texans (currently owned in 4.8% of all ESPN leagues):
For those who forgot about Fuller, he's the 2nd year speedster out of Notre Dame with 4.3 40 speed and the ability to take the top off of defenses.  No, he didn't play during the preseason so he didn't have a chance to develop chemistry with Watson.  Yes, this is his first game back.  Yes, he only caught 4 passes, but 2 of those were for touchdowns.  This illustrates the boom or bust nature of starting Fuller in a fantasy lineup.  Still, he has a QB that can scramble and make plays which raises his fantasy ceiling this year.  He could be an immediate pickup in most leagues.
 
Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina Panthers (currently owned in 14.6% of all ESPN leagues):
Funchess has seen a steady increase in usage.  He had 8 total targets through weeks 1 and 2, but that more than doubled to 19 through weeks 3 and 4.  He caught 7 passes for 70 yards and 2 scores against the Patriots last week.  Buyer beware, both of his touchdowns came on busted coverage where Cam found him wide open.  Still, at 6'4", 225lbs, Funchess is a huge redzone target that Cam can throw to.  He'll face a real test this week against a Lions defense that has come on strong.  Kelvin Benjamin will probably draw Darius Slay in coverage, which means Funchess still possesses redzone touchdown upside.  
 
FLEX FLIER:
 
Robby Anderson, WR, New York Jets (currently owned in 2.9% of all ESPN leagues):
At 6'3", 190lbs, Anderson is the string-bean speedster that can get upfield in a hurry using his 4.3 40 speed.  If he finds himself in one-on-one coverage, he can make all of the catches.  The 2nd year wideout also has some highlight reel catches, so he can either high-point the ball or use his body control to adjust to the pass and turn even bad passes into catchable ones.  
 
TIGHT END (TE)
 
Cameron Brate, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (currently owned in 7.6% of all ESPN leagues):
In a position that's so shallow, Brate might the best of a bad bunch.  It's been tough to find any kind of consistency at the position.  Fortunately, Brate has found the endzone twice in the last 2 weeks, and faces one of the worst pass defenses in the league in week 5.  He should be a big factor in a shootout as the Buccaneers take on the Pats in Tampa Bay.  He's a solid streaming option this week.
 
Benjamin Watson, TE, Baltimore Ravens (currently owned in 1.2% of all leagues):
Once upon a time, there was a QB named Je Flacco who loved to throw to his Tight End, Dennis Pitta.  After Pitta, Flacco had several subpar options in Maxx Williams, Crockett Gilmore, and current Carolina Panther Ed Dixon.  Enter Benjamin Watson, a 36 year old journeyman now in his 14 season.  Watson experienced a revival in 2015, catching 74 passes for 825 yards and 6 touchdowns.  Watson, who has twice as many receptions as Maclin, should continue to be heavily targeted.  He's a solid streaming option against a leaky Raiders secondary this week.
 
Austin Stefarian-Jenkins, TE, New York Jets (currently owned in 1.4% of all ESPN leagues): 
Given the lack of receiving options for the Jets and the need to stretch the field at least a little to open the field for the run game.  That makes ASJ  serviceable tight end in most leagues, given how shallow the position is.  He should average a bit over 4 catches a game for around 50 yards per game.  He's a serviceable tight end in deep ppr leagues, but could make his way into mainstream play if more tight ends get injured.
 
QUARTERBACK (QB)
 
Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants (currently owned in 18.6% of all ESPN leagues):
Manning has thrown for 5 touchdowns, 2 picks, and over 650 yards in the past 2 weeks.  With OBJ back in the lineup, Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard should find more room to work.  He takes on a Chargers defense with a tough pass rush led by Corey Liuget and Joey Bosa.  Still, Eli Manning should be picked up for his upside.  
 
Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills (currently owned in 29.6% of all ESPN leagues):
Taylor looks like he's finally clicking with his offense.  He's thrown for 4 touchdowns and just 1 pick this season.  He's connecting with Clay, and can always dump it off to McCoy.  Unfortunately, with Matthews questionable, he may need to toss it more to Andre Holmes or rookie Zay Jones, but he's always a threat to scramble and is a safe and solid streaming option this week against the Bengals.
 
DEFENSE / SPECIAL TEAMS (D/ST)
 
New York Jets (currently owned in 1.4% of all ESPN leagues):
The Jets have the 7th ranked pass defense in the league, Deshone Kizer has looked like a rookie, and the Browns are still the Browns.  This week's best available option of a bad, bad bunch is the New York Jets, with the hope that they can generate turnovers from the Browns' passing game.  Buyer beware: the Jets do also have one of the worst run defenses in the league.  In the event that the Browns decide to take the ball out of Kizer's hands and run it with some decent backfield options, the Jets defense could have a very bad day.  On the bright side, they did manage to limit Jay Ajayi to just 16 yards on 11 carries.  The Jets defense are a risky streamer at best this week. 

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