Early Week 5 Waiver Wire Pickups: Jaleel McLaughlin and Michael Wilson Are Top Targets

As we head into the fifth week of the NFL season, who are the top Week 5 waiver wire pickups and targets for 2023 fantasy football managers?

The 2023 fantasy football season is firmly underway. The NFL landscape is always shifting, and fantasy managers should always be looking to improve their rosters. Let’s take a look at the top Week 5 waiver wire targets and pickups that fantasy managers should consider adding to their rosters.

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Top Waiver Wire Pickups in Week 5 | Quarterbacks

Note: As always, all players are rostered in 50% or less of Yahoo leagues.

C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans (46% Rostered)

For the second consecutive week, the top quarterback available is C.J. Stroud. The second overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft just posted his third consecutive game of over 20 fantasy points.

In a season where many of the top QBs are struggling, Stroud has staked his claim as an every-week QB1. If you’re struggling with the consistency of someone like Joe Burrow or Trevor Lawrence, grab Stroud.

FAAB Recommendation: 6-8%

Top Waiver Wire Pickups in Week 5 | Running Backs

There are a couple of priority adds at the running back position off the waiver wire. Jaleel McLaughlin and Tyjae Spears are among them.

Jaleel McLaughlin, RB, Denver Broncos (1% Rostered)

This week’s top waiver wire pickup at the running back position goes to McLaughlin. Javonte Williams left early in the first half against the Bears with a hip issue. And instead of Samaje Perine taking over, it was the rookie undrafted free agent.

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McLaughlin only touched the ball 10 times, but he was crazy efficient, racking up 104 total yards and a touchdown.

We don’t know how serious Williams’ injury is. And if he misses Week 5, it will be a committee between McLaughlin and Perine. However, McLaughlin proved himself to be a capable replacement, and he is absolutely worth rostering.

FAAB Recommendation: 18-30%

Chuba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers (25% Rostered)

Miles Sanders played through a groin injury on Sunday and remained the lead back. However, Chuba Hubbard still saw 14 carries and two receptions.

He’s certainly not one of the stronger waiver wire pickups, but it’s clear that if Sanders were to go down, Hubbard would be the next guy and thus startable in fantasy. With bye weeks coming up, he’s a decent bench stash.

FAAB Recommendation: 4-6%

Tyjae Spears, Tennessee Titans (25% Rostered)

Derrick Henry reminded everyone he’s still king this week. With that said, Tyjae Spears has displayed some nice burst. He carried the ball five times for an impressive 40 yards and added three receptions for 18 yards. He’s the clear RB2 in Tennessee.

Spears has some standalone RB4 value, with RB2 upside if Henry gets hurt. He’s worth stashing.

FAAB Recommendation: 3-5%

Top Waiver Wire Pickups in Week 5 | Wide Receivers

Youth is again the story in Week 5 after rookies Tank Dell, Jayden Reed, and Josh Downs were priority adds in Week 4.

Michael Wilson, Arizona Cardinals (1% Rostered)

After flipping back and forth with Rondale Moore, it appears Michael Wilson has officially won the Cardinals WR2 job. Additionally, Josh Dobbs is far better than I gave him credit for.

Wilson caught all seven of his targets for 76 yards and two touchdowns. This was one week after he caught two balls for 86 yards.

There isn’t much out there on the waiver wire at WR. Wilson is a rookie with talent and unknown upside. He is worth chasing.

FAAB Recommendation: 8-15%

Terrace Marshall, Carolina Panthers (0% Rostered)

I’m not exactly sure what happened that resulted in Terrace Marshall seeing 10 targets, but it happened. Marshall caught nine passes for 56 yards. Adam Thielen did briefly exit the game, but Marshall was still a clear priority for Bryce Young.

I highly doubt this will continue, but if you’re needy at WR, Marshall isn’t the worst idea.

FAAB Recommendation: 0-5%

Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals (37% Rostered)

The Bengals are broken. Joe Burrow does not look like the guy we saw the past two seasons. That makes Tyler Boyd an uninspiring waiver wire pickup at the moment.

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The value in Boyd is that he won’t get you zero. Even in a dreadful offensive performance, he saw seven targets. With bye weeks coming up, getting a safe 4-6 points in your lineup could be useful. Additionally, fellow Bengals WR Tee Higgins could be sidelined for multiple weeks with a rib fracture, which would instantly boost Boyd’s fantasy value.

FAAB Recommendation: 0%

Top Waiver Wire Pickups in Week 5 | Tight Ends

The tight end position is not in a good spot this season. Once again, there is only one player worth adding this week.

Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears (53% Rostered)

Cole Kmet is slightly above the rostership threshold, but there’s nothing else out there at tight end. We have to take him seriously after he caught seven passes for 85 yards and two touchdowns.

The Broncos can’t stop anyone on defense. That certainly contributed to Kmet’s huge game. Nevertheless, any tight end capable of scoring 27 fantasy points in a starting role is worth rostering.

FAAB Recommendation: 3-5%

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