The NFL and fantasy football seasons are nearly a month in. Fantasy managers are now adjusting and tweaking their rosters based on what we’ve seen through the league’s first few weeks. Working the waiver wire is the best way to better your team and find a weekly advantage. To aid in that, here are some of the top players that fantasy football managers should consider after the Week 5 waiver wire has been processed.
Top Post-Waiver Wire Pickups in Week 5 | Quarterbacks
Jared Goff, Detroit Lions at NE (59.7% rostered)
We need to give Jard Goff more credit than he is receiving for his season. Missing three of the best big-time guys on the roster (Amon-Ra St. Brown, D.J. Chark, and D’Andre Swift), Goff balled out against Seattle, passing for 378 yards with 4 touchdowns, bringing his season total to 748 yards with 7 TDs to only 2 interceptions.
By no means should we expect Goff to be the overall QB1 again. But is it out of the question Goff could be, at minimum, a high-end QB2 for the rest of the season? I don’t think so. New England is allowing the ninth-most points allowed to the position and should get a bit healthier this week.
Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks at NO (24.5% rostered)
Wait, now Seattle is letting a QB cook? This place gives me a headache. Anyway, Pete Carroll wasn’t joking when he said he wanted his QB and pass catchers more involved. Over the last two weeks, Smith has averaged 322.5 passing yards with a completion percentage of nearly 75% and 25.3 fantasy points.
Week 5 won’t be quite as easy as the Lions, but after New Orleans, the Seahawks have matchups against the Cardinals (twice), Chargers, Giants, and Bucs before their bye week. With those coming into play next week, looking ahead is never a bad idea for fantasy waiver wire decisions.
Other options to consider:
- Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars (63%)
- Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints (23%)
- Marcus Mariotta, Atlanta Falcons (23%)
- Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers (8%)
Top Post-Waiver Wire Pickups in Week 5 | Running Backs
Mike Boone, Denver Broncos (19.3% rostered)
With the terrible news that Javonte Williams will miss the remainder of the 2022 season due to a knee injury (ACL+), Mike Boone is 100% in the Week 5 waiver wire consideration for fantasy football. Melvin Gordon will be the No. 1, but Boone should be involved as well. He took nine snaps in the fourth quarter and actually out-snapped Gordon last week, although I see that as an abnormality than a new trend to follow.
Boone should work his way into early down roles in what becomes a potential three-people backfield with Gordon and Devine Ozigbo. With Gordon well over the waiver wire threshold, Boone should be on the radar this week for RB-needy rosters.
Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins (62% rostered)
With the Dolphins needing to adjust their game plan following the loss of Tua in a scary incident, Raheem Mostert appeared to take full control of the backfield. Mostert compiled 15 of the Dolphins’ 22 team carries Thursday, rushing for 69 yards and caught two of his three targets for 12 yards.
The former 49er has out-carried Chase Edmonds 34 to 16 since Week 1 and appears to be the safest option in this backfield. In games where Mostert has seen 12-plus touches (14), he averaged 16.2 fantasy points. This is a high-upside role in a potent offense when firing on all cylinders.
Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (17.5% rostered)
Although he had a costly fumble early on, Rachaad White had flashes against the Cheifs. With Leonard Fournette ending the night with negative rushing yards, White caught all five of his targets for 50 yards while also finding the end zone on the ground, rushing for 6 yards on 3 carries.
Rather than stick to a rotation, White saw his role increase, even playing on two complete drives in the second half. Fournette is running okay, but nothing at Lombardi Lenny levels. Tom Brady utilized his RBs in the passing game, which is why many like myself felt White could carve out a meaningful role due to his skill set. After a few games of learning the NFL game, White is on the rise.
Brian Robinson Jr., Washington Commanders (39.8% rostered)
Here is my weekly plead for you to go out and snag Brian Robinson Jr. off the waiver wire. At this point, it’s almost becoming a habit. Ideally, if you did, you were ahead of the news that Robinson Jr. has been medically cleared and will be activated from the injured list at some point in the next three weeks.
If not, that means you need to scrap it out with your other managers in your league. Robinson is a starting-caliber RB on Washington and would likely have had the job if not for the injuries he sustained in the attempted carjacking. Please, add Robinson Jr. If not for you, do it for me so I can stop having to write this multiple times a week.
Other options to consider:
- Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts (60.5%)
- Isiah Pacheco, Kansas City Chiefs (14.2%)
- Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons (37.4%)
- Kenneth Walker III, Seattle Seahawks (49.7%)
- Caleb Huntley, Atlanta Falcons (5.3%)
- Deon Jackson, Indianapolis Colts (0.3%)
Top Post-Waiver Wire Pickups in Week 5 | Wide Receivers
George Pickens, Pittsburgh Steelers (46% rostered)
After three weeks of mediocre outings in an offense that couldn’t move the ball, George Pickens had his best day yet, pulling in six of eight targets for 102 yards on Sunday. Pickens’ 31% target share doubled Diontae Johnson, while Chase Claypool failed to record a catch. With Kenny Pickett, Pickens saw a 33% target-per-route-run rate in the second half and averaged a 5.92 YPRR.
Pickens is the highest-upside option, recording an aDOT of 20, benefiting from Pickett’s aggressiveness. That shouldn’t go away either after Mike Tomlin named Pickett the starter for Week 5. I don’t love him against the Bills, but when Pittsburgh inevitably falls behind by a million and needs a shot in the arm, they should turn to Pickens.
I had a bold call before the season saying Pickens could lead the Steelers in receiving yards. After four games, he trails by only 40 yards to Diontae Johnson and is just now being involved in the offense. Giddy up.
Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys (48.8% rostered)
Welcome back, Michael Gallup. Making his 2022 debut, Gallup played on 64% of the plays, including 78% of snaps in 11 personnel sets. He wasted no time getting back into the scoring column, catching 2 of his 3 targets for 24 yards with a score (10.4 PPR).
With Dak Prescott eying Week 5 to make his return, Gallup will carry even more upside, not to take anything away from what Cooper Rush has done. Noah Brown is still involved in the offense, but Gallup should only increase his role. Ideally, you would have snagged him before he returned, but there is still time to add Gallup off the Week 5 waiver wire before he turns into a weekly WR3 at minimum.
Isaiah McKenzie, Buffalo Bills (22.1% rostered)
We almost saw an explosion from Isaiah McKenzie this week. Prior to leaving Sunday’s game, McKenzie caught 4 of 6 targets for 21 yards and a TD but exited due to a head injury. Obviously, he needs to pass through the concussion protocols, but this is bigger than that.
Jamison Crowder suffered a broken ankle, according to Ian Rapoport, and will be placed on the IR. McKenzie was splitting reps with Crowder in the slot but now has a high-leverager role to himself. Over 25% of Josh Allen’s targets in the last three years have been to slot-aligned players. Assuming health, McKenzie moves into low-end WR3 conversations. Still available in nearly 80% of leagues, he is a must-add off the Week 5 fantasy football waiver wire.
Other options to consider:
- Jakobi Meyers, New England Patriots (66.6%)
- Kadarius Toney, New York Giants (48.3%)
- Joshua Palmer, Los Angeles Chargers (40.2%)
- Skyy Moore, Kansas City Chiefs (31.1%)
- Christian Watson, Green Bay Packers (11.2%)
- Corey Davis, New York Jets (6.9%)
- Jameson Williams, Detroit Lions (21.4%)
- Romeo Doubs, Green Bay Packers (46.1%)
- Nico Collins, Houston Texans (12.6%)
- Alec Pierce, Indianapolis Colts (7.6%)
- Devin Duvernay, Baltimore Ravens (19.5%)
Top Post-Waiver Wire Pickups in Week 5| Tight Ends
Hayden Hurst, Cincinnati Bengals (22.5% rostered)
After being held to a single catch in Week 3, Hayden Hurst got back on track last week, catching 3 of 4 targets for 27 yards, including a touchdown that sealed the deal.
The veteran tight end now has 14 catches for 104 yards and a touchdown through four weeks on 21 targets. Baltimore is a middle-of-the-road matchup, but given how desolate the TE landscape can be, Hurst has high-end TE2 upside.
Tyler Conklin, New York Jets (39.8% rostered)
Catching three passes for 52 yards against the Steelers, Tyler Conklin continues his underrated 2022 campaign. The TE7 on the year, Conklin is sixth in targets (29), fourth in receptions (21), eighth in yards (192), and has double-digit PPR points in three of his four games.
Conklin remained involved in Zach Wilson’s season debut under center (71% route participation) and faces a Miami Dolphins defense that is 27th vs. tight ends on the year (18.45 PPR). Despite his season, Conklin somehow is out there in 60% of fantasy leagues, even though he had double the receptions of Kyle Pitts. Sorry, that one hurt me too.
Other options to consider:
- David Njoku, Cleveland Browns (65.1%)
- Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Chargers (62.8%)
- Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers (21.9%)
- Irv Smith Jr., Minnesota Vikings (32.1%)
- Logan Thomas, Washington Commanders (28.7%)
- Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars (22.3%)