With the first four weeks in the books, fantasy football managers know the team you draft is not the team you end up with. Roll with the punches, and sometimes you end up bobbing and weaving, landing an uppercut on the waiver wire and finding players who can improve your club instantaneously. The Week 5 waiver wire will have a few players that can help your team now and down the road.
Waiver Wire Week 5 Pickups: Quarterbacks
Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina Panthers (at Atlanta Falcons)
Bridgewater is coming off his first multi-touchdown game and is completing over 70% of his passes. This week he has a fantastic matchup against a Falcons secondary that has given up 13 passing touchdowns so far this season.
Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (at Washington Football Team)
Goff didn’t deliver last week against the New York Giants, but that will not stop me from teeing him up again this week against another horrible NFC East opponent. Washington’s defense has allowed three games of multiple touchdowns to opposing gunslingers already this season.
Other quarterbacks to consider adding in Week 5
Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars (at Houston Texans)
Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers (at New Orleans)
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings (at Seattle Seahawks)
Waiver Wire Week 5 Pickups: Running Backs
Justin Jackson or Joshua Kelley, Chargers (at Saints)
Austin Ekeler will be out several weeks. Expect a complementary one-two punch in the Chargers backfield, with Jackson acting as the receiving back being the more athletic pass catcher.
Related | Can Austin Ekeler be replaced?
D’Ernest Johnson, Cleveland Browns (vs Indianapolis Colts)
Nick Chubb suffered an MCL injury in Week 4. Kareem Hunt is the next back up, but the Browns like to share the wealth in the backfield, so expect Johnson to be a part of it. Johnson posted 95 rushing yards in Week 4, but does have a tough matchup this week against a solid Colts defense.
Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals (at New York Jets)
Kenyan Drake suffered an upper body injury in Week 4, and if Drake misses any playing time, Edmonds will step in to fill the void. Arizona has a juicy matchup this week against a horrible Jets defense, and Edmonds could be utilized heavily in the Cards passing attack.
Other running backs to consider adding in Week 5
Latavius Murray, Saints (vs Chargers)
Malcolm Brown, Rams (at Washington)
Antonio Gibson, Washington (vs Rams)
Reggie Bonnafon, Panthers (at Falcons)
Waiver Wire Week 5 Pickups: Wide Receivers
Justin Jefferson, Vikings (at Seahawks)
Jefferson has been an absolute stud this season for the Vikings! He posted over 100 receiving yards against the Texans in Week 4 with just five targets, and this coming Sunday has a scintillating matchup against a Seahawks secondary that is allowing over 400 passing yards a game.
Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals (at Baltimore Ravens)
Higgins is developing great chemistry with Joe Burrow, and has out targeted AJ Green 16 to 11 this season. Higgins posted seven targets, four catches, and 77 receiving yards in Week 4, but has a difficult matchup this week against an excellent Ravens secondary. Worth the stash.
Tim Patrick, Denver Broncos (at New England Patriots)
Tim Patrick, who!? Patrick posted six catches for 113 receiving yards, and a score on Thursday night against the Jets. Patrick, not Jerry Jeudy, has been the Broncos best WR this season. If Brett Rypien continues to quarterback the Broncos, Patrick could continue to shine with their great chemistry.
Other wide receivers to consider adding in Week 5
Tre’Quan Smith, Saints (vs Chargers)
Laviska Shenault, Jaguars (at Texans)
Zach Pascal, Colts (at Browns)
Alshon Jeffery, Eagles (at Steelers)
Scotty Miller, Buccanneers (at Bears)
Hunter Renfrow, Raiders (at Chiefs)
Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers (vs Dolphins)
Travis Fulgham, Eagles (at Steelers)
David Moore, Seahawks (vs. Vikings)
Waiver Wire Week 5 Pickups: Tight Ends
Dalton Schultz, Cowboys (vs Giants)
Schultz is the next TE up after the Cowboys lost Blake Jarwin to a knee injury. He has over 200 receiving yards and two touchdowns since Jarwin went down. Considering Dallas keeps playing from behind, Schultz will certainly be active and attractive if he continues with this amount of target share.
Robert Tonyan, Packers (BYE)
Tonyan blew up on Monday night against the Falcons, and has three touchdowns on the season. Rodgers loves this guy, but will this type of production continue once Davante Adams returns? That is THE question! But if you are desperate for a tight end (maybe you lost Noah Fant), Tonyan is worth the stash and see.
Other tight ends to consider adding in Week 5
- Mo Alie-Cox, Colts (at Browns)
- Logan Thomas, Washington (vs Rams)
- Drew Sample, Bengals (at Ravens)
When do waivers clear in Week 5?
Let’s quickly review when waiver wires clear and how the process works. You may put in claims on players that are currently free agents, but you will not officially add any players until the waiver process concludes in the wee hours of Wednesday morning (in most leagues).
Related | Week 5 Buy Low, Sell High
For most leagues, if multiple people put in a waiver claim for the same player, the fantasy manager with the worst record will be awarded the player. In some leagues, waivers are decided by free agency money allotted to each fantasy manager, and thus you must be careful how much and how early you are spending those dollars.
Any dropped player must be on waivers for 24 hours, and at that point, the waiver wire order will decide who is awarded the player, or in the event no one bid on the player, the player becomes an “undisputed” free agent.
Always check your league settings to understand all of your unique waiver wire details.
Anita Marks is the Chief Fantasy Analyst at Pro Football Network. Marks is also a gambling analyst for ESPN and appears on Daily Wager, which airs from 6-7 PM ET on ESPN 2. Her radio show – Weekend Wager – airs on ESPN New York (98.7) FM every Friday at 10 PM ET. Follow her on Twitter: @AnitaMarks.