What. A. Weekend. I’m probably not the first to tell you how much awesome football there was. Eight games ended within one score, including a handful of exciting finishes. And while the highlight reels keep on churning, we have to look toward next week here in FantasyLand because now is the time to make moves.
We are five weeks into the football season, so by now you probably have a good idea of who’s good and who’s not on your fantasy team. If you’ve been holding onto the No. 1 waiver claim spot or all of your FAAB, this may be the week to cash out for difference-makers. Unfortunately, as you’ll see in a second, the waiver landscape is pretty barren for quarterbacks and running backs. Perhaps I’ll include more trade advice again in my Week 6 Start/Sit column on Thursday.
In the meantime, check out these players who you should consider adding in your leagues. Have any more fantasy questions? Hit me up on Twitter @ZachCohenFB. I’m always down to help out!
Tua Tagovailoa (QB - MIA)
Week 5 Stat Line: The same as you and me
I’ll be honest: There aren’t many good quarterbacks left on waivers. According to FantasyPros’ consensus fantasy ownership percentages, 21 quarterbacks are rostered in more than 40% of leagues. And the next highest-rostered quarterback—Justin Fields—is taken in 35% of leagues. He’s also scored just 20 points in three starts. Tagovailoa currently has a 20% fantasy ownership and is scheduled to come off IR this week. He’s not the best option, but the upside is there, especially against juicy upcoming matchups. Miami faces Jacksonville (in London) and Atlanta in its next two games. The Jaguars have allowed about 21 points per game to quarterbacks and the Falcons have allowed nearly 26. Tagovailoa may be a fine backup or even a desperate streaming option over the next couple of weeks if he returns to the field as planned.
Trevor Lawrence (QB - JAX)
Week 5 Stat Line: 21.72 points, 273 passing yards, 1 passing TD, 1 interception, 1 rushing TD
Lawrence hasn’t exactly replicated his collegiate success during his rookie season. He’s thrown just six touchdowns and eight interceptions with an average completion percentage of 60.5%. From a fantasy standpoint, Lawrence is QB26 with an average of 14.6 points. However, he does have three games of 17-plus points, including two of them in his last two matchups. While Lawrence is available in roughly 46% of all leagues, he does face the Dolphins in Week 6. If you’re looking for a solid 15-20 points, that’s the range of outcomes quarterbacks have produced against Miami’s defense this season. You shouldn’t expect Lawrence to drop a 30-bomb for your team, but considering the lack of available passers, Lawrence isn’t a terrible pick-up. It helps that he’s scored a rushing touchdown in two straight weeks, too.
Players to Watch: Jameis Winston, Baker Mayfield
Devontae Booker (RB - NYG)
Week 5 Stat Line: 20.8 points, 42 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD, 3 catches on 4 targets, 16 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD
If it weren’t for Barkley’s unfortunate injury, I would have no clue what running backs to include. The waiver wire is a wasteland for them. You’re better off scouring the trade market for an upgrade. However, Barkley’s injury paves the way for Booker to see a solid amount of work. And I’m no doctor, but based on the unsettling image of Barkley’s ankle, I imagine he’ll be a candidate for IR. That would keep him out for three weeks, and put Booker in a situation where he can see 14-15 carries and 5-6 targets each game.
Myles Gaskin (RB - MIA)
Week 5 Stat Line: 31.9 points, 25 rushing yards, 10 catches on 10 targets, 74 receiving yards, 2 receiving TD
I can see it now: A flock of desperate running back-hungry fantasy managers stampeding to waivers in hopes of snatching up Gaskin. After all, he was Week 5’s RB2 with a whopping 31.9 points. Don’t be fooled by the massive production, though.
The Dolphins were playing far behind the Buccaneers for most of the game, and therefore, had to resort to the passing game more often than usual. As for Gaskin, he saw 10 targets after seeing 16 all season long. So why is Gaskin even in my column today? Well, in case you haven’t noticed, there are not many good running backs left on waivers. Scratch that, there are no good running backs left on waivers. Gaskin is a lead back in an offense, so at the very least, he’s worth a roster spot. Just don’t expect performances on par to this one, though he does get to face the Jaguars and Falcons in the next two weeks. Keep an eye on Malcolm Brown, too.
Brandon Bolden (RB - NE)
Week 5 Stat Line: 7.1 points, 4 catches on 4 targets, 6 receiving yards
Bolden has slowly crept into the Patriots’ offense. His Week 5 performance was on par with his receiving-heavy production from Week 4. As expected, he led the team in targets and routes run again. I don’t need to remind you how crucial that can be in PPR formats. Look, the Patriots’ offense is not the most dynamic one out there. But you can always count on Bill Belichick force-feeding a primary receiving back. After Damien Harris left the game, Rhamondre Stevenson took over Harris’ role, thus giving us a glimpse into his fantasy future. But Harris will likely not miss time, so no need to scoop up Stevenson yet. Bolden has more upside because of his passing game work and is worth a stash in deeper leagues.
Darrel Williams (RB - KC)
Week 5 Stat Line: 7.5 points, 27 rushing yards, 3 catches on 5 targets, 18 receiving yards
The second Clyde Edwards-Helaire was helped off the field, I immediately threw Williams‘ name in here. As of Monday afternoon, Edwards-Helaire was reported to miss a few weeks with a sprained MCL. It sucks to see Edwards-Helaire go down, though he’s had curious usage in recent games. His snap count was steadily decreasing each game, while Williams saw his snap count steadily increasing. After Edwards-Helaire‘s injury, Williams was splitting work with Jerick McKinnon. While Williams still saw more carries and targets than McKinnon, it’s interesting that the Chiefs we’re starting to dip into a two-running back system a bit more. It makes me wonder if Kansas City will look to trade for a running back. It’s for those reasons that I don’t think Williams is the biggest waiver wire priority, though he’s certainly worth a pickup if you need a running back.
Players to Watch: Kyle Juszczyk, Samaje Perine, DeeJay Dallas, Rhamondre Stevenson
Kadarius Toney (WR - NYG)
Week 5 Stat Line: 29.6 points, 10 catches on 13 targets, 189 receiving yards, receiving TD, 1 carry, 1 throw, 1 “punch”
What a day for the rookie! He entered the game as the Giants’ WR2 and left the game as the Giants’ entire offense. Had Toney not been ejected for throwing a punch (What’s the point of punching a player with a helmet?), then he might’ve finished higher than the overall WR4. He was also far and away the team’s target leader. It’s as if a lightbulb went off in Jason Garrett’s head telling him exactly how to use Toney. The best part? Toney’s only rostered in 13.9% of leagues. His high usage solidified his value in every fantasy format. Scoop him up immediately, even if New York’s receiving corps comes back from injury.
Jamison Crowder (WR - NYJ)
Week 5 Stat Line: 8.4 points, 4 catches on 6 targets, 24 receiving yards
Speaking of slot receivers, Crowder has typically found fantasy success in that role. So if you don’t mind, I’m just going to steal what I wrote last week because it still applies:
“His production isn’t too outlandish considering he averaged more than 14 points per game last season. He may not have great long-term value once Elijah Moore returns from injury, but Crowder showed enough to warrant a waiver claim. Just don’t expect an offensive explosion like this every week from the Jets.”
That last point is important because it’ll be very hard for Crowder to be great if the Jets’ offense stinks. Luckily, his role inside isn’t heavily impacted. When under pressure, quarterbacks typically look to their running back or slot receiver. That’s where Crowder makes a living. Claim him now before it’s too late.
Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR - DET)
Week 5 Stat Line: 13.5 points, 7 catches on 8 targets, 65 receiving yards
If you’re still waiting for one of the Lions’ receivers to break out, don’t expect the wait to end anytime soon. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some viable options in Detroit’s pass-catching group, though. Quintez Cephus was looking decent enough until he unfortunately broke his collarbone on Sunday. That leaves Kalif Raymond and Amon-Ra St. Brown. The two receivers saw a nearly identical snap count on Sunday, yet it was St. Brown who saw more targets—eight, to be exact. That was the most on the team. The rookie posted a similar stat line in Week 4 as well. St. Brown’s involvement has increased over the last two games compared to his involvement over the first three games. It’s good enough to make him worthy of a bench stash in case he becomes Jared Goff’s favorite target out of the slot.
Marquez Callaway (WR - NO)
Week 5 Stat Line: 24.5 points, 4 catches on 8 targets, 85 receiving yards, 2 receiving TDs
Like with Gaskin, Callaway‘s stats are a bit inflated. We can’t expect him to catch a Hail Mary every week, but it does look like we can expect him to average double-digit points moving forward—or at least until Michael Thomas comes back. He’s averaged 76% of the Saints’ snaps this season, with a 6% snap increase over the last two weeks. As for his production, Callaway has managed 14.1 points, 9.4 points, and 24.5 points in the last three games. As I’ve said many times now, prioritize volume over points. Therefore, Callaway isn’t a must-add, but he’s someone to definitely keep an eye on. His upcoming slate of games certainly helps, too. Following their bye in Week 6, the Saints face four straight teams with a bottom-eight defense against opposing receivers in fantasy. In other words, Callaway should have some nice opportunities, especially if Deonte Harris misses time.
Players to Watch: Ray-Ray McCloud, Rondale Moore, Deonte Harris, Donovan Peoples-Jones
Hunter Henry (TE - NE)
Week 5 Stat Line: 19.5 points, 6 catches on 8 targets, 75 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD
Who needs wide receivers when you have tight ends? All kidding aside, Henry has quietly been putting up solid numbers this season. Despite averaging 71% of New England snaps, he’s been scoring more points each week. That includes two touchdowns in the last two games. It helps that he’s seen the team’s second-most targets in the last three weeks, too. And on top of that, the Patriots have the third-highest neutral pass rate in the last three weeks. That means New England is throwing the ball more on first and second downs outside of the final two minutes in each half. Translation: Henry is a great tight end to add.
Ricky Seals-Jones (TE - WSH)
Week 5 Stat Line: 9.1 points, 5 catches on 8 targets, 53 receiving yards
No Logan Thomas, no problem. Seals-Jones stepped into Thomas’ role and saw nearly 20% of Washington’s targets—a feat Thomas has yet to accomplish this season. His stat line wasn’t the greatest, but it was respectable enough to warrant waiver consideration. Seals-Jones even played all but one snap for Washington. As long as Thomas is out, Seals-Jones is a viable streaming play.
Players to Watch: Dan Arnold, Donald Parham Jr.