Week 5 fantasy football waiver-wire targets

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While Week 4 featured another string of memorable, exciting games, several of them came at a cost, as numerous big-name fantasy stars suffered injuries. Fortunately, a few of those players will head into their bye week to rest and recover, though others will need to be monitored ahead of Week 5. As a result, there are several new names on this week's fantasy football waiver-wire targets list, and a few mainstays who need to be rostered in more leagues. Below, I highlight 15 players worth looking for this week. If these players are all unavailable in your league, then be sure to look out for the Deep Dive and Streaming Targets pieces that will be published on Monday. Once up, they'll be linked at the top of this article. All right, let's get to it.

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1

Aaron Jones, RB, Packers


The Packers battle of attrition continued on Thursday night, with both Ty Montgomery (ribs) and Jamaal Williams (knee) suffering injuries. That forced fifth-round rookie Aaron Jones into a featured role, where he delivered an encouraging performance (13 carries, 49 yards, one touchdown). While there are reports that Ty Montgomery could play this weekend, that feels a bit overly optimistic. The Packers have extra time to heal, or prepare Jones for a more prominent role as they head to Dallas. Montgomery was proof of how valuable the Packers starting running back could be in fantasy, even with mediocre efficiency numbers (3.3 yards per attempt). As long as Montgomery and Wiliams are out/limited for Week 5, Jones will be in the mix as an RB2/flex play. (Percent owned: 0.4, FAAB suggestion: 15-20)

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2

Jamaal Williams, RB, Packers


While I feel Aaron Jones is the bigger priority add this week, Williams is a must-add as well. He could miss some time with his knee injury, but will figure into the mix if he returns and Ty Montgomery misses multiple weeks. Frankly, we're all a bit like Jon Snow in terms of what's happening with this backfield in that we know nothing. The one thing we do know, though, is that the Packers running back position is a strong one for fantasy (Montgomery was the RB6 in standard through three weeks) and we should have all potential members rostered in fantasy. If Williams is hanging around, make sure to scoop him up as well. (Percent owned: 29.6, FAAB suggestion: 10-15 percent)

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3

Latavius Murray, RB, Vikings


On a Sunday filled with injuries ( Marcus Mariota, Derek Carr, Julio Jones, etc.), the most heart-breaking had to be Dalvin Cook suffering a non-contact knee injury that is presumed to be a torn ACL. This will put both Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon on the waiver-wire radar. I'll leave McKinnon for Harmon to tackle in Deep Dive tomorrow, so let's talk Murray. Murray out-touched McKinnon nine to two, was used on more plays (18 to 10) and figures to get the nod near the goal-line given his size advantage over McKinnon. This is not a 1-to-1 replacement for Cook, though, as the Vikings will likely deploy a committee as Murray and McKinnon don't boast Cook's three-down skill set. Grab Murray if he's available, but just remember to be smart about how and when you start him. Next week's road trip to face the Bears' surprisingly stingy defense might not be the ideal spot. (Percent owned: 46.2, FAAB suggestion: 10-15 percent)

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4

Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints


The Saints have increased Alvin Kamara's playing time in three straight weeks, and the results have been encouraging. The talented rookie has found the end zone in back-to-back weeks, and against the Dolphins in London caught all 10 of his targets for 71 yards (five for 25 on the ground). It's possible the Saints are realizing that Adrian Peterson isn't a fit with their offense (six plays, four carries, four yards) and will turn more opportunities over to Kamara. The Saints have their bye next week, which could allow Kamara to fly a bit more under-the-radar this week. Don't let him stay available any longer. (Percent owned: 26.6, FAAB suggestion: 15-20 percent)

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5

D'Onta Foreman, RB, Texans


Lamar Miller reasserted himself as the lead back in Houston this week, and finally found room to roam with Deshaun Watson carving up the Titans. Foreman did get 13 carries, but most of them came when the game was well out of hand. Still, the Texans offense is a unit on the rise with Watson under center and were Miller to suffer an injury Foreman would be a plug-and-play option in fantasy. (Percent owned: 7.3, FAAB suggestion: 5-10 percent)

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6

Wendell Smallwood, RB, Eagles


The new Eagles backfield started to take shape against the Chargers, and Wendell Smallwood seems to be inheriting Darren Sproles' passing game work. He was second on the team with six targets, catching four for 45 yards. He also added 10 carries for 34 yards and a touchdown. This is going to be a committee, but if targets consistently come Smallwood's way, it'll prevent him from being game-script dependent (as LeGarrette Blount is). The Eagles will return home to face the Cardinals in Week 5, a team that has been tough on the run, which could force more short passes to Smallwood. (Percent owned: 5.6, 10-15 percent)

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7

Alex Collins, RB, Ravens


Reports surfaced before the Ravens game that they'd be giving Alex Collins more opportunities, and that bore out from the opening snap -- which Collins took for 23 yards. Collins needs to be added, but this Ravens offense is a mess right now, and Javorius Allen remains the primary pass-catching threat (six targets to Collins' two). It's not very appealing to start any Ravens backs at this point in time, but someone could emerge into a viable starter. Until then, roster the playmakers and hold tight until clarity arrives. (Percent owned: 0.7, FAAB suggestion: 5-10)

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8

Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks


While his target total fell in Week 3, Tyler Lockett still led the Seahawks wide receivers by seeing 90 percent of the offensive plays. He had a solid game against the Colts on Sunday Night Football (91 total yards), but gets an excellent matchup next week when the Seahawks travel to Los Angeles to face the Rams. The Rams defense allows an average of 33 points per game over the last three weeks, and a Seahawks offense starting to find its groove could light up the scoreboard. Also, with Doug Baldwin currently battling his way through a groin injury, there's always a chance Lockett could assume No. 1 responsibilities if Baldwin is forced to miss time. (Percent owned: 12.5, FAAB suggestion: 10-15 percent)

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9

Will Fuller, WR, Texans


Welcome back, Will Fuller! Last year's first-round pick returned from a broken collarbone suffered in August in a big way, scoring two touchdowns in the Texans stomping of the Titans. Fuller tied with Bruce Ellington by being out for 78 percent of the plays, but beat out the veteran in targets (six to four) and catches (four to three). Fuller's combination of deep speed and usage in the red zone make him a weekly scoring threat. There will undoubtedly be games where he disappears (such is life with players of Fuller's style), but his weekly ceiling will be one worth chasing. The Texans play the Chiefs next week at home, a game where Fuller will be in the WR2-3 mix. (Percent owned: 2.5, FAAB suggestion: 10-15)

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10

Devin Funchess, WR, Panthers


It appears all the Panthers offense needed to get right was a meeting with the Patriots defense. Cam Newton returned to his "Superman" ways, which lifted all of the ships in Carolina's harbor, including Devin Funchess. Funchess led the wideouts in percentage of snaps played (92), targets (nine), receptions (seven), and touchdowns (two) in a breakout performance Panthers fans (and Funchess truthers) have been waiting for since, well, Funchess was drafted. (Yes I know Funchess had a 7-120-1 game in 2015, let's move on). Moving forward, the Panthers will need a downfield threat to help fill the void left by Greg Olsen, who remains out indefinitely with a broken foot. The combination of playing time, targets, and good Cam Newton will put Funchess on the weekly WR2-3 radar. The Panthers travel to Detroit in Week 5. (Percent owned: 2.4, FAAB suggestion: 10-15 percent)

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11

Jaron Brown, WR, Cardinals


I've written about J.J. Nelson in this space before, but it's time to give a little love to Jaron Brown, who's seen his playing time increase in three straight weeks (77 percent, 93 percent, 97 percent). In that span, he's caught 14 of 29 targets for 205 yards and a touchdown, which nearly equals Larry Fitzgerald's production in that same span (28 targets, 19 receptions, 202 yards, 2 TDs). The Cardinals face an Eagles defense that was just gashed by Philip Rivers in Week 2 and is still sorting things out through multiple injuries. Brown will be in the WR3 discussion next week as the Cardinals continue to rely on the passing attack as the engine of their offense. John Brown could jump past Jaron if he gets healthy, but for now that's not a total concern.(Percent owned: 0.9, FAAB suggestion: 10 percent)

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12

Geronimo Allison, WR, Packers


With Davante Adams status in question for Week 5 (concussion), Geronimo Allison figures to see a bump in playing time once again. He filled in admirably for Randall Cobb in Week 3, going out for 66 percent of the offensive plays and catching six of eight targets for 122 yards. Cobb and Jordy Nelson will still soak up most of the opportunities, but with bye weeks hitting fantasy managers in need could look to Allison in what figures to be a high-scoring affair between the Packers and Cowboys. (Percent owned: 1.8, FAAB suggestion: 0-5 percent)

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13

Charles Clay, TE, Bills


With the tight end position a veritable fantasy wasteland, Charles Clay has quickly become a weekly starter. Clay's latest effort was a dominant five-catch, 112-yard performance in a win over the Falcons. Clay has target totals of seven, six, three and nine through four weeks and owns 25.2 percent of the total team targets. He's also found the end zone twice as one of Tyrod Taylor's favorite targets. That volume is impossible to ignore given the current tight end landscape. The Bills face the Bengals in Week 5. (Percent owned: 33.3, FAAB suggestion: 5-10 percent)

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14

Evan Engram, TE, Giants


If you've played fantasy football for a few years you've likely seen a fantasy analyst make the point that rookie tight ends rarely produce in fantasy. This is true more often than not, but Evan Engram appears to be bucking the trend (especially in PPR). Engram has a consistent role in the Giants offense, as he's notched four-plus catches and 44-plus yards in four straight games. That's a great PPR weekly floor at an extremely volatile position. (Percent owned: 16.9 percent owned, FAAB suggestion: 5-10 percent)

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15

Deshaun Watson, QB, Texans


Many seemed quick to bury Deshaun Watson as a starting NFL quarterback when he struggled on a short week against the Bengals in his first professional start. All he's done the last two weeks is silence the doubters and announce his presence to the world with authority. After nearly upsetting the Patriots in their home building in Week 3, Watson dismantled the Titans in Week 4 scoring five touchdowns with 283 passing yards and 24 on the ground. Over his last two games, Watson averages 292 yards, three touchdowns, 1.5 interceptions, 33 rush yards and .5 rushing touchdowns per game. He'll be back at home again next week against the Chiefs defense, who struggled against a similarly mobile quarterback in Carson Wentz in Week 2. (Percent owned: 14.2, FAAB suggestion: 10 percent)

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