Published: Oct. 1, 2015 at 05:46 p.m.
Updated: Oct. 5, 2015 at 12:15 a.m.

Week 5 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire

The waiver wire is one of the most important keys to finding success in the world of fantasy football. I'll do my best to help you manage the waiver wire to scoop up the players who can help bring you fantasy glory each and every week. If you play in a deeper, more competitive league, and all 14 of these players are already owned, be sure to check out my weekly deep dive waiver wire column (published Mondays), for some high-upside players to aim for heading into Week 5. I've also added a new section to each player analysis called "FAAB suggestion." FAAB, or free agent acquisition budget, is a different style of waivers where you bid from a pre-determined budget to acquire players. I prefer it, as it gives every owner a shot at every player -- if they're willing to spend. For more specific FAAB questions, hit me up on Twitter

14 Photos Total

  • I normally don't try to include players so highly owned in this column (although there's one even more highly owned than Gates), but this is just to serve as a reminder that Philip Rivers' favor target returns to the field next week after serving a four-game suspension. If Gates somehow wound up on the waiver wire in your league over the last few weeks, he's definitely worth scooping up. Both Steve Johnson and Malcom Floyd suffered injuries on Sunday, taking away two of Rivers' top targets. Gates could step in and immediately see a healthy amount of targets on a week when Greg Olsen, Jordan Cameron and Kyle Rudolph are all on byes. <em>FAAB suggestion: 10-15 percent.</em> 14

    Ric Tapia/NFL

    Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers - 44.6 percent owned

    I normally don't try to include players so highly owned in this column (although there's one even more highly owned than Gates), but this is just to serve as a reminder that Philip Rivers' favor target returns to the field next week after serving a four-game suspension. If Gates somehow wound up on the waiver wire in your league over the last few weeks, he's definitely worth scooping up. Both Steve Johnson and Malcom Floyd suffered injuries on Sunday, taking away two of Rivers' top targets. Gates could step in and immediately see a healthy amount of targets on a week when Greg Olsen, Jordan Cameron and Kyle Rudolph are all on byes. FAAB suggestion: 10-15 percent.

  • While Rawls didn't set the fantasy world on fire on Monday night, he did see 17 carries against a tough Lions defense (but managed a disappointing 48 yards). The injuries have been mounting for Marshawn Lynch this season, which is VERY worrisome (hamstring, back, calf already), and Fred Jackson was injured as well on Monday night (though we don't know the severity quite yet). Rawls will likely come with a higher price tag for Week 5, too, so hopefully you've already claimed him. If not, he should be one of the top priorities this week for Lynch owners or players seeking running back depth. Rawls' performance was dampened by Detroit's defensive line playing out of its mind, and he'll have lots of value moving forward -- especially if he's the only healthy back on the roster. <em>FAAB suggestion: 20 percent.</em> 13

    John Froschauer/Associated Press

    Thomas Rawls, RB, Seattle Seahawks - 8.7 percent owned

    While Rawls didn't set the fantasy world on fire on Monday night, he did see 17 carries against a tough Lions defense (but managed a disappointing 48 yards). The injuries have been mounting for Marshawn Lynch this season, which is VERY worrisome (hamstring, back, calf already), and Fred Jackson was injured as well on Monday night (though we don't know the severity quite yet). Rawls will likely come with a higher price tag for Week 5, too, so hopefully you've already claimed him. If not, he should be one of the top priorities this week for Lynch owners or players seeking running back depth. Rawls' performance was dampened by Detroit's defensive line playing out of its mind, and he'll have lots of value moving forward -- especially if he's the only healthy back on the roster. FAAB suggestion: 20 percent.

  • Hurns has averaged almost 80 yards per game this season, improving his yardage total in each week while also finding the end zone in each of the last two weeks. Hurns is a complete receiver who can run the whole route tree, and he is thriving against teams' secondary cornerbacks with Allen Robinson commanding more attention. Hurns has displayed some nice after-the-catch ability as well, and appears locked in as the No. 2 option in what could be an emerging passing attack. The Jaguars face the Buccaneers in Week 5, and I'll be considering Hurns a startable WR3 against their secondary. <em>FAAB suggestion: 5-10 percent.</em> 12

    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Allen Hurns, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars - 4.9 percent owned

    Hurns has averaged almost 80 yards per game this season, improving his yardage total in each week while also finding the end zone in each of the last two weeks. Hurns is a complete receiver who can run the whole route tree, and he is thriving against teams' secondary cornerbacks with Allen Robinson commanding more attention. Hurns has displayed some nice after-the-catch ability as well, and appears locked in as the No. 2 option in what could be an emerging passing attack. The Jaguars face the Buccaneers in Week 5, and I'll be considering Hurns a startable WR3 against their secondary. FAAB suggestion: 5-10 percent.

  • The age of Roddy White has passed, and we've entered the age of Leonard Hankerson. Through the first three weeks, White out-snapped Hankerson 186 to 147, yet Hankerson commanded more than double the targets White saw (21 to nine), out-scoring White in fantasy points 19.8 to 8.4. Against the Texans in Week 4, Hankerson caught six of his eight targets for 103 yards and a touchdown (16.3 fantasy points), leading the Falcons in every receiving category. Now, we know this offense runs through Julio Jones, so we have to understand that Hankersons's production will not maintain this level on a week-to-week basis. However, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has the Falcons' offense humming, and fantasy owners would be wise to buy-in to any player seeing significant volume in a high-flying offense like this. That's why Hankerson is worth a look on waivers this week. <em>FAAB suggestion: 5-10 percent.</em> 11

    David Goldman/Associated Press

    Leonard Hankerson, WR, Atlanta Falcons - 1.2 percent owned

    The age of Roddy White has passed, and we've entered the age of Leonard Hankerson. Through the first three weeks, White out-snapped Hankerson 186 to 147, yet Hankerson commanded more than double the targets White saw (21 to nine), out-scoring White in fantasy points 19.8 to 8.4. Against the Texans in Week 4, Hankerson caught six of his eight targets for 103 yards and a touchdown (16.3 fantasy points), leading the Falcons in every receiving category. Now, we know this offense runs through Julio Jones, so we have to understand that Hankersons's production will not maintain this level on a week-to-week basis. However, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has the Falcons' offense humming, and fantasy owners would be wise to buy-in to any player seeing significant volume in a high-flying offense like this. That's why Hankerson is worth a look on waivers this week. FAAB suggestion: 5-10 percent.

  • I normally wouldn't advise chasing Daniels' recent run of touchdowns, but this week there's an exception. And that exception is that Daniels faces the Oakland Raiders next week. Through four games, the Raiders have allowed 380 receiving yards and six touchdowns to tight ends, averages of 95 yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game. That's INSANE. They've been gashed by Tyler Eifert, Crockett Gillmore, Gary Barnidge and Martellus Bennett through four consecutive weeks. When a trend like this emerges (especially one steeped in actual football, as the Raiders' safety position has been injured), we need to ride it until it ends. That means giving Daniels (and even Virgil Green in deeper leagues) a look as streaming options for Week 5. With big-name tight ends like Olsen, Cameron and Rudolph on byes, owners could do worse than Daniels for one week. <em>FAAB suggestion: 0-5 percent.</em> 10

    Joe Mahoney/Associated Press

    Owen Daniels, TE, Denver Broncos - 11.6 percent owned

    I normally wouldn't advise chasing Daniels' recent run of touchdowns, but this week there's an exception. And that exception is that Daniels faces the Oakland Raiders next week. Through four games, the Raiders have allowed 380 receiving yards and six touchdowns to tight ends, averages of 95 yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game. That's INSANE. They've been gashed by Tyler Eifert, Crockett Gillmore, Gary Barnidge and Martellus Bennett through four consecutive weeks. When a trend like this emerges (especially one steeped in actual football, as the Raiders' safety position has been injured), we need to ride it until it ends. That means giving Daniels (and even Virgil Green in deeper leagues) a look as streaming options for Week 5. With big-name tight ends like Olsen, Cameron and Rudolph on byes, owners could do worse than Daniels for one week. FAAB suggestion: 0-5 percent.

  • A quick look at the box score seems to indicate that Hillman is running away with the backfield in Denver, but that's simply not the case. Hillman took his first carry 72 yards for a touchdown, but after that was held to just a 3.1 yards per carry average on his next 10 totes. There is no winner in the Denver backfield at the moment between Hillman and C.J. Anderson, but in the off chance Hillman's touchdown run <em>does</em> lead to a heavier share of the backfield touches, he needs to be rostered in more leagues. I wouldn't invest too heavily in Hillman, as for now his upside is limited, but he should be targeted for RB-needy teams looking for some help in the future. <em>FAAB suggestion: 0-5 percent.</em> 9

    Joe Mahoney/Associated Press

    Ronnie Hillman, RB, Denver Broncos - 22.2 percent owned

    A quick look at the box score seems to indicate that Hillman is running away with the backfield in Denver, but that's simply not the case. Hillman took his first carry 72 yards for a touchdown, but after that was held to just a 3.1 yards per carry average on his next 10 totes. There is no winner in the Denver backfield at the moment between Hillman and C.J. Anderson, but in the off chance Hillman's touchdown run does lead to a heavier share of the backfield touches, he needs to be rostered in more leagues. I wouldn't invest too heavily in Hillman, as for now his upside is limited, but he should be targeted for RB-needy teams looking for some help in the future. FAAB suggestion: 0-5 percent.

  • I never thought I'd see the day when Tedd Ginn was the No. 1 wide receiver for an undefeated team NOT named Ohio State, but here we are in 2015 and Tedd Ginn is the No. 1 wide receiver of the undefeated Carolina Panthers. Ginn was only targeted three times on Sunday (his lowest total of the year), but he turned both of his catches into touchdowns. Starting Ginn will never feel that good in fantasy, but he has done enough to merit roster consideration on more than just 3.7 percent of NFL.com teams. <em>FAAB suggestion: 0-5 percent</em> 8

    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Ted Ginn, WR, Carolina Panthers - 3.7 percent owned

    I never thought I'd see the day when Tedd Ginn was the No. 1 wide receiver for an undefeated team NOT named Ohio State, but here we are in 2015 and Tedd Ginn is the No. 1 wide receiver of the undefeated Carolina Panthers. Ginn was only targeted three times on Sunday (his lowest total of the year), but he turned both of his catches into touchdowns. Starting Ginn will never feel that good in fantasy, but he has done enough to merit roster consideration on more than just 3.7 percent of NFL.com teams. FAAB suggestion: 0-5 percent

  • Like with Gates above, this is more just a reminder if Johnson somehow ended up on the waiver wire in your league. Josh McCown and the Browns finally started crafting pass plays for Johnson on Sunday, and the result was a nice nine-catch, 85-yard, one-touchdown performance. Johnson was the team's leading receiver in terms of targets (10 - tied with Travis Benjamin), receptions and yards, while also adding 31 more on the ground. In the off chance Johnson's owner got frustrated or needed to cut him loose in a pinch with byes starting this week, take advantage of his/her mistake and put in a claim for the talented rookie out of Miami. After his performance today he will certainly be earning more attention in this offense. <em>FAAB suggestion: 10-15 percent.</em> 7

    Denis Poroy/Associated Press

    Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns - 37.5 percent owned

    Like with Gates above, this is more just a reminder if Johnson somehow ended up on the waiver wire in your league. Josh McCown and the Browns finally started crafting pass plays for Johnson on Sunday, and the result was a nice nine-catch, 85-yard, one-touchdown performance. Johnson was the team's leading receiver in terms of targets (10 - tied with Travis Benjamin), receptions and yards, while also adding 31 more on the ground. In the off chance Johnson's owner got frustrated or needed to cut him loose in a pinch with byes starting this week, take advantage of his/her mistake and put in a claim for the talented rookie out of Miami. After his performance today he will certainly be earning more attention in this offense. FAAB suggestion: 10-15 percent.

  • With a sound running game finally provided by Todd Gurley, did we get a glimpse of how the Rams could use Tavon Austin moving forward? There were still a handful of specialty plays designed for Austin, but he also made plays as a traditional wide receiver. All told, he had 116 total yards on eight touches with two touchdowns. We're chasing points a bit here, but through the first four weeks of the season the Rams have been making a concerted effort to put the ball in Austin's hands more often. He has 28 touches on the year for 215 yards and three touchdowns (not counting special teams). This could be the start of something good here now that Gurley's in the fold, so if you have the bench space or need wide receiver help, consider Austin this week. <em>FAAB suggestion: 5-10 percent.</em> 6

    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Tavon Austin, WR, St. Louis Rams - 6.0 percent owned

    With a sound running game finally provided by Todd Gurley, did we get a glimpse of how the Rams could use Tavon Austin moving forward? There were still a handful of specialty plays designed for Austin, but he also made plays as a traditional wide receiver. All told, he had 116 total yards on eight touches with two touchdowns. We're chasing points a bit here, but through the first four weeks of the season the Rams have been making a concerted effort to put the ball in Austin's hands more often. He has 28 touches on the year for 215 yards and three touchdowns (not counting special teams). This could be the start of something good here now that Gurley's in the fold, so if you have the bench space or need wide receiver help, consider Austin this week. FAAB suggestion: 5-10 percent.

  • If Antonio Brown had held on to the touchdown toss from Vick on Thursday, Vick would have finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback in Week 4. Now, I know, if "ifs" and "buts" were candy and nuts, wouldn't it be a Merry Christmas? Well, why I mention that "if" scenario is to help put the minds of fantasy owners in need of a QB at ease if they want to target Vick on the waivers. Vick played on a short week and performed well. This time around, he gets extra days to prepare, extra practice reps, and oh, just some guy named Martavis Bryant back in the starting lineup. Vick will take on a Chargers secondary that was just gashed by the Josh McCown-led Browns. If you're streaming QBs this week or need a replacement for Cam Newton on his bye, the stars are aligning nicely for a solid week for Vick. <em>FAAB suggestion: 5-10 percent.</em> 5

    Al Tielemans/Associated Press

    Mike Vick, QB. Pittsburgh Steelers - 7.9 percent owned

    If Antonio Brown had held on to the touchdown toss from Vick on Thursday, Vick would have finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback in Week 4. Now, I know, if "ifs" and "buts" were candy and nuts, wouldn't it be a Merry Christmas? Well, why I mention that "if" scenario is to help put the minds of fantasy owners in need of a QB at ease if they want to target Vick on the waivers. Vick played on a short week and performed well. This time around, he gets extra days to prepare, extra practice reps, and oh, just some guy named Martavis Bryant back in the starting lineup. Vick will take on a Chargers secondary that was just gashed by the Josh McCown-led Browns. If you're streaming QBs this week or need a replacement for Cam Newton on his bye, the stars are aligning nicely for a solid week for Vick. FAAB suggestion: 5-10 percent.

  • While it might seem like I was ragging on McCown above, he actually did play pretty well on Sunday, and has averaged over 20 fantasy points per game since taking the starting job back over from Johnny Manziel. Now, I'm certainly not suggesting rostering McCown for the rest of the season, but if you've been using one of the quarterbacks on a bye in Week 5 (Cam Newton, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Tannehill), McCown could be a nice streaming option who is almost certainly on the waiver wire. He faces a Ravens defense in Week 5 that has been abysmal at defending the pass for the last three weeks. <em>FAAB suggestion: 0-5 percent.</em> 4

    Lenny Ignelzi/Associated Press

    Josh McCown, QB, Cleveland Browns - 0.7 percent owned

    While it might seem like I was ragging on McCown above, he actually did play pretty well on Sunday, and has averaged over 20 fantasy points per game since taking the starting job back over from Johnny Manziel. Now, I'm certainly not suggesting rostering McCown for the rest of the season, but if you've been using one of the quarterbacks on a bye in Week 5 (Cam Newton, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Tannehill), McCown could be a nice streaming option who is almost certainly on the waiver wire. He faces a Ravens defense in Week 5 that has been abysmal at defending the pass for the last three weeks. FAAB suggestion: 0-5 percent.

  • Hoooo boy is the Ravens' pass-catching corps a sad group right now. Breshad Perriman re-injured his knee and it required surgery. Steve Smith has broken ribs and we don't know how soon he'll play again. Crockett Gillmore has a calf strain and missed Week 4. And Michael Campanaro went on IR after last week's game as well. So as the injuries mount, the one name worth trusting is ... Kamar Aiken. He'll have a relatively low ceiling each week, as he's by no means an explosive athlete or game-breaking wide receiver, but Aiken has shown some flashes and very well might be the team's No. 1 wide receiver this week. Facing a Cleveland secondary that's been having issues recently, Aiken could be a sneaky add and will probably be on the WR3/flex radar in Week 5 and beyond, until the Ravens get some more able-bodied individuals to catch passes from Joe Flacco. <em>FAAB suggestion: 0-5 percent.</em> 3

    Al Tielemans/Associated Press

    Kamar Aiken, WR, Baltimore Ravens - 0.4 percent owned

    Hoooo boy is the Ravens' pass-catching corps a sad group right now. Breshad Perriman re-injured his knee and it required surgery. Steve Smith has broken ribs and we don't know how soon he'll play again. Crockett Gillmore has a calf strain and missed Week 4. And Michael Campanaro went on IR after last week's game as well. So as the injuries mount, the one name worth trusting is ... Kamar Aiken. He'll have a relatively low ceiling each week, as he's by no means an explosive athlete or game-breaking wide receiver, but Aiken has shown some flashes and very well might be the team's No. 1 wide receiver this week. Facing a Cleveland secondary that's been having issues recently, Aiken could be a sneaky add and will probably be on the WR3/flex radar in Week 5 and beyond, until the Ravens get some more able-bodied individuals to catch passes from Joe Flacco. FAAB suggestion: 0-5 percent.

  • The last of my "reminder" players in this column, as I'm very surprised to see Sims be so highly owned at this point in the season. If he has somehow found his way to the waiver wire in your league, he is worth considering for depth or as a bench stash this week. Sims has had over 11 standard fantasy points in back-to-back weeks, doing most of his damage as a pass-catcher. He could be a flex in PPR leagues, and offers nice value in deeper standard leagues as well. <em>FAAB suggestion: 5-10 percent.</em> 2

    Matt Patterson/Associated Press

    Charles Sims, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 60.1 percent owned

    The last of my "reminder" players in this column, as I'm very surprised to see Sims be so highly owned at this point in the season. If he has somehow found his way to the waiver wire in your league, he is worth considering for depth or as a bench stash this week. Sims has had over 11 standard fantasy points in back-to-back weeks, doing most of his damage as a pass-catcher. He could be a flex in PPR leagues, and offers nice value in deeper standard leagues as well. FAAB suggestion: 5-10 percent.

  • Almost out of nowhere, Thompson has forced his way into the committee in Washington, and emerged as the most productive back the last two weeks -- especially as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. Now, this is one of the most frustrating committees in all of football, but there's a reason Thompson is in this column for Week 5: He plays the Atlanta Falcons. Through the first four weeks, the Falcons have given up 365 yards through the air to opposing running backs (91.25 per game). With the Redskins going into Atlanta and likely playing from behind, Thompson could see a ton of targets and do some serious damage out of the backfield. For those owners frustrated with Lamar Miller/Jonathan Stewart, or looking for another option with Adrian Peterson and Chris Ivory on byes, Thompson could be a nice pickup this week, especially in PPR formats. <em>FAAB suggestion: 0-5 percent.</em> 1

    Alex Brandon/Associated Press

    Chris Thompson, RB, Washington Redskins - 1.0 percent owned

    Almost out of nowhere, Thompson has forced his way into the committee in Washington, and emerged as the most productive back the last two weeks -- especially as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. Now, this is one of the most frustrating committees in all of football, but there's a reason Thompson is in this column for Week 5: He plays the Atlanta Falcons. Through the first four weeks, the Falcons have given up 365 yards through the air to opposing running backs (91.25 per game). With the Redskins going into Atlanta and likely playing from behind, Thompson could see a ton of targets and do some serious damage out of the backfield. For those owners frustrated with Lamar Miller/Jonathan Stewart, or looking for another option with Adrian Peterson and Chris Ivory on byes, Thompson could be a nice pickup this week, especially in PPR formats. FAAB suggestion: 0-5 percent.