Grab’em while they’re hot! Week 5 is getting ready to start and the waiver wire continues to bear fruit. Bye weeks are in full swing this weekend too with Carolina, Miami, Minnesota and the New York Jets all off. My recommendation is to dig deep this week. The season is really starting to take shape and waiver wire gold tends to get slim in the middle of the season.
Jay Cutler, CHI – The Bears are not staging a comeback or anything this year but fantasy value can still be found on losing teams. Jay Cutler came back last week and had his best game of the season despite his bum hamstring. The Andrew Luck and Drew Brees injuries should be a wake-up call to all owners. Stashing a good streaming QB on your bench is valuable and Jay Cutler has yet to really hit his full stride this season. Playmaker Alshon Jeffery should be returning soon too giving him another dynamic player to target. He is only owned in 25% of leagues.
Brian Hoyer, HOU – Houston plays on Thursday and that might be the only reason Brian Hoyer doesn’t replace Ryan Mallett in week 5. Mallett is too inexperienced and immature to handle his poor play and benching properly so I do expect Hoyer to win back the starting position soon. Houston isn’t setting any offensive records but Hoyer does have DeAndre Hopkins to target. Plus, we haven’t really seen the full impact of Arian Foster returning. Foster should open up the field a bit more and Hopkins continues to play very well despite his QB handicap. Hoyer is wide open and only owned in 1% of leagues. He must have a lot of family playing fantasy football.
Duke Johnson Jr., CLE – We knew Duke Johnson Jr. was going to find his way onto the field this season. Though he remains the backup - for now - the Browns have found a way to use him effectively. In his last 2 games Johnson has 15 catches for 117 yards and a touchdown. He’ll continue to get some touches too, but his impact in the passing game is obviously a big plus for a guy only owned in 31% of leagues.
Charles Sims, TB – The RBBC approach is starting to take on a bit of a new look this season. Players like Lance Dunbar, Duke Johnson Jr. and now Charles Sims are finding success through the air when they sub in. Sims has 10 receptions for 108 yards and 2 touchdowns. His value is further increased based on the fact that he is the third down back for Doug Martin. I will point out too that I like him in DFS lineups, especially as a FLEX. He is only owned 11% of leagues.
Allen Hurns, JAX – The waiver wire gold is few and far between this late into the season, but I believe Allen Hurns has just that type of value as a WR3. He has made the most of his opportunities early, racking up 13 catches for 186 yards and 2 touchdowns. Hurns narrowly missed making my waiver picks last week and quite honestly I am disappointed in myself. He is still only owned in 19% of leagues. That won’t last long after putting up two consecutive weeks of WR3 numbers.
Willie Snead, NO – A new name that should make his way onto everyone’s radar is Willie Snead. He has overtaken Brandon Coleman as the 3rd wide out in New Orleans. The amount of playtime he is seeing gives him good enough upside to make my picks this week. He also plays in the Saints pass happy offensive system. For now he is a streaming option with high upside. I predict his ceiling will continue to rise as the season moves on. He is only owned in 3% of leagues.
Leonard Hankerson, ATL – Atlanta is rejuvenated under new Head Coach Dan Quinn; especially on the offensive side of the ball. Julio Jones was predicted to dominate, and he has, but Roddy White was a question heading into this season because of his age. Enter Leonard Hankerson to offer the Falcons another option in the passing game. Through the first 4 weeks he has been boom or bust, but is seeing a good number of targets for a guy only owned in 19% of leagues. Whether or not he gains more consistency is still up in the air, but don’t pass up on the number 2 wideout in a top 5 passing yards per game offense.
Gary Barnidge, CLE – After the two weeks the 30 year old Gary Barnidge has had I would be an idiot not to recommend picking him up. He has 12 catches in his last two games for 180 yards and 2 touchdowns. The tight end position continues to be a popular streaming position as the talent pool has large gaps between tiers. Injuries are another issue with the TE position; see Jordan Reed (SHOCKER). Barnidge is a bright spot on an otherwise dismal Browns team. His is only taken in 9% of leagues.
Antonio Gates, SD – Injuries are starting to mount up for the San Diego offense with Stevie Johnson exiting in week 4 and Malcom Floyd going through concussion protocol. That is why it surprises me that Antonio Gates is still only owned in 54% of fantasy leagues right now. Gates is finally back after serving his 4 game suspension and will no doubt make an immediate impact. Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates have long been a great fantasy marriage. The injuries only boost his ceiling in his week 5 return.
Cairo Santos, KC – Kansas City’s losing streak continued in week 4 but Cairo Santos had a hell of a game. Most kickers are lucky to see half the number of field goals Santos made last week. His 7 field goals were good for 27 fantasy points. Streaming kickers is popular because, well, they’re kickers. Kansas City plays Chicago next week and it’s a favorable matchup for Jamaal Charles. That said, Alex Smith handicaps drives and an improved Bears defense should be good enough to keep the Chiefs out of the end zone.
Robbie Gould, CHI – The only game in which Robbie Gould has yet to put up favorable kicker numbers is the Seattle game where Chicago was shut out. He has 41 points on the season despite that, and is one of the most accurate kickers in the NFL. Jay Cutler is back and Matt Forte hasn’t been traded yet so I like the Bears ability to move the ball against Kansas City next week. Gould is owned in 18% of leagues which is just ridiculous considering his history and the numbers he has put up this season.
New York Giants – If you are heading into week 5 and find yourself in need of a defense then the New York Giants offer a good matchup option. There are two huge advantages to their week 5 matchup. One, San Francisco is traveling across the country. Two, and most important, San Francisco is the worst offense in the league led by an increasing disappointing Colin Kaepernick and coached by an increasingly greasy Jim Tomsula. Coach and Quarterback aside, you can’t ignore the numbers. The Giants have yet to put up big numbers as a D/ST this season, but they are 3 of 4 on the season in maintaining double digit fantasy points.