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Athlon Sports examines the adds, drops and trends on the NFL Fantasy waiver wire.
Some of the players listed in Athlon Sports' NFL Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 5 may be one-week adds, some may be season-long adds and some are listed just for you to keep an eye on to stash on your roster if you have the space.
Scoring is based on Athlon Sports default scoring which is 6 points for all TDs, .5 points per reception and 1 point per 25 yards passing, 10 yards rushing/receiving and 40 return yards.
With bye weeks here to stay for the next two months or so, it is time to grab a bigger picture of what might be out there on the waiver wire. For those GMs in two-QB leagues, finding someone for two weeks is imperative. Those who went early and never again on a QB in the draft — which isn't all that terrible of a strategy — might be scowering the waiver wire for a one-week spot start. Any way you slice it, it is never a bad time to start looking to the future — especially when it comes to the QB position.
Matt Hasselbeck, TEN
The Next Six: PIT, bye, HOU, IND, CIN, CAR
He is the No. 8-ranked fantasy QB with 1,152 yards, 8 TD and 3 INT at the quarter pole. I shouldn't have to do the math for you. He is a must-add in two-QB systems, and with Houston, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Carolina looming after Week 7, the Titans signal-caller could prove very worthy from Weeks 7-10.
Colt McCoy, CLE
The Next Six: Bye, OAK, SF, HOU, STL, JAC, CIN
McCoy has outperformed Philip Rivers, Jay Cutler, Sam Bradford, Josh Freeman, Big Ben, Kevin Kolb and Donovan McNabb thus far in 2011. In fact, the Texas product is a top-16 option, while every one of those aformentioned names is not. After the bye this week, the consistency of McCoy will be useful against the likes of St. Louis, San Francisco, Jacksonville and Cincinnati.
Andy Dalton, CIN
The Next Six: JAC, IND, bye, SEA, TEN, PIT, BAL, CLE
His combined QB rating from this last two games (40.8, 64.4) is nearly two points short of his second career start at 107.0. Reality is likely somewhere in between the two. And against the likes of Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Seattle and Tennessee (with a bye week dead in the middle), Dalton should have plenty of chances to utilize his uber-talented receiving corps.
Ryan Torain, WAS
The injury-prone runner finally got his chance in 2011 and he certainly made the most of it. Torain, after a strong second half to last season, had to wait until midway of quarter number two during Week 4 of play against the Rams. After 19 carries and 135 yards, Torain has injected himself into the Mike Shanahan tailback competition. Roy Helu looks like the long-term solution, and Tim Hightower looks like the short-term answer. But Torain could create loads of value should either falter — or get hurt.
Stevan Ridley, NE
This one may take a couple of weeks to pay off, but when Bill Belichick wants to run the football, Ridley will figure prominently. Cries for him to start are overzealous as the Lawfirm will likely always get the bulk (16 carries to Ridley's 10 this weekend) of the workload. BenJarvus Green-Ellis has been too effective to completely remove from the eqaution, but if you own BJGE, Ridley would be a smart addition.
Montario Hardesty, CLE
With Peyton Hillis out two weeks ago, Hardesty totalled 86 yards from scrimmage on 17 touches. With Hillis in the game, Hardesty totalled 71 yards on 13 touches, including five catches this weekend. The carries look to be divided much more evenly than expected, so add Hardesty immediately if you are a Hillis owner.
No Brainers: Neither Eric Decker of Denver nor Nate Washington of Tennessee should be sitting on your waiver wire. As a public service announcement.
Denarius Moore, OAK
Has wowed coaches since day one of practice and is establishing himself as a player who needs the football on a regular basis.
Antonio Brown, PIT
With Hines Ward and Emmaunel Sanders lacking in production, Brown has surged to the forefront after a team-leading 10 targets this weekend.
David Nelson, BUF
Slowed in Week 4, but still has 18 receptions over the last three weeks. Keep an eye on the Bills' distribution.
Deep Waiver Wire Wide Receiver adds
Laurent Robinson, DAL (10 rec., 165 yards in last two)
Josh Morgan, SF (3 rec., 65 yards, TD last week)
Victor Cruz, NYG (9 rec., 208 yards, 2 TD in last two)
Darrius Heyward-Bey, OAK (team high 115 yards and 7 targets last week)
Ben Watson, CLE
A quality tight end will always be a young quarterback's best friend, and Colt McCoy seems to have found a nice connection with the very talented Watson. He has 11 receptions for 112 yards and a TD over last two games.
Jermaine Gresham, CIN
See Ben Watson. Andy Dalton would be wise to utilize the Gresham safety net more often. He is supremely talented and is a great redzone target. The two have hooked up eight times for 121 yards and a TD over the last two.
Ed Dickson, BAL
It was an off game for both Dickson and Joe Flacco Sunday night, but he was targeted 12 times against the Jets and has quickly made Ravens fans forget about Todd Heap.
KC at IND AND/OR TB at SF
Both of these match-ups could be worth looking into — on either side of the ball. Depending on your scoring system, all four could be useful.
Schedule: BAL, TEN, JAC, CLE, TB, BYE, JAC, ATL CIN, CAR, IND, TEN
Who says you can't go from worst to first in one season? With the coaching staff changes, personnel additions through the draft and free agency, packaged with the gift of no Peyton Manning, this is the year for the Texans. Sit back and enjoy — as long as they stay healthy, of course.
San Francisco 49ers
Schedule: TB, DET, BYE, CLE, WAS, NYG, ARI
This unit is playing inspired football behind the best LB in the nation and a tremendous new head coach. Basically Detroit is all that stands in the Niners' way of fantasy stardom over the next seven weeks.
Schedule: bye, PHI, CAR, BUF, SF, MIA, DAL, SEA
Certainly won't help in the short term, but games against Carolina, San Fran, Miami and Seattle are almost must-start for a unit that is so clearly improved under Shanahan — and with Brian Orakpo, LaRon Landry and Ryan Kerrigan.