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Waiver Wire Week 5: Damien Harris, D'Ernest Johnson, Robert Tonyan

Fresh off the IR, Harris rushed for 100 yards on Monday night

The official bye weeks start in Week 5 with Detroit and Green Bay. While fantasy owners cannot account for any other games being moved because of COVID-19, they can at least plan to keep any Lions and Packers on their bench.

 

Hopefully, most teams made it through Week 4 without a lot of injuries, although Nick Chubb and Austin Ekeler owners were disappointed when their running backs went down and are now are on injured reserve. It may have been tough juggling starters in Week 4, but it's not going to get any easier. Now is the time to look to the waiver wire to be sure your bench is as solid as it can be in case a starter suddenly doesn't play.

 

Teams on bye: Detroit, Green Bay

 

Quarterbacks

 

Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers (31 percent owned)

One of these days, Garoppolo is going to return. It wasn't going to be in Week 4 as he did not practice as he is still dealing with the ankle injury. The team has gone 1-1 without Garoppolo, and it is possible he still is on the bench against Miami in Week 5. Deebo Samuel is back and George Kittle is clearly healthy, judging by his "Sunday Night Football" performance. Once Garoppolo is back, he's a matchup-dependent QB1.

 

Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina Panthers (19 percent owned)

In Week 4, Bridgewater did his best Cam Newton impersonation with an 18-yard touchdown run. He had a good game against the Cardinals, throwing for 276 yards and two touchdowns and adding 32 yards on the ground and the aforementioned score. The Panthers face the Falcons in Week 5, and Bridgewater should be able to have some success in that matchup as well. He'll be a QB2.

 

Running Backs

 

Damien Harris, New England Patriots (31 percent owned)

Harris had been on injured reserve with a hand injury, but was activated this week and was expected to play in Week 4. He ended up with 17 carries for 100 yards, but wasn't involved in the passing game. Sony Michel was placed on IR before Monday night's reschedule game with a quad injury with Harris taking his place on the roster and in the lineup. In non-PPR formats, he should be added as an RB3. In PPR leagues, he's not going to provide as much value, but is a decent pickup as he'll likely (this is the Patriots) be the running back to start on the team moving forward.

 

D'Ernest Johnson, Cleveland Browns (3 percent owned)

In Week 4, Nick Chubb went down in the fourth quarter with a knee injury. He's now on injured reserve and while Kareem Hunt will certainly have an expanded role, Johnson should be a priority off the waiver wire this week. He ran for 95 yards on 13 carries in Week 4. Hunt had 11 carries for 71 yards and two touchdowns. He'll likely still get the goal-line work, but the team will likely continue to involve multiple backs and Johnson could get the call while Chubb is out.

 

Justin Jackson, Los Angeles Chargers (6 percent owned)

When Austin Ekeler got hurt in Week 4, Joshua Kelley was the clear next man up. He's owned in 55 percent of leagues, and if your league is in that 45 percent, grab him. For the rest, look at Jackson to add to your team. He started the year injured, which allowed Kelley to earn an expanded role. Kelley will still be the back to own, but Jackson will have a larger role while Ekeler is out as well.

 

Wide Receivers

 

Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals (33 percent owned)

It seemed that tight end Drew Sample would be the beneficiary of C.J. Uzomah's injury, but it actually seems to be Higgins. In the past two weeks, Higgins had 16 targets. He caught nine of them for 117 yards and two touchdowns. With A.J. Green a bit banged up, Higgins is next in line. John Ross has been a healthy scratch, and Higgins has filled that role nicely. Fantasy owners could do worse with the bye weeks looming.

 

Laviska Shenault Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars (24 percent owned)

Even with DJ Chark Jr. back, Shenault posted a similar stat line in Week 4 as he did in Week 3. He had more yards on his five receptions (86 compared to 33) and wasn't involved in the running game, but he is still climbing the depth chart. For fantasy purposes, Shenault should be owned over Keelan Cole or Chris Conley.

 

Cedrick Wilson, Dallas Cowboys (2 percent owned)

In the past two weeks, Wilson has had 13 targets. He caught five of them for 107 yards and two touchdowns in Week 3. He caught three for 34 yards in Week 4. Wilson will continue to play behind Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb and even Michael Gallup, but he still is getting looks from Dak Prescott. In deeper leagues, Wilson may be worth adding.

 

Tight Ends

 

Mo Alie-Cox, Indianapolis Colts (32 percent owned)

There are a lot of tight ends in Indianapolis, as Trey Burton has returned and Jack Doyle is still in the picture, but Alie-Cox is the one that caught the touchdown in Week 4. Granted, that was his only reception in Week 4, but he also caught a touchdown in Week 3. These tight ends will likely take turns having a good game, and it will be impossible to predict when that might be, but Alie-Cox has the potential to be the best tight end more often than not.

 

Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers (26 percent owned)

Tonyan is on bye for Week 5, but if your fantasy team has room on the bench, he's the best tight end of this bunch to pick up. Aaron Rodgers keeps looking for him, as evidenced by the fact that he has a touchdown catch in three straight games and had THREE of them on Monday night. Keep in mind that Tonyan has benefitted from injuries to wide receivers Davante Adams and Allen Lazard and the fact that no other wideout has emerged during this stretch, but it's pretty clear that he'll have a role in this offense moving forward. He is tied with Mike Evans for the league lead in touchdown catches after all.

 

Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0 percent owned)

For desperate fantasy owners, Brate is likely available. In four games, he has one reception for three yards and a touchdown. It is hard to recommend a player that has literally caught one pass all season, but the logic behind this is that O.J. Howard is done for the season after tearing his Achilles on Sunday. The other tight end is Rob Gronkowski, and he will be used for blocking. Neither tight end is a TE1, but if Gronk gets hurt, the job will fall to Brate. He's not a terrible speculative add.

 

Defense/Special Teams (DST)

 

Dallas Cowboys (25 percent owned)

The Cowboys face the Giants in Week 5, a team that has been a disaster on offense after losing Saquon Barkley. They've put up nine points in each of the past two games. Daniel Jones has been sacked 14 times this season, and he's thrown an interception in every game. While the Dallas defense isn't a great option in most weeks (see Sunday vs. Cleveland), this is a week to play the matchup.

 

— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.

 

(Photo by David Silverman/New England Patriots, courtesy of patriots.com)

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