Mariota, finally looking healthy, could be a bye-week replacement for Week 5
The waiver wire column for Week 5 has some players that should be picked up if available, but it also has some players that may have fantasy value as the season progresses. Some of the players who aren’t going to be added immediately may be worth waiting until after waivers run. However, fantasy owners need to keep in mind the bye weeks are upon us, and many players are getting hurt. Tight end in particular has been rough, but the other positions haven’t been great either.
Teams on bye: Chicago, Tampa Bay
Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans (33 percent)
Mariota missed time with an elbow injury, but after his Week 4 performance, it looks like he’s pretty healthy. He had 344 passing yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the Titans' win over the Eagles. Tennessee faces Buffalo in Week 5, and Mariota should continue to have success. He’s not a must-add, but he’s a decent fill-in for fantasy owners that need a bye-week replacement.
Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12 percent owned)
Winston is on bye, so it may be possible to wait a week or at least wait until free agency to add him. However, with the weapons on Tampa Bay, he should have success. Winston missed the first three weeks because of suspension, but he has the bye week to get ready as head coach Dirk Koetter confirmed he will be the starter for Week 6. Given the Buccaneers' defensive issues (Mitchell Trubisky just tossed six TD passes against them), Winston should get plenty of chances to throw. He’s likely going to be a high QB2 in Week 6, just as the bye weeks start to pick up.
Ronald Jones II, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (24 percent owned)
A rookie, Jones was inactive for the first three weeks. However, as Peyton Barber continued to be ineffective, the Bucs added Jones to the active roster in Week 4. He stepped in and played in about a third of the offensive snaps. Barber had more snaps in total but Jones finished with more rushing yards (29 vs. 24) while getting three more carries (10 vs. 7). Tampa Bay has not had much success running the ball, but the Bucs have the bye week to get things sorted out. Don’t be surprised if Jones is the starting running back shortly after the bye.
Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns (19 percent owned)
Chubb had three carries in Week 4. However, he converted those three carries into 105 yards and two touchdowns (a whopping 35 yards per carry!). Carlos Hyde is the lead back in Cleveland and Chubb isn’t going to challenge that – yet. If Hyde were to get hurt, Chubb would be the next man up. After his Week 4 performance, it is possible he gets a few more carries as well. He should be picked up as a handcuff, not necessarily as a fantasy starter.
Nyheim Hines, RB, Indianapolis Colts (15 percent owned)
With Marlon Mack out (again), Hines has given the Colts some semblance of a running game, even if it is through the air. He had four carries for 10 yards, but he had nine receptions for 63 yards and two touchdowns. He has been the passing downs back all season, but his role should increase after his Week 4 performance. Hines should be owned in all PPR formats, and considered in standard as well.
D’Onta Foreman, RB, Houston Texans (5 percent owned)
Lamar Miller has been largely ineffective this season. He has no rushing touchdowns (he did score a receiving touchdown in Week 3). He hasn’t had more than 100 rushing yards in a game, and after getting 20 carries in Week 1, he hasn’t had more than 15 since. Foreman is on the PUP list for at least another week (he’s missing the first six games), but assuming he returns, he just may get a chance to challenge Miller in this offense. Keep an eye on him in deeper leagues.
Mike Davis, RB, Seattle Seahawks (3 percent owned)
When Chris Carson was a surprise inactive for Week 4, fantasy owners scrambled to find a fill-in for him. Only three percent of Yahoo! leagues even owned Davis, and chances are even fewer started him. However, he out-touched first-round pick Rashaad Penny (25 to 9) and finished the game with 101 rushing yards and two touchdowns and added 23 receiving yards on four catches for good measure. Davis is clearly the handcuff to Carson, but when Carson returns there's no telling how Davis will be used.
Geronimo Allison, WR, Green Bay Packers (47 percent owned)
Allison did leave Sunday's game with a concussion, so fantasy owners should monitor that. However, if he can be cleared ahead of Week 5, he should be owned and started as a WR3 with upside as it seems that Randall Cobb may be out another week. Fantasy owners in deep leagues should look at Marquez Valdes-Scantling (zero percent owned), who will be filling in at wide receiver with all of the other injuries for the Packers.
Taylor Gabriel, WR, Chicago Bears (6 percent owned)
Odds are Gabriel won’t catch all seven of his targets for 109 yards and two touchdowns every week, however, those numbers are enough to raise eyebrows for those scouring the waiver wire. In looking at the targets for Gabriel this season, he had five in Week 1, seven in Week 2, 10 in Week 3 and seven in Week 4. Targets are a key stat to see how much a player is involved in the offense, and it is clear that Gabriel is part of head coach Matt Nagy's game plan. Chicago has a bye in Week 5, but keep Gabriel on the fantasy radar.
Keke Coutee, WR, Houston Texans (3 percent owned)
Coutee is a rookie who made his debut in Week 4. He had 15 targets and he caught 11 of those for 109 yards. Part of his success is likely tied to Will Fuller exiting the game early with a hamstring injury. However, if Fuller misses time, Coutee will step in as the No. 2 receiver in Houston. He is someone that should be added in 12-team (or larger) leagues as a low WR3 with a healthy Fuller (low WR2 when Fuller sits).
David Moore, WR, Seattle Seahawks (0 percent owned)
This is a name for fantasy owners to keep in mind, or for those in very deep leagues to stash. Moore is a second-year wideout who the Seahawks have said they want to get more involved. Brandon Marshall has struggled and the team likely wants to see what Moore can offer. Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett are still in the picture, so this is just a fantasy long shot.
Ricky Seals-Jones, TE, Arizona Cardinals (22 percent owned)
For fantasy owners that are desperate for a tight end in Week 5, Seals-Jones may be available. With Josh Rosen at quarterback, he has had some success. However, the reason for adding Seals-Jones is simply the matchup. The Cardinals face the San Francisco 49ers, who have allowed a touchdown to a tight end in each of the first four weeks of the season. Seals-Jones is simply a fill-in for TE-needy fantasy owners.
Hayden Hurst, TE, Baltimore Ravens (3 percent owned)
Hurst was a promising rookie tight end, but he’s been dealing with a stress fracture in his foot. He hasn’t played an NFL snap yet, but he was close to playing in Week 4. It is possible he makes his debut in Week 5. Hurst isn’t a recommended fantasy option just yet, but he may be someone to stash for later.
Defense/Special Teams (DST)
Tennessee Titans (16 percent owned)
The Titans face the Buffalo Bills in Week 5. Depending on league scoring, teams facing the Bills have scored double-digit fantasy points in three of the past four weeks (the exception was the Minnesota game where the Vikings forgot to show up). Green Bay shut out Buffalo on Sunday. The Titans' defense has done a pretty good job thus far, so this is a decent streaming option or bye-week fill-in for the Bears DST.
— 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.