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Fantasy Football 2016 Waiver Wire: Week 5

Robert Woods

Robert Woods

As fantasy football owners look to Week 5, teams on a bye are more likely to affect lineups. Owners will have to turn to the waiver wire to fill a void left by players they've started for the past four weeks. Some injuries occurred in Week 4 that also may find owners looking to pick up players, especially quarterbacks. Carson Palmer and Cam Newton are both in the concussion protocol, and both should be considered questionable for Week 5 (regardless of what their respective coaches are saying).

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Being prepared is key and part of that preparation is using the waiver wire. Here are players that are owned in less than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues that may help fantasy football owners.

Teams on bye in Week 5: Jacksonville, Kansas City, New Orleans, Seattle


Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (38 percent owned)

Wentz has three wins, five touchdowns and no interceptions. He's coming off a bye and facing a Detroit defense that just let Brian Hoyer beat them. He's looked good in each of the three games he's started, and Detroit is a great matchup. The Lions have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, and every quarterback they've faced has thrown for at least two touchdowns. Wentz is a borderline QB1 for Week 5. Carson Palmer, Drew Brees, Russell Wilson or Blake Bortles owners should consider adding him for Week 5.

Brian Hoyer, Chicago Bears (5 percent owned)

The way the Bears have been playing, it's hard to recommend picking up any player, but Hoyer actually has looked solid in his two full games. In both, he's thrown for more than 300 yards and two touchdowns. He has no interceptions on the year. The Bears face an Indianapolis Colts defense, coming back from London, which has allowed at least 260 yards or two TD passes in every game so far this season. He's a QB2 for Week 5 and moving forward.

Running Backs

Terrance West, Baltimore Ravens (30 percent owned)

After Justin Forsett was a healthy scratch for Week 4, the lead back role was handed over to West. He responded with 113 rushing yards against Oakland. Even with Kenneth Dixon (see below) coming back, West will likely be the starting running back. Dixon will be more involved in passing downs, but depending on how he develops, Dixon may end up becoming the primary back for the Ravens. However, until then, West has RB2/3 value, especially in standard leagues.

Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens (25 percent owned)

Savvy fantasy owners picked Dixon up last week, however, he's still available in three quarters of leagues. He is reportedly on track to play in Week 5, although he likely will be on a snap count. Dixon looked great in the preseason before suffering a knee injury. The Ravens have been looking for someone to get their running game going, and while West may have had solid numbers in Week 4, Dixon has more long-term value. Pick him up not to necessarily start in Week 5, but to have on the bench for the rest of the season.

Bilal Powell, New York Jets (23 percent owned)

Primarily viewed as a Matt Forte handcuff, Powell is starting to have value by himself in PPR leagues. He caught all six of his targets in Week 4 for 54 yards (Forte had three targets and caught two for 16 yards). Powell had six targets in Week 3 as well, and he caught them all for 41 yards. With that kind of production, the Jets are going to keep using him. Forte struggled in Week 4, and Powell has stepped up. It is unclear if Forte is injured (there were rumors of him needing x-rays after the game, but nothing has been substantiated). Should Forte end up missing any time because of an injury, Powell vaults into RB2 territory.

James White, New England Patriots (28 percent owned)

White was drafted in many leagues, and he has since been dropped. For good reason: he has 47 rushing yards, 13 receptions and 102 receiving yards on the season. However, White has been better with Tom Brady at quarterback (agreed, the same can be said for most of the Patriots). Brady runs the offense by throwing the ball more than handing it off. He relies on using short passes to running backs to move the chains; White excels in the short passing game. It's a speculative add, but now that Brady is back, White is worth picking up in deeper PPR leagues.

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Wendell Smallwood, Philadelphia Eagles (12 percent owned)

After rushing for 79 yards on 17 carries and scoring a touchdown in Week 3, Smallwood has earned a role in the Eagles’ offense. Ryan Mathews will still be the starter when healthy, but any fantasy owner that has owned Mathews knows full well that he cannot stay healthy. Mathews was injured in Week 4, and his Week 5 status is unknown at this point. Smallwood is a speculative add in deeper leagues (and a must-add for Mathews owners).

Wide Receivers

Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets (37 percent owned)

Last week, it was revealed that Eric Decker was dealing with a partial tear in his rotator cuff. He missed Sunday’s game, but has not been put on injured reserve as of Monday. The chances of him playing this Sunday with that type of injury seem slim at beast, which means Enunwa will serve as the No. 2 receiver behind Brandon Marshall again. Against Seattle, Enunwa saw seven targets, catching six of them for 60 yards. The Jets head to Pittsburgh in Week 5, which is a much better matchup than the Seahawks. Enunwa could be hindered by a struggling Ryan Fitzpatrick (9 INTs in last two games), but he is a WR3.

Sammie Coates, Pittsburgh Steelers (17 percent owned)

In Week 4, Ben Roethlisberger only threw 27 times, but eight of those passes went in Coates' direction. He led the Steelers in targets and receiving yards. While he didn't get in the end zone, he is someone that fantasy owners should keep an eye on based on the volume. Coates is ahead of Markus Wheaton in terms of Pittsburgh wide receivers fantasy owners should target outside of Antonio Brown, but he's not consistent enough to warrant every-week starting status. Coates is a WR4 with upside for those needing to fill a spot for a week or two.

Eddie Royal, Chicago Bears (13 percent owned)

After being essentially non-existent so far this season, Royal had a team-high 111 receiving yards in Week 4. He scored a touchdown and was second in targets behind Kevin White. Normally, it's hard to recommend a player based on one big week, however, with White needing an MRI on his ankle, Royal will be the next man up for the Bears. He seemed to connect with Brian Hoyer, and if White ends up missing some time, Royal is worth an add as a WR4.

Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills, (seven percent owned)

With Sammy Watkins on the IR, someone needed to step up to be the No. 1 wideout for the Bills. In Week 4, that person was Woods. He had a team-high 10 targets, seven receptions and 89 receiving yards. He will likely continue to be the No. 1 receiver for the Bills, and while the talent level isn't on par with Watkins, desperate owners can pick up Woods to fill in as a WR3 for the rest of the season.

Dontrelle Inman, WR, San Diego Chargers (two percent owned)

Inman is the third wide receiver in San Diego and is only worth adding in deeper leagues. However, he did have a team-high 11 targets in Week 4, which he turned into seven receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown. He only had four targets in Week 3, but he did catch three of them. He's seeing opportunities, and Rivers is going to use him, along with Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin. Inman is likely available in most leagues and isn't worth a waiver claim, however, he is someone fantasy owners can pick up in free agency and use when needed.

Tight Ends

Hunter Henry, San Diego Chargers (31 percent owned)

In the two weeks Henry has played while Antonio Gates has been out, he has 76 and 61 yards respectively. He did find the end zone in Week 4, and he had the same amount of targets (seven) as WR Travis Benjamin. Henry certainly has had his struggles, but for fantasy purposes, he is a solid TE2. The Chargers play Oakland this week, which is a great matchup for tight ends. Henry most likely won’t have value once Gates is back, but until then the rookie is worth picking up to help navigate bye weeks.

Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10 percent owned)

With five receptions in each of the past two games, Brate isn't going to win fantasy championships, but he can fill in for owners in need of a five-to-six point effort for a week (in standard leagues). He has 113 yards in the past two games and two touchdowns (both in Week 3). He's the starting tight end for the Buccaneers, and he actually had more receiving yards than Mike Evans in Week 4. Brate likely isn't going to put up a 100-yard game, but he's a relatively low-risk TE2 for a week.

Defense/Special Teams (DST)

San Francisco 49ers (four percent owned)

The 49ers DST hasn't exactly put up a lot of fantasy points this season. After a Week 1 shutout against the Rams, San Francisco has managed five sacks, two interceptions, and four fumble recoveries in three games combined, and have lost linebacker and anchor NaVorro Bowman to a torn Achilles. However, the 49ers host Arizona on Thursday night. It is likely that Carson Palmer will miss the game because he’s in the concussion protocol, but even if he plays, he's been turning the ball over left and right. Thursday night games are historically lower scoring and the 49ers play better at home than on the road. It's not a great option for Week 5, but Seattle DST owners are going to be looking for someone to just fill in for a week.

— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.