Before I begin with a run down of this week’s top 5, I should mention that these top 5 are as of Wednesday morning, which is the first day you can scoop players off the waiver wire in my own league. Also when I say top 5, we’re talking about the five most added players, not five recommended sleepers or those with the most future value (Darius Hayward-Bey is a good option at wide receiver if that’s what you want, he’s still available in the majority of leagues).
Keep in mind as always, I’m in a 16-team league, so there may be players in your top 5 that are already taken in my league. So without any further delay, here it is:
Green is the most popular choice this week with the Pack’s workhorse back Cedric Benson out for eight weeks and possibly the remainder of the season if he has surgery on his injured foot. In Benson’s absence, green had 55 yards rushing on nine carries. His 6.1 yards per carry is a bit misleading as the Indianapolis Colts are famous for their subpar run defense and 41 of those yards came on a single carry.
I kid you not, this guy is averaging 0.3 yards per carry this season on just 10 attempts, but with Beanie Wells out for an extended period due to a turf toe injury and backup Ryan Williams done for the year with a shoulder injury, Stephens-Howling is going to have to step up. His most notable performance of the season came in week three against the Philadelphia Eagles, where he ran for -14 yard on eight carries. That’s right, he finished the game with a negative total! You can grab him if you need a spot start but don’t hold your breath.
3. William Powell – Arizona Cardinals – RB
Powell is in his rookie year out of Kansas State and has three career carries for a total of nine yards. Last week he had seven yards on his lone carry of the game against St. Louis. Like Stephens-Howling, he may be a good addition to your team if you need a spot start in week six, but beyond that he and his teammate may give way to a free agent like Steve Slaton, or Tim Hightower.
4. James Starks – Green Bay Packers – RB
While teammate Alex Green is proving to be the more popular pickup among fantasy owners, Starks is more likely to play a featured role for the remainder of the season in Green Bay. He’s been around longer and has better knowledge of what the team needs him to do. He’s not necessarily going to put up premier numbers on a pass happy team, but he should be on your team if you’re looking for a back who will have at least a slight advantage in touches over his backup.
5. St. Louis Rams Defense
The Rams defense posted nine sacks in a 17-3 win over the Arizona Cardinals last Thursday night. Led by defensive end Robert Quinn, who had three sacks in the game, the Rams have exhibited a renewed sense of commitment to defense this season, exactly what you’d expect from a team run by Jeff Fisher. Cortland Finnegan and James Lauranaitis are tearing it up individually, which also helps the team’s fantasy output overall.
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