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Waiver Wire for Week 5

Jacob Adler determines this week's top pickups in fantasy football.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

If you had the top waiver priority, I hope you used it last week. There were plenty of quality add candidates, where this week that is not the case. If you need a tight end, you're in luck. There are plenty of low-owned tight ends potentially worth of streaming this week.

He’s not worth expanding on because his ownership doesn’t quite meet the criteria for this article, but Sam Bradford seemed to have a turnaround in the second half of Philadelphia’s game against Washington. He has two easy matchups this week and next against the Saints and Giants.

Running Back

Duke Johnson

Although he played in Cleveland’s first three games, Johnson wasn’t noticed until Week 4 when he recorded nine catches for 85 yards and a touchdown out of the backfield. This week’s opponent in the Baltimore Ravens is great against the run and not-so-great against the pass, so this looks to be more of a Johnson game than an Isaiah Crowell one.

Roy Helu

More of a hedge against Latavius Murray, Helu is intriguing for deeper leagues. The Raiders will likely have to play catch-up against Denver, and Helu is now in the conversation after taking over for a benched Murray late in Week 4. He could achieve weekly low-end flex status if it becomes clear Murray has played himself out of a bellcow role.

Bills running back

Karlos Williams is currently in concussion protocol, and LeSean McCoy will not suit up this week. I don’t have certainty on who the Bills’ starter would be, but it would likely be Anthony Dixon or Cierre Wood. Either would be a flex play this week against Tennesee. Trent Richardson is working out for Buffalo and if he is active or even the starter, he is not startable for me.

Christine Michael

This is more of a speculative add, as we do not yet know the exact consequences of Lance Dunbar’s season-ending injury. Perhaps this is what it takes to get Michael on the field for Dallas.

Wide Receiver

Tavon Austin

Two things have me concerned about this pick. One is I’m not sure the St. Louis offense looks that good at any point over the rest of the season. The other is that it is tough to predict Austin’s usage in games. Still, I can see him as a worthy add for someone who needs a boom-or-bust wide receiver or the upside that Austin presents if the Rams used him optimally.

Allen Hurns

Every Allen Robinson fantasy owner groans at the sight of Hurns, who has at least 60 receiving yards in all four weeks and now has two touchdowns in his last two games. This week Jacksonville plays Tampa Bay, so there isn’t much chance of garbage time, but Hurns will still be in play as he clearly has the trust of Blake Bortles. Hopefully you listened to Ray Guilfoyle and picked him up last week, but there is still time.

Leonard Hankerson

We do know Hankerson has taken over the second receiver role for Atlanta. What we do not know is the weekly upside of the second receiver in a Kyle Shanahan offense. Hank Time is talented, but Julio Jones is the clear top option. Still, it is tough to ignore a player with two games of six catches, 77+ yards, and a touchdown. He is a low-ceiling, boom-or-bust flex option as well as a handcuff to Jones.

Tight End

Charles Clay

Clay now has two strong games in his last two weeks against the Dolphins and Giants, and you may recall the Titans as the team that allowed Austin Seferian-Jenkins to score twice in Week 1. Clay is still under the radar this week.

Antonio Gates

Ding, ding, ding! Gates’ suspension is up just in time for a juicy matchup with Pittsburgh. While Ladarius Green has probably carved a role for himself, I’m expecting Philip Rivers to shower Gates with targets after missing his favorite target for four games.

Gary Barnridge

No, I don’t get it either. A no-name 30-year-old tight end, Barnridge doesn’t fit the profile of a breakout candidate. But if he continues to reel in targets, he could be a solid TE2 or perhaps even a low-end TE1. However, he caught six of nine targets in Week 3 and six of six in Week 4, so there could be some regression in his surface stats as those rates regress.

Coby Fleener

He is only an option for me if Dwayne Allen is ruled out for Thursday. I will go elsewhere otherwise.