After what’s been a fairly chaotic NFL season, Week 5 was a little more run of the mill in regards to wild upsets and huge performances. That being said, Eric Ebron and Isaiah Crowell, where the poop did you guys come from? I mean, Ebron I couldn’t probably guessed since the Colts had no other healthy passing options Thursday night but Crowell, damn. Power to anyone who confidently started him this week and reaped the benefits of his historic performance.
With most of Week 5 in the books (yes, still have Monday Night Football), it’s time to turn our attention to the waiver wire. Here are the players you should be instantly adding to your fantasy team (percent owned in Yahoo leagues).
QB Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (37 percent owned)
I haven’t included an actual quarterback write-up in the past few weeks since Nic does his “undervalued QB adds” article each week but I have strong thoughts about Mayfield that I need to share. Mayfield has been solid since taking over the Browns’ offense but it’s not his performance exactly that has me feeling the need to mention him; it’s his matchups. The Browns’ next five games are against the Chargers (10th), Buccaneers (1st), Steelers (3rd), Chiefs (5th), and Falcons (4th). Those numbers next to each team is their rank in total points surrendered to opposing quarterbacks.
RB Alfred Morris, San Francisco 49ers (42 percent owned)
Have I mentioned before that injuries suck? Matt Breida started Sunday’s game against the Cardinals red hot—just as I, and anyone who mildly follows football, said he would—carrying the ball eight times for 56 yards. But in the first quarter, he fell on his ankle weirdly and was carted off the field. Luckily the injury was nothing super serious but he still might miss time, meaning it’s Alfred Morris time! Or at least for the next week or so.
RB Mike Davis, Seattle Seahawks (19 percent owned)
Don’t let the return of Chris Carson deter you from investing in Davis. Carson did come in and take back the starting role in Seattle (and put together a good game, 19 carries for 116 yards) but he was taken out in key moments, including down by the goal line. Davis had a strong workload, carrying the ball 12 times and tallying 68 yards and it seems as though the Seahawks’ backfield might be able to sustain TWO fantasy backs which is a sentence I never thought I’d type this year. Carson is certainly worth the add if he’s available in your league (78% owned) but Davis is much more likely the back available.
RB Wendell Smallwood, Philadelphia Eagles (4 percent owned)
Much like he did back in Week 3, Smallwood came in for injured Corey Clement and Darren Sproles and put together a strong fantasy performance. I specify fantasy because his actual football showing on tape wasn’t great, but he managed to break a few runs and score a touchdown through the air. With Clement and Sproles’ status still up in the air, Smallwood has stash value moving forward.
Eagles’ RB Jay Ajayi tore his ACL and is out for the season, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 8, 2018
UPDATE: Now that Ajayi is out for the season, Smallwood has even more value in the Eagles’ backfield. Don’t go thinking you’re adding a RB1 or even a definite RB2. Smallwood right now is just a FLEX option but he should be a very solid one now that he’s likely to have a solid and regular role in the offense moving forward.
WR Robby Anderson, New York Jets (34 percent owned)
awesome. the week I write robby anderson is worth dropping, the #jets decide throwing the ball deep is cool & fun. why do I even bother?— Pete Rogers (@petemrogers) October 7, 2018
You do it for the clicks Pete, ya do it for the clicks.
Welcome back to the world of the living Robby! It seems the Jets are suddenly ok with Sam Darnold ripping the ball downfield despite keeping him constrained to start the season. It’ll be interesting to see if the Jets replicate this game plan moving forward, but if they do and start becoming a more explosive, down the field passing game, you can bet it’ll center around Anderson.
WR Mohamed Sanu, Atlanta Falcons (32 percent owned)
Calvin Ridley has gotten almost all the attention in Atlanta and rightfully so. But there’s no point writing about him because there’s no way he’s available in your league. Mohamed Sanu on the other hand is likely available and has been a solid fantasy start of the past three weeks. Sanu has 23 targets and 220 yards in that time and has shown that even as the Falcons’ third receiver, he still can bring fantasy value. An added bonus: the Falcons play the Bucs in Week 6.
WR Keke Coutee, Houston Texans (33 percent owned)
Throwing Coutee on this list after another solid performance Sunday night. He scored the Texans’ only touchdown on one of these goal line shovel passes that’s sweeping the league. Shovel passes, so hot right now. He finished the game with six receptions on seven targets for 51 yards and the touch. I wouldn’t call him anything more than a WR3 or FLEX option for now, but it’s clear the rookie can make plays and the Texans like getting him the football. He already saw a dramatic spike in ownership after his game last week (I hope you listened to my advice then) so expect the same the same this week. Get him while you can.
WR Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals (9 percent owned)
I’m full onboard the Captain Kirk USS Enterprise. The rookie receiver is easily the most explosive and exciting player in the Cardinals’ passing attack and it seems he and fellow rookie Josh Rosen are starting to build serious chemistry. Kirk only had three catches Sunday—mostly because the Cardinals turned to David Johnson for most of the game once they established a lead—but he turned that into an 85 yards and a touchdown. It may be a few more weeks before Kirk produces regular fantasy value, but he’s worth getting now while he’s readily available.
WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers (9 percent owned)
With both Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison out, we saw for the first time the law firm of Valdes-Scantling & St. Brown take the field Sunday. While Equanimeous St. Brown did post more yards than MVS, he did double the targets (10 to 5) and caught seven balls for 68 yards and a touchdown. However, MVS’ fantasy value is directly tied to Cobb and Allison being injured. As soon as they return, he won’t be worth rostering in redraft leagues.
TE Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons (57 percent owned)
You know the tight end position is barren and wildly unpredictable this year when Eric Ebron and Jared Cook are the best tight ends in fantasy. Like plenty other tight ends this season, Hooper has flirted with consistent TE1 production this season but hasn’t been consistent enough to regularly start. However, he’s coming off his best game to date, posting 77 yards on nine catches and 12 targets and his Week 6 matchup is as good as it gets as the Buccaneers rank dead last in points allowed to opposing tight ends, giving up 13.4 per game. Get him and start him.