2017 Fantasy Football Week 5 Waiver Wire

by Kevin Huo
2020 NFL Week 7 ThriveFantasy Prop Bets Picks

I hope you all took my advice from last week and sat on your waiver priority or FAAB budget because this week is going to be a doozy.

Multiple legit starters went down with an injury, leaving viable impact players on the wire. Dalvin Cook and Chris Carson were both lost for the season, leaving muddy situations in their wake. Derek Carr, Julio Jones, Mohamad Sanu, Marcus Mariota, *deep breath*, Davante Adams, Ty Montgomery, Jack Doyle, Paul Perkins, and Jordan Matthews will all likely miss time.

Even if you have a low waiver priority this week, make sure you submit a waiver for the guys at the top of the list. You never know who might fall through the cracks and land in your lap.

We're going to look at every standout player on the Week 5 Waiver Wire with less than 35% ownership in ESPN leagues.

2017 Fantasy Football Week 5 Waiver Wire

*Players are listed in order of priority of pickup.


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DeShaun Watson, Houston Texans (26.9%)

Watson has come along steadily, improving his fantasy point output each week. It all culminated in a five touchdown, 33.7 point masterpiece in Week 4 against the Titans. Watson is proving to be atop of his class as a rookie quarterback and a viable play in deep leagues.

He has shown a great rapport with DeAndre Hopkins and also connected with Will Fuller V for two touchdowns in his debut on Sunday. On top of that, he provides a solid floor with his rushing ability. Watson leads all quarterbacks in rushing yards and has added two touchdowns as well.

With games against a beatable Kansas City defense and then home for Cleveland, he could hold you over until his Week 7 bye.

Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (13.0%)

This is my first time doing this, but I feel like it's important to say. Don't pick up Jared Goff.

The second-year player has been very impressive this season. He's led the Rams to the second most points through four weeks and they are playing legitimately fun football. However, there's no point in picking him up.

Over the next seven weeks, Goff and the Rams' schedule is as follows: SEA, @JAX, ARI, BYE, @NYG, HOU, @MIN. That's six strong defenses and a bye week. Goff is good, but he's not quite matchup proof yet. Leave him on the wire and look for other options.

Running Backs

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Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints (20.9%)

How is this guy still unowned in so many leagues? While I get the Saints have a crowded backfield, Kamara has been by far their most explosive option. Sean Payton has continuously stressed he wants a two-person backfield, so we're looking at Kamara and Mark Ingram.

Kamara has continually upped his production and exploded last week with 10 catches for 71 yards and a touchdown while adding five carries for 25 yards. He's already a viable PPR flex play with his role in the Saints offense and if Ingram goes down or gets thrown in Payton's doghouse like he has in the past, Kamara is a league winner.

Latavius Murray, Minnesota Vikings (20.0%)

RIP to Dalvin Cook's 2016-2017 season. It was a good run - rather 74 runs. But, we must move on.

I've never been a huge fan of Murray as a running back. Even when he finished as the number 13 running back in fantasy football in 2016, it was more a product of volume and his stellar offensive line. This year, with Cook out, he will get the volume, but behind a much lesser offensive line.

In the 26 snaps after Cook's injury, Murray played 19 snaps to Jerrick McKinnon's six. McKinnon also had a chance to secure this job last year and failed miserably. Look for Murray to step into 18+ carries a game going forward. He won't do much with it, but that volume will be enough to make him a reasonable weekly FLEX play.

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Wayne Gallman, New York Giants (0.2%)

Soooooo, it turns out Paul Perkins might not be very good. Unfortunately, he left the game with a rib injury. On the bright side, that allowed the Giants to give some looks to fourth-round pick Wayne Gallman.

He finished the game with 11 carries for 42 yards and two catches for eight yards and a touchdown. Not the best performance ever, but certainly much better than what the Giants running backs were putting forward Weeks 1-3.

It's not a certainty that Gallman will be the starting back going forward, but in a small sample size, he proved he is the best three-down back on this team. Darkwa and Vereen are situational players and Perkins has not lived up to the hype. Gallman will be the starting back on this offense sooner rather than later and if you have any faith in this offense getting revved up again, he definitely is a valuable pickup.

Samaje Perine, Washington Redskins (3.7%)

Rob Kelley left Monday's game with an ankle injury in the first quarter and didn't return. If he's forced to miss any extended time, Perine will step into the role.

His upside is limited due to Chris Thompson's involvement, but potentially getting a starter on a good offense is hard to find. Perine got a lot of hype in the offseason, but didn't live up to it in camp and hasn't lived up to it through four weeks, averaging 3.1 YPC.

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Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals (0.6%)

Ellington, a fantasy darling back in 2015, has seemingly rejuvenated his career with back-to-back PPR performances of 13.1 and 19.4 points. He's already a PPR asset, where he is 5th among running backs in receiving yards and 8th in receptions.

His snap share continues to rise as there have been reports coming out of Arizona the players are unhappy with Chris Johnson. Without David Johnson, this offense is going to lean on Carson Palmer, and Ellington will benefit from that.

Alex Collins, Baltimore Ravens (0.4%)

Miraculously, on a team that went into the season with a projected five backs (Dixon, Woodhead, West, Allen, Taliaferro) in front of him, it looks like Collins has grabbed the lead job in Baltimore after only making the roster a week before the season. That's not currently worth very much as the Ravens are struggling on offense, but it's always worth getting a starter if you can.

Terrance West has struggled all season and somehow lost seven yards on four carries in Week 4. Javorious Allen looks to be a pass-catching, change-of-pace back, leaving Collins with the bulk of the rushing duties. He carried the ball nine times for 82 yards in Week 4.

Collins has shown some juice, but it's going to be hard to trust any running back on this team, especially with the offense as moribund as it is right now.

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Elijah McGuire, New York Jets (0.2%)

Bilal Powell stepped into Week 4 and picked up exactly where he left off last year, gashing the Jaguars for 163 yards and a touchdown. However, McGuire was impressive as well, tacking on 93 yards and a touchdown, including a 69 yard sprint.

Matt Forte will likely miss a few weeks with turf toe, a notoriously tricky injury. The Jets are 2-2 but really, do they have aspirations of competing? Powell is not as young as you might think (29 years old) and if things go downhill, expect the Jets to give McGuire - a man who has Marshawn Lynch and Adrian Peterson on his mockdraftable.com comparison list - more of a look.

Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers (2.2%)

Incoming fake woke-ness:

What if T.Y. Montgomery actually can't play with multiple broken ribs?

It's a distinct possibility Montgomery will miss Week 5 with his broken ribs, making Jones a very good spot start. If you're 1-3 or 0-4, you might want to take a chance on Jones, knowing you'll get one good week from him. Then, if Montgomery still isn't ready to go (and I wouldn't blame him), maybe you'll get two or three.

Jones is talented, but ultimately I don't think he takes the job away from Montgomery, or even Jamaal Williams who was drafted ahead of him but is currently dealing with a knee sprain. Jones is on this list due to his potential startability in Week 5 and the fact that you never know what's going to happen in the NFL.

Jerrick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings (0.8%)

As I touched on above, I think Murray wins this job. However, in the NFL, there's always a chance and Murray isn't some unbeatable all-world back.

McKinnon has shown flashes in the past, but he's also disappointed in the spotlight as well. He's worth a shot just because, but he's not very high priority.

J.D. McKissic, Seattle Seahawks (0.2%)

To be honest, I recommend staying away from this backfield situation. With Carson knocked out of the Week 4 game, Eddie Lacy handled the majority of the snaps. However, it sounded like Pete Carroll was looking forward to Thomas Rawls being the starter. And we all know C.J. Prosise is going to have a major role in this offense as well. If those three are available, my preferred order is Rawls, Lacy, then Prosise. Prosise jumps Lacy if it's a PPR league.

That being said, if you're in a deeper league, McKissic is worth a look. The converted wide receiver filled in for Prosise and totaled 65 yards and two touchdowns on five touches. Pete Carroll is all about rewarding those who earn it, so it's possible a bigger role could open up for McKissic, especially if Prosise keeps missing time with injuries.

Deep Dive:

Branden Oliver/Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers (0.5%/0.0%) - It seems like Melvin Gordon's knee is a real issue. Branden Oliver is ahead of Ekeler on the depth chart, but totaled five yards on his three touches while Ekeler gained 58 and scored a touchdown.

Corey Clement, Philadelphia Eagles (0.2%) - Clement is the clear third back on this offense, but has 16 carries in two weeks.

Alfred Morris, Dallas Cowboys (0.5%) - We should be hearing about the Zeke suspension any day now...

Wide Receivers

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Will Fuller V, Houston Texans (8.7%)

In his sophomore season debut, Fuller made an immediate impact. He caught four passes for 35 yards and two touchdowns while also drawing a 45 yard pass interference penalty.

He's a DeSean Jackson-esque boom-or-bust type receiver, but with DeShaun Watson under center, the booms might come more frequently than they did a year ago.

Devin Funchess, Carolina Panthers (13.2%)

These 7 catch, 70 yard, two touchdown performances won't come often, but it's nice to see Funchess' role expanding in life A.G. (After Greg). He won't always go up against the clown show that is the New England secondary so temper expectations.

However, Funchess has been pretty reliable the last few weeks, with 10.8, 9.8, and 22 PPR points over his last three. I like him more than Fuller in PPR due to his increased target share.

Jaron Brown, Arizona Cardinals (3.1%)

The return of John Brown did nothing to hurt Jaron Brown's stock, as Jaron Brown has topped 94% of snaps and received 18 targets in the past two games. J.J. Nelson was the one relegated to a bit role.

Jaron Brown caught 8 balls for 105 yards in Week 4 and has now surpassed 10.7 PPR points in three straight games. He's going to continue to be a part of this high volume passing offense and should find a way onto most PPR rosters.

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Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams (10.4%)

In what is suddenly one of the most high-powered offenses in the league, Kupp has been up-and-down. He had four catches for 76 yards and a touchdown in Week 1, before following that up with two duds. In Week 4, he hit again for five catches, 60 yards, and a touchdown.

He's a worthy WR4/Flex PPR option going forward, but like I touched on in the Goff section, the schedule only gets tougher from here.

Adam Humphries, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0.4%)

Look I'm not saying Humphries fits a stereotype, but uh... well. He's an effective slot receiver lets just say that. He's caught 6 balls each for 68 and 70 yards total in his last two games and has 17 targets in that span. That's pretty useful in PPR leagues, especially with New England coming up in Week 5.

That's pretty useful in PPR leagues, especially with New England coming up in Week 5.

Deep Dives:

JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers (0.7%) - Eli Rogers was a healthy scratch, suggesting Smith-Schuster has won the slot job in Pittsburgh. Smith-Schuster has caught two touchdowns in three games.

Kendall Wright, Chicago Bears (6.9%) - The most productive receiver on the Bears might get a boost with rookie Mitch Trubisky starting now.

Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers (0.7%) - Will practice this week. There doesn't seem to be much of a role for him, but you never know. He was a first-round pick this year.

Tight Ends

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Evan Engram, New York Giants (24.2%)

I love the combination of production, upside, and offense that you get with Engram. The young playmaker has 19 catches through four games and is 6th in receiving yardage. He's been between 8.4 and 14.9 fantasy points in each of his four games and that's with the Giants offense struggling.

Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9.8%)

O.J. Howard is going to be an every-week nuisance to Brate's fantasy value, but that doesn't mean Brate can't shine. Brate has had four catches and a touchdown in back-to-back games including 80 yards in Week 4. He'll look to build on that in Week 5 against a Patriots team that can't cover anyone right now.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins, New York Jets (1.3%)

Looking rejuvenated following his alcohol issues, Seferian-Jenkins has tallied nine catches for 77 yards in his first two games back. He's going to play a significant role in this offense and this week he draws a Browns defense that just gave up 68 yards and two touchdowns to Tyler Kroft.

Check out the rest of our 2017 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.

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