Fantasy Football

2018 Fantasy Football Week 5 Waiver Wire: Night and Day


Last week I got to lead with the news of Baker Mayfield leading the Browns to an improbable victory. The excitement around the league was palpable and people were excited for the games to come.

This week, the mood around the league is a somber one as two young tight ends saw their seasons end thanks to a couple of brutal injuries. Bengals TE Tyler Eifert will miss the rest of the season after suffering a Gordon Hayward-esque broken ankle. I won’t post the video link here, but if you’re squeamish I don’t recommend looking for it. Eifert was finally finding his groove after missing most of last season with a back injury. With his injury history, many are calling it a career for Eifert but we’ll have to wait and see if he attempts to come back from yet another major surgery.

Lost in the Eifert hoopla is the loss of Seahawks TE Will Dissly. After making a solid catch and run, he was upended and landed awkwardly. Doctors later diagnosed him with a torn patella. Dissly was quickly becoming a Russell Wilson favourite and was looking like one of the lone bright spots in a tough position.

Just to lighten the mood. How about Patrick Mahomes? It’s not every day you get to see a franchise QB blossom before your eyes, but Mahomes looks every bit the part. Just look at this!

2018 Fantasy Football Week 5 Waiver Wire

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Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (33% Owned in Yahoo! Leagues)

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A surprise to be sure, but a welcome one. Bortles victimized the Jets defense in Week 4 to the tune of 388 yards and two touchdowns. He now has 300 yards and multiple touchdowns in two of his last three games. Despite the Jaguars run heavy reputation, Bortles has thrown 38, 34, and 45 passes in his last three games, giving him plenty of opportunities to produce.

Bortles will be an inconsistent QB all year but is the number one streamer target in Week 5 with a juicy matchup against the Chiefs. Kansas City ranks last in defensive DVOA and has given up massive games to all opposing quarterbacks they’ve faced thus far. (Note: I’ll give Jimmy Garoppolo a pass and say he would have has a bigger day if he hadn’t gotten injured.)

If you need a QB this week, Bortles has the best matchup of any waiver QB and should be in for a big Week 5.

Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans (33% Owned)

After a tumultuous first three weeks, Mariota’s prospects are looking up. The former second overall pick had a massive bounce-back performance in Week 4 against the Eagles. Mariota completed 30-of-43 passes for 344 yards and two touchdowns, while also running for 46 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s thrilling overtime victory.

Mariota won’t put together this type of performance every game, but it looks like he’ll get more chances to throw with the Titans’ running game in shambles. The jury is still out on his ability to consistently produce but he will be another prime streaming option for QB needy owners in Week 5.

Mariota will get a chance to follow-up his performance with a great matchup against the Bills. Buffalo’s issues are well known, and their defense, while not as bad as Kansas City’s, ranks 22nd in DVOA. Their horrible offense will give Mariota plenty of opportunities to produce, as I expect the Titans defense to make quick work of the Buffalo offense. Owners with a QB BYE week could do worse in Week 5.

Running Backs

Mike Davis, Seattle Seahawks (3% Owned)

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I don’t think many owners were expecting Davis’ spot-start to be so productive. Starting in place of the suddenly injured Chris Carson, Davis ran the ball 21 times for 101 yards and two touchdowns. He looked fast and broke a couple of very nice runs on the admittedly awful Arizona run defense.

Rashaad Penny is almost and an afterthought in the offense, as Pete Carroll has hinted that the rookie will focus more on kick returns until he’s up to speed in the offense. If Carson misses another game, Davis is in for another heavy workload against the Rams. Owners shouldn’t expect a repeat against the elite LA defensive line, but Davis is versatile enough to recoup some value by catching passes out of the backfield.

Carson’s status will likely be confirmed closer to game time, so owners will need to add Davis without knowing if he’ll even be starting. If you’re in an FAAB league, I would not recommend using too much of your budget on Davis, who could be relegated to the bench again as soon as next week. But if he does start, he’ll be a solid option for as long as Carson is out.

Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts (16% Owned)

Hines is one of the biggest beneficiaries of Andrew Luck‘s foray into the short-passing game. Thanks to the injury suffered by T.Y. Hilton, the explosive playmaker will be one of Luck’s most targeted players moving forward. Hines received 11 targets in the Colts’ Week 4 loss to the Texans. With Hilton expected to miss next weeks game, Hines will likely see 9-to-11 targets once again.

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Hines is used most when the Colts are playing from behind. In the Colts lone win this season, Hines saw just one target. In their three losses, Hines has seen an average of 8.3. The Colts defense will leave the offense scrambling more often than not, and Hines will be a solid PPR option all season long.

Wide Receivers

Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville Jaguars (17% Owned)

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Westbrook was the main target in Bortles’ breakout game and more owners should be taking notice. Keelan Cole received all the attention after Marqise Lee went down, but Westbrook is slowing making his way to the top of the depth chart.

Westbrook caught 9-of-13 targets for 130 yards, marking the first time he’s passed the century mark in his career. Meanwhile, Cole only saw three targets. Things will shift closer to even next week, but the Jaguars have to notice how reliable he is becoming in the short-to-middle passing game.

Westbrook will be as inconsistent as Bortles, but anyone who can rack up 13 targets on a good team should have your attention. Like Bortles, he is a prime streamer for their matchup against the Chiefs lackluster defense. With Leonard Fournette expected to miss another couple of games, Bortles will have to take to their air once again. If he has to keep up with Patrick Mahomes, expect Westbrook to get targeted early and often.

Taylor Gabriel, Chicago Bears (6% Owned)

Before Sunday’s 104 yard, two touchdown explosion against the Buccaneers, Gabriel was not having an efficient season. Despite seeing just over seven targets per game, Gabriel has just 89 yards through the first three games. Most of that could be attributed to Mitchell Trubisky’s struggles.

Of course, the Chicago offense finally came alive in Week 4, dropping 49 points on Tampa’s defense. Gabriel was heavily involved once again, seeing seven targets and finally cashing in on his opportunities. Rookie WR Anthony Miller is out with a separated shoulder, so Gabriel will continue to see heavy usage as the Bears’ WR2.

Tight Ends

Tyler Kroft, Cincinnati Bengals (1% Owned)

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Kroft will once again be the Bengals starting TE following the injury to Eifert. With seven touchdowns last season, Kroft showed he could be a useful scoring threat for Andy Dalton. The emerging Tyler Boyd will eat into Kroft’s targets, so owners should not expect consistency from the TE.

With the TE position being so thin, anyone with hands and basic route running knowledge should be considered. The Bengals offense is looking good, and Kroft should see his fair share of red zone work as the starting TE.

Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (24% Owned)

If Tampa Bay kept Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB Brate would be far off my radar. As it stands, Jameis Winston will be re-inserted as the starter, meaning Brate has new life as a receiving option. Brate and Winston have a good connection and the TE always performs better with Winston at the helm.

Fellow TE O.J. Howard left Sunday’s game with a knee injury and did not return. It’s been reported that he sprained his MCL and will be out for 2-4 weeks. If you have the space on your bench, Brate will get at least one game as the starter following his Week 5 BYE. With Tampa unable to find a running game, expect plenty of throwing in their Week 6 matchup against the Falcons.

Just to make sure I’m clear. Brate does not play a game in Week 5 but is a good speculative add for owners who have a bench spot who would like a good TE option in Week 6.

Deep League Special

Ryan Grant, WR, Indianapolis Colts (5% Owned)

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As mentioned earlier the Colts will likely be without T.Y. Hilton for their Week 5 matchup against the Patriots. Hilton suffered two injuries on Sunday, leaving the game with a chest injury, only to return and suffer a hamstring injury that will likely keep him out of the lineup on Thursday.

The Colts are already without Jack Doyle and Hilton’s absence will open up plenty of targets for Grant. He is fresh off a seven target game on Sunday, which should be close to his target floor against the Patriots. The only other weapons Luck has will be the aforementioned Hines and Eric Ebron.

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The Patriots defense will be coming off a dismantling of the Dolphins but has shown huge weakness early in the season. Tom Brady will have his full compliment of weapons back for Week 5, so expect this one to be a high scoring affair. Owners in deep PPR leagues should take a flier on Grant if they’re suffering from an injury or BYE week crunch.

Check out the rest of our 2018 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.

About Jonathan Chan

Winning fantasy leagues since 2004. Losing them for much longer. Follow Jonathan on twitter @jchan_811 and he'll be ready for all your questions!

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