When fantasy football owners across the land set their waiver wire claims for Week 5 over the next day or two there will be one name at the top of most wide receiver wish lists, so teams without a high waiver priority are apt to be out of luck.
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline had the best game of his four-year career in last week's overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals. The 25-year-old racked up 253 yards on 12 catches with a touchdown, setting a team record that Hartline wasn't that fond of according to Chuck Schilken of The Los Angeles Times.
"If you win the game, it’s awesome," Hartline said. "If you don’t, it has the asterisk. And I don’t like being associated with asterisks. We need to start winning some football games, we’ve got to stop finding ways to lose," Hartline said. "It’s getting old. I’m sick of losing. I don’t like losing.”
With that said, Hartline's big day is exactly what concerns fantasy owners, especially since his outburst in the desert thrust him into the top five at his position in point-per reception fantasy football leagues.
The simple truth is that Hartline is what he is. Talent-wise no one is going to confuse the former Ohio State standout with Calvin Johnson anytime soon, and realistically Hartline probably wouldn't be a starter on more than half of the teams in the NFL.
However, Hartline doesn't play for those teams, and on the Dolphins he has developed into rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill's preferred target. Yet, while Hartline's talent level and Tannehill's inexperience may cap his fantasy upside somewhat, he's still going to be targeted a lot.
Also, this wasn't the first time this season that Hartline had a strong statistical showing. In Week 2 he hauled in nine passes for well over 100 yards in Miami's blowout win over Oakland, and in many leagues that performance may have already gotten Hartline scooped up.
If he is available in your league, however, go place a claim for him.
Can he keep up his present pace, at which he'd accrue over 1,600 receiving yards and catch 100 balls? It's highly unlikely.
What he can do, however, is put up at least fantasy WR3 production for your team, making Brian Hartline at the very least a quality depth addition and a weekly starter in many formats.