Fantasy Football Waiver-Wire Options Heading into Week 5
Packers receiver James Jones had some really productive weeks last year and several not-so-productive weeks.
This year is shaping up to be similar.
As an example, Jones had two receptions for minus one yard in Week 2 against the Bears, but he scored a pair of touchdowns in last week's win against the Saints.
That will continue to be the case in most weeks for Jones considering the team's overall depth at receiver.
Considering Greg Jennings aggravated his groin injury in last week's game, however, it's possible that he misses Week 5's matchup against the Colts (and maybe more to allow the injury to heal).
If so, Jones might have the opportunity to have another strong performance for fantasy owners.
For owners in need of a bye-week replacement in Week 5, Jones is available in almost two-thirds of Yahoo! leagues.
Players that appear on this waiver-wire list need to satisfy two criteria: (1) They are owned in 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues or less, and (2) they were not on last week's waiver-wire list. And, of course, they are worth adding to your squad(s).
Here are some other players to consider adding to your roster (Yahoo! league ownership in parenthesis):
QB - Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills (48 percent)
Through four weeks of the NFL regular season, it's not Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees or Matt Ryan that leads the league in passing touchdowns. It's Fitzpatrick (12). Not only does Fitzpatrick lead the league in passing touchdowns, he has thrown multiple touchdowns in all four games.
While Fitzpatrick has completed less than 60 percent of his passes in three of four games and has thrown three-plus picks in two games, only six quarterbacks have scored more fantasy points so far this season. If you need to play Fitzpatrick this week, however, his hot streak may not continue as he faces the 49ers in Week 5.
QB - Tim Tebow, Jets (nine percent)
The Jets lost Santonio Holmes to a foot injury, which may be a season-ending one based on the team's fears. With another tough matchup for Mark Sanchez coming up, his job security becomes more tenuous by the day regardless of anything the team might say.
Should the team transition to Tebow, he has the ability to deliver big weeks due to his rushing potential. As an example, 50 rushing yards and a score plus 125 passing yards and a score is 20 fantasy points.
RB - Brandon Bolden, Patriots (11 percent)
If it weren't for a surprise rebound performance by Tennessee's Chris Johnson (141 yards) against the stingy Texans defense, Bolden would have led all running backs with 137 rushing yards in Week 4. With a rushing score and 11 receiving yards, Bolden was one of only four running backs with 20-plus fantasy points last week.
That said, teammate Stevan Ridley led the team in fantasy points (22) and carries (22). Through four games, Ridley has 74 carries and has as much of a lock-tight grip on the featured back role as one can have with the Patriots.
Even though the second-most productive Patriots running back will vary from week to week from Bolden to Danny Woodhead and perhaps Shane Vereen, Bolden is worth a look.
RB - Jackie Battle, Chargers (25 percent)
It was Battle, not Ryan Mathews, that got the larger share of the workload and produced the most fantasy points last week for the Chargers. Of course, that's unlikely to continue into the future (and even this week).
One thing is clear, however: Battle is the non-Mathews' Chargers running back to own. He will still be in the mix for touches, perhaps similar in role to Mike Tolbert last year, and he should be the featured guy if (or when) Mathews suffers another injury.
RB - Kendall Hunter, 49ers (17 percent)
Through four games, Hunter is averaging 6.5 carries per game and a solid 4.6 yards per carry. Along with the Texans and Chiefs, the Niners are one of three teams to average 30-plus rush attempts per game this year and last year. In the event that Frank Gore suffers an injury, Hunter has strong upside. Either way, it wouldn't surprise me to see Hunter get more work as the season progresses.
WR - Brian Hartline, Dolphins (30 percent)
Before Week 4, Hartline had only one career 100-yard game (111 yards in Week 2). With his franchise-record 253-yard performance on Sunday, Hartline now has a league-high 455 yards on his 25 receptions.
While Hartline is obviously unlikely to duplicate last weekend's gaudy production, he is clearly the team's No. 1 option, and he should be owned in all fantasy leagues. Only Dwayne Bowe (49) and Victor Cruz (49) have more targets than Hartline (48) so far this year.
WR - Domenik Hixon, Giants (seven percent)
Receiver Hakeem Nicks has missed back-to-back games, and it's unclear at this point whether Nicks will miss more time or not. In the two games that Nicks has missed, a Giants receiver not named Victor Cruz has finished with 100-plus yards.
When Hixon was out of the lineup himself in Week 3, Ramses Barden led the team with 138 receiving yards. Last week, it was Hixon's turn, who finished with a career-high 114 yards on six receptions. Whether or not Nicks misses more time, I'd prefer to own Hixon over Barden.
WR - Andre Roberts, Cardinals (19 percent)
Along with Hartline and Hixon, Roberts set a career high in receiving yards (118) in Week 4. In addition, Roberts had his first career multiple-touchdown game.
Through four games, Roberts has 15 receptions for 229 yards and four touchdowns. With opposing defenses focusing on Larry Fitzgerald, Roberts has the potential to continue to be productive for fantasy owners.
TE - Scott Chandler, Bills (31 percent)
With the exception of last week's shutout of the Jets, who were without tight end Dustin Keller, the 49ers have allowed a tight end to score a touchdown (or two) in each of the first three weeks of the season.
Chandler has scored a total of four touchdowns through the first four games. Especially if your starting tight end is on a bye, Chandler is a nice plug-and-play option this week.
Good luck in Week 5!
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