Week 5 Pickups: Impact Players Worth Snagging off the Waiver Wire

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2013

INDIANAOPLIS, IN - DECEMBER 30: Coby Fleener #80 of the Indianapolis Colts spikes the ball after scoring against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 30, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts defeated the Texans 28-16.(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Entering into Week 5, it's starting to get into panic time for some fantasy owners.

While there are still plenty of weeks to come, you have to be getting a little worried if your team is 1-3 or 0-4. You will have dug yourself into quite a hole.

Luckily, you've still got some time to rectify the situation. All is not lost. You just need to make sure you're doing whatever you can to fix whatever problems your team has.

Maybe that means looking toward the waiver wire.

These four players are strong targets if you need some help before Week 5. They're not nailed-on locks for success, but they've been good so far and should be available in the majority of fantasy leagues.


QB: Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs

Sep 29, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) hands off during the second half of the game against the New York Giants at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 31-7. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

I've been banging the drum on Alex Smith for a while now. He's not the kind of quarterback who's going to throw for 300 yards and three touchdowns every week. He's your prototypical game manager who throws short-range passes and lets the running back eat up the clock.

However, Smith is more than capable of having a strong single-game fantasy performance, like he did on Sunday. The two interceptions didn't do much to stunt the points you would have accrued from his 288 yards passing and three touchdowns against the New York Giants. The 37 rushing yards were a bit of an anomaly.

Still, if you're looking for a strong backup to replace somebody like Matt Schaub or Joe Flacco in your fantasy lineup, make sure you jump at Smith at the earliest opportunity.


RB: Willis McGahee, Cleveland Browns

Sep 29, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Willis Mcgahee runs the ball during the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium. Browns beat the Bengals 17-6. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

By this point in the season, if you really need a running back, you're in trouble. The best options have all been picked over, and there's unlikely to be a breakout candidate after four weeks.

In Willis McGahee, though, you may just have a running back capable of getting 15-20 carries a game every week.

After the Trent Richardson trade, the Cleveland Browns running back situation was up in the air. It may have come into focus after Week 4, though. McGahee got 15 carries for 46 yards.

Those aren't great numbers, but if you've got a running back or two on a bye week, you can grab McGahee and know you're at least going to get some sort of fantasy output.


WR: Jerome Simpson, Minnesota Vikings

Sep 29, 2013; London, UNITED KINGDOM; Minnesota Vikings receiver Jerome Simpson (81) is pursued by Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Cortez Allen (28) on a 51-yard reception in the NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. The Vikings defeated the St
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As a Bengals fan, I've gotten quite a few looks at Jerome Simpson. Since going to Minnesota, he remains the same freak athlete incapable of being a top wide receiver in the league.

Simpson does have the ability to go off in one game, like he did against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He had seven receptions for 124 yards. It's the second time this season he's gone for more than 100 yards receiving.

The bad part is that he's yet to record a touchdown.

If anything, you should feel comforted by that. He's gotta be due sometime, right? With Matt Cassel under center, the Vikings passing game should improve for the time being, so that means more fantasy points for Simpson.


TE: Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts

Sep 15, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts tight end Coby Fleener (80) catches a pass for a touchdown during the second quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Coby Fleener's Week 4 numbers were a bit inflated. Any time somebody goes against the Jacksonville Jaguars, you might as well cut a third off their final stats. So Fleener's five receptions and 77 yards against the Jags is like 3.3 receptions and 51.3 yards against a normal NFL team.

In all seriousness, Fleener has the potential to become a reliable fantasy tight end. It's so hard to predict which TEs are going to be the top guys because you always have guys like Fleener or Jordan Cameron emerge and become viable options.

Fleener's not going to be elite, but he's still going to get at least five or so targets every game.


Follow @JosephZucker on Twitter.