Week 5 Fantasy Sleepers: Waiver-Wire Options Who Can Slide into Starting Lineups

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistOctober 1, 2013

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 29: Robert Woods #10 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates his touchdown with Stevie Johnson #13 during NFL game action against the Baltimore Orioles at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 29, 2013 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The weekly search of the waiver wire is once again underway for fantasy football owners. Finding the right players to fill a void left by an injury, bye week or simply poor play remains crucial to success heading into Week 5.

After getting the first taste of byes last week, they now begin to take full effect with four teams sidelined this week. It means a lot of owners will be seeking sleepers who can step right into their lineup to provide a one-game boost.

With that in mind, let's check out the top waiver-wire players to target for owners looking for instant starting production. The list is followed by a closer look at the top options to consider, even if it's just to fill a spot on the bench at the outset.



Sleepers to Target


Breakdown of Top Options

Danny Woodhead (San Diego Chargers)

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 29:  Danny Woodhead #39 of the San Diego Chargers catches a touchdown pass against  the Dallas Cowboys on September 29, 2013 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Woodhead's fantasy value continues to rise with each passing week where Ryan Mathews fails to impress. The Chargers' starter averaged barely over three yards per carry in Week 4 while Woodhead made a major impact in the passing game.

The former New England Patriots back caught five passes for 54 yards and two touchdowns. He also averaged more than six yards per touch in the ground game, making him clearly the most effective option San Diego has in the backfield.

Mathews is the more traditional option, but San Diego can't continue to give him the bulk of the chances when his backup keeps making a bigger impact. Expect Woodhead to keep getting more looks in Week 5, leading to another solid fantasy output.


Robert Woods (Buffalo Bills)

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 29:   Robert Woods #10 of the Buffalo Bills catches Buffalo's first touchdown pass against the Baltimore Ravens at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 29, 2013 in Orchard Park, New York.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Woods' overall numbers through four games are nothing special. He's caught just 11 passes for 201 yards and a pair of touchdowns. But when you consider he's been targeted 26 times, it shows the rookie has only begun to scratch the surface of his fantasy potential.

It was always going to take some time for Woods to adapt to the NFL level. Factor in a rookie quarterback in EJ Manuel, and the task was even tougher. But his 80-yard performance on Sunday that included a touchdown is a promising sign.

With C.J. Spiller struggling, there's a great emphasis on the passing game, especially when the Bills get into scoring range. As Manuel and Woods build further chemistry, it should become a valuable fantasy tandem. Expect the positive trends to continue in Week 5.


Charles Clay (Miami Dolphins)

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 30:  Charles Clay #42 of the Miami Dolphins catches a touchdown pass over Chris Carr #31 of the New Orleans Saints  at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 30, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Clay received virtually no fantasy attention coming into the season. After four weeks of consistent numbers, however, it's become impossible to ignore him. He's transformed into a blue-chip asset at a weak position.

The Dolphins tight end, who also lines up in the backfield at times, has reeled in at least four catches in each game so far. He added his first receiving touchdown in Week 4 to go along with a short-yardage TD he scored on the ground in Week 2.

Although fantasy owners can't rely on rushing production from him, it could be a nice bonus every once in a while. But he's built up enough reliability as a pass-catcher to be worth owning and can fill a void in the starting lineup when necessary.