Week 5 Waiver Wire: Stat Projections for Top Fantasy Pickups and Sleepers

David McCrackenFeatured ColumnistOctober 3, 2017

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 2: Running back Kareem Hunt #27 of the Kansas City Chiefs rushes the ball against the Washington Redskins during the third quarter of the game against the Washington Redskins at Arrowhead Stadium on October 2, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
Peter Aiken/Getty Images

It's hard to believe that Week 5 of the 2017 NFL season is upon us. It's also hard to believe how bad many fantasy football owners are doing already, seemingly desperate for a miracle to happen to keep playoff hopes alive.

Unfortunately for fantasy owners, Week 5 is the signal for bye weeks, as star players like Julio Jones and serviceable roster players like Mark Ingram won't be playing. But never fear, as the fantasy football gods continue to provide us with sleepers and waiver-wire gems each week. 

Let's take a look at each offensive position's top 10 players, with projections courtesy of Yahoo Sports. 

Note: All projections are based on standard Yahoo fantasy leagues, not PPR. 

         

Top 10 Quarterbacks

1. Tom Brady (New England Patriots) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 329 passing yards, 2.6 TD, 0.5 INT (24.32 points)

2. Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers) vs. Dallas Cowboys: 282 passing yards, 2.2 TD, 0.5 INT, 18.6 rushing yards (22.63 points) 

3. Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) vs. New England Patriots: 288 passing yards, 2.1 TD, 1.0 INT (19.90 points)

4. Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks) vs. Los Angeles Rams: 248 passing yards, 1.5 TD, 0.7 INT, 27.7 rushing yards (19.42) 

5. Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys) vs. Green Bay Packers: 243 passing yards, 1.5 TD, 0.5 INT, 20.7 rushing yards (18.92 points) 

6. Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: 263 passing yards, 2.0 TD, 0.6 INT (18.44 points) 

7. Carson Wentz (Philadelphia Eagles) vs. Arizona Cardinals: 264 passing yards, 1.7 TD, 0.8 INT, 10.6 rushing yards (18.03 points) 

8. Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers) vs. Detroit Lions: 216 passing yards, 1.3 TD, 0.8 INT, 25.7 rushing yards (17.75 points) 

9. Matthew Stafford (Detroit Lions) vs. Carolina Panthers: 264 passing yards, 1.6 TD, 0.7 INT (17.66 points) 

10. Marcus Mariota (Tennessee Titans) vs. Miami Dolphins: 210 passing yards, 1.6 TD, 0.6 INT, 21.7 rushing yards (17.35 points) 

           

Quarterback Analysis

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 01:  Marcus Mariota #8 of the Tennessee Titans jogs off the field after an interception in the first half against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Tim Warner/Getty Images

While the diagnosis on Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota's injured hamstring came back better than hoped following Sunday's loss to the Houston Texans, he is still listed as questionable heading into Week 5. 

There is, of course, the chance that he suits up and plays against the Miami Dolphins, but don't expect much from him in terms of fantasy production.

As of Monday night, Mariota is projected to rush for 21.7 rushing yards (2.17 points) against Miami, but will he be able to manage running outside of the pocket on a sore hamstring? It doesn't seem likely.

If he plays, expect a run-heavy attack featuring Derrick Henry and DeMarco Murray to steady the ship.

Mariota showed off his value in fantasy against the Texans even though he threw two interceptions with his two rushing touchdowns in the first half, but it's too risky to play him this week.

Waiver-wire pickup: Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans

          

Top 10 Running Backs

1. Le'Veon Bell (Pittsburgh Steelers) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: 84.8 rushing yards, 0.6 TD, 36.9 receiving yards, 0.1 TD (16.38 points) 

2. Kareem Hunt (Kansas City Chiefs) vs. Houston Texans: 73.3 rushing yards, 0.6 TD, 26.6 receiving yards, 0.3 TD (15.43 points)

3. Ezekiel Elliott (Dallas Cowboys) vs. Green Bay Packers: 85.5 rushing yards, 0.8 TD, 15.6 receiving yards, 0.1 TD (15.30 points) 

4. Todd Gurley II (Los Angeles Rams) vs. Seattle Seahawks: 74.8 rushing yards, 0.7 TD, 24.3 receiving yards, 0.2 TD (14.65 points) 

5. Leonard Fournette (Jacksonville Jaguars) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: 72.1 rushing yards, 0.6 TD, 18.0 receiving yards, 0.1 TD (12.61 points) 

6. Carlos Hyde (San Francisco 49ers) vs. Indianapolis Colts: 70.1 rushing yards, 0.5 TD, 20.1 receiving yards, 0.1 TD (12.52 points) 

7. LeSean McCoy (Buffalo Bills) vs. Cincinnati Bengals: 69.3 rushing yards, 0.5 TD, 20.3 receiving yards, 0.1 TD (12.48 points) 

8. Melvin Gordon (Los Angeles Chargers) vs. New York Giants: 66.3 rushing yards, 0.5 TD, 23.6 receiving yards, 0.1 TD (12.39 points) 

9. Jordan Howard (Chicago Bears) vs. Minnesota Vikings: 72.2 rushing yards, 0.6 TD, 10.8 receiving yards, 0.1 TD (12.31 points) 

10. DeMarco Murray (Tennessee Titans) vs. Miami Dolphins: 63.3 rushing yards, 0.5 TD, 19.7 receiving yards, 0.1 TD (12.07 points)

             

Running Back Analysis

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 2: Running back Kareem Hunt #27 of the Kansas City Chiefs is tackled by safety D.J. Swearinger #36,  Keith Marshall #39, and Kendall Fuller #29 of the Washington Redskins, who got a cleat in the face, during the fourth quarter of
Jason Hanna/Getty Images

This may sound like a broken record heading into Week 5, but Kareem Hunt is the best player in fantasy football to own until further notice. 

It's almost ridiculous how good Hunt has been this season—he might even have a more impressive rookie season than Ezekiel Elliott had a year ago.

Hunt is playing like Jamaal Charles did during his prime years in Kansas City, and that's no exaggeration. His timing, patience as a runner and ability to make defenders miss has resulted in 502 rushing yards and four touchdowns through four games, and that's not including his 157 receiving yards and two scores catching the ball.

Will there be a rookie wall for Hunt? Maybe, but it doesn't seem likely. His performance so far this season has been no accident. He is a fantasy stud.

Waiver-wire pickup: Latavius Murray, Minnesota Vikings 

                

Top 10 Wide Receivers

1. Odell Beckham Jr. (New York Giants) vs. Los Angeles Chargers: 101 receiving yards, 0.8 TD (15.20 points)

2. Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh Steelers) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: 104 receiving yards, 0.7 TD (14.94 points)

3. Brandin Cooks (New England Patriots) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 81.6 receiving yards, 0.6 TD (12.29 points) 

4. Mike Evans (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) vs. New England Patriots: 78.7 receiving yards, 0.7 TD (12.13 points) 

5. Jordy Nelson (Green Bay Packers) vs. Dallas Cowboys: 84.6 receiving yards, 0.6 TD (12.01 points) 

6. A.J. Green (Cincinnati Bengals) vs. Buffalo Bills: 84.7 receiving yards, 0.6 TD (11.84 points)

7. Dez Bryant (Dallas Cowboys) vs. Green Bay Packers: 82.7 receiving yards, 0.6 TD (11.77 points) 

8. Stefon Diggs (Minnesota Vikings) vs. Chicago Bears: 78.0 receiving yards, 0.5 TD (11.08 points) 

9. DeAndre Hopkins (Houston Texans) vs. Kansas City Chiefs: 74.9 receiving yards, 0.6 TD (10.98 points) 

10. Doug Baldwin (Seattle Seahawks) vs. Los Angeles Rams: 74.2 receiving yards, 0.6 TD (10.88 points) 

              

Wide Receiver Analysis

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 1:  Wide receiver Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants runs for a first down during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on October 1, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by
Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Cheer up, New York Giants fans. Just because you're 0-4 doesn't mean your fantasy team has to be 0-5 this upcoming week, right? Well, if your faith rests in the hands of star wideout Odell Beckham Jr., don't expect him to be able to carry too much of the weight for your fantasy team with his injured hand.

After sustaining a right-hand injury in Week 4, the severity of the injury was unknown. While it appears that Beckham is questionable this week, the injury looks pretty bad.

Like, really bad.

Here's a picture of the injury as it happened (if you dare), per ESPN's Adam Schefter. 

Keep an eye on Beckham's status this week. It's not likely he'll be making any one-handed grabs this weekend.

Waiver-wire pickup: Will Fuller, Houston Texans 

                 

Top 10 Tight Ends

1. Rob Gronkowski (New England Patriots) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 75.7 receiving yards, 0.7 TD (11.90 points) 

2. Zach Ertz (Philadelphia Eagles) vs. Arizona Cardinals: 69.4 receiving yards, 0.5 TD (10.10 points) 

3. Travis Kelce (Kansas City Chiefs) vs. Houston Texans: 69.4 receiving yards, 0.5 TD (9.74 points) 

4. Delanie Walker (Tennessee Titans) vs. Miami Dolphins: 64.6 receiving yards, 0.5 TD (9.06 points) 

5. Martellus Bennett (Green Bay Packers) vs. Dallas Cowboys: 56.1 receiving yards, 0.5 TD (8.49 points) 

6. Jimmy Graham (Seattle Seahawks) vs. Los Angeles Rams: 57.6 receiving yards, 0.4 TD (8.39 points) 

7. Kyle Rudolph (Minnesota Vikings) vs. Chicago Bears: 47.0 receiving yards, 0.4 TD (7.06 points) 

8. Charles Clay (Buffalo Bills) vs. Cincinnati Bengals: 47.5 receiving yards, 0.4 TD (6.77 points) 

9. Cameron Brate (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) vs. New England Patriots: 45.0 receiving yards, 0.4 TD (6.66 points) 

10. Jason Witten (Dallas Cowboys) vs. Green Bay Packers: 49.9 receiving yards, 0.3 TD (6.54 points) 

           

Tight End Analysis

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 01:  Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots reacts after a play during the first half against the Carolina Panthers at Gillette Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Rob Gronkowski is having a good season thus far. Just good—nothing more; nothing less. And for fantasy owners who drafted him in the first round, good isn't good enough.

Despite gaining at least 80 yards in his past three games since a disappointing Week 1 performance, Gronkowski has only found the end zone twice and hasn't exactly set the world on fire like we've grown accustomed to.

Are expectations too high of him? Maybe. And a lot of that comes from this season being a down year for most tight ends in fantasy. Week 5 should be kinder to the New England Patriots and Gronkowski as they take on a vulnerable Tampa Bay Buccaneers that has injuries in their defensive front-seven and secondary.

For the sake of not being the laughing stock of your league, Gronkowski won't let you down this Sunday in what could be a breakout performance for fantasy's No. 1 right end. 

Waiver-wire pickup: Evan Engram, New York Giants 

      

All stats and projections are courtesy of Yahoo Sports.