It's hard to pinpoint which week of the waiver wire will be the most important in a fantasy football season.
Week 5 certainly looks the part, though, with key quarterbacks breaking out and injuries hitting critical spots like running back to open the door for new faces to enter the fray.
Keep in mind, too, guys like Bilal Powell and Tyler Kroft finished Week 4 among the top scorers.
At what could be a critical juncture in the season, let's take a look at the full list of notable adds and take a deeper dive on a few players that owners should pursue regardless of their current standing in a league.
Week 5 Waiver-Wire Targets
- Deshaun Watson, HOU
- Andy Dalton, CIN
- Jacoby Brissett, IND
- Mitchell Trubisky, CHI
- Latavius Murray, MIN
- Elijah McGuire, NYJ
- Eddie Lacy, SEA
- Andre Ellington, ARI
- Wendell Smallwood, PHI
- Devin Funchess, CAR
- Will Fuller, HOU
- JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT
- Jaron Brown, ARI
- Cooper Kupp, LAR
- Tyler Kroft, CIN
- Cameron Brate, TB
Andy Dalton, CIN
It might be time to believe in Andy Dalton again.
The Cincinnati Bengals quarterback has been a solid streaming option for a few years now (playing with A.J. Green does that) before a disastrous start to the 2017 campaign.
"Disastrous" meaning one fantasy point in Week 1 and less than 10 in Week 2 as his offense scored zero touchdowns over that span.
Light exists at the end of the tunnel, though, with Dalton's breakout game coming in Week 4 via some pretty throws:
.@ajgreen_18 is IN! Beautiful toss from @AndyDalton14 for the @Bengals TD. #CINvsCLE https://t.co/NhyPaN8vkB2017-10-1 17:36:55
More importantly, pretty game-planning by new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. One could point out Dalton's four touchdowns and 28.34 points came against the Cleveland Browns. The counterweight is pointing out his offense was without Tyler Eifert and John Ross and the running game was a dud.
With the offense keeping Dalton in a rhythm, he's a must-add quarterback for fantasy teams in need as a matchup-based play.
Latavius Murray, MIN
Latavius Murray is the new starter in the Minnesota Vikings backfield after breakout star rookie Dalvin Cook went down for the year with a knee injury in Week 4.
Murray is a great example of the divide between fantasy production and the real world. He rushed for 12 touchdowns a year ago over 14 games, giving owners steady production at a tough position.
The Oakland Raiders didn't make much of an effort to retain him.
Murray isn't going to rush for another 12 scores, especially if the Vikings don't have a starter under center to ease the pressure. But opportunities still equal production at running back and though Jerick McKinnon might see some work, this is Murray's backfield.
Owners in need of a running back don't normally get options like this. Murray, at worst, is a starter who struggles but still sees guaranteed touches each week.
Will Fuller, HOU
The savvy owners stashed Will Fuller going into the season.
The rest have a chance to get a big producer.
Fuller missed the first three games of the season with a collarbone injury, but he flashed big potential as a rookie a year ago while catching 47 passes for 635 yards and two touchdowns. Whispers about his being a star if given proper quarterback play were common.
Those whispers are shouts now that rookie Deshaun Watson (also a great waiver claim) has elbowed his way onto the scene.
Case in point: Fuller's season debut produced two touchdowns on the way to a 15.9-point day. These weren't easy catches against a bad defense, either:
Houston Texans @HoustonTexans
Nice to have 1⃣5⃣ back on the field. 😏 #TouchdownTuesday #WeAreTexans https://t.co/a8r5g5dJJQ2017-10-3 23:56:48
Fuller will obviously regress in the touchdowns department right away. But his usage and even the highlight above show he's much more than a basic deep threat in his sophomore campaign.
A rookie quarterback means enduring peaks and valleys, but there isn't any reason Fuller should remain on the market in a fantasy league.
Cameron Brate, TB
Owners have to take whatever they can get at tight end after a miserable start for the position this year.
Luckily, Kroft and Cameron Brate are two of the best options to hit the wire so far.
Brate hasn't seen a big reduction in production despite the additions of first-round rookie tight end O.J. Howard and free-agent wide receiver DeSean Jackson to the offense. In fact, he's improved his fantasy numbers each week, going from 9.3 in Week 3 to 14.0 in Week 4, scoring a touchdown in each.
Granted, Brate sits fourth on the team in targets entering Week 5. But he's still the starter at the spot, and it seems more and more like a spread-it-around attack each week.
Expect Jameis Winston to keep looking for his favorite safety valve all season, which is more than most owners can say for their preferred tight end.