Fantasy Football Week 5: Get Your Claims In On These Waiver Gems
Week 5 is right around the corner, and with injuries to established fantasy stars continuing to pile up, it could be time to scour the waiver wire for players ready to produce.
Week 4 featured several eye-opening performances, including another solid outing by Rams' rookie Sam Bradford.
Elsewhere, Lance Moore and Mike Tolbert produced impressive point totals for the second-consecutive week.
Here's a look at 10 waiver wire claims that will help you win in Week 5.
No. 10: Carolina D/ST
The Panthers defense might not have Julius Peppers, but that doesn't mean there won't be plenty of chances to rack up sacks in Week 5 when Peppers and his new team, the Bears, come to town.
Why Grab Them? If you want sacks, turnovers and a defense that won't allow points, then you want to consider adding the Panthers in Week 5. Carolina is coming off an impressive showing against the Saints, while the Bears are coming off an atrocious performance against the Giants Sunday night. After allowing 10 sacks, Mike Tice has his work cut out for him to keep Jay Cutler or Todd Collins in one piece this week.
One Week Fluke? The Panthers aren't a great long-term option for your team defense, but if you have a bye week or a bad match-up with your defense, don't hesitate to add Carolina for Week 5.
Point Potential: Depending on your scoring settings, the Panthers defense could pile up the sacks and keep Chicago off the scoreboard, totaling around 15 points to help spark your team this week.
No. 9: Marcedes Lewis
Percentage Owned in CBS Leagues: 36%
Why Grab Him? Lewis caught a 15-yard touchdown pass in the Jaguars' thrilling win over the Colts yesterday, giving him a career-high three scores on the young season. Already in his fifth season in the NFL, Lewis has never lived up to his potential. That appears to be changing in 2010, and David Garrard is looking for his big tight end more and more each week.
One Week Fluke? Not at all. Lewis has 138 yards receiving this season and the Jaguars head to Buffalo in Week 5. The Bills allowed two touchdowns to Jets tight end Dustin Keller in Week 4 and have struggled on defense this season. Lewis is a good play in Week 5, and beyond.
Point Potential: The former UCLA tight end has a good chance to find the end zone again this week, finishing with around 10 points.
No. 8: Mike Tolbert
Percentage Owned in CBS Leagues: 77%
Why Grab Him? With Ryan Mathews back from his ankle injury, some fantasy owners are likely to give up on the bowling ball back. It might be a good idea to make a claim on Tolbert or add him if he is still available in your fantasy leagues. Mathews looks like a budding star, but his ankle injury could still bother him a bit in the coming weeks, opening the door for Tolbert to get plenty of carries.
One Week Fluke? Based on his strong performances in the last three weeks, Tolbert has shown he isn't a fluke. The Chargers travel to Oakland in Week 5 to face the Raiders, a team that allowed the Texans to run wild in Week 4. Tolbert's numbers won't start declining yet.
Point Potential: Tolbert is a good candidate to total around 8-10 points in Week 5 with the Chargers likely to come out running the ball against the Raiders.
No. 7: Sam Bradford
Percentage Owned in CBS Leagues: 51%
Why Grab Him? Suddenly, the Rams are in the NFC West race after another solid showing by their star rookie. Bradford threw for 289 yards and two scores against the horrid Seahawks' pass defense, and leads the Rams to Detroit Sunday.
One Week Fluke? Despite having one of the worst groups of receivers in the NFL at his disposal, Bradford has played with poise and showed continued growth early in the season. Don't be surprised if he follows up his performance in Week 4 with his first career 300-yard game against the Lions in Week 5.
Point Potential: Bradford is a solid option if your QB1 has a bye or a bad match-up. Look for him to total around 20 points in Week 5.
No. 6: Shaun Hill
Percentage Owned in CBS Leagues: 9%
Why Grab Him? Matthew Stafford is close to returning, meaning Hill's days under center are numbered. It might be a good idea to grab him while you still can. Sure, he has thrown seven interceptions against five touchdowns on the season, but his performance against the Packers in Week 4 was worth paying attention to. Hill finished 34-of-54 for 337 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, and even added a game-high 53 yards rushing.
One Week Fluke? Don't look for Hill to rack up nearly 400 yards of total offense against the Rams in Week 5, but he could put up solid numbers and help your team get a win. The Lions' have moved the ball very well at times this season, only to be held back by untimely penalties and turnovers.
Point Potential: Hill should be able to put up at least 15 points in Week 5, especially if he looks for Calvin Johnson as much as he did in Week 4 against the Packers.
No. 5: Lance Moore
Percentage Owned in CBS Leagues: 80%
Why Grab Him? If Moore is still available in your fantasy league, it's time to act before someone else does, and snag the veteran receiver. Despite being arguably the least talented member of the Saints' receiving corps, Moore has been one of the most productive. He has now caught touchdowns in each of the last two games and goes against the horrendous Cardinals' secondary in Week 5 with the Saints poised for an offensive explosion.
One Week Fluke? Drew Brees spreads the ball around, which makes it difficult to forecast Moore's output on a weekly basis. His match-up against the Cardinals should allow his third-consecutive strong game, but his numbers are likely to fluctuate as the season continues.
Point Potential: Moore won't rack up the yards, but he could find the end zone yet again. Look for anywhere between 7-10 points in Week 5.
No. 4: Brandon Pettigrew
Percentage Owned in CBS Leagues: 12%
Why Grab Him? No team has thrown to its tight ends more than the Lions this season, and Pettigrew has made the most of his numerous opportunities. The youngster has already caught 22 passes for 249 yards this season, and has totaled at least six catches in the last three games.
One Week Fluke? Not a chance. Pettigrew burned the Packers for eight catches in Week 4 and should get plenty of targets against the Rams in Week 4 and beyond.
Point Potential: The Lions have targeted Tony Scheffler frequently inside the red zone, which limits Pettigrew's scoring potential a bit. Still, the former Oklahoma State star should put up between 7-10 points this week.
No. 3: Ryan Torain
Percentage Owned in CBS Leagues: 41%
Why Grab Him? Clinton Portis was already on thin ice in Washington before leaving Sunday's game against the Eagles with a hamstring injury. That opened the door for Torain, who finished with 18 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown. With Portis aging and the Redskins desperately searching for a replacement, Torain would be a great addition for fantasy owners.
One Week Fluke? The exact opposite of a one-week fluke, Torain might not put up great numbers against the Packers in Week 5, but his production should spike as the season continues. His burst and toughness should be enough to keep him in the lineup, regardless of Portis' health in the weeks ahead.
Point Potential: Green Bay has been much better against the run than the pass this season, so Torain isn't likely to exceed eight points in Week 5. Get him while you still still can.
No. 2: Jabar Gaffney
Percentage Owned in CBS Leagues: 73%
Why Grab Him? In case you haven't noticed, the Broncos have become one of the most prolific passing teams in the NFL this season. With the running games struggling, Denver has leaned on Kyle Orton and his four solid receivers, including Jabar Gaffney. The veteran caught five passes for 51 yards, all coming in the second half in the Week 4 win at Tennessee.
One Week Fluke? Not likely, although the overall depth at receiver could limit his chances on a weekly basis. If Gaffney gets enough targets, he will produce.
Point Potential: Playing the Ravens would normally be a bad match-up for Gaffney, but this week could be different. Look for the possession receiver to tally at least eight points this week, making him a solid WR3 option.
No. 1: Kevin Kolb
Percentage Owned in CBS Leagues: 44%
Why Grab Him? Michael Vick hasn't been officially ruled out for Week 5, but his rib cartilage injury will likely keep him out this week and possibly beyond. With Kolb available in many leagues, it would be a good idea for fantasy owners to snag him to bolster depth in the next few weeks.
One Week Fluke? Rib injuries are often a question of pain tolerance, so Vick's prognosis is difficult to predict. The Eagles are likely to turn Kolb loose against the 49ers, giving him a chance to put up big numbers in Week 5.
Point Potential: The 49ers haven't been great against the pass this season, so Kolb could easily rack up 20 points if he gets the start. Vick is currently listed as questionable, but all signs are pointing to him being held out of Sunday night's game.