Week 5 Waiver Wire: Breakout Pickups, Targets and Tips for Fantasy Football

Maurice Moton@@MoeMotonFeatured ColumnistOctober 2, 2017

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 01:  Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans celebrates with Bruce Ellington #12 and Lamar Miller #26 after scoring on a one yard run in the second quarter against the Tennessee Titans at NRG Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Sunday's 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. NFL games go into the books, and two young quarterbacks will become hot waiver-wire pickups for Week 5.

For fantasy football owners disappointed in Pittsburgh Steelers signal-caller Ben Roethlisberger and Los Angeles Chargers passer Philip Rivers, invest in a trendy option.

Unfortunately, injuries will factor into future waiver-wire decisions. The league's No. 2 rusher went down with a non-contact knee injury. How should you compensate for the loss moving forward?

For owners looking for a boost on defense, an AFC East team with a revamped unit deserves your attention going into Week 5. How did a shocking victory on Sunday put one group on the fantasy football radar?

All owned percentages are based on Yahoo leagues.


Week 5 Waiver-Wire Pickups 


Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans (32 percent owned)

Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (22 percent owned)

Trevor Siemian, Denver Broncos (50 percent owned)


Must Grab: Deshaun Watson

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 01:  Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans rushes with the ball as Karl Klug #97 of the Tennessee Titans pursues in the second quarter at NRG Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien's switch at quarterback has lit a fire under the offense. Quarterback Deshaun Watson helped put up 57 points on the Tennessee Titans defense in Week 4 with four touchdown passes and one rushing score.

More importantly, Watson gained another component to the offense in wide receiver Will Fuller, who caught two touchdown passes in his season debut against the Titans. Wideout DeAndre Hopkins recorded his first 100-yard game, which indicates a rapport that's developing between the rookie signal-caller and his top pass-catcher.

Yahoo managers have been hesitant in picking up the new starter under center in Houston—only 31 percent of owners have Watson on their rosters. After consecutive performances, which netted 56.86 combined points, it's time to pick him up.


Running Backs

Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints (45 percent owned)

Latavius Murray, Minnesota Vikings (14 percent owned)

Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals (19 percent owned)


Must Grab: Latavius Murray 

The biggest injury news from Week 4 centered around the Minnesota Vikings, who lost running back Dalvin Cook to a knee injury.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero, the initial diagnosis shows a near complete ACL tear:

Even if the follow-up MRI shows otherwise, Cook owners need to handcuff the next man up. After the rookie ball-carrier went down, running back Latavius Murray handled the majority load. The veteran tailback finished with seven carries for 21 yards and two catches for eight yards. 

Murray doesn't have the dynamic ability to replace Cook's production. The Florida State product led the Vikings in yards from scrimmage (370) going into their Week 4 contest with the Detroit Lions. However, the 27-year-old running back will have every opportunity to hold the feature role in the backfield.

In 2016, Murray accumulated 788 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns in 14 games as an Oakland Raider while splitting carries with two rookie ball-carriers. He's owned in 13 percent of all leagues and should become a popular pickup for Week 5.


Wide Receivers

Devin Funchess, Carolina Panthers (24 percent owned)

Will Fuller, Houston Texans (30 percent owned)

Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams (43 percent owned)


Must Grab: Devin Funchess 

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 01:  Devin Funchess #17 of the Carolina Panthers scores a touchdown during the third quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Devin Funchess played tight end for two seasons at Michigan before switching to wide receiver for his junior year. Ironically, it seems like he'll gobble up Greg Olsen's targets as he recovers from a broken foot on injured reserve. 

In the first full game without Olsen, Funchess saw 10 targets but only hauled in four passes for 58 yards. In Week 4 against the New England Patriots, he registered seven catches for 70 yards and two touchdowns on nine targets. At the least, he's on quarterback Cam Newton's radar. 

Remember, Olsen led the Panthers in receiving targets in each of the past two seasons. Someone has to soak up the opportunities with the three-time Pro Bowler on the sideline. Funchess falls into the hot waiver-wire add category. 


Tight Ends 

Tyler Kroft, Cincinnati Bengals (1 percent owned) 

Evan Engram, New York Giants (46 percent owned)

O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (18 percent owned)


Must Grab: Tyler Kroft 

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 01: Tyler Kroft #81 of the Cincinnati Bengals makes a touch down catch in the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller /Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

On Sunday, quarterback Andy Dalton replaced Tyler Eifert with Tyler Kroft as a safe target against the Cleveland Browns. The fill-in tight end caught six passes for 68 yards and two touchdowns in Week 4. 

Kroft put together his breakout performance against the Browns' subpar pass defense that ranked No. 20 in the league after three games, but he tied for the most targets (seven) with wideout A.J. Green. Clearly, Dalton feels comfortable throwing to the third-year tight end.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Eifert will miss multiple weeks with a back injury:

For owners looking for a short-term option at the position, Kroft certainly fits the need as a volume target in the Bengals' simplified offense under Bill Lazor.



Buffalo Bills (27 percent owned) 

Washington Redskins (33 percent owned)

Detroit Lions (35 percent owned)


Must Grab: Buffalo Bills

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 01: Head coach Sean McDermott of the Buffalo Bills during the first half against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C.  Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills held the red-hot Atlanta Falcons to 17 points on Sunday. Sure, many will add context about wide receiver Julio Jones' hip injury, but the Falcons have several offensive weapons on the perimeter and the backfield.

Head coach Sean McDermot's group held Atlanta to seven points in the second half and pulled out a victory on the road against the defending NFC champions partially due to the defense.

Before traveling to Atlanta, Buffalo's defense stifled previous opponents. In standard scoring Yahoo leagues, the Bills defense has scored double-digits in two games and no fewer than eight points in each of the four contests. As a former defensive coordinator for the Panthers, McDermott has injected the same toughness in the Bills defensive unit.



Jake Elliott, Philadelphia Eagles (4 percent owned)

Harrison Butker, Kansas City Chiefs (3 percent owned)

Greg Zuerlein, Los Angeles Rams (37 percent owned)


Must Grab: Jake Elliott

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 24: Kamu Grugier-Hill #54 and Mychal Kendricks #95 of the Philadelphia Eagles carry Jake Elliott #4 of the Philadelphia Eagles off the field after the game against the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field on September 24
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jake Elliott nailed a game-winning 61-yard field goal against the New York Giants in Week 3. In that contest, he missed one attempt but converted on two kicks, which included the final try.

In Week 4, Elliott made all four field-goal attempts with two extra points. Over the past two weeks, he's scored 30 points. As the bye weeks come up, you can replace a kicker on an off day for the Eagles rookie.


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