Let’s hope everyone survived the killing that was the NFL week four bye week. With marque fantasy players like Peyton Manning and Marshawn Lynch on bye, there were more than likely a few busted lineups out there.
But not to worry this week, as the only teams on byes are the Miami Dolphins and the Oakland Raiders. Let’s be honest, there’s no one on either of these teams that can’t be replaced, especially for one week. Here are my week five waiver wire pickups.
Eli Manning, New York Giants: Manning is the hot quarterback right now, with last week’s “hot quarterback of the week” being Washington’s Kirk Cousins. Cousins imploded on Thursday night, throwing three picks and losing a fumble.
All we can do is hope the same doesn’t happen with Manning this week.
The younger Manning has a history of being his biggest enemy, and certainly has potential for a Cousins-like performance this week. Everyone knows Manning had regressed last year with an astounding 27 picks, and had a new offense implemented this year. Despite all of that, Manning made it on this list simply because of the match up, with the New York Giants playing the poor defense of the Atlanta Falcons.
The Falcons have the 13th-worst defense against quarterbacks this year, and also give up the most fantasy points to running backs. In fact, the only running back that didn’t post at least ten points against the Atlanta defense this year is Khiry Robinson from New Orleans, who is listed as the third back on the Saints’ depth chart. If you go back to all the running backs that torched the Falcons’ defense, you have double-digit outings from Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas, Giovani Bernard, Jeremy Hill, Bobby Rainey, Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon, all who are promising backs, but none who are elite.
This gives room for Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams to potentially run wild, at least early against the Falcons. The Falcons may have to load the box to stop the Giants’ rushing attack, giving Manning some favorable coverages to work with. Combine the lack of pass rush by the Falcons (three sacks in four games) and that Eli, in the past two games, has a completion percentage of 73 percent and a 6:1 TD:INT ratio, look for Manning to give you a good fantasy game.
Other waiver wire options at QB: Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles, Alex Smith and Kyle Orton
Justin Forsett, Baltimore Ravens: This might be the most unpredictable backfield in the NFL, even with Ray Rice not around. But if someone had to take a guess, Forsett might be the best bet in week five. Forsett has proven to be the most consistent back for the Ravens thus far, as he is the only Baltimore back with double-digit fantasy points in every contest so far, despite not being the lead back every week.
Everything points to Forsett getting the bulk of the carries against the Colts, as former starter Bernard Pierce was seemingly a healthy scratch last Sunday. Lorenzo Taliaferro was used as a change-of-pace back to Forsett last week, and did manage to score in back-to-back weeks now, providing a slight decrease in Forsett’s value.
If Forsett is the lead back Sunday, his match up is a nice one. The Colts have given up a touchdown to every starter at running back this season, except Toby Gerhart, who only had nine carries in a blowout loss two weeks ago. Until something changes, Forsett is the most dependable back on the waiver wire.
Other waiver wire options at RB: Jerick McKinnon, Bishop Sankey, Andre Williams, Isaiah Crowell and Lorenzo Taliaferro
Eddie Royal, San Diego Chargers: We’ve certainly seen this from Eddie Royal before, as Royal might hold the “Streakiest Player in Fantasy” award.
Royal might be one of the streakiest fantasy players out there, but when he’s hot, he can help your fantasy team greatly. Royal is on fire right now, catching four touchdowns in the last two games en route to back-to-back 20-point fantasy weeks. Most importantly, Royal has been targeted at least six times in all of San Diego’s contests this year, and faces the 4th-worst defense against fantasy wide receivers this year. Royal is worthy of adding in most leagues and a start in almost any format this week.
Other waiver wire options at WR: Brian Quick, Andrew Hawkins and Marvin Jones
Larry Donnell, New York Giants: If you missed on Kansas City’s Travis Kelce last week, this is the guy to get. In fact, this might be the best long-term fantasy option available.
Donnell has made himself the Giants’ number one option in the red zone. Donnell already has four touchdowns on the year, including a three-touchdown performance last Thursday in a blowout win over Washington. Donnell has 31 targets this year, tied for fourth-most in the league with Greg Olsen. Donnell is only behind Jimmy Graham (42), Martellus Bennett (37) and Delanie Walker (32) in targets. For tight ends, targets and red zone chances are everything, and Donnell is putting up high numbers in both of those categories. Add him while you can and insert him into your lineup.
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