Week 5 begins the part of the season in which we really start to figure out who the teams and players are in the NFL. Of course there are still some outliers, hello Miami, who are you? For the most part though, we’ve got a good idea at this point about which players are going to give you what from week-to-week.
What we can not see or plan for are the many injuries or hold outs that have plagued us so far this season.
With the multiple Running Backs that are banged up going into Week 5 as well as the Tight Ends that suffered gruesome injuries and the Quarterbacks that are losing their positions, there seems to be a lot of need for the waiver wires this week. So let’s dive in a take a look at what the wire is offering us in Week 5, and as always, let’s start with Quarterbacks.
C.J. Beathard showed some promise this week. He had a solid game against the Chargers throwing for 298 yards and 2 touchdowns. As this was his first outing, and you can assume the 49ers are going to be chasing points often this season, it makes sense that many are thinking about grabbing him off of waivers this week. He is available in 98% of leagues, but if you take a a closer look you’ll see that he may not be the best selection this week for your quarterback position. Beathard may have left many owners optimistic this last week, but his previous games last year and his current team this year would point to a quarterback that is going to struggle to put points on the board. In the majority of his starts last year he did not score more than one touchdown and had at least one interception. His offense this year did not really improve in the off season, if you need a quarterback you’d be better looking toward Baltimore.
Joe Flacco is still available in 84% of leagues. This seems odd as he went into this last week at the 14th ranked quarterback in the NFL and then this week he threw for 363 yards and 2 touchdowns. Flacco should find himself currently in the Top-10 in quarterback’s this week and yet he is still available in most leagues. The Ravens quarterback is solid and steady. He most likely has the highest floor of any quarterback that you have available in your league and is also able to give you big games more than just occasionally.
Next on the schedule is Cleveland and Flacco is poised for a very nice Week 5, if you need help in this position he is by far your best bet right now. If Flacco is not available then take a look at Marcus Mariota. Mariota is available in 80% of leagues and seems to be back and healthy. When Mariota has been healthy during his career he has always been a quarterback with a fairly high floor as well as a fairly high ceiling.
He typically can give you good points even in bad games due to the fact that he will give you ground yards. Couple that with the fact that he often throws very well and you have yourself a quality fantasy starting quarterback. You could not ask for a better Week 5 as Mariota and the Titans go against the absolutely pathetic Buffalo Bills. The Bills have been nothing more than an open ATM for fantasy owners looking to cash in this season. This makes Mariota a must have for Week 5.
Ito Smith is looking strong and running hard for those of you looking for a running back. Because of this I can see why there has been lots of talk about Smith being a big pick this week on the waiver wire. The problem with Smith is that even though he is available in 98% of leagues and has been getting more touches lately and making the most of them, he is still the rookie running back on a team with two great running backs that are already in a committee. His touches have been coming because Devonta Freeman has been injured. Freeman is close to coming back and Tevin Coleman has had no problem holding down the fort in Freeman’s absence. Again, Smith looks good and could perform great if given the opportunity but it just doesn’t look like he is going to be getting the touches necessary to warrant a spot on a fantasy roster.
A running back who did get touches this last week was Mike Davis of the Seattle Seahawks.
Filling in for an injured Chris Carson, Davis ran for 101 yards and 2 touchdowns and added 4 catches for 23 yards against Arizona on Sunday. Davis sits in a tricky position as it looks like Carson may be coming back this week. The good news is that Davis is a strong, capable running back and Pete Carroll has shown in the past that he likes to roll with the “hot hand”, and right now Davis’s hand is as hot as it gets. If you have a need at running back it looks like Davis may be the best and most profitable pick up for Week 5. He is available in 99% of leagues and should be considered a week to week play until you get a better idea of how Carroll is going to use him long term.
Another strong option is Nick Chubb for the Browns.
In the OT loss to the Raiders this last week Chubb put up 105 yards and two touchdowns on just three carries. Normally I would not suggest a running back with so few touches but Chubb was touted all pre-season by coaches and players and with his performance as of lately it seems obvious that he has and will earn more touches going forward. With more touches he could be seriously dangerous and you could have him in 85% of leagues currently. It would be a very wise pick-up for sure.