It’s already Week 5 and it has been an interesting fantasy year, to say the least. With bye week and injury moves needing to be made let’s examine some of the week’s biggest and boldest, and how they affect your roster.
How much of fantasy football is luck versus skill? I am sure if you are not winning in your league right now you feel it is mostly luck. If you are winning then of course it is due to your crazy mad skills. The truth, as usual, lies somewhere in between. For example, a league that I am the commissioner of has been going for about 10 years now. I of course study like crazy for all my leagues. I watch lots of highlights and I talk football all week long throughout the whole season with everybody. I have been champion of this league twice in its history. In that same league we have a person who likes the camaraderie and is a good guy. He shows up most years with an outdated draft sheet or magazine, mispronounces player names and has to ask if certain players are still in the league. He has won the championship two times as well.
This shows that both luck and skill are at play in fantasy football. So how does this piece of information help you? Because you can’t win if you don’t make the playoffs, and though luck and skill both factor in the final results, the playoff spots are predominantly filled with skilled owners as opposed to lucky ones. To give yourself the best chance at the championship you need to keep informed of what is going on and make necessary roster moves, that way you can make the playoffs and give yourself a fighting chance.
So let’s study up on who is blowing up the waiver wires in Week 5. We’ll also take a look at who, on second thought, may need to stay on the waiver wire. Also, we’ll look at who is under the radar that you may need to give a second glance to?
As always, let’s start with Quarterbacks.
Week 5 has bye weeks in Detroit and Miami. It also has new injuries to Mitchell Trubisky, Josh Allen, Dontrelle Inman, T.J. Hockerson, Marlon Mack and Jarvis Landry. This, as well as previous injuries from this season, is most likely the reason you are here. The good news is there are still players out there on waivers worth looking at.
Case in point, Mason Rudolph sure looked strong on Monday night. Rudolph is available in 87% of leagues. He threw for 229 yards and 2 touchdowns with no interceptions. This was his best outing so far, by a long shot. Is he starting to get comfortable in the Steelers offense? Is it time we start to think about his as a viable starting fantasy QB?
On second thought, no. Rudolph looked great against a terrible Cincinnati team. He will have no such luck the next 2 weeks as he faces the Ravens and Chargers back-to-back. He will revert back to the sub 200-yard, couple of touchdowns, couple interceptions quarterback we know and love. Do not stake your claim in him if you have a quarterback need. Instead look to the state of Florida.
First up, Jameis Winston. The Tampa Bay QB is playing great football right now and is still 57% available in most leagues. Chew on this, Winston has thrown for 765 yards and 7 touchdowns in his last two games. If that is not production you want in your line-up then I don’t know what is. Last week against a very formidable Rams defense Winston threw for 385 yards and 4 touchdowns. If he can do that against the Rams he should be fine for you against most defenses. He has New Orleans and Carolina coming up which I would usually shy away from. However, the way he has been playing I think you need to pick him up. I also think you need to start him in Week 5.
Now, staying in Florida, let’s move across the state to the east side. Jacksonville is home to one awesomely mustached Gardner. Gardner Minshew II to be exact.
Minshew has been steadily coming along since he entered the league after Nick Foles went down earlier this season. Minshew is available in 86% of leagues and is all but guaranteed to give you 200+ yards and 2 touchdowns every game. On Sunday Minshew threw for 213 yards and 2 touchdowns against a stout Bronco’s defense. The next two games see him facing the Panthers and the Saints just like Winston.
They are both good picks. They both face the same teams the next 2 weeks and they are both hot right now. The only question is, which one do you trust more? If you can get Winston go with him. He has more experience and a couple of bigger targets. If you can’t, then Minshew will do just fine filling in for your injury or bye.
On to running back. Darrel Williams of the Kansas City Chiefs has had a couple of nice weeks in a row.
Williams is available in 55% of leagues and ran in two touchdowns on Sunday. He is on one of the hottest offenses in the NFL and is getting the ball at the goal line. It just makes sense to pick him up, right?
On second thought, no. Williams only got those touches because the other Williams, Damien, is a little banged up. The Chiefs are rolling right now and most likely figured they could take their time with Damien Williams since they have the other Williams and LeSean McCoy. That is where the problem lies. You can’t trust Darrel Williams as Damien Williams may be back at any time. Even if Damien is not back, Darrel is splitting backfield time with Shady in Week 5. Either way it is not situation you want to put your trust into with your starting line-up.
Ronald Jones does put you in a situation you can trust though. Jones had another solid day on Sunday with 70 yards rushing and a touchdown. He is also always good for a few catches as well. That makes 3 out of 4 weeks rushing for over 70 yards. He is very solid and slowly starting to take over the lions share from Peyton Barber. The Bucs are going to need him over the next few weeks as they are facing very formidable teams in the Saints and then Panthers. Jones is still available in 60% of leagues and looks to only be getting stronger as the year goes along. Pick him up and feel confident with him in your flex immediately.
A little further out there is Jeff Wilson Jr. of the 49ers. He is currently available in 92% of leagues and has put together a couple of nice weeks. He has had two touchdowns in each game over the last two weeks. He too is getting the rock almost every time his team is knocking on the end zone door and that is a good problem to have. The bad problem he has is the backfield he has to share. So temper your expectations with Wilson but do not be afraid to ride that hot hand right now in Week 5. If the 49er’s want to give him the ball every time they get near the end zone then you should cash in while you can.