The virus hit the NFL this week as if Oprah was screaming, you get Covid, and you get Covid, EVERYBODY gets Covid. The waiver wire may be your only hope for Week 5. I’m not the first fantasy football pundit to say that this may have been the craziest week of fantasy football ever in the history of the game and I certainly won’t be the last. Tack on to all the crazy Covid results the normal amount of early-season injuries and breakouts and your head must be spinning. I know mine is, and I do this for a living. So let’s take a big step back, take a deep breath and see what the waiver wires have to offer us in Week 5. As always, let’s start with..
Teddy Bridgewater turned heads on Sunday when he threw for 276 yards and two touchdowns. He was a very respectable 26-for-37 and ran for 32 yards and a touchdown as well. Bridgewater is still available in 90 percent of leagues. That puts him in perfect contention to be one of the first quarterbacks off of waivers in Week 5.
On second thought.. no.
Bridgewater had a great day, no doubt about it. Let’s not go crazy, however. He might even look more interesting because he faces a nice matchup in Week 5 against Atlanta. Don’t fall for it. Bridgewater more than doubled his touchdown output this week alone. In the first three games he only has had two touchdowns. His production has been low this year for a number of reasons. Until he works those out, for more than one anomalous week, stay away from him. If you have a need at the quarterback position you should instead look towards Jacksonville.
Gardner Minshew, who is available in 54 percent of leagues, is a quarterback deserving of your interest.
Minshew passed for 351 yards and two touchdowns; he added 9 yards rushing as well. Look, this one is simple. Jacksonville is going to be playing from behind all year and Minshew will put up quality numbers because of it. He is an easy choice for any owner who has a need at the quarterback position. If Minshew is not on your waiver wire then at 85 percent, maybe Derek Carr is.
Carr continued a very nice season on Sunday with 311 yards passing and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 20 yards. Carr has been playing out of his mind this season. He completed more than 72 percent of his passes again; he’s done that four times in a row. He plays Kansas City in Week 5 which could mean a negative game script and many more points. Go get him. You won’t regret it.
The running back position saw a lot of injuries this week and that is what is going to feed the Week 5 waiver wire for running backs. Sony Michel was placed on Injured Reserve this week, which opened the door for Damien Harris. Harris is available in 84 percent of leagues. He carried the ball 17 times for 100 yards with a long run of 41 yards. This is a tasty bite of waiver wire running back help into which owners should dive.
On second thought.. no.
Harris looked nice on Monday night and Sony Michel is out for the foreseeable future. However, let’s not forget that he is a running back in a Bill Belichick offense. Just last week Rex Burkhead went crazy and I am sure many owners scrambled to get him. You can’t trust a Belichick running back, so look elsewhere for help in that position.
D’Ernest Johnson is available in 100 percent of leagues and is maybe the most interesting claim for Week 5. Johnson carried 13 times for 95 yards during Sunday’s 49-38 win over the Cowboys. Nick Chubb left the game with an injury and is now on Injured Reserve. It is obvious that Kareem Hunt is going to be the man in Cleveland. However, just like there was room in that backfield for Chubb and Hunt, there is now room for Hunt and Johnson. This was proven on Sunday when he carried the ball more than Hunt and there is no reason to think this was an anomaly. Johnson should be solid for you from Week 5 on, potentially for the rest of the season.
At 91 percent available Justin Jackson is a high risk-reward running back to consider grabbing off the Week 5 waivers. Like Chubb, Austin Ekeler sustained an injury and will also be gone for multiple weeks. Rookie Joshua Kelley got more carries in the game but he also had a fumble. Jackson, who just got back from two weeks of injury, got nine carries and caught two balls out of the backfield. Jackson is a quality vet who will probably take over the backfield until Ekeler comes back. If he does, you can have him for a low price and he’ll give you great value.