Nyheim Hines

Fantasy football waiver wire: Target ex-49er Vance McDonald in Week 5

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Fantasy football waiver wire: Target ex-49er Vance McDonald in Week 5

Whether your fantasy-football league crowns a champion in Weeks 16 or 17, teams are already starting to separate themselves. 

Winless teams could find themselves trailing playoff spot by two, three, or even four games, and the clock is ticking with nine weeks before the playoffs tend to start. Teams at the top, then, have a real opportunity to separate themselves from the pack. 

But no matter where you sit, finding capable players on the waiver wire is vital during the dog days of the fantasy football season. Here's who you should target ahead of Week 5. 

Nyheim Hines (14.5 percent of ESPN leagues, 13 percent of Yahoo leagues)

Hines exploded in Week 4, despite only rushing for 10 yards. He caught nine passes for 63 yards, and also caught two touchdowns. The rookie out of North Carolina State also tied for the team-lead in targets (11). 

Through four games, Hines has been targeted 26 times, and he's caught no fewer than five passes in three out of four games so far. That makes Hines an intriguing option in PPR leagues, but a touchdown-dependent one in non-PPR setups. 

Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars QB (Owned in 18.5 percent of ESPN leagues, 32 percent of Yahoo leagues)

We can't believe it either, but Bortles has been one of the better fantasy quarterbacks this season. He bounced back from a down week against the Tennessee Titans with 388 passing yards and two touchdowns, and his only blemish against the New York Jets on Sunday was an interception. 

Picking up Bortles for Week 5 could put your fantasy team in a good place, especially if you have one of the many big-name QBs who has struggled so far in 2018. With a matchup against a porous Kansas City Chiefs pass defense, Bortles is a great streaming option if you're looking for an improved signal-caller. 

Dede Westbrook (12.7 percent of ESPN leagues, 17 percent of Yahoo leagues)

Westbrook benefitted from Bortles' big day. He hauled in a team-high nine catches (on a team-high 13 targets) for 130 yards and scored two touchdowns. Westbrook led the Jaguars in total targets for the second time in four weeks, and has finished no worse than second among Jacksonville wideouts in targets every week.

He's the No. 2 wide receiver in a pass-happy offense, and has a very favorable matchup in Week 4 against the Chiefs. Mike Evans, Desean Jackson, and Allen Robinson are all off during Week 5, and Westbrook offers plenty of upside in their absence. 

Vance McDonald, Pittsburgh Steelers TE (31.3 percent of ESPN leagues, 43 percent of Yahoo leagues) 

We swear we're not just watching the AFC South. It would have been hard for McDonald to top his viral stiff arm, but the former 49ers tight end followed it up with a solid performance nonetheless. He caught five passes for 62 yards, but a fumble prevented him from hitting double-digit points in PPR leagues for the second straight week. Injuries at the position make that blemish easy to overlook. 

Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 4, and Rob Gronkowski is banged up on a short week. McDonald's gotten more targets than teammate and Week 1 stud Jesse James each of the last two weeks, so he's a solid option if you're looking to ride the hot hand at a volatile position.