Fantasy Football: Eight waiver wire pickups for Week 5


Fantasy Football: Eight waiver wire pickups for Week 5

Every football season, Fantasy Football owners deal with players getting hurt. It's part of the game.

But all football owners might be on the injury report this week with an eye injury after witnessing this on Sunday Night Football.

There are two concerns with this: Why is he showing off his belly at the game? And (maybe more importantly) why did he do it when his team (Saints) were kicking what would've been the game-winning field goal?

So many questions and not enough answers.

[MORE: Get the latest Fantasy Football coverage here]

Anyway, let's move on to this week's waiver wire gets to help you battle through some bye weeks. 

1. Tavon Austin, WR, STL

Was Week 4 finally (FINALLY!!) Tavon Austin's breakout game in the NFL? I've liked this guy since the Rams made him the eighth overall pick in 2013, but he's failed to live up to any sort of threat as a receiver. His game-breaking speed helps out in the return game (three punt TDs, including one already this season) and ground game (four rushing TDs, including one this year). His six-catch, 96-yard, 2-tuddie game in Week 4 was fantastic, but amazingly enough, it was only his second career game with more than 47 receiving yards. Last season, he did not break the 35-yard threshold in any game. Temper your expectations, but Austin has the talent to be a valubale fantasy asset and he's absolutely worth owning for right now, just maybe don't start him yet until he proves it. (Tony Andracki)

2. Leonard Hankerson, WR, ATL

We finally found the No. 2 target in Atlanta and it's not Roddy White (anyone know where he is?). It's Hankerson and he's now worth owning. A strong Week 4 performance should preview what will be a productive rest of the season for Hankerson. The Falcons offense is #FireEmoji right now and it hasn't shown any signs of slowing down. With defenders gravitating towards Julio Jones on every snap, Hankerson should get a lot of 1-on-1 looks and Ryan will find him. (John "The Professor" Paschall)

3. Duke Johnson, RB, CLE

It's gotten to that point of the season where everyone is getting desperate to find running backs. Bye weeks certainly a factor in that but also some guys just aren't effective. Everyone in Cleveland wanted Johnson to be "the guy" and it looks like the light may have finally turned on for the rookie. He wasn't quite as dangerous rushing but he was very productive in the passing game. He is a great add for PPR leagues and he should look to get more carries going forward in the Browns offense. (Paschall)

4. Ronnie Hillman, RB, DEN

This one will sting for CJ Anderson owners. Hillman looks to be the better and more effective runner so far in the Broncos offense. Gary Kubiak won't avoid the run and with Peyton Manning's arm still a major concern and winter coming (God, I miss Game of Thrones), Hillman will get the rock more. The balance of power in the Broncos backfield looks to be shifting towards Hillman. (Paschall)

5. Kamar Aiken, WR, BAL

Not even the offensive guru Marc Trestman can make this Ravens offense better. It's tough to watch at times, although Justin Forsett's Thursday night game was pretty great. But with Steve Smith out, who will Joe Flacco throw the ball to? Aiken seems to be that guy by process of elimination. Going against the Browns, Aiken may be a decent emergency FLEX play. (Paschall)

6. Gary Barnidge, TE, CLE

Who is this guy? The Raiders defense allowed us to finally learn his name and the Josh McCown-Barnidge connection (never thought I'd write that in a million years) stayed hot in San Diego. The Ravens defense has been surprisingly awful and McCown is hot right now. He's not a bad backup tight end or emergency start this week. (Paschall)

7. Ted Ginn Jr, WR, CAR

Ginn isn't going to win you any PPR leagues, but he's far and away the only receiver worth owning in Carolina right now. Ginn is coming off a two-tuddie game (albeit with only 2 catches and 18 yards total) and is catching less than half of his targets on the season, but his 25 targets are almost double the next Panthers receiver (Devin Funchess with 13) and Ginn is always a threat to break off a big play with his speed. (Andracki)

8. Stefon Diggs, WR, MIN

Deep sleeper alert! I love dropping these at the end of our waiver wire posts. But seriously, Diggs might be what we thought Charles Johnson might be. I know it's only one game, but Teddy Bridgewater went to him often and was successful. He will probably receive more playing time going forward but is still a major boom-or-bust pickup. But when Diggs starts doing well, remember where the hype train started. (Paschall)


Trey Burton, Adrian Amos earn Bears’ top grades from Pro Football Focus for Week 7


Trey Burton, Adrian Amos earn Bears’ top grades from Pro Football Focus for Week 7

The Bears were not at their best against the New England Patriots on Sunday. They made plenty of mistakes on all three phases and gave Tom Brady too many opportunities to control the game.

It wasn’t all bad from Chicago, though. Trey Burton emerged as a new favorite weapon of Mitchell Trubisky, and the tight end was the Bears’ highest-graded player in the game by Pro Football Focus.

Burton had a career high 11 targets, nine catches and 126 yards with a touchdown, giving Trubisky a 144.7 passer rating when targeting his top tight end.

Seven of Burton’s targets and six of his catches traveled 10 or more yards in the air, according to PFF.

Defensively, safety Adrian Amos led the pack with a 74.6 overall grade. He did not miss a tackle after missing a career-high five last week, and he allowed only one catch for eight yards against the Patriots.

On the bottom of the scale, outside linebacker Leonard Floyd received the second-lowest grade of his career (38.9 overall) for his performance. He did not record any pressure on the quarterback in 13 pass rushing snaps, and he allowed two catches for 13 yards and a touchdown in coverage against running back James White.

Wide receiver Allen Robinson had a career-low grade as well at 44.9 overall. He was clearly limited by his groin injury, targeted five times with one catch for four yards and a dropped pass.

Overall, the Bears were able to stick with one of the top teams in the AFC while also leaving a lot of room for improvement. It’s a step in the right direction from where Chicago was in recent seasons.

NFL Power Rankings Week 8: Jags, Eagles, Bears all see stock fall

USA Today

NFL Power Rankings Week 8: Jags, Eagles, Bears all see stock fall

Take a look over the NFC landscape and try to find me a team that can compete with the Rams. 

Packers? Held back by Rodgers' knee and Rodgers' coach. Saints? Might not even win their own division. Washington? Does Alex Smith really scare anyone in the playoffs? 

The Rams have one of the easier paths to the Championship Round/Super Bowl that we've seen in some time. Will it likely stay that way? Probably not. But there's a difference between parity and mediocrity and right now the NFC is toeing the line HARD. 

Outside the NFC's "elite", how did your team do this week? 

You can take a look here and see where they landed.