Loading scores...
Waiver Wired
Sponsored By

Waiver Wire: Week 5

by John Daigle
Updated On: October 7, 2020, 1:33 am ET

Welcome to the Week 5 edition of Waiver Wired for the 2020 season. With bye weeks officially underway, we'll diligently sift through each position to ensure fantasy players are covered for the Packers and Lions in every format ranging from 12-team re-draft leagues to 16-team multi-FLEX lineups.

As a refresher, The Drop List consists of players who are rostered in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues and are no longer must-have assets, recommended additions are available in over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, the Watch List contains in-depth notes on fringe waiver adds, and Deep Cuts includes player notes on those rostered in five percent or fewer of Yahoo leagues.


Editor's Note: Drafting is only half the battle. Dominate all season long with our Season Pass! Use our NEW Start/Sit Tool, Trade Analyzer, Consensus Rankings, Projections and more on your way to a championship! Click here for more! Use promo code DAIGLE10 for 10% off!


The Drop List

QB: Carson Wentz, Baker Mayfield

RB: Mark Ingram, J.K. Dobbins, D’Andre Swift, Sony Michel, Jordan Howard, Jeff Wilson

WR: Michael Gallup, Jarvis Landry

TE: Austin Hooper

We are expanding The Drop List (despite the ensuing vitriol) so that fantasy managers can receive a hearty pat on the back and affirmation that the player they’re considering dropping can, in fact, be shed if necessary. I wouldn’t personally cut Michael Gallup — he played a receivers-high 67-of-82 snaps and has a weekly ceiling I prefer to chase — but on shorter benches where floors are being prioritized: Why not? Amari Cooper (9.4 air yards per target) and CeeDee Lamb (9.0) are being peppered with shallower opportunity whereas Gallup is being asked to haul in targets at the league’s third-highest range downfield (17.4). Those types of volatile (and unfortunately for Gallup, limited) targets clearly paint a boom/bust performance for him weekly...Mark Ingram hasn't handled double-digit touches since the season opener, getting out-carried by Gus Edwards in two of Baltimore's last three games. Both J.K. Dobbins and Ingram are unusable right now. I still prefer stashing the rookie since he's at least averaging 6.8 yards per touch when he is involved — something we should expect more of down the stretch...The Browns scored 49 points in a game Baker Mayfield passed for 165 yards, 48 of which Landry accounted for. Both can be dropped without looking back...Swift is averaging the 35th-most fantasy points per game at his position and couldn't be started post-dud in Week 4. To be clear, his usage is still trending in the right direction as he's run 14 routes and played 34% of Detroit's snaps in 3-of-4 games. But if you need his roster spot to avoid an egg in Week 5, it's possible that he'll still be waiting on waivers for you next week.


Overall Top 5

1. Malcolm Brown
2. Chase Edmonds
3. Justin Jackson
4. Tee Higgins
5. Damien Harris

For those looking to roster the best available player(s) regardless of position, the rankings above take into account every factor from the positional lists minus players’ actual positions. These are listed in the precise order I would prioritize waiver claims in Week 5. Adjust accordingly for what you need on your roster — touches, high-upside bench stashes, targets, one-week spot-starters, etc.



1. Justin Herbert
2. Gardner Minshew
3. Kirk Cousins
4. Teddy Bridgewater
5. Daniel Jones

Running Backs

Joshua Kelley rostered in 55 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 add if available.

1. Malcolm Brown
2. Chase Edmonds
3. Justin Jackson
4. Damien Harris
5. Ke’Shawn Vaughn
6. D’Ernest Johnson

Wide Receivers

1. Tee Higgins
2. Laviska Shenault
3. Olamide Zaccheaus
4. Hunter Renfrow
5. Darnell Mooney

6. Gabriel Davis
7. Zach Pascal
8. Tre’Quan Smith

Tight Ends

Dalton Schultz rostered in 52 percent of Yahoo leagues. No. 1 add if available.

1. Robert Tonyan
2. Eric Ebron
3. Logan Thomas
4. Darren Fells

Defense/Special Teams

1. Arizona Cardinals
2. Carolina Panthers
3. Dallas Cowboys
4. Miami Dolphins


1. Rodrigo Blankenship
2. Daniel Carlson
3. Stephen Gostkowski




1. Justin Herbert, Chargers — Rostered in 16 percent of Yahoo Leagues (Suggested 3-5% FAAB Bid)

Even in losing Austin Ekeler (hamstring) on Los Angeles’ third drive, Herbert dropped back and averaged 11.2 yards per attempt against Tampa Bay’s No. 4 pass defense DVOA from the second quarter on. The Saints’ secondary (and Janoris Jenkins in particular) had already been highlighted as one to attack, and any lingering effects for Marshon Lattimore (hamstring) only emphasizes that approach. Derek Carr and Aaron Rodgers, for example, combined for 8.1 yards per attempt and six touchdowns with zero turnovers in Weeks 2 and 3.



2. Gardner Minshew, Jaguars — Rostered in 46 percent of Yahoo leagues (3-5%)

Ignore Minshew’s dud without D.J. Chark from Week 3 and you’ll find a quarterback who’s widely available despite tossing for 300 yards and/or three touchdowns in all three contests the latter has played. The Texans, who have yet to register a turnover on the year, have also ceded the third-most rushing attempts (25) to opposing quarterbacks. Vegas has incorrectly listed Jacksonville as +6 point road dogs in this matchup.

3. Kirk Cousins, Vikings — Rostered in 29 percent of Yahoo Leagues (3-5%)

Cousins is in the exact position that allowed Ryan Fitzpatrick to turn in a top-12 performance just last week. Although the Vikings continue leaning on the run at the league’s second-highest rate in neutral game script, Cousins is more than capable of spiking multiple touchdowns against Seattle’s secondary, which has allowed the league’s most passing yards through four games. The 32-year-old has also averaged the second-most yards per attempt (11.2) when throwing to his wide receivers — the same position Seattle has allowed to run rampant for a league-high 94 catches and 1,345 receiving yards (!).

4. Teddy Bridgewater, Panthers — Rostered in 19 percent of Yahoo Leagues (2-4%)

Ignore Vegas here: the Falcons should not be laying points (-2.5) to anyone, especially without S Damontae Kazee (torn Achilles’), CB A.J. Terrell (COVID), CB Darqueze Dennard (hamstring, IR), Keanu Neal (hamstring), Ricardo Allen (elbow), and rookie Jaylinn Hawkins (concussion) for the foreseeable future. Atlanta’s defense is currently no threat to Bridgewater and the Panthers’ passing attack.

5. Daniel Jones, Giants — Rostered in 34 percent of Yahoo Leagues (1%)

Jason Garrett’s offense is prehistoric, the Giants are riddled with injuries from the top on down, NFC East Jameis Winston has 21 fumbles in 17 career games, and the team is averaging a horrific 4.6 yards per play. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, note that Dallas’ defense has allowed 36.5 points a game and is on pace to cede the most points in franchise history by a whopping +148 margin (584 to 436). Jones is a thin option, but he’s certainly viable if stuck grasping for straws in place of Matthew Stafford or Rodgers this week.

Watch List: There is always the potential Ryan Fitzpatrick is benched for Tua Tagovailoa mid-game, but the bearded wonder has quietly finished as fantasy's QB10, QB7, and QB12 in Miami's last three games...Coach Kyle Shanahan is "hopeful" Jimmy Garoppolo returns to practice Wednesday ahead of the team's matchup against Miami, which has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. It's the perfect time to get ahead of Garoppolo's presence in 2-QB and SuperFLEX leagues since the Niners face the Dolphins, Rams and Seahawks in three of their next four games.



1. Malcolm Brown, Rams – Rostered in 37 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 8-10% FAAB Bid)

To be clear, Brown should have never been dropped after splitting snaps (34) with Darrell Henderson in Week 3. And although it wouldn’t be shocking to see Henderson again take the reins in this backfield against Washington, it’s clear that Brown at the very least will be sporadically involved moving forward. He’s the pickup with the highest floor among this bunch. Just don’t be surprised if Cam Akers (ribs) returns and creates an even bigger headache for everyone, fantasy players included.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

2. Chase Edmonds, Cardinals – Rostered in 35 percent of Yahoo leagues (10-12%)

Kenyan Drake out-touched Edmonds 13 to 9 Sunday — the closest margin the two have experienced all year. Although I’m personally buying low on Drake in 12-team leagues for his standout usage, only a fool would ignore Edmonds’ growing shadow with every poor performance from Drake on the ground. Edmonds' FAAB suggestion is higher than Brown's since he offers more long-term (and less short-term) value than the latter.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

3. Justin Jackson, Chargers – Rostered in 6 percent of Yahoo leagues (8-10%)

Jackson played a season-high 40% of Los Angeles’ snaps in place of Austin Ekeler (hamstring) Sunday. Jackson was still out-carried (9 to 6) and out-targeted (3 to 2) by Joshua Kelley, but the two essentially split this backfield’s routes run (13 to 9) down the middle. Even if he’s out-carried by the rookie weekly, Jackson can be slotted as a FLEX option with upside as long as he continues sharing the work on passing downs. Kelley’s two fumbles the past two weeks could also open the door for Jackson moving forward.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

4. Damien Harris, Patriots – Rostered in 31 percent of Yahoo leagues (8-10%)

Harris replaced Sony Michel (quad, IR) Monday night, handling the most carries (17) of any Patriots running back in any game this year. The issue is that he was used like Michel, carrying the ball on minimal snaps (23, 31%) while being completely overlooked (three routes) on passing downs. With no receiving upside to speak of and Cam Newton’s 11.7 carries per game set to return under center, Harris is simply a player to get by with until better options become available.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

5. Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Buccaneers – Rostered in 6 percent of Yahoo leagues (5-8%)

Vaughn’s outlook depends entirely on Leonard Fournette’s status (ankle, game-time call) for Thursday night. The rookie came in for LeSean McCoy (ankle) during Tampa Bay’s last two possessions and was favored over Ronald Jones in fruitful territory, seeing four opportunities inside the 10-yard line including the go-ahead touchdown to give the Bucs a 35-31 lead. If Fournette were ruled out, Vaughn would slide to the top of this list strictly as a one-week starter.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues if Leonard Fournette is ruled out

6. D’Ernest Johnson, Browns – Rostered in 3 percent of Yahoo leagues (3-5%)

Johnson came off the bench for Nick Chubb (knee) and handled a team-high 13 carries for 7.3 yards per attempt. The concern is that Johnson was only involved because Kareem Hunt, who got 11 carries, was absent from practice with a groin injury mid-week. And piecing those tea leaves together matters since Johnson would be unplayable against Pittsburgh’s and Indy’s top-five run defense DVOAs over the next two games if slated for a 70/30 split behind Hunt. Johnson should absolutely be added as insurance in leagues with deeper benches, but his perceived role and schedule isn’t worth breaking the bank over.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 14-team leagues



Watch List: Recall that Phillip Lindsay, who is set to return Sunday, out-carried Melvin Gordon 7-6 in the only three drives the two played together all year. Now is the time to sell high on Melvin since he's since handled 81.9% of Denver's running back touches without Lindsay the past three games.

Deep Cuts: Duke Johnson has only played under Hue Jackson and Bill O'Brien in his career. It isn't the worst idea to stash him ahead of his first game under Romeo Crennel and OC Tim Kelly, who is finally being allowed to do the job he was hired for in the first place...Coach Pete Carroll said he's "encouraged" by Rashaad Penny's (knee) progress but won't rush the 24-year-old back from injury. Penny is technically eligible to return behind Chris Carson in Week 7 against the 49ers...Anthony McFarland should be stashed over Benny Snell if attempting to prioritize James Conner's backup. Reminder McFarland came off the bench in his debut over Snell, who fumbled in Week 2, before the Steelers were forced into their bye week. Having said that, it would still likely become a committee approach if Conner were injured...D'Ernest Johnson has received all the hype, but Dontrell Hilliard played just two fewer snaps on Sunday. Hilliard isn't startable in 14-team leagues, but he's the insurance to nab just in case Johnson fails in his perceived. backup role...Gus Edwards has out-carried Mark Ingram in two of Baltimore's last three games and could very well get 10-12 carries as the fourth-quarter closer against Cincinnati.



1. Tee Higgins, Bengals — Rostered in 33 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 15-18% FAAB Bid)

Higgins has run a route on 82% of Joe Burrow’s dropbacks the past two weeks, accruing a 20.7% target share behind Tyler Boyd (27.2%). Meanwhile A.J. Green’s target share (14.2%) and end zone opportunities (0) have depleted in that span. Cincinnati’s upcoming schedule against the Ravens and Colts is concerning, but Burrow’s 44.2 pass attempts per game offer a higher floor than most offenses.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 10-team leagues

2. Laviska Shenault, Jaguars – Rostered in 24 percent of Yahoo leagues (8-10%)

Shenault has averaged six targets per game in his last two starts, most recently recording a season-high 14.3 yards per target alongside D.J. Chark. With the Texans and Lions on deck in three of Jacksonville’s next four games, Shenault is a high-floor WR4 that can be plugged in during bye weeks.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

3. Olamide Zaccheaus, Falcons — Rostered in 2 percent of Yahoo Leagues (5-8%)

The broadcast broke the news at halftime that Julio Jones (hamstring) was activated as a "situational player" Monday night and thus wouldn't return for the second half. (It's since been reported that he may have re-aggravated his lingering soft tissue injury.) That allowed Zaccheaus to run 35 routes and see six targets for the second straight game. With a 19.4% target share the past two weeks, Zaccheaus is worth adding in competitive 12-team leagues since he could potentially spot-start for Julio against the Panthers, Vikings, and/or Lions over the next month of the season. Note that the Falcons have thrown the ball at the league's eighth-highest rate when leading and fourth-highest rate when either trailing or hanging around in neutral game script.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

4. Hunter Renfrow, Raiders – Rostered in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues (2-4%)

Renfrow has stacked 17 targets and a 23.1% target share without Henry Ruggs (hamstring) in Las Vegas’ last two games. With both Bryan Edwards (ankle) and Ruggs expected to be sidelined against the Chiefs, Renfrow should continue being leaned on underneath in the week’s second-highest implied total (57).

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team PPR leagues

5. Darnell Mooney, Bears – Rostered in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues (2-4%)

Mooney has quietly out-snapped (136 to 116) and out-targeted (17 to 13) Anthony Miller in each of Chicago’s last three games. The fifth-round rookie also flashed untapped upside with Nick Foles in Week 4, nearly matching Allen Robinson in both air yards (131 to 123) and targets (10 to 9) in the trio’s first start together. Mooney can confidently be started over Miller the rest of the way. 

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team PPR leagues

6. Gabriel Davis, Bills – Rostered in 2 percent of Yahoo leagues (2-4%)

Davis has either scored a touchdown or eclipsed 80 yards in three consecutive games. Putting in for the rookie now is simply a way to get ahead of Cole Beasley’s (foot) potential injury designation against the Titans.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

7. Zach Pascal, Colts – Rostered in 4 percent of Yahoo leagues (2-4%)

Pascal stepped in seamlessly for Parris Campbell (MCL) and Michael Pittman (calf), seeing a team-high eight targets (28.5% share) on 54 of the team’s 72 snaps. With few dependable options for Philip Rivers to look to, Pascal should be a mainstay from the slot.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

8. Tre’Quan Smith, Saints – Rostered in 27 percent of Yahoo leagues (2-4%)

Smith has played 92% of New Orleans’ snaps the past three games, tying Emmanuel Sanders with the second-most targets (17) on the team in that stretch. The issue is that Michael Thomas (ankle) was close to playing against the Lions and should be expected to suit up versus Los Angeles. Reminder Smith saw one target on 65% of the team’s snaps behind Thomas in Week 1.

Recommendation: Should be rostered in 12-team leagues

Watch List: Henry Ruggs was dropped in a majority of Yahoo leagues since coach Jon Gruden said he's "worried' about the rookie's ailing hamstring. Ruggs is worth stashing for top-heavy teams with a vacant IR slot since no other receiver on the wire offers the explosiveness he does when fully healthy...Monday night was the second time in the last three games Mecole Hardman started over Demarcus Robinson. The second-year speedster has actually out-scored Sammy Watkins 28.1 to 21.6 on 73 fewer snaps (178 to 105) since Week 2...Golden Tate has seen one fewer target than Darius Slayton without Sterling Shepard (toe) the past two games, but the veteran's pitiful 4.5 average depth of target limits his weekly ceiling. Slayton on the other hand is poised to explode against Dallas given his team-high 38.4% air yards share without Shepard...Christian Kirk returned to his usual pop-a-shot role against Carolina, averaging a team-high aDOT and scoring on his lone end zone target in the third quarter. When healthy, his role his similar to that of Michael Gallup's — a horrific floor coupled with a tantalizing ceiling. It's up to fantasy players whether they prefer to chase that type of volatile usage or shed it to waiver wires altogether...As expected, Greg Ward (4/38) flashed the highest floor among Philadelphia's wideouts with Travis Fulgham hauling in a 42-yard touchdown along the left sideline. Chances are Alshon Jeffery returns this week and usurps Fulgham, but it's possible Jeffery instead replaces John Hightower and the Eagles continue on without missing a beat. Ward is the only startable option among the group for his contraceptive (but easy to catch) targets...With Christian Kirk back in the mix, Andy Isabella ran the fourth-most routes (19) behind DeAndre Hopkins (34), Larry Fitzgerald (34), and Kirk (28). I'm comfortable stashing Isabella on deep 12-team rosters because his breakout is still real to me, dammit.

Deep Leagues: Tim Patrick saw a 25% target share against the Jets since both K.J. Hamler (hamstring) and Noah Fant (ankle) exited early. With Brett Rypien expected to make one more start, I can't imagine starting Patrick against Stephon Gilmore and New England's secondary...Damiere Byrd had led New England's wideouts in routes run prior to Monday night, so his performance against the Chiefs is considered an emergence rather than a surprise. Even so, fantasy players are better off taking a zero than starting anyone with Jarrett Stidham in Week 5...Do what you want with this information, but Mike Evans (ankle), Chris Godwin (hamstring), Scotty Miller (hip/groin), and Justin Watson (shoulder) were all sidelined for Tuesday's practice. Rookie Tyler Johnson and Cyril Grayson would be the pivots if all are unable to turn around for Thursday night.



1. Robert Tonyan, Packers — Rostered in 29 percent of Yahoo leagues (Suggested 10-12% FAAB Bid)

Note that Tonyan and the Packers are entering their Week 5 bye. Even so, that shouldn’t deter us from bidding accordingly for Tonyan’s services in TE premium or bonus leagues if trying to FLEX two at his position. For those simply looking to stream, Dalton Schultz (rostered in 52% of Yahoo leagues) and Eric Ebron (see below) are the preferred options, in that order. I even lean Schultz over Tonyan for the rest of the season since the latter totaled three targets and a 4.2% target share in Green Bay’s first two games and boosted marks of 11 and 17.3% the past two weeks without Davante Adams (hamstring).

2. Eric Ebron, Steelers — Rostered in 27 percent of Yahoo leagues (5-8%)

Ebron quietly ran a route on a season-high 81.3% of Ben Roethlisberger’s dropbacks in Week 3 against the Texans. Perhaps that was because Diontae Johnson exited early with a concussion, but even Ebron’s involvement from Week 2 — 12.2% target share, route run on 73.8% of the team’s dropbacks — would be worth chasing against an Eagles secondary that’s been exposed by Logan Thomas (4/37/1), Tyler Higbee (5/54/3) and George Kittle (15/183/1) through the first month of the season.

3. Logan Thomas,  Washington — Rostered in 26 percent of Yahoo leagues (3-5%)

Hello darkness, my old friend. Thomas’ season-low target share (8.8%) was the direct result of OC Scott Turner forcing the ball out of Dwayne Haskins’ hand for the league’s quickest time to throw (2.37 seconds) and shortest depth of target (4.9) as to eliminate poor decisions and sacks in Week 4 — an approach that could stick moving forward. But Thomas still qualifies as a usage-based streamer since he was in on a season-high 66-of-71 snaps (71%). Week 5 at the very least offers an up-tempo matchup with voluminous opportunity across from the Rams.

4. Darren Fells, Texans — Rostered in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues (1-2%)

Simply put, Fells played a season-high 84% of Houston’s offensive snaps against Minnesota since Jordan Akins (concussion) was injured mid-game. Jacksonville has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, slotting Fells as a hold-your-nose streamer if Akins is ruled out.

Looking Ahead: Mo Alie-Cox has been efficient the last two weeks (4/63/2), but the usage admittedly isn't there. Not only has he totaled 16 routes run in that span, he was third in the pecking order behind Jack Doyle (45 snaps) and Trey Burton (36 snaps) in the latter's first game back from injured reserve Sunday. I would actually look to sell Alie-Cox in re-draft leagues since he clearly can't score a touchdown every week on 2.5 targets per game...The peripherals are quietly there for Drew Sample, who has run a route on 65.2% of Joe Burrow's dropbacks without C.J. Uzomah (torn ACL) in Cincinnati's last two games. Sample's pedestrian 7.7% target share in that stint overshadows his team-high three red zone targets (and two end zone targets) since Week 3...Greg Olsen is probably due for positive regression since he has yet to score on an 18.3% target share and team-high four red zone targets this year. I would still start any of the ranked players above over him at the onesie position.

Deep Leagues: In Adam Trautman's first career start for Jared Cook (groin), the talented rookie went busto on 19-of-70 snaps and zero targets from Drew Brees. Josh Hill is the player to roster in 16-team formats if Cook misses any further time.



1. Arizona Cardinals – Rostered in 50 percent of Yahoo leagues

Joe Flacco is expected to start behind Pro Football Focus’ lowest graded O-line, which has permitted the second-most pressures (62) and hurries (46) through four games. Don’t overthink this one.

2. Carolina Panthers – Rostered in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues

The Panthers went from registering zero sacks through two games to stacking three (and four fumble recoveries) in its last two contests. Squaring off against Atlanta’s pass protection, which allowed four sacks to Green Bay’s league-worst pressure rate Monday night, makes for another enticing matchup as the Falcons continue shuffling players both in the trenches and at wideout due to injury.

3. Dallas Cowboys – Rostered in 26 percent of Yahoo leagues

Daniel Jones is a viable streamer in deeper leagues, but he's obviously good for at least one turnover per game and has taken 14 sacks through New York's first four contests. Dallas is a floor play given that the team will still allow a handful of yards and points Sunday.

4. Miami Dolphins – Rostered in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues

The Dolphins are a Hail Mary option opposite C.J. Beathard, who has compiled a 12:13 INT ratio with 2.7 sacks taken per game across 14 career appearances. Miami is still a viable option if Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) returns, too.

Watch List: The Chargers are next in line to square off against the Jets in Week 6...Chiefs play the Broncos and Jets in Weeks 7 and 8.



1. Rodrigo Blankenship, Colts – Rostered in 44 percent of Yahoo leagues

Blankenship, fantasy’s No. 1 kicker through Week 4, has attempted the league’s most field goal tries (14) all the while outscoring Indianapolis’ opponent (14-11, 10-7, 13-11) over the last three games. I would only roster Harrison Butker and Justin Tucker over him for the rest of the season.

2. Daniel Carlson, Raiders – Rostered in 13 percent of Yahoo leagues

Fantasy players can take advantage of coach Jon Gruden’s consistent blundering inside the red zone by rostering Carlson, the beneficiary of every bad decision. And to that point, note that the Raiders have averaged the seventh-most red zone opportunities (4.2) per game.

3. Stephen Gostkowski, Titans – Rostered in 14 percent of Yahoo leagues

Gostkowski has been immaculate since nailing the game-winner in Tennessee’s season opener, going 8-of-8 from the field (including 4-of-4 from 50-plus out). The Bills are allowing 25 points per game to opposing offenses.