Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 5 Rankings, Injuries

Pat Mayo and Tim Anderson recap Week 4 and debate Mayo’s Week 5 Waiver Wire Rankings. Plus, the guys dish on the injury report, President’s Cup, the season premiere of Curb, and Cust’s MLB playoff picks.

Week 5 Rankings: RB | WR | QB | TE/DST | Ranks Debate | Game Picks/Previews | Picks Cheatsheet | Audio Podcast | Injury Update Debate by PositionRB | WR | QB | TE | DST | Audio Podcast | Pickup Rankings

Week 5 DraftKings Picks: Picks Cheatsheet | Full Picks & Position Previews | Audio Podcast Picks By PositionRB | WR | QB | TE | DST | Lineup Strategy | Chalk Plays/Pivots | Chalk Podcast

Week 5 Pickups: Waiver Wire/Injuries | Full Pickup Rankings | Pickups Podcast | Week 4 RB Snap Counts Pickups by PositionRB | WR | TE | QB | DST

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Week 5 Waiver Wire: Show Index

1:07 RB Waiver Wire Adds
23:14 Week 4 Recap
53:45 WR Waiver Wire Adds
1:03:46 TE Waiver Wire Adds
1:06:52 QB Waiver Wire Adds
1:08:46 DST Waiver Wire Adds
1:12:46 Potpourri
1:21:51 Cust’s MLB Playoffs predictions

Week 5 Waiver Wire Notes

*All players must be less than 60 percent owned in leagues
*Will be updated for breaking injuries and after Monday night game
*Bye weeks: Atlanta, Denver, New Orleans, Washington

Week 5 Waiver Wire: Running Back Rankings

1. Latavius Murray
2. Wendell Smallwood
3. Thomas Rawls
4. Alvin Kamara
5. Tarik Cohen
5. Aaron Jones
6. Jerick McKinnon
7. Buck Allen
8. Wayne Gallman
9. Alex Collins
10. Andre Ellington
11. Eddie Lacy
11. Chris Johnson
12. D’Onta Foreman
13. James Connor
14. Shane Vereen
15. Matt Breida
16. Chris Ivory
17. Jamaal Williams
18. Charcandrick West
19. Jamaal Charles
20. Samaje Perine
21. Branden Oliver
22. J.D. McKissic
22. Elijah McGuire
23. Mike Tolbert
24. Devontae Booker
25. Alfred Morris
26. Jalen Richard
27. Darren McFadden
28. Robert Turbin
29. Charles Sims
30. Austin Ekeler
31. DeAndre Washinton
32. Joe Banyard
33. Marlon Mack

The Seahawks suspect Chris Carson has a broken ankle (It’s officially a broken leg for Carson. He’s been placed on IR), and is finished for the season. Even if he does return to the field in 2017, it won’t be until very end, so his fantasy prospects for the year are kaput. That leaves four Seattle running backs to choose from, split distinctively into two groups: Thomas Rawls and Eddie Lacy as the between the tackles rushers; CJ Prosise and JD McKissic as the receiving backs. Many will gravitate towards Lacy because he was featured in the offense Sunday, but Rawls couldn’t contribute, he was a healthy scratch. I’m willing to let Lacy slip between my fingers; I just don’t believe in him. I’ll be focusing on Rawls instead (Pete Carroll may agree). I’m not completely sold on Rawls either, or even if it’s worth going after a Seahawks RB who will be absent from the passing game, but there’s an opportunity for Rawls to soak up volume, and since he’ll cost less FAAB than Lacy, that’s the move I’m making. Before becoming a healthy scratch, Rawls had passed Lacy on the depth chart, and nothing Lacy did against the Colts should have ingratiated him to the coaching staff. He looks slow. And awful. I still think Prosise possesses the highest upside of any of the RBs, but he’s currently dealing with an ankle injury, and no one’s really sure when he’ll return (looking like it may happen this week, though). Could be this week, could be next month. However, since a healthy Prosise would dominate the passing downs, he’d only have to muster 8-10 carries a contest to become the back you want to own. Until he returns, McKissic will handle that role in this offense. So, this backfield is a mess. You’re going to have to get lucky to come away with the right player in this situation. Since Prosise is ubiquitously owned, Rawls makes the most sense to me as the next best option. Just know, he’s a superior add in a standard league than in PPR formats. …

When you make Dalvin Cook your highest-owned player across DraftKings lineups this week, it was less than surprising to me to see him tease a hot start, then blow out his knee before being touched. That’s how these things go. An MRI will be conducted Monday, but the Vikings already have stated they believe Cook has torn his ACL. If that’s truly is the case … HE GONE!!!! That would leave Jerick McKinnon and Latavius Murray next up for the Vikings and for us to pluck off the Week 5 waiver wire.

You must understand that both backs have their own specific limitations, though. Murray isn’t a high-end talent, and he succeeded in Oakland almost entirely because of volume and a bevy of goal-line touches. McKinnon is speedy but undersized, and the Vikings seem more comfortable using him in passing situations. Also, McKinnon injured his ankle Sunday, too. It’s not believed to be super serious, but any limitations out of the gate in the battle for Minnesota backfield supremacy might be the deciding factor. Sans Cook, there will be plenty of volume to be had, and Murray appears to have first crack (20:9 over McKinnon in snaps in Week 4). So, while your friends might get excited and tell their co-workers “He went to Jerick,” it’s time for you understand this is the dawning of the age of Latavius. …

‘Member the Thursday nighter? Of course not — alcohol has been invented. To refresh your minds, it was a bloodbath for Packers skill-position players. Early reports had Ty Montgomery missing multiple weeks with broken ribs, then Adam Schefter laid some non-FAKE NEWS on us, as he’s wont to do, and revealed Monty’s ribs aren’t that bad and, with the mini-bye week, he could be on the field in Week 5 against the Cowboys. That’s no guarantee but definitely a possibility.

Now, when Montgomery initially went down, some of us Jamaal Williams stashers had to go change our pants. Here’s what we were waiting for: A free RB1. Unfortunately, during the time it took me to fetch some fresh trousers, Williams went down with a knee injury, creating a weirdly shameful situation. Anyway, Aaron Jones was next man up and played almost every subsequent Packers offensive snap. Again, after initial reports called for Williams to miss multiple weeks, it appears, he too has an outside shot of playing in Week 5. The moral of the story being, Jones could be snatched off waivers if you need a one-week fill at running back. But be wary — if Montgomery or Williams get back on the field, Jones will be pretty useless. Picking up Jones still is worth it since the other two RBs aren’t locks to be on the field next Sunday, and he’d inherit a juicy matchup against the Cowboys. Just don’t go breaking the bank or wasting a No. 1 waiver priority. …

Paul Perkins was knocked out with a rib injury, allowing Wayne Gallman to take over the Giants’ ground work with Orleans Darkwa already sidelined because of back issues. Perkins and Darkwa likely will be fine by next week’s clash against the Chargers, but, if you’d allow me to go full Lance Storm and be serious for a minute, I need to lay some real talk on you: Perkins and Darkwa are awful. I’m stunned Ben McAdoo didn’t didn’t have a partial seizure when he looked up at a scoreboard and saw one of his RBs was averaging more than 2 yards per carry. Is Gallman the new starter? Who knows? If the other two return, this might be the only time we hear his name all season. HOWEVAAAAAAA, we know what we’re getting from those two: Nothing. I’d rather take a shot on Gallman and see if he’s given a chance to win the JORB. If it doesn’t work out, since I don’t plan on blowing my waiver budget on him, it’s no big deal. …

Doug Martin returns from the void this week, and people will be pumped. Myself? I’m far more tepid. Remember when Martin missed all that time last season, everyone stashed him, and he was brutal when he finally came back? I do. Not saying it automatically will happen again, but to pretend like that’s not in the range of outcomes seems illogical. Also, Jacquizz Rodgers just posted his best game of the season for the Buccaneers. It’s doubtful we’ve seen the last of him. So, more realistically, Martin will return to a split on the ground, where Charles Sims always can throw a wrench into the situation if Tampa Bay’s game script goes awry. Again, something that’s in the range of outcomes on a short week against the Patriots. …

Jamaal Charles took a helmet to the knee against the Raiders, and Devontae Booker finally made his Broncos season debut after suffering a wrist injury during the preseason. Seems like Charles is fine, but Booker has youth on his side and eventually could take over primary handcuff status to CJ Anderson. Booker isn’t there yet, but you’re better off being aware of the situation now in case it becomes a thing. …

Andre Ellington had 14 targets. 14!!!! That’s just silly. He outsnapped Chris Johnson 45:36, with the Cardinals putting the ball in the air 51 times against the 49ers. I wouldn’t count on this level of production each week, but Arizona’s overall awfulness does give the Juke of Ellington a built-in PPR floor. CJ2K isn’t exactly relevant either. If you think the Cardinals actually can get up in games, Johnson, not Ellington, will be the one running the ball. …

Early Sunday, Twitter became aflame with Alex Collins news. He’ll be in line for a “significant increase” in carries for the Ravens, thus ending the value of my secret boyfriend, Buck Allen, and potentially putting Terrance West in the awkward position of googling the address of the nearest unemployment office.

And it kind of happened. Collins more than doubled both West and Allen on the ground. That’s good! He still had just nine rushes. That’s bad. If you think the Ravens will figure out their offense post-haste, then Collins will have value as the starter and primary ground weapon (despite losing a fumble Sunday). A glance at the overall snap count tells a different story, though. Allen played 59 percent of snaps with the Ravens playing catch-up, and he continued to flash his PPR floor, hauling in six receptions. Conversely, Collins wound up with no catches on just two targets, playing 17 snaps. Collins looked good in limited duty, even breaking off a 50-yard run, but this offense might just be so garbage that no one really has upside. Collins is an interesting bench add — certainly not a primary focus on the Week 5 waiver wire, however.

For the future, whenever you hear information like this leaking out on Sunday morning, if you have a droppable player on the back end of your roster, cut them and add any RB who’s projected to see more opportunity. Most of the time, it will result in nothing. But it just needs to hit once to be worth it. Not only will you earn a startable player, it’ll cost you nothing, and you don’t have to put up with the waiver wire headache.


Week 5 Waiver Wire: Wide Receiver Rankings

1. Will Fuller
2. Devin Funchess
3. Sterling Stephard
4. Cooper Kupp
5. John Brown
6. Marqise Lee
7. Allen Hurns
8. Jaron Brown
9. JJ Nelson
10. Paul Richardson
12. Adam Humphries
13. Trent Taylor
14. Taylor Gabriel
15. Deonte Thompson
16. Bruce Ellington
17. Kenny Golladay
18. Jermaine Kearse
19. Mohamed Sanu
20. Brice Butler
21. Cole Beasley
22. Kendall Wright
23. Robert Woods
24. Ricardo Louis
25. Nelson Agholor
26. Terrance Williams
27. Tyler Lockett
28. Geronimo Allison
29. Phillip Dorsett
30. Josh Doctson
31. Justin Hardy
32. Benny Fowler
33. Josh Bellamy
34. Rashard Higgins
35. Aldrick Robinson
36. Markus Wheaton

Both Julio Jones (back) and Mohamed Sanu (hamstring) were forced out of the Falcons’ clash with the Bills. Ordinarily, Taylor Gabriel, Justin Hardy and Austin Hooper would become quick adds, but Atlanta is entering its bye week, so Jones and Sanu likely will be fine by Week 6. Update: Sanu is now expected to miss 2-3 weeks (so, potentiality two games) with his hamstring issue. The SLEDGEHAMMER, Taylor Gabriel has been bumped up the pick up rankings, slightly.

Copper Kupp LIVESSSS!!!!!! One week after being left out of the Rams’ offensive onslaught, Kupp was the only WR who was involved at all against the Cowboys. It’s very clear I was hilariously wrong in my preseason assessment of this offense, but it appears Sean McVay and Jared Goff are perfectly content using Das Kapital as their playbook — distributing the wealth evenly among everyone. Much like how Mikhail only received his beet rations every third week, while Fedor and Sergey got their fill of the red delicious in the weeks in between, it seems Rams WRs have employed similar methods with their offensive market share. Eventually, like in real life, this only will work to frustrate the proletariat and cause an overall downturn in efficiency, for your fantasy team, at least.

Kupp, Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins can be completely left out of the Rams’ offense in any given game, making them wildly inconsistent on a weekly basis. And there’s nothing worse than having a player like that on your roster. You end up benching him in weeks he goes off, and he sinks your matchup every time you activate him. Hopefully, this will sort itself out as the season progresses (maybe one of them will bribe a local KGP strongman?), so Watkins and Kupp need to be owned — Woods in deeper PPR leagues, too. Just buy some Advil before Rams games every week. You’ll need it. …

Jordan Matthews suffered a thumb injury after finding paydirt on his only target for the Bills. This led to five looks for Zay Jones, who needs to learn how to catch. TE Charles Clay is the only member Buffalo’s passing game who should rostered. UPDATE: Matthews to miss a month with thumb surgery. …

Trent Taylor is starting to become a thing in the Niners’ offense. He scored last week and ended up with 10 targets Sunday. Since Brian Hoyer is his QB, a lot of said targets aren’t catchable, but it’s nice to see Taylor’s market share increasing nonetheless. Some might point to this bump being a product of Marquise Goodwin exiting with a concussion — TELL THE TRUTH — or Patrick Peterson taking care of Pierre Garcon, but honestly, I think Aldrick Robinson’s 12 targets were the result of those factors. Grab Taylor in 14-team PPR leagues. …

Will Fuller returned from his collarbone injury with a newfound ability to not drop every pass. HOT TAKE: That will be helpful to his potential. Since it’s doubtful the Texans will post 50-burgers on a consistent basis, this probably was Fuller’s best game of the season. That’s fine, though. With his big-play ability and nose for the end zone, he’s still a solid pickup. Put more of a priority on Fuller in standard formats over PPR.

Although it looked horrific, Davante Adams‘ neck scan came back clean, and he only suffered a concussion — TELL THE TRUTH!!!!!! If Adams can pass protocol, he actually might play for the Packers in Week 5. Seriously, is everyone on Green Bay the Black Knight? Everything’s just a flesh wound!

Corey Davis (Hamstring) has already been ruled out for Week 5.


Week 5 Waiver Wire: Tight End Rankings

1. Evan Engram
2. Charles Clay
3. Ben Watson
4. Austin Seferian-Jenkins
5. Hunter Henry
6. Jack Doyle
7. Antonio Gates
8. Eric Ebron
9. Austin Hooper
10. Ryan Griffin
11. Zach Miller
12. Vance McDonald
13. Jared Cook
14. George Kittle
15. Seth DeValve
16. Coby Fleener
17. Tyler Kroft
18. Jermaine Gresham
19. Eleanor Higbee
20. Jesse James
21. Ed Dickson
22. Vernon Davis
23. Luke Willson
24. Julius Thomas
25. David Njoku
26. Dwayne Allen

This was a big week for me being wrong about things. Not Evan Engram, though. He’s completely for real, and his piss-poor blocking ability only enhances his fantasy output. It’s the opposite of OJ Howard. We witnessed Howard’s amazing talent today on the long TD, but he’s such a good blocker, it’ll limit the amount of routes he runs every week. When people say they hate fantasy football because it doesn’t reflect reality, this should be their reference point. …

Ben Watson entered the week with a calf injury, which turned out to be nothing. Then he got put in concussion protocol — TELL THE TRUTH — but eventually made his way back into the game. He now has posted at least five receptions or a TD in three consecutive games. No matter how putrid the Ravens’ offense or how dizzy Watson gets, he keeps thriving. …

Tyler Kroft’s two scores give me some hope for when Tyler Eifert eventually makes his return. I wish he got to play the Browns every week, though. If you need a streaming TE, just pick on the Browns and Giants every week. You’ll be right more than naught. Week 5 gives us Austin Seferian-Jenkins and a flip of the coin between Hunter Henry and Antonio Gates.

Jack Doyle is in the league concussion protocol — TELL THE TRUTH — as long as he’s out by the time Andrew Luck returns in a few weeks, he’s still a solid stash if you have nothing at TE.


Week 5 Waiver Wire: Streaming Quarterback

1. Jacoby Brissett vs SF
2. Eli Manning vs LAC
3. Brian Hoyer at IND
4. DeShaun Watson vs KC
5. Josh McCown at CLE
6. DeShone Kizer vs NYJ
7. Tyrod Taylor at CIN

Derek Carr exited against the Broncos with a back injury, and while an MRI is scheduled, he’s expected to be fine. Crisis avoided for the Raiders… NOT!!!! UPDATE: Carr is expected to miss 2-6 weeks with fracture in his back. Not great, Bob. Downgrade the entire Oakland offense with EJ Manuel handling the snaps.

Marcus Mariota doesn’t appear to have gotten so lucky. Also, isn’t it eerie that Mariota and Carr both went down in the same week again? I’m always dubious about a quick return for anyone suffering from hamstring injuries, so the Monday MRI will reveal how much time Mariota will miss. On the whole, every Titans receiving option will take a hit with Matt Cassel under center, but some of that fall-off should be somewhat mitigated with the Dolphins, Colts and Browns up next on the schedule. If anything, if Mariota sits, expect to see more volume for both DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry. That seems like the simplest solution.


Week 5 Waiver Wire: Streaming Defenses

1. PHI vs ARZ
2. PIT vs JAX
3. TEN at MIA
4. OAK vs BAL
5. MIA vs TEN
6. TB vs NE
7. BUF at CIN
8. NYJ at CLE
9. DET vs CAR


Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long and short-form content, and the host of The Pat Mayo Experience daily talk show. (Subscribe for video or audio). Mayo’s (@ThePME) 13 Fantasy Sports Writing Association nominations lead all writers this decade and are third-most all-time. Mayo has been recognized across multiple sports (Football, Baseball & Golf), mediums (Video, Writing & Podcasting) and genre (Humor). Beyond sports, Mayo covers everything from entertainment to pop culture to politics. If you have a Fantasy question, general inquiry or snarky comment, ship it to Mayo at ThePatMayoExperience@gmail.com and the best will be addressed on the show.


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is ThePME) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.