Fantasy football owners will have some tough waiver wire decisions this week, as several of the guys requiring the top projected FAAB bids might not be all that valuable beyond Week 5 (if they’re even valuable in Week 5, that is). Trey Lance, Samaje Perine, and Damien Williams might be starting…or they might be in their usual backup roles depending on the severity of injuries to Jimmy Garoppolo, Joe Mixon, and David Montgomery. Normally, we have a better read on injuries by the time we have to submit our final bids or claims, but we’ll likely still be in the dark this week. The best strategy might be to hold onto your waiver claims or submit low FAAB bids and focus on other pickups, such as Kenneth Gainwell, Darnell Mooney, Sam Darnold, Dawson Knox, Curtis Samuel, or Dalton Schultz. These lower-level waivers guys or free agents might actually have more long-term value. Devoting a high claim or large chunk of your FAAB budget to a potential one-week wonder is a risky venture.
As we’ll do every week this season with the help of our friends at Fantasy Alarm, let’s break down the top pickups and project how much of your FAAB budget you should bid on them.
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Week 5 Fantasy Football FAAB Advice: Waiver wire QB pickups, streamers
Sam Darnold (CAR). We have to remember that quarterbacks shouldn’t be expensive commodities off the waiver wire, but if you really need help and this guy is floating out there, then spend up a little if you need to. Darnold has 10 touchdowns already this season, and half of those have come on the ground. He’s thrown for over 300 yards in three straight games and could make it a fourth in Week 5 against Philadelphia. He does have four turnovers on the season, so while he’s been great, he hasn’t been perfect. A change of scenery has clearly done him some good. Projected FAAB Bid: 8% of total budget
Daniel Jones (NYG). Daniel Jones truthers can take their victory lap. He’s good…for fantasy…so far. There are still concerns about his ability to, ya know, not fumble, but what he’s done this year has been nothing short of excellent. He offers some upside with his legs having rushed for at least 25 yards in every game this year, including a pair of touchdowns on the ground. The completion percentage (66.7) is very good, and he’s coming off his first 400-yard passing performance this season. He’s also not turning the ball over. If the Giants can establish the run with Saquon Barkley, then that’ll open things up in the passing game. They get a road matchup this week against Dallas, which could turn into a high-scoring affair. Dallas’ defense is much improved from a year ago, but there’s a lot of fantasy appeal in this matchup. Proj. FAAB Bid: 6-8%
Trey Lance (SF). There’s a decent chance Lance starts this coming week after Jimmy Garappolo injured his calf in Week 4. Realistically, we might only be looking at one start for Lance, so he’s not a “must add” by any means. The 49ers have Week 6 off, and it’s possible Jimmy G is back for the Week 7 matchup against Indianapolis. Lance’s top-10 upside is thanks to his legs, evidenced by the 41 rushing yards he racked up in the second half last week. Keep in mind one of his touchdown passes and about half his passing yards came on one play where the Seahawks just let Deebo Samuel run down the field and get open for a 76-yard touchdown. That won’t happen every week, so you have to temper expectations for the rookie quarterback. The completion percentage isn’t great, but he can compensate if he’s running a good amount. Proj. FAAB Bid: 3-4%
Week 5 Fantasy Football FAAB Advice: Waiver wire RB pickups, streamers
Kenneth Gainwell (PHI). Fantasy owners might be hesitant about starting Gainwell, but he needs to be rostered in more than 30 percent of leagues. The Eagles have done their best to get Miles Sanders going but to no avail. He had 33 touches through the team’s first two games but just 15 total touches through his past two games. Additionally, he hasn’t found the end zone this season. Similarly, Gainwell has scored twice and caught six passes last week while looking good running the ball. Is that enough for a changing of the guard in this backfield? Not yet, but we’re certainly intrigued. Proj. FAAB Bid: 10% of total budget
Michael Carter (NYJ). It’s not a great offense to get exposure to, but Carter found the end zone for the first time in his young career and was on the field for about half of the team’s offensive snaps. That’s very encouraging. He’s still averaging just 3.4 yards per carry, but he does have an interesting matchup against the Falcons in Week 5 over in London. Proj. FAAB Bid: 10%
Damien Williams (CHI). Williams is a better option in PPR formats, but with David Montgomery (knee) likely missing some time, Williams has upside if he can play through his thigh bruise. If he’s healthy, he’s in line for most of the carries. Against the Lions, he totaled 70 yards on 10 total touches and found the end zone. Proj. FAAB Bid: 7%
Samaje Perine (CIN). There were some early “week-to-week” reports regarding Joe Mixon’s ankle injury, but Zac Taylor acknowledged that Mixon’s more day-to-day, so there’s less reason to be optimistic of Perine’s upside. If you’re a Mixon owner, you might want to get a hold of his handcuff in the unlikely event Cincinnati’s lead back is forced to miss time. Proj. FAAB Bid: 5%
Brandon Bolden (NE). Bolden strangely might be better suited for PPR formats. This is Bolden’s ninth year in the league, and he’s topped 20 catches in his career only once. Hell, he’s had more than 10 catches in his career just twice. But with James White’s season ending due to a hip injury, the Patriots need a new running back to target out of the backfield. Many initially thought J.J. Taylor could fill that role, but it looks like Bolden submitted his resume for consideration. He has nine catches in his past two games, and while you’re likely only starting him in the deepest of PPR formats, we know how valuable the pass-catching running back in this offense can be. Proj. FAAB Bid: 3-5%
Week 5 Fantasy Football FAAB Advice: Waiver wire WR pickups, streamers
Emmanuel Sanders (BUF). It was another solid week from Sanders. He needs to be owned everywhere even if he’s just a bench stash. The truth is the air yards are there as are the targets. He’s seen at least six targets in every game this year, and he’s caught five in back-to-back games. Sanders has been more consistentthan Buffalo’s other secondary receivers and could be emerging as the No. 2 pass-catching option in this offense. Proj. FAAB Bid: 10-12% of total budget
Darnell Mooney (CHI). As long as Justin Fields is still under center, Mooney is relevant. The problem is that Matt Nagy is still committed to Andy Dalton (knee) as the starter when he’s healthy. Mooney saw seven targets in Week 4 and turned those into 125 receiving yards. Fields has attempted eight passes down field, and Mooney has received four of those. He was a late-round target for many during draft season, and he’s validating the price tag with ease. Proj. FAAB Bid: 10-12%
Curtis Samuel (WFT). There’s a solid argument to name Samuel as the wide receiver to grab this week. He ran just a dozen routes last week, but he caught all four of his targets for 19 yards. We know the kind of ceiling he has. We have to like him even more knowing Logan Thomas is going to miss some time with a hamstring injury. Samuel’s snaps, routes, and overall involvement should only go up. Proj. FAAB Bid: 10%
A.J. Green (ARI). Age is just a number, but even 33 isn’t that old these days in the NFL. There’s an argument for Rondale Moore or Christian Kirk to emerge as the WR2 in this offense, but if we’re just looking at numbers, Green has more receiving yards this year than even DeAndre Hopkins. Green has exactly six targets in every game and still possesses big-play potential. It will be tough to key in on who breaks out in this passing attack each week, but it doesn’t hurt to hoard the assets in Arizona. Proj. FAAB Bid: 5-7%
Kadarius Toney (NYG). Most outlets might point to Jamison Crowder as the wide receiver to grab between the Jets and Giants, but Toney is worth looking at, too. With Sterling Shepard (hamstring) and Darius Slayton (hamstring) out in Week 4, Toney played a bigger role and he seems like an absolute chore to try and tackle. He finished with six catches for 78 yards, and if the Giants are once again missing a couple pass-catchers, then Toney could be in line for a large role. Proj. FAAB Bid: 5%
Week 5 Fantasy Football FAAB Advice: Waiver wire TE pickups, streamers
Dawson Knox (BUF). There are the skeptics, but this isn’t the first time Knox has been mentioned in the waiver column. He has four touchdowns in his past three games, and there’s been an emphasis to get the tight end involved more in this offense. Aside from that, his athleticism is pretty impressive. He’s coming off eight targets in Week 4, and you have to imagine there will be a game script that will involve him next Sunday night against the Chiefs. Proj. FAAB Bid: 7% of total budget
Dalton Schultz (DAL). Schultz has 15 targets over his past two games, including three touchdowns. If you’re a believer, then by all means go get your guy. Schultz is pretty reliable when the ball is thrown his way. He’s caught 20-of-23 targets through four games, and in three of those games he has six receptions. Proj. FAAB Bid: 5-7%
MORE TE PICKUPS: Tyler Conklin (MIN); Hunter Henry (NE); Jared Cook (LAC). Proj FAA Bids: 2-4%
Week 5 Fantasy Football FAAB Advice: Waiver wire Defense pickups, streamers
Arizona Cardinals (vs. 49ers). With Trey Lance likely under center, we’ll need to see what he can do against a better pass rush than what Seattle threw his way last week. Arizona’s defense played well against the Rams last week. If it weren’t for garbage time, they wouldn’t have yielded yards and points to Los Angeles late in the game. Lance has accuracy issues, so I do believe turnovers are in play as well as a couple sacks. As with all D/STs, bidding more than one percent of your FAAB budget is a stretch, so don’t go overboard.
Atlanta Falcons (vs. Jets in London). The Falcons and Jets will travel to London for the first of two games across the pond this year for the NFL. Now, there have certainly been a couple shootouts in the London games, but we’ve also seen some teams struggle — and the Jets were struggling mightily as is. In the four London games in 2017, the losing teams scored 7, 0, 0, and 16 points. The next year, the losing teams scored 3, 19, and 18 points but it’s worth mentioning neither of those games totaled over 43 points. There were a couple shootouts in 2019 but also a couple offensive duds:
Raiders 24, Bears 21
Panthers 37, Buccaneers 26
Rams 24, Bengals 10
Texans 26, Jaguars 3
So, it’s really up to you on how you can approach this game and if you want to stream one the Falcons. As of Monday night, the Falcons are favored by 3.5 points and the over/under is currently around 46, but that will likely come down.
MORE D/ST STREAMERS FOR WEEK 5: Carolina (vs. PHI); Dallas (vs. NYG); Las Vegas (vs. CHI); Minnesota (vs. DET), Tennessee (@ JAX)