Week 5 Waiver Pickups You Can’t Snooze On

It’s been three weeks since we’ve had any real action on the waiver wire. Likewise it’s been three weeks since I’ve referenced 2000’s TV shows in this article — sounds like it’s time to get back on track. The waiver wire is a product of the inevitable events that come with every season of football; players get injured, some break out, some fade into obscurity. Some do all three in the same season. Which is to say:

“All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again.”

Yes we’re pulling out the Battlestar Galactica this week, because it’s time to start really playing the wire. Every year breakout players emerge, and much like a race of evil alien robots that look exactly like us, you need to know if they’re the real deal before it’s too late.

For owners looking to turn around a slow start to the year, this week’s wire is flush with running back options and some high-upside adds that could be exactly what your team is missing.

Alvin Kamara, RB NO (46% owned)

Kamara needs to be owned everywhere, but in PPR leagues you may already be too late. Adrian Peterson is essentially a non-factor in this offense now, playing only 8% of snaps on Sunday. The opposite is true of Kamara, whose pass-catching isn’t limited to dumps and screen passes — he’s not shy about lining up outside at wide receiver, and looked pretty good between the tackles as well. Do not shy away from adding him because of his bye week, or someone else will snag him from under you.

Latavius Murray, RB MIN (16%)

One year ago, a Vikings team pushing for the playoffs lost their quarterback and star running back. All of this has happened before, all of this will happen again. Dalvin Cook is officially done for the year with a torn ACL, which means it’s Murray’s job now. Murray isn’t very talented, but the upside is that the MIN offensive line is improved, and Diggs and Thielen help take pressure away from the front. Basically, it will be better than the train wreck run game of 2016. Murray will need the defense to keep the gameflow in his favor, else pass-catcher Jerrick McKinnon will step in, but Murray could prove to be a weekly RB2 or Flex.

Eddie Lacy, and Thomas Rawls RB SEA (19% and 29%)

Just when things in Seattle’s backfield were starting to make sense, Chris Carson gets carted off in an aircast. The good news is that most teams likely dropped Lacy and Rawls once Carson emerged. It was Lacy that relieved Carson, and didn’t look completely ineffective doing so. Meanwhile Rawls was declared inactive even with C.J. Prosise out, which does not bode well. We’re back to Week 1 with this backfield, trying to figure out who will lead the three-headed giant. For now it appears to be Lacy, although Carroll has hinted at using Rawls as well. All of this has happened before, all of it will happen again.

Will Fuller V, WR HOU (32%)

Deshaun Watson won’t throw four touchdowns every week, but it was still an impressive debut for Fuller. After struggling with drops, the Texans had no problem looking to him in the endzone on a tough one-on-one. Fuller automatically becomes the #2 receiver on an offense that has exceeded expectations so far. Fuller flashed some excellence at the start of 2016, and Watson could be exactly what he needs to get back to that. As a deep threat he will likely still be an inconsistent start, and will face Marcus Peters next week in Kansas City.

Alex Collins, RB BAL (10%)

Another day, another running back in the Ravens backfield. Collins clearly lead the field and ripped off a couple of impressive runs, while Buck Allen and Terrance West were irrelevant. The problem for Collins will be staying relevant himself — for the second straight week, no Ravens running back had double-digit carries, and the offense in general is looking stunted. Baltimore will have to keep up with the Oakland offense next week for Collins to stay involved, but he’s the back to own there for now.

Wayne Gallman, RB NYG (3%)

The only running back that has looked even somewhat good on the Giants this season, Gallman is worth adding as a flier pickup. Paul Perkins is averaging less than 2 yards per carry this season, and is likely never coming back to this job. With Orleans Darkwa sidelined it’s Gallman’s job regardless, but the bar is set low for him to keep it. The offensive line is still a liability and caps Gallman’s ceiling, but it’s worth adding him for potential spot-starts during bye weeks. This is the same story as Jordan Howard last year (all of this has happened before, etc. etc.) Gallman will get to prove himself against the Chargers next week.

Other Deep Adds:

Andre Ellington drew 14 targets, adding another option to their weekly roulette at both running back and wide receiver. He’s worth an add in PPR formats. I doubted Devin Funchess, especially with Kelvin Benjamin suiting up, but I was proved wrong. I think that has more to do with the sorry state of the Pats defense and would hold off on him against Detroit. Jerrick McKinnon will get passing down work in Minnesota but likely never worth starting unless Murray struggles. Tyrell Williams finally showed up, but with the many weapons in San Diego it’s impossible to know when he’ll grab a 75-yard touchdown. Finally, Aaron Jones looked better than Jamaal Williams, but Ty Montgomery coming back this week could make that moot. Ditto for Geronimo Allison; both are worth adding only if Green Bay starters are out.

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