As Week 5 of the NFL season nears an end, injuries are starting to rear their ugly head. With that, depth of your fantasy roster becomes very important. And with new injuries come new opportunities for some players as they are thrown into very opportunistic fantasy situations. Here are this week’s waiver wire suggestions.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins (21% owned)
Don’t look now, but the Fitzmagic show has officially begun. Technically, it began a month ago as he’s now coming off of four straight top 12 QB finishes. After throwing for 350 yards and three touchdowns against the 49ers defense, he might not be a quarterback that just fills in when the matchup is in his favor. The Dolphins have no presence of a rushing attack as their 3.7 yards per carry ranks third-worst in the league. With a solid volume of passing attempts, Fitz is proving to be a solid quarterback play this season.
Andy Dalton, Dallas Cowboys (3% owned)
Dak Prescott was on his way to being one of the top fantasy quarterbacks in the league this season. A high-powered offense combined with a push-over defense produces a game script where Dallas must continue to put points on the board. It took 37 points to beat the New York Giants who had the lowest scoring offense in the league entering Week 5. Dalton won’t be the fantasy star Prescott was, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to put him in your back pocket and see how the transition of quarterbacks go in Dallas.
Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings (40% owned)
Chances are Mattison is already owned as he’s one of the few handcuffs in the league that would immediately propel themselves into the RB1 group should he get his opportunity. Well, that opportunity has come as Dalvin Cook left Sunday night’s game with a groin injury. Mattison filled in nicely rushing for 112 yards on 20 carries, which actually was far more productive than Cook’s 65 yards on 17 carries. It wasn’t a fluke, as Mattison has been rushing with that type of efficiency his entire career. While it’s uncertain how much time Cook will miss, Mattison becomes an auto-start for as long as he has the starting gig.
Justin Jackson, Los Angeles Chargers (43% owned)
All eyes were on the Chargers running back group to see how the workload would be distributed with Austin Ekeler out with an injury. And while neither Joshua Kelly or Justin Jackson stood out against a tough Saints defense, there was a clear winner in usage and efficiency. Jackson rushed for 71 yards on 15 carries (4.7 ypc) vs. Kelly’s 29 yards on 11 carries (2.6). Jackson also was more involved in the passing game as he had five receptions compared to Kelly’s two. It’s more clear now that Jackson should be the running back to own from the Chargers backfield.
Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers (16% owned)
Any player who scores four touchdowns in a game is going to garner a lot of attention in the waiver wire game. With his WR1 finish for the week, someone is likely going to overspend for Claypool, but you don’t want to be that person. At the same time, he does have a path to fantasy relevance, so he’s atop of the list this week. For starters, this is the second nice game for Claypool this season. While his 39.1 Week 5 performance was phenomenal, he registered 18.3 fantasy points (in half-PPR scoring formats) in Week 2 when he had three catches for 88 yards and a touchdowns. With Diontae Johnson leaving the game with an injury, the target opportunities are there as the Steelers demonstrated they like getting him involved in the offense.
Travis Fulgham, Philadelphia Eagles (3% owned)
The second-year receiver put together two straight weeks of fantasy production. Last week, his nice game was solely due to finding the end zone as he only had two catches for 57 yards. But on Sunday, he was targeted 13 times and caught 10 passes for 152 yards, once again finding the end zone. The Eagles offense is a mess, and they are expecting to get healthier at wide receiver with Alshon Jeffrey and DeSean Jackson coming back soon, but that that doesn’t mean you can’t grab Fulgham and see how things pan out going forward. If he ends up being a favorite target of Carson Wentz, that could make him fantasy viable.
Jimmy Graham, Chicago Bears (40% owned)
Fantasy owners continue to have their doubts about Jimmy Graham as he’s owned in less than half the league, yet he’s currently the third-highest scoring tight end in the league. He’s had three double-digit weeks so far this season, including Week 3 where he finished as the highest scoring tight end in the league. While he’s not a player you’d feel good about starting on a regular basis, his target share means he has a chance to be a viable play if you get in a pinch.
Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2% owned)
With O.J. Howard going to IR, there is now an opening in target share for the Bucs tight ends. Considering Rob Gronkowski’s highest receiving output is just 52 yards, and he’s yet to score, Brate might be player who benefits the most from Howard’s absence. He’s coming off a game where had five catches for 44 yards as well as a touchdown the previous week. He’s a guy who could be worth stashing to see if the chemistry between Tom Brady manifests into anything.
Miami Dolphins (2% owned)
The Dolphins actually have a pretty good defense, so it’s not surprising to see them play well this season. However, it is a little surprising that they’ve have two top five finishes over the last three games, and neither of them have come against the New York Jets yet. Speaking of those Jets, they are the team you want to follow around each week and play matchups, and it just so happens that they get the Dolphins next. Not only is Miami a good waiver add this week, but you should slide them right into your starting lineup for Week 6.