I will always be aggressive when it comes to the waiver wire. I like to take the chance on a player after a solid week or two to build my bench, and eventually try and flip them for more of a roster mainstay.
After week 4, you start to get a feel about how teams are using their talent. But I urge you not to take the past 4 weeks and extrapolate for a whole season. Fantasy managers often fall into a trap of believing that a player's production in the first few weeks is his identity on the season, and it's often not true. Whether you're 4-0 or 0-4 after this week, stay competitive and continue to evaluate your moves. Complacency kills. Remember, it's a long season.
As always, I'm looking at players with 50% or less ownership on the waiver wire. So if that means you see a player like Austin Ekeler, Quincy Enunwa, or Tarik Cohen on waivers, please go grab them.
Marcus Mariota, TEN - Yahoo 33% owned, ESPN 20% owned
Mariota has been dealing with injuries, and didn't get a huge vote of confidence from his coach last week about his ability to make certain throws. But Mariota came out guns blazing, tossing for 344 pass yards and 2 scores, leading the Titans to an OT wins against the Eagles. He gets the Bill hapless defense this week. He's in the streaming conversation.
Derek Carr, OAK - Yahoo 36% owned, ESPN 20% owned
Carr lit up the Browns defense, notching 437 pass yards for 4 TDs and 2 INTs on Sunday. Carr doubled his season touchdown total in week 4, and a tantalizing matchup with the Chargers looms in week 5. Carr will most likely need to air it out early and often to beat LA.
Blake Bortles, JAX - Yahoo 32% owned, ESPN 18% owned
Bortles has been boom or bust so far, but when he hits, he can win you a week. He'll be in many lineups against KC's penetrable defense.
Honorable mention: Baker Mayfield. If he's still on the wire, he's worth a pickup.
Mike Davis, SEA - Yahoo 2% owned, ESPN 1% owned
This largely depends on the future health of Chris Carson. It seems like the Seahawks have no faith in Rashaad Penny, and Penny doesn't look like a feature back at this moment. Again, if Carson continues to sit, Davis should dominate touches, as he did in week 4.
Nyheim Hines, IND - Yahoo 14% owned, ESPN 15% owned
Hines will be added by someone in your league. Without a steady run game, the Colts are going to air it out, and Luck is going to target his running backs. I see Hines with 14 targets in the last two games, and I'd want a piece. He is establishing himself as the man in the backfield and the redzone.
Ronald Jones, TB - Yahoo 1% owned, ESPN 17% owned
OK, everyone, say it with me. "I will not pick up Ronald Jones this week." But you're smart enough to understand why he's on this list. Jones and the Bucs are on bye in week 5. I anticipate that Dirk Koetter and the coaching staff will look at the last two weeks of Peyton Barber's ineffectiveness and start looking for ways to get Jones involved.
Mohamed Sanu, ATL - Yahoo 14% owned, ESPN 49% owned
Steve Sarkisian finally has a handle on the offense, and the Falcons are putting up points. Sanu is trending upward right now (even though he's no Calvin Ridley) and warrants a pickup in most formats. Next two games are against Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay, and wide receivers against those two teams are feasting.
Chester Rogers, IND - Yahoo 0% owned, ESPN 0% owned
When Luck throws the ball a whopping 62 times, he's going to have a few beneficiaries. I like Rogers to slide into Hilton's spot if/when Hilton misses the next contest against the Patriots with a hamstring issue.
Keke Coutee, HOU - Yahoo 2% owned, ESPN 0% owned
Will Fuller is also struggling with an hamstring issue, and Coutee dazzled in his NFL debut as his replacement. Coutee was targeted 15 times and hauled in 11 passes for 109 yards. Make room for him on your team. He could be the #2 option on a pass-heavy offense. The matchup with Dallas could be tough, but think long-term here.
Taywan Taylor, TEN - Yahoo 3% owned, ESPN 4% owned
Corey Davis dominated headlines with 15 targets, 161 yards receiving and a touchdown, but Taylor took advantage of moving up in the depth chart, claiming the spot left by Rishard Matthew's departure. I loved Taylor's athleticism in college and seeing him in the preseason made me a believer. I think he'll be free on the wire, but he's worth a few bucks of FAAB.
Honorable mention: Geronimo Allison. Seriously, he's gone in every league I'm in, but it appears he's only owned in 40-50% of leagues. Add him. Now. I told you about him in Week 2!
Vance McDonald, PIT - Yahoo 43% owned, ESPN 31% owned
Probably my favorite tight end pickup of the week. Vance saw caught all five balls thrown his way on Sunday, and even though he lost a fumble, he's starting to be a producer in the Steelers offense. He's a top 12 TE against the Falcons in week 5.
Austin Hooper, ATL - Yahoo 38% owned, ESPN 39% owned
I'm repeating myself here, but I don't feel like taking a risk on other low-target options. Hooper only had one catch in the loss to the Bengals, but he also had a redzone target. He's boom or bust against Pittsburgh.
Ricky Seals-Jones, AZ - Yahoo 22% owned, ESPN 10% owned
The waiver wire is pretty barren, but RSJ looks serviceable for the next two weeks. If you're looking to replace Trey Burton or OJ Howard, Seals-Jones has upside against San Francisco.
Honorable Mention: Also keep an eye on OJ Howard's status into the Week 5 bye. If he can't go in Week 6, Cameron Brate is an intriguing streaming option, and Jameis loved him in 2017.
Listen to the latest Dynasty ER podcast with Ronnie Evans as he goes into deeper waiver wire discussion!
Dynasty and Redraft Specialist