Week 5 is coming up. If you are sitting at .500, the season is growing shorter by the day. As we approach the halfway point of the fantasy football season, the waiver wire gets thinner and thinner. On the other hand, your team gets worse and more injured by the game. Heading into Week 5 Waiver Wire Pickups, there are some emerging stars and injury fill-ins available. Act now and pick them up or face another playoff-less season.
Early Week 5 Waiver Wire Pickups
Laviska Shenault – WR (27.8% of Rosters)
— Matt Waldman (@MattWaldman) October 5, 2020
Oh hey, this name looks familiar. Laviska Shenault has been a fixture on the waiver wire column so far this season yet still only is rostered in 27.8% of leagues. Each week he has seen his involvement in the offense rise, culminating in a 6 touch, 91-yard day this week. The Jags spent an early pick on Shenault and will continue to get him involved in the offense in any way possible. Go add him as a flex option in the short term, and he may rise up to WR3 territory as bye weeks start.
Tee Higgins – WR (25% of Rosters)
Tee Higgins is continuing to emerge as a versatile threat for the Bengals and Joe Burrows. Higgins had a season-high 77 yards on four catches this week, his highest yardage total yet. He has consistently seen 6+ targets each week he has been active and has seen his snap-counts increase as well. In the preseason we were super high on Higgins, and he is showing why. AJ Green seems to be fading fast so make sure you pick up Higgins ASAP. He is a flex play right now and will rise up into the WR2 tier at the rate he is producing.
Teddy Bridgewater – QB (9.8% of Rosters)
Do not look now, but the Carolina Panthers are on a two-game winning streak, and Teddy “Two Gloves” Bridgewater is his usual efficient self. Bridgewater had been QB24 through three weeks but jumped up to QB03 this weekend so far. He completed 70.2% of his passes against the Cardinals, threw for 276 yards, two touchdowns, and ran for another 32 yards and a touchdown. Given this efficiency and the shootouts that the Panthers find themselves in each week, Bridgewater is a reliable fantasy quarterback. Next week Carolina takes on an absolutely horrendous Falcons’ defense. Roll Bridgewater out as a streaming option and consider holding him for the rest of the season as a QB12-16 option.
Tim Patrick – WR (0.2% of Rosters)
That Thursday night disaster did reveal one relevant piece of information. Tim Patrick seems to be establishing himself as a reliable receiving option for the Broncos. His 6 catches, 113 yards, and a touchdown have him as WR07 so far this week. Patrick has been increasing his target-share, catches, and yardage each week and seems to be the WR2 for the Broncos behind Jeudy. KJ Hamler is banged up and Patrick seems like at least a good flex option moving forward.
Scotty Miller – WR (11.3% of Rosters)
Bruce Arians said that Chris Godwin may not be ready to go heading into the Bucs’ Thursday Night showdown. Scotty Miller has quietly worked his way to the second-most targets on a pass-happy Buccaneers offense. Miller has been a reliable option for Brady each week and seems to be on pace to continue that role. In this week’s shootout against the Chargers, Miller was targeted 7 times, caught 5, and went for 83 yards and a touchdown. With the injury to OJ Howard and Godwin, Miller will be a WR3 this week and a flex option for the rest of the season. He is one of the better values available on the week five waiver wire.
D’Ernest Johnson – RB (0.0% of Rosters)
The #Browns backfield continued to exceed expectation in their Week 4 win vs the Cowboys, despite Nick Chubb's injury.
The Browns have 3 RBs that rank in the top 15 of rushing yards over expectation this season:
1. Kareem Hunt: +111
3. Nick Chubb: +102
11. D'Ernest Johnson: +42 pic.twitter.com/YWm4C3eL3W
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) October 4, 2020
Speaking of injuries, Nick Chubb left the Browns’ rout of the Cowboys early with a knee injury. After Chubb left, it turned into the D’Ernest Johnson show. The former AAF standout ran 13 times for 95 yards. Johnson flashed some talent in limited action last year and was an absolute standout for the Orlando Apollos of the AAF. Sure, we do not know if Chubb will miss any time, but if he does, the dual-back approach will continue. Johnson seems to be the back to pick up if Chubb misses time and would be an RB2 option in all formats.
Justin Jackson – RB (8.8% of Rosters)
It is very likely that Austin Ekeler is going to miss time with a knee injury moving forward. The extent of the damage remains to be seen, but it will most likely open things up for Josh Kelley and Justin Jackson to handle the workload in Los Angeles. So far this season, the Chargers have been about a 50/50 split on running back carries between Ekeler and Kelley. Both backs were top 30 running backs, and that trend will likely continue if Jackson can produce near the levels that Ekeler was. Jackson has never been a breakout star in limited action, but this may be his biggest opportunity yet. He and Kelley are the only running backs on the Chargers roster as of now. Jackson is worth an add in all leagues and is most-likely a flex option while Ekeler is out. Work the week five waiver wire and make sure you get Jackson. Especially if you have Ekeler.
Reggie Bonnafon – RB (0.2% of Rosters)
Reggie Bonnafon was not heavily involved in his first action during week three. However, he bounced back this week with a solid performance. Both Mike Davis and Bonnafon had fantasy-relevant performances, with Bonnafon turning in a 12 touch, 71 yard, one-touchdown performance. If this 60/40 split continues then Bonnafon will be worth an add until McCaffrey returns. Heading into a matchup with a porous Falcons’ defense next week, Bonnafon has a chance to be a solid flex option. With the Titans/Bills game up in the air and the Lions and Packers on bye, some of y’all will need a one-week fill-in. Bonnafon is a solid flex option next week against the Falcons. He may also be a flex-option until CMC returns depending on his performance next week.
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