Wow, what a fun week it was starting out with the Thursday night shootout between the Minnesota Vikings and Los Angeles Rams. If any of those wide receivers or running backs are available, add them now!

Fitz-magic turned back into Fitzpatrick and was replaced by Jameis Winston who will be the starter going forward. Odell Beckham and Julio Jones still don’t have a touchdown this year. The “shootout” between the New York Giants and the New Orleans Saints was nothing near that. And last but not least, Tyler Eifert went down with a gruesome ankle injury and is more than likely done for the year, if not just calling it a career. I don’t cheer when players get injured so I hope nothing but the best for him going forward.

But enough of that, let’s get into the week-5 waiver wire!

BYE WEEK: Bears, Buccaneers


Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

He started the second half of the Buccaneers 48-10 loss to the Chicago Bears. Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t look so good finishing 9-of-18 for 126 yards and an interception. Although Winston didn’t do any better, he did finish 16-of-20 (80% completion rate) for 145 yards and a touchdown. The downside is he did throw two interceptions, but going into the bye week, expect Winston to be the starter week 6.

Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars

What is it with this guy? He puts up nice fantasy points two weeks in a row, follows it up with a crap game, and then puts up another solid performance. Bortles is on of those QB’s you feel dirty putting into your starting lineup, but weeks like week 4 (29-of-38 passing, 388 yards, 2 TD’s, 1 INT), it pays off. He gives you a decent floor too since he’s involved in the running game, averaging 33 rushing yards a game. With Leonard Fournette hurting with a hamstring injury again, and a nice juicy meeting at Kansas City looming, you have to put Bortles in your lineup as a nice low-end QB1.

Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans

I don’t know what got into him, or if something finally clicked, but this is the Marcus Mariota we were all taking late in our drafts in hopes of fantasy production like we saw in week 4. The Titans’ running game….. that’s another story that we won’t get into right now as Mariota was the team’s leading rusher last Sunday with 46 yards. He’s throwing touchdowns and running again like he did a couple years ago. Now he gets a matchup against the Buffalo Bills, who outside of one good game against Minnesota, has been terrible this season. If the connection to Corey Davis continues, which I think it will, go out there and get Mariota now.

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

The Red Rifle is back at it again and has now made it two weeks in a row as my waiver-wire add – and is still available in a lot of leagues and should be owned in all leagues. He get a banged-up Miami Dolphins this week followed by the Steelers, Chiefs and Bucs. With great matchups on the horizon, and with the possible return of Joe Mixon this week, Dalton should be seen as a low-end QB1 at least for these next five games, if not longer.

Running Backs

T.J. Yeldon and Corey Grant, Jacksonville Jaguars

Surprise surprise, Fournette left early in week 4 with hamstring tightness. He is looking like a bust this year as he just can’t stay healthy. I feel for all the Fournette owners out there, because I’m with you, and it’s getting annoying. But if someone dropped T.J. Yeldon, GO GET HIM NOW!!! He finished with 18 carries for 52 yards and a touchdown. I know, nothing great there, but he also tagged on three receptions for 48 yards and a receiving touchdown. Solid RB2 as long as Fournette is out. Corey Grant played second fiddle to Yeldon and didn’t do anything to note. But if you’re desperate, Grant’s not a bad add, because if you read the Bortles breakdown earlier in the article, you see that they get the Kansas City Chiefs this week – not bad matchup there!

Mike Davis, Seattle Seahawks

Just like we all expected, Mike Davis was the running back to start in Seattle and not Rashaad Penny. What a bust Penny is turning out to be. He’s looking like someone you can comfortably drop, and was definitely a player I had no idea why everyone was drafting him so high. Sorry friends, easy to drop Penny since he is looking as the RB3 for Seattle.

Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

He only had three, yes three TOTAL TOUCHES for 105 yards and two touchdowns. He had two long touchdown runs of 63 yards and 41 yards, and then a one-yard gain. I’m pretty sure that if there was different coaching staff in Cleveland they would be smart and start putting in Chubb more with Carlos Hyde going forward. They would be a hell of a thunder-and-lightning combo, but it would probably be more of a thunder-and-thunder combo in reality. Chubb probably won’t be starting anytime soon, if at all this year, but would be nice depth to have as a possible bench stash.

Javorius “Buck” Allen, Baltimore Ravens

Why is he still available? He needs to be owned in all leagues. Alex Collins had a fumble Sunday night around the goal line, and the more he keeps fumbling, the more Allen will be on the field. Sure he’s a touchdown-or-bust type of running back, but if Collins keeps putting the ball on the ground, Allen will be the back to have here.

Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts

The rushing here is blah. The receiving side though is something not to look past. He has the pass-catching role locked up as long as Marlon Mack is out. I like Hines and his ability as a receiver because it’s going to be impossible to predict which Colts’ running back will get the bulk of the carries as all the RB’s here get at most 6-8 carries per game. Other fantasy analysts will tell you to run out and get Hines this week, but if you take away the two receiving touchdowns last week, he’s just like the other running backs in Indy. If you want him, grab him. Me on the other hand, I’ll let someone else have him since his production is likely to be spotty at best.

Wide Receivers

Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville Jaguars

Two weeks ago I told you here that Westbrook is the wide receiver you want for the Jaguars and not Keelan Cole. Westbrook was targeted 13 times last week and finished with nine catches for 130 yards. Cole had three targets and finished with a stat line that most want to forget. So I will take my victory lap on Westbrook, and I think it continues this week because who do the Jaguars got next? That’s right, the Chiefs. Westbrook could be a nice flex this week if you’re desperate at wide receiver like I am in some leagues.

Keke Coutee, Houston Texans

With Will Fuller’s hamstring injury, Coutee’s NFL debut turned out to be record setting, hauling in 11 receptions on 19 targets for 109 yards. Word has it that Fuller could have came back into the game, but Coutee was doing fantastic filling in for him so they decided to play it safe with Fuller. Monitor this guy or add him if you have the space.

Taylor Gabriel, Chicago Bears

Yes, I know the Bears are on bye this week, but if I told you that Gabriel is averaging 7 targets and 5.5 catches a game would that grab your attention? Yeah, it’s got mine. I’ve been paying attention to him with Allen Robinson in and out of the lineup and like what I’ve seen. He will be a boom/bust receiver, ala DeSean Jackson, but if you see a horrible defense on the Bears’ schedule moving forward, Gabriel could be a good bye-week desperation fill in.

Tight Ends

Vance McDonald, Pittsburgh Steelers

McDonald was an add last week for me and did alright Sunday night against Baltimore. Like the majority of us, unless you have Zach Ertz, Travis Kelce and Jared Cook (I know, right?) you are throwing darts at potential weekly matchups. Pittsburgh has a great matchup against the Atlanta Falcons whose defense is, to be nice, lacking defense. Add him and put him in week five.

Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay buccaneers

Brate is Winston’s favorite weapon outside of Mike Evans, and of course in his return from suspension, Winston finds Brate for a touchdown. Yes they are on bye this week, and no you don’t have to add him this week, but week six they get, guess who? The Atlanta Falcons! Beat the waiver wire by a week if you have an empty spot and add Brate. For as long as O.J. Howard is out with a knee injury, Brate should reap the rewards.

Tyler Kroft, Cincinnati Bengals

Last year Kroft filled in well when Eifert was lost for the season with a back injury. He finished with just 404 yards, but found himself on the receiving end of seven touchdowns. With tight ends, scoring a touchdown is classic blind squirrel finding a nut scenario. Very few and may be far between, but when you get one, enjoy it, and you may just find yourself enjoying quite a few the rest of the season with Kroft in your lineup.


Be sure to check out the latest episode of the Loaded Box Podcast as the guys give their instant reactions to all of the action from week 4 in the NFL!

Ryan Miner is a featured blogger for the Loaded Box Podcast. Check out his article archive and find more from the Loaded Box on Twitter & Facebook