Most of the surprises in fantasy football this season are players already on rosters outplaying their draft value. While that’s a great thing, it makes navigating the waiver wire a bit tougher. Still, we are just four weeks into the season. There is plenty of football left to be played. Bye weeks are looming, injuries can strike at any time, and working the wire will get more intense in the coming weeks. Stashing certain players now can be advantageous. Knowing which ones to pickup is key.
You may be dealing with injuries, bye weeks, or just need to cycle out players from your bench. Whatever the case may be, the waiver wire is there to help. There’s not always a need to put in a claim for players each week, but if you do, make it count. Below, we’ll look at players at each position, who are on 50% or less of most fantasy football rosters, that could be considered on the Week 3 waiver wire.
Week 5 Waiver Wire By Position
Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts
Hines isn’t going to be available in most leagues. In light of Jonathan Taylor’s exit in Week 4 with an ankle sprain, Hines should be a top priority on the Week 5 waiver wire. The Indianapolis Colts travel to Denver for a Thursday night showdown with the Broncos. Taylor, who will have a questionable tag, could share the backfield much more in Week 5, if he plays, opening the door for double-digit touches for Hines, mostly as a pass catcher. He’s seen 17 targets to just eight carries through four games.
The only other running back to play for the Colts this season, Deon Jackson, has just two total snaps to his name through four weeks. Hines is a must-add on every Week 5 waiver wire. He is valuable to the Colts coaching staff. Jackson is a deeper league speculative add, but by no means a priority for Week 5.
Rachaad White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It may come as a surprise to some to see Rachaad White higher than other popular Week 5 waiver wire names at the running back position. Claiming the rookie Buccaneer back now is an attempt at getting ahead of his value while you still can. Leonard Fournette and Rachadd White are the only two running backs to get playing time out of the Buccaneers backfield since Week 3.
On Sunday Night Football, in a game where the Bucs were behind for the entirety, White not only tallied his highest snap count yet, but was working onto the field for full drives as opposed to a few plays here and there. In fact, White’s first NFL touchdown came on a drive where Fournette watched completely from the sidelines.
White’s receiving upside is a huge fantasy asset with nine targets in three games he’s recorded touches. His value for the rest of the season is likely as a low-end flex but absolutely erupts if Fournette were to miss time for any reason. If the Buccaneers are smart, they would ease up a bit on Fournette’s workload for a projected playoff run. Things should trend that way in a Week 5 get-right game against the Atlanta Falcons.
Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins
Raheem Mostert is the primary Miami Dolphins running back. It’s clear that, even at 30 years old and with a lengthy injury history, he remains explosive with plenty of juice left in the tank. His connection with head coach, Mike McDaniel, is also paying off this season.
It’s easy to forget Mostert ahead of the Week 5 waiver wire because he played on Thursday night. Check to see if he is there! Since Week 2, Mostert continues to play more snaps than Chase Edmonds. In fact, he played 72% of the Dolphins’ snaps to Edmonds’ 28% and that’s in a game where Tua Tagovailoa left with injury. Mostert also has 45 touches to Edmonds’ 36 this season as a whole, but with 12 more in their most recent game.
Edmonds is ahead in scoring due to his three touchdowns over the last two weeks. Those are just on 14 total touches. Mostert is the safer floor play moving forward and can be had on most waiver wires for those in need of running back help and/or a steady flex. Of course, if Mostert were to go down, Edmonds’ value skyrockets. He could also see more targets with Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback. Mostert still deserves to be on rosters, if not warranting Flex consideration.
Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons
Allgeier is coming off of a game full of career highs. The rookie leads all other Falcons running backs in Week 4 snaps. His 84 rushing yards also lead the backs on the week. Cordarelle Patterson is now on the Injured Reserve for four games due to a knee injury. Unfortunately for Allgeier, the Falcons signed Caleb Huntley to the active roster who tied Allgeier with 10 carries and got the goal line work punching in a touchdown, as well, in Week 4.
Allgeier is a bench stash for now with managers hoping for an expanded role. The Falcons face Tampa Bay, who allow the second-least fantasy points to running backs, then Buffalo, who allow the ninth-least. Volume will be key to any short-term success for Allgeier. He will also need to perform well enough to limit Damien Williams’ touches as he returns from an Injured Reserve stint of his own.
Brian Robinson, Washington Commanders
After spending the start of the season on the Injured Reserve as a gunshot victim to a robbery attempt, Robinson is designated to return from the list and into action. The Commanders have three weeks maximum to activate him. Meanwhile, Antonio Gibson continues to yield more and more snaps to J.D. McKissic. After 12 targets in Week 1, Gibson has just eight total from Weeks 2 through 4. He is phasing out as a focal point of the Commanders’ game plan as well as fantasy lineups. Robinson could be worth stashing for his inspiring return.
Mike Boone, Denver Broncos
It’s doom, gloom, and Boone in the Denver Broncos backfield ahead of Week 5. Javonte Williams’ season is over due to a torn ACL suffered in Week 4. Additionally, Melvin Gordon continues to struggle with a neck issue of his own. He’s also fumbling the football at an unnerving level. Latavius Murray is joining the Broncos from the Saints’ practice squad, but he’s 32-years old and will just be a thorn in Gordon and Boone’s sides if at all relevant.
With both Williams and Gordon unavailable for most of Sunday, Mike Boone played a season-high 36% of the snaps. His six opportunities weren’t much, but half of them were in the form of targets.
Like the aforementioned Nyheim Hines, Boone is set to play this Thursday. He is a plug-and-pray option for managers desperate for a running back in Week 5. The Broncos are running the ball at the 13th-highest rate across the league so far in 2022. They will likely lean on Russell Wilson more in light of their banged-up backfield. You’re hoping Boone scores a touchdown while the wide receivers command most of the targets in the passing game.
Romeo Doubs, Green Bay Packers
This is the last call for Romeo Doubs on the waiver wire. He is trending way up as the season progresses. Doubs is leading the Packers wide receivers in snaps this season. As a result, he also has a team-high 24 total targets with eight in each of the last two weeks. His 16 total targets in said games have produced an average of 17.0 fantasy points per game with a touchdown to his name in each. Doubs also couldn’t complete the catch on another potential score later in the game. Allen Lazard and Doubs are the clear-cut Packers pass catchers to roster for the remainder of the 2022 fantasy football season.
Isaiah McKenzie, Buffalo Bills
Any piece of the Buffalo Bills roster is worth adding to your fantasy roster. McKenzie’s stock is up after the news that slot receiver, Jamison Crowder, is heading to the Injured Reserve with a broken ankle. McKenzie is in concussion protocol, so he may not be available for Week 5. However, his value for the foreseeable future increases with more playing time in the slot.
For reference, Cole Beasley saw no less than 106 targets per season for three straight seasons with Josh Allen at quarterback. McKenzie is already second in wide receiver targets this year. He needs to be on rosters. If he is unable to play in Week 5, Khalil Shakur becomes a desperation flex play. He will see the vacated slot work if McKenzie is out, but is probably best for Daily Fantasy Sports lineups.
George Pickens, Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pickens breakout may finally be here. It’s all thanks to a much-needed change at quarterback in Pittsburgh. Kenny Pickett took the field at the start of the second half on Sunday in place of Mitchell Trubisky. He threw 13 passes, four of which went to George Pickens. His 32% target share is a career-high through four games, but the 30.7% share specifically with Pickett under center is more encouraging.
Pickens has an established rapport with Pickett who the team expects to move forward with at quarterback. He is trending up and worth adding to your bench off of the Week 5 waiver wire. I still want to see one more week with Pickett throwing his way before I plug him into any lineups.
Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys
Gallup is the latest player to return from a 2021 season-ending soft tissue injury. In his return, Gallup caught two of his three targets, one of which was in the end zone. He was third in snaps and targets amongst Cowboys receivers but ran two more routes than Noah Brown. As Gallup continues to ramp up his involvement, a large role should present itself behind Ceedee Lamb.
We’re also nearing the return of Dak Prescott at quarterback. His familiarity with Gallup should also be a priority over Brown, as well, in this offense. I’m likely not starting Gallup in Week 5 against the Rams, but he is worth adding on the Week 5 waiver wire if he’s available.
David Njoku, Cleveland Browns
After a TE2 overall finish in Week 3, Njoku took a small step back in Week 4 as the TE13. Over the last two weeks though, his 17 total targets trail only Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews (18 each) at the position. Njoku’s seven targets in Week 4 were second to Donovan Peoples-Jones while his 73 receiving yards led the team. He remains very involved in the Browns offense. Njoku’s playing time and role are worth investing in on a week-to-week basis. He is a must-add on the waiver wire if he is still available.
Tyler Conklin, New York Jets
Conklin has the second-most targets on the entire Jets offense. His five targets in Week 4 from Zach Wilson are slightly less than his eight per game average from the first three weeks with Joe Flacco at quarterback. He remains a matchup-based streamer most weeks. Up next for Conklin and the Jets are the Miami Dolphins. They’re allowing the fourth-most receptions and fifth-most yards to tight ends. He should log close to, if not more than, 10.0 points in Week 5.
Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks
Geno Smith returns to the waiver wire column this time topping the quarterback rankings. After a 93-point shootout with the Detroit Lions, Geno Smith’s 31.7 fantasy points earned him a QB2 overall finish in Week 4. It’s his second time in two weeks finishing as a stud inside the top seven at the position. With a strong run game, Smith continues to support a quality passing offense, as well, with help from D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Will Dissly. The Seahawks are surprisingly throwing nearly 61% of the time.
Smith will take on the Saints, Cardinals, Chargers, Giants, then Cardinals again in the next five weeks. That’s all before heading to Tampa Bay against the Buccaneers and heading into their Week 11 Bye. He is a steady, safe start for 2QB and Superflex Leagues during that time. There are probably better options in most 1QB leagues, but he deserves consideration for certain matchups.
Zach Wilson, New York Jets
Zach Wilson is back as the Jets’ starter. He finishes his first 2022 action with 19.78 fantasy points after throwing for 250 yards and a touchdown as well as catching a touchdown pass on a trick play. The Jets offense is stacked with talent. Wilson has a strong set of running backs to help move the ball with a well-rounded group of pass catchers. He and the Jets will play host to the Teddy Bridgewater-led Miami Dolphins in Week 5. Not only is their defense allowing the second-most yards to quarterbacks, it’s possible they’re on the field a lot if Bridgewater can’t get going.
Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers
Kenny Pickett completed every pass he threw once he entered the game for Mitchell Trubisky on Sunday. Unfortunately, three of those 13 completions were to the other team. While Pickett did throw three picks, he also punched in two rushing touchdowns against the New York Jets. He got the Steelers into scoring position then called his own number. Pickett is only a bench stash for 2QB and Super Flex leagues right now. We have too small of a sample size to trust him any further, but I’m glad to see him out there.