Waiver Worthy (Week 5 Aftermath): Alluring Youngster (Mack, Smith-Schuster) & More

by Will Overton

Week 5 is officially in the books and we are here to get you started on the process of looking ahead to Week 6 and beyond. Today is waivers day and we will take a look at some of the players who stood out in and may be on the radar for fantasy owners. Let’s take a look at some of the names you should know and what my thoughts are on the potential value:


Marlon Mack – RB, Indianapolis Colts
There was some preseason hype surrounding Mack, but it was squelched early on in the season. He ended up third string at RB for the Colts and then an injury derailed him further, so Week 5 was the first time we got a glimpse of the potential he possesses. Mack carried the ball nine times on Sunday for 91 yards and a TD, catching one pass for just two yards. Once he got it going the Colts seemed more than willing to give him more opportunities and I think that may be a theme.

I don’t know that he will unseat Frank Gore as the RB1, but I do think he can work his way into a near even carry share if he keeps producing. I also believe Mack has yet to show us his pass catching abilities which could bump him up another level as far as fantasy upside. I think his potential warrants an add in most leagues.
Verdict: Add him for the upside


JuJu Smith-Schuster – WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
It seems very clear that Smith-Schuster is establishing himself as the third receiver in Pittsburgh’s typically high octane offense. He pulled in four grabs on Sunday for 58 yards, targeted a total of six times in the game. The Steelers rookie wideout has averaged five targets over the last four games, and is making the most of his chances. That said, it’s hard to have big performances when there are three other guys absorbing so much of the production. His potential is there, but without an injury his upside is somewhat limited this year.
Verdict: Dynasty and Deep League add only


Roger Lewis – WR, New York Giants
The New York Giants season just keeps getting worse and at this point their wide receiver corps is completely wrecked. Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Harris are all out for the rest of the season and Sterling Shepherd came away banged up and could miss time (though we’ll have to wait and see). That leaves a big opening for someone to step up and right now Lewis seems like the next guy up. We have no significant reason to believe he will produce, but sometimes opportunity is a fantasy owner’s best friend. Lewis is nothing more than a flier, but the opportunity is here.
Verdict: A Flier with an opportunity


George Kittle – TE, San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers opened up the offense against the Colts and aired it out this past week. One of the biggest benefactors was Kittle, who was targeted nine times, catching seven balls for 83 yards and a TD. This is the first real blip he has made on the fantasy radar. On the one hand he has been running a high total of routes, but on the other that doesn’t do much if the quarterback isn’t looking your way. This may boost Brian Hoyer’s confidence in the rookie, but I am not ready to put much faith in that just yet.
Verdict: Take a wait and see approach


Ed Dickson – TE, Carolina Panthers
Someone we do know has a history of throwing to his tight end a good bit is Cam Newton. The benefactor of that previously had been Greg Olson, but he is currently out for another month or two and in has stepped Dickson. Against the Lions he broke out in a big way with five catches for 175 yards. This is a pretty extreme pace to keep up, and certainly he can’t, but there is definitely value. Dickson has opportunity, which we’ve already talked about as important, and with Newton’s affinity for the TE position the next 4–6 weeks could be very productive until Olsen returns.
Verdict: Grab Him Until Olsen Returns


Dion Lewis – RB, New England Patriots
It seems as though the Patriots RB situation may be coming into focus a bit more, though in saying that it’ll most certainly change again this week. As of now it looks like Mike Gillislee is the go to back, while Lewis has established himself as the change of pace, third down guy over James White. That is a role that can be significant in this offense and we’ve seen Lewis thrive in it before. He’s also coming into a matchup with the New York Jets, which should lead to a nice production opportunity. As long as Lewis can hold down this role he can have value, especially in a PPR format.
Verdict: Solid add in PPR, Potential spot starter in standard leagues


Kevin Hogan – QB, Cleveland Browns
Certainly the Cleveland Browns were hoping they wouldn’t be changing quarterbacks after just five weeks when they named Deshone Kizer the starter. Nonetheless here we are and Hogan is in line to take over under center. He relieved Kizer this past Sunday and impressed, going 16–19 for 194 yards and a pair of TD, also rushing for 30 yards. It’s pretty hard to be excited about anyone on the Browns offense right now, but Hogan has some upside and can run a little bit. He’s not someone to add in standard leagues but in two QB leagues, or leagues with an OP spot, he may hold value.
Verdict: Add him in 2 QB leagues

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  1. patriots says:

    Hello Professor,
    12 team standard, for the waiver wire, how would you rank these as there all available. Duke Johnson, marlon Mack, dion Lewis, derick McKinnon. I have on my bench , Alfred Morris (zeik owner). Donta foreman, Rex burkhead, devante Parker. Who would you drop if any to pick up an rb? Thank You

  2. patriots says:

    Also available is asron Jones

  3. Too Tall says:


    After McKinnon’s performance Monday night, would you drop Latavious Murray for McKinnon? Thanks.

  4. Smidge says:

    My RB’s are Lynch, Mixon…. I also have Thompson, A. Jones Gallman and McKinnon is on waivers… should I purge for McKinnon for the rest of the year.. I realize Jones is probably only good for one more week unless Montgomery gets hurt again… idk thoughts?

  5. Tony says:

    Hi Professor,

    The dreaded question, but one of those who had Josh Gordon ‘that year’ he showed his potential.

    Do you think that Goodell will allow him to play this year or wait to see if he has sorted himself out to play in 2018?

    If you don’t mind another question after asking about JG, do you think Dede Westbrook is as good as some suggest he is? He is expected to return soon from IR, so I don’t want to lose him as I did with Aaron Jones last week!

    Guess I should note that I have M Evans, M Bryant, M Jones, (AR on IR) and Golladay, who might as well be on IR, but I see his potential; I’m in a keeper league.

    Then of course, here are two WRs I’m considering, so I certainly welcome your advice if you have time to take my questions. Your website provides really good insight, the latest example is some concern about Deshaun Watson against Cleveland. Granted, I’ll be starting him as R Wilson on a bye, but I agree with the point that he is still a rookie even with a match-up that looks too good.

    Thank you very much

    • I wouldn’t bother gambling on Gordon. Even if he is reinstated, the chances of him making an impact this season are minimal.

      As for Westbrooks, he’s def. worth the gamble. It’s not like their current receiving corps has impressed, so the opportunity will be there

      • Tony says:

        Thanks very much for your advice – I appreciate it!

        Reassuring that you agree with the others about Westbrook. I think AR is a free agent next year as well, and could be a QB change if Bortles doesn’t improve.

        I hope JG can come back, but I’m getting tired of adding and dropping him with every rumor I hear. I think Goodell will wait to see if he can stay clean before reinstating him, but JG seems intelligent enough to know this will be his last chance if it happens.

        Thanks again!

  6. darrick says:

    hey, professor i have mccoy and mixon on by and i need 2 rbs for this week. on my bench i have crowell, smallwood, gallman and alex collins. do i just start 2 of those rb’s or do i pick up eiher mckinnon, jarovius allen, mcguire or mack

  7. Toby says:

    Hi Prof,

    who would you rather add as a WR, Albert Wilson or Roger Lewis (non PPR)


  8. Atrain says:

    Is a trade for duke johnson and desean jackson for james white and emmanuel sanders or pierre garcon a smart one?

    This is my team….5 ppr rb’s 1.0 ppr wr & te
    Pos Players
    QB Kirk Cousins QB | WAS
    RB Todd Gurley RB | LAR
    RB Carlos Hyde RB | SF
    WR Keenan Allen WR | LAC
    WR Pierre Garcon WR | SF
    WR Emmanuel Sanders WR | DEN
    TE Zach Ertz TE | PHI
    RB-WR-TE Hunter Henry TE | LAC
    K Greg Zuerlein K | LAR
    QB Jay Cutler QB | MIA
    WR Jaron Brown WR | ARI
    WR Dez Bryant WR | DAL
    WR Josh Doctson WR | WAS
    RB-WR-TE Frank Gore RB | IND
    RB-WR-TE James White RB | NE

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