by Will Overton
Week 5 is virtually in the books, putting us nearly a third of the way through the season and putting you in a position where it’s time to start putting the pedal to the floor if you’ve come out of the gates a little slow. Week 5 didn’t produce any standouts for the waiver wire, aside from a couple that we’ve previously discussed, but there are sneaky guys who may be worth grabbing. Let’s break it down:
Wayne Gallman – RB, New York Giants
This is 100% dependent on what kind of news comes out Saquon Barkley, who was injured on the Giants last offensive play (a TD scored by him). With Barkley in town Gallman has seen the field very sparingly, but if Barkley is banged up the whole share of RB touches goes to Gallman, who is clear cut number two with Jonathan Stewart on IR.
Gallman looked like he had some promise at the end of last season, especially in the passing game, and we’ve seen the Giants are in on throwing to the back this year. Initial reports were that Barkley wasn’t hurt too badly, but we won’t know anything until the end of the day today, or even tomorrow, and this is a short week with the Giants playing on Thursday. If Barkley misses time, Gallman is a flex play with potentially more upside.
Verdict: Grab him if it looks like Barkley may miss some time
Jalen Richard – RB, Oakland Raiders
The pass catching running backs continue to get overlooked in fantasy football, but if you play in a PPR format you may be missing out on real value. Richard is someone you never hear discussed in fantasy circles, but he is quietly becoming one of the most productive pass catchers out of the backfield in the league. He caught six passes yesterday for 53 yards and now has 24 catches on the season, despite getting blanked in one game. He has scored 11 or more fantasy points in PPR formats in three games this season, and with injuries and bye weeks adding up Richard could be a fairly strong plug and play for your team.
Verdict: Has to be owned in PPR formats
Robby Anderson – WR, New York Jets
Just when fantasy owners, myself included, were getting on board with dropping Anderson he goes and breaks out like he did yesterday. Anderson caught just three passes against the Broncos, but he made them count going for 123 yards and 2 TD. This is just the second time this season he has caught as many as three balls, and the first time with more than 41 yards. Now you have to question whether to grab him again or leave him be. Anderson wasn’t targeted more than normal, he was just able to connect on a couple big plays and big plays aren’t always easy to come by. I think he has the talent, I’ve been a big believer, but if he’s only used as a big play target and not in the middle of the field it’s hard to trust him.
Verdict: Not all the way back on board yet, but you have to watch him closely
Marquez Valdes-Scantling – WR, Green Bay Packers
The Wide Receiver position in Green Bay is just like a next man up shop, there’s always someone to step up when a guy gets hurt. There were a couple who stepped up this past week, but Valdes-Scantling had the biggest game. The tall and lanky receiver ended up targeted by Aaron Rodgers 10 times, catching 7 passes for 68 yards and a TD. The opportunity presented itself due to Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison both being out, and his fantasy value is now dependent on their returns. If they’re both out he makes a solid WR3 play, if one is out he’s more a flier and if they are both healthy he’s not going to give you much. What might be interesting is whether he can show enough for the Packers to trade Randall Cobb, something that has already been discussed as a possibility, opening up a permanent job.
Verdict: Watch the injury news and if Valdes-Scantling is going to play he makes a good plug and play
Christian Kirk – WR, Arizona Cardinals
It’s hard to really gauge things since I’m not sure Larry Fitzgerald has been totally healthy all year, but Kirk may be making a push for the top spot in the Arizona receiving corp. Kirk took the lead yesterday with three catches for 85 yards and a TD score, the first of his career. He is flashing some legitimate big play potential and seems to be progressing each week. The problem is the Cardinals offense just isn’t that great, and Josh Rosen is clearly still trying to find his footing. Of the guys we’re discussing at the position I think Kirk possesses the best chance of emerging into a regular fantasy contributor based on his talent, but there is still risk.
Verdict: Add him if you need a WR, but there is risk in playing him
Josh Reynolds – WR, Los Angeles Rams
The Rams were dealt a double whammy this Sunday when both Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp suffered concussions. This opened the door for Reynolds to get some playing time, though Kupp didn’t go out until late in the game. Reynolds flashed some upside last season in limited opportunities and was getting a fair amount of hype as a breakout before the Brandin Cooks trade. Concussions are very unpredictable, but I like Reynolds as a cheap flier to grab in case one or both guys miss time. The Rams offense is a machine and Reynolds should be productive if he’s on the field.
Verdict: Grab him as a flier in case of opportunity