Waiver Wire Watch: Week 5
Editor’s Note: We’re happy that 4for4 Contributor Pat Fitzmaurice (formerly of Pro Football Weekly) is back on the Waiver Wire Watch this year. He will continue to work in conjunction with Senior Editor John Paulsen to compile this list of the top pickups each week.
Here is a look at the top waiver wire pickups for Week 5. To be eligible for discussion, the player must be owned in 50% or fewer Yahoo leagues, though we’ll stretch the rules a bit for the RB position, which is usually very thin. We’ll also include suggested bid prices (with a $100 budget) for those leagues that use Free Agent Acquisition Budgets. Of course, player value depends on league characteristics and team needs. Players are listed by position in order of importance. For extremely shallow or extremely deep leagues, be sure to review our Rest-of-Season Rankings (updated every Tuesday) to get an idea of how to value players not on this list.
* Players with an asterisk next to their name were mentioned in last week’s Waiver Wire Watch.
Giants QB Eli Manning ($9)
After a rocky preseason and a poor Week 1 performance, Eli seems to have grasped new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s system. Peyton’s little bro has completed better than 70 percent of his throws in each of his last two games, and he lit up Washington last week for 300 passing yards and four TD passes (along with a TD run). Eli now embarks on a three-week tour of some of the shakiest pass defenses in the league, beginning Sunday against the Falcons, who last week made Teddy Bridgewater look like a 10-year veteran in his first career start. Owned in only 47 percent of Yahoo leagues. Eli is primed to put up strong numbers in the short term.
Next up: Falcons, Eagles, Cowboys
Ravens QB Joe Flacco* ($5)
Flacco has never had a 4,000-yard season, and his single-season high in TDs is only 25. Is this the year Flacco puts up numbers befitting one of the league’s most handsomely paid quarterbacks? With Steve Smith Sr. bringing a needed spark to the Baltimore offense, Flacco is currently on pace for 4,220 passing yards and 28 TDs. He riddled the Panthers’ defense for 327 passing yards and three TDs last week, including two to Smith. After a neutral matchup against the Colts this week, Flacco gets favorable matchups against the Buccaneers and Falcons in Weeks 6-7.
Next up: Colts, Buccaneers, Falcons
Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater* ($4)
Making his NFL debut last week in Minneapolis, Bridgewater completed 19 of 30 passes for 317 yards, with no TDs or interceptions, in the Vikings’ 41-28 win over the Falcons. He also ran five times for 27 yards and a TD. Bridgewater has a quick turnaround this week, with only a few days to prepare for his first road start Thursday night in Green Bay, and a sprained ankle could very well keep him from playing in this one. Even if he can go, we don’t love the rookie as a Week 5 play. Still, aside from the Lions, he doesn’t have any particularly difficult matchups over the next five weeks and can offer help to fantasy teams as they wrestle with the bye weeks.
Next up: Packers, Lions, Bills
Buccaneers QB Mike Glennon* ($2)
Seemingly on his way to produce a pedestrian stat line in his first start of 2014, Glennon caught fire late and finished with 302 passing yards and two TDs in the Bucs’ come-from-behind road win over the Steelers. Glennon had a tendency to lock onto WR Vincent Jackson last year. During the win in Pittsburgh, Glennon targeted four different receivers seven times or more, with 10 of his 41 aimed throws intended for V-Jax. The young QB might revert to V-Jax overdependence this week now that Mike Evans is out with a groin injury, but we can live with that.
Next up: Saints, Ravens, BYE