Waiver Wire Watch: Week 5
Editor’s Note: We’re happy to have 4for4 Contributor Pat Fitzmaurice (formerly of Pro Football Weekly) on board; he's working in conjunction with Senior Editor John Paulsen to compile this list of the top waiver wire 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 ESPN 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. If you're wondering about a player who is not listed here, be sure to check out our Rest of Season Rankings, which are updated on Tuesday.
* Players with an asterisk next to their name were mentioned in last week’s Waiver Wire Watch.
Chiefs QB Alex Smith ($4)
Smith threw his first two interceptions of the season in Kansas City’s easy win over the Giants, but he also tossed a season-high three TD passes and racked up 288 passing yards. Smith threw 41 passes on Sunday and has had at least 34 passing attempts in each of his four starts. We know he isn’t a bomber, but with this sort of volume, Smith’s game-manager act can work for fantasy owners.
Browns QB Brian Hoyer ($2)
It’s patently obvious that Brandon Weeden won’t be reclaiming his starting job when he returns from his thumb injury. Hoyer completed 25 of 38 passes for 269 yards and two TDs to lead the Browns to a home win over their in-state rivals from Cincinnati. That was a big win for Hoyer, who’s led Cleveland to consecutive victories when conventional wisdom suggested the Browns would be circling the drain by now. The appeal for fantasy owners is that the Browns don’t have much of a running game, so Hoyer just might be able to keep this up. If looking for a short-term pickup, Hoyer’s upcoming schedule looks pretty favorable, especially a Week 5 tilt against the Bills.
Texans QB Matt Schaub ($2)
Although he threw a costly pick-6 that helped the Seahawks claw their way back into a game they eventually won, Schaub was surprisingly productive against the tough Seattle defense, throwing for 355 yards and a pair of TDs. He has another tough matchup this week in San Francisco but then gets an appealing home date vs. the Rams.