Early Week 5 Fantasy Football waiver wire: Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray highlight parade of Week 5 waiver wire claims you'll want to make
Get ready for a busy week of waiver-wire transactions as big-time contributors from Week 4 are available to help your roster in Week 5 and beyond.
Every week there are players who emerge as interesting waiver-wire adds, but you could build a whole roster with what's there for the taking heading into Week 5. And the team could be competitive right away.
Jared Goff has amassed 20-plus Fantasy points for the second week in a row. He's available in 66 percent of CBS Sports leagues, but he's not even the best quarterback to chase -- Deshaun Watson exploded for five total touchdowns and , especially since his schedule isn't nearly as ugly as Goff's.
But the quarterback position is slim compared to the running backs, receivers and tight ends that you'll fight for off waivers this week.
We saw Alvin Kamara work in a nice role through the first three weeks of the season, but against the Dolphins Sunday his playing time really rocketed. Not only did he accumulate 25 yards on five carries, but he doubled his season reception total with 10 grabs on 10 targets for 71 yards and a score.
Technically, the Saints' backfield is still a three-headed monster, but Kamara and Mark Ingram dominated the snaps. Adrian Peterson barely played and had just four carries. Moreover, Kamara found snaps and touches in the red zone, proving he's not just a passing downs back.
The hunch is that Sean Payton has a real affinity for Kamara and his opportunities will continue to rise. Expect the Saints to come out of the Week 5 bye with the rookie rusher heavily involved in the offense, beginning in their Week 6 home game against the Lions.
Let's be clear: Latavius Murray isn't exciting like Dalvin Cook. In limited work this year he's averaging 2.7 yards per carry and needed every bit of 195 carries and 33 catches in 2016 to get over 1,000 total yards. What made him a Fantasy hero was his touchdown production, scoring 12 times over 14 games behind a well-built Raiders offensive line last year. Minnesota's had a pretty good unit up front so far, but Cook's ability to make defenders miss and create yardage put him way ahead of guys like Murray. .
Still, the opportunity in front of Murray is pretty good. He won't get the 18.5 carries per game Cook had to begin the season, particularly with Jerick McKinnon as a change-of-pace guy, but 12 to 15 per game, especially in a favorable matchup, is in order. He'll wind up being a touchdown-reliant Fantasy back, but he is the guy to target in Minnesota if Cook's injury is as serious as fears.
Expect Collins to be in demand. The Ravens haven't been able to find a reliable rusher since July, but they might have lucked into one with Collins, who has averaged 9.1 yards per carry over his last two games. Collins did a lot of garbage-time damage in the Ravens' sorry Week 3 game against the Jaguars, but he got a legitimate look against the Steelers, starting the game and rumbling for 23 yards on the very first play. He later erupted for a 50 yarder, but also fumbled the ball. He's got a yucky history of fumbles dating back to college but otherwise gives the Ravens a fairly fast and definitely physical rushing identity. He figures to be a popular bye-week replacement candidate at Oakland in Week 5.
This is the Cardinals' best running back -- for however long he lasts. Ellington caught a ridiculous nine passes (on 14 targets!) for 86 yards, while also putting up 18 yards on five carries. But we're starting to see a trend where running backs make an impact in the passing game and begin to take work away from traditional two-down grinders. Chris Thompson and Duke Johnson are two such examples, and Christian McCaffrey will get there soon. So might Ellington, but he'll have to stay healthy, which has been a problem for him in the past. PPR players desperate for running back help should find Ellington appealing as he heads into a Week 5 matchup at Philadelphia.
The Giants seem more than ready to move past Paul Perkins (1.9 yards per carry) and begin giving Wayne Gallman a look in their backfield. Though he suffered a similar fate as his backfield mates with a low rushing average thanks to a bad O-line, Gallman did catch a touchdown. It's also worth noting that through four weeks, the Giants rusher with the most carries in a game so far is Gallman thanks to his 11 tries in Week 4! Perhaps he's more than a speculative add -- the Chargers have been brutal against the run and fly across the country to play the G-Men in Week 5. A big audition could be on deck for Gallman.
Could the Jets offense be good after all? With Matt Forte sidelined, Bilal Powell erupted for 190 total yards and a touchdown, but McGuire added 131 total yards and a score of his own on 10 carries and two grabs. It's expected that Powell will continue to lead New York's offense, but so long as Forte is out, McGuire should stay steady with 12 touches per week. Playing at Cleveland in Week 5 could bring some nice numbers, making McGuire a low-end bye-week replacement.
Aaron Jones will get a lot of attention after he replaced injured running backs Ty Montgomery and Jamaal Williams in the Packers' Thursday night win against the Bears, but he might not be such a great Fantasy option.
Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said Montgomery was "preparing to play" in Week 5 following his discussions with the team's trainers. It remains to be seen if Montgomery will practice a little or a lot after breaking his ribs in Week 4, then we'll see if he can maintain his heavy workload. Jones could end up being a part-timer working behind Montgomery -- a role that would be more of a nuisance to Fantasy owners than anything else. Don't make Jones a high-priority free-agent pickup unless you have Montgomery.
Funchess benefited greatly from Cam Newton's bounce-back game against what seems to be a downright bad Patriots pass defense, catching 7 of 9 targets for 70 yards and two touchdowns, easily his best game as a Fantasy receiver. It was a very encouraging effort from Funchess, particularly since he had a catch rate below 50 percent entering this season. A third-year player, Funchess has caught 63 percent of his passes so far and has flashed encouraging signs of being a productive big-bodied receiver like Kelvin Benjamin.
Fantasy owners shouldn't expect two-touchdown games from Funchess, or even games with more than six receptions, but with the Lions, Eagles and Bears in his future, Funchess can work as a No. 3 receiver.
Will Fuller started hot last year, landing 10-plus Fantasy points in three of his first four games, but then fizzled fast. Could the same thing happen this year? He scored twice in his first game of the season, basically cast as a secondary receiver for the Texans but coming through with a couple of red-zone touchdowns.
Working in Fuller's favor is a quarterback, a schedule with some favorable matchups, and perhaps more consistent red-zone opportunities. Fuller's also a great deep-ball quarterback who Deshaun Watson could hit for a big play in any given week. As the bye weeks begin it's fair to say that Fuller can fill in as a replacement for a starter and still carry potential to become a regular in Fantasy lineups.
The veteran slot receiver has two games with seven targets and two games with 10 points in standard formats and 16 in PPR. Whether or not he gets the chance to keep this up depends on his health and on the productivity of his teammates. He'll also have a chance to thrive against opponents who do a nice job taking away the deep pass, as the Chiefs and Panthers did but Texans did not. Clearly needy of getting lots of targets, put Amendola in your plans in PPR formats but not standard leagues.
After not scoring in his last two games, Cooper Kupp came through with a touchdown and 60 yards on five receptions on Sunday against the Cowboys. This was his second game with a touchdown, his second with at least 60 yards and his third with at least six targets. It's becoming clear that Kupp is going to be a touchdown-or-bust wideout in non-PPR leagues and a low-end starter in full-point per reception formats. The Rams are about to begin a nasty stretch of games beginning with the Seahawks in Week 5. Kupp's fine to carry on the bench.
You knew this was coming, right? After basically being invisible for three weeks, Williams blew up for 115 yards and a touchdown over five catches in a Chargers home loss to the Eagles. But don't feel bad if you cut him -- note that 75 of the yards came on a touchdown catch-and-run and not over a series of moderate plays that kept Williams deeply intertwined in the offensive game plan.
The bad news is that Williams is still a boom-or-bust Fantasy receiver, not the every-week starter he was in 2016. The worse news is that the Chargers take to the road in Week 5 at the Giants. That makes for a tough matchup for a receiver who is big-play dependent. Don't rush to add Williams back to your roster.
We knew the Bucs' matchup against the Giants was juicy for their tight ends, but we didn't know it would result in both finishing as top 5 options for the week! Brate caught four passes for 80 yards with a score, and Howard added 63 yards on two catches with his first touchdown in the pros. Both will cause all kinds of matchup problems for defenses, including the Patriots in Week 5, but until Howard begins to routinely pick up targets and playing time, Brate is the one to roll with. He remains in the streaming conversation for one more week.
It can't be as simple as replacing one Tyler with another, can it? Tyler Kroft notched fresh career-highs with seven targets, six receptions, 68 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday against the Browns. It was the kind of game typically reserved for red-zone dominator Tyler Eifert, who is sidelined with a back injury. It's also the kind of game fringe players can come up with against bad defenses, and the Browns certainly qualify as the latter. The Bills in Week 5 will be a much tougher draw for Kroft and the Bengals. Only Fantasy owners in the deepest of leagues should get amped to add Kroft.
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