Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 5 Pickups

brian hartlineThis may be one of the worst fantasy football seasons in recent memory when it comes to the waiver wire. I can’t think of another season in recent years with as little to choose from on the wire. Sure you have your player that has a good week or two, but that waiver wire stud still eludes us. Unfortunately he won’t be coming this week.

The waiver wire this week is probably the slimmest it has been all season. As always, check out who is being dropped for the new flavor of the week because you may wind up with better options that way. Otherwise these players are strictly for bye week fill-ins or wait-and-see investors.


Kevin Kolb, Arizona Cardinals – Kolb and the Cards are clicking right now and he could be a sneaky play going forward if you need a QB on a bye week. Kolb and the Cards have some juicy quarterback matchups coming up that are likely to bring him double digit points. I am not a big fan of playing QBs in Thursday night matchups so you may want to wait a week on that one. He’ll have the Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings next who could bring you dividends if you need to play Kolb.

Running Backs

Jackie Battle, San Diego Chargers – If you are a Ryan Matthews owner like me, the name Jackie Battle makes your stomach sick. I am hopeful as a Matthews owner that the Chargers were just trying to send Matthews a message by giving Battle the bulk of the load on Sunday. However, Battle could have earned himself a shot at the Mike Tolbert role and that could be huge if he continues to get the call at the goal line for the Chargers. Ryan Matthews owners need apply!

LeGarrette Blount, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Please don’t tell me that you didn’t see this coming! Blount was back in the fold on Sunday, taking critical goalline carries away from Doug Martin. The Bucs are desperate and are likely to use Blount as the primary goalline back when they come back from their bye week. It’s time to panic Doug Martin owners because Blount is back!

Rashard Mendenhall, Pittsburgh Steelers – Mendenhall isn’t available on most wires but he is out there. Mendenhall is expected to take the field this weekend after suffering a terrible injury last season. The Steelers are desperate to get their running game as their current crew of backs is only averaging a measly 2.6 YPC. I wouldn’t expect big things initially out of Mendenhall but by mid-season he may wind up nabbing you a score per game minimum.

Brandon Bolden, New England Patriots – I am not a big fan of playing any of the Patriots running backs but if you are desperate on the wire, Bolden may be a sneaky pickup. He racked up 137 yards and a TD on Sunday and Bolden isn’t even the starter. I could easily see a few scenarios where the Pats get up big and lean more on Bolden to close than Ridley. He’s a high risk-high reward player so proceed with caution.

Bryce Brown, Philadelphia Eagles – LeSean McCoy left Sunday night’s game banged up and it is a situation worth monitoring. Let’s be clear. Brown is worthless on your team if McCoy stays healthy. However, if McCoy misses a game or two you could have yourself a nice waiver wire pickup for at least a week in Brown.

Wide Receivers

Brian Hartline, Miami Dolphins – Hartline went off and I mean went off Sunday in Arizona. Now I would be shocked if he put up anything remotely close to those stats at any other point this season. But, he is heavily targeted by Ryan Tannehill, seeing 8 or more targets per game. There is something brewing here between Hartline and Tannehill and if this new bromance develops into a nice scoring tandem, you could have yourself a great play in Hartline later in the season when you need him.

Mike Williams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – I had Mike Williams in my “Fantasy Sleepers: The Comeback” blog in the preseason. Reports out of Tampa Bay indicated that the Bucs would take advantage of the attention Vincent Jackson would receive from defenses by getting Williams back in the game. Williams is quietly having a nice season. He had a stinker last week but bounced back with over 100 yards on Sunday. The Chiefs and Saints are up next for the Bucs. In other words, Williams is poised to have some big weeks coming up.

Jerome Simpson, Minnesota Vikings – The leaping receiver returned to the NFL on Sunday and had 50 yards and 4 catches off of 5 targets. Leslie Frazier told the media last week that they plan to heavily involve Simpson in the offense. There is serious potential here in Simpson becoming a weekly deep threat target for Ponder. I wouldn’t start him next week but I’d stash and see if you are looking to take a shot on a wide receiver. There is some serious potential here.

Domenik Hixon, New York Giants – Hakeen Nicks unexpectedly missed Sunday night’s tussle with the Eagles and an even bigger unexpected move, Hixon moved ahead of Ramses Barden on the depth chart. Hixon racked up 114 yards off of 6 receptions Sunday night. It would appear that Nicks is now having issues with both legs and this may wind up costing the #1 wide out a few games throughout the rest of the season. It was clear Sunday that the receiver to own if you own Nicks is Hixon, not Bardes.

Tight Ends

Scott Chandler, Buffalo Bills – Meet another reason you took Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham too early in your drafts. Chandler is having a fantastic season, with six TDs in just four games. Chandler did leave Sunday’s game with a head injury, but the Bills are calling it a minor injury right now. There is a good chance Chandler misses next week if he is diagnosed with a concussion, but he’ll be back with some nice matchups in the upcoming weeks. Grab him while you still can! Of all the options here I’d probably put him at the top of the list if I needed to take a gamble on one of these names.

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