Fantasy Football Waiver Wire, Week 5: Scouring for pickups after latest rash of injuries

Another week, another nightmarish series of injuries across the NFL. Jonathan Taylor, Javonte Williams, Cordarrelle Patterson and two different Giants QBs were among the players hurt on Sunday — and Tua Tagovailoa has already been ruled out for Week 5 after last Thursday's scary scene. So in all likelihood, you're gonna need to hit the fantasy waiver wire this week. Below you'll find a collection of approved pickups, all of them available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Priority pickups at wide receiver

Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys (41% rostered)

Gallup is just nine months removed from an ACL tear, yet he managed to make a serious impact for the Cowboys in Sunday's win. The highlight of his day was this 9-yard scramble-drill touchdown...

...but the box-score doesn't tell the full story of his afternoon. Gallup caught two balls for 24 yards and also drew a pair of flags, accounting for another 65 yards. He's a weapon of a different sort for Dallas, a big-play specialist and the team's best jump ball receiver. Gallup has an 1,100-yard season to his credit with Dak Prescott as his quarterback, so his fantasy potential is well established. It's hard to believe there's not at least one manager in every 12-team league who should be adding Gallup this week. He's likely to be a high-variance player, but his big weeks will be plenty useful.

Recommended waiver offer, assuming $100 budget: $21

George Pickens, Pittsburgh Steelers (39%)

One week after giving us the catch of the year, Pickens delivered another six receptions for 102 yards on eight targets against the Jets — with ridiculous highlights included, per his usual:

Kenny Pickett pushed aside Mitch Trubisky on Sunday, which can't possibly be a bad thing for Pickens. The matchups ahead for Pittsburgh are less than ideal — at Buffalo, vs. Tampa Bay, at Miami, at Philly — so this offense isn't likely to be a fantasy buffet before the season's second half (if it happens at all). Still, Pickens has the look of a star. It's kinda wild that he's still eligible for the weekly pickups column.

Offer: $14

Alec Pierce, Indianapolis Colts (5%)

Look, we're not gonna try to convince you that Indy offers a particularly rich offensive environment. Matt Ryan can be, at times, a rough watch. But it's nice to see that he has enough faith in Pierce, a raw yet explosive second-round rookie, to lob deep 50/50 balls in his general direction...

Pierce has size (6-foot-3), speed and a 40-inch vertical, so he doesn't lack the traits we like to see in receiving prospects. He's also been targeted 11 times over the past two weeks, gaining 141 yards. A different random Colts tight end has functioned as the team's No. 2 receiver in pretty much every game so far this season, but Pierce seems headed for a big week soon. We encourage you to add him ahead of the eventual rush.

Offer: $4

Other receivers to add: Corey Davis (if Zach Wilson can be said to have chemistry with anyone, it's Davis), Josh Reynolds (he's seen 18 targets over the past two weeks and found the end zone in two of his last three), Jakobi Meyers (he practiced on a limited basis last week, so he seemed close to returning from injury; the Lions generous defense is up next for the Pats), Zay Jones (despite the DNP on Sunday, he's still a viable add coming off his 10-catch performance in Week 3), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (MVS is drawing 5-7 looks per game, many of them high-yield deep chances, and his quarterback is an actual wizard), Khalil Shakir (Buffalo lost both Isaiah McKenzie and Jamison Crowder to injury on Sunday, creating a path to playing time for the Boise St. rookie).

Roster-worthy tight ends: Hayden Hurst (he reached the end zone on Thursday night and a miserable Baltimore pass defense is up next), Mo Alie-Cox (he just became the latest Colts tight end to randomly erupt, but clearly there are no guarantees moving forward), Will Dissly (he's not exactly getting peppered with targets, but he's still delivered three TDs in four weeks for Seattle), Taysom Hill (he's a non-receiving tight end who nonetheless is a decent threat to break the plane in any given week).

Running backs on the wire

Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins (50%)

Chase Edmonds had the light side of the Dolphins RB platoon on Thursday night, playing only 28 percent of the offensive snaps while Mostert handled the other 72 percent. Edmonds saved his fantasy week with a 7-yard TD reception, but he was decisively out-touched by the guy who now appears to sit atop the team's backfield hierarchy. Mostert carried 15 times for 69 yards against the Bengals and snagged two receptions for another dozen yards on three chances. He's in the flex conversation in the weeks ahead, as Miami's schedule is full of friendly matchups.

Offer: $16

Mike Boone, Denver Broncos (2%)

Boone is a former preseason legend, no doubt remembered by many of you for his dreadful face-plant performance back in Championship Week in 2019. He's about to see a serious uptick in usage for Denver after Javonte Williams unfortunately suffered a torn ACL in Sunday's loss. Boone gained 29 yards on four touches against the Raiders, though he also had a brutal drop and he's caught just two of five targets this season.

So, Boone apparently can't catch and Melvin Gordon suddenly can't hold onto a football under any circumstances, which means the Broncos are gonna have some issues in the weeks ahead. Boone has been an efficient back over his five seasons (5.5 YPC), however, and he's clearly going to be relied upon moving forward. There's no reason to think this team will scrap its RBBC ways with Williams sidelined; if they did it with Javonte, they'll surely do it with anyone. The Colts, Chargers and Jets are up next for Denver, so there are no stay-away matchups on the horizon.

Offer: $15

Tyler Allgeier and Caleb Huntley, Atlanta Falcons (18% and 1%)

Cordarrelle Patterson entered Week 4 with a reportedly painful knee condition and he landed on IR on Monday, so he'll miss at least four games. Allgeier and Huntley each handled 10 carries in the win over Cleveland, rushing for 84 and 56 yards respectively. Huntley scored on a short plunge while Allgeier added a 20-yard reception, among various assorted highlights...

Allgeier caught 28 balls at BYU last year and he's been an effective receiving weapon thus far in Atlanta on limited chances. He was a preferred stash throughout draft season, based on the likelihood of the present scenario. He doubled up Huntley's snaps on Sunday, 24 to 12.

Damien Williams remains on IR with a rib issue, so he's no threat to Allgeier or Huntley this week (and wouldn't be a full-workload back in any case). The Falcons have a pair of daunting matchups ahead against the Bucs and Niners, which clearly is a problem. Still, this pair is of young backs deserves your attention.

Offer: $16 and $8

Additional RBs to consider: Isiah Pacheco (the rookie moves at a very different speed compared to CEH and he saw an uptick in snaps against the Bucs), Rachaad White (he just delivered 56 scrimmage yards and a TD, catching five balls on Sunday night), Deon Jackson (Jonathan Taylor is dealing with an ankle issue and heading into a short week, so either Jackson or Phillip Lindsay is looking at substantial usage against Denver on TNF), Latavius Murray (apparently he still has a bit of tread remaining on the tires, although his fantasy relevance is entirely tied to Alvin Kamara's availability).

Quarterbacks to stream or stash

Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks (13%)

Geno cooking at a level that Russ never reached last season is one of the season's wildest and most entertaining developments. Smith is leading the NFL in completion percentage at the moment (77.3) while averaging 259.3 passing yards per game. He ran for a touchdown in Sunday's frenetic win at Detroit and he completed 23 of 30 throws for 320 yards and two additional scores. He's now given us back-to-back 300-yard performances, plus he's tossed multiple TD passes in three of his four games. It's good to be the guy who gets to throw to D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Smith is approved for deep league use until further notice.

Offer: $5

Also on the approved list at QB: Ryan Tannehill (he's a low-volume passer with an unappealing receiving corps, but the Commanders are on deck), Jimmy Garoppolo (he's a low-ceiling fantasy option, true, but the Panthers and Falcons are up next on the schedule), Teddy Bridgewater (if you're simply looking for 220 yards and a score or two, Bridgewater is capable of delivering in this week's matchup against the Jets), Jameis Winston (either he or Andy Dalton gets to face Seattle in Week 5, a defense that just gave up 378 yards and four TDs to Jared Goff).

If you're streaming your defenses

Jacksonville Jaguars (13%)

Let the record show that Jacksonville's defense currently ranks fourth in scoring (16.8 PPG) and third in takeaways (9), so this group is actually legit. Over the next three weeks, they face the Texans, Colts and Giants, which seems like a layup line for fantasy purposes. The Jags also get the Jets and Texans in Weeks 16-17, the most important stretch on the fantasy calendar.

Offer: $3

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