Week 5 has arrived, which means the fantasy football regular season is already 30% finished. It also means another edition deep waiver wire adds! Thankfully, even if you’re 0-4 in your head-to-head leagues, there’s still time to turn it around. But you’ll need to right the ship quickly.
That starts this week. The NFL is a league of opportunity. In Week 4, we saw several under-the-radar players take advantage of the chances they were given. I’d like to talk about a few of them this week, as we take a dive into 5 deep league waiver additions for Week 5.
Ito Smith—Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons are 1-3 entering week 5, but the offense is soaring. Matt Ryan has flashed shades of 2016 while putting up MVP-like numbers, leading the Falcons to a 29 PPG average, good for 6th in the NFL. This is all happening without Devonta Freeman, who’s been week-to-week with a knee injury since Atlanta’s Week 1 loss to Philadelphia. Performing in his absence have been Running Backs Tevin Coleman and Ito Smith. With Freeman set to return soon, you might be wondering why I’ve waited until now to recommend Smith as a potential add. Let’s start with Smith’s play so far this season. The Rookie has gotten 18 rushing attempts on the ground and caught another 7 passes out of the backfield. On those 25 touches, he’s averaged 5.48 yards per touch. Additionally, he’s getting more than enough work behind Coleman to warrant a long look:
ATL RBs yesterday: Tevin Coleman 40 snaps, 20 routes, 14 carries, 3 targets.
Ito Smith 30 snaps, 13 routes, 7 carries, 3 targets.
— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) October 1, 2018
Smith also appears to be making the most of his opportunity, per @PFF_Falcons:
Ito Smith has forced 7 missed tackles on 18 rush attempts. That's a 32% higher rate than any other running back with as many carries.
— PFF ATL Falcons (@PFF_Falcons) October 2, 2018
Now, let’s go back to Freeman. This is a guy whose rushing attempts have gone down in 3 consecutive seasons. In 2015, he had 265 carries. In 2016, that number dropped to 227, before falling to 196 last year. Per Sports Injury Predictor, Freeman has battled concussions and knee problems throughout the past few seasons, which have factored into his play on the field. And after just one half of action this year, he’s hurt yet again. I never root for injuries in fantasy football, but Freeman’s track record is iffy at best, and even when he returns to the field this season, I like the odds of Smith finding meaningful snaps all season long. See if he’s available, stash, and wait.
Chester Rogers—Indianapolis Colts
Put this one on the “things I didn’t see coming” list. In Indianapolis’ Week 4 loss to the Texans, Chester Rogers led all Colts WR in snaps with 72, while he hauled in 8-of-11 targets for 85 yards. With T.Y. Hilton looking unlikely to play in Thursday night’s matchup vs the Patriots, Rogers could be in line for double-digit targets once again. And let’s not forget, with the Patriots currently sitting as 10 point favorites, Andrew Luck could be slinging the pigskin all night long. If you’re searching for a BYE week replacement for someone like Allen Robinson, Mike Evans or DeSean Jackson, Rogers could be worth a look as a high upside plug-and-play option in Week 5.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling—Green Bay Packers
Despite only hauling in one pass for 38 yards, Packers WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling played a season-high 54 snaps in Green Bay’s Week 4 win over the Bills. And that number is trending up as we enter Week 5. Randall Cobb is nursing a hamstring injury, and it looks like he’ll be out at least one more game. Geronimo Allison is also on the mend after he suffered a concussion this past Sunday. With Allison’s status up in the air, Valdes-Scantling appears to be the next man up for Aaron Rodgers. With an over/under of 51, Vegas is projecting plenty of points for this NFC North matchup. Definitely keep an eye on Allison’s status as we approach Sunday, but be sure to see if Valdes-Scantling is available in your league. He’s worth an add for Week 5 and beyond, especially considering Cobb’s injury history.
Geoff Swaim—Dallas Cowboys
While offenses around the NFL continue to explode this season, Tight End production has underwhelmed. Big name guys like Rob Gronkowski, Hunter Henry, Tyler Eifert, O.J. Howard and Evan Engram have all sustained some sort of injury. Dependability at the position has been hard to find. But if you’re hurting at TE, a guy by the name of Geoff Swaim might be able to help. Swaim has played over 90% of the snaps in every game for the Dallas Cowboys this season. And over the past two games, he’s garnered 7 and 5 targets, respectively. In Week 5, the Cowboys get a primetime matchup against a Texans team that just allowed 464 passing yards to Andrew Luck. In a game that figures to feature an uptick in scoring, Swaim seems like an above-average TE add this week.
Cameron Brate—Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In Weeks 1-2 this season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense went berserk as Ryan Fitzpatrick started the year with a bang. Yet, Bucs TE Cameron Brate was on the outside looking in. Through week 2, Brate had a combined 0 receptions on 0 targets. In Week 3, that all changed. Brate got on the board in Tampa’s Week 3 loss to the Steelers with 3 receptions for 34 yards and a touchdown. Last week, Brate repeated that production with another 3 receptions and a score. Now, O.J. Howard is reportedly going to miss 2-4 weeks with an injury, and Brate’s old friend Jameis Winston is back under center for the Bucs. Over the past two seasons, Brate has scored 14 TDs, and he already has another 2 this season. At the very least, he figures to be a big red zone factor.
Since you asked.
Most Red Zone Receiving TDs Since 2016:
16 – Jordy Nelson
14 – Davante Adams
14 – Jimmy Graham
13 – Cameron Brate
12 – Kyle Rudolph
12 – Michael Thomas https://t.co/wvoKIbDEiQ
— Evert Geerlings (@E_Geerlings) March 16, 2018
As I mentioned before, TE has been a wasteland through 4 weeks. But Brate is now in line to be a difference maker. Even with the Bucs on BYE this week, Brate is deserving of an add and an immediate start in Week 6.
That does it for this week, folks. Keep coming back to The Fantasy Authority for all of your fantasy football needs this season. If you enjoyed this article, I’d love it if you said hello on Twitter @phclapp. Thanks for reading!