Ranking the Wire: Week 5

There is no cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all answer to how to better your team when making waiver wire moves so instead of waiver tiers based on best available players, here are waiver add suggestions predicated on team need. The top three on the "Might Still be Available" list would trump that of the "Need a Starter" list. 

Need a Starter for Week 5 / Bye Week Fill-In

  1. Zach Ertz
  2. Terrance West
  3. Quincy Enunwa
  4. Carson Wentz
  5. Robert Woods
  6. Eddie Royal
  7. Zach Miller
  8. James White
  9. Chris Hogan
  10. Orleans Darkwa

Stash / Bench Depth

  1. Bilal Powell
  2. Kenneth Dixon
  3. Donte Moncrief
  4. Corey Coleman
  5. Dion Lewis / Chris Hogan
  6. Michael Thomas
  7. Wendell Smallwood
  8. Josh Ferguson
  9. Jay Ajayi
  10. Zach Zenner

Might Still be Available

  1. John Brown
  2. Tyler Eifert
  3. Steve Smith Sr.
  4. Aforementioned Moncrief, Coleman and Lewis.
  5. Derrick Henry


Terrance West / Kenneth Dixon, RB, BAL – I made the comparison on Twitter yesterday of Dixon to that of David Cobb and the Titans’ backfield last season. The Titans’ backfield was a mess and Cobb, amongst the fantasy community, was expected to come in and be the savior.

As we all know that didn’t happen and Cobb was waiver wire fire a few weeks later. That is worst case scenario for Dixon but it is worth bearing in mind when placing FAAB bids on Dixon. Dixon was the best pass-catcher in the draft this year and that is a very valuable trait in a Mark Trestman offense. However, don’t expect the Ravens to hand over the full time job right away, but the fact that they cut Justin Forsett is a ringing endorsement for both players. West is worth the priority add if in need of a starter, Dixon is the target if bench depth is the goal.

Bilal Powell, RB, NYJ – Powell’s snap counts have increased every week, to the point where he played more than Matt Forte in Week 4. Some of this is a product of game flow but Powell is a talented pass-catcher and is decent between the tackles. Forte has 92 touches through four games, a pace that is unsustainable for most backs, especially those over the age of 30.

Quincy Enunwa, WR, NYJ – Enunwa led all Jets’ wide receivers in snaps in Week 4 and is second on the team in targets with 32. Eric Decker is not health, likely to miss another week at minimum and has admitted that if he isn’t shutdown to have surgery, he will likely be playing through pain at some point to close out the year. Either way, Enunwa’s value is on the rise as Decker’s falls.

James White / Dion Lewis, RB, NE and Chris Hogan, WR, NE – Tom Brady’s return likely spells a transition in both game flow and running back usage for the Patriots. With Brady at the helm, the Patriots tend to use dump-offs and screens in-lieu-of a traditional between the tackles rushing attack. White will serve that roll until Lewis is healthy but he could be back as early was Week 7 so now is the time to stash him, especially given the scarcity at the running back position. As far as Hogan is concerned, he is second in targets amongst the receiving core and leads all Patriot offensive players not named Martellus Bennett in snaps played. His value is on the rise with Brady’s return.

Josh Ferguson, RB, IND – Ferguson is worth a look in PPR formats because he is second to only T.Y. Hilton in targets. He hasn’t jumped off the screen when touching the ball but he nearly split snaps with Frank Gore in Week 4 (30 to 34) and was tied with Hilton for a team high 10 receptions. For what it is worth, Gore is 33 years old.

Zach Zenner, RB, DET – Zenner is probably not worth an add yet in most 10- or 12-team formats but he had an outstanding preseason in 2015 putting together 35-183-2 and some were expecting him to push Ameer Abdullah for touches last year. Of course that never happened and he started 2016 on practice squad but if Dwayne Washington’s ankle sprain is too severe to play through, Zenner may wind up getting the early down and goal line work for the Lions.

Derrick Henry, RB, TEN – This is the time to capitalize on another owner’s bye week drop. At this point in the season owners are forced to make tough roster decisions and drop talented players even if they don’t want to. Traditionally, the first to be dropped are the handcuffs of other team’s running backs (i.e. they’re not the DeMarco Murray owner). Henry has all the potential to be a top 20 running back for the rest of the season if Murray were to get injured. Murray has only topped 200 rushing attempts once and has only played a full 16 game season once. He is currently on pace for 264 carries and 340 total touches. Henry is worth a bench spot even for the non-Murray owners.