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Fantasy Football: Week 5 waiver wire

10.02.12 at 8:52 am ET
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Now that the real four-team byes are here, I wanted to broaden the scope a little more, so you’ll find more players listed than usual. After all, more team needs will require more free agent options. The teams on the bye in Week 5  are the Cowboys, Lions, Raiders and Buccaneers. We get the Steelers’ and Colts’ players back.

We’ll have a full waiver wire posted at Rotobahn.com later today and I will be updating it up until early evening as I continue to work through the Week 4 games. And please check out our podcast that will be posted later today on WEEI.com. Jim Hackett and I will get into this week’s free agent options and take a look at next week’s game as well.

QUARTERBACKS

Andy Dalton, Bengals

He continues to get it done thanks to all the talent around him. There’s no reason this guy should be available in any league. Snatch him up if he’s there.

Christian Ponder, Vikings

He was a game manager last week, but now that he has Jerome Simpson back, we think he has enough talent around him to be pretty consistent. He should be owned in all leagues.

Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins

He’s been impressive. He made Brian Hartline into a star last week. He looks like a guy who should be rostered in large formats, and he can be used when he has a decent matchup. In long-term formats, he is definitely a player to own.

Matt Hasselbeck, Titans

This could be a short-term add for those who normally start Jake Locker (non-throwing shoulder injury), whom they are calling day-to-day right now. Locker is a longshot to play in Week 5. The veteran looked pretty good out there in relief of the less consistent but infinitely more athletic youngster.

Kevin Kolb, Cardinals

Kolb is really battling. We give the guy credit, and his newfound mettle may help him keep the gig all year. And the receiving talent that surrounds him gives him viability in big leagues.

Tim Tebow, Jets

The Mark Sanchez watch is on and for good reason. Tebow has upside as a starter due to his foot-point potential. He’s a nice add in large formats if you have issues with QB depth. He’s also a great add in long term leagues. He might be the Jets QB in 2013.

Brandon Weeden, Browns

Weeden has more ability than he’s getting credit for. He’s making some rookie mistakes, but it’s the mistakes happening around him that are really hurting him. If his receivers start hanging onto the ball, he could have some value through the bye weeks. Target him for deep leagues and long term formats only.

RUNNING BACKS

Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers

He’s not a lock to be all that good, but he is going to get his chance and should be picked up in any leagues where he is available. None of the other Steelers backs have stepped up in his absence. He’s clearly the back to own in Pittsburgh right now.

Ryan Williams, Cardinals

He’s the guy now and we expect him to gain steam in the coming weeks. They are slowly becoming functional on offense and that will help the backs. Williams should be owned in all leagues despite his week four struggles.

Jacquizz Rodgers, Falcons

Michael Turner’s outburst might lead to Rodgers being dropped in some leagues, so look out for him this week. He still has excellent potential and he is the future in Atlanta.

Bilal Powell, Jets

The Jets’ schedule does lighten up after their bye, and Powell is probably even-money to be the starter by then. We’d pick him up in all but very small leagues. He’s a rising stock. Powell is a solid pickup in long term and dynasty leagues, too.

Ronnie Hillman, Broncos

Hillman is two weeks in and he is looking better and better. We see him as the most valuable back in Denver after Willis McGahee. And, when you consider McGahee’s injury history, that is a significant thing. He also looks good in the passing game and he plays a with a quarterback who knows how to use all of his targets. Hillman has upside in all formats and should be used as a handcuff for McGahee in leagues with sufficient roster space.

Brandon Bolden, Patriots

We had him on our waiver wire last week and he’ll be getting a nice bump up in this week’s rankings. If you go back to our “32 Backfields” article in August, you will see we saw this coming. Even when your guy thrives in the New England backfield, you somehow feel less secure. Once again, we have too many backs with potential.  Wait until next year when they also have Jeff Demps. All that aside, Bolden is a player and he should be owned in large leagues and in long-term formats.

Jackie Battle, Chargers

Do we expect him to have the kind of value that he’s had over the last few weeks?  No. But he is definitely the back to own in San Diego after Ryan Mathews, and Mathews is injury-prone, to put it mildly. Owning Battle makes sense in all medium to large formats, especially for those who own Mathews.

Daryl Richardson, Rams

He’s a good little back, but not too little. Richardson can break tackles and he runs hard with good burst and balance. They like him a lot in St. Louis, and if you read our preseason content, you know we like him at Rotobahn. Steven Jackson owners should use him as a handcuff and we’d be adding him in medium to large formats just as an upside stash.

Kendall Hunter, 49ers

He looked good last week, and that Frank Gore injury is always right around the bend. Kendall should be owned in large leagues and as a handcuff for Gore.

Lamar Miller, Dolphins

He is the most talented back on Miami’s roster after Reggie Bush. Bush gets injured often, so Miller is a guy to own in big leagues and as a handcuff for Bush.

LeGarrette Blount, Buccaneers

He’s back. Blount scored and was given some carries in Week 4. He may end up having a role after all. All Doug Martin owners would be wise to roster Blount just in case. The Bucs are on the bye in Week 5.

Joique Bell, Lions

He appears to have slid past Kevin Smith on the depth chart and they give him touches pretty consistently. He’s the guy to have if you want a handcuff for starter Mikel Leshoure. The Lions are on the bye in Week 5.

Justin Forsett, Texans

Just a reminder to those who own Arian Foster. Ben Tate obviously is the next in line in Houston, but with Tate’s toe injury, minor though it may be, we should think about the next in line. That guy is Forsett and he has game, especially in this offense. In my big league that rosters three hundred total players, the GM with Foster also owns Tate and Forsett. Smart move if you have the roster space, because even an average back is a fantasy asset in Gary Kubiak’s offense and behind the Texans line.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Randall Cobb, Packers

We are believers in Cobb and he looked good yesterday. Hopefully his hamstring is no longer an issue. With Greg Jennings banged up again, we like Cobb in all formats and we’d be playing him in big leagues.

Brian Hartline, Dolphins

Wow. I have to admit that Hartline’s Week 4 outburst shocked me. Hartline has some talent, but we did not expect a breakout game against the Arizona defense. Hartline already had value, but with the way he and his young QB are playing, he must be owned everywhere.

Jerome Simpson, Vikings

He came back with four grabs for 50 yards. It was good to see him involved right away and we like his chances of having flex value in large leagues … and maybe even WR3 value in smaller leagues at some point. Simpson’s ability to make the big play will depend on his team’s ability to keep playing good football. Right now we like what we see in Minnesota. Simpson should be owned in all leagues.

James Jones, Packers

With Jennings banged up again, he will have value and he is playing better than he did in the first few games. He is a nice pickup as the bye weeks kick in.

Kendall Wright, Titans

He’s seeing plenty of targets every game, and with Britt banged up he could start again this week.

Leonard Hankerson, Redskins

He’s a starter now and we expect him to have some big games along the way. With Pierre Garcon back, Hankerson will see less quality coverage, and that’ll help too. The bottom line is that the way Robert Griffin III is playing, all of his receivers should be owned.

Andre Roberts, Cardinals

The guy is scoring touchdowns. He’s not as involved as his fantasy point total indicates, but he’s obviously a big factor in the red zone and can beat single coverage. His production may not last, but he’s a decent bye week replacement right now in any format and a decent flex in big leagues.

Donald Jones, Bills

He finally cashed in on the extra looks and had a big game against the Patriots in a blowout loss. He can hep you in medium and large leagues, especially during the bye weeks.

Donnie Avery, Colts

He’s got value right now. We have little faith that he will stay healthy for very long, but with the bye weeks upon us, we like adding Avery in all formats for short-term help. His QB is playing well and they like him in Indy. He is a stable option in the short term.

T.Y. Hilton, Colts

He’s a talent and he’s healthy now. He also has heightened opportunity with Austin Collie out for the season. We’d be adding Hilton in all leagues 12 teams and larger. He will be useful in the coming weeks since he is past his bye.

Jeremy Kerley, Jets

With Santonio Holmes down, and with injuries all throughout the Jets passing attack, Kerley is one of the few men standing. He’s worth a flex play in big leagues until the Jets get healthy.

Domenik Hixon, Giants

Hakeem Nicks is hurting and that may be the case for a while. Hixon seems to be ahead of Ramses Barden, and he has always had great chemistry with Eli Manning dating back to before all his injuries. Right now Hixon is playable in larger formats. Pick him up if you need help.

Cecil Shorts, Jaguars

If Laurent Robinson is out for a while due to a second concussion, we expect Shorts to have value in large formats during the bye weeks.

Chris Givens, Rams

He’s a big-play threat and he is now getting snaps at Steve Smith’s expense. We’d be adding him in big leagues and in long-term formats. Givens has some upside if they get their pass protection ironed out in St. Louis.

Chaz Schilens, Jets

He could have value with Santonio Holmes down and with so may others injured for Gang Green. Schilens should have some value in big leagues for the next few weeks.

TIGHT ENDS

Kyle Rudolph, Vikings

If he gets dumped, we strongly suggest that you pick him up. This guy has tons of ability. He is still available in 60 percent of Yahoo leagues. He’s a great way to fill your TE spot on the cheap.

Owen Daniels, Texans

He has a good gig as the Texans tight end, and he is back to making the most of it as he did back in the days before his ACL injury. Daniels appears to finally be all the way back and makes for a solid starter in any league.

Greg Olsen, Panthers

He has now looked very much worth owning in three out Carolina’s four games, and his best game was last week. Olsen has plenty of ability and now he has the eye of his quarterback. Olsen needs to be owned in all formats.

Heath Miller, Steelers

If he was dropped heading into his bye week then pick him up if you are in need. Miller has looked outstanding so far this year. He can start for you in any league right now.

Dennis Pitta, Ravens

Last week was pretty bad as the tight end with all the targets in Weeks 1 through 3 was a forgotten man. Given that he is best friends with his QB, we don’t expect this to become a trend. Pitta is a solid starting option in all but very small formats.

Jermaine Gresham, Bengals

Gresham is a talent and is still finding himself in offensive coordinator Jay Gruden’s offense. He was involved in Week 4, but not as much as his talent demands. He is a good guy to add if you need help at tight end in any format.

Scott Chandler, Bills

He is not a fluke. The Bills can be tough to predict, but Chandler has a bigger role since David Nelson went down for the year. He is capitalizing on it, too. He can start for you in any league at this point. Tight end is an insanely deep position as we said in August.

DEFENSES

Vikings

They have looked good and they have done it against some quality opposition. They are worth adding as a matchup play and as a starter in large leagues. They have a nice upcoming schedule too.

Chargers

They are scoring well in most formats so far and we like their remaining schedule enough to have them as a primary defense.

Bengals

They look better since they got Carlos Dunlap back, and they now have an offense to take some of the pressure off. We like their upcoming matchups.

KICKERS

Greg Zuerlein, Rams

The kid’s been all that he was billed to be, and he kicks indoors, too. He’s a guy to add if you need a a kicker.

Justin Tucker, Ravens

We like his situation more than anything else. He’ll get plenty of chances.

Blair Walsh, Vikings

Another good young kicker who kicks on the carpet indoors for half of his games at minimum.

Matt Prater, Broncos

He’s a really good kicker, but they need to stop letting him throw. He also gets to kick in the thin Rocky Mountain air.

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