The Dak Prescott injury headlined week 5 as Dallas’ entire offense took a hit with Andy Dalton thrust into duty. In truth, Dalton is more than a serviceable quarterback and the Cowboys offense will still put up points as their defense continues to force them to pass in most games. This all begs the question: is Dalton worth a priority add?
PPR waiver wire targets
- Chase Claypool (PIT WR) – Claypool is an athletic freak. He stands at 6’4”, weighs 235 pounds, and runs a 4.4 40-yard dash. He generates a mismatch regardless of where he lines up on the field, and Ben Roethlisberger is quickly realizing just how talented his rookie wide receiver is. Yes, Diontae Johnson got hurt in week 5 and is a big reason Claypool saw regular snaps, but Claypool can easily supplant James Washington as the outside receiver opposite Johnson once Johnson is healthy enough to return. Claypool’s targets have increased on a weekly basis as he has seen 2, 3, 4, and now 11 targets in 4 games. With a handful of weeks under his belt, the rookie has a preseason’s worth of work behind him, and the Steelers can feel more comfortable turning him loose.
- Laviska Shenault (JAX WR) – Shenault makes his second consecutive appearance in this space. These talented rookie wide receivers are going to continue to see their roles increased as the season goes on and they get more comfortable. Similar to Claypool, Shenault continues to see more targets on a weekly basis. He now has target counts of 4, 4, 6, 6, and 8 in his five games played. With DJ Chark continuously drawing top cornerback coverage and the Jaguars’ defense being bad enough to constantly put their team behind in games, Shenault should continue to be a main staple of their offense.
- Cole Beasley (BUF WR) – I’m not sure why Beasley is only rostered in 31% of ESPN leagues, but that is too low for a guy who is consistently putting up double digit PPR points. He’s racked up 6 to 7 targets on a weekly basis this season – despite the addition of Stefon Diggs – and has been a favorite target of Josh Allen both last year and this year. Beasley isn’t anything flashy but, in a week where top waiver adds are slim, he makes a ton of sense as a high floor addition if you need wide receiver depth.
- Justin Jackson (LAC RB) – With Austin Ekeler on injured reserve and Joshua Kelley dealing with some fumbling issues, Justin Jackson should eat into Kelley’s lead backfield role a bit. At the time of this writing, the Chargers are playing their week 5 game against the Saints and the mix of snaps between Kelley and Jackson has been close to even in the early going. Jackson caught over 70 passes in total in his final two college seasons, so he can definitely emerge as the preferred pass-catching back while Kelley works as a great grinder on the ground.
- Andy Dalton (DAL QB) – Andy Dalton is definitely a priority add if you have Dak Prescott on your team, though he is unlikely to be better than the quarterbacks you are already starting if you don’t have Dak. Dalton consistently put up 15 to 20 fantasy points with the Bengals last year, despite having a noticeably worse set of pass-catchers around him. Throwing passes to Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup will boost anyone’s stock. Also worth noting: the Dallas defense is bad enough that the Cowboys should continue to throw the football on a regular basis.
Non-PPR waiver wire targets
As we know, touchdowns are much more valuable in non-PPR leagues, and the high volume pass catchers are much less valuable. This fact will change around some of the rankings for our waiver wire targets. This week’s non-PPR adds are going to be the same as the PPR adds due to injuries around the league. However, some guys get a slight boost or downgrade due to reliance on pass catching or TDs.
- Chase Claypool (PIT WR) – With Claypool’s talent, he can score from anywhere on the field, and he is still tied for second on the team in red zone targets with 3. As mentioned, his role should continue to increase as the season goes on and he is a TD threat from anywhere.
- Cole Beasley (BUF WR) – Beasley slides up ahead of Shenault in non-PPR rankings thanks to his consistent red zone role. Beasley is tied for 2nd on the Bills in red zone targets with 6, behind only Stefon Diggs’ 8.
- Laviska Shenault (JAX WR) – Shenault gets bumped down in non-PPR formats as his red zone usage hasn’t been anything spectacular. He is still worth an add because of his consistent opportunities over the last couple weeks, as mentioned above.
- Andy Dalton (DAL QB) – Dalton slides up over Jackson since Kelley should get most of the goal line work for the Chargers. Dalton becomes an even higher priority for rosters that have the now-injured Dak Prescott.
- Justin Jackson (LAC RB) – I would not waste a top claim or a bunch of FAAB on Jackson in non-PPR leagues. Whenever Austin Ekeler comes back, his role will diminish back to nothing with Joshua Kelley getting the goal line work. Jackson is a much better PPR addition.
Top streaming QB options
- Ryan Fitzpatrick (MIA) – One of our favorite weekly quarterback streamers is back for more this week against the Jets, who have notably been a pass funnel this year (ranking 22nd in DVOA against the pass and 7th in DVOA against the run per Football Outsiders). Fitzpatrick has now thrown for over 300 yards and 2+ TDs in 3 of his 5 starts this year. He should be able to continue that trend this week.
- Nick Foles (CHI) – Andy Dalton would be my 2nd choice, but I already mentioned him as a top addition. With that in mind, the extra option I like just for this week is Foles. The Panthers are a bottom five defense against both the pass and the run, so there is concern the Bears could just rely on Montgomery this week. However, the Panthers’ pass attack on the other side has been good enough over the last few weeks that Chicago could end up trailing in this game, forcing the Bears to throw the ball more than they might want to.
Top streaming defense options
- Miami Dolphins defense – There isn’t much analysis that needs to go into streaming the defense going up against the Jets. The Dolphins finally have Byron Jones back and they completely shut down the San Francisco 49ers offense in week 4, allowing only 17 points and getting consistent pressure on the quarterback while racking up 5 sacks.
- New York Giants defense – The Giants have at least 2 sacks in every game so far. This week, they get to face a Washington team that has scored more than 20 points in only 1 of their 5 games to start the year, and that has already gone to their backup quarterbacks and benched their starter coming. These are the clear cut options if you stream defenses or have to replace a defense with a bye.