Week 5 Waiver Wire Top Pickups & Adds: Damien Williams Has Lead-Back Potential

The injury bug still runs rampant! There are several injuries that fantasy managers will want to keep an eye on throughout the next few days. One of them is David Montgomery, who suffered a knee injury in the Bears’ Week 4 win over Detroit. The waiver wire is still deep with receivers who can make a season-long impact, so take some time to research which ones can be starting lineup material. You can also check out our fantasy football rankings & projections pages to help you determine what to expect from here on out!

Quarterbacks

Sam Darnold – Carolina Panthers

Average % Rostered: 18.3%, FAAB: 5%

Darnold is on the list once again for the second straight week after another 300+ yard passing performance. While he did throw two picks in Week 4 against the Cowboys, he is still proving to be a force. He’s consistently throwing for over 300 yards (third week in a row), and his rushing talent helps diversify his fantasy output. Once again, Darnold has shown himself to be a low-end QB1 option.

Taylor Heinicke – Washington Football Team

Average % Rostered: 10.2%, FAAB: 1%

Taylor Heinicke must be living in a dream. He is QB1 for an NFL team, and it was not that long ago that he was sleeping on his sister’s couch. Heinicke has put up 20 fantasy points or more in the past three weeks, showing great consistency. Most fantasy owners without an elite quarterback would accept that type of consistency. Heinicke gets the extra couple of points that some quarterbacks don’t on the ground. He ran for 43 yards this week and 21 yards plus a touchdown last week. Not to mention, he scored 21 points against the Buffalo Bills defense, which has shut out two of their last three opponents!

Running Backs

Damien Williams – Chicago Bears

Average % Rostered: 10.2%, FAAB: 4%

Damien Williams proved his capabilities as a lead back in the second half of the 2019 season when he was playing for the Kansas City Chiefs. Now, his role is as a backup to David Montgomery on the Bears. However, Montgomery went down with a knee injury in the Bears’ Week 4 win over the Detroit Lions. Williams finished the game with eight rushes for 55 yards and a touchdown: a very respectable performance. He also caught both of his targets for 15 yards. Williams did suffer a minor quad injury, but it is not expected to keep him out of next week’s game. If Montgomery misses several weeks, then Williams will become a mid-tier RB2 in the meantime!

Kenneth Gainwell – Philadelphia Eagles

Average % Rostered: 24.6%, FAAB: 4%

Kenneth Gainwell has been more efficient and more explosive than Miles Sanders so far this season. While Gainwell may not take over lead-back duties completely, his role is constantly increasing, especially in the passing game. This was evidenced by his breakout Week 4 performance, where he caught six of his eight targets for 58 yards and ran three times for 31 yards and a touchdown. Gainwell is a valuable flex play in PPR formats, and his upside is very high.

Wide Receivers

Darnell Mooney – Chicago Bears

Average % Rostered: 40.8%, FAAB: 4%

As expected, Mooney’s fantasy output shot up once Justin Fields had a little more comfort in the pocket. Mooney reeled in five of his seven targets for a huge 125 yards. Mooney is a vertical threat that stands to benefit greatly as long as Fields is under center. The injury to David Montgomery should also force the Bears to put the ball in the air a bit more than usual. All of this is a recipe for Mooney to keep having big games. With Fields playing, Mooney will fluctuate between a flex play and a WR3, depending on the matchup.

Jamison Crowder – New York Jets

Average % Rostered: 14.6%, FAAB: 2%

Crowder saw his first action in the 2021 season on Sunday when the Jets faced the Tennessee Titans. New York moved the ball much more than usual, largely due to how terrible the Tennessee defense is this year. Crowder was a beneficiary of this offensive improvement as he saw nine targets come his way. He finished with seven receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown. Crowder is a must-grab player on the waivers as he has high-end WR3 potential for the rest of the season.

Emmanuel Sanders – Buffalo Bills

Average % Rostered: 45.1%, FAAB: 4%

Emmanuel Sanders has had back-to-back solid games for the Buffalo Bills. In Week 3, Sanders caught five of his six targets for 94 yards and two touchdowns. This week, he reeled in another five balls for 74 yards and had one rush for seven yards. This week, there was not much need for the Buffalo receivers as they had a large lead early on in the game. When Allen passes more, Sanders will get even more targets. He has high-end WR3 upside if the Bills keep steamrolling opponents.

Tight Ends

Dawson Knox – Buffalo Bills

Average % Rostered: 20%, FAAB: 3%

Knox makes an appearance on the “waiver wire adds” article for the second week in a row. Knox continues to impress, pulling in five of his eight targets for 37 yards and two touchdowns. He has become an every-game endzone threat and has four touchdowns through the first four weeks. Knox has value as a low-end TE1 and can replace plenty of tight ends on rosters that have not panned out.

Andrew has played fantasy sports for the better part of 17 years. When Andrew was 9 years old, he joined his dad's fantasy football team and was most well-known as "The Kid". Andrew's favorite shirt in elementary school had an appropriate adage for the time: "Girls come and go. Fantasy Football is forever."

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