Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 5: Kenny Pickett, George Pickens on the Rise - Sports Illustrated

Week 4 turned out to be a great week to stream a quarterback and a bad week to start your stud running back, so let's make the most of who's available on the waiver wire.

Jared Goff and Geno Smith lit up the fantasy scoreboard, while RBs Jonathan Taylor, Javonte Williams, and Cordarrelle Patterson all left with injuries. Williams has a torn ACL, it is feared Taylor has a high-ankle sprain that will cause him to miss multiple weeks, and Patterson is on IR with a knee injury.

It's worth asking the question: Was this the season to try the zero-RB draft strategy? But that's a much longer article…

Those who handcuffed Javonte Williams with Melvin Gordon or Jonathan Taylor with Nyheim Hines are in good shape, while those who are missing Patterson for the next few weeks have a bigger puzzle to solve. Running back depth is scarce this season, but a few players are listed below to consider.

Many of you will also be looking to stream a quarterback to replace Tua Tagovailoa as we monitor his health in the coming days and weeks.

The Detroit Lions, like the Jacksonville Jaguars and Washington Commanders, continue to provide us with a ton of fantasy value on the waiver wire.

Without further ado, let's go to the wire!


Jared Goff (DET) FAAB up to 9%
Goff finished as the QB1 for week 4, as the Lions put up 45 points with no D'Andre Swift, Amon-Ra St. Brown, or D.J. Chark in a loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Goff threw for 378 yards and four touchdowns as the Lions with the fourth-highest passer rating of the week (121.) as the Lions played catch up on Sunday. Detroit has now gone over their implied points total at SISB in every game this year, not by a small margin- by an average of 21 points. Can he do it this week vs. a New England team that held Aaron Rodgers to only 16 fantasy points and an 89-passer rating? Maybe not, but Goff has certainly at least earned a spot in superflex leagues or if you're streaming. The Lion's signal-caller is now the QB5 for the season. Isn't fantasy football fun? Goff is available in 48% of leagues.

Geno Smith (SEA) FAAB up to 8%
I mentioned Jared Goff above, but on the other side of this game was the QB2 for the week, Geno Smith. After Sunday's performance, fans have to ask: Was Geno always the better quarterback for Seattle over Russell Wilson? Okay, maybe that's going too far, but Smith finished with the best passer rating on the week (132.6), putting up a monster performance and completing 76.7% of his passes for 320 yards and two passing touchdowns. Oh, and he also rushed for another 49 yards and a score. This follows up a QB7 performance from Week 3. It looks like a new era has arrived in Seattle, and Pete Carroll may just let Geno cook. This week's matchup with New Orleans is not the best, but the Saints being favored by -5.5 indicates maybe we will see more of Geno looking downfield. He's streamable for your bye weeks, at minimum. Geno is available in 87% of leagues.

Kenny Pickett (PIT) FAAB up to 4%
Mitch Trubisky may have lost his job on Sunday, as the veteran was pulled at halftime for rookie Kenny Pickett. Mike Tomlin was looking to give the team a spark, and for a while, it looked like it worked. Pickett ran the ball six times for 15 yards and two TDs, and he also wasn’t afraid to send the ball downfield, with a 13.2-yard average depth of target. He did, however, also throw three interceptions in a half. Tomlin has yet to announce a Week 5 starter, but now is the time to add Kenny Pickett. Pickett is available in 95% of leagues.

Others: Teddy Bridgewater (MIA)


Raheem Mostert (MIA) FAAB up to 11%
We had a player prop on Raheem Mostert to clear 38.5 yards on TNF, and he did right by us rushing for 69 yards on 12 carries while also catching two of three targets for another 12 yards on Thursday. We targeted this prop because we saw a trend that Mostert was being used more than Edmonds on early downs, and that trend continued for the third week in a row, though this week, Mostert was also used in the two-minute drill, indicating he is a running back that should be added in all leagues. Edmonds has scored three times in the past two games, but they have split goal-line opportunities throughout the season. With Teddy Bridgewater at the helm, at least for the short term, expect the running backs to have plenty of opportunities in Miami. This week the Dolphins face the New York Jets. Mostert is available in 50% of leagues.

Brian Robinson Jr. (WAS) FAAB up to 8%
In preseason action, Brian Robinson, Jr. looked to be the leading rusher for the Commanders. Unfortunately, after being shot in the leg before the season started, Robinson has yet to make his rookie debut. That could all change soon, though, as the young runner has been back at practice for the last two weeks. He's eligible to join the active roster this week, and he could easily take over lead duties midseason for Washington if all goes as planned. Robinson is available in 67% of leagues.

Mike Boone (DEN) FAAB up to 5%
Javonte Williams is out for the season with a torn ACL, so Melvin Gordon will lead this backfield until he fumbles his way out of the role. I kid—sort of. Mike Boone is next up in Denver's running back room which should remain a committee. The Broncos added veteran Latavius Murray off the Saints' practice squad, who I discuss below. Boone ran for 30 yards on three attempts and secured one of his three targets for another nine yards on Sunday vs. the Raiders. Boone out-snapped Gordon nine to seven after Williams left the game, and he will likely be used as the passing down back going forward, with Gordon getting the goal-line carries. Boone has only played 50% or more of snaps three times in his career, but he's averaged 15 fantasy points across those three opportunities. Boone is available in 99% of fantasy football leagues.

Latavius Murray (DEN) FAAB up to 4%
The Broncos signed Murray from the New Orleans practice squad just a day after scoring a touchdown for the New Orleans Saints. If the 32-year-old back still has tread on his tires, he could fight his way into a bigger role in this offense. He was efficient on Sunday, logging 52 yards on eleven attempts. He's worth a speculative add in deeper leagues. He's available in 99% of leagues.

Tyler Allgeier (ATL) FAAB up to 4%
With Cordarrelle Patterson on injured reserve with a knee issue for up to four weeks, rookie Allgeier could be worth an add. After Patterson left the game on Sunday, Allgeier ran the ball efficiently, getting 84 yards on ten carries. Next up is a tough Bucs run defense, and the backfield in Atlanta looks like a true committee with Caleb Huntley also seeing 10 carries and getting the goal line work, so temper expectations. Veteran Damien Williams returns from IR in a few weeks and is worth a stash. Allgeier is available in 84% of leagues, while Huntley and Williams are available in 97%.

Rachaad White (TB) FAAB up to 3%
Leonard Fournette managed -3 rushing yards on three carries on Sunday night vs. the Chiefs, and White saw two full drives in the first and second half and found the end zone. Fournette still played 39 snaps compared to White's 24, but with Fournette's nagging hamstring injury, White should be added. He is available in 73% of leagues.

Others: Nyheim Hines (IND), Damien Williams (ATL), Jaylen Warren (PIT), Kenneth Gainwell (PIT), Craig Reynolds (DET)

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens (14) makes a one-handed catch on Sept. 22, 2022.

David Richard/AP Photo


George Pickens (PIT) FAAB up to 7%
Pickens is getting better every week, and if Kenny Pickett takes over for Pittsburgh, we can expect the rookie to truly break out. Pickens saw a 33.3% target rate on his routes once Pickett entered the game, as compared to 12.9% over the first three weeks. The result? Pickens racked up 106 yards on six catches, leading all Pittsburgh wide receivers. A simple eye test will tell you Pickens is ready for the big stage and is now tied with Chase Claypool for targets and receptions on the season. Claypool caught neither of his two targets on Sunday, and Pickens seems to be quickly moving up the depth chart, playing 75% of the snaps this weekend. Pickens is available in 61% of leagues.

Josh Reynolds (DET) FAAB up to 6%
Look no further if you're looking for an Amon-Ra St. Brown handcuff. The Lions continue to bless fantasy managers, even if they don't win games. Reynolds was a popular late waiver wire grab after Chark and St. Brown were announced as out for Sunday. Reynolds made good, catching seven of his eight targets for 81 yards and a score, finishing as the WR 9 for the week. He has run no fewer than 30 routes every week, and he's averaged a team-high 10.13 yards per target and a 71% catch rate. He's played 78.6% of the snaps this year, second only to TJ Hockenson among all Detroit receivers. Goff has a history with Reynolds from their time with the Rams, and Reynolds is available in 80% of leagues.

Michael Gallup (DAL) FAAB up to 6%
Gallup returned from IR this Sunday and rewarded those who trusted him by finding the end zone despite only seeing only three targets for two catches and 24 yards. Look for Gallup to surpass Noah Brown on the depth chart, especially as Dak Prescott is set to return. This week the matchup is juicy with the Rams secondary, too. Gallup is available in 60% of leagues.

Corey Davis (NYJ) FAAB up to 6%
Corey Davis leads all Jets wide receivers with 261 yards and two receiving TDs, despite having 13 fewer targets than Garrett Wilson and three fewer than Tyler Conklin. Davis also leads all receivers with an average of 10.04 yards per target. The Jets continue to lead the league in pass attempts (193) and are likely to remain in negative game scripts. Zach Wilson's return only boosts Davis's potential, as Davis's seven targets led the team on Sunday. Davis caught five of those seven targets for 74 yards and a touchdown, and the veteran should be in the flex conversation going forward. This week the Jets get a Miami secondary that has surrendered the fifth-most yards to opposing wideouts in 2022. Davis is available in 75% of leagues.

Isaiah McKenzie (BUF) FAAB 5%
We have focused on McKenzie for a few weeks now, but now that Jamison Crowder has been spotted in an ankle boot, McKenzie has become a bigger priority. McKenzie also left Sunday's game with a concussion, but he should return sooner than Crowder. Having a piece of this Bills High-powered offense is desirable, and McKenzie has now found the end zone in three of the last four contests, second only to Stefon Diggs. McKenzie also has the second-most receiving yards on the season- far fewer than Stefon Diggs but more than Gabe Davis, who was taken early in fantasy drafts and had been dealing with an ankle injury. McKenzie played 50% of the snaps on Sunday, with Crowder playing 17.5%. If McKenzie were to gain Crowder's opportunity, it would put him in the conversation for a weekly flex start in many leagues. McKenzie is available in 80% of leagues.

Others: Jamal Agnew (JAX), DeVante Parker (NE), Zay Jones (JAX), Rondale Moore (ARI), Jahan Dotson (WSH), Romeo Doubs (GB), Alec Pierce (IND)

Cincinnati Bengals Hayden Hurst

Katie Stratman/USA TODAY Sports


Hayden Hurst (CIN) FAAB up to 5%
Hurst made this list a few weeks ago, and he returns today after catching three of his four targets for 27 yards and a TD. Hurst has a 72% route participation rate, and his 132 routes run lead NFL all tight ends. He's played fewer snaps than only Tyler Conklin and David Njoku, and he's seen 21 targets, ranking sixth in the league. The Bengals can put up some points, and Hurst has seen 13% of the team's red zone targets—more than Joe Mixon and Tyler Boyd and tied with Tee Higgins. This week he gets the Baltimore Ravens in what could be a revenge game narrative. He's still available in 79% of leagues.

Mo Alie-Cox (IND) FAAB $0 bid
Alie-Cox has been on the field for 60% of the Colts snaps this season, and his three red zone targets are tied with Alec Pierce and behind only Michael Pittman (4). This week he found the end zone twice, tying him with fellow TE Jelani Woods for a team-high. If you're in a deep league, you can throw a dart at Cox.

Others: David Njoku (CLE), Taysom Hill (NO), Will Dissly (SEA) 

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