2011 Fantasy Football: NFL Week 5 Waiver Wire Pickups

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Waiver Wire is our weekly look at players available in many leagues that could have an immediate impact on your fantasy roster, or simply just players to keep on your radar. We’ll be here all season to let you know which players to watch, who to ignore, and most importantly, who to pick up. If you have any waiver wire questions, feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.

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Ryan Torain WAS | RB

We were never big on Hightower this year, and it looks like he may have lost his job. Torain who played well for the Skins last year, came into the game week 4 and just took over. Hightower has the lowest yards per carry out of all 3 of the Redskin RBs, and his owners should be very scared. Shanahan has always been weird with his RBs so anything could happen, but Torain looks to now be the front runner. (about 25% owned)

Stevan Ridley NE | RB

The Lawfirm played well week 4, but Ridley played better. He has proven to be more explosive than Green-Ellis, and I expect Ridley to continue to get more touches. He needs to be owned in all leagues at this point, and all Green-Ellis owners should start to worry. (about 15% owned)

Kendall Hunter SF | RB

Hunter got the start for the 49ers week 4 and he looked pretty good. Gore came in the game and ended up getting more touches, but Hunter proved that when given a chance he can put up numbers. Hunter had exactly 100 yards on 11 touches, and if Gore were to go down then Hunter would have huge fantasy potential. (about 35% owned)

Mike Thomas JAC | WR

Thomas has been the most consistent wideout for the Jags this year, and I still believe in Thomas in PPR leagues. In that format he has double digit points in 3 out of the 4 games, and I think he will continue to grow with his young quarterback. Thomas was one of my favorite sleepers coming into the season, and I am still a believer. (about 70% owned)

Pierre Garcon IND | WR

Painter taking over as the QB could be just what the Colts needed to get their offense going. Garcon has struggled so far this year, but he should have a lot of targets since the Colts will be playing from behind a lot this year. He had a monster game on Monday night, and he is still a very talented young receiver. (about 50% owned)

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Brian Leonard CIN | RB

I am going to go out on a limb and say that Leonard is going to be the guy to own if Benson misses any time. Scott has always been productive with his limited touches, but the Bengals seem determined to not let him handle a full load. Leonard is a big back that can catch out of the backfield, and he could have good short term value. (about 5% owned)

Victor Cruz NYG | WR

Manningham coming back week 4 was suppose to kill any value that Cruz had the week before, but he was still a huge part of the game plan. It’s hard to say how he will be used moving forward, but this young receiver has a lot of talent. With a matchup against the Seahawks week 5 he could be in line for his 3rd straight solid game. (about 35% owned)

Greg Little CLE | WR

Little is slowly getting more involved in the Browns offense, and he could have some value moving forward in deeper leagues. We liked him as a sleeper coming into the year, but he got off to a really slow start. The Browns don’t have a lot going on in the passing game, but Little and McCoy might be onto something. (about 10% owned)

Antonio Brown PIT | WR

Brown has been a consistent part of the Steelers offense, and like we mentioned last week he handles all of the Steelers return duties. Hines Ward is one year older, and it looks like Brown has taken over has the #2 target for the Steelers. I am calling him a must add in leagues that count return yards, and a nice add in all deeper leagues if you need help at receiver. (about 30% owned)

Darrius Heyward-Bey OAK | WR

The former first round pick has struggled to have any fantasy value throughout his career, and you have to ask yourself is it ever going to happen. This is his 3rd year in the league, and he has yet to show any signs of consistency. He is coming off a big game week 4, leading his team in targets and racking up over 100 receiving yards. It was against a weak Pats secondary, but it’s still a step in the right direction. (about 5% owned)

Steve Breaston KC | WR

Breaston has a lot of talent, and if the Chiefs can get their offense going he could have some value in deeper leagues. He had his best game of the year week 4, and it might be time to give him another look. He should see a lot of single coverage with Bowe getting most of the attention, so Breaston should have some more solid games this year. (about 15% owned)

Cincinnati CIN | DEF

Believe it or not the Bengals are giving have given up the fewest yards on defense than any other team in the league. With a matchup against the Jags and their rookie QB week 5, the Bengals could be a nice pickup and play defense if you don’t like your matchup. (about 5% owned)

Jermaine Gresham CIN | TE

With bye weeks coming up Gresham could be a great guy to add if you need a TE week 5. He has been fairly consistent so far this year, and his roll in the offense should continue to increase. The Bengals have a matchup against the Jags week 5, so Gresham could be a nice pick up and play if needed. (about 30% owned)

Jared Cook TEN | TE

Cook finally had the game that we were waiting for. He did it all in 2 catches, but he had 93 yards which included an impressive 80 yard touchdown catch. With the injury to Britt the Titans are going to have to look Cooks way a few more times a game. He has a ton of talent, and he could be a solid TE moving forward. (about 30% owned)

Yeremiah Bell MIA | S

Bell had a monster game week 4 racking up 14 solo tackles. He has been consistent over the last 4 years, and he should be in line for another solid season. He isn’t going to give you much help in the sack and INT department, but he should rack up a lot of tackles. (about 20% owned)

Stephen Tulloch DET | LB

After a slow start this year Tulloch has started to pick things up with a lot of tackles in the last 2 weeks. He has 24 solo tackles so far this season, and 17 of them have come in the last two weeks. Tulloch has been among the league leaders in tackles the last couple of years, and he should be owned in pretty much all IDP leagues. (about 35% owned)

Keep an Eye on

Curtis Painter IND | QB

At this point I think the Colts staring QB job is Painter’s to lose. He had a decent game in his first NFL start, and I think he played well enough to keep the starting job. The Colts have little to play for, so at this point I see no reason to put Collins back in as the starter. (about 5% owned)

If you have any fantasy football roster questions, feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.