Coming into week 5, wide receiver has been a deep position this year in fantasy football. With so many teams shifting to an extremely aerial attack, there have been plenty of receptions to go around. There’s no excuse for carrying dead weight on your roster in the wide receiver slot, so if you have someone who’s dragging, go get one of these players off the waiver wire to upgrade your depth at the position.
If you’re looking for a plug-and-play starter, these are my top five pickups for this week who are available in over 50% of ESPN leagues (ownership percentages included in parentheses):
1. Nate Washington-Tennessee Titans (17.8%)
Of all the available options, Washington is the best option after a pair of 100-yard games. Only Julio Jones has been over the century the last two weeks besides Washington and Washington added a pair of touchdowns last week including a 77-yard strike from Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick gets the start this week with Jake Locker out with an injury. Washington has been targeted 18 times the last two weeks and has a total of 236 yards to show for it.
This week, he faces the Chiefs secondary who has allowed opposing WR to catch a touchdown in each of their last three games and over 175 yards in each game. He may not be a new name for most fantasy owners, but he’s shown the last two weeks he’s still got plenty of production left in the tank.
2. Jeremy Kerley-New York Jets (1.8%)
The Jets are running out of wide receivers as they take on the Falcons on Monday Night Football which could open the door for Kerley to give you a solid performance. Last week, he caught four of the five passes thrown his way for a season-high 65 yards.
He could be in a good position to succeed since Stephen Hill and Santonio Holmes are both expected to miss Monday Night’s game. The Jets are holding auditions with out-of-work WR, but expect rookie Geno Smith to rely on the slot receiver he knows and get the ball to Kerley early and often on Monday Night against Atlanta. Atlanta allows the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing wide-outs in the league making Kerley a nice sleeper pickup for a spot start this week.
3. Austin Pettis-St. Louis Rams (0.7%)
If your averse to having Jets in your lineup and Washington is off the board, take a look at Austin Pettis of the Rams as they take on the Jags. Pettis was targeted a team-high nine times on Thursday night converting five catches for a team-high 59 yards against the tough 49ers defense. He didn’t find the end zone which snapped a two week mini-streak of touchdowns.
Against Jacksonville, Sam Bradford should be able to move the ball much more effectively than last week. Pettis will again be one of his main targets and is worth a look especially in PPR leagues.
4. Robert Woods-Buffalo Bills (4.8%)
The Bills are a surprising 2-2 under rookie QB E.J. Manuel who has found a favorite target in fellow-rookie Robert Woods. Woods has been heavily targeted the last two weeks leading the team with eight passes his way in this week’s win over the Ravens. He finished with four catches for 85 yards and a touchdown giving him two scores on the season to go with his 201 yards.
Woods would be higher up on the list if he didn’t play in the dreaded Thursday Night matchup against a solid Browns defense. He’s emerging as a solid option when the Bills have good matchups and can be used to give your WR spot some depth with the upcoming bye weeks.
5. Justin Blackmon-Jacksonville Jaguars (13.7%)
If you can afford a high-risk pickup, see if Blackmon is available in your league. He hasn’t played a down yet this season because of a four game suspension, but is back to practice this week with Jacksonville.
It’s hard to bank on anyone who has to deal with Blaine Gabbert as his quarterback, but Blackmon has had success for Jacksonville in the past and could be a solid receiver going forward. He’s an extremely high-risk play this week since he hasn’t even been named a starter yet, but if you can stash him going forward he could pay of dividends in the coming weeks.
This list of WR’s is part of my weekly waiver wire focus. If you need further help constructing your team, check out my top ten waiver wire picks of the week as well as my top 5 waiver targets at each of the following positions: QB, RB, WR, TE, D/ST.
If you have any specific questions about your roster, you can find me on twitter @ZT_Sports or leave a message in the comments at the bottom of the page and I’ll answer them as quickly as I can.
All scoring references are based on ESPN Standard scoring and are current through week 4.