Week 5 in the NFL is around the corner. Let's address the best waiver wire additions available in fantasy football leagues.
1. Atlanta Falcons RB Tyler Allgeier - 16% rostered
Starting running back Cordarrelle Patterson has been placed on IR after undergoing some sort of a medical procedure. Patterson will miss at least the next four games, clearing the way for Allgeier and Caleb Huntley to take over. As we know, Damien Williams is also currently on IR with a rib injury.
Patterson dealt with a knee issue this past week and that allowed Allgeier and Huntley to work into the rotation. Here is how the work was split:
Allgeier: 24 snaps, 8 routes run, 1 target, 10 carries
Huntley: 12 snaps, 1 route run, 0 targets, 10 carries
Early-down snaps: Huntley (8), Allgeier (14)
Goal-line snaps: Huntley (3), Allgeier (0)
Short-yardage snaps: Huntley (1), Allgeier (0)
Third downs: Huntley (0), Allgeier (6)
It's tough to tell, but it appears the Falcons are viewing Huntley as the short-yardage guy who could ultimately pan out to be a vulture, while Allgeier is the early-down player with passing-game upside.
2. Indianapolis Colts RB Nyheim Hines - 62% rostered
Starting running back Jonathan Taylor suffered an injury in Week 4 and there is a fear that it could be a high-ankle sprain. Unfortunately for the Colts, they play on Thursday Night Football in a quick turnaround, making it even more unlikely that Taylor can suit up this week.
Going back to Week 4, Taylor registered 57 snaps to Hines' 21. They were the only two players to have any snaps at the position. Taylor ran 29 routes to Hines' 11, both players were targeted twice, and of course, Taylor dominated the rushing touches 21 to one.
While Hines is not likely to take over all of the early-down back duties and play in a workhorse-like role, he should become a much larger factor in the running game, likely splitting the work evenly with Deon Jackson, the final remaining running back on the roster. But still, Hines should get nearly all of the receiving work and roughly half of the rushing work. Through the first three weeks, Taylor ran 70 routes, while Hines had just 53. If the diminutive running back can inherit nearly all of that work, he'll be able to produce startable fantasy football weeks until Taylor returns.
3. Washington Football Team RB Brian Robinson Jr - 54% rostered
The rookie is eligible to come off the PUP list ahead of Week 5 and appears to be trending toward a potential debut this week. Obviously, having never seen Robinson in the NFL, it's a dart throw and a complete guess as to what kind of a role the rookie can carve out in the immediate.
Looking at Washington's backfield, Antonio Gibson (123 snaps) and J.D. McKissic (106 snaps) are being used as expected. That should give us hope that Robinson will also be used as we expected during training camp — as the team's RB1 and the guy in short-yardage and goal-line work. If those end up being the case, Robinson could be in a smash spot, and for those reasons, he's worth being the No. 2 waiver wire add of the week.
4. Denver Broncos RB Mike Boone - 0% rostered
According to reports, there is a fear that Javonte Williams' injury is a serious one. It's a terrible and unfortunate situation for one of the league's bright young stars. With that being said, injuries always pave paths for others to step up. And yes, while Melvin Gordon is the clear-cut winner in this situation, he is already highly rostered (79%) in most leagues.
The next player to add is Boone. In fact, there was quite an intriguing split among the two after Williams went down:
You may be wondering why Boone was used more often than Gordon — it's because Gordon was also banged up in the game, though he ultimately returned to the field. With that being said, there is no doubt that Gordon would take over the No. 1 running back duties sans Williams, though Boone would absolutely carve himself out a role in that backfield. He may not be a very well-known player, but Boone has averaged 5.5 yards per carry over the course of his career. He can produce if given the opportunity.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers WR George Pickens - 39% rostered
It's time to buy Pickens. This week, the rookie registered a 70.3% snap share, 30.8% target share, and a 76.5% route participation metric. Pickens has enough field time to produce some numbers, but now also has a new quarterback in Kenny Pickett who may actually aid in unleashing his potential.
It remains to be seen if Mitch Trubisky has officially relinquished the job to the rookie, but every fantasy football manager should hope so. While Pickett will make mistakes that could cost the team some hiccups along the way, he's also their only hope to help salvage anything of the season, and Pickens is one of the few players on offense that has been far underutilized. Prior to this week, Pickens had just 13 targets on the season and a target share of just 12.6%. There's a good chance he's the team's WR2 the rest of the way.
6. Seattle Seahawks RB Kenneth Walker - 48% rostered
Travis Homer was placed on IR earlier this week, clearing the way for more work for Walker and RB3, DeeJay Dallas. Walker is clearly behind Rashaad Penny in the pecking order:
There isn't a clear path to RB1 or RB2 usage for Walker unless an injury occurs. But, with such a light week at running back, Walker has flashed enough for me to believe he could carve himself out some work moving forward. The injury to Homer could open up a few more receiving snaps for Walker, while a path to more rushing work is certainly murkier.
7. Detroit Lions QB Jared Goff - 52% rostered
Goff will likely never be a QB1..... or will he? His finishes in full-point PPR formats through four weeks are QB18, QB8, QB18, and QB1 (pre-MNF). As of now, the Lions are one of the most productive offenses and Goff has made fantasy football magic, even without D'Andre Swift and Amon-Ra St. Brown this past week.
Sure, he does it in a boring manner and has no mobility, but Goff has been a productive passer through a quarter of the season and should be rostered over plenty of quarterbacks. He's worth a waiver wire addition, especially if the Lions are able to get healthier over the coming weeks.
8. New Orleans Saints TE Taysom Hill - 29% rostered
Hill is a pure dart throw at this point in the waiver wire pecking order. The usage model would suggest staying away considering Hill played just 12 snaps and ran just five routes this week, but he's still used as a hybrid QB/RB/TE, and that may keep him in the upper tier of tight ends on its own. Hill wasn't even targeted in this game but he still had five rushing attempts, 21 rushing yards, and a rushing touchdown. There is also some value in knowing Hill has been banged up with a rib injury over the past two weeks, though he hasn't played many snaps at all this season.
As of now, Hill is the TE17 in average points per game with 8.3. Even though he's played in just three games, he's still the TE19 in scoring. He's worth the addition, even if the usage is very minimal. At worst, Hill is a decent bench option who has some starting value in the event that Kamara or Jameis Winston miss more time or another injury in the backfield occurs.
9. Green Bay Packers TE Robert Tonyan - 32% rostered
Tonyan is a part-time player with potential full-time value at a position that is just terrible. The big tight end played just 32 snaps this week — that was only one more than Marcedes Lewis and 11 more than the team's No. 3 tight end. With that being said, Tonyan did run 21 routes, which was significantly more than everyone else at the position, and was able to reel in one of his targets for a 20-yard touchdown.
That seems to be the sweet spot for Tonyan as he played just 36 snaps in Week 3, though he did demand a far better target share at 20%. Tonyan is worth adding, particularly as a bench option, but he can't be trusted as a weekly starter at the position just yet.
10. New York Jets WR Corey Davis - 25% rostered
Davis may be the WR1 by average salary, but he was used less frequently than his running mates in Week 4:
Elijah Moore: 63 snaps, 38 routes run, 3 targets
Garrett Wilson: 54 snaps, 37 routes run, 7 targets
Corey Davis: 52 snaps, 30 routes run, 6 targets
There is always a concern when a player takes a backseat and is given fewer opportunities to produce, though the Jets are a different team with Joe Flacco and Zach Wilson at quarterback. Going back to last season, Davis was able to put together some strong stat lines with Wilson chucking the rock:
Week 1: 5/97/2
Week 5: 4/111/1
Week 7: 4/47/1 (partially)
Even throughout this season, Davis has rattled off target shares of 15.3%, 8.9%, 7.7%, and 18.9%. It's very clear that Davis won't be a startable player and can't be utilized even as a FLEX, but he may hold more value as evidenced by a season-high target share in one game with Wilson, compared to his usage with Flacco as the quarterback.
Honorable Mention: New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram - 31% rostered
Ingram has minimal standalone value and could be diluted to a further degree next week if Alvin Kamara is once again active. This week, Kamara was shelved with a rib injury, which allowed Ingram to nearly split snaps down the middle with Latavius Murray — the former had 29 snaps and 13 routes run, while Murray registered 26 snaps with 11 routes run.
The Saints continued along with that trend in the ground game, giving Ingram 10 carries and Murray 11. The veteran isn't in a position to secure RB1 work in any facet, especially not when Kamara returns, but he appears to have a role, regardless of who he's splitting work with in the backfield.
Denver Broncos RB Melvin Gordon - 79% rostered
Gordon has legitimate RB1 value without Williams on the field. The veteran already had the majority of the goal-line work and now will eat into some of the receiving work, too. Williams ranked fourth in the league with 20 targets through three weeks.
Green Bay Packers WR Romeo Doubs - 69% rostered
Doubs led the team with eight targets and 34 receiving snaps in Week 3. He once again tied for the lead in snaps with 70 and came in second (just one shy) in routes run with 35 in Week 4. He's becoming a full-time player and has produced WR30 and WR21 finishes because of it. Not to mention, he nearly scored a 40-yard touchdown to end this week.
Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Gallup - 41% rostered
Gallup is working his way back. In his debut, he registered 39 snaps and 24 routes run, in addition to two targets. The more he plays, the more comfortable he gets, and the more he'll produce. Not to mention, Dak Prescott is on the precipice of a return, too.
Atlanta Falcons RB Caleb Huntley - 0% rostered
Huntley looks to be the first choice to replace Patterson as the goal-line back for the next four games until Williams returns.
Atlanta Falcons RB Damien Williams - 1% rostered
Williams could return in Week 6 at the earliest. He's likely in a position to work into the rotation in Atlanta's backfield without C-Patt, though it remains to be seen whether Williams, Allgeier, or Huntley will receive the most work.