By Jamal Murphy, Ourlads Chief Fantasy Analyst
Fantasy Waiver Wire Pick-ups (Week 5)
It’s real now. We’ve completed a quarter of the NFL and fantasy season and don’t forget that bye weeks start this Sunday. Thus, waiver wire pick-ups take on added importance this week.
Luckily, a bunch of unclaimed players stepped up big time in Week 4, particularly running backs. Here are a few players that owners should look to to sure up their roster for Week 5.
WR Devin Funchess, Carolina Panthers…Carolina and their fans have been waiting a while for the third year pro out of Michigan to produce. It looks like that time has come. Funchess caught seven balls for 70 yards and two touchdowns in a big win over New England last week. More importantly, Cam Newton has targeted Funchess 25 times over the last three games, showing that the 6’4 receiver may be a favorite.
RB Wayne Gallman, New York Giants…The rookie fourth round pick from Clemson did not have a touch this season before Week 4. But, thanks to the Giants’ and Paul Perkins’ utter ineptness on the ground, Gallman got a shot and delivered. He ran 11 times for 42 yards – tremendous, by Big Blue standards – and even caught two passes. With Perkins now hurt, as is the case with Orleans Darkwa, Gallman should be given every opportunity to showcase his abilities for the 0-4 Giants.
RB Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers…Another rookie, Jones got his first career action on Thursday against the Bears, after Ty Montgomery and Jamaal Williams went down with injuries. Jones was effective, running for 49 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. With Montgomery still slowed by a rib injury, Jones is a must pick-up in the high-powered Green Bay offense.
QB Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts…If Luck is available in your league, it’s time to claim him and give him, ASAP. The Colts announced that Luck would begin practicing this week after being inactive with a bad shoulder. Though Luck isn’t expected to play until Week 6 or 7, the wait is a small price to pay for one of the game’s elite quarterbacks.
RB Elijah McGuire, New York Jets…The rookie sixth round pick was quietly getting a few touches all season, but McGuire had his breakout game on Sunday versus Jacksonville. With Matt Forte sidelined, McGuire exploded for 93 yards on 10 carries, including a 69-yard touchdown run. He also had two catches out of the backfield for 38 yards. The Jets realize they have found something special in McGuire, so his role in the offense should only increase.
RB J.D. McKissic, Seattle Seahawks…McKissic put his first action of the season to good use Sunday night. He looked explosive and versatile, rushing for 38 yards and a touchdown on four carries and recording a nifty 27-yard touchdown reception. With the Seahawks’ backfield crowded and in disarray after Chris Carson’s season-ending leg injury, smart money is on McKissic to carve out a valuable role moving forward.
RB Latavius Murray, Minnesota Vikings…The biggest injury of Week 4 award goes to the Vikings and rookie running back sensation, Dalvin Cook. Cook was lost for the season with a torn ACL, which creates a huge opportunity for Murray. Before signing with Minnesota, Murray spent three years in Oakland, including a 1,000-yard season in 2015. Murray, who is still recovering from off-season ankle surgery, has only 38 yards rushing on the season. However, he will be looked to to carry most of the Vikings’ rushing load now that Cook is gone.
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