Running back injuries were the story of last week's waiver wire, and sure enough, it's the RBs that dominate the top Week 5 fantasy waiver pickups and free agent adds again. This time, it's Falcons' handcuffs Tyler Allgeier and Caleb Huntley and Broncos' backup Mike Boone, all of whom figure to have value after Cordarrelle Patterson's and Javonte Williams' respective injuries. Along with Latavius Murray, who shined in place of Alvin Kamara, and the returning Brian Robinson Jr., it's going to be an RB-heavy week for actual waiver claims and a QB-, WR-, and TE-heavy week for potential free agent adds after waivers clear around 4-5 a.m. ET on Wednesday mornings in Yahoo and ESPN leagues.
We have plenty of the latter in our full free agent list, including Michael Gallup, Josh Reynolds, George Pickens, Mo Alie-Cox, Tyler Conklin, and, yes, Kenny Pickett. There are also a few more RBs (Phillip Lindsay, anyone? No? OK.) and a handful of potential Week 5 D/ST streamers, which can be found at end of the list.
It's tough to say if Allgeier, Huntley, Boone, or Murray deserve a top-three claim, but chances are, you'll have to use a waiver claim to get them, at least in 12-team leagues. Robinson definitely deserves a high claim if you're in one of the 46 percent of leagues where he's available, but otherwise, it comes down to how badly you need an RB. If you're set at the position, it might not hurt to let these guys pass, as all will at best be in committees and at worst be middling handcuffs. If you need an RB, go ahead and make a move. Hopefully, there is a lot of waiver activity and you can quickly move back up the pecking order.
UPDATE: Murray is now on the Broncos' practice squad, which hurts both his value and Mike Boone's value going forward. Both will still likely be claimed on waivers (at least Boone will), but neither deserves top priority.
The free agent wire should be active this week, though, as we're at the point where owners are cutting disappointing veterans and preseason "sleepers." Improving around the margins at WR and TE is smart, especially with the bye weeks coming in Week 6. Plan ahead.
Top fantasy football waiver wire pickups for Week 5
Unless otherwise noted, only players owned in fewer than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues are considered.
Tyler Allgeier and Caleb Huntley RBs, Falcons. Allgeier was a popular preseason sleeper pick, and he looked on his way to breaking out after getting 10 carries in Week 2. He disappeared in Week 3, but he came roaring back in Week 4, rushing 10 times for 84 yards. Now, with Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) out until at least Week 9 and Damien Williams (ribs) out until at least Week 6, the rookie out of BYU is set to share the backfield with second-year back Caleb Huntley, who surprisingly had 10 carries for 56 yards and a TD in Week 4. Before that performance, Huntley had one carry for three yards in his entire career. Both backs looked good, but it seems likely Allgeier will be the "1A" in this committee. The slightly beefier Huntley might be the preferred option around the goal line, though. Either way, both backs need to be owned. Atlanta has the fifth-most rushes and fourth-most rushing yards per game this year, so there will be plenty of carries to go around. Next week's matchup against Tampa will be tough, but both backs can work as low-end flexes.
Mike Boone, RB, Broncos. With Javonte Williams (knee) now out for the season, Boone is in position to see a drastic increase in carries. Melvin Gordon is still ahead of him on the depth chart, but after Gordon fumbled for the fourth time this season on Sunday, it was Boone who saw the bulk of the snaps in the second half (39 total yards on four touches). The veteran most famously starred in Weeks 15 and 17 in 2019 while with the Vikings, scoring three TDs and rushing for 204 yards on 30 carries in those games. His career 5.6 yards-per-carry rushing average is that of an elite back, and while he likely won't post stats like that if he's given a featured role, he's clearly someone who needs to be picked up and can be started as a low-end flex in Week 5 against Indianapolis. (UPDATE: With Latavius Murray signed to the Broncos' practice squad, Boone loses some potential long-term value, as it's possible Murray plays ahead of him after Week 5).
Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Dolphins. With Tua Tagovailoa (concussion) officially out for Week 5, Bridgewater will get a chance to shine against the Jets. He looked good in relief of Tagovailoa on Thursday, throwing for 193 yards and a TD. Given Miami's stable of speedy playmakers, Bridgewater could easily post solid stats without doing much of the heavy lifting. Consider him a premium streamer if you need a QB.
Michael Gallup, WR, Cowboys. Gallup showed no ill effects of the knee injury that delayed his season debut until Week 4. He caught just two-of-three targets for 24 yards and a score against the Commanders, but he still looked comfortable in Dallas' makeshift offense. His matchup next week against the Rams is just as favorable on paper, so don't hesitate to grab Gallup and get him in your lineups as a boom-or-bust flex as he competes for targets with Noah Brown, who's dealing with a neck injury.
For more waiver/free agent suggestions, including top pickups Brian Robinson Jr., Latavius Murray, Kenny Pickett, and more, check out our full Week 5 list.