Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold (14) runs the ball past Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Justin Hamilton (99) and Quinton Bohanna (98) to the end zone for a touchdown in the first half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Whether revealing sleepers, busts, shocker specials or other related fantasy football viewpoints, The Fantasy Five is geared for dedicated fantasy football players combing through sources for definitive takes. Today’s topic: Week 5 waiver targets.

1. Sam Darnold, Panthers, QB (38% rostered in Yahoo)

Move over Lamar Jackson. When it comes to RPO-based quarterbacks, Darnold is the unrivaled king. OK, jokes aside, the once pocket-tied passer’s sudden and prolific rushing ability is a frontrunner in the “What the ...?” sweepstakes in 2021. Through four weeks, defenses have yet to account for Darnold’s penchant for tucking and running, evidenced by his five rushing TDs. Will he downshift and park? It seems unlikely. Combine his ground gains with Carolina’s vertical success and the dual-threat (?) must be acquired by those in single-QB leagues. Thus far, he ranks QB5 in overall value. With a favorable schedule upcoming (Eagles, Vikings, at Giants, at Falcons), he should remain entrenched among the QB1 class. And, yes, he’s the preferred pickup option over San Francisco rookie Trey Lance if you’re searching for a passer upgrade. (FAAB on $100 budget: $5-$9)

2. Dalton Schultz, Cowboys, TE (33% rostered in Yahoo)

For those clinging to underachieving tight ends in shallow leagues — the finger is clearly pointed at you, Kyle Pitts and Robert Tonyan zealots — Schultz demands your attention. Primarily due to Michael Gallup’s absence and the required energy defenses need to contain CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper, Schultz has operated without much resistance. Targeted 23 times, he’s hauled in 20 receptions for 201 yards and three touchdowns, good for the fourth-best line at the TE position. Dak Prescott’s lethalness on play-action should only continue to fuel his teammate’s production. With the hapless Giants and overly generous Vikings on tap in two of his next three games, Schultz is a near must-play option in 12-team and deeper formats. (FAAB: $7-$11)

3. Damien Williams, Bears, RB (4% rostered in Yahoo)

Hello darkness, my old friend. After David Montgomery crumbled to the Soldier Field turf, immediately grabbed his knee and writhed around in pain, this purveyor of #MandatoryMontgomery promptly slipped into a very depressing state. Likely to miss at least a game or two with a hyperextended knee, the workhorse’s derailment vaults Williams into the RB2 conversation. The elevated backup, a resourceful fantasy contributor equipped with a three-down skillset as witnessed two years ago in Kansas City, is now thrust into a prime position to shoulder at least 65 percent of the team’s opportunity share. Sprinklings of rookie Khalil Herbert here and there are possible. The near-term schedule isn’t the greatest (at Raiders, Packers, at Buccaneers, 49ers), but at a position fantasy managers have a voracious appetite for, he’s worth a decent investment. Given the uncertain timetable for Monty, don’t overspend. (FAAB: $11-$15)


Chicago Bears running back Damien Williams (8) celebrates his touchdown with quarterback Justin Fields during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/David Banks)

4. A.J. Green, Cardinals, WR (16% rostered in Yahoo)

Little blue pills? Stone crystals in Sedona? Magical waters from the Fountain of Youth? Whatever Green is doing, it’s paused, or turned back, the hands of time. Yes, you could argue the Cardinals wide receiver corps is akin to picking your favorite M&M — all are equally delicious. DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk, Rondale Moore and upstart Maxx Williams all possess standalone value. Outside D-Hop, guessing who will step to the forefront is a weekly shot in the dark. Still, with how the Air Raid is humming, Green deserves a bench spot and the occasional start in 12-team and deeper leagues. He’s eclipsed double-figure scoring in three consecutive games, luring six targets in four straight. In other words, he’s far from petrified. (FAAB: $5-$9)

5. C.J. Uzomah, Bengals, TE (6% rostered in Yahoo)

Individuals desperately seeking production in a statistical desert — yes, you deep leaguer — Uzomah is the revitalizing oasis here to quench your thirst. Fully recovered after a gnarly Achilles injury derailed most of his 2020, the Bengal boomed last Thursday in a feline fracas with Jacksonville, Playing on close to 80 percent of team snaps, he caught five of six targets for 95 yards and two touchdowns. His attractive route participation (89.9%) and YAC per reception (10.0) tallies are impressive, but what occurred in Week 4 was a likely anomaly. Once Tee Higgins returns from injury, Uzomah is sure to slip back into the background. Still, the potential for an occasional detonation warrants attention, especially in formats where tight end options are thin. Don’t go overboard. (FAAB: $3-$6)

BONUS: Samaje Perine, Bengals, RB (2% rostered in Yahoo)

“Week to week.” It’s a murky designation no fantasy manager wants attached to any player, let alone Joe Mixon. Remember last season? The prized Bengals back suffered a mysterious foot injury, was given the “week to week” designation and wound up missing 10 games. His latest setback, a low-grade ankle sprain, shouldn’t keep him sidelined too long, but, based on the precedent set, who really knows? For now, Perine and rookie Chris Evans will split the carries with the veteran carrying the heavy side of a presumed 70-30 split. He’s not particularly explosive, but his downhill forcefulness is a plus attribute. Last year, he accumulated 3.13 YAC per attempt. Assuming Mixon is ruled out for this week’s game against Green Bay, Perine should command roughly 13-15 attempts, labeling him a solid FLEX option in 12-team and deeper leagues. However, he may only be a temporary Band-Aid. (FAAB: $10-$14)

Others to consider
Player Team Position FAAB
Drew Lock Broncos QB $14 to $18 in 2QB leagues
Trey Lance 49ers QB $5 to $9
Alex Collins Seahawks RB $3 to $6
Jamison Crowder Jets WR $6 to $9
Randall Cobb Packers WR $4 to $7
Van Jefferson Rams WR $4 to $7
Mo Alie-Cox Colts TE $3 to $6
Maxx Williams Cardinals TE $3 to $6

Follow Bally Sports' Brad Evans on Twitter.

Featured Podcast

See all