Hard to believe that we are 5 weeks into the 2012 NFL season, but there are still players sitting on the waiver wire that will score plenty of fantasy football points for owners smart enough to pick them up...
Here is the best batch available this week (check out our previous waiver wire pieces and if there are players still available from them - grab 'em!!).
Pickups After Week 5 - Waiver Wire
Alex Green - RB – Packers – Green saw his first major action of the season after Cedric Benson left with a foot injury. Green looked pretty capable, carrying the ball 9 times for 55 yards and had a reception for another 8. It is not known how bad the injury is to Cedric Benson, but it would appear that Green is ready step in as the starter if Benson can’t go. Green has dynamic ability for a large back at 225 pounds. He showed that ability with a 41 yard run in the 4th quarter of a tight game. If Green gets the chance to start, he could be a decent flex option as he has value in the passing game. Either way, with his performance he is going to see more attempts, especially if Benson is not 100%.
Rashard Mendenhall – RB – Steelers – Mendenhall sure proved that he is back and ready to play football with his 101 total yard performance including a TD. He looked quick and had a burst going through the line that we did not see out of him last season when he was healthy. He also had 2 receptions, which shows he is ready to become a 3 down back for the Steelers. Redman and Dwyer both showed that they are not ready for the lead role in this offense and Mendenhall just took it back with authority this week.
Kirk Cousins - QB – Redskins – Cousins came in for RGIII after he was knocked out of the game on a hard hit along the sideline by Sean Weatherspoon. RGIII was diagnosed with a concussion and also received stitches from the hit. Cousins came in and hit Santana Moss on a huge 77 yard TD pass, but was not very effective after that play as he threw 2 INT. The injury to RGIII is being called a mild concussion and the Redskins hope to have him back next week, but he will have to pass the baseline concussion tests before he will be allowed to play. If RGIII is unable to go Cousins is an option if you are in a deep league, but he would have a tough match-up next week against the Vikings.
William Powell - RB – Cardinals – Powell is the primary backup to Ryan Williams while Beanie Wells remains out until week 12. Ryan Williams has not looked very good since he became the starter and showed again this past week with 33 yards on 14 carries. Williams currently has a 2.8 yards per carry average and is going to start losing carries to Powell. If Powell is able to step in and be effective with his opportunity, then he could steal the job away, especially if the Cardinals keep playing so well.
*** UPDATE *** Ryan Williams needs surgery on his injured left shoulder and will be out for the remainder of the season! Basically, Powell won't need to steal the job at all. It's already his. Grab him immediately.
Rueben Randle - WR – Giants – Randle had a very nice game on Sunday in the shadow of Victor Cruz and his 3 TD grabs. Randle ended up leading the Giants in receptions and yards with 6-82 and was targeted 9 times in the game. The fact is that the Giants receiving corps is continually banged up and Randle has steadily made his way up the depth chart as the others continue to miss practice and game time. After his performance this week he is going to gain the trust of the coaching staff and more importantly he has gained the trust of Eli.
Robert Meachem - WR – Chargers – Meachem finally arrived for the Chargers this week and all it took was a return to his former digs in the Superdome. Meachem had 2 first half TD grabs including a 44 yard grab. It appears that Meachem and Rivers are finally starting to gel, which is great news for both of these players’ fantasy prospects. Meachem is still going to be an inconsistent fantasy player, but as he showed on Sunday Night he can go off for a big game.
Josh Gordon - WR – Browns – Gordon made his presence known in Week 5 with TD receptions of 62 and 20 yards. Those were the only 2 catches on the day for the rookie, but he took advantage of his first real opportunity this season. Gordon has a ton of ability, but he is going to be a feast or famine type of a player. He should continue to see more opportunities going forward and the Browns are going to be down in most of their games this season and will be in need of big plays on offense.
Dwayne Allen - TE – Colts – Allen is becoming the TE that Andrew Luck is targeting in the redzone, not Coby Fleener. Allen had a TD on Sunday which is the 2nd in the past 3 weeks for the rookie. Allen is not going to get you a lot of yards, but if you are in a TD league then Allen has a lot more value.
Chris Givens & Brian Quick - WRs – Rams – Danny Amendola is going to be out for 6-7 weeks with a separated clavicle so both Givens and Quick have an opportunity to step in and see a lot more targets. Givens seems to be ahead of Quick on the depth chart and had a huge 51-yard TD grab last week.
Steve Smith - WR – Rams – Givens and Quick should certainly see an uptick in targets, as will Austin Pettis, but Steve Smith is the one likely to replace Amendola in the slot and could quickly become Bradford's new favorite target. In PPR leagues, Smith could be the one to grab here.
Jahvid Best - RB – Lions & Vincent Brown - WR – Chargers – Both Best and Brown are going to be available very soon as Best can be activated after Week 6 and Brown after Week 8. Even better is that both are tentatively expected to be ready to go immediately. These guys have a lot of skill and could be big factors once they return. This is a foreshadowing to you to remember these players are out there and if you can stash the spot on your bench, then you may want to grab one of these guys before they come back and are in demand.
Jamie Harper - RB – Titans – Harper is long shot flyer if you are in a real deep league. Javon Ringer went down with what looked to be a serious injury as he was carted off the field and as we have seen all season, Chris Johnson has been very ineffective. Harper may get to see some chances and as I said, he is really only worth looking at in the deepest of leagues, but with Ringer now expected to be out for 4-6 weeks with a torn MCL, you never know.
Read our Pickups after week 4:
Read our Pickups after week 3:
Read our Pickups after week 2:
Read our Pickups after week 1:
BY HOUDINI (email me)