Fantasy football Week 5 pickups: Jaleel McLaughlin tops the list

Jaleel McLaughlin has emerged as an option for fantasy managers as his role continues to increase in the Denver Broncs' offense. Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

De'Von Achane was one of the top waiver wire pickups last week, and oh boy, did he deliver in Week 4 against the Buffalo Bills. Achane became the first rookie since 2012 to have 100 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in consecutive games.

Stefon Diggs emphatically let the fantasy world know "I'm him!" with 36 fantasy points. It was his third game with three receiving touchdowns as a member of the Bills, passing Lee Evans for the most in team history.

Nico Collins wasn't far behind Diggs with 35.8 fantasy points against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has amassed 428 receiving yards in the first four games of the season. This is the most by a Houston Texans player since DeAndre Hopkins in 2018.

Cole Kmet benefited from a resurgence in the Chicago Bears' offense with 27.6 fantasy points. He has six or more targets in three of his four games played this season. Kmet has upcoming matchups against the Washington Commanders, Minnesota Vikings, Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers, which are all beatable defenses.

The Cincinnati Bengals might have lost another key offensive player in Tee Higgins, who suffered a rib injury that forced him to leave Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans. Higgins has experienced several gut-wrenching drops and has just 12 receptions for 129 yards and two scores through four games. His streak of at least 900 receiving yards each season is in serious jeopardy if he misses several games. While the Bengals' passing game has been dreadful, don't overlook Tyler Boyd (rostered in 43.1% of ESPN leagues). He would become the second receiving option behind Ja'Marr Chase. Boyd has seen seven or more targets in 21 games with Joe Burrow as his quarterback, averaging 6.2 receptions and 70 receiving yards in those games.

Here are some other WR options to consider.

Wan'Dale Robinson, New York Giants (1.5%): Robinson led the Giants in targets (6) and was tied for the team lead in receptions (5). As the Giants slot receiver, he played 64% of the offensive snaps. In his second game of the season, Robinson, who tore his ACL in Week 11 last season, played an even more crucial role. The Giants desperately need a playmaker at the receiver position, so it is worth looking at him on the wire to see how his role evolves.

Joshua Palmer, Los Angeles Chargers (46.4%): Palmer played 86% of the offensive snaps and led the Chargers in targets in the team's first game without Mike Williams. He has accumulated 15 targets and scored 11 or more fantasy points over the past two weeks. Palmer has averaged 67.7 receiving yards per game when targeted seven or more times in his career. He is worth picking up while the Chargers are on bye in Week 5.

Romeo Doubs, Green Bay Packers (33.9%): Christian Watson made his season debut last week but played a limited role in the Packers' offense. Watson will get more playing time in upcoming games, but don't let that stop you from rostering Doubs. He has scored 18 fantasy points in three of four games and has a good rapport with Jordan Love. The Packers should continue to lean on the passing game against the Raiders in Week 5, making Doubs an interesting option.

Michael Wilson, Arizona Cardinals (1.4%): This isn't just about chasing Wilson after his big game in Week 4. Josh Dobbs' favorite target has been heavily involved in the Cardinals' offense all season. Dobbs has a passer rating of 112.5 when targeting Wilson, he has averaged 2.30 yards per route run and he's on the verge of supplanting Rondale Moore as the Cardinals' No. 2 receiver behind Marquise Brown.

Jameson Williams, Detroit Lions (16.3%): The Lions got some good news after defeating the Packers last Thursday. Williams' six-game suspension was reduced, allowing him to play in Week 5. Considering how productive the Lions' offense has been over the past two seasons, Williams should be viewed as a speculative add. He will be worked back into the receiver rotation gradually, but his athletic ability, penchant for gaining separation and league-winning potential make him a must-add player. However, it would be wise to remain patient with Williams for now.


C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans (30.7%): I'm surprised Stroud's roster percentage isn't above 50%. The rookie has excelled so far this season, scoring 20 or more fantasy points in three consecutive games. He joins Joe Burrow and Patrick Mahomes as one of only three quarterbacks to pass for at least 300 yards, two passing touchdowns and no interceptions in his first four career games. Stroud is well positioned for success with playmakers such as Nico Collins and Tank Dell. The Texans take on the Atlanta Falcons in Week 5.

Jimmy Garoppolo, Las Vegas Raiders (13.8%): Garoppolo did not play against the Chargers in Week 4 while in the league's concussion protocol, but there's a good chance he'll be back for Week 5 against the Packers. Garoppolo should be successful against the Packers' defense with Davante Adams and Jakobi Meyers surrounding him. Green Bay's defense has allowed the 10th-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season.

Sam Howell, Washington Commanders (9.0%): After struggling in Week 3 against the Bills, Howell redeemed himself against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. He has scored 15 or more fantasy points in three of four games this season, and with Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson and Logan Thomas to throw to, Howell will be well positioned for success against the Bears in Week 5. Chicago has allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks so far this year.

Joshua Dobbs, Arizona Cardinals (2.1%): Dobbs has been playing well to start the year, allowing the Cardinals to not rush to bring Kyler Murray back. Dobbs has scored 17 or more fantasy points in three consecutive games, including two with 23 or more points. Dobbs has the second-most rushing yards and fourth-most rushing attempts among quarterbacks this season. Managers in superflex or deeper leagues who need a quarterback should not overlook him.

Quick hit

The status of Matthew Stafford's (33%) hip injury is unknown, but Cooper Kupp is expected to return soon. Stafford also has Puka Nacua and Tutu Atwell to throw to.

Running backs

Tyjae Spears, Tennessee Titans (20.3%): Spears is another running back to stash. The Titans continue to find ways to work Spears onto the field as he splits snaps with Derrick Henry. Spears has averaged 0.83 fantasy points per touch, and considering the Titans' wide receiver situation, it's also possible that Spears will be targeted more often as a receiver out of the backfield.

Chuba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers (18%): With Miles Sanders dealing with a groin injury heading into Sunday's game against the Vikings, Hubbard and Sanders each had 16 touches and played similar numbers of snaps. Hubbard finished with 54 total yards, while Sanders had 32. Despite Hubbard's lack of standalone value, he can handle all three downs for the Panthers if Sanders were to miss time.

Jaleel McLaughlin, Denver Broncos (0.5%): A hip injury forced Javonte Williams to leave Sunday's game against the Bears in the second quarter. The Broncos decided to rely heavily on McLaughlin, who finished with 10 touches and 19.4 fantasy points. Although Williams is not expected to miss much time, McLaughlin is worth rostering behind a Broncos offensive line that ranks 12th in run block win rate.

Quick hits

If you are desperate for a running back, don't overlook Gus Edwards (45.6%) and Justice Hill (29.4%). Only the Eagles (35.0) average more rushing attempts per game than the Ravens (35.0).

Tight end

Jake Ferguson, Dallas Cowboys (24.5%): Ferguson caught all seven of his targets, scoring a season-high 14.7 fantasy points against the New England Patriots on Sunday. He has gone under the radar so far this season but had a chance to shine on Sunday with Peyton Hendershot inactive. Considering the tight end position is as desolate as a wasteland in a dystopian science fiction film unless you have Travis Kelce on your roster, fantasy managers who need help at the position should pick up Ferguson.

Luke Musgrave, Green Bay Packers (34.8%): Musgrave left Week 4's game against the Lions with a concussion, but if he can return to action in Week 5, he could have a breakout game against the Raiders. Love has a passer rating of 97.1 when targeting Musgrave and faces a Las Vegas defense that has allowed 11th-most fantasy points per game to tight ends.