Fantasy Football Pickups: Rookies, vets and various Bears among Week 5 adds

By now, you should all know the pickups drill. Each week, we offer a collection of recommended fantasy adds, including a suggested FAB offer for your convenience. Every player mentioned here is available in a majority of Yahoo leagues; all are approved for immediate use.

Wide receivers and tight ends to prioritize

Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills (47% rostered)

OK, this is beginning to feel a fair amount like Robert Tonyan in 2020. Knox snagged a pair of TD receptions against Houston on Sunday, which gives him four in his last three games. He drew a season-high eight targets on Sunday, catching five for 37 yards. It feels lazy to say he has a nose for the end zone, but, I mean…

This is a talented tight end attached to one of the league’s most dynamic young passers. If you have a need at tight end (and you probably do), he’s a must-add.

Waiver offer (assuming $100 budget): $15

If you play in a league without IR roster spots, there’s a very good chance Samuel is unattached. A groin injury sidelined him until Sunday, when he made his regular season debut for the Football Team. Samuel caught all four of his targets in a relatively quiet 19-yard week. We shouldn’t need to tell you that Samuel can be a useful fantasy weapon; he’s gained 1,808 scrimmage yards over the past two seasons, making 12 house calls and catching 131 passes. Washington lost both Logan Thomas (hamstring) and Dyami Brown (knee) to injuries on Sunday, so Samuel’s arrival is well-timed. He should be rostered somewhere, by someone, in any PPR league.

Offer: $12

Like Samuel, Crowder was also a late arrival to the 2021 season, having been sidelined by a groin malfunction. His debut was a bit noisier than Samuel’s, as he caught seven of nine targets for 61 yards and a short fourth-quarter score…

That was a dart from Zach Wilson, who certainly does not lack arm strength.

Crowder won’t be an air-yards king (like the guy below), but he’s been a reliable PPR option when healthy. He also gets the Falcons defense next week in London, so his upcoming matchup is pretty much ideal.

Offer: $7

Chicago’s passing game — and its offense generally — was scandalously bad against Cleveland in Week 3. It wasn’t exactly a fun watch in Weeks 1 or 2, either. So a visit from Detroit’s defense was much needed and various Bears took full advantage of the friendly matchup.

Mooney was terrific, snagging five of seven targets for a season-high 125 yards. Justin Fields isn’t exactly a finished product, but he throws a beautiful deep ball…

Fields is also perfectly willing to look downfield, which is more than we can say for the opening week version of Andy Dalton. Mooney’s best catch on Sunday was simply one of the best we saw across the league…

It may feel as if the second-year receiver had barely appeared in a box-score prior to this week, but he’s actually seen at least seven targets in three of his first four games. If Fields remains the starting QB for the Bears, it’s a lock that we’ll see a bunch more deep strikes to Mooney.

Offer: $7

Additional WRs and TEs worth adding: A.J. Green (he produced a long TD on Sunday and he’s seen six targets in every game), DeVante Parker (Miami’s offense hasn’t quite been a fantasy machine, but Parker has drawn 32 targets and he reached the end zone against Indy), Rashod Bateman (the rookie is returning soon from IR and his services are certainly needed), Dalton Schultz (over the past two weeks, he’s seen 15 targets and made three house calls), Cameron Brate (he had a quiet Sunday night, but was targeted six times and played 50 snaps with Gronk sidelined).

Running backs on the wire

Latavius Murray, Baltimore Ravens (48%)

Remember the frenzy to add Murray when he originally signed with the Ravens?

And then remember how he found the end zone in each of his first two games?

To be honest, I’m not even sure when he was mass-dropped. It probably happened following his quiet afternoon against the Lions. But Murray served as Baltimore’s clear No. 1 back in Sunday’s win at Denver. Ty’Son Williams was a healthy scratch while Le’Veon Bell and Devonta Freeman combined for five carries for 15 yards. (Williams has averaged 6.1 YPC and has generally looked like the team’s most dangerous non-Lamar runner, but he clearly hasn’t entered the coaching staff’s circle of trust.)

Murray wasn’t particularly efficient on Sunday, carrying 18 times for 59 yards, but he broke the plane for the third time this season. Baltimore is as run-committed as any team in the league, so you want whichever back they’re featuring.

Offer: $26

Damien Williams and Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears (9% and 0%)

David Montgomery was simply battering the Lions defense on Sunday, routinely dragging would-be tacklers behind him like toddlers. He was phenomenal and, naturally, the Bears kept feeding him. Montgomery finished with 23 carries for 106 yards and two scores, but he exited in the fourth quarter with a knee injury that sent him immediately to the locker room. Reports suggest he could miss a month or more with a knee sprain.

Williams has filled a supporting role in Chicago’s backfield throughout the early weeks and he, too, was excellent on Sunday. He produced 70 total yards on his 10 touches, with a short rushing TD included…

Unfortunately, Williams suffered a late quad injury, so sixth-round Virginia Tech rookie Khalil Herbert handled the final carries on Sunday. Herbert rushed for 1,183 yards and eight spikes (7.6 YPC) for the Hokies a year ago, taking full advantage of the ACC’s generous defenses.

It does appear that Williams’ injury is minor, so he should suit up this week, but we’re gonna have to monitor the situation in the days ahead. If Williams is a go, we don’t really have to speculate about whether he can produce at a fantasy-relevant level when given opportunities, because he carried many of us to titles in 2018.

Offers: $21 and $11

Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia Eagles (29%)

Gainwell has become a fixture in this weekly feature, yet he remains widely available. When we hit the bye weeks, you’re gonna be desperate for pass-catching backs with bankable workloads, just like this rookie. He gave us a late 7-yard rushing score on Sunday against the Chiefs…

Without much question, Gainwell passes the eye test. He basically split the backfield work with Miles Sanders this week, too. The rookie converted nine touches into 89 yards; the vet turned 10 touches into 47. Gainwell’s eight targets were second on the team, tied with Zach Ertz and two behind DeVonta Smith.

Back in 2019, Gainwell delivered a massive collegiate season at Memphis, totaling 2,069 scrimmage yards and 16 touchdowns while hauling in 51 receptions. (All the trendy young running backs went to Memphis. It’s a factory.) He’s legit. Go get him.

Offer: $12

Other RBs of interest: Alex Collins (his usage jumped significantly, as he handled a dozen touches, gained 78 yards and broke the plane against the Niners; Collins played only three fewer snaps than Chris Carson did on Sunday), Brandon Bolden (because every other New England RB has fumbled away the trust of their coaches), Samaje Perine (just in case Joe Mixon’s ankle injury doesn’t improve), Darrel Williams (he’s now routinely playing roughly one-third of the backfield snaps and he handled 12 touches in the win over Philly), J.D. McKissic (in two of his last three games, he’s caught at least five passes; JDM also produced one of Sunday’s better highlights, following an incredible find by Taylor Heinicke).

Quarterbacks to target

Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers (31%)

Jimmy Garoppolo checked out with a calf injury in Sunday’s loss to Seattle and, in his postgame comments, he sure sounded like a guy who expects to miss a game. Lance was far from flawless in relief (9-for-18), but it helps to have playmakers like Deebo Samuel on your side…

That was one of two receiving TDs for Samuel, the other being a ridiculous blown coverage by the Seahawks. Lance’s rushing upside is already well known — he ran seven times for 41 yards against the Seahawks — giving him the sort of fantasy ceiling that few at the position can match. Kyle Shanahan seems committed to Garoppolo as his starter, but we can’t rule out the possibility that the Lance era is upon us

Offer: $9

Various other QBs of interest: Sam Darnold (we keep featuring him in this space and he keeps delivering rushing TDs and 300-yard games, thanks in no small way to a friendly schedule), Daniel Jones (he just produced a 402-yard game, despite being without his most trusted receivers; it feels safe to say Jones has leveled up), Justin Fields (as with Lance, he offers exceptional rushing ability and an explosive receiving corps).

Defense deserving attention

Dallas Cowboys (22%)

Micah Parsons has been absolutely unstoppable, Trevon Diggs has five picks in four games and the Dallas D has simply been a takeaway machine. It feels like maybe we should think of this group as something more than a streaming option. Even when the Cowboys give up points, this D/ST produces for fantasy purposes. Dallas gets the Giants next week and New England the following Sunday, neither of which is a stay-away matchup.

Offer: $3

Follow the Yahoo fantasy crew on Twitter: Andy Behrens, Minty Bets, Dalton Del Don, Jennifer Eakins, Matt Harmon, Troy King, Liz Loza, Scott Pianowski and Tank Williams.