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Fantasy Football: Late NFL Week 5 waiver wire targets

October 3, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) runs the football against the Seattle Seahawks during the third quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The waiver period ahead of NFL Week 4 has come and gone in most fantasy football leagues, but there's still time to improve your fantasy roster for Week 5 and the rest of the season.

Here are 25 potential free agents to consider adding to your fantasy football teams. For skill players, I’m looking at the best options to pick up to help for the rest of the year. For kickers and team defenses, I’m looking at those who can be picked up to help for this week. The players are grouped based on the percentage of leagues they are available in at ESPN.

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Available in over 50% of leagues at ESPN

QB Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers

Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a calf injury in Week 4, allowing Lance to play in the second half. The rookie should see at least one more start and ideally do enough in that time to prove he should keep the starting job.

In limited opportunities, Lance has shown he can be exactly what fantasy managers are looking for in a starting fantasy quarterback. His 1.16 fantasy points per snap lead the league among quarterbacks with double-digit dropbacks, and his average depth of target (aDOT) is closer to the league average than Garoppolo’s bottom-dwelling 6.9.

It might take some growing pains in real life, but Lance has the making of a top-five fantasy quarterback. It's debatable whether he should start in fantasy leagues next week, but there is no debate if he should be on rosters.

RB Latavius Murray, Baltimore Ravens

This week’s waiver wire was full of backup running backs who are set to replace injured starters and can go straight into fantasy starting lineups. Murray was lost in the shuffle after winning the Ravens' starting running back job. However, this past week he ran 18 times for 59 yards and a touchdown against a Broncos defense that leads the league in preventing fantasy points to running backs.

He might not keep the starting job, given the abundance of other options on the team, but he does have the highest PFF rushing grade of the group this season at 71.9. He can be a fill-in starting fantasy running back at least in the short term, as bye weeks will be hitting shortly.

WR Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals' rookie has been a mainstay in this article and has worked his way to the top wide receiver option available. He ranks third in yards per route run among all wide receivers at 3.16, but he’s still largely restricted to four-wide receiver sets for Arizona.

He’s grading notably better than A.J. Green, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Christian Kirk received more outside snaps to allow Moore to play more in the slot. And he will be a very popular waiver-wire addition when this happens. It’s better to add him now while he is still relatively easy to pick up.

TE Tyler Conklin, Minnesota Vikings

Conklin was a popular waiver wire target last week after scoring the second-most fantasy points at the position. He followed that up with an 18-yard performance, so some quickly returned him to the waiver wire.

He still rings in as the TE14 on the season to date. The Central Michigan product has plenty of promise because of the opportunities he is receiving. He ranks top-11 in both routes run and targets on the season, and the only reason his fantasy production doesn’t stand up to others is that he has one touchdown while 13 tight ends have at least two. He can be a solid option even if he doesn’t score many more touchdowns, and he will be a steal if he does start finding the end zone.

Team Defense, Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys' defense is top-five in fantasy points so far this season, in part due to leading the league in interceptions at eight. They have an average matchup against the New York Giants this week and could be in starting lineups for several more weeks throughout the season.

Other Articles You Might Like:
NFL Week 5 Positional Fantasy Football Rankings via Nathan Jahnke
Week 5 Fantasy Football Trade Value Chart via Ben Brown

Available in over 70% of leagues at ESPN

QB Teddy Bridgewater, Denver Broncos

The former Panther started the season with 592 total passing yards and four touchdowns over his first two games but has since slowed down and is currently dealing with a concussion. Once he’s healthy and Jerry Jeudy is back, he could be a borderline starting fantasy quarterback.

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