By Jack Thomason–
(CBS) Here are my top 10 waiver adds for 10- and 12-member fantasy football leagues with Week 5 upon us.
1. Latavius Murray (RB, Minnesota Vikings) – Dalvin Cook is done for the year after tearing his ACL on Sunday. In that game, Murray out-touched Jerick McKinnon, 9-2. Murray was the Vikings’ big free-agent acquisition this offseason but underwent ankle surgery, leaving the door open for Cook to steal the starting duties. We know from Murray’s days in Oakland he can be a solid RB2 with volume, and he should see that going forward. McKinnon will continue to mix in, but Murray should see the bulk of the work.
2. Alvin Kamara (RB, New Orleans Saints) – I wanted to put Kamara first, but it’s difficult to do so when Murray may very well end up a workhorse and Kamara continues to find himself in a three-way committee. Kamara had a huge game Sunday, recording 15 touches, 96 total yards and a touchdown. His 10 catches are important for point-per-reception leagues as well. If you’re in a full point-per-reception league, I’d be fine if you decided to lock in Kamara as your top choice. He has a defined role in an explosive offense, and if anything happens to Mark Ingram or Adrian Peterson, his role will only grow, as he’s currently seeing just 35 percent of the snaps.
3. Thomas Rawls/Eddie Lacy (RB, Seattle Seahawks) – This backfield is shaping up to be a headache, but if you’re in need of running back help, you might as well take a stab at someone emerging in this offense. There were some slight hints from coach Pete Carroll of Rawls being the lead back after Chris Carson’s broken ankle Sunday night, but Lacy still filled in admirably in carrying the ball 11 times for 52 yards. Rawls’ running style is most similar to Carson’s, so he’d be the one I’d bet on, but C..J Promise should be coming back soon and J.D. McKissic also shined Sunday. Most of these players should fill certain roles, as the Seahawks look for one runner who can pound the rock and punch the opposing defense to fit their style.
4. Andre Ellington (RB, Arizona Cardinals) – Ellington is quietly up to 57 percent of the snaps in the last two weeks and commanding 42 percent of the touches. He’s doing most of his work as a receiver out of the backfield, with 22 targets and 14 receptions in the last two games. He’s a solid add in any sort of point-per-reception league. It wasn’t too long ago before the emergence of David Johnson that we were thinking Ellington was an RB1 as the future of the Cardinals’ backfield. He can still play, and throwing to the running backs is a big part of the Cardinals’ game.
5. Devin Funchess (WR, Carolina Panthers) – Funchess is leading all receivers in snaps played through four weeks, and his snaps have increased every week. With Greg Olsen out and Kelvin Benjamin banged up, Funchess has seen 19 targets over the last two games, tallying 11 receptions for 128 yards and two scores. He torched the Patriots defense Sunday, but so has everyone else. That being said, look for Funchess to continue to evolve in this offense as he commands more attention from Cam Newton. He should be a solid WR3/4 from here on out.
6. Wayne Gallman (RB, New York Giants) – Gallman tallied 42 yards on 11 carries and also had a receiving touchdown. He looks to to be in line to steal Paul Perkins’ job and energize a non-existent running game. As of now, no one has separated themselves, so Gallman will have every opportunity to build on his 39-percent snap share and 45-percent touch rate from Week 4.
7. Will Fuller (WR, Houston Texans) – Fuller made his presence felt immediately in his return from a broken collarbone, scoring two touchdowns in the Texans’ 57-14 route of the Titans. Fuller was second to only DeAndre Hopkins in snap percentage (80) and targets (six) in his first game back, and that bodes well for him moving forward as this offense has really blossomed under DeShaun Watson. Fuller is the type of player who can be tossed in as a “what the heck” flex on any given week because he has the ability to score any time he touches the ball.
8. Alex Collins (RB, Baltimore Ravens) – Collins is eating into Terrance West’s workload and has an absurd 7.8 yards-per-carry average. While coach John Harbaugh is upset about Collins’ fumble, he has every reason to play Collins moving forward with what he’s shown. He’s had back-to-back performances in which he rushed for 82 yards on nine carries.
9. Evan Engram (TE, New York Giants) – Engram is seeing 7.5 targets per game and has at least four receptions and 44 yards in every game this season. He’s a big part of the offense and continues to get better each week. If you’re struggling at tight end or have lost Tyler Eifert or Greg Olsen, Engram is a nice addition with some upside.
10. Jamaal Williams/Aaron Jones (RB, Green Bay Packers) – It looks as though Ty Montgomery will be OK after an injury scare last Thursday, but his backup situation remains muddled. Williams suffered an injury too but avoided a serious one, and Jones filled in for both in taking 13 carries for 49 yards and a score. It’s another reminder that Montgomery has been banged up in almost every game this season, and if/when he goes down, one of these backs is going to get a nice bump in value. They’re worth a bench spot at the end of your roster. Jones is the healthiest and by some analysts’ accounts is the best back to own behind Montgomery.
Just missed: DeShaun Watson, Elijah McGuire, Gio Bernard, J.D. McKissic, Jaron Brown, Zay Jones, Josh Doctson, Taylor Gabriel, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Tyler Kroft.
Jack Thomason is 670 The Score’s fantasy football expert and co-host of “Chicago’s Fantasy Football Today,” which can be heard every Sunday during football season from 8-9 a.m. CT on WSCR-670 and 670thescore.com/listen. Follow him on Twitter@jthomason77 and feel free to ask fantasy questions.