Searching for suitable fantasy football waiver wire pickups is a challenge in itself, but if you find yourself in larger leagues you’re facing double the trouble. Chances are all the good options are long gone, but if you maximize the right matchup you can find a true game to plug into your lineups for the right week.
Below are a few worthwhile waiver wire pickups in larger fantasy leagues, where the rostership percentage is limited to 40 percent.
Week 5 Fantasy football waiver wire pickups in 14-team leagues
C.J. Stroud, QB, Houston Texans
Rostership: 32.0% ESPN
If the No. 2 overall pick continues his strong play, it won’t be long before he’s scooped up off the waiver wire. Stroud is now riding a three-game streak of 20 or more fantasy points, and in Week 4 he threw for 306 yards and two touchdowns against the Steelers. His ceiling should only increase given the number of weapons around him in Nico Collins, Dalton Schultz, and the emerging deep threat in Tank Dell.
Tyjae Spears, RB, Tennessee Titans
Rostership: 20.3% ESPN
Spears couldn’t ask for a better situation as his pass-catching prowess serves as a suitable complement to Derrick Henry’s ground-and-pound game. The rookie tailback has caught multiple passes in three consecutive games, and with 6.1 yards per rushing attempt, he’s also flashed his ability to generate huge gains on the ground. His role should further expand as the season progresses, but that only means he’s a worthwhile stash candidate heading into Week 5.
Jameson Williams, WR, Detroit Lions
Rostership: 16.3% ESPN
Don’t discount a stash-worthy play this early into the season. With Williams set to return from his suspension, the expectation is that he’ll play a pivotal role in the offense going forward. Head coach Dan Campbell said he’ll likely get work as soon as Week 5, even if the volume of snap counts is lower, to begin with. The No. 12 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft has flashed his upside as a playmaker, hauling in a 41-yard receiving touchdown last season.
Jaleel McLaughlin, RB, Denver Broncos
Rostership: 0.5% ESPN
This a straightforward addition, especially if you’re a fantasy manager of Javonte Williams. The latter reportedly suffered a hip flexor in Week 4, and while it’s expected he won’t miss time, Denver would be wise to play it safe considering his injury history. Samaje Perine would likely profile as the bell cow in his absence, but McLaughlin is more than a capable change-of-pace back.
He should also see a heavier workload in the receiving game, having caught all three of his targets so far while already having logged a receiving touchdown.