We're five weeks in to the fantasy football season. Last week's waiver wire highlights included Darrel Williams putting up 18 points and Dawson Knox putting up eight, so it wasn't a stellar week for your beloved fantasy expert, but there were some hits. Here are your best bets for Week 5 and, if you need, to turn around your fantasy year. (All stats via ESPN standard PPR leagues)
1. Jaylen Samuels, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (Available in 81% of ESPN Leagues)
Samuels looked like a low-end flex option heading into the year as a scatback-type player behind workhorse James Connor. Monday's victory over the Bengals showed the Steelers have bigger plans than that for the second-year back. Samuels ran the ball 10 times for 26 yards, but more importantly caught eight passes for 57 yards and a TD after he had been targeted exactly twice in their first three games. His 23.5 fantasy points was eighth among all running backs for Week 4.
Samuels' production in the pass game is the most exciting part of his potential fantasy future. Connor will continue to receive the lion's share of the carries, but Samuels should only get mixed in more as the season goes on.
2. Chase Daniel, QB, Chicago Bears (Available in 100% of ESPN Leagues)
Mitch Trubisky is out for at least next week with a dislocated left shoulder, and could be sidelined for additional time. Chase Daniel is not a world-beater by any means, and only put up 12 fantasy points in relief. But this is about upside, and while Daniel isn't a big-play machine, he can hit the open guy, something Trubisky has struggled with.
The QB position is a bit thin with all these starters going down, and Matt Nagy is, if anything, a creative offensive mind. Chicago knows if it can average more than 16 points a game, it's borderline unstoppable with the defense. The Bears will be airing it out starting next week, and Daniel's fantasy standing may very well be the biggest beneficiary.
3. Ronald Jones II, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Available in 59% of ESPN Leagues)
The Bucs have been excited about Jones for some time, and it seems like he's finally starting to get it going. He carried the ball 20 times for 70 yards and a touchdown last week, good for 15 fantasy points. Not the high production you're looking for from a running back, but Jones was breaking tackles left and right and remains the main option for a Bucs offense that dropped 55 last week.
Currently, he's not anything more than a flex option for the more desperate among us, but there's a lot of upside. Tampa Bay's offense won't play that well every week, but Bruce Arians has a history of success on his side.
4. Ricky Seals-Jones, TE, Cleveland Browns (Available in 99% of ESPN Leagues)
Seals-Jones, besides having a top-tier name that seems better suited for the R&B scene than the Dawg Pound, looks like he'll be seeing some targets with David Njoku on the IR. He notched 17.2 fantasy points on three catches for 82 yards with one touchdown. The Browns offense as a whole finally broke the seal and dropped 40 on a competitive Ravens defense.
Again, this is about upside more than next week's production, but the targets will be there, especially with Jarvis Landry potentially missing time due to a concussion. If this game rejuvenates the offense, Seals-Jones could be racking up points quickly .
5. A.J. Brown, WR, Tennessee Titans (Available in 96% of ESPN Leagues)
I told you all two weeks ago about A.J. Brown, and I guess nobody believed me. To our benefit! Brown remains available in nearly all ESPN leagues and responded by catching three balls for 94 yards and two touchdowns-- not exactly a PPR dream, but the touchdown numbers are nice.
The weird thing is that Brown still only ran 13 routes despite his production, and Mike Vrabel remains weirdly reluctant about giving him a larger workload. But Marcus Mariota is learning to trust him. Next week is a tough matchup with the stingy Bills defense, but he's worth a future investment given what he's show so far.