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2023 NFL Week 5 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Picks

By Jeff Stinger

The NFL’s bye weeks begin in Week 5, which means we’ll be losing out on key fantasy players from the Browns, Buccaneers, Chargers, and Seahawks. That being said, this week will be as crucial as ever in terms of picking up the right pieces in the waiver wire for this upcoming week’s action, as well as some noteworthy stashes that could very well pay off in the long run.

Nitrobetting is here to take your bets into the end zone this 2023 NFL season. Let’s take a closer look at the hottest waiver wire targets in fantasy football heading into Week 5.

Top Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Targets in 2023 NFL Week 5


Joshua Dobbs – Cardinals

  • Pct. Owned: 2.1%

Justin Herbert owners will likely need to stream a quarterback for the week, and one QB worth considering taking a flyer on is, even to our surprise, Arizona’s Joshua Dobbs. The former fourth-round pick out of Tennessee has made the Cardinals fantasy-relevant against all expectations (more on another Cards player below), and he’s been a borderline top-10 fantasy QB through four weeks at that.

Over the past three weeks, Dobbs is averaging 21 fantasy points per game and has been error-free during this stretch as well to bounce back nicely from his dud of a Week 1 start. The Cardinals are currently (+3.0) home underdogs in Week 5, but they’ll be taking on a struggling Bengals team that’s in total flux. With Kyler Murray’s return from a torn ACL still far from making actual progress, Dobbs could even be a worthy stash and a smart start given the right matchups for the next few weeks.

Running Back

Chuba Hubbard – Panthers

  • Pct. Owned: 17.9%

Despite being a backup running back for the winless Panthers, Chuba Hubbard is still in our fantasy radars as a decent handcuff worth picking up. After all, starter Miles Sanders is dealing with a groin injury and could be shelved in the coming weeks if that injury continues to linger and limit Sanders’ action on the field.

Hubbard had the most offensive snaps for himself this season against the Vikings and also edged Sanders in total carries by a single attempt. He was also the more productive back this past weekend, gaining 21 more all-purpose yards than Sanders. For deeper PPR leagues, Hubbard is a must-add, especially for those who have Sanders on their lineup.

Jaleel McLaughlin – Broncos

  • Pct. Owned: 0.5%

The more attractive RB pickup of the week is a new face in general, as Denver rookie Jaleel McLaughlin made his presence known for the first time as a pro. The undrafted 23-year-old out of Youngstown State turned heads in Week 4, finishing with seven carries for 72 rushing yards, and three catches for 32 yards along with his maiden NFL TD catch.

With a major ACL injury already under his card, starting running back Javonte Williams might have to be shelved yet again after suffering a hip injury this past Sunday. This immediately puts McLaughlin and Samaje Perine under our fantasy crosshairs, with the former edging the latter in terms of boom potential. McLaughlin will be the most sought-after RB in Week 5 and is a low-floor, high-ceiling pickup with boom potential as a flex start in deeper leagues.

Wide Receiver

Tyler Boyd – Bengals

  • Pct. Owned: 43.1%

We mentioned earlier that the Bengals are in a funk and it could get even worse with No. 2 receiver Tee Higgins having been diagnosed with fractured ribs following Week 6’s action. In fantasy football, however, this just means more opportunities for another player to see an uptick in production, and veteran wideout Tyler Boyd will benefit the most from Higgins’ absence.

Even before the injury and with Cincy’s struggles taken into consideration as well, Boyd has had relevant fantasy production, averaging eight targets, five catches, and 8.3 fantasy points per game in PPR leagues over the last three weeks. Boyd doesn’t have the boom potential that could make or break a game, but his floor is still decent and could still rise in the next couple of weeks as the substitute No. 2 receiving option in Cincinnati’s passing game behind Ja’Marr Chase.

Michael Wilson – Cardinals

  • Pct. Owned: 1.4%

The 2-2 Cardinals continue to surprise us fantasy managers, as rookie wideout Michael Wilson is quietly having a debut campaign worth monitoring. The third-rounder from Stanford stunned the Niners to the tune of seven catches in as many targets for 76 receiving yards and a pair of trips to the end zone.

Since Week 2, Wilson has hauled in all 11 of the looks that aforementioned Dobbs has thrown his way for 228 receiving yards. There are still some reservations on whether or not Arizona can sustain this high level of offensive production. For the time being, though, Wilson is another Cards player deserving some fantasy love of late, especially since he’s on pace to have a 1,000-yard rookie campaign if he keeps this up.

Tight End

Jonnu Smith – Falcons

  • Pct. Owned: 0.4%

The Atlanta Falcons are on a two-game skid, and part of their downfall can be pointed at the lack of production from coveted tight end Kyle Pitts. It’s gotten so bad to the point that Atlanta’s other tight end, journeyman Jonnu Smith, is the one who’s been the most consistent offensive threat for the team of late.

Over the last three weeks, Smith has seen no fewer than six targets and four catches, amassing a total of 179 receiving yards with a season-high 95 of those yards coming this past weekend against the Jaguars in London. The Falcons are (-1.0) faves in their Week 5 clash against the feisty Texans, which could mean another sound showing from the 22-year-old Smith and a fringe TE start in fantasy considering how thin the options are at finding consistent TE production this season.

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