Early Fantasy Football Week 5 Waiver Wire: Set Your Sights on Kenny Pickett, George Pickens

A pair of rookie teammates lead the Week 5 waiver wire.

The fantasy football Week 5 waiver wire has two studs at the top who happen to be rookie teammates: George Pickens and Kenny Pickett. While there are others who could be valuable streamers right away or depth pieces down the line, these two lead the way.

Check back after Monday Night Football for our complete Week 5 Waiver Wire article, where we break down our top starts, stashes, and streamers. As of now, here are some of the top names to find on your waiver wire as Week 4 comes to a close.


EARLY Fantasy Week 5 Waiver Wire Pickups: George Pickens, Kenny Pickett, Josh Reynolds & MORE

(% rostered based on Yahoo! leagues)


If you watched Kenny Pickett play down the road at Pitt, you knew he plays quarterback with reckless abandon. He was in for only a half during his NFL debut, but managed to complete 77% of his passes, rush the ball six times for two touchdowns, throw three interceptions, and have an average depth of target (aDOT) of 13.2 yards.

It was quite the experience.

We’ll touch on more of this below, but he also unlocked George Pickens, which will give the offense an immense boost on the perimeter. Best of all, Pickett is a gamer. He started where he left off in the preseason when he completed 80.6% of his passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns in less than four quarters of action.

His hands may be tiny, but he’s worth the dice roll off the waiver wire — especially if you have an iffy quarterback situation. His upside is enormous due to his willingness to make plays with his legs and downfield with his arm.


It’s clear Mitch Trubisky never built rapport with his talented rookie receiver, which is too bad. If he did, maybe his job would’ve been more secure. Now with Pickett likely to remain under center, Pickens will flourish as the Steelers’ WR2 behind Diontae Johnson. Pickens was in for just two fewer snaps than Chase Claypool and ran four fewer routes. Claypool’s lack of effort also resulted in Pickett’s first interception, imo.

Per PFF, Pickett targeted Pickens on 33.3% of his routes, compared to just 12.9% over the first three weeks with Trubisky. The duo also got vertical, averaging 5.92 yards per route run in the second half. We saw flashes of Pickens’ stardom during the preseason and we’re about to see it again. Dump the FAAB if he’s available because Pickens could be a league-winner off the waiver wire.


Continuing where he left off last season, Josh Reynolds is one of Jared Goff’s favorite targets in an explosive Lions offense. Sure, they were without Amon-Ra St. Brown, D’Andre Swift, and DJ Chark, but Reynolds secured seven of eight targets for 81 yards and a score in Week 4. It shouldn’t shock anyone if the Lions play it safe with St. Brown and let him rest through the team’s Week 6 bye week. Either way, the aerial pie seems significant enough for Reynolds to eat as long as one of St. Brown or Chark remains out of the lineup.

Others to keep tabs on:

QB Geno Smith (12%), RB Raheem Mostert (50%), RB Caleb Huntley (0%), RB Tyler Allgeier (16%), WR Michael Gallup (41%), WR Alec Pierce (5%), WR Corey Davis (25%), WR Christian Watson (8%), WR Khalil Shakir (0%), TE Will Dissly (3%)