Week 4 brought us fantasy breakouts from a Dolphins receiver and an undrafted New England running back. Yep, this is definitely the 2012 season. Let’s look at six great waiver wire options for Week 5.
1. Brian Hartline, WR, Dolphins
Who would have guessed that Brian Hartline would have put up the best performance of Week 4 against a stout Cardinals defense? That happened, as Hartline rode an 80-yard touchdown to a 12-catch, 253-yard performance. Two weeks prior, he put up an impressive nine-catch, 111-yard day. Though that first game came against the woeful Raiders secondary, at this point, it’s safe to call Hartline the real deal. He’s leading the league with 455 receiving yards, almost unfathomable with Ryan Tannehill at quarterback. He’s also just one of 11 guys with at least 25 receptions this year. Do what you can to scoop him up, especially in PPRs, and start him next week against the Bengals.
2. James Jones, WR, Packers
Greg Jennings suffered his second groin pull in four weeks in Sunday’s game, allowing Jones to step up and catch two TDs against the Saints. Jennings is unlikely to play Sunday and could miss or be limited in another couple games after that. That means Jones has significant value in the immediate future. He should make a big fantasy impact at the very least this week against the Colts
3. Brandon Bolden, RB, Patriots
Bolden will likely be the hottest commodity on the wire this week as a guy who was unowned in most leagues heading into Week 4 who exploded for 137 yards on 16 carries while scoring a rushing TD and also adding an 11-yard reception. Stevan Ridley also looked good against the Bills and is likely to remain the feature back, but the undrafted Bolden has seemingly leaped ahead of Shane Vereen and Danny Woodhead on the depth chart, meaning there is some value to be had. Just don’t go breaking the bank on your waiver bid in standard-sized leagues.
4. Scott Chandler, TE, Bills
Chandler boosted his touchdown total to four with a couple scoring grabs in Week 4 while posting his best yardage total (62) of the season. He’s one of four players with four touchdowns this year — oddly enough, two of the other three are also tight ends (Vernon Davis and Heath Miller) and the other is a Cardinals receiver (not Larry Fitzgerald, but Andre Roberts). Chandler’s a clear red-zone option for a team that doesn’t have trouble getting into scoring range consistently, making him a valuable fantasy tight end both now and for the rest of the season.
5. Jackie Battle, RB, Chargers
A Week 3 fumble put Ryan Mathews on the bench at the beginning of the Chargers’ Week 4 game against the Chiefs, and Battle, who drew the surprise start, did enough to keep Mathews there much more frequently than owners expected. Despite a low per-carry average, the Chargers showed faith in Battle, calling his number time and again as he racked up 19 touches, including his first four receptions of the season. He now has 205 total yards and four TDs over three weeks of action and has seemingly carved out a role in the offense regardless of the play of Mathews. Remember Mike Tolbert’s role with the Chargers? That looks to be Battle’s upside.
6. Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Titans
Just a few weeks after dislocating his shoulder in Week 1, Jake Locker suffered another shoulder dislocation in Week 4, one that will keep him out of this week’s game against the Vikings and likely for several games after that. Hasselbeck came in and made the best of a bad situation, completing 68 percent of his passes for 193 yards with two TDs and two INTs. He certainly did a serviceable job for the Titans last year before losing the job to Locker this offseason, and he should be able to take advantage of a Minnesota team that only has one pick this year. Owners in two-QB leagues should be snapping him up quickly.
R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe and contributes to CBSSports.com's MLB Rumors blog. He has previously written for FanHouse, Razzball and FanDuel. Catch up with him in the forums under the name daullaz. Follow him on Twitter; don't follow him in real life.
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