Fantasy Football waiver-wire candidates after Week 5.

Week 5 of the NFL season is officially behind us, and those near the bottom of their league in fantasy football may be looking to make some significant changes to their respective fantasy teams.

For those who are looking to turn around their fantasy football fortunes, here are the top five pickup candidates that are available in over 50 percent of leagues on the ESPN Fantasy Football platform going into Week 6.

Week 5 recap:

A number of players in my Week 5 waiver-wire article from last week did not perform up to expectations. Dallas Cowboys tight end Jake Ferguson underperformed like much of the Cowboys offense in a 42-10 blowout loss on SNF to the San Francisco 49ers. Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud also struggled in terms of fantasy football production. And Green Bay Packers wide receiver Romeo Doubs also struggled to get much going, hauling in only one catch on MNF against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Let’s hope some of the players listed below can be far more impactful in Week 6 for your respective fantasy football teams.

5. Logan Thomas, TE, Washington Commanders

  • Week 5: 20.7 fantasy points (PPR)
  • Rostered: 8.1 percent

Thomas was one of the lone bright spots for the Commanders in their Week 5 loss to the Chicago Bears, hauling in nine of 11 targets for 77 yards and a touchdown. An injury earlier in the season hampered his overall production in fantasy, but in games that he’s suited up for, he has actually been quite productive, averaging the sixth-most fantasy points at his position this season.

Tight end is always a thin position in fantasy football, so Thomas’s breakout game could be enough to warrant a roster spot in most leagues. It also helps that Thomas is set to face off against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 6, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends this year.

4. Jaleel McLaughlin, RB, Denver Broncos

  • Week 5: 17.9 fantasy points (PPR)
  • Rostered: 48.4 percent

McLaughlin saw significant touches for the second straight week with fellow running back Javonte Williams sidelined with a quad injury. And for the second straight week, McLaughlin cashed in on his additional opportunities, recording 68 rushing yards while also hauling in three catches for 21 yards and a receiving touchdown.

He appears to be a significant part of this Broncos offense while Williams is sidelined. Denver quarterback Russell Wilson has not been shy to get his running backs involved in the passing game this season, and that should continue in a tough matchup that the Broncos will likely be trailing in against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6.

McLaughlin could have been even higher on this list, but the caveat is that Javonte Williams could be returning for the game, which may revert McLaughlin back to a change of pace back. However, their matchup against the Chiefs is on Thursday night, so the Broncos may want to play it safe with Williams on a short week, which would make McLaughlin a very intriguing waiver-wire option.

3. Tyjae Spears, RB, Tennessee Titans 

  • Week 5: 16.9 fantasy points (PPR)
  • Rostered: 25.5 percent

Spears came into the season as a clear handcuff to star running back Derrick Henry. But Henry hasn’t quite looked as dominant as in previous years, and Spears has significantly eaten into his production after a very impressive preseason for the rookie out of Tulane.

Spears saw the most touches of his young career thus far in Week 5, rushing for 34 yards and a touchdown, while also hauling in four catches for 35 yards. He will obviously be splitting time with Henry, but this Titans backfield is quickly shifting to more of a 50/50 split between the two. And if Henry were to go down with any sort of injury, Spears would almost certainly be a startable player for however long he has full reigns of the backfield in Tennessee.

2. Josh Downs, WR, Indianapolis Colts

  • Week 5: 15.7 fantasy points (PPR)
  • Rostered: 10.9 percent

Downs is a player that has very regularly been in the honorable mentions category of this article in the past few weeks. He’s clearly a dynamic player that greatly helps the Colts passing game. And despite rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson going down with yet another injury in their Week 5 game against the Tennessee Titans, Downs had his best game to date, hauling in all six of his targets for 97 yards.

The rookie wideout has shown flashes of brilliance in his rookie season, and that is in spite of constant change at the quarterback position with Anthony Richardson’s myriad of injuries.

Richardson is expected to be sidelined for some significant time following his AC joint injury in Week 5. That means that it will be veteran quarterback Gardner Minshew likely starting in Week 6 for the Colts. And that may not be such a bad thing for Downs; he’s established a very solid connection with Minshew thus far this season. It may be the perfect time to buy in on Downs, as he’s clearly growing into an established piece in an underrated Colts offense.

1. K.J. Osborn, WR, Minnesota Vikings

  • Week 5: 9.9 fantasy points (PPR)
  • Rostered: 21.6 percent

The Vikings have been the most pass-friendly team in all of football this season. And that will likely benefit Osborn in Week 6, especially since his star teammate Justin Jefferson suffered a hamstring injury in their Week 5 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell has already said that the team doesn’t plan to play Jefferson until he’s 100 percent recovered from his injury. That certainly puts his status for a Week 6 game against the Chicago Bears in jeopardy.

While that is obviously a negative for the Vikings as a team, it’s a clear positive for Osborn, who will likely be the No. 2 wide receiver if Jefferson is indeed held out of their Week 6 game.

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has the most pass attempts in all of football after five weeks. Meanwhile, the Bears have allowed the second most passing yards in all of football through five games. That makes Osborn an extremely enticing option for most fantasy owners heading into Week 6.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Trenton Irwin (WR, Cincinnati Bengals)
  • Emari Demercado (RB, Arizona Cardinals)
  • Rashee Rice (WR, Kansas City Chiefs)
  • Matthew Stafford (QB, Los Angeles Rams)
  • Antonio Gibson (RB, Arizona Cardinals)

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.