Waiver-wire news changes fast and furious throughout the week as injuries and depth-chart shenanigans overtake us. So be sure to follow me on Twitter by clicking on the link next to my headshot at the bottom of the column, and I'll keep you updated as news warrants. Let's get to the best fantasy roster additions heading into Week 5:
Standard ESPN league finds
Jerick McKinnon, RB, Minnesota Vikings (owned in 0.8 percent of ESPN leagues): How do you know it's a thin week for the waiver wire? I'm leading with a player who was already on this exact list last week. But McKinnon deserves another mention, as he produced 152 yards on 19 touches in Week 4. More important than the numbers was McKinnon's game tape, which showed the hard-cutting, quick-accelerating skills we were promised by those who fell in love with his combine results. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer was careful to proclaim that he still views McKinnon as a change-of-pace back behind Matt Asiata, but I can't imagine that will remain the case all season. Asiata did score three times Sunday and had nice barreling runs, but McKinnon was on a different level. I'm not sure you're going to be able to start him immediately in all leagues, but he definitely should be added in all leagues.
Larry Donnell, TE, New York Giants (26.8 percent): Donnell is also a repeat on this list and should certainly now be owned in all leagues. He's got 25 catches for 256 yards and four TDs (although three of those scores came last week). The best thing you can say about Donnell is he catches most everything thrown near him, and he's really big. Nobody will mistake his athleticism for a basketball player's, but he's a reliable chain-mover in an offense that's woken up. It won't be shocking if he falls off, but at the moment, he's a no-brainer top-10 TE on any list.
Eli Manning, QB, Giants (42.7 percent): Eli deserves praise for this turnaround. He was as jumpy as could be in Week 1, but since then he's run the quick-strike Giants offense with great precision and tempo. Most importantly, the squad seems to have figured out its offensive line. Ben McAdoo's system may not produce huge yardage totals, but over the past two-plus games it's kept Eli out of trouble. Yes, the random five-interception game will still probably strike somewhere down the road, but Manning has averaged 5.0 yards at the catch this year (30th among starting QBs), after finishing at 7.2 last season (which was fourth). This philosophical change is real, and in Week 5 against a poor Atlanta Falcons defense, Eli is a potential plug-and-play streamer.
Eddie Royal, WR, San Diego Chargers (28.2 percent): Raise your hand if you've seen this movie before. Royal scored five combined TDs in Weeks 1 and 2 of 2013, and folks rushed to add him. Alas, he scored just thrice more all season and never exceeded four grabs in a game. So now we're left to ponder Royal's production over these past two contests: nine catches, 147 yards and four TDs. Listen, you can feel free to chase. He has exactly one catch this season out of a two-WR set (in fact, he has more carries out of such sets: two), but I can't deny that he's been wide open running out of the slot when the Chargers have gone spread. The rationalist in me says a correction is coming soon, but if you're done being rational and just want to chase points, Royal is a fine guy to chase.
Philadelphia Eagles Defense (8.2 percent): If you picked up the Chargers D/ST last week, as I recommended, ride them again against Geno Smith and the New York Jets. But if you didn't, it may be too late to grab them. So try the Eagles. Their defensive front -- particularly Trent Cole, Fletcher Cox and Cedric Thornton -- is stout, and Mychal Kendricks may return from his calf strain. I don't love the secondary, and Austin Davis has put up some numbers, but in general, I consider the St. Louis Rams a pretty good matchup for an opposing fantasy D. Getting touchdowns on a blocked punt, an interception return and a punt return (as happened last week) isn't likely to recur for the Eagles, but it's good to know they have big-play ability.
Other solid waiver adds, about whom I've written in previous weeks: Isaiah Crowell, RB, Browns (5.7 percent); Justin Forsett, RB, Ravens (9.2 percent); Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, Ravens (14.8 percent); Alfred Blue, RB, Texans (4.0 percent); Markus Wheaton, WR, Steelers (19.5 percent); Andrew Hawkins, WR, Browns (12.9 percent); Brian Quick, WR, Rams (14.8 percent); Jordan Matthews, WR, Eagles (14.8 percent); Josh Gordon, WR, Browns (10.3 percent); Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs (37.1 percent); Niles Paul, TE Washington (16.7 percent); Owen Daniels, TE, Ravens (8.9 percent).
Darrin Reaves, RB, Carolina Panthers (0.1 percent): DeAngelo Williams suffered a sprained ankle in Week 4 and has already been labeled doubtful for Sunday. Mike Tolbert is out and Jonathan Stewart looks questionable at best. That may leave Reaves as the Panthers' starter. In relief of D-Willy last week, Reaves had 37 yards on 15 touches. He's a thick, short player whose skill set didn't look ready for "between-the-tackles" action Sunday, but that doesn't mean he can't improve and/or generate fantasy points through volume. There's no guarantee he's the starter for Week 5 against the Chicago Bears; Carolina will also get Fozzy Whittaker (0.1 percent) back and signed Chris Ogbonnaya (0.1 percent) off the street. But if you're out of other options or hurt by Lamar Miller's bye week, you could take a flier on Reaves.
Jarius Wright, WR, Vikings (0.2 percent): Like Eddie Royal, Wright barely plays in two-WR sets and only runs out of the slot, and his weapon of choice in Sunday's contest -- during which he caught eight passes for 132 yards -- was the WR screen. We can speculate that Wright and Teddy Bridgewater have some kind of impossibly strong, "We used to be backups together" bond, I suppose, but I think it's likelier that the Vikings looked at the Falcons' strong cornerback corps and decided not to have their rookie QB mess with much downfield. Wright is a player who's likeliest to have value in a deeper PPR league.
Denard Robinson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (0.6 percent): Robinson was on the field far more frequently than Toby Gerhart Sunday and showed significantly more burst than the erstwhile starter. Of course, he's also not a particularly physical runner, so when it came time to bang in a short TD, Gerhart got the call. For the moment, Robinson seems to have worked his way into a backfield committee, one that has a painfully low ceiling. But more touches should be forthcoming. The Jags face a banged-up Pittsburgh Steelers defense next week.
Louis Murphy, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0.0 percent): Mike Evans started to look like a force against the Steelers on Sunday, catching one TD and coming within a whisker of snatching another, but then he suffered a groin injury that will reportedly cost him multiple games. Murphy, whom the Bucs released earlier in the season but re-signed before Week 4, picked up Evans' slack with six grabs for 99 yards, including a tough over-the-middle catch that set up Tampa's winning score. You'd have to be desperate to expect a repeat, but the Bucs do face the poor New Orleans Saints secondary Sunday.
Travaris Cadet, RB, Saints (0.2 percent): Cadet surprisingly got passing-down work for the Saints ahead of Pierre Thomas Sunday night, and responded with six catches for 59 yards. (He also lost a fumble.) Leave it to Sean Payton to give us a third RB, just when we were pretty sure he had only two healthy ones. Cadet's prospects will become much darker once Mark Ingram returns, but for the moment, you can think about using him in a deep PPR.
Malcom Floyd, WR, Chargers (4.2 percent): Floyd has scored in back-to-back games, eating up man coverage in deep-ball situations. At his size (6-foot-5, 225 pounds), Floyd gives you big-play ability every week, but is also likely to see only a handful of targets per game. The old Philip Rivers loved to fling it way downfield again and again, but latter-day Phil is more conservative. Floyd is pure fantasy boom-or-bust material.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Buccaneers (0.5 percent): It was heartening to see ASJ return after missing two games with a foot injury, and even more heartening to see that he was an every-down player against the Steelers. To my eyes, Seferian-Jenkins held his own in all blocking situations, and while he caught only three passes, he did have seven targets. If Mike Evans is out because of his groin injury, Seferian-Jenkins could see even more action. He's a nice flier Week 5 against the Saints.
Jace Amaro, TE, New York Jets (1.3 percent): The Jets rookie has nine targets over the past two weeks, and found an opening that produced a nice after-the-catch run in Week 4. The Jets still don't trust him in a blocking role -- Jeff Cumberland played more than twice as many snaps Sunday -- but Amaro is making strides. He's got enough size and athleticism to track in a deep or dynasty league.
Other solid waiver adds for deep-leaguers, about whom I've written in previous weeks: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Vikings (10.0 percent); Blake Bortles, QB, Jaguars (4.6 percent); Branden Oliver, RB, Chargers (0.6 percent); Bobby Rainey, RB, Buccaneers (15.4 percent); Marvin Jones, WR, Bengals (0.9 percent); John Brown, WR, Cardinals (3.9 percent); Allen Robinson, WR, Jaguars (1.9 percent); Allen Hurns, WR, Jaguars (7.3 percent); Mohamed Sanu, WR, Bengals (6.5 percent); Miles Austin, WR, Browns (4.0 percent); Dwayne Allen, TE, Colts (11.0 percent).