Free-agent finds for Week 5: Duke Johnson, Boobie Dixon, Ronnie Hillman lead the way

AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi

Some food for thought as we enter Week 5 of the NFL season: at this point last year, Odell Beckham Jr. had precisely zero catches. Zilch. Nada. He was hurt, of course, but it's a reminder that players you add to your fantasy lineup now have the potential to swing your league. Another reminder (and this one comes in the form of our favorite fantasy stat from last season): no player was owned on a higher percentage of championship-winning rosters last season than Beckham, the dazzling wide receiver who makes the most difficult of catches look effortless.

So without further ado, here are the top waiver adds for Week 5 (note: only players owned in less than 50 percent of ESPN leagues to begin the week are considered).

Duke Johnson, RB, Cleveland Browns (49.5 percent): He just barely ekes onto this list percentagewise, but after Sunday's performance against San Diego, he's worth the time to mention and your investment. Few rookies generated as much preseason buzz as Johnson, but injuries slowed him to start the season. He had 17 touches in Week 4, including nine catches and a sensational touchdown reception. He should be owned in all leagues.

Darren McFadden, RB, Dallas Cowboys (48.6 percent): A player who has seen his ownership dip recently, McFadden should be added after the Lance Dunbar injury. He's yet to break a run for longer than 14 yards, but the backfield in Dallas might see a re-distribution of touches with Dunbar out for the season.

Boobie Dixon, RB, Buffalo Bills (1.1 percent): The return date for LeSean McCoy remains unclear, while Karlos Williams -- who stepped in to fill his shoes -- suffered a concussion in Week 4 . It's uncertain whether Williams will play on Sunday, meaning Dixon would be up next as the Bills starter in the backfield. He has eight carries this season (netting zero yards), but the workload would be enticing for those who own McCoy or Williams.

Ronnie Hillman, RB, Denver Broncos (46.6 percent): It's not so much that I am supremely confident Hillman will emerge as the predominant back in Denver going forward, but it sure doesn't feel as though C.J. Anderson will rediscover the magic that he showed down the stretch in 2014. Hillman had one long touchdown run in Week 4 and feels like the Broncos' best option in the backfield. Perhaps he proves to be their No. 1 back.

Leonard Hankerson, WR, Atlanta Falcons (13.6 percent): Roddy White has six catches for 92 yards in four games this season. He's healthy. Hankerson had six catches for 103 yards and a touchdown in Week 4. There's been a shift as the top receiver running mate behind Julio Jones, and it's Hankerson. He's got a stud QB throwing to him and an offense that is clicking in a major way right now.

Allen Hurns, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (11.3 percent): Hurns burst onto the scene last season in Week 1 with a two-touchdown effort. He had 15 targets in Week 4 and 116 yards (plus a touchdown), and he is the second-best receiver in a Jacksonville offense that has shown moments of promise (along with moments of curiosity) this season. He's a PPR flex play for me at the moment but a name worth keeping an eye on for the upside.

Tavon Austin, WR, St. Louis Rams (10.9 percent): He's still a bit of a mystery week to week, as Austin had eight rushes and three receptions in Weeks 1 and 2 and then just two rushes and 11 catches during the past two weeks. The more "conventional" receiver usage seems like his best fit, and with 13 total touchdowns in 32 games, we know he's explosive. He's an add that brings upside.

DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins (29.3 percent): A lottery ticket at this point, as he's currently fifth on the Dolphins wide receiver depth chart and has just four catches to his name. But the team used a first-round pick on Parker, and perhaps the organizational changes will extend beyond the coaching staff (as in: player usage). He's 6-foot-3 and can run. If you have a player at the end of your bench you're not relying on, Parker is worth a roll of the dice.

Ted Ginn Jr., WR, Carolina Panthers (32.3 percent): Ginn, like Austin, is a speed demon who contributes as a returner (for those who play in leagues that factor in special teams production). With others banged up (and Devin Funchess not quite at the point some fantasy owners had hoped for), Ginn slid into a top receiver role for Carolina in Week 4. The team is on a bye this week, but he's a deep-league consideration.

Charles Sims, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (33.6 percent): Put aside the pedestrian rushing totals from Sims (25 carries for 84 yards) and examine his role as a pass-catcher: 10 receptions, 108 yards and two touchdowns (both of which have come during the past two weeks). If you play in a deeper PPR league, he's a worthwhile add.

Thomas Rawls, RB, Seattle Seahawks (43.6 percent): A player that all Marshawn Lynch owners hopefully snatched after last week, Rawls is the handcuff to Lynch and a presumptive starter until he returns (possibly in Week 5).

Kamar Aiken, WR, Baltimore Ravens (0.7 percent): Steve Smith Sr. will miss Week 5 with a back injury, while Michael Campanaro was placed on injured reserve earlier this week. Aiken is far from a star, but a No. 1 wide receiver in an offense with a capable quarterback is a noteworthy role.

Cecil Shorts III, WR, Houston Texans (6.5 percent): Shorts injured his shoulder in Week 4 and is almost assuredly not going to play in Week 5. We'll see how long the injury shelves him, but he's tied for 16th in the NFL in targets through four games -- a stash player.

Christine Michael, RB, Dallas Cowboys (7.2 percent): After Lance Dunbar suffered a major injury Sunday night, the door is open for another Cowboys back to make an impact. Physical tools have never been the issue with Michael, but turning those tools into consistent production has not yet happened.

Tight end replacements/fill-ins

Richard Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (22.2 percent): With Andrew Quarless on short-term IR, Rodgers is the top tight end in an offense run by the best quarterback on the planet.

Gary Barnidge, Cleveland Browns (11.0 percent): He's found the end zone in consecutive weeks.

Two-quarterback league adds

Josh McCown, Cleveland Browns (1.8 percent): He's thrown for 697 yards the past two weeks and has 41 fantasy points. Next up: the Ravens.

Kirk Cousins, Washington (5.1 percent): Quietly completing nearly 69 percent of his passes and is coming off of a 21-point effort.

Deeper-league adds: Kenny Stills, WR, Miami Dolphins (5.4 percent); Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings (0.2 percent); Chris Thompson, RB, Washington (2.1 percent); Chris Givens, WR, Ravens (0.7 percent).