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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fantasy football: Week 5 waiver-wire picks

Chargers running back Jackie Battle has four touchdowns in as many games this season.

Sunday, he started over much more celebrated backfield mate Ryan Mathews, who has been in Coach Norv Turner's doghouse (and is there a more terrifying place than Norv Turner's doghouse?) because of fumbling problems.

On the season, Battle -- who rushed for 597 yards for the Chiefs last season -- is averaging 5.1 yards per carry. In Week 4, he had 19 touches, produced 81 total yards (42 receiving) and scored a pair of TDs.

That all sounds promising, right?

Yes, until you remember Mathews, despite the temporary benching, rushed for 61 yards on 14 attempts (one fewer carry but 22 more yards than Battle) Sunday, and he will get more of a workload in future weeks as long as he doesn't put the ball on the ground.

It was Mathews whom we all believed was a top-six running back in fantasy before he broke his collarbone in the preseason.

And it was Mathews who ran for 1,091 yards in 14 games, caught 50 passes for 455 yards and had a norm of 4.9 yards per carry last season.

Make no mistake: Mathews will be the guy in the Chargers' backfield. But it might not be as soon as this week, which gives Battle short-term value if you need a starting back because of bye weeks -- and long-term value if you have Mathews and want to add Battle as insurance.

Before we get to this week's waiver-wire picks -- you might have taken a wild guess and determined Battle is No. 1 at running back -- a quick reminder that we discussed the value of Dolphins receiver and former Buckeye Brian Hartline on Monday morning.

As always, we only consider players who are available in more than half of the leagues on, and we like to go much lower than that.

On to the rankings:

1. Kevin Kolb, Cardinals (owned in 7.8 percent of the ESPN leagues)
2. Matt Cassel, Chiefs (31.3)
3. Christian Ponder, Vikings (17.3)
4. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins (2.9)
5. Russell Wilson, Seahawks (14.8)
Dropped out: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills (he's now owned in 46.5 percent of the ESPN leagues, which makes him too obvious of a choice); Mark Sanchez, Jets; Jake Locker, Titans
Just missed the cut: None

1. Jackie Battle, Chargers (9.0 percent)
2. Bilal Powell, Jets (5.4)
3. Joique Bell, Lions (0.8)
4. Brandon Bolden, Patriots (0.3)
5. Lance Ball, Broncos (1.5)
Dropped out: Andre Brown, Giants (now owned in 92.8 percent of the ESPN leagues); Mikel Leshoure, Lions (73.1 percent); Tashard Choice, Bills; Jacquizz Rogers, Falcons
Just missed the cut: Rogers (17.9 percent); Danny Woodhead, Patriots (7.4); Shaun Draughn, Chiefs (4.5); Evan Royster, Redskins (4.2)

1. Brian Hartline, Dolphins (26.7 percent)
2. James Jones, Packers (21.6)
3. Kendall Wright, Titans (10.6)
4. Donnie Avery, Colts (11.0)
5. Andrew Hawkins, Bengals (28.1)
Dropped out: Ramses Barden, Giants; Jon Baldwin, Chiefs
Just missed the cut: Randall Cobb, Packers (29.9 percent); Davone Bess, Dolphins (7.4); Andre Roberts, Cardinals (1.9); Domenik Hixon, Giants (0.5); Baldwin (22.4); Greg Little, Browns (17.6)

1. Scott Chandler, Bills (31.6 percent)
2. Greg Olsen, Panthers (16.7)
3. Kyle Rudolph, Vikings (40.7)
4. Jermaine Gresham, Bengals (24.8)
5. Brandon Myers, Raiders (1.4)
Dropped out: Heath Miller, Steelers (now owned in 46.9 percent of the ESPN leagues); Dennis Pitta, Ravens (62.6)
Just missed the cut: None

Past waiver-wire picks: Week 2, Week 3, Week 4

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