Here we are entering NFL Week 6, and with the majority of fantasy leagues’ regular seasons going through week 13, we’ll be approaching the halfway point of the fantasy season shortly. Time flies, right? Well, we had another relatively bloodless weekend on the offensive side of the ball with the only significant injury news being the loss of Tampa Bay RB Charles Sims, to the IR, but with Doug Martin due back soon it really doesn’t open a window for anyone to see a significant bump in playing time except the underwhelming Jacquizz Rodgers. As usual I’m (John Di Bari, @dibari22) joined by DFF’s Shane Manila @DFF_Shane and K.J. Hanna @DFF_KJ to help run down this week’s Waiver Wire targets.
First up, I’d be remiss if I didn’t suggest you check your Waiver Wire for a few players that I feel should have close to 100% ownership in your leagues. Based on the ownership percentages these players are still available in over half of ESPN leagues. If any of the below are available I strongly suggest you blow a ton of FAAB or your 1st waiver priority on them this week.
WR: Sammie Coates, Pittsburgh Steelers (39.6% owned on ESPN)
WR: Jeremy Kerley, San Francisco 49ers (8%)
RB: Bilal Powell, NY Jets (44.6%)
WR: Eddie Royal, Chicago Bears (41.2%)
WR: Cole Beasley, Dallas Cowboys (40%)
To be blunt, I don’t expect the above to be available in many leagues if any at all, but it never hurts to check and you don’t want to be the guy who misses out just because he was too lazy to do his due diligence. Case in point, I just this very moment put bids in for Jeremy Kerley in two separate leagues so, you just never know.
WR: Cameron Meredith, Chicago Bears (1.5%)
I have absolutely no idea what in the hell is going on in Chicago. For whatever reason the Bears refuse to feed Alshon Jeffery. Maybe he stole a pack of smokes from Jay Cutler, kicked Brian Hoyer’s kids, I sincerely have no idea. For whatever reason, no matter who it is that plays wide receiver for the Bears, not named Alshon, suddenly becomes a viable WR2. Kevin White’s injury, placed on IR and most likely finished for the season, opened the door for Meredith’s emergence in Week 5. The 6’3” Meredith has excellent size and good speed and if he performs well the remainder of this season could carve a role out on the squad going into next year. In Week 5 Meredith was targeted 12 times, to Alshon’s 6 (seriously, what in the actual hell), converting that into 9 receptions and 130 yards with a touchdown to boot. This follows stepping in after White went down against the Colts in week and producing 86 yards and a score. Brian Hoyer has in the past shown that he will consistently target his most trusted targets and it appears that Meredith is securely in the circle of trust so it behooves to pick him up this week.
WR: Kamar Aiken, Baltimore Ravens (7.2%)
If and only if Steve Smith is expected to miss anytime with an ankle injury sustained Sunday would I consider picking up Aiken. In Smith’s absence Aiken is the most capable receiver to slide into the slot role occupied by the ageless Smith.
RB: Bobby Rainey, NY Giants (4%)
With Shane Vereen finished for the year and Paul Perkins pass protection not yet up to snuff, Rainey is the receiving back for an offense that loves to utilize them. He has 13 receptions, along with 9 carries, in the last two weeks and saw his snap count increase to 50% in Week 5. Rainey is a plug and play for all of us zero RB proponents.
RB: Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (25%)
Per ESPN reports Charles Sims will be placed in the IR due to a knee injury and suddenly Rodgers becomes a must add. Though Doug Martin should see an uptick in targets out of the backfield I’d still expect Rodgers to pick up most of the targets Sims typically received weekly. Sims was a favorite of many zero RB zealots and if Rodgers can pick up even 75% of his workload Rodgers can be someone to stream due to bye weeks.
TE: Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills (13.8%)
While in Miami playing with Ryan Tannehill, who is terrible at the whole Quarterbacking thing, or now in Buffalo in a run 1st offense, Charles Clay seems to be perpetually underutilized. I’ve owned and dropped Clay in way too many leagues too even count at this point and it looks like I’ll be adding him to a few more rosters this week yet again. With Sammy Watkins out for at least another 6 or so weeks and Robert Woods being Robert Woods an opportunity for targets has been placed at the feet of Clay and he’s responded well. In the last two weeks he’s had 12 receptions for 120 yards. If he can continue to produce at that rate Clay may be able to approach his 2013 stat line of 69/759/6 which would put him in the conversation of a number one tight end.
QB: Brian Hoyer, Chicago Bears (16%)
Look, he’s not sexy or flashy or exciting, but he is producing and there is a really good chance he keeps this job even when Cutler is healthy. If you need a QB, don’t over think it, grab Hoyer. Take a look at your starting QB’s bye week too, Hoyer might have a nice matchup looming.
RB: James White, New England Patriots (38%)
For those of you who lose Charles Sims in PPR formats, skip Jacquizz, this is the guy you should be targeting. Brady is back, the Pats are going to run up the score in games and White is one of Brady’s favorite targets. The Sims loss will sting, but White can help bridge that gap for you.
RB: James Starks, Green Bay Packers (23%)
Eddie Lacy appeared to hurt his ankle Sunday night, and although it might not be too serious keep an eye on the situation. Starks has been productive in the past when Lacy has gone down.
RB: Wendell Smallwood, Philadelphia Eagles (13%)
Ryan Matthews was back from injury and healthy and as a result Smallwood was planted on the bench. Ryan Matthews has never been able to stay healthy, so it’s just matter of time until Smallwood gets a crack at producing again. If you have room for a speculative stash, he’s worth the space.
At wide receiver, pretty much everybody is on the same guys this weekend in Kerley & Meredith so, I’m looking a little deeper for guys, especially for Dynasty leagues.
WR: Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs (<1%)
Hill has seen his snap count increase steadily each week since Week 2 and has supplanted DeAnthony Thomas in KC. A very athletic rookie with lots of speed, he’s got great upside and only fell in the draft because he assaulted his pregnant girlfriend in college. A great stash in your dynasty leagues, but he might also emerge to help you for your playoff push this year. KC is coming off of the bye, let’s see if they increase his workload.
WR: Chester Rogers, Indianapolis Colts (<1%)
When Donte Moncrief went down, everybody expected Phillip Dorsett to fill his role and break out, and he hasn’t. Rogers has slowly come on as the Colts WR3 and has seen his snaps and targets increase. Maybe not in 2016, but going forward, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him supplant Dorsett in the Indy pecking order.
WR: Eli Rogers, Pittsburgh Steelers (5%)
Everybody wants to pick up Sammy Coates after his big game, but you know what was mixed into those stats? 5 HUGE drops. QBs don’t like that and I can’t imagine Big Ben trusts him. Rogers was on the field for 61% of the team’s snaps to start the season until he got injured. Once healthy, expect him to resume his role as the Ben’s second favorite target at WR.
WR: Torrey Smith, San Francisco 49ers (49%)
Again, everybody is on Kerley and they should’ve been if terrible Gabbert was still in at QB, but with the news that slightly less terrible Colin Kaepernick is taking over in SF, I expect Kerley’s numbers to dip and Smith’s to increase. There is a good chance that Kaep is gonna freeze in the pocket and lock onto his #1 and force feed him.
TE: Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts (44%)
Allen was the projected break out TE here when the season kicked off and after a few flashes from Jack Doyle people began to sour on him. Well, He had a good game last week and should continue to thrive in this Indy system while his team plays catch up thanks to their awful defense.
WR: Sammie Coates, Pittsburgh Steelers (40%)
My fellow Dynasty Factory Football writers and I were encouraging savvy managers to snag Coates last week and he DID NOT disappoint. His week 5 line of 6/139/2 is a Waiver Wire dream, although he did drop 4 passes. His physical ability is fantastic but he will have his drops. Coates is a must add in a high powered offense, don’t let his drops dissuade you from using your waiver priority this week!
WR: Chris Hogan, New England Patriots (35%)
Hogan may not be a hero (see what I did there?) but he sure is someone Brady likes and so should you. The DFF has been pushing for managers to stash Hogan for several weeks while we await terrific Tom’s arrival. Well, he’s back and he’s slinging it! Hogan finished week 5 with a line of 4/114 and he was even knocked out of the game TWICE! Is he the heir apparent of Wes Welker, maybe. Brady’s 1-2 targets are Edelman and Gronk but there is plenty of love to go around and Hogan will reap the benefits and so will you if you pick him up.
WR: Cameron Meredith, Chicago Bears (1.6%)
With Kevin White done for the season it was Meredith and not Jeffery who took full advantage by leading the Bears in both targets with 12 and catches with 9 in Week 5. With Hoyer hot with 3 straight weeks and 300 yards passing and facing the Jaguars in Week 6, Meredith is well worth a WR3/FLEX spot.
WR: Jeremy Kerley, San Francisco 49ers (8%)
Kerley has been a target hog as of late in SF and nothing changed in Week 5 as he exploded for an 8/102/1 line. However, as of Tuesday, Colin Kaepernick is back as the 49ers QB which will hurt Kerley’s targets. He is an add if you’re in a deep league and need a bye week replacement but temper expectations.
WR: Kamar Aiken, Baltimore Ravens (7%)
I will admit I was an Aiken backer in the preseason but was sorely mistaken as he’s been non-existent in the Ravens offense. But, with a Week 5 injury to the aging wonder Steve Smith Sr., a door may have opened. With the Raven’s bye week coming up (Week 8) it makes sense for SS to sit and get healthy. Aiken is an add for 14 tm leagues and desperate managers in need of production.
RB: Devontae Booker, Denver Broncos (21%)
Widely considered the most important RB handcuff outside of DWill (T Coleman doesn’t count due to his usage), Booker is starting to play his way into a timeshare with CJA. His snap count has increased every week since Week 3 and I don’t see it dropping anytime soon. Booked ran for 59 yards on 3 touches in Week 5 compared to CJA’s 62 yards on 10 touches. If you are a CJA owner or someone who, like many of us, took the 0RB drafting road it’s time to hitch a ride on the Booker train.
RB: James Starks, Green Bay Packers (24%)
Eddie Lacy left Week 5 with an ankle injury, although not considered serious, he could miss Week 6. Insert his backup Starks. Starks can provide any squad with a decent stat line, however, don’t expect Lacy numbers as history shows. Like Booker, if you are the main RB owner, snatch up Lacy in case his injury is the multi-week kind. If you aren’t in need of RB help, don’t waste your waiver priority on Starks in Week 6.
RB: Bobby Rainey, New York Giants (4%)
Another resurrected RB career in 2016, Rainey is the PPR RB to own in NY. Be warned, there are a few brutal matchups coming the Giants way, plus Jennings should be back this week, but, Rainey has looked serviceable. Also, unlike his RB counterparts, his role is secure with Vereen on the IR. If you need the RB depth or bye week fil-in, snag Rainey.
RB: Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens (34%)
Still working his way back from his knee injury, Dixon didn’t set the world on fire in Week 5, and no one expected him to. Sure, West has looked good 2 straight weeks but it has been against week rush defenses. Give Dixon the time on your bench and you will have a valuable pickup. Also, with a new offensive coach who leans on his run game, West and Dixon will be used extensively.
QB: Brian Hoyer, Chicago Bears (18%)
As mentioned above, Hoyer has thrown for 300 yards and NO picks in each of the past 3 weeks! Hoyer is quickly unseating Cutler as the Bears QB and is definitely worth a stream. This week isn’t QB deficient due to the bye weeks but, if you’re in need of a backup QB, Hoyer is worth a spot on your bench.
QB: Sam Bradford, Minnesota Vikings (13%)
Bradford has moved on from the Eagles and piloted the Vikings to a 5-0 start. In week 5, without his star WR, Stefon Diggs, he still managed to post 271 passing yards and 2 TDs. Will he put up those same numbers every week, doubtful, but something is in the water in Minnesota and owners need to take a drink. Bradford is on his bye in Week 6 so if you’re in need, stash him for the right matchup.
If there is one thing I learned this season, It’s that I must play in some tough leagues because almost none of these guys are available in any leagues I’m in. Hopefully, that’s not the case for you and you can grab some of these guys and they can help you towards a fantasy championship as the season carries on. As always thank you for reading and good luck in Week 6.