Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 6
Dan Malin examines the ownership percentages and recent trends to bring you his top waiver wire adds heading into Week Six of the fantasy football season!
We should anticipate another quiet-ish week on waivers. The news of Dak Prescott ’s injury definitely sucks and makes Andy Dalton a must-add in two-quarterback/superflex leagues (and possibly a streamer in standard one-quarterback leagues) plus a few wide receivers had some noteworthy weeks as well. But it was largely a quiet week for running backs to emerge off the waiver wire. Honestly, this could be a great week to possibly see who gets dropped in your league. Most J.K. Dobbins owners are probably getting frustrated and jumping ship after five weeks to fill a void at another position. This season has been a little infuriating and exhausting with all the injuries and games being re-scheduled, but this is meant to be fun so stay positive and put in the effort to work your way out of whatever hole you may be in.
As usual I will be in the NFL Seasonal Chat Tuesday night during the Tuesday Night Football game. I don’t think the article will be updated following Tuesday’s game, but I’ll be in the chat answering waiver wire questions from 8:00pm ET to 10:00pm ET. For Wednesday night, I will try to get into the NFL Seasonal Chat for Waiver questions since most sites are processing waiver claims Thursday morning. I have a pretty strict schedule during the week so I may not get into the Chat until 9:30pm ET Wednesday night.
Justin Herbert (LAC) The rookie sensation is on Bye next week, but if you want to add this kid you may need to do it now. He’s a must-start in Two-Quarterback formats as he’s thrown seven touchdowns in his last two games. The schedule isn’t awful for him the rest of the season either. He has the Bills and Patriots in Weeks 12 and 13. There are still some unknown factors with Herbert considering he’s a rookie and still very green. He’s only been tested by one defense that’s above average (Tampa Bay) and he did well in that game, but he looked great once again versus the Saints on Monday night without the greatest passing volume. Given the schedule, and what we’ve seen so far, he could finish as a Top 12 quarterback come season’s end. FAAB Bid: 12-14%
Andy Dalton (DAL) Dalton is likely a must-add in two-quarterback, and Superflex leagues. Even in standard one-quarterback leagues he might be a decent streaming option in Week 6. Next week Derek Carr , Drew Brees , Russell Wilson , and Justin Herbert are on Bye and you may be in need of a bye-week filler. Dalton will have his good games and bad games. That’s the gamble you take with him. But with a full week of practice with the first team I like the matchup against the Cardinals. They just lost Chandler Jones for the season and the Cardinals defense has been beatable. There are obvious concerns surrounding the Dallas offensive line, but Dalton has great weapons at his disposal to maybe do enough for 18-22 fantasy points next week. FAAB Bid: 7-15% but this varies based on need. In two-quarterback leagues where you lost Prescott, and QB’s are hard to find, you may need to go up to 17-20%.
Kirk Cousins (MIN) Cousins has had a very Cousins-esque season, but without the high-upside games at this point. They’ve relied heavily on the run as Sunday night’s game against Seattle marked the first time he attempted more than 30 passes. That game script required extra passing, but still we expected a little more against a defense that was allowing the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Now Cousins will host the Falcons, the team that allows the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. In a week where four teams are on Bye, Cousins is a decent streamer that you’re just hoping can hit 20 fantasy points against a crappy defense. FAAB Bid: 5-7%
Alexander Mattison (MIN) The handcuff truthers out there can take a victory lap on this one. Dalvin Cook left Sunday night’s game with a groin injury after a fantastic first half. He tried to return in the second half but couldn’t play through the injury so Mattison got the work. He ran for over 100 yards on 20 carries and caught three passes as well. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Monday night that Cook’s injury isn’t believed to be serious, but Mike Zimmer said his status next week will depend on how he does at practice this week. Given the injury history of Cook, it’s wise to stash Mattison even if you aren’t the Cook owner. FAAB Bid: 15-17%
Chase Edmonds (ARI) I loved this guy last week and tried to get that point across as much as possible. His availability depends on the site you play on. On CBS Sports he’s about 80% owned, on Yahoo he’s about 65% owned, but on ESPN he’s still available in about half of leagues. He only had three carries but he broke one off for a 29-yard touchdown in the first quarter of Sunday’s game against the Jets. He also caught five-of-six targets for 56 yards so he’s getting work in and is a good Flex play this coming week against Dallas. Kenyan Drake did the lead team in carries by a wide margin but he turned those 18 rush attempts into just 60 rushing yards, although he did find the end zone (albeit on a one-yard run). I’m still wildly in favor of Edmonds as he is a league-winner if the pieces fall into place for him whether it be an unfortunate injury to Drake (yes, all injuries are unfortunate even if I want Edmonds to get more work) or if the team just makes a general shift to Edmonds, who has looked great in minimal work this year. FAAB Bid: 15-16%
Justin Jackson (LAC) I’ll be brief on Jackson simply because he was mentioned last week and he did lead the team in carries Monday night. Jackson did break a nice run for 36 yards in the first quarter, but then a lot of his runs did go for short yardage. The same can easily said for Joshua Kelley. I still might prefer Kelley or Jackson, but I’ll be objective and say Jackson looked better Monday night. Jackson had involvement in the passing game catching five-of-six targets. But next week the Chargers are on Bye (after they were supposed to face the Jets) so even if you spend up for him (if he’s still available), you can’t get any use out of him. FAAB Bid: 12-14%
Damien Harris (NE) Harris is still available in about 40% of ESPN leagues. I didn’t write him up a week ago, but he was included two weeks ago in the running back section that grouped the New England backfield together as a whole. Overall, I’m lukewarm on Harris. As a pure runner he’s the best option available for New England, but when Cam Newton is healthy I do expect him to get use out of his legs as well. Harris could still see 12-13 carries per game, which is a good workload for a RB2/Flex. I’m not sold on the production yet, but he looked good against the Chiefs last Monday. Either way, Harris should be owned in more than 40% of leagues with all the injuries we’ve seen at running back already on the season. FAAB Bid: 12-14%
J.D. McKissic (WSH) Antonio Gibson is still the running back to own in the Washington backfield. This team got taken to the woodshed against the Rams. It was a bloodbath. Alex Smith replaced Kyle Allen and didn’t look good and was sacked way too much. However, McKissic played 50% of the offensive snaps last week and a good portion of those were when Alex Smith took over. For what it’s worth, McKissic has 13 catches on 16 targets over the last two weeks. Now don’t get too excited because that’s unsustainable especially with the revolving door at quarterback we’ve seen lately. But if they’re playing from behind and if Alex Smith takes over as the starter (despite getting demolished by the Rams pass rush), then McKissic might be worth a stash in the deepest of leagues. FAAB Bid: 3-4% (You might be able to get him for cheaper to be honest)
The New York Jets Backfield - With most site providers processing waivers on Thursday, we have the luxury of addressing the Jets backfield now that Le'Veon Bell has been released. This obviously means good things for Frank Gore (gross) and La'Mical Perine. Adam Gase, for whatever reason, really likes Frank Gore . So while we trust the touches, we don't necessarily trust the production. La'Mical Perine is an intriguing grab; maybe this gives the Jets a chance to see what they have with him for the rest of the season. But this could also be an attempt to go 0-16 to land Trevor Lawrence in the draft next Spring. I'm not rushing to grab either Jets RB because I can't imagine the person you're dropping being worse than Gore or Perine. In deep leagues, Gore could be viewed as a must-stash. FAAB Bid: 6-8% depending on how desperate you are.
Tee Higgins (CIN) If he’s still available, he’s arguably a must-start each week. He’s now seen at least six targets in four straight games, with 24 targets in his last three games. Cincinnati doesn’t have the easiest schedule for pass catchers, but Joe Burrow does look like a composed quarterback. He’s still entitled to bad games as a rookie behind a poor offensive line, but he’s targeting the right players in this offense in Higgins and Tyler Boyd . Higgins’ overall production this week doesn’t jump off the page but we need to acknowledge the attention he’s getting from Burrow. Higgins actually led all Cincy wide receivers in snaps on Sunday with 54. Boyd finished with 46 and A.J. Green saw just 28. FAAB Bid: 16-17%
Chase Claypool (PIT) A solid argument can be made for Claypool being the must-add wide receiver this week. The general consensus is that Sunday was his breakout game, but let’s not forgot he showcased the big play upside when he scored an 84-yard touchdown against the Broncos a few weeks back. I mentioned in the Hot Takes article yesterday that JuJu Smith-Schuster has been relegated to a smaller role in the offense and Diontae Johnson has had a few different injuries already this year, and he’s currently battling a back injury. There will be games where the touchdowns and targets fluctuate between all three, but you are able to get a high-upside receiver with top waiver priority this week. Next week against the Browns he becomes a pretty strong play at the very least in your Flex spot. FAAB Bid: 15-16%
Mike Williams (LAC) Williams is a late addition to the Waiver Wire column. He had a huge game last night in his return from a hamstring injury and he emerged as the go-to guy as Keenan Allen left the game with back spasms. He caught two touchdowns, one of which went for over 60 yards and he made an impressive catch over Marshon Lattimore to put his team in field goal range. He's a big target that hasn't quite lived up to the expectations of a first-round pick. Injuries have plagued him a bit, but there's no denying the upside. FAAB Bid: 10-12%
Mecole Hardman (KC) Hardman is a guy who might be available in your ESPN league, but unavailable in your CBS league. Sammy Watkins is about to be sidelined for a few games with a hamstring injury so this obviously gives Hardman an opportunity as another deep threat for the Chiefs explosive offense. He’s not getting a ton of targets, but that could change with Watkins sidelined. When Sammy did have to leave the game, Hardman came in for about 75-80% of the snaps in the fourth quarter and Mahomes does like to get the ball in this guy’s hands. FAAB Bid: 7-8%
Travis Fulgham (PHI) Fulgham gets mentioned by default, but I’m not overly excited about adding him unless the coaching staff absolutely loves him. He’s been waived twice since the start of August and he’s on his third team in as many months. However, he has caught touchdowns in back-to-back games. He led the team with 13 targets on Sunday, but this could just as easily be a flash in the pan. When DeSean Jackson , Jalen Reagor, and Alshon Jeffery come back things will be different for Fulgham. I’m not incredibly thrilled about adding him but the options are few and far between in Philadelphia right now. FAAB Bid: 3-5%
Others Receiving Votes: Brandin Cooks is about 60% owned, but if he’s out there he deserves a look. I’m still on the Will Fuller train, but this was a good game to get Cooks going and he had a HUGE day. Leviska Shenault is a favorite of this article. He’s been mentioned almost every single week and he’s coming off a season-high seven receptions on eight targets for 79 yards. He just hasn’t found the end zone since Week 1, but be patient. Preston Williams finally had a big game. He was my favorite late-round flyer coming into the season and had a very slow start. He only saw five targets on Sunday, but he found the end zone on 100+ yards receiving. And another guy who has gotten some love lately is Jeff Smith of the New York Jets. The Jets don’t have many offensive options, but he has 20 targets over his last two games. He’s getting targets out of necessity with defenses keying in on Le’Veon Bell and Jamison Crowder , although the former hasn’t been very good.
Jimmy Graham (CHI) Ownership is still pretty low on Graham and he has four touchdowns in five games. The targets have fluctuated each week, but regardless of who is under center for the Bears, Graham gets looked at in the red zone. As bad as the Panthers defense is, they do a pretty good job keeping tight ends in check. They’ve only allowed one touchdown to opposing tight ends, but they have allowed at least five catches and 40 yards to tight ends in three of five games this season. Is that great? Not by any means, but you’ll take any kind of production at this position if you’re struggling to fill the void. FAAB Bid: 10-11%
Robert Tonyan (GB) The tight end position is essentially touchdown-or-bust unless you own one of the studs, but even Zach Ertz is becoming a bit of a headache. So we’ll mention Tonyan once again because he’s coming off a Bye week, but it’s a tough matchup this week (in theory). I say that mostly because I have bought into the Tampa Bay defense, but they have had a little trouble stopping opposing tight ends. They’ve allowed touchdowns in back-to-back games to Jimmy Graham and Donald Parham. Even if Davante Adams returns, there’s still a role for Tonyan in the red zone and tight end has proven, like most years, it may not be as deep as we anticipated. Again, this is based on need so spend a little extra if you’ve been struggling at the position. Five touchdowns over his previous three games is hard to ignore. FAAB Bid: 8-10%
Austin Hooper (CLE) This will certainly frustrate Hooper managers that drafted him and then dropped him after three weeks. But he has 17 targets in his last two games. Baker Mayfield ’s passing volume hasn’t been tremendous. He hasn’t even topped 250 passing yards yet, but he’s gradually been getting his new weapon involved. Hooper has caught ten of those 17 targets, but if defenses start giving Odell Beckham more attention, we may see a little consistency out of these opportunities afforded to Hooper. FAAB Bid: 6-8%
Cameron Brate (TB) People may overlook Brate because the Bucs played last Thursday, but in the team’s first game without O.J. Howard , Brate caught five-of-six targets for 44 yards. Again, this is a touchdown-dependent position, so you’d like to see these big targets for Brady find the end zone, like Brate did the week before. Tom Brady also fed Rob Gronkowski six targets as well so nearly 30% of his pass attempts last week went to his tight ends. This is likely unsustainable and drops once Chris Godwin returns, but don’t sleep on Brate if he’s inheriting more opportunities with Howard done for the year. FAAB Bid: 3-4%
Miami Dolphins – This is the obvious D/ST to stream this week. Against great offenses the Dolphins have been burned. However, against average or sub-par offenses, the Fish have stood tall against them. Miami just went on the road and embarrassed San Francisco in their own stadium. They’ve forced six turnovers and 11 sacks in their last three games and they get the chance to face the Jets at home this week after the NFL’s schedule had to be shifted around. Miami will be quite the popular streamer this week.
Washington Football Team – Daniel Jones has been simply awful this year for fantasy. I was hoping for improvements with a slightly better offensive line, but that just hasn’t been the case. The New York teams are essentially trying to see who sucks more in order to draft Trevor Lawrence. Jones hasn’t thrown a touchdown since Week 1. I had to triple check that because I couldn’t believe it’s been a month since he’s thrown a touchdown pass. He has five interceptions and three lost fumbles on the season. You can argue the Giants defense is in play as a streamer as well and you wouldn’t get much of an argument from me. But I’ll take Washington over New York.
Minnesota Vikings – This one carries obvious risk since the Vikings’ secondary has been beatable, but the Falcons offense just isn’t right. Matt Ryan has played poorly and it’s their first game with Raheem Morris as the interim head coach. Assuming the Falcons continue their poor play this is a decent week to stream Minnesota where you’re only hoping for five-to-seven points from this D/ST.