If you read Week 5’s waiver wire article, you have to be happy with some of the hits. Sam Howell, Logan Thomas, Jonnu Smith and Jaleel McLaughlin delivered and delivered big, and although all the picks can’t hit, we’re happy to come out of the first bye week with a decent track record. This week, we only have two teams on bye, but with all the injuries that happened this week, including potentially long-term ailments to Anthony Richardson, James Conner, and Justin Jefferson, you still may need to find some fill-ins for your roster.

I’m not trying to be bleak, but at this point of the season, the wire is a little barren. The good news for you is we don’t stop around here at Fantasy Alarm, so let’s get in those waiver wire trenches and find you some diamonds to plug and play if you need some help this week.


Waiver Wire Quarterbacks

Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Rostered in 13.1% of ESPN leagues, 19% of Yahoo leagues, and 23% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 1-2% of total budget

While Baker Mayfield is coming off a bye, after the first four weeks, he was actually ranked as the QB13, exceeding all expectations anyone had of him going into the season. So far, he has a 69.6% completion percentage, a 93 quarterback rating, and he actually ranks first in pressured completion percentage. Mayfield trounced the New Orleans Saints in Week 4, and although he does have a date with the Detroit Lions in Week 6, he should still be able to provide plenty of fantasy value with the Lions secondary a little banged up. He’s not a guy you want to start every week, but the options at quarterback are already very thin.

Desmond Ridder, Atlanta Falcons (Rostered in 2.5% of ESPN leagues, 5% of Yahoo leagues, and 12% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 0-1% of total budget

Much like Baker Mayfield, Desmond Ridder isn’t a guy you want to play week-to-week, but if you need a fill-in for Week 6, he has a very favorable matchup this week against the Washington Commanders defense that just gave up 40 points to the winless Chicago Bears and lost two of their safeties. In Week 5, Ridder had a semi-breakout, finishing with 329 yards, a touchdown through the air and on the ground, and just one interception. His ceiling may not be sky-high, but this could be another good week against a young secondary.

Gardner Minshew, Indianapolis Colts (Rostered in .5% of ESPN leagues, 1% of Yahoo leagues, and 4% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 0-1% of total budget (unless you need a replacement for Richardson, then I’d bump it up to 3-5%)

News broke yesterday that starting quarterback Anthony Richardson suffered a Grade 3 AC Joint sprain that may keep him out for 4-6 weeks. Minshew wasn’t flashy in relief of the rookie, but he was competent, throwing for 155 yards on 14 attempts and finishing with a 78.6% completion percentage. He doesn’t have the same rushing upside as Richardson, but his connection with Josh Downs and experience in the league at least lets you know what you’re getting. While I wouldn’t start Minshew in single quarterback leagues, he’s worth an add in superflex or two quarterback leagues, especially if you rostered Richardson. 

Honorable Mention: Sam Howell, Washington Commanders (Rostered in 17.4% of ESPN leagues, 34% of Yahoo leagues, and 37% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 1-2% of total budget

Did you listen last week when we told you to pick up Howell? If you didn’t, don’t worry, he’s still available in a ton of leagues. Although he won’t have a premium matchup like he did last week against the Bears in Week 6, he does face the Giants in Week 7. He’s a matchup based play, but you can’t argue with almost 400 passing yards and two touchdowns.

Waiver Wire Running Backs

Roschon Johnson/D’Onta Foreman, Chicago Bears (Rostered in 37% and 5.1% of ESPN leagues, 41% and 7% of Yahoo leagues, and 52% and 14% of Sleeper leagues, respectively)

FAAB Bid: 15-20%/10-12% of total budget

Roschon Johnson is admittedly still in concussion protocol after Thursday night’s game against the Commanders, but he should be good to go in Week 6 against the Minnesota Vikings. Khalil Herbert is set to miss multiple weeks with a high ankle sprain, opening up the door for more workload for both Johnson and D’Onta Foreman. While Foreman was a healthy scratch for Thursday night’s game, he has been decent when he’s been asked to step up, last year after the Christian McCaffrey trade and the year before for the injured Derrick Henry. The next three weeks against the Vikings, Raiders, and Chargers should be filled with plenty of fantasy gold for both these running backs.

Justice Hill, Baltimore Ravens (Rostered in 23.5% of ESPN leagues, 28% of Yahoo leagues, and 33% in Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 10-12% of total budget

Even though Gus Edwards is listed as the RB1 on the Ravens depth chart, it's Hill who is emerging as the top running back on this offense. He outsnapped Edwards 39 to 30, and while he only saw half the carries, he saw double the targets. Baltimore’s offense has been inconsistent, to say the least, but as they get more acclimated to Todd Monken’s offense, you can expect Hill’s role to keep growing, especially in the passing game.

Tyjae Spears, Tennessee Titans (Rostered in 25.5% of ESPN leagues, 26% of Yahoo leagues, and 36% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 12-15% of total budget

We mentioned Spears a couple of weeks ago, but if he’s still sitting out there on waivers, he’s worth a look. The snap share he’s seeing hasn’t gone down like we maybe expected, and he has looked like the more explosive between him and Derrick Henry. On Sunday, Spears saw 32 snaps to Henry’s 37, five targets to Henry’s three, and actually carried the ball seven times to 12. The upcoming schedule is a little difficult, but you’ll want him on your roster as at least a stash play, and he may even be worthy as a flex consideration if this trend continues.

Emari Demarcado, Arizona Cardinals (NA Rostership)

FAAB Bid: 10-12% of total budget

Who, you may ask? Yes, that’s what I was asking as well, so let me introduce you. Emari Demarcado is an undrafted free agent out of TCU, finishing second on the team in yardage behind Kendre Miller last year, and now that James Conner is highly questionable to suit up in Week 6 and Keaontay Ingram is already out, that leaves Demarcado as the starting running back for the Cardinals. Arizona has actually been able to produce a little on the ground, averaging the sixth-most rushing yards per game in the league, so if he gets the workload that Conner had, he should be able to put up some fantasy points.

Jeff Wilson, Miami Dolphins (Rostered in 29.7% of ESPN leagues, 26% of Yahoo leagues, and 22% in Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 8-10% of total budget

News broke Monday that De’Von Achane is dealing with a knee injury, and he may even be placed on injured reserve. Wilson hasn’t done anything so far this year, and Raheem Mostert is sticking around, but last season, the two split time almost equally, so you at least know what you’re getting with Wilson if Achane is slated to miss time.

Waiver Wire Wide Receivers

Josh Downs, Indianapolis Colts (Rostered in 10.9% of ESPN leagues, 9% of Yahoo leagues, and 26% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 12-15% of total budget

Downs finally had his breakout game on Sunday, and whether that was due to Anthony Richardson going out or just his progression as a professional, you know what? I’ll take it. He’s still the odd man out in two receiver sets, but when he’s on the field, he’s getting the targets, finishing second on the team with six for 97 yards in Week 6. Alec Pierce is on the field way more than Downs, but it seems that his job is to be out there and block, and he has only seen 16 targets to Downs’ 33. A 20% target share is nothing to sneeze at, and as he gets more comfortable in this offense, it should only get better.

K.J. Osborn, Minnesota Vikings (Rostered in 21.6% of ESPN leagues, 9% of Yahoo leagues, and 17% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 10-12% of total budget

K.J. Osborn hasn’t necessarily been BAD bad this season, but it’s definitely been rookie Jordan Addison who has been favored in this system. However, with Justin Jefferson suffering a hamstring injury late in the game Sunday, that could open the door for more opportunities for Osborn, especially if he is placed on injured reserve. He’s been getting the snaps, just not the targets, but with Jefferson’s massive 28% target share up for grabs, Osborn could sneak into flex territory against a Bears defense that just allowed Sam Howell to go for 388 passing yards. We’ll have to await test results for Jefferson, but it’s looking like he’ll at least miss the next week.

Rashee Rice, Kansas City Chiefs (Rostered in 23.3% of ESPN leagues, 39% of Yahoo leagues, and 48% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 10-12% of total budget

I mentioned him last week in the weekly matchup previews, but Rice has slowly been carving out a role in this Chiefs offense. It’s basically Travis Kelce and everyone else, but with Kelce listed on the “did not practice” list Monday, it may finally be time for the rookie to step up. In Sunday’s matchup against the Vikings, we did see his snap share dip a little more than it had been the previous two weeks, but he did get the red zone looks and ended up converting one of those looks into a touchdown. If Kelce is unable to go on a short week, that opens up a huge target share, and Rice is slowly carving out a role for himself in this wide receiver corps.

DJ. Chark, Carolina Panthers (Rostered in 41% of ESPN leagues, 12% of Yahoo leagues, and 20% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 8-10% of total budget

I don’t know if there’s ever been a less sexy waiver wire pick up, but Chark has been fine as a flex option. On Sunday against the Lions, Chark was on the field for every single offensive snap, and while it is unquestionably Adam Thielen who is the top target, Chark is a solid second option, seeing six targets and scoring a touchdown late in the game. Again, it’s not super sexy, as the Panthers offense is, let’s just say, less than efficient, but you can’t argue with the snaps. He’ll also likely be available for a minimum amount of FAAB, making him a great option for the budget conscious of us out there. 

Curtis Samuel, Washington Commanders (Rostered in 14.7% of ESPN leagues, 17% of Yahoo leagues, and 28% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 8-10% of total budget

Okay, I lied. Curtis Samuel may be an even less sexy waiver wire pick up than DJ Chark. Still, he’s one of the most consistent options on Washington’s offense, seeing back-to-back games with 18 fantasy points. His snap share is a little worrisome, as he’s only seen 68% of the snaps this season, but he’s still averaging a little over five targets a game and is doing more than just the “gadget guy” stuff that he’s been typecast as. On a team that will likely have to throw a ton over the next few weeks, he definitely has flex appeal.

Honorable Mention: Josh Reynolds, Detroit Lions (Rostered in 24.5% of ESPN leagues, 41% in Yahoo leagues, and 53% in Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 10-15%

After the zero point performance Reynolds put up in Week 3, he’s had a steady couple of weeks, actually tied for first on the team in targets with David Montgomery against the Carolina Panthers with five. With Amon-Ra St. Brown potentially out next week as well, he should still continue to see a decent enough target share to make him a flex option, even with Jameson Williams back. This Lions offense is for real, and Reynolds is a huge part of it.

Waiver Wire Tight Ends

Dalton Schultz, Houston Texans (Rostered in 52.4% of ESPN leagues, 36% of Yahoo leagues, and 45% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 8-10% of total budget

I know I said on Britt’s Fantasy Blitz a few weeks ago that Dalton Schultz was droppable, but hey, things change! Rookie receiver Tank Dell is in concussion protocol and Robert Woods is dealing with a rib injury, so that now opens up an avenue for Dalton Schultz to see some fantasy production. Again, we don’t really like the snap share, but you can’t argue with double-digit targets, and Schultz led the team with ten. He may just be force fed targets again if the Texans receiving corps is thinned out again in Week 6 against the Saints.

Tyler Conklin, New York Jets (Rostered in 17.9% of ESPN leagues, 6% of Yahoo leagues, and 11% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 5-6% of total budget

I like to give an option for those playing in deep leagues, and while I don’t really trust anyone on the New York Jets, Tyler Conklin has been a decent floor play, especially in the wasteland that is tight end. While he is splitting snaps with C.J. Uzomah, Conklin has been a security blanket of sorts for Zach Wilson, tying for second on the team in targets against a sloppy game in Denver Sunday, and aside from Week 1, he’s averaged 10 PPR fantasy points per game. He’s not a high ceiling play by any means, but if you just need a placeholder for someone, he should continue to be viable, at least while Wilson is the quarterback.

Honorable Mention: Logan Thomas, Washington Commanders (Rostered in 8.1% of ESPN leagues, 15% of Yahoo leagues, and 20% in Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 5-8% of total budget

Logan Thomas was someone who should have been rostered last week, but it’s not too late! He’s really showing off in Eric Bienemy’s offensive system, and he’s been a go-to for Sam Howell, even in bad games. The Falcons have been tough against wide receivers, but they have given up the second-most fantasy points to the tight end position. If you’re looking for a streamer and Thomas is still available, scoop him up.