I don’t know if the script writers lost the copy or just took the week off, but Week 6 of the NFL season was downright bizarre. Both of the undefeated teams lost to big underdogs, the New York Giants took the Buffalo Bills down to the wire (and should have won depending on where you stand on the pass interference penalty that wasn’t called), and there were so many injuries, I lost count. Justin Fields dislocated his thumb and could miss some time, Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel both went out for the 49ers in their loss to the Cleveland Browns, David Montgomery could miss some time with a shoulder/rib injury…the list goes on. To make matters worse, SIX teams are on a bye this week, including the Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, New York Jets, Carolina Panthers, and Tennessee Titans

Between injuries and the byes, it’s a critical week to get your waiver wire picks right to make sure you can field a complete fantasy roster. Be sure to check out the injury report so you’ve got the most up-to-date information going into Week 7, but while you wait on that, I’ve got you set with the best waiver wire options. They may not be pretty, but they could be the difference between winning and losing your matchup, and since there are so many holes to fill, I’ve even thrown in some extra options for you. 

(FAAB Bids are based on an average bid. If you are desperate or in a highly competitive league, you may need to increase your bid based on need.)


Waiver Wire Quarterbacks

Sam Howell, Washington Commanders (Available in 81% of ESPN leagues, 62% of Yahoo leagues, and 60% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 1-2% of total budget

Sam Howell has made quite a few appearances in the waiver wire article over the course of the season, but he’s still widely available in most leagues. Going into Monday night, Howell is the QB11 on the season, and although his play hasn’t looked great on the field with the sacks and interceptions, he’s somehow been able to produce for fantasy. In Week 7, he’s got a primo matchup against the New York Giants, and although they managed to shut down Josh Allen and the Bills on Sunday Night Football, they’re still allowing 226 pass yards per game and the third-most pass yards per attempt. He could even be a longer-term option if you’re dealing with an injury to your primary quarterback, with upcoming matchups against the Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots, and Seattle Seahawks.

Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints (Available in 85% of ESPN leagues, 75% of Yahoo leagues, and 72% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 0-1% of total budget

It looks like the shoulder injury is just fine, with Carr turning in a QB1 performance on Sunday afternoon, finishing with 353 yards and a touchdown. In Week 7, he has a matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and although they forced Gardner Minshew into several mistakes, up until this week, their defense was allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to the quarterback position. Carr isn’t a high ceiling option, by any means, but let’s face it, the waiver wire is barren, unforgiving land at this point in the season, and we’ll take what we can get. If you can get a solid floor play from him, you’ve gotta take it. 

Joshua Dobbs, Arizona Cardinals (Available in 73% of ESPN leagues, 85% of Yahoo leagues, and 79% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 0-1% of total budget

I’m gonna be honest, I don’t feel good about this, but if you didn’t draft a backup quarterback or if you’re dealing with injuries and bye weeks, there aren’t many other options. The Seattle Seahawks aren’t the shut-down pass defense they have been in years past, allowing the tenth-most fantasy points to the quarterback position, but they did manage to hold Joe Burrow to under 200 yards on Sunday. Dobbs should have a better statline with a healthy Marquise Brown back, as he was dealing with illness in Week 6, but it’s still a high-risk, low-reward play.

Desmond Ridder, Atlanta Falcons (Available in 95% of ESPN leagues, 91% of Yahoo leagues, and 85% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 0-1% of total budget

Yes, he did throw three interceptions and did not pass the eye test, but Ridder somehow still managed to finish as a top five quarterback on the week going into Monday night due to the volume of passes he was able to throw. Will this volume be sustainable? Well, that’s something we’ll have to figure out, but it does seem like Arthur Smith is broadening his horizons and opening his mind to more passing work for Ridder. The Falcons do have a relatively tough matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 7, but they did just allow Jared Goff to throw for 353 yards and two touchdowns. As with Dobbs, this is dart throw play, but what are you going to do when there are so few options available?

Waiver Wire Running Backs

Jordan Mason/Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers (Available in 99%/74% of ESPN leagues, 94%/72% of Yahoo leagues, and 96%/66% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 10-12% of total budget

We’re still awaiting news on Christian McCaffrey and the severity of his injury, but you’ll want to roster one of these guys, regardless. Elijah Mitchell still may not have been 100% healthy on Sunday, as he only saw two carries for -3 yards, so it was Mason who was the next man up when McCaffrey went out. He only carried the ball five times for 27 yards, but he did get a touchdown, and it was against a VERY tough Browns defense, so we’ll give him a pass. If McCaffrey is out for an extended period of time, neither of these guys will be a plug-and-play, but they’ll still have flex or low-end RB2 value splitting time.

Jeff Wilson, Miami Dolphins (Available in 47% of ESPN leagues, 48% of Yahoo leagues, and 47% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 10-12% of total budget

After returning to practice last week and getting all of our hopes up, Wilson wound up sitting out at the last minute, but he should be one step closer to returning with another week of practice. There’s not much to go on from this year, but last year when Wilson and Raheem Mostert shared the backfield, they had near a 50/50 split, and it was Wilson who got the goal line carries. Miami’s offense has been a juggernaut, so if you can get a piece, especially against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 7 and the New England Patriots coming up in Week 8. 

Craig Reynolds, Detroit Lions (Available in 95% of ESPN leagues, 98% of Yahoo leagues, and 98% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 8-10% of total budget

Although Craig Reynolds took the bulk of the snaps after David Montgomery went down, it seemed that the Lions moved away from the run game a little bit, with Reynolds only seeing eight carries and two targets on 43 snaps, which was just one fewer carry than he saw on 13 snaps the week before. He has a tough matchup against the Ravens in Week 7, but if Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs are still out in Week 8, the Lions face the Las Vegas Raiders. He’s not very efficient, and he’s pretty slow, but if there’s no one else to take the snaps, hey, you do what you’ve gotta do.

Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns (Available in 73% of ESPN leagues, 64% of Yahoo leagues, and 54% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 5-8% of total budget

We may have all given up on Kareem Hunt, especially against the 49ers, but he rose from the dead against the stout San Francisco 49ers defense. While he was out-snapped and out-carried by Jerome Ford, the quality of his touches was a little better and he saw one more target, so he is an interesting option in a running back wasteland. 

Latavius Murray, Buffalo Bills (Available in 93% of ESPN leagues, 86% of Yahoo leagues, and 84% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 5-6% of total budget

We saw a scary situation on Sunday night with Damien Harris getting taken away in an ambulance, and while the news is good, with it only being diagnosed as a neck sprain, Murray is next in line for touches. Even in a negative game script situation, Murray saw the same number of snaps as James Cook and had only two fewer carries. Josh Allen may also have an arm/shoulder injury, and if he does, expect a much heavier run game. Like most of these waiver wire options, Murray isn’t highly efficient, but he can get the job done on your fantasy rosters.

Zach Evans, Los Angeles Rams (Rostership NA)

FAAB Bid: 5-6% of total budget

I always try to give you an option for deep leagues, and Zach Evans should be atop your priority list this week in those formats. Kyren Williams left the game in the fourth quarter with backup Ronnie Rivers leaving the game earlier, and both are having MRIs on Monday afternoon. This leaves the door WIDE open for Zach Evans to take over as the main guy in the backfield. The rookie out of Ole Miss hasn’t played in a game yet this season, and he did fall in the draft, but it was largely speculated to be because of off-the-field issues and not his talent. In his final year in college, Evans finished with 935 rushing yards, a 6.5 yards per carry average, and another 119 receiving yards. We don’t know exactly what his role is going to be until we hear more on the results of the MRI, but keep him on your radar as a sneaky (and cheap) option.

Waiver Wire Wide Receivers

Josh Downs, Indianapolis Colts (Available in 67% of ESPN leagues, 67% of Yahoo leagues, and 51% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 12-15% of total budget

I’ve been pounding the table for Josh Downs every week, and he once again delivered. He didn’t get the catches that we’re used to seeing, but he still saw eight targets and scored a touchdown, salvaging his fantasy day. What’s more intriguing about him this week is that Alec Pierce, the wide receiver two in routes and snaps, left the game with a shoulder injury, opening the door for more usage for Downs. They do have a tough matchup against the Cleveland Browns next week, so be careful putting him in your lineup next week, but he should have value the rest of the season.

Rashee Rice, Kansas City Chiefs (Available in 70% of ESPN leagues, 55% of Yahoo leagues, and 45% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 15-18% of total budget

Another frequent flier in this article showed up on the field again last week, and he is still widely available in most formats. Rashee Rice is becoming the wide receiver one on the Kansas City Chiefs, and although he will play second-fiddle to Travis Kelce when it comes to actual targets, his snaps are increasing, his routes are increasing, and his targets are increasing. Combine that with his red zone usage, and you’ve got the recipe for success. I would target him aggressively even if you don’t immediately need a stash or a fill-in because he’s going to have a huge role down the stretch and could end up being the cliche “league-winner.”

Curtis Samuel, Washington Commanders (Available in 71% of ESPN leagues, 66% of Yahoo leagues, and 49% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 10-12% of total budget

It’s really looking like Curtis Samuel is the wide receiver two in Washington over Jahan Dotson. Again, he’s not seeing the snaps that Dotson is, but when he is on the field, he gets the targets, seeing four over Dotson’s one and also tacking on a carry. Samuel is WR23 in PPR formats going into Monday night, and as his snap share continues to increase, you have to consider him for your fantasy teams.

Wan’Dale Robinson, New York Giants (Available in 95% of ESPN leagues, 82% of Yahoo leagues, and 71% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 8-10% of total budget

Although the Giants ended up losing this game, Wan’Dale Robinson’s usage was very promising, seeing eight targets on 46 snaps. His shiftiness and speed was on full display, and Tyrod Taylor looked much better than Daniel Jones at spreading the ball around. If he continues to get the start for a few weeks, I like Robinson’s production over those games. When Daniel Jones comes back, however, he’s going to be harder to trust.

Kendrick Bourne, New England Patriots (Available in 80% of ESPN leagues, 83% of Yahoo leagues, and 79% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 5-8% of total budget

Much like the Giants, it’s hard to trust anyone on this inept New England Patriots’ offense, but you can’t argue with the targets that Kendrick Bourne is seeing. On Sunday, he saw 10 targets and a carry on 56 snaps, and he’s been the de facto wide receiver one on the team. When Bill Belichick gets on the Patriots Monday morning radio show and showers a guy with praise (as much as Bill Belichick can), you know good things are coming. An average of seven targets per game throughout the season is much better than you’ll usually find on waivers at this point in the season. 

Rashid Shaheed, New Orleans Saints (Available in 86% of ESPN leagues, 68% of Yahoo leagues, and 72% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 5-8% of total budget

Shaheed has been a “boom or bust” option, but how much of that was due to Derek Carr’s shoulder? While he was fourth on the team in targets, he also saw two carries and finished with 85 yards and a touchdown. He’s not a guy you can trust from week-to-week, but if you’re looking for a high upside player to take a chance on, he’s worth throwing some FAAB dollars on.

Waiver Wire Tight Ends

Jonnu Smith, Atlanta Falcons (Available in 85% of ESPN leagues, 81% of Yahoo leagues, and 75% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 5-6% of total budget

Who would have thought that the number two tight end would have more fantasy relevance than a top five tight end pick, but here we are! Kyle Pitts and Jonnu Smith are basically the Spiderman pointing meme at this point, running nearly the same number of routes and with Smith only seeing one fewer target than Pitts. The usage at this point is more than a fluke, and even though he has a tougher matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week, tight end is so thin, you’re looking for upside here.

Michael Mayer, Las Vegas Raiders (Available in 99% of ESPN leagues, 95% of Yahoo leagues, and 88% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 3-5% of total budget

After starting the first few weeks of the season purely as a blocker, Michael Mayer has come along the past two weeks as a pass-catcher. In Week 6, he saw 57 snaps (which is typical of his usage), but instead of blocking, he ran 22 routes and saw six targets, second on the team. I would keep a close eye on the quarterback situation going into Week 6 with Jimmy Garoppolo dealing with a back injury, but if this usage continues, his price is only going to go up.

Trey McBride, Arizona Cardinals (Available in 100% of ESPN leagues, 99% of Yahoo leagues, and 94% of Sleeper leagues)

FAAB Bid: 2-3% of total budget

Everyone thought it was going to be a Zach Ertz game in Week 6, but along came second-year man Trey McBride to steal his shine. He played more snaps, only ran three fewer routes, and saw one more target than Ertz, finishing third on the team with five. The Seahawks rank 31st in DVOA to the tight end position, so we should expect to see a heavy dose of both Ertz and McBride this week. He may only be a streamer this week, with tougher matchups coming up against the Ravens and Browns, but hey, there are worse options out there.