I try to preach patience as much as possible. But it’s hard not to be excited about this week’s waiver wire possibilities. Remember, we’re just entering Week 6 so we should look to at least conserve most of our FAAB for later in the year. But at the moment there are options to be very excited about this week.
I will do my best to make it to the NFL Seasonal Discord this evening. I have a few commitments that could keep me from making it tonight, but I’ll do my best to jump into the Discord throughout the day to answer waiver wire questions as well.
Trevor Lawrence (JAX; FAAB Bid: 7-12%) Depending on how desperate you are to fill this void you may need to spend a little bit more on Lawrence. But while most rookie quarterbacks are seeing their pass attempts limited, we’ve seen Lawrence become more efficient as a passer while offering rushing upside in his last two games. Jacksonville heads to London this weekend to face the Dolphins. Miami may not have the greatest pass rush, but they do have a solid secondary and we saw Zach Wilson struggle in his first trip overseas. But the Jaguars should extend Lawrence’s leash in this matchup and it’s possible he scores another rushing touchdown for the third straight week.
Baker Mayfield (CLE; FAAB Bid: 6%) Russell Wilson was a notable injury on Thursday night and Mayfield is available in just under half of all fantasy leagues it looks like. He’s not a great long-term fix and there’s optimism that Wilson could return in less than a month. So if you need a short-term solution, Mayfield does provide a good enough floor and the Browns are about to get three straight home games against Arizona, Denver, and Pittsburgh. Obviously those are some tough defenses to go against and Mayfield doesn’t necessarily put up a ton of fantasy production. But if he’s throwing it at least 30 times per game, then I can get on board with him as a replacement to Wilson or Daniel Jones.
Ben Roethlisberger (PIT; FAAB Bid: 3-4%) I’ve made numerous jokes about how Big Ben looks like he’s in constant pain with every play he makes and the loss of JuJu Smith-Schuster certainly hurts. But the Steelers will host the Seahawks in primetime this week and the Seattle defense can’t get off the field. This could very well be a Najee Harris game, but against the Broncos we saw Big Ben put up 250+ yards and a pair of touchdowns. You have to imagine he can do better against Seattle, which puts him in play as a streamer
Geno Smith (SEA; FAAB Bid: 3-4%) What have things come to if we’re seriously considering adding Geno Smith? Smith will get a few starts over the next month with Russell Wilson missing time due to the finger injury sustained last Thursday. Truthfully, I’d rather find another replacement. But Smith wasn’t awful on Thursday. He completed 10-of-17 pass attempts for 131 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He’d also go on to add 23 rushing yards as well. He’s more of a deep league or two-quarterback add if you’re desperate.
Darrel Williams (KC; FAAB Bid: 15-18%) The running back position forces us to spend up on backups. It’s a position of opportunity and when you have the opportunity to get touches in an offense like this, then you’re going to come at a price. Clyde Edwards-Helaire is going to miss a few weeks. So the next man up would be Darrel Williams who has plenty of familiarity with this offense. For what it’s worth we could very well see the Chiefs go with a split backfield and get Jerick McKinnon some action who can be had for much cheaper. The game script wasn’t in Williams’ favor Sunday night, but he should get a good amount of the carries and goal line work with CEH sidelined.
Devontae Booker (NYG; FAAB Bid: 10-15%) Saquon Barkley can’t catch a break. He was finally hitting his stride and rewarding fantasy managers before awkwardly rolling his ankle in Sunday’s game. It swelled up instantly and he was carted off to the locker room. In lieu of Barkley, Booker got 19 touches and found the end zone. Was he efficient? Nope. But volume was there for him. Now the Giants are optimistic that Barkley may only miss one game. If that’s the case, we don’t need to throw a ton of FAAB at Booker. But we know this offense likes to utilize the running backs. We saw Wayne Gallman have success in this offense a year ago after Barkley tore his ACL. Booker could be a one-week rental, but if the injury lingers for Barkley we have a decent flex option that’ll see plenty of volume.
Khalil Herbert (CHI; FAAB Bid: 7-8%) Herbert wasn’t as “featured” as Damien Williams was, but he still carved himself a nice role in lieu of David Montgomery. He finished with 75 yards on 18 carries and if looking at just the fantasy points, there may not have been many, but he simply didn’t find the end zone. It’s easier to predict touches than touchdowns and while he won’t get 18 carries going forward, if he’s getting 10-12 in a timeshare with Williams, then he deserves to at least be rostered.
Rhamondre Stevenson (NE; FAAB Bid: 6-7%) Damien Harris may have avoided a serious injury, but even after he returned Stephenson was still being utilized. Stevenson was a star in the preseason and we know this is a team that isn’t afraid to mix things up in the backfield. Harris hasn’t been overly impressive as the lead running back in this offense, and while I’m not suggesting Harris’ job is at risk, it could benefit the Patriots to give more carries to the rookie. He didn’t do much with Sunday’s workload, but keep in mind the Patriots offensive line was missing four starters. It’s also worth mentioning that Brandon Bolden, who was mentioned last week, is still the preferred target in PPR formats.
Kadarius Toney (NYG; FAAB Bid: 20%) Toney’s a special talent and it was on full display in Week 5. Everybody else was getting hurt before Toney got ejected for throwing a punch, but he had quite the breakout in Dallas. He caught 10-of-13 targets for 189 yards and this is after he had nine targets last week. The injury to Daniel James could hamper the production going forward. Additionally, there are other pass catchers in this offense but they can’t seem to stay on the field and Toney has that first-round draft pick pedigree. He’ll be the most popular wide receiver this week on the waiver wire as he flashed that “league winner” status we so desperately seek out on waivers.
Amon-Ra St. Brown (DET; FAAB Bid: 6-8%) Quintez Cephus suffered a broken collarbone in Week 5 and that should open things up for St. Brown but you could make that argument for any pass catcher in this offense. We haven’t seen T.J. Hockenson take off like most thought he would and even he has gone on record saying that defenses are scheming for him and taking him out of the picture. So on that note, St. Brown went on to lead the team in receiving on Sunday with seven catches on eight targets for 65 yards. This offense is a bit of a struggle and far from the most explosive on the field. But the injury to Cephus does give ARSB a bump for fantasy.
Mecole Hardman (KC; FAAB Bid: 6%) Hardman’s upside is well documented. He offers great speed and big play upside, but when you’re routinely behind Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce for targets you’re not much of a fantasy option each week. However, it seemed like everybody on Kansas City got hurt Sunday night. Tyreek Hill had a knee injury, Travis Kelce had a “stinger” and we’ve already touched on the injury to Clyde Edwards-Helaire. This opened the door for Hardman to see a dozen targets come his way. The only way this pays off is if there’s a long-term injury to either Hill or Kelce and that doesn’t appear to be the case, but it’s a situation to keep an eye on.
Tim Patrick (DEN; FAAB Bid: 4-5%) He hasn’t found the end zone in his last three games but the workload and opportunities have been there for Patrick. He’s scored double-digit fantasy points in four of five games in PPR formats and he’s had 15 targets in his last two games. It still sounds as if Jerry Jeudy is a few weeks away from returning and if that’s the case then Patrick still has some flex appeal, especially against the Raiders this week who don’t have the greatest secondary and will be playing under a new interim head coach.
Hunter Henry (NE; FAAB Bid: 7-8%) At the tight end position, most players that you stream are going to be touchdown dependent. And that’s unfortunate since touchdowns are the hardest statistic to predict. But Henry’s snaps and targets over the last few weeks are trending in the right direction. Jonnu Smith will still have his weeks where he’s involved, but Henry has found the end zone in back-to-back weeks and he’s coming off six catches for 75 yards in Week 5 against Houston. New England signed both Smith and Henry to respectable contracts in the offseason so we can expect that they’ll both find a way to be involved going forward, but Henry’s the one getting the love right now.
Dan Arnold (JAX; FAAB Bid: 7-8%) Speaking objectively, Arnold might be my favorite tight end to grab this week and I’m not opposed to paying up for him. The Jaguars seemed pretty excited to acquire him from Carolina who wasn’t getting enough usage out of him after they signed him in the offseason. Arnold led the Jaguars in arguably all receiving categories this past week and remember, this was just his second game with Jacksonville. They were eager enough to get him some activity in his first game after just trading for him a few days prior and now he’s carving out a larger role for himself. If you missed out on Dawson Knox, this may be your shot at redemption.
David Njoku (CLE; FAAB Bid: 3%) The concern with Njoku is mostly regarding Austin Hooper and Harrison Bryant. We won’t be able to trust him on a week-to-week basis but his snaps are trending in the right direction. Additionally, this is still a team that would prefer to run the ball. But Sunday’s game script dictated being a little more aggressive through the air. Njoku caught all seven of his targets for 149 yards and a touchdown. For whatever reason, Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. can’t get on the same page and it could be that defenses are scheming to take Odell away. But this is opening things up for others in the offense. Njoku’s seen at least 60% of the snaps each of the last three weeks so hopefully that’s a trend we see continue.
Dallas Cowboys – The Cowboys play the Patriots this week in what could be an ugly game. New England games are notoriously low scoring as the Pats have been slowing down the pace of play so far this season. New England is also very good at seeing their games hit the under according to Vegas. In four of their first five games the under has hit. Last week’s game against Houston was the first to go over. Dallas’ defense is also improved from last season and if the New England offensive line is still beat up for this matchup, then we could see Dallas yield a decent return in fantasy.
Indianapolis Colts – This is far from a lock for a couple reasons: 1. The Texans just threw for over 300 yards on New England when the Patriots were favored heavily, and 2. The Colts defense showed up in the first half against the Ravens and then took a nap in the second half. On paper it makes sense and this could work out. As a streamer they’re okay, but there are still concerns over Indy’s secondary. Additionally, the Colts are also coming off a short week having played Monday night so that’s just another bonus for Houston. But with bye weeks starting to play a role the Colts will still be a popular streaming option in case the Texans turn back into a pumpkin. The Colts are currently ten-point favorites and the over/under is roughly 43.0 points.
Jacksonville Jaguars/Miami Dolphins – I noted last week how the London games are usually dreadful for one offense. This past week it was the Jets who looked awful offensively, until they came to life late in the game. Miami is probably the preferred option to stream. While their pass rush isn’t great, the Jaguars won’t have Brandon Linder in Week 6 and the Dolphins do have a respectable secondary. I know I mentioned a couple Jaguars players in this article already, but between these two defenses, the Dolphins might be the preferred stream for Sunday morning’s game in London.