We should anticipate quiet-ish Week 6 on the waiver wire despite a few big injuries and backups emerging in prime spots (Andy Dalton, Alexander Mattison). Several wide receivers had some noteworthy games (Chase Claypool, Travis Fulgham, Mike Williams), as well, but this is the type of week to really scout the wire and see if any slow-starting players, such as JK Dobbins or Cam Akers, have been dropped. Those types of players could pay off later in the season and can be had for relatively low FAAB bids or as free agent pickups.
As we’ll do every week this season, let’s break down the top pickups and project how much of your FAAB budget you should bid on them.
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Week 6 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire QB pickups
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-QB formats, as he’s thrown seven touchdowns in his past two games. The schedule is favorable the rest of the season, too. 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. Proj. 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 most weeks. 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 in Week 6. 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 (and several weeks going forward). Proj. FAAB Bid: 7-15% (In two-quarterback leagues 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. Minnesota has relied heavily on the run, and Sunday night’s game against Seattle marked the first time Cousins 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 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. Proj. FAAB Bid: 5-7%
WEEK 6 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
Week 6 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire RB pickups
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. Proj. FAAB Bid: 15-17%
Justin Jackson (LAC). I’ll be brief on Jackson simply because he was mentioned last week, and he did lead the Chargers in carries Monday night. Jackson did break a nice run for 36 yards in the first quarter, but then a lot of his runs went for short yardage. I still might prefer Joshua Kelley to Jackson, but I’ll be objective and say Jackson looked better Monday night. Jackson also had involvement in the passing game catching five-of-six targets. Next week the Chargers are on bye, so even if you spend up for him (if he’s still available), you can’t get any use out of him. Proj. FAAB Bid: 12-14%
Damien Harris (NE). Harris is still available in close to 50 percent of fantasy leagues. Overall, I’m lukewarm on Harris. As a pure runner, he’s the best option available for New England, but when Cam Newton (COVID) is healthy, he’ll steal goal-line carries. 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 50 percent of leagues with all the injuries we’ve seen at running back already on the season. Proj. FAAB Bid: 12-14%
J.D. McKissic (WSH). Antonio Gibson is still the running back to own in the Washington backfield. However, McKissic played 50 percent 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 past two weeks. 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 PPR leagues. Proj. FAAB Bid: 3-4% (You might be able to get him for cheaper to be honest)
WEEK 6 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
Week 6 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire WR pickups
Tee Higgins (CIN). If he’s still available, he’s arguably a must-start each week, at least in PPR leagues. He’s now seen at least six targets in four straight games, with 24 targets in his past 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 Cincinnati wide receivers in snaps on Sunday with 54. Boyd finished with 46 and A.J. Green saw just 28. Proj. 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. 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. 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 Claypool becomes a pretty strong play in your flex spot. Proj. FAAB Bid: 15-16%
Mike Williams (LAC). Williams had a huge game Monday night in his return from a hamstring injury, and he emerged as the go-to guy after 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 at the end of regulation. He’s a big target who 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. Proj. FAAB Bid: 10-12%
Mecole Hardman (KC). Sammy Watkin 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 Watkins left the game on Sunday, Hardman came in for about 75-80 percent of the snaps in the fourth quarter, and Patrick Mahomes does like to get the ball in this guy’s hands. Proj. 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 (hamstring), Jalen Reagor (hand), and Alshon Jeffery (foot) 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. Proj. FAAB Bid: 3-5%
Others Receiving Votes: I’m still on the Will Fuller train, but this was a good game to get Brandin Cooks going and he had a huge day. … Laviska Shenault is a favorite of this article. He’s been mentioned almost every week and is 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 saw just five targets on Sunday, but he found the end zone on 100-plus yards receiving. … And another guy who has gotten some love lately is the Jets Jeff Smith. 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 Jamison Crowder.
Week 6 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire TE pickups
Austin Hooper (CLE). This will certainly frustrate Hooper owners that drafted him and then dropped him after three weeks, but he has 17 targets in his past 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 10 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. Proj. 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 (Achilles’), 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 find the end zone, like Brate did the week before. Tom Brady also fed Rob Gronkowski six targets, so nearly 30 percent of his pass attempts last week went to his tight ends. This is likely unsustainable and drops once Chris Godwin (hamstring) returns, but don’t sleep on Brate if he’s inheriting more opportunities with Howard done for the year. Proj. FAAB Bid: 3-4%
Week 6 Fantasy Football FAAB targets: Waiver wire D/ST pickups
Miami Dolphins. This is the obvious D/ST to stream this week. Against average or sub-par offenses this year, the Fish have stood tall. 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. Proj. FAAB Bid: <1%
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. Proj. FAAB Bid: <1%
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. Proj. FAAB Bid: <1%
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