Now that’s more like it. Week five was much kinder to the fantasy football faithful, as we had several blow up performances and a lot of studs came through. It was one of the better weeks on the year, and although we still got sorry efforts out of would-be studs like Eddie Lacy and Jeremy Hill, a bunch of fill-in guys or so-called replacement level talent saved your week (here’s to looking at you, Rawls and McCown).
Our week six waiver wire advice could have helped you considerably, as we listed Josh McCown, Jay Cutler, Antonio Andrews, Theo Riddick, Allen Hurns, Ty Montgomery, Willie Snead, Kamar Aiken, Gary Barnidge and the Falcons defense as quality pickups. They all came through with solid to elite performances on the week.
Those fantasy options are still in play in a lot of leagues, but we’re not in the regurgitation business. Pick them up if they’re there and it makes sense for your roster, and hit up the week six waiver wire column for some new hot adds to consider:
Quarterbacks: Blake Bortles – Jaguars (Available in 75% of Yahoo fantasy football leagues), Derek Carr – Raiders (54%), Ryan Fitzpatrick – Jets (89%)
Our quarterbacks were pretty big hits last week and now there are a few more you can tie your fortunes to. Bortles is the best one, as he put up a career-high 4 TDs last week and it looks like he’s taken his game to new heights. Getting tight end Julius Thomas on the field can only help moving forward, too. Carr might be even better but he’s going to be available in far less leagues. I didn’t love him for a week 5 date with the Broncos, but for the rest of the year he could be borderline elite. He can’t go unowned. Fitzmagic is hit or miss but overall he’s been pretty solid for the Jets. With legit weapons in Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker around him, he’s a strong QB2 and many weeks he’ll have a shot at borderline QB1 numbers. He’s not a must-own, but given all the QB injuries and shaky play at the position, you could do a lot worse.
Running Backs: Duke Johnson – Browns (51%), Knile Davis – Chiefs (86%), Charcandrick West – Chiefs (90%)
Jamaal Charles going down with what looks to be a torn ACL is the story of the week, so obviously both Davis and West are huge pickups on the waiver wire. Both need to be used or stashed right away and per the Chiefs, it sounds like no one will be “the new Charles”. Davis could steal some goal-line work, but West figures to be the top overall pickup due to his skill-set resembling Charles more. He’s especially the preferred choice in PPR leagues. Duke Johnson is nearing the end of his waiver wire eligibility, as he’s put in two strong efforts in a row and eventually could leave Isaiah Crowell behind him for good. Running back is insanely thin, so also consider some of the guys we mentioned last week, as well as Anthony Dixon and Thomas Rawls if injuries keep them in solid roles.
Wide Receivers: Marquess Wilson – Bears (93%), Cole Beasley – Cowboys (89%), Jamison Crowder – Redskins (95%), Dwayne Harris – Giants (98%)
Alshon Jeffery has been hurt for forever and even when he’s back Wilson could have a solid role. He proved this past week he can make an impact (6 catches and a score), so he needs to be on the radar. Beasley is just a safe slot guy, as he catches 4 passes on a weekly basis and should be a fine WR3 or Flex try if you’re desperate in PPR formats. Crowder has been rising steadily as a producer in Washington’s passing game, as he has 6, 7 and 8 grabs over the last three weeks. That could change once DeSean Jackson returns to full strength, of course, so enjoy his run while it lasts. The same goes for Harris, who has delivered two strong performances in a row. He’s not a must-add, but with Victor Cruz out and the Giants a little banged up in the passing game overall, he’s not a bad pickup if you’re hard up at receiver.
Tight Ends: Eric Ebron – Lions (75%), Derek Carrier – Redskins (97%)
Tight end can be a nightmare, which is why sometimes it’s best to just plan ahead. Ebron was actually one of the more consistent TE options before going down with a knee bruise two weeks ago. He’s likely to return in 2-3 weeks, so if you want a long-term option, he’s a good pickup. Carrier is likely a stop-gap for this week, but he scored last week and got over 10 fantasy points in PPR leagues. He should have a decent role with Jordan Reed banged up and if Reed’s injury history trend continues, he also could have some long-term value, as well. Kirk Cousins loves his tight ends, after all.
Kickers: Robbie Gould – Bears (77%), Graham Gano – Panthers (91%), Blair Walsh – Vikings (95%), Travis Coons – Browns (99%)
Kickers are usually a dime a dozen, and that’s even more the case with how many continue to suck and get cut this year. Gould and Gano are pretty safe picks, though, as their offenses are just good enough and they can knock in kicks consistently. I prefer Gano of the two, but it’s close. Walsh is just an upside option who should be fine long-term but at the moment isn’t getting the results you want. Coons is a total stud thanks to the Browns having a better than advertised offense, plus he’s been clutch and hasn’t missed a FG try yet. He’s probably the top pickup of this group and he’s available in almost every league.
Team Defenses: Cincinnati Bengals (64%), Minnesota Vikings (90%)
The Bengals are a pretty strong unit for a defense that is available in almost 65% of fantasy football leagues. You won’t find a defense with more sacks (15) on your waivee wire, while they’ve done a good job in points allowed (89) and also have 4 picks and 4 fumble recoveries. Minnesota isn’t quite as active up front in terms of pass rush production, but they’ve been pretty stingy in points allowed (73) and are right there with Cincy in picks and fumble recoveries (4 each). They’re also far more likely to be available after spending last week on a bye.