Spurned by the bye week blues in fantasy football? We’ve had your back ever since the NFL started giving teams breaks and so far we’ve helped you out of some crummy jams. Week four was largely a hit, while this past week our bye week savior calls (Jay Cutler, Allen Hurns, Larry Donnell, Falcons D and Cairos Santos) were solid to great suggestions. Ronnie Hillman was a total bust, but a 5-1 run should have helped most people, overall.
We’re back at it again for week six, as the Cowboys, Raiders, Rams and Buccaneers all get the week off. That may not sound like much, but your roster could suddenly be without guys like Todd Gurley, Amari Cooper and Doug Martin, among others. Let’s see who we can find on the waiver wire to help out as solid one-week replacements:
Quarterbacks: Jay Cutler – Bears (Available in 68% of Yahoo fantasy football leagues) and Blake Bortles – Jaguars (75%)
Josh McCown is owned in even less fantasy football leagues, but he’s not a reliable option going up against the Denver Broncos this week. Cutler and Bortles feel like safer plays, as Cutler has been strong the past three games he’s taken the field and gets a pretty defeated 0-5 Lions team this week. They could be without any fight at this point, while a good performance out of Cutler could have Chicago rising from the ashes of an 0-3 start to get back to .500.
Bortles was awesome last week with over 300 passing yards and 4 TDs and while he has a minor shoulder issue, he should play (and play well) against a struggling Texans defense. If Marcus Mariota is available (some may have dropped him due to a week five bye) he’s my pick of the week at the position (31% available).
Running Backs: Charcandrick West/Knile Davis – Chiefs (87 and 85%) and Antonio Andrews – Titans (89%)
Andrews has scored in each of his past two games and while he still has to contend with Bishop Sankey he has a role and could again be in line for a goal-line touch or two. He’s going up against a Dolphins defense that has been atrocious thus far, so he’s a solid try. I do like Charcandrick West better, though, as he takes over for the injured Jamaal Charles and due to having a similar skill-set and the early shot at taking over a big role, he carries a good amount of upside heading into week 6. Davis should factor into the equation there, too, but I’d only use him if both West and Andrews are off the board. Detroit’s Theo Riddick is another option that is owned in even less leagues but he never carries the ball, so his value is strictly hinged to PPR formats.
Wide Receivers: Marvin Jones – Bengals (64%) and Kamar Aiken – Ravens (76%)
There’s no denying that Jones is a hit or miss option, but he’s scored twice in 2015 and has five catches in two of his last three contests. He has some of the best red-zone ability in Cincy and in week six goes up against a Bills defense that is getting destroyed through the air in 2015. With Buffalo primarily focused on stopping A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert, he could be a sneaky WR3 to slide into your lineup this week. Even better is Aiken, actually, especially if Steve Smith (back) is out again. That will probably be the case and Aiken should be in for a big role and quality production against a pretty shaky 49ers defense. Aiken certainly didn’t disappoint last week (4 catches for 78 yards on a whopping 9 targets) and could even get a score this time.
Tight Ends: Crockett Gillmore – Ravens (90%) and Derek Carrier – Redskins (97%)
San Francisco has given up the 8th most fantasy points to tight ends so Gillmore is a tantalizing option if he’s indeed a go. He hasn’t been healthy or active the past two weeks, though, so be sure to monitor his status. Maxx Williams could be a desperate flier if he gets the nod but he’s failed to produce in his stead, which brings me to Carrier as the next best option. You can always try guys like Larry Donnell, Coby Fleener or Dwayne Allen, too, but I like Carrier’s talent and with Jordan Reed likely out for the second week in a row, he should have a solid role again, too. He scored last week and I think the Redskins will have to throw much more in week six.
Kickers: Robbie Gould – Bears (77%) and Mike Nugent – Bengals (92%)
I like Gould a good amount this week, as Chicago’s offense has been decent and is getting healthy and exactly the right time. They move the ball well enough and Detroit’s defense is just good enough to give him a good amount of action this week. I prefer Nugent for week six, however, as an elite Bengals offense gets a stiff test in the Bills. I think that means a few less extra points (he has 17 on the year) and 2-3 more field goal tries than usual.
Team Defenses: Minnesota Vikings (89%) and Washington Redskins (99%)
There aren’t a ton of defenses in general this year that you can feel great about on a weekly basis. Even matchups can blow up in your face, so you have to go with the best option you can find. This week that looks to be the Vikings off the waiver wire, as they welcome a Jamaal Charles-less Chiefs offense into Minnesota. The Vikes have been rock solid on the year in terms of points allowed and this could be a good week for sacks and picks for them. If they’re not there you could dive deep down for Washington, who normally boast a stingy run defense and overall have been a decent unit in 2015. They could be OK in week six, where they should look to stifle the Jets’ ground game and could swarm Ryan Fitzpatrick for some sacks and picks.