Waiver Wire Pickups Week 6
Welcome to the Week 6 Waiver Wire pickups. I’m filling in this week for my buddy Brandon Hamer who caught Mono from Sam Darnold. Another crazy week of NFL action is in the books! We didn’t have any big injuries this week that will give way to the birth of a new superstar in fantasy which makes it a good time to attack the trade market even harder.
At this point in the season, it is also a good time to comb through the wire to see which players are performing quietly and consistently that can become solid bench depth or matchup-based flex starters as we start to get into the thick of bye weeks. These are also guys you can try and incorporate into trade talks down the road when you’re working on swinging two-for-one types of deals. Let’s take a look at some of the best options out there at each position this week:
Quarterback | (23% owned on Yahoo)
You’re probably sick of hearing about Gardner Minshew at this point and, oh yeah, did you know he has a mustache? Awesome. Well, until his ownership in fantasy gets to the level it should be at, you’re going to keep hearing about him since he is still underrated after five weeks of quality ball. Even in a tough matchup last week on the road against a Panthers defense that gave up the seventh-fewest fantasy points to QBs Minshew managed to put up 374 yards and two TDs in a game that his team lost. That’s QB1 caliber stuff, folks. He also has thrown two TDs in four of his five games this season and hasn’t thrown an INT since his Week 1 debut.
Minshew has had success so far this season against some really tough defenses, but things are about to lighten up a lot for him as his next three matchups will come against the Saints (second-most points allowed to QBs), Bengals (eighth-most PA), and Jets. All solid matchups when looking at fantasy points allowed to QBs this season and two of which should be very winnable games for the Jags. With Leonard Fournette also dominating on the ground again lately, defenses will have to stay honest, giving Minshew plenty of opportunities. You can either accept it or expect it, either way, it’s happening. Minshew-mania is a thing.
Running Back | (3% owned on Yahoo)
The free-agent market is incredibly thin when looking for that always highly sought after RB to add. One of the more notable “injuries” that could have a fantasy impact was that of David Johnson experiencing back pains during his rout of the Cincinnati Bengals last week. Despite DJ putting up 156 YFS, Chase Edmonds was able to make his mark in the game as well carrying the ball eight times for 68 yards and a TD. He also added three catches for an additional 18 yards. Edmonds is now averaging 6.7 yards per attempt on 19 carries so far this season.
Edmonds has seen his work increase the last two weeks going from six carries in Week 4 to eight carries in Week 5. While DJ’s injury sounds minor, it could be enough to keep Edmonds seeing a little bit more work in an attempt to help keep his veteran backfield-mate healthy. Edmonds offers a similar skillset as Johnson and fits in great with Kingsbury’s new offensive scheme. This is more of a high-priority handcuff addition if you are a David Johnson owner, but it never hurts to snipe a cuff out from under your league-mates as well. Flex appeal would be a hopeful ceiling at the moment with DJ still expected to be fine, but if this is an injury that lingers on continues to get aggravated through the season as back injuries can, Edmonds could wind up a very valuable piece of your lineup down the road.
Wide Receiver | (42% owned on Yahoo)
Brandon mentioned Mohamed Sanu as a player to grab in last week’s article, but Sanu was at it again in Week 5 and as long as his ownership sits under 50%, he is a waiver target. Sanu has personally been a favorite player of mine for a while based on his consistency and the fact that no one else really likes him. He’s scored double-digit fantasy points in four-of-five games this season. He hasn’t seen less than five targets in a game or caught less than four passes. His ceiling is nowhere near as exciting as some of his teammates like Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, or even Austin Hooper who has been on another level this season, but Sanu keeps the engine running.
I did a lot of work this offseason on three-year average fantasy ranks and grades over at FantasyData.com and Sanu was a guy who stood out in a lot of this work. He has a three-year average final rank of WR37 which itself ranks 26th amongst WRs during that span. Even with his other teammates balling out, Sanu remains consistent. He’s the perfect guy to have on your roster through tough bye weeks and has some solid matchups coming up at ARI, vs LAR, and vs SEA.
Wide Receiver | (7% owned on Yahoo)
The Miami Dolphins don’t have much of anything to be excited about this season, but they do have something in WR Preston Williams. An undrafted free agent out of Colorado State, Williams is currently leading Dolphins pass catchers with 30 targets and 15 receptions this season and is tied with DeVante Parker for the team lead with 201 receiving yards. While a 50% catch rate doesn’t sound great, it’s about par for the course for Miami this season.
Williams doesn’t offer any eye-popping athletic measurables when looking at things like his 40-yard dash times or burst scores, but he did have a standout final year in college that is worth mentioning. He hauled in 96 catches for 1,345 yards and 14 TDs in 12 games at Colorado State according to Sports Reference. The receptions and TDs ranked third that season in all of NCAA while the yardage ranked fourth.
The Dolphins obviously don’t have a lot going for them this season and, let’s be honest, you need a piece of this offense like you need a hole in your head, but what they do offer for receivers is an endless amount of positive game scripts for a pass-heavy attack. There could be some big games here and there in a season full of garbage time and Williams is one of the only players trending up on that team.
Tight End | (9% owned on Yahoo)
Hopefully, you listened to Brandon last week and followed his recommendation to pick up Everett before he blew up with a career-best seven catches for 136 yards last week. If not, then you will be fighting the masses this week as Everett is currently one of the hottest trending adds in fantasy.
I have always liked Everett’s potential as an athletic pass-catching tight end on a high-powered offense, but his usage was never there for him to consistently produce. Tyler Higbee was always a thorn in his side and there were just too many targets to go around for Everett to really flourish. Things have changed a bit this season as the Rams haven’t used their RBs as much in the passing game as before and Everett has now seen quality work in each of his last two games.
I know everyone is always desperate to reach for any TE with a pulse in fantasy, and while I do think Everett is worth grabbing with a high priority waiver pick, I would urge you to be cautious with starting him as well. It’s best to use a matchup-based approach still until we know for sure that Everett will remain a central piece to the offensive gameplan. His next four matchups are not great when looking at early fantasy points allowed to tight ends.
Tight End | (29% owned on Yahoo)
I’ve been waiting all week to be able to mention Chris Herndon again in an article and we are finally at that point to where he is free from suspension and ready to earn a spot on your fantasy rosters. In case you need a quick reminder of who Herndon is, he put up six TE1 (top-12) caliber starts last season for the Jets and finished second on the team with a 39-502-4 line. His best weekly finish came in Week 16 against the Packers where he put up a 6-82-1 line, finishing as the overall TE3 that week.
Herndon will rejoin the Jets at the perfect time as the try and get back to full-strength with Mr. Mono, Sam Darnold, trying to work his way back from illness as well. I hate the Jets, to be blatantly honest. Well, I hate Adam Gase and his incapable offenses is probably a more accurate statement. But I have never really liked the Jets either. But I do like Chris Herndon and what he can do for your fantasy team. He could offer TE1 finishes with plenty of very attractive matchups down the stretch this season.
- Kirk Cousins (41% on Yahoo) came back to life last week against the Giants after looking like he forgot how to throw a football for the first quarter of the season. His ownership has slipped under the 50% mark and if you’re looking for help at the QB position (likely because you drafted a guy like Cousins to begin with) he is worth another chance. The good matchups keep rolling for Cousins with teams like the Eagles, Redskins, and Chiefs over the next few weeks.
- This isn’t a sub-50% mention, but check your wire for Drew Brees (78% on Yahoo). I know you savvy guys in deep leagues will scroll right past this, but I was surprised to see how many people just dropped Brees outright after his injury. He’s back to throwing footballs on the side already and is worth a stash if you’re currently streaming QBs.
- Sam Darnold (13% owned on Yahoo) may not offer immediate help with matchups against Dallas, New England, and Jacksonville over the next three weeks, but he has passed his bye week and actually has a lot of juicy matchups down the road against teams like the Giants, Redskins, Raiders, Bengals, and two games against the Dolphins.
- Michael Gallup (67% owned on Yahoo) came back last week and was not eased in at all. He was fed 14 targets, catching seven for 113 yards and one TD. He has been on fire dating back to the end of last season and needs to be owned everywhere.
- Dede Westbrook (58% owned on Yahoo) has been a Mohamed Sanu-esque consistent producer this season and registered a season-high 11 targets, seven catches, and 82 yards against the Panthers. D.J. Chark is still the receiver to own here right now, but Westbrook should still be rostered in a much higher percent of leagues, especially the way Minshew has played.
- If you’re looking deep for TE, also keep an eye on the Jags as their leading TE James O’Shaughnessy (14-153-2) tore his ACL and is out for the season. Former Cowboy Geoff Swaim was able to create some streaming appeal last season and will likely step into a larger role now. Third-round rookie draft pick Josh Oliver may also come into play soon who offers much more athleticism than Swaim but has yet to make his debut due to a hamstring injury. Weeks 11-15 specifically for the Jags are all matchups against teams who are currently ranked top 10 in most fantasy points allowed to tight ends this season.
3 Waiver Wire Stash Players
The following 3 players are worth finding a place for on your bench if you have the room
- Rex Burkhead (38% Ownership) – Burkhead isn’t healthy, but when he is he’ll get more involved in the Patriots offense. Despite the 5-0 record, the Pats have faced a ridiculously easy schedule to start the season. Burk could be a nice stash for later in the season.
- Kenny Stills (19% Ownership) – The Texans offense is starting to get things going and prior to Stills’ injury, Watson was targeting him. He could become a valuable Flex or bye week replacement down the road.
- Auden Tate (13.7% Ownership) – The Bengals are 0-5 and might be calling it a season soon. If that’s the case, 30-year-old A.J Green might get shut down for the year or could even be on the trading block if he can return healthy before the trade deadline. Tate, 6’5, 228lbs is only 22-years old and could see a large portion of the snaps the rest of the season.