Waiver Wire Pickups Week 6
Before we dive into a new week of waiver wire additions, I want to pat myself on the back for the Sam Howell and Curtis Samuel suggestions. Yes, Jaleel McLaughlin and other obvious pickups turned out to be pretty good and I made sure to mention them, but hitting on guys like Howell and Samuel was for the ones who didn’t have the high priority this week so shout out to you guys who made those moves. Now, let’s get into another round of winners ahead of Week 6.
The following recommendations are my waiver wire pickups for week 6.
Washington Commanders (17% ESPN, 34% Yahoo)
Look, there aren’t many quarterbacks who are not already on rosters that are worth picking up and since he’s still available in most leagues, Sam Howell is back on the list. He was already trending in the right direction, but his performance against the Bears just solidified what I already thought. He has the ability to light up the stat sheet with a healthy receiving core around him and serves as a modest threat with his legs. Is he a good NFL quarterback? I really don’t know yet, but I do know that 388 passing yards, two touchdowns, and 19 yards on the ground will work for most lineups. I’m jumping on the Sam Howell bandwagon and I think you should too.
Los Angeles Rams (34% ESPN, 57% Yahoo)
Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua – need I say more? Yes, Matthew Stafford is over the hill and this Los Angeles Rams offense wasn’t very exciting entering the season, but they can produce fantasy value and Stafford is at the helm of it. Through Week 5, the 35-year-old QB is fourth in the NFL in passing yards and should be in multiple shootouts throughout the season. With Kupp back in the fold and looking healthy, Nacua turning into the next Robert Woods and solid complementary weapons in Tutu Atwell and Tyler Higbee, the sky is the limit for the Rams’ passing attack. Matthew Stafford could be a solid player to plug in for bye weeks or injuries.
- Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers
Tennessee Titans (26% ESPN, 26% Yahoo)
I really didn’t think it would come to this in 2023, but Derrick Henry might not be the best running back in Tennessee anymore. Sure, he’ll still get the majority of the carries when healthy but he doesn’t look like himself at all. There are, of course, many reasons for this. Age, offensive line and workload all play factors, but Tyjae Spears is a factor as well. It looks like night and day when Spears carries the ball or catches a pass compared to Henry. Yes, they play different styles and roles but I can’t take my eyes off the screen when Spears has the ball and I can’t say the same for Henry. The eye test isn’t everything and it certainly doesn’t translate to fantasy points by itself, but it could be indicative of what we could see as the season progresses. Last week, Spears outgained Henry by seven total yards and scored the first touchdown of his young career. I think Tyjae Spears is playing his way into more snaps and touches, giving him the opportunity to be more than just an elite handcuff.
Arizona Cardinals (1% ESPN, 2% Yahoo)
James Conner went down and has a tough history with injuries. If he’s out for a while, it is assumed that Emari Demercado will step in as the replacement RB1 in Arizona. That’s really the baseline of this suggestion. Last week, he was the only running back with a touch once Conner went down, producing 57 total yards and a score on 11 touches. He looked to be a serviceable player and could provide some fantasy production as a FLEX option with injuries starting to pile up. Volume is king in fantasy football and Demercado could be in for a heavy workload if Conner is out and they don’t make a move for someone to compete for backfield touches.
- Kendre Miller, New Orleans Saints
Minnesota Vikings (22% ESPN, 11% Yahoo)
With reports that Justin Jefferson is headed to the IR, K.J. Osborn is my favorite add of the week. While I do think Jordan Addison will get the first opportunity to step in as the WR1 in Minnesota while Jefferson is out, Osborn will undoubtedly get an increase in targets over the next few weeks. Even when the team is fully healthy, Osborn plays a significant role in the offense and already has a nice rapport with quarterback Kirk Cousins. It’s no secret that the Vikings are struggling this season and with Jefferson going down, there’s no reason to think that won’t continue. Through five weeks, Minnesota leads the NFL in passing attempts, completions and touchdowns while ranking second in yards. Now, with Jefferson going down, they have a hole to fill if they want to keep this type of passing volume up. K.J. Osborn will see a spike in usage and should be added in all leagues.
Washington Commanders (15% ESPN, 17% Yahoo)
Like Sam Howell, Curtis Samuel still isn’t rostered in very many leagues but he should be. I included him in last week’s edition of the waiver wire article but I have no choice but to mention him again after his performance on Thursday Night Football. Last week, Samuel caught six of his seven targets for a season-high 65 yards while scoring his first touchdown of the year. This was the second straight in which he saw at least seven targets and caught at least six passes. Through five weeks, he ranks second on the team in targets, receptions, receiving yards and total touchdowns. Considering the Commanders will likely be in some holes throughout the season, they’re going to have to pass the ball a lot and Samuel seems to have a real connection with Howell. I like Curtis Samuel as a sneaky FLEX play in PPR leagues for the rest of the season.
Kansas City Chiefs (23% ESPN, 39% Yahoo)
Earlier this season, I mentioned Rashee Rice as an add and stash in deeper leagues seeing as he could potentially play himself into being the WR1 for Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. Now, I think the days of him being in the free agency pool in fantasy leagues are numbered. Last week, he hauled in four of his five targets for 33 yards while scoring his second touchdown of the season. In my opinion, aside of Travis Kelce, Rashee Rice is the best pass-catcher on the team and it seems that the coaching staff thinks so too. Through the first five weeks of the season, the rookie receiver is second on the team in targets, catches and receiving touchdowns. This is more than enough of a sample size for me to really start believing in the usage he’s getting and I can’t help but get really excited when thinking about his potential. In just a couple of weeks, we could be talking about Rashee Rice as one of the clear, go-to targets for Patrick Mahomes. Hurry and add him before you can’t anymore.
- Josh Downs, Indianapolis Colts
- DJ Chark Jr., Carolina Panthers
Washington Commanders (8% ESPN, 16% Yahoo)
Streaming tight ends is always tough but when you find one that sticks, it can feel so rewarding. Yes, that was a nod to picking up Sam LaPorta earlier this season. Now, while I don’t think Logan Thomas will provide season-long, top 3 production at his position, I do think he’s worth the add if you’re hurting at tight end and have nowhere else to turn. If you’ve made it this far, you know how much I believe in the Washington Commanders passing attack. Similar to Curtis Samuel, I think quarterback Sam Howell can make Logan Thomas fantasy relevant again and we’ve already seen flashes of it. Last week, Thomas led the Commanders in targets, receptions and receiving yards while scoring his second touchdown of the season. He’s a target hog and seems to be a popular target for Howell in the red zone. He checks all the boxes of a productive streaming option and should have plenty of opportunities against Atlanta this week.
- Luke Musgrave, Green Bay Packers
Will Holtz is a fantasy football analyst and contributes to GridironExperts.com. His goal: Help you win your fantasy football championship.