Week 5 was kind in regards to not many fantasy relevant injuries occurring which is usually the life blood of waiver wire action. Despite the lack of injuries there are still some players out on the wire you should consider picking up to play in week 6 and others that are worth a bench stash. Two teams are on bye this week; Buccaneers and Vikings. Good luck!
Note: all waiver picks listed here will have only been owned in 50% or less of Yahoo leagues at the time of publication.
Alex Smith (KC) - 18% owned - The Chiefs are coming off a bye-week and return to action against a Raiders defense giving up a league-worst 331 yards per game to opposing quarterbacks. This means Smith should be a great streaming option if you're in need.
James White (NE) - 46% owned - White has made the list two weeks in a row which means you're missing out if you haven't added him yet. With Brady returning White put up his best fantasy performance of the season with 26 yards on 5 carries and added another 63 yards on 4 catches. Most of his damage came in the first half so It's reasonable to assume his numbers would've been higher if the Patriots hadn't been dominating the entire game.
Devontae Booker (DEN) - 9% owned - The fourth round rookie ended up receiving only 4 fewer touches than the recently underperforming C.J. Anderson in week 5 which indicates the Denver backfield could be headed into a timeshare if Anderson continues to struggle. If you have the bench space available, Booker is worth an add and stash for a couple weeks to see how the situation shakes out.
Cameron Meredith (CHI) - 4% owned - Last week I thought Eddie Royal would see an uptick in production but instead it was the second year Meredith that exploded for 130 yards and a touchdown catching 9 of 12 targets. He should be locked in as the number 2 receiver behind Alshon Jeffery after this performance.
Jeremy Kerley (SF) - 9% owned - Kerley has put up back to back big games now catching 14 of 22 targets for 190 yards and two touchdowns over that span. What's most interesting is he is averaging 9 targets per game throughout the season which means he should have a decent floor week to week.
Honorable mention: Robert Woods (BUF) - 29% owned
Jesse James (PIT) - 23% owned - James has now found the end zone in 3 of the last 4 games after scoring in week 5 on top of catching 6 of 8 for 43 yards. If you need a fill in for tight end this week look to James for a decent chance for a touchdown.
Honorable mention: Cameron Brate (TB) - 41% owned
Tennessee Titans (TEN) - 6% owned - The Titans defense has been consistently average for fantasy purposes all season, but I knock them up a few pegs this week since they play against Cleveland.
Week 6 will kick off with a west coast matchup between the Broncos and Chargers. Philip Rivers is going to have a rough day against Denver’s third-ranked pass defense. Flip offenses and Trevor Siemian is expected to return against a San Diego defense giving up almost 300 pass yards per game this season. Thursday night football can be weird and frustrating with a short week of preparation. So we are all here to help you make those roster moves that could save your week. Here are this weeks recommended starts amongst the trending and borderline players. Feel free to reach out with specific start sit advice!
Brian Hoyer vs. Jac: It’s no secret that Jay Cutler’s career in Chicago is coming to a close. The Bears continue to be vague with their quarterback decisions and why shouldn’t they be. Brian Hoyer is playing well enough to keep the job and now reports from CBS Sports’ Brian La Canfora state that Cutler has “fallen out of favor” with Bears coaches. All rumors and guesses aside, Brian Hoyer looks to start at least one more week. The Jaguars matchup doesn’t lend itself to anything especially positive or negative. Brian Hoyer’s 300+ pass yards and 2 touchdown average per game over that last 3 weeks is a trend to ride in week 6.
Dak Prescott @ GB: Sure, he has yet to throw for over 300 yards, but he also had yet to throw an interception. Dak Prescott has led the Cowboys to a 4-1 start but will face his toughest test in week 6. Ezekiel Elliot is also going to face a tough test against the top rated Green Bay run defense and Dak will be called upon to do more than he has all season. I like that this one could turn into a shootout and that is always a good thing for fantasy owners. I even have a bold prediction that Dak will outscore Philip Rivers and Andrew Luck in week 6.
Cole Beasley @ GB: I made a bold claim just above that includes Dak Prescott beating out some pretty big names in fantasy heading into a matchup against Green Bay. That only happens if his supporting cast helps. Cole Beasley has been a reliable target for Dak in Dez Bryant’s absence. Reports, for now, seem to lean towards Dez missing the week 6 match up and if that is the case I think you roll with Cole in a favorable matchup. Again, this game is setting up to be won through the air for Dallas.
Willie Snead vs. CAR: A divisional matchup with the Saints coming off a bye week and Carolina reeling from a disappointing loss to Tampa Bay. One way or the other Willie Snead should be back to 100% after a toe injury. The Saints spread the ball around more than frat boys passing the discount vodka, but Willie was one of Drew Brees’ early favorites. Look for that to be renewed in a game setting up to be big for the Saints.
Frank Gore @ HOU: I don’t know what the coaching staff in Indianapolis is doing, as they seem to completely change schemes every week. That being said, Frank Gore put up a solid performance last week. The only thing holding him back from a better fantasy day was his lack of involvement in the passing game; something he saw a lot more of the previous week in London. The matchup with Houston should force the Colts to utilize Gore more in week 6. I also fully expect him to be moderately involved in the passing game, at least more than we saw in week 5.
Hunter Henry vs DEN: There is plenty to be wary about with Hunter Henry in week 6. The matchup, Thursday Night Football and the return of Antonio Gates are some pretty scary factors for Henry owners heading into week 6. Honestly, I like him for all the same reasons. First of all, the matchup with the Denver defense means Philip Rivers and the Chargers will have to utilize mismatches to move the ball through the air. While Antonio Gates will eat away at some of those targets and yards, he is also the perfect decoy in two tight end sets. I mean which one do you cover!? The kid has put up some big numbers and that wasn’t affected by Gates’ return. He just found more room to run on fewer targets.
As I sit here on a Friday night sipping on a delicious Karl Strauss Aurora hoppyalis, celebrating a winning Chargers wager from the previous night, I find it hard to pick a winner this week. Last week was pretty safe. Everyone pretty much went with either Pittsburgh or New England both who coasted to easy wins in games that were never in doubt. I like both of those teams this week also, especially the Steelers vs the Dolphins. Cincinnati needs to show up big time for this Patriots game if they want to be considered one of the big boys, so this could be an interesting game.
Buffalo would have been the pick if Blaine Gabbert was still the starter. But this move to Kaepernick is intriguing. It seems like he is well liked among teammates and maybe he inspires everyone to play better. If Chip Kelly uses Kaep as a runner, I could see him causing some real problems for teams and remind everyone how happy they were to have him replace Alex Smith years ago.
The Tennessee Titans, however, are this week's pick. It falls in line with the 100% successful strategy of picking against the Cleveland Browns. Now I'm not thrilled with the way the Titans have been playing this season but a battered Browns team will not have what it takes to get their first win of the season on the road, soo I see this as a rare chance to use the Titans confidently. I'd probably stay away from the 7.5 points for the Titans though. Their passing game has not been one that I could comfortably count on to win a game by more than a touchdown.
Welcome to Statistically (in)Significant, the place to find great stats that probably only matter at the water cooler (or bar). Each week I'll dig through the stats of the week gone by and deliver you some choice conversation starters.
176 Pass Attempts
Dak Prescott's interception-free pass attempt streak ended on his 177th attempt on Sunday in Green Bay. Earlier in the game, he broke the previous record of 162, which was held by Tom Brady. The streak was impressive, but the 30-16 victory on the road could be the thing that keeps Tony Romo off the field, once he's back to 100% health. Prescott has 10 TDs total this season, and had only 1 turnover going into Week 6. As long as he and Zeke keep winning, I don't see why you change things.
Andy Reid's teams are now 16-2 when coming off of a bye week. This is a remarkable stat, and one that leaves me regretful that I didn't change my picks after being reminded of it on Sunday morning. The Chiefs thoroughly dominated the Raiders, particularly in the 2nd half when they gave up zero points. The return of Jamaal Charles was marked by an early touchdown, but then gave way again to Spencer Ware. Ware is averaging 129 yards from scrimmage per game and was given 24 carries in the game where Charles was supposed to have the training wheels taken off. It'll be interesting to see what happens going forward.
Up until Week 6, only guys named Jones were putting up games over 200 yards. This week, we add two more to that list. Jay Ajayi and Odell Beckham Jr. both went over 200 yards, putting up over 30 points each while helping their teams to big wins. Ajayi is a surprise, but a welcome one - it's nice to see some fantasy life in Miami after all. Look for him to be the hottest waiver pickup this week. Odell, on the other hand, is having fun again. Hopefully things stay fun for him, and the future Mrs. Kicking Net Beckham.
130+ Rush Yards
Ezekiel Elliott has 130+ yards in 4 straight weeks, the first rookie to ever reach that mark. Elliott is living up to the high expectations he had in Dallas, behind a very strong offensive line and fellow rookie Dak Prescott (see above). Elliott leads the league in rushing yards with 703, a wide margin over second place. At 5.13 yards per carry, he's incredibly efficient. He's got the second-most fantasy points in standard leagues - it's nice to see something live up to the hype.
Including playoffs, the Colts went 61 straight games between having a 100-yard rusher. On Sunday night in Houston, Frank Gore broke that streak...then lost his 100 yards. Then, the Colts gave up the lead, assuring that the game would go to OT and give Gore a chance to go back over 100 yards. A seven-yard run took care of this, but the Colts punted on that drive and the Texans kicked a field goal to steal the game from the Colts, who had led since the first quarter. This morning, I suspect that Chuck Pagano will find himself on the hot seat.