Injuries to even more running backs and our first week of byes has many heading to the waiver wire in desperation. And if you have New York Giants on your roster, oh boy. Week 5 saw several quarterbacks injured, some in weird ways: Russell Wilson with something called “mallet finger” and a throat contusion for Joe Burrow.
But that’s not all folks. Daniel Jones (concussion), Saquon Barkley (ankle), Clyde Edwards-Helaire (knee), JuJu Smith-Schuster (shoulder), Maxx Williams (knee), and Damien Harris (chest, ribs) all could miss Week 6. Add to that we were already missing Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, Chris Carson, Rob Gronkowski, Logan Thomas, David Montgomery, and George Kittle, and the landscape is pretty bleak.
So it’s a perfect time for bye weeks, right?! Week 6 is the first bye week of the season, so I’ll give a disclaimer to remember for the rest of the season: your mileage may vary for my recommended bid amounts. I don’t know who else is on your roster. You may need a player more this week due to injuries or byes. It’s your FAB, so spend it as needed. The Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets, and San Francisco 49ers are all on bye in Week 6, so let’s dive in.
Percentages are based on Yahoo! leagues.
Darrel Williams, Kansas City (16% rostered)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire seems to have avoided a season-ending knee injury, but he’s still expected to miss a few weeks with an MCL sprain. Even before his injury, CEH’s snap share in the Chief’s backfield had decreased every week. This presents a multi-week opportunity for Darrel Williams to operate as the primary running back for the Chiefs. You can expect journeyman Jerick McKinnon to get some snaps, but the lion’s share of the carries should go to Williams in the high-powered Kansas City offense. If Williams plays well, he could have a more permanent role carved out by the time CEH returns.
Devontae Booker, New York Giants (6%)
This is a volume-based opportunity, plain and simple. The Giants are an injury mess right now, and Daniel Jones will need to clear the league’s concussion protocol to suit up for Week 6. But the fact remains that Booker is going to be the guy in New York while Saquon Barkley is out with an ankle sprain. Booker is slightly lower on this list because Barkley might only be out for a week or two. If you need a spot starter for a week or more, Booker is a priority pickup.
Samaje Perine, Cincinatti (27%)
To the surprise of many, Joe Mixon played in Week 5, but he was clearly limited. Samaje Perine played on 41 of 67 snaps and was the preferred option on passing downs, getting five targets to Mixon’s one. Depending on Mixon’s health, we could see as much of a 50/50 split with Perine and Mixon in Week 6, so he’s worth a flyer as a potential flex-start.
Khalil Herbert, Chicago (19%)
Chicago is hell-bent on establishing the run to protect Justin Fields, running the ball 34 times in Week 5. With David Montgomery out for the foreseeable future, Damien Williams was the top priority add in Week 5. And he rewarded fantasy managers with a strong outing against the Las Vegas Raiders. The surprise? Khalil Herbert out carried and out-snapped Williams. Williams still got the passing and goal-line work, but both players could provide flex value in a pinch. At the very least, add Herbert while Chicago sorts out its backfield.
Alex Collins, Seattle (37%)
Chris Carson is still dealing with a neck injury, and his status for Week 6 is unknown. It’s a situation to monitor, and I’m making sure Alex Collins is on my roster if
For some dart throws and desperation plays, consider Rhamondre Stevenson (7%), Brandon Bolden (9%), and Gio Bernard (16%). I still recommend J.D. McKissic (45%) as an upside play in a plus matchup against Kansas City.
Potential Drops: Devin Singletary (54% rostered), Trey Sermon (76%).
Kadarius Toney, New York Giants (17% rostered)
As I’ve mentioned, the Giants are decimated by injury, and we’ve seen injuries present opportunities for young players time and time again. Enter Kadarius Toney. The first-round pick out of Florida turned Week 5 into his breakout party; that is, until he was ejected for throwing a punch at Cowboy’s safety Demontae Kazee. I’ll never understand the logic of punching a helmet, but I digress. Before his huge mental error, Toney compiled 189 yards through the air by forcing missed tackles, making big-time catches, and doing things like this:
Kadarius Toney put the moves on Trevon Diggs 👀
— PFF (@PFF) October 10, 2021
It was a glimpse into Toney’s potential, and it’s clear what New York liked about him in the draft. You may have to temper your expectations with Toney in the short term, as Daniel Jones could miss Week 6 with a concussion and the status of other New York receivers is up in the air. But I want him on my roster while he cements a place in the Giants offense.
Rondale Moore, Arizona (40%)
After disappointing fantasy managers in Weeks 3 & 4, Rondale Moore came back to life against the 49ers, catching 5 of 6 targets for 59 yards and adding 38 yards on 3 carries. Tight end Maxx Williams suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 5, which should simplify the target tree in Arizona moving forward. Moore is back on the must-own list for rookie receivers.
Tim Patrick (31%)
I should have kept the faith. After a Week 4 dud, Tim Patrick did what he always does: produce. Patrick has now scored double-digit fantasy points in 4-of-5 weeks this season, and he remains an excellent plug-and-play option for teams in need of a receiver.
Some other players worth a look include Christian Kirk (50%), Randall Cobb (16%), Adam Humphries (1%), and, if you can afford to stash him for a week, Marquez Callaway (30%).
Potential Drops: Brandon Aiyuk (74% rostered), K.J. Osborn (12%).
Hunter Henry, New England (46%)
Hunter Henry has surpassed Jonnu Smith as the pass-catching tight end in New England. While they both saw 40 snaps in Week 5, Henry ran 25 routes to Smith’s 8. Henry’s role in the Patriots offense is solidifying, and his 8 targets this week was a team-high. In the bleak world of tight ends, Henry looks like a weekly starter.
Other tight ends who may not warrant more than a FAB sprinkle are Dan Arnold (4%), who seems to have acclimated to the pass-happy Jacksonville offense. and David Njoku (3%) has surpassed Austin Hooper in Cleveland. Ricky Seals-Jones (2%) is doing an excellent Logan Thomas impression, and Donald Parham Jr. (0%) isn’t reliable enough but has scored touchdowns in back-to-back weeks. Have I mentioned he’s 6’8″?
Potential Drops: Cole Kmet (23%), Robert Tonyan (68%), Austin Hooper (38%)
Note: I don’t recommend spending FAB on quarterbacks, outside of the deepest leagues and Superflex, but injuries to several players have made the position a little more shallow this week. If you’re desperate (hello, fellow Russell Wilson managers!), you can add a little here to make sure you have a starter for Week 6.
Taylor Heinicke, Washington (16% rostered)
I get it, Week 5 was rough for Heinicke. I won’t blame you for being scared to go with Heinicke, but he’s been solid more weeks than not, and he’s going up against a soft Kansas City defense in a game that should call for a lot of passing. Fire Heinicke up with confidence in Week 6.
Tua Tagovailoa, Miami (15%)
Tua is eligible to come off injured reserve in Week 6, and he has a plus matchup if he is activated for the game against Jacksonville. It’s a riskier choice, but a situation that could pay off.
Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville, (50%)
Now for the flip side. Jacksonville is not a good football team, but Trevor Lawrence provides some of the game-breaking upside we were expecting from the first-rounder out of Clemson. If he can continue to put together complete games, Lawrence is a worthy fantasy starter most weeks.
Bonus tip: Are you feeling good about Week 6? Week 7 is the largest bye week of the season, with Buffalo, Dallas, Jacksonville, Los Angeles (Chargers), Minnesota, and Pittsburgh all on bye. Stash replacement players ahead of time so you don’t have to battle it out on waivers. Keep an eye on players who are on bye this week and dropped. Then practice your evil laugh.