Waiver Wire Week 6: Players to Add Under 50% Rostered

Quite the (Clay)pool of talent to choose from in Week 6.

Well, we have yet another light week of the waiver wire. While there are plenty of WR options, none of them are players you need to make sure you get over anyone else, and the RB options are either tentatively interesting, or only going to be useful for a short period of time. But there are some players that I definitely want to make sure I have on my bench as I think we are starting to see the beginnings of a few breakouts, so that’s where I’m personally looking this week.

For more waiver wire analysis, be sure to listen to our Waiver Wire podcast, hosted by Frank Costanzo and Ryan Heath.

 

Running Backs

 

Justin Jackson, Los Angeles Chargers (44% rostership on Yahoo/54% on ESPN)

After Austin Ekeler went down last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it wasn’t clear who was going to get the first crack to take his role. Justin Jackson and Joshua Kelley pretty much split the carries for the rest of the game, but with the workload Kelley had prior to Week 4 and being the new shiny toy, Kelley was the more exciting add last week. However, Jackson outsnapped Kelley 59% to 35%, and he also looked better on his carries than Kelley did. With Ekeler likely to miss another 4-6 weeks with his Grade 2 hamstring strain, Jackson is a really interesting option for multiple weeks, putting him above the other two RBs on this list, both of whom I like more but who don’t have the same opportunity Jackson has here.

FAAB Budget: 20%

 

Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals (64%/46%)

Week after week, Chase Edmonds has been eating into Kenyan Drake’s role. He doesn’t really qualify for this list, but I think he needs to be closer to 100% rostered as it appears that it is only a matter of time before their usage flips and Edmonds is getting the lion’s share. I don’t think either of them will ever be the bell-cow, as both are too good to just leave standing on the sidelines for the whole game, but if Edmonds starts getting Drake’s workload, he becomes a weekly RB2 at minimum. He’s looked more explosive than Drake, who has done nothing to keep his job secure. I definitely want to be stashing Edmonds

FAAB Budget: 15%

 

Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings (41%/41%)

I really want to put Alexander Mattison higher up on this priority list, and considering he’s a high-value handcuff, I’m surprised he isn’t already rostered in over 50% of leagues. Mattison showed on Sunday why he’s considered one of the best handcuffs in the game, and he should absolutely go off this Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. However, it doesn’t seem that Dalvin Cook’s groin injury is serious, and with the Vikings getting a bye in Week 7, there’s a chance that Mattison is only relevant for one game. But there’s always the possibility of reinjury (especially when it comes to Cook), so Mattison needs to be picked up everywhere.

FAAB Budget: 15%

 

 

Wide Receivers

 

Before I start mentioning the players on this list, I want to say that I’m really not confident at all in the order here. There are eight wide receivers that I think are interesting this week and you should be happy getting any one of them. Go for the guy you believe in the most, because I don’t think there’s any clear reason to pick one over the other.

 

Henry Ruggs III, Las Vegas Raiders (44% rostership on Yahoo/48% on ESPN)

Getting Henry Ruggs III back is big for this Las Vegas Raiders offense, that has desperately needed some big-play ability. He’s going to be a boom-bust type of WR, but he’s an elite athlete and Derek Carr showed on Sunday that he isn’t afraid to bomb it deep to Ruggs. I think he will get more integrated in this offense over the next few weeks and could start seeing a decent amount of volume, especially considering his biggest competition for targets (after Darren Waller) is uh… Hunter Renfrow and Nelson Agholor.

FAAB Budget: 5%

 

Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans (44%/60%)

This is the Brandin Cooks that the Texans were hoping to get when they traded for him back in April. Cooks has sort of always been dealing with injuries, and this season has been no different as he was battling a quadriceps injury. On top of that, the Texans have faced some very tough defenses, and this matchup against the Jaguars was the opposite of that. They don’t face any more defenses as stingy as the Ravens or the Steelers, and with Will Fuller V off to such a hot start, that could open up room for Cooks across from him. This is likely to be his best game of the season, but Cooks should be a WR3/flex type moving forward.

FAAB Budget: 5%

 

Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers (17%/9%)

Chase Claypool’s value moving forward really depends on how long Diontae Johnson is out. While Claypool clearly did enough in this game to earn another extended look, I can’t imagine the Steelers will just bench Johnson if he’s healthy to play Claypool, both Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster have proven to be worthy of their starting spots. However, if Johnson is out, Claypool stands to gain, and boy did he look good on Sunday. The Steelers put him in a lot of interesting positions, giving him a carry on the 2-yard line, sending him deep, hitting him on a short crossing route, just basically putting him in every situation imaginable, and he really excelled. Granted, the Eagles are awful defensively, but Claypool still impressed. It also says a lot to me that Ben Roethlisberger kept looking his way. If Johnson is out, I definitely want to be adding Claypool.

FAAB Budget: 15% if Johnson is going to miss extended time, 5% if not

 

Laviska Shenault Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars (34%/32%)

Can you all just get Laviska Shenault Jr. up above 50% rostership so I can stop writing about him every week? He’s shown a dynamic play-making ability and the Jaguars remain committed to involving him in this surprisingly good offense. He’s received at least 5 touches every game, and his targets are trending upward as well, getting 8 targets this past week. While Gardner Minshew II does spread the ball around, Shenault is still one of their more dangerous weapons and I expect him to break some big plays and big runs here soon, he’s simply too athletic not to. With all the injuries to flex players and the bye weeks coming up, Shenault should be on your radar as a flex fill-in moving forward.

FAAB Budget: 5%

 

Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers (40%/34%)

While most of Mike Williams’s work came after Keenan Allen left the game with a back injury, it was still really encouraging to see him and Justin Herbert on the same page after a few rough weeks. Williams is always going to be a boom-bust type of WR, but maybe if Herbert starts throwing his way he can be more boom than bust. The Chargers need to stretch the field a little more, and Williams is a fantastic way to do that, and maybe he’ll continue to earn more of Herbert’s trust if he continues to make catches like he did on Monday night.

FAAB Budget: 2-4%

 

Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs (40%/37%)

With Sammy Watkins expected to miss a few weeks, this gives Mecole Hardman an excellent opportunity to step into a larger role. Watkins was generally in on 80% of the Chiefs snaps every game, whereas Hardman was more in the 50% range, so there’s a lot of room for growth here. Hardman has proven to be an elite athlete and exactly the type of player that can thrive in this Chiefs offense. However, I remain skeptical that this is going to lead to a Hardman breakout. Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire soak up a lot of volume already and Patrick Mahomes II really spreads it around after those three. He definitely has breakout potential on the best offense in the league, I’m just not sure we are going to see it now.

FAAB Budget: 2-4%

 

Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals (53%/42%)

Everything I said about Tee Higgins last week remains true now. While he didn’t have an eye-popping performance against the Baltimore Ravens, he still did very well considering Joe Burrow had about half a second to throw the ball every single play. He led the team in targets with 8, and is clearly the starter opposite of Tyler Boyd now. He’s now up to four straight weeks of 6+ targets, and has consistently made himself an open and big target for Burrow. With an average depth of target of 14.5 yards (16th best in the league among players with at least 10 targets), Higgins is getting valuable targets and that will lead to big yardage games. After this “dud” of a performance, you probably don’t need to spend big to get him, especially with all the other flashy performances at WR this week.

FAAB Budget: 2-4%

 

Travis Fulgham, Philadelphia Eagles (3%/0.2%)

While I will admit that Travis Fulgham looked pretty good against the Steelers defense, and the Eagles have pretty much no one else to turn to, I just don’t trust that the Eagles offense is good enough to consistently prop up any of these players as startable fantasy options. The offensive line is bad, so Carson Wentz will have to just throw to the first man open on any play, and while this week it was Fulgham who was finding the open spots, next week it could be Greg Ward or Zach Ertz. I just don’t think there’s enough here to trust that Fulgham can keep it up week in and week out on this team.

FAAB Budget: 2-4%

 

 

 

Tight Ends

 

Jimmy Graham (40% rostership on Yahoo/53% on ESPN)

Yuck. While I would much rather not have to rely on Jimmy Graham, that’s exactly the position that a lot of us may find ourselves in. If there’s any solace, it’s that Graham leads the team in redzone targets, and all five of his redzone completions have been for a touchdown. Considering how TD-dependent tight end tends to be, Graham is not the worst starter to have.

FAAB Budget: 5% if you are desparate

 

Quarterback

 

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins (21%/19%)

Here’s a fun fact about Ryan Fitzpatrick: He has scored 20+ points in every week except for Week 1. The Dolphins are no slouch on offense, and I’m at the point now where I want to start Fitzpatrick against pretty much everyone. I’m very aware that at any point he could turn into Fitztragic, but he’s been doing very well this year and the Dolphins have a good thing going. Let’s ride the hype train a bit longer.

FAAB Budget: 1-2%

 

Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers (52%/35%)

Man, this Justin Herbert kid is just getting better and better. After doing well against one of the better defenses in the league, he had to deal with losing his favorite target in Keenan Allen, and he just shrugged it off and kept chugging along. He has some very easy matchups ahead, and I think we’re at the point now where you can potentially trust Herbert as a low-end starter for the foreseeable future (excluding his now Week 6 bye, so he would be a stash at this point).

FAAB Budget: 1-2%

 

Andy Dalton, Dallas Cowboys (3%/0.2%)

I really don’t want to do this, but with Dak Prescott out for the season I have to talk about Andy Dalton. One of the reasons why we love this Cowboys offense so much is because of all the incredible players they have in the passing game, and hopefully Dalton can make the most of them like Prescott was. My main concern here (other than Dalton just not being good enough to take advantage of his weapons) is that the Cowboys will just lean on the run game more and feed Ezekiel Elliott, but Dalton has to be considered for teams desperate for a QB. I’d personally rather wait and see before stashing him, but if you are in a bad spot, Dalton is a decent stash.

FAAB Budget: 0% (just grab him after waivers run)

Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire

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