Welcome to a somewhat somber Week 6 waiver wire. I hate writing about how to replace a great player. I feel bad for the fantasy general managers who just had the rug pulled out from under them and I feel bad for the player, in this case, Jamaal Charles, who suffered a season-ending ACL injury for the second time in his career. While there are ways to go about replacing him, none of the available options will be as good as Charles, who is truly a special talent.
As usual, I will be posting an expanded waiver wire this afternoon over at Rotobahn. If you play in a league with 12 or more teams, you will find more players who are actually available to add. This article is geared a little bit more to typically sized leagues.
The ownership rates listed for each player were obtained at Yahoo!. The super obvious choices are listed at the top of each position group. They are the guys to go after if they are somehow still available.
Sam Bradford, Eagles, 70 percent
Marcus Mariota, Titans, 69 percent
Tyrod Taylor, Bills, 72 percent
Jay Cutler, Bears, 32 percent
Once he gets Alshon Jeffery back, he’s a potential weekly starter. Cutler getting close to 100 percent after missing some time with a hamstring injury. This is a good time to add Cutler in large formats. He’s a streaming option in smaller leagues.
Blake Bortles, Jaguars, 25 percent
He’s gotten it done for the most part this season and he finally had a big game in Week 5. His only poor effort was back in week 1. Bortles now has a good pair of receivers and a healthy Julius Thomas. He can keep up his current pace and that makes him a good add in all formats.
Jameis Winston, Buccaneers, 21 percent
It’s coming together for Winston as a fantasy option. He gets Austin Seferian-Jenkins back soon and he should start making more plays with Mike Evans as they get better acquainted. Once the Buccaneers are hitting on all cylinders, Winston could be a weekly starter in bigger leagues. The fact that Tampa’s backfield is really stepping up is also a big plus for Winston as both backs are good receivers too.
Derek Carr, Raiders, 46 percent
The youngster has a tough schedule over the next month or so, but he does have some good matchups down the stretch, starting in Week 10 at Detroit. The Raiders are on a bye this week and play the Chargers in Week 7.
Teddy Bridgewater, Vikings, 44 percent
This may be the time to add Bridgewater, as his receivers should all be healthy soon. He’s found a new weapon in Stefon Diggs. The most important thing is that his schedule is pretty good the rest of the way and he has a ground game to work off of with Adrian Peterson.
Kirk Cousins, Washington, 9 percent
If you are using a rotation at quarterback, Cousins might be able to help you. He does have a lot of good matchups on his schedule, but he also has some matchups where he is not a viable option. Cousins gets DeSean Jackson this week or next and that will raise his ceiling. The one thing he lacks right now is a field-stretching presence.
Karlos Williams, 72
Chris Johnson, 70
Ronnie Hillman, 66
Duke Johnson, Browns, 49 percent
He looks like he will settle into a role where he gets about 10 carries and 10 targets each week. That makes Johnson a player to own in all PPR leagues and all leagues with 12 or more teams regardless of scoring format. He’s a natural football player and he’s starting to make an impact now that he is fully healthy.
Charcandrick West, Chiefs, 12 percent
West has a chance to take the whole job in the Chiefs’ backfield. If you just lost Charles, this is the player to target as his replacement. Knile Davis is the other option, but West, as I said in last week’s expanded waiver wire, is the guy to own. West gives you a lot of the elements you get with Charles. He’s multi-skilled and he’s explosive. Rotobahn was one of the few outlets to do a scouting report on West when he came out of Abiliene Christian. He’s a player with legitimate upside in both standard and PPR scoring. He won’t be Charles, obviously, but he’s a back who can excel in Andy Reid‘s offensive system, and he’s the back to go after on all waiver wires this week, whether you owned Charles or not. Remember, West has been working behind Charles for over a year. He’s ready to go. He knows the ground scheme and he’s good in pass protection. That’s why he jumped Davis on the depth chart before Charles went down.
Isaiah Crowell, 54 percent
He looked very good in Week 5 and he should hold onto his role as the primary early down back and main goal line option. Crowell is a RB2 or flex play when the matchup is good. He lacks big upside unless there is an injury to Johnson, but he has plenty of flex appeal.
Charles Sims, Buccaneers, 19 percent
As I said last week, Sims looks quicker than he did during his injury-plagued rookie season. While starter Doug Martin has looked outstanding and isn’t going anywhere, Sims is forcing his way into more snaps. He racked up 136 total yards in Week 5 and he looks like a viable flex option in all PPR leagues.
Shane Vereen, Giants, 44 percent
Vereen is a player to own in PPR leagues. He seems to have earned a bigger role and they are targeting him often as a receiver and not just on dump offs and swing routes. The Giants lack talent at receiver and Vereen is one of the ways they are filling that void. He had a few down games before last week’s breakout performance, but I like the way his schedule looks going forward. Go get him if you play in a PPR league.
Ryan Mathews, Eagles, 50 percent
He is looking good in Chip Kelly’s scheme, making a lot of big plays on not a lot of touches. The Eagles have a nice schedule, so I like Mathews as a flex option in 12-team leagues. He’s more of a bench or bye week option in smaller formats. He’s obviously a great handcuff for those who own DeMarco Murray.
Thomas Rawls, Seahawks, 48 percent
Rawls isn’t a guy who will have much stand alone value, but he has proven what he can do as Marshawn Lynch‘s replacement, and that makes him one of the better handcuff options you will find. Rawls should be a priority for those who own Lynch, but he is also a great 1-week option for everybody if Lynch can’t play in Week 6 due to his lingering hamstring injury.
Knile Davis, Chiefs, 15 percent
Davis is a player to stash in all leagues if you are looking for an upside play at running back. West should get the first crack, but if he disappoints, Davis has a lot of ability. He’s a big back who can score touchdowns and make plays in the passing game. The fact that West is ahead of him is a surprise to a lot of people I am sure.
David Johnson, Cardinals, 38 percent
He just keeps making plays. I’m not sure I would allow him to be on any waiver wire. He’s a stash until his role is more predictable, but Johnson has made big plays in almost every game so far. Stash him if you can.
Darren McFadden, Cowboys, 35 percent
He looks like the heir apparent to Lance Dunbar, who is lost for the season. Dunbar had been catching all the passes out of the backfield, but that role, predictably, went to McFadden last week and I expect that to become a trend going forward. Add him if your league uses PPR scoring, but be aware of his Week 6 bye.
Matt Jones, Washington, 46 percent
He will be a little frustrating because he has been game flow dependent so far. Last week he was a good play because he scored, but the bigger news is that he seems to be out of Jay Gruden’s dog house, where he’d been since his crucial fumble against the Giants in Week 3. Jones can help you if you need a back, especially in bigger standard non-PPR leagues.
Martavis Bryant, Steelers, 82 percent
Travis Benjamin, Browns, 79 percent
Davante Adams, Packers, 69 percent
Allen Hurns, Jaguars, 56 percent
He’s becoming a safe play and needs to be owned in all leagues right now. He gets a lot of single coverage against second tier corners and he’s developing a strong connection with Bortles. He can be your WR3 right now in any league.
Tavon Austin, Rams, 48 percent
They are using him as a receiver and as a rusher and I like what I am seeing as I told you a few weeks back. The presence and effectiveness of Todd Gurley only adds to Austin’s upside. He should be owned in most leagues and certainly all 12-team leagues.
Willie Snead, Saints, 44 percent
He’s coming off of his best game, as Snead is seeing a lot of targets and he’s converting at a rate that will keep Drew Brees looking for him often. As teams concentrate on stopping Brandon Cooks, Brees is finding Snead often, and I expect this to continue all year long. Go get Snead in all leagues, but especially in one with PPR scoring.
Doug Baldwin, Seahawks, 42 percent
He’s a light WR3 or flex option, but he is giving you something each week and he’s found the end zone twice so far this year. Baldwin can help you if you are in a bye week crunch in a 10-team league, and he can be your WR3 in 12-team PPR leagues.
Leonard Hankerson, Falcons, 56 percent
He’s gotten ahead of Roddy White in the pecking order and that means a lot of weekly targets and because of Julio Jones, he will see nothing but single coverage. He missed parts of last week’s game with a rib injury but he should be OK for this week.
Nelson Agholor, Eagles, 46 percent
He left last week’s game in the first half with a shin injury, but he won’t be out long if at all and he has a lot of upside if the Eagles continue to right the ship, and I think that they will.
Ty Montgomery, Packers, 10 percent
If Davante Adams cannot go this week, and it’s possible that he won’t, Montgomery is proving a viable fantasy option. It helps to play with Aaron Rodgers.
Brandon LaFell, Patriots, 29 percent
He could return as early as Week 7 and he is available in more leagues than he should be. He’s probably owned at a higher rate in New England, but you never know. Scoop him up if he is there and you might have a weekly WR3 down the stretch.
Ted Ginn, Panthers, 33 percent
As I have been saying for a few weeks now, Ginn is playing some of the best football he’s ever played. He’s the top option for Cam Newton right now and he is worth a play as a WR3 in most leagues if you need an option.
Marquess Wilson, Bears, 7 percent
He’s finally got some momentum after two straight strong games and I see no reason why he won’t be running as a starter when Jeffery returns. Add Wilson as a WR4 option if you need some help. You never know, he could develop into a weekly play if he can stay healthy.
Antonio Gates, Chargers, 83 percent
Julius Thomas, Jaguars, 72 percent
Jordan Cameron, Dolphins, 68 percent
Gary Barnidge, Browns, 51 percent
He’s got a score in three straight games and plenty of yardage to go with it. Go get Barnidge if you need a tight end or have a roster spot to play with. He’s a huge part of Cleveland’s passing game now.
Eric Ebron, Lions, 25 percent
He may miss one more game (knee bruise), so be careful if your need is immediate. I like Ebron as a TE1 the rest of the way, but that’s once he gets healthy. The young tight end is one of the few positive stories in Detroit right now. That coaching staff needs to go.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Buccaneers, 28 percent
He could return this week (shoulder) and he’s a potential weekly starter if he is playing at 100 percent. Seferian-Jenkins has a ton of natural ability and he is an outstanding red zone weapon.
Richard Rodgers, Packers, 46 percent
He scratches out some points every week and he finds the end zone enough to make him a borderline TE1 in 12-team league. He can help you if you are struggling for an option.
Derek Carrier, Washington, 3 percent
He may not be an option this week, but if Jordan Reed misses another game, as he seems likely to do, Carrier is a solid start in all leagues against the Jets next week. Bench Washington’s receivers against the Jets, but play the tight end. That tight end is most likely going to be Carrier.
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