The days are growing shorter, the nights are getting colder, and the fake football flu has many symptoms. Whether you are suffering from bye week bursitis or a low RB cell count, the Week 6 Waiver Wire will cure what ails you. Side effects may include streaming defenses, handcuffing, and dropped kickers. Use at your own risk.
Brady Quinn, KC – After a 50-minute siege, the Ravens razed the Chiefs’ Cassel. Quinn stepped in for the concussed starter and completed all 3 of his passes for 32 yards. Cassel was playing terribly prior to leaving the game – including the previous four games – so this is a perfect opportunity for Kansas City to give Quinn some run going forward.
Kirk Cousins & Rex Grossman, WAS – Robert Griffin III also suffered a concussion in Week 5. Kirk Cousins was forced into action, going 5-for-9 for 111 yards with 1 TD and 2 INTs. If RGIII misses time, Cousins is in line to be the main beneficiary. On the other hand, if Cousins continues to struggle with turnovers, Rex may find himself in effect.
Colin Kaepernick, SF – Despite losing a fumble, Kaeptain America still posted 7 fantasy points against the Bills thanks to his second rushing touchdown in as many weeks. Alex Smith suffered a finger injury on his throwing hand in the same game, but he is expected to play in Week 6. Still, any malady for Smith puts Kaepernick one step closer to starting. Even as a backup, Kaepernick has weekly fantasy value as the Wildcat signal-caller for the Niners.
Nick Foles, PHI – Michael Vick has 11 turnovers in five games. Nick Foles has zero turnovers in zero games. Which ratio do you like better? It’s okay if your answer is irrational or indeterminate.
Alex Green & James Starks, GB – Cedric Benson departed Sunday’s game in the second quarter and was spotted leaving the stadium in a boot. Apparently, this boot was made for walking, not running. Not coincidentally, RB stands for “running back” and if Benson isn’t running, it stands to reason that he’s not the Packers RB you want to own. Green played well in Benson’s absence and figures to be a valuable pickup, but James Starks could muck up the situation if he can overcome his turf toe issue.
Brandon Bolden, NE – Stevan Ridley is still the Pats RB to own and Shane Vereen vultured a goal-line TD on Sunday, but Bolden remained fantasy relevant with 54 yards on 14 carries.
Jahvid Best, DET – Remember that time when Mikel LeShoure came back from injury and stole the starting job from Kevin Smith out of nowhere? Well, Jahvid Best is eligible to return from the PUP list after Week 6. I don’t think LeShoure will lose his starting spot right away, but I thought the same thing about Kevin Smith in Week 3.
Daniel Thomas & Lamar Miller, MIA – Since attempting to run Reggie Bush into the ground in Week 2 with 26 carries, the Dolphins haven’t given Bush more than 19 carries in a game. Meanwhile, Daniel Thomas has vultured TDs in two out of three games since then. Thomas has value as the goal line back in Miami, but after suffering a head injury in Week 5 (possibly a concussion), his status for Week 6 is uncertain. Lamar Miller wouldn’t necessarily slide right into the goal line role for the ‘Phins, but his workload will certainly increase if Thomas doesn’t play.
LaRod Stephens-Howling, William Powell & Alfonso Smith, ARI – With Beanie Wells on IR and Ryan Williams out for the season, one of these three backs will have to step up and carry the load for the Cardinals. Stephens-Howling is nursing an injury of his own, so if he can’t go in Week 6, Powell and Smith will feast on the Buffalo Bills’ horrendous run defense. Stephens-Howling is the safest long-term add, but Powell is the safest add for this week. With that said, my gut says to go with Smith. He knows the offense, having played with Arizona all of last year, and knowledge of the team’s plays and pass protection schemes should keep him on the field more than Powell.
Beanie Wells, ARI – If you’re in a league with an IR spot or your bench is deep enough to accommodate a very speculative long-term add, Beanie Wells might be the guy for you. He’s in line to return around the end of November and considering how poor the Cardinal’s other options are (scroll up two inches), Beanie should have no problem reassuming the starting gig when he’s healthy.
Jackie Battle & Ronnie Brown, SD – I’m really looking forward to the 30 for 30 documentary about the time when Mike Shanahan swapped bodies with Norv Turner in the 2012 season and started wreaking havoc on fantasy owners of the San Diego running backs. Jokes aside, Ryan Mathews broke out in Week 5 with 139 total yards and a touchdown, but Ronnie Brown was on the field catching dump-off passes from Philip Rivers at the end of the game. Norv’s new committee shouldn’t have been so much of a surprise considering his usage of Mike Tolbert over the past two seasons, but Mathews’ owners are nonetheless disappointed. Grab Battle or Brown if you’re desperate.
Devery Henderson, NO – With Jimmy Graham out, Marques Colston and Devery Henderson exploded against the Chargers. Colston is owned in all leagues, but Henderson might not be, so go get him if you can.
Darrius Heyward-Bey, OAK – If someone in your league gave up on DHB after his nasty concussion in Week 4, swoop in and grab him. Heyward-Bey is back at practice and should be good to go in Week 6.
Andrew Hawkins, CIN – He’s only owned in 53% of Yahoo leagues and 31% of ESPN leagues, but Hawkins continues to be an important part of the Bengals offense. He saw 13 targets from Andy Dalton on Sunday, which is more than all but six other wide receivers and exactly as many as A.J. Green.
Kendall Wright, TEN – Speaking of targets, Wright saw 11 against the Vikings and caught 9 of them for 66 yards. Kenny Britt should take some of those targets away as he gets healthier, but Wright is only going to get better and his talent cannot be denied.
Brandon Gibson & Chris Givens, STL – With Danny Amendola out for at least a couple weeks, Gibson and Givens will start at WR for the Rams. I would expect Steve Smith to be more involved going forward, but he wasn’t even active against the Cardinals in Week 5, so Brian Quick or Austin Pettis could be better bets for the WR3 role in St. Louis.
Golden Tate, SEA – Tate caught his second and significantly less controversial TD pass of the season in Week 5 to go with 31 yards. His value is hamstrung by Russell Wilson, but guys like Tate who can randomly deliver TDs are often the best you can find on waivers in competitive leagues, especially as bye week fill-ins.
Josh Gordon, CLE – Gordon caught 2 passes from 8 targets on Sunday, both for touchdowns. As long as Mohammed Massaquoi remains sidelined and Brandon Weeden remains semi-competent, Gordon will have decent fantasy value in deeper leagues.
Reuben Randle, NYG – Round and round, the NYG receiver carousel spins. The man on the high horse in Week 5 was Victor Cruz with his 3 TDs, but Randle led the Giants with 6 catches and 82 yards. It will be hard to forecast which non-Cruz receiver will have the most fantasy value in any given week while Hakeem Nicks is out, but Randle has shown he belongs in the discussion.
Michael Jenkins, MIN – Jenkins isn’t an exciting option, but he should slide back into a starting role with Jerome Simpson hobbled by a phantom leg injury.
David Gettis, CAR –Gettis is eligible to return from the PUP list next week and figures to become Carolina’s #3 wideout right away. He’ll have to wrest targets away from Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell, and Greg Olsen, but this second year receiver might be just what Cam Newton needs to open up the offense.
Dwayne Allen, IND – Coby Fleener had 9 targets to Allen’s 4, but Allen came away with a touchdown. The “Let Luck Chuck” movement is gaining momentum every week and Luck’s receivers all stand to benefit.
Joel Dreessen, DEN – We can’t help but compare Peyton Manning to Andrew Luck, so let me do the same with their tight ends. Dreessen is to Tamme as Allen is to Fleener. It seems The Fake Football is also an SAT prep website. Who knew?
Lance Kendricks, STL – Kendricks’ only Week 5 catch went 7 yards for a touchdown, but he should receive more looks while Danny Amendola is out. Tight end is extremely deep this season, but if you just lost Graham and need a stopgap, Kendricks could be your man.
David Thomas & Daniel Graham, NO – Like Cedric Benson, Jimmy Graham was sporting a walking boot after his Week 5 game. With the Saints going into a bye, it’s possible Graham will have enough time off to heal his ankle and avoid missing time. Still, if Jimmy Graham can’t go, the Saints have another Graham named Daniel and David “Square Burgers” Thomas waiting in the wings.