Waiver Wire Madness: Week 6
October 7, 2014 | Jeff
Five weeks are now finished up and the fake football fortunes of teams everywhere are beginning to take shape. Unfortunately, Week 5 was full of injury issues for fantasy stars around the NFL but that means the Week 6 waiver wire is jam packed with playable options for coming weeks. Let’s jump right into this week’s crop, led by some solid pickups at the running back position…
The top option this week is Austin Davis (Owned: 5% Yahoo, 2%ESPN), who had a great performance against the Eagles on Sunday, throwing for 375 yards and three touchdowns. Davis is now averaging 282 passing yards per game and is worth a look in 2QB leagues or very deep redraft leagues. He won’t be on the streaming map for the next two weeks (facing SF and SEA), but he has some streamability appeal (I make up words now) moving forward if the matchup is right.
Go ahead and leave Brian Hoyer (Ownership: 5% Yahoo, 3 % ESPN) on your waiver wire, but do take a second to make sure Eli Manning (Ownership: 67% Yahoo, 57% ESPN) is owned.
Week 5 superstar Branden Oliver (Ownership: 15% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) is going to be a prime time pickup this week, but it’s more for his short term prospects than his ability to help your fantasy team down the stretch. First, the San Diego Chargers face the Oakland Raiders in Week 6, which mean Oliver has immediate value in all leagues. Even the four team league you play in with your grandmother, your mail carrier, and your old high school chemistry teacher. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s look at the big picture for Oliver. Ryan Mathews is currently on the shelf, but will be back in one or two weeks to take the bulk of the San Diego carries that have been available for Donald Brown and Oliver over the last couple games. With Brown himself now injured (concussion), Oliver may be able to keep a share of the backfield work here, but it will likely be on third downs. In summary, Oliver is a big time play for the next week or two, but he will likely have a “Justin Forsett”-ish role once Mathews returns.
Andre Williams (Ownership: 27% Yahoo, 36% ESPN) appears to have a nice workload on his hands for the next two weeks as Giants starter Rashad Jennings will be out with a knee injury. Williams’ best two attributes right now are his upcoming matchups (@PHI, @DAL) and the fact that he will be receiving a ton of touches in an offense that is really hitting its stride. Williams may not excel as a receiver but he is a bulldozer at the goal line and has shown decent enough speed when called upon so far in his rookie season. I would consider Williams in the same class as Oliver as a pickup, and would rank them 1A and 1B for teams in need of running back starters immediately.
With Montee Ball facing a lengthy absence due to a groin issue (ouch), Ronnie Hillman (Ownership: 9% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) may have himself a starting job in the dynamic Denver offense. Ball hasn’t done anything this season but the potential for fantasy goodness for the lead Denver running back is certainly still there, so it could be Hillman who capitalizes on it. Hillman is the best pickup this week for multiple week production, although he will have Juwan Thompson and C.J. Anderson around to take a few touches. After Ball’s departure, it was Hillman who received 15 carries while Thompson handled three carries and Anderson was a healthy inactive, so Hillman is the best bet. Snag him if you need some RB depth and a potential multi-week starter. He is my top waiver wire RB of the week.
A lot has to break right for him to get a starting Week 6 gig, but George Winn (Ownership: who is George Winn again?) is worth a look in Detroit with Reggie Bush and Joique Bell both nursing injuries. If neither Bell nor Bush can go this week, Winn could be handling lead back duties as the Lions take on Minnesota and he performed reasonably well in Week 5 (11 carries for 48 yards). He may be droppable by Friday but keep an eye on this guy if you have expendable bench spots.
Put Antone Smith (Ownership: 9% Yahoo, 2% ESPN) on your “preemptive strike list” if you have a roster spot free (and if you have a preemptive strike list), and make sure Khiry Robinson (Ownership: 50% Yahoo, 98% ESPN) is not on the wire.
Jacksonville rookies Allen Hurns (Ownership: 39% Yahoo, 17% ESPN) and Allen Robinson (Ownership: 13% Yahoo, 1% ESPN) still should be owned in more leagues as their team is a mess and will be required to throw the football for at least three straight quarters in every game moving forward. I prefer Robinson, but tomato/tomatoe/tomaytow.
Rookie Odell Beckham Jr. (Ownership: 11% Yahoo, 4 % ESPN) had a phenomenal debut in Week 5 as he snagged four passes for 44 yards and a touchdown. Eli Manning targeted the youngster five times and Beckham looked great in the process. With each passing week bringing more positive results from new OC Ben McAdoo’s offense, the Giants may be a decent option for fantasy owners down the stretch this season and Beckham will be a big part of that. Click ADD.
Other names to keep an eye on: Both St. Louis receivers Brian Quick and Kenny Britt should be given a shot, especially Quick after another big game in Week 5. We discussed Louis Murphy here last week and he is worth a plug-in as long as Mike Evans remains out due to injury. Leave all Cleveland Browns receivers NOT named Andrew Hawkins alone.
The top tight end option this week is Tim Wright (Ownership: 9% Yahoo, 2% ESPN), who caught five passes for 85 yards and a score on Sunday Night Football. I don’t think he will be gracing the TE1 area of my rankings anytime soon but we all know the potential devastation New England Patriots tight ends can bring to opposing defenses. If you are thin at TE, give Wright a shot and see if he can carve out a decent workload in consecutive weeks and make believers out of us all.