Fantasy Football: Week-Ahead Stash Candidates for Week 6

Fantasy football is all about being a step ahead of your competition, and this weekly column aims to help you achieve that in a couple of ways.

First, I will identify players who could ultimately provide some value for your teams before they become hot waiver-wire adds. This will save you from spending an exorbitant amount of your free agent acquisition budget (FAAB) or using a high waiver priority on them, ultimately allowing you to save each of these for when you most need it.

Second, I'll dig through the data and player trends to illustrate why these players will be worth taking up a spot on your roster. I'm going to try to find the diamonds in the rough that inevitably emerge each and every year so that you don't have to sweat over whether or not you claimed them on waivers -- because you will already own them!

My goal each week is to provide you with starting and flex-caliber players at each of their respective positions. That means I'm looking for top-12 quarterbacks, tight ends, and defenses, and top-36 running backs and wide receivers. If I've done that, then I've done my job.

So let's take a look at this past week!

Player Positional Ranking Half-PPR Points
Andy Dalton 10th 19
Rex Burkhead DNP 0
Alexander Mattison 45th 5.2
Golden Tate 70th 2.8
San Francisco 49ers D/ST 2nd 19

Andy Dalton saved his day with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns, but those points count all the same. Alexander Mattison didn't get worked in as much as I would have expected against the New York Giants because the Giants actually kept it relatively close until late in the third quarter of the game. Speaking of the Giants, Golden Tate was a major disappointment in his first game back from suspension. Fortunately, I've been pretty good at hitting on defenses, including the San Francisco D/ST in Week 5, so let's hope that continues.

With that, let's get into it!

Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants

ESPN Ownership: 46%

Daniel Jones has been impressing NFL fans so far this year by leading the New York Giants to a 2-1 record in the games he has started. Since taking over the reigns in Week 3, Jones ranks eighth among quarterbacks in fantasy points, averaging 20 fantasy points per game over that span. Unfortunately, the last two weeks haven't been as promising as his first start, but there are reasons to be excited about the much-maligned quarterback.

Most importantly, one of Jones' primary weapons is his ability to run, which gives quarterbacks a distinct advantage in fantasy football. His Rushing Net Expected Points (NEP) per carry of 0.91 is second only to that of Dak Prescott. Jones currently sits in the top 10 quarterbacks in rushing, the rest of which have played in all five weeks this season.

On the docket in Week 7 are the Arizona Cardinals, who have allowed the fourth most fantasy points to quarterbacks so far this season. While it will be Patrick Peterson's first game back from suspension, one can hope that Jones will be able to play with a full slate of weapons including Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, and potentially Saquon Barkley

Cole Beasley, WR, Buffalo Bills

ESPN Ownership: 29%

Cole Beasley may be one of the least exciting players to own in fantasy football, but that doesn't mean he isn't worth a roster spot in some scenarios. Going into the Buffalo Bills' bye week this week, Beasley is tied with John Brown for the most targets on the team with 39. In fact, Beasley has at least nine targets in three of the first five games.

The only differences between the two are that Beasley doesn't come with as many yards and has yet to score. That means he's due for some positive regression in the touchdown category. As our JJ Zachariason pointed out, Beasley is among a list of players who should have at least one more touchdown than they currently have based on the yards-per-touchdown ratio at each position over the last five years. If the touchdowns come, Beasley could turn into a PPR star.

When the Bills return from their bye week, they'll get to host the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins are a prime matchup for any position that plays against them, and you should expect that to continue in the weeks to come.

Hunter Henry, TE, Los Angeles Chargers

ESPN Ownership: 47%

The tight end landscape is bleak -- there's no two ways about it. Fortunately, one of the top tight ends, Hunter Henry, may soon be entering the fold once again. Henry still hasn't been ruled out for Week 6 (as of Thursday morning) after missing the past four weeks due to a tibial plateau fracture, which bodes well for his Week 7 availability.

Going into the season, Henry was drafted as a top-10 tight end, so the potential is clearly there. In Week 1, Henry tallied four catches for 60 yards on five targets. While it's a small sample size, a 15 percent target share is encouraging, especially with the plethora of injuries the Los Angeles Chargers are dealing with.

Should Henry be able to take the field in Week 7, he'll be facing a Tennessee Titans team that allows the fourth most fantasy points to the tight end position.

There's always a risk of re-injury, especially with someone who's been oft-injured the past several years. But would you rather take a shot at him or the likes of Jason Witten? I'll take Henry in every situation. If you're struggling at tight end, you may not have better options.

San Francisco 49ers, D/ST

ESPN Ownership: 48%

I'm going back to the well on this one because the San Francisco 49ers' defense remains criminally underrated. Through five weeks, the 49ers are second in yards allowed per game, fourth in points allowed per game, and sixth in sacks per game. Not to mention, they're second in fantasy points scored on the season, and they've only played four games!

That's pretty dang good, no matter who you're playing.

And who do they get to play in Week 7? Washington, who just fired their head coach and are playing musical chairs at quarterback. Washington is fourth in fantasy points allowed to opposing defenses, and it won't matter who's at quarterback -- you're going to want to start San Francisco.