10 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Targets Heading Into Week 6
Before the season started, we thought this may be a fantasy football campaign unlike any other. We were right.
Week 5 saw more COVID-related schedule changes as well as its fair share of injuries. As the dust settles, here are some waiver-wire players who should be on your radar ahead of Week 6 based on everything we know so far.
I'll stick to players rostered on 60% or fewer of Yahoo teams and also list some other viable pickups who may be available in shallower leagues or relevant in only deeper leagues.
Gardner Minshew, Jaguars
Roster Percentage: 50%
Gardner Minshew looks like the cream of the crop when it comes to quarterback streaming options for Week 6. Minshew hosts the Detroit Lions, a defense that had given up the 10th-most FanDuel points per game to signal-callers heading into their Week 5 bye. Minshew has been pretty solid this season, scoring at least 19.84 fantasy points in four of five starts. His one dud, however, was a 9.20-point game versus the Miami Dolphins in Week 3 in which D.J. Chark didn't play, and Chark exited early in Week 5. If Chark is out for Week 6, I'd turn to Ryan Tannehill (vs. Houston), Kirk Cousins (vs. Atlanta) or -- gulp -- Daniel Jones (vs. Washington).
Others to Consider:
Ryan Tannehill (47%), Kirk Cousins (33%), Daniel Jones (34%), Andy Dalton (3%)
Alexander Mattison, Vikings
Roster Percentage: 37%
It was easy to write up a whole bunch of wideouts this week -- and I did -- but it was much tougher to find viable running back pickups. And then Dalvin Cook pulled up injured on Sunday night. Unless we get good news regarding Cook, Alexander Mattison is the biggest waiver claim of the week. Before Week 5, Mattison had played between 19% and 37% of the snaps in each of the Minnesota Vikings' four games. Ameer Abdullah and Mike Boone had teamed up for a combined three snaps. Mattison got fed once Cook departed, ending with 20 carries for 112 yards in addition to 3 catches and 24 yards through the air. If Cook misses any time -- with Minnesota's bye scheduled for Week 7, the Vikings may play it safe and sit Cook in Week 6 -- Mattison could be staring at a monster workload. He'd be in RB1 territory right away in Week 6 against the Falcons.
Tee Higgins, Bengals
Roster Percentage: 53%
Everyone is going to be freaking out over Chase Claypool, and we'll get to him shortly. But my favorite receiver add this week is Tee Higgins. The Cincinnati Bengals' rookie has been coming on for a few weeks, and with A.J. Green (hamstring) getting hurt in Week 5, Higgins' role should only grow. Higgins led the Bengals in snaps this past Sunday and finished with 8 targets, 4 grabs and 52 yards. He's seen at least six targets in each of his four active games. Even if Green doesn't miss any time, Higgins deserves at least a bench spot in all but shallow leagues. If AJG is out a while, Higgins could go off for a Cincy team that owned the third-highest pass rate going into Week 5.
Brandin Cooks, Texans
Roster Percentage: 43%
A lot of fantasy managers bailed on Brandin Cooks after his Week 4 goose egg, and I can't blame them. But Cooks had a splash game in Week 5, garnering a third of the Houston Texans' targets on his way to 8 grabs for 161 yards and a score. His 12 targets were 4 more than he had over the last two weeks combined. Was the bump in usage related to Houston's coaching change? We'll have to see. But Cooks is a talented wideout who is playing with one of the game's best passers, and with how iffy Houston is defensively, Deshaun Watson should have to keep airing it out (sixth-highest pass rate heading into Week 5).
Chase Claypool, Steelers
Roster Percentage: 16%
Claypool went berserk in Week 5, scoring four times (one rushing) and totaling 110 receiving yards on 7 receptions and 11 targets. Not only did Claypool's 11 looks lead the team, no other Pittsburgh Steelers player saw more than 5 targets. Claypool is clearly worth picking up. I do have some hesitation, though. Claypool did this in a game in which Diontae Johnson -- the Pittsburgh Steelers' target leader coming into the game -- exited early on due to a back injury. Prior to Week 5, Claypool had seen only nine total targets through three outings. Maybe the rookie's four-score outburst will force him into a bigger role. But I'm afraid his high-volume gig won't last, and with Claypool being one of the hottest waiver adds of the week, I'll probably pass on dropping the big FAB bucks it'll take to get him.
Henry Ruggs III, Raiders
Roster Percentage: 44%
Henry Ruggs made his return from injury in Week 5 and showed his big-play chops with a 2-catch, 118-yard day, taking one to the house from 72 yards out. It's not all sunshine and rainbows as Ruggs was targeted only three times in the game and hasn't seen more than five looks in a contest this season. But the Las Vegas Raiders' 2020 first-round pick was second among the team's receivers in snaps played in Week 5, and it's not hard to imagine his role growing as he continues to get healthy.
Mecole Hardman, Chiefs
Roster Percentage: 40%
Mecole Hardman is one of the highest-upside guys out there on waivers, and if Sammy Watkins ends up missing time due to the hamstring injury he suffered in Week 5, Hardman could see a more meaningful role in the Kansas City Chiefs' potent offense. Hardman would ostensibly be competing with Demarcus Robinson for the number-two receiver job, and those two played nearly an equal amount of snaps in Week 5 (50 to 48 edge for Hardman). We've seen Hardman's game-breaking speed, and the second-year player could be a huge factor for however long Watkins is sidelined. With all that said, Robinson is worth a speculative add, as well. Prior to Week 5, Robinson had played 20 more snaps than Hardman through four games, and he'll likely get a snap boost, too, if Watkins is out.
Travis Fulgham, Eagles
Roster Percentage: 3%
It feels like the Eagles have been looking for receiver help for a long, long time. Well, maybe they found a dude in Travis Fulgham. In a difficult matchup versus the Steelers this past week, Fulgham saw 13 targets, catching 10 for 152 yards and a tud. He had more receiving yards than the rest of the Eagles combined, and he played the second-most snaps among Eagles wideouts. While DeSean Jackson, Jalen Reagor and Alshon Jeffery will be back at some point, this Philly offense desperately needs playmakers right now. Fulgham is worth an add in deeper formats.
Others to Consider:
Demarcus Robinson (1%), Laviska Shenault Jr. (34%), Christian Kirk (34%)
Logan Thomas, Washington
Roster Percentage: 18%
It's slim pickings at tight end. In the buildup to this season, it seemed like the position may wind up being a little deeper than it had been in previous years. Big welp to that one. If you're looking to stream a tight end this week, you can do worse than Logan Thomas. Thomas played 47 snaps in Week 5, second among all pass-catchers on Washington, including wideouts. He's been on the field plenty all year, seeing at least a 74% snap share in every game, including games of 91% and 93%. He got at least seven targets in each of the first three weeks, but he's been thrown to only eight times over the past two games. Still, we can't be too picky. Maybe he can turn the snaps into a productive fantasy day against the New York Giants in Week 6.
New York Giants
Roster Percentage: 1%
With schedule changes taking away the Los Angeles Chargers D/ST from us in what was supposed to be a delectable home date with the New York Jets, Week 6 is thin on streamers. The first thing you should do is check to see if the New England D/ST got dropped this week during their unexpected bye week. If so, grab them as the Pats are at home Week 6 versus the Denver Broncos. But if the Pats are taken, the G-Men have a streamable home matchup with Washington, who figures to be starting either Kyle Allen or Alex Smith.
Others to Consider:
New England (73%), Washington D/ST (7%)