2021 Fantasy Football: Top 10 waiver wire pickups for Week 6
Five weeks into the season, and your fantasy football teams have developed identities, regardless of if they are good or bad ones. With some major injuries having popped up in what seemed to be one of the more injury-plagued weeks so far this year, your waiver wire pickups become even more important.
Continuously addressing your roster’s weak spots never takes a rest, as the waiver wire is the best and cheapest place to improve your team’s chances of overcoming a slow start to the fantasy football season.
As an added option, keep an eye on RB Michael Carter – he may be rostered on over 50% of teams, but he is turning himself into an intriguing mid-season addition. Having recorded a TD in each of the past two games, the rookie looks to have taken over the starter’s role in the Jets’ backfield – scooping him up in a cheap deal can help give you some added bench value, with a chance at a FLEX role during bye weeks.
As always, all players included on the list below are currently on less than 50% of all fantasy football teams on ESPN, meaning there is a good chance that your league still has these players available for the taking.
Week 6 Waiver Wire Pickups
10. David Njoku – TE
As good as the Cleveland Browns have been, the passing attack has been a bit up and down – but being on the losing end of the shootout with the Los Angeles Chargers helped boost the stock of one of their forgotten offensive weapons, tight end David Njoku.
Having been billed at one point as one of the better options on this CLE offense, Njoku has struggled to handle both Austin Hooper and Harrison Bryant on the depth chart. But on Sunday, with Hooper having failed to receive a target across 52 snaps, it was the former Miami Hurricane that produced a career game – expecting that kind of work from Njoku on a regular basis is unlikely, but you could do much worse with how the TE landscape is, making him an underrated member of your waiver wire pickups.
9. Hunter Henry – TE
New England Patriots
Speaking of TEs, Hunter Henry seems to be taking his turn being the chosen TE option for Mac Jones – having earned four-plus targets in all but one game this year, Henry has scored a TD in each of the past two games, showing his downfield abilities.
Fighting with Jonnu Smith for TE work will always cap his value, but Henry seems to be carving out a safer role, making him a better option in a run-oriented offense in New England.
8. Khalil Herbert – RB
When David Montgomery went down, it was thought that Damien Williams would plug in as the starter – and while that did hold true, it was Khalil Herbert that earned a larger slice of the pie than expected against the Raiders.
18 carries for 75 yards is a solid showing for the rookie, even though Williams was able to cash in a red zone look. With the Bears loving their rushing attack with Justin Fields at the helm, look for Herbert to remain a focal part of the offense until Montgomery returns and an overlooked member of your waiver wire pickups.
7. Jameis Winston – QB
New Orleans Saints
Producing his best passing game of the season can help put people back onto Jameis Winston, even with the thoughts of him burning people again. 279 yards and 4 TDs is a great day for Winston, who consistently was able to pick apart the WFT secondary for a big day.
Facing the Seahawks, Buccaneers, and Falcons the next three weeks certainly helps improve his fantasy football ceiling, so looking for Winston on your waiver wire for a multi-week play can be a smash play.
6. Geno Smith – QB
The unfortunate finger injury to Russell Wilson opened the door to journeyman Geno Smith, who had his chance to lead his team back from the dead in a close loss to the Rams. With Wilson on the shelf for the next month-plus, it now becomes the Smith show, whether your waiver wire pickups are ready for it or not.
10/17 for 131 yards, a TD, and an interception was a healthy showing for Smith in his first real game action in a long time – as the likes of Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf will suffer from a fantasy perspective, Smith can be a sneaky addition as your team enters the bye week season.
5. Rashod Bateman – WR
The Baltimore Ravens are needing to develop a consistent target alongside Mark Andrews and Hollywood Brown in this offense, and Rashod Bateman has the skills to be that guy. Coming off surgery, it will be imperative for Bateman to resume his strong showing that he produced during camp.
Bateman still has not been activated off the IR, but with all signs pointing to Week 6 as his debut, grab a player that could end up being a great mid-season addition.
4. Alex Collins – RB
Even when Chris Carson has been healthy, Alex Collins has earned a fair share of work in this offense, boosting his standalone value. But with Carson dealing with a neck injury, it was Collins who earned the start on Thursday against the Rams and put up a respectable showing.
No designation has been given to Carson at this point yet, but even if he returns, Collins does hold enough value to pick up as a standalone handcuff option – if Carson misses more time, Collins can be bumped up into the RB2 category against Pittsburgh Week 6, making him apart of your worthwhile waiver wire pickups.
3. Devontae Booker – RB
New York Giants
On a freak injury, Saquon Barkley was lost to an injury yet again, thrusting Devontae Booker back into the spotlight. During a game that also saw injuries to Kenny Golladay and Daniel Jones, Booker was a strong part of the offense against the Cowboys.
An ankle sprain will likely sideline Barkley for at least a week (if not more), so adding Booker to handle a high share of snaps is a good play, even as the Giants face the Rams next week. Tempering expectations are fine, but he still is worthy of being included in your waiver wire pickups.
2. Kadarius Toney – WR
New York Giants
One of the few WRs that we were still waiting to see a fantasy football breakout was Kadarius Toney, and Sunday’s game ended up being that occasion for him on a day that the Giants needed it badly.
13 targets turned into 10 receptions for 189 yards, receiving passes from both Jones and Mike Glennon – while Toney is dealing with an ankle injury that Joe Judge labeled as not being ‘anything significant, in terms of season-ending,’ adding him can help provide key WR depth to your fantasy football roster.
1. Darrel Williams – RB
Kansas City Chiefs
As Clyde Edwards-Helaire sprained his MCL against the Bills on Sunday, it was Darrel Williams who stepped up into the starting role and commanded his fair share of work. As the Chiefs were playing from behind most of the game, Jerick McKinnon saw a good chunk of passing work, which would be the only thing in the way of Williams producing fantasy football relevancy.
Facing Washington next week should help give Williams a better outlook on the ground, so prioritizing him above McKinnon in one of the league’s most potent offenses should headline this week’s waiver wire pickups for your roster(s). Williams has been here before, and his knowledge of the offense can help make him a sneaky addition.